The project “Memoria Romana: Memory in Roman Civilization” was initiated in 2009 with the award of a Max-Planck Prize for International Cooperation, in the amount of EUR 750,000, to Professor Karl Galinsky, Cailloux Centennial Professor of Classics and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. In the humanities, this award is made every four years and the subject is specified; in this case it was Gedächtnisgeschichte. The project was based at the Ruhr–Universität Bochum, which made the successful application.

Historical scholarship centers on determining what actually happened and why (cf. von Ranke's famous dictum), so zu schreiben wie es war. Studies of historical, social, and cultural memory are complementary: they concentrate on what people, and especially groups of people, remember, how these memories evolve, and how they shape identities. Ancient Rome was a memory culture par excellence. Memory pervades all aspects of Roman culture: literature (incl. historiography), art, architecture, religion, and social and political history. Memory, therefore, is a concrete entity in Roman civilization and modern memory approaches do not need to be imposed artificially or extraneously on this organic presence.

The major undertaking, with a large allocation of funds, in the first two years of the project was to support the work especially of younger scholars in this area on an international basis (the modalities for the applications can be accessed here, for informational purposes). We received many more applications than we could fund and the funds have been expended as of late 2011. We supported 14 doctoral fellowships (several for two years) and 17 other research projects by postdocs. The objective has been to employ and to test some perspectives, methods, and impulses from current work on Gedächtnisgeschichte (a.k.a. the memory boom) over a broad spectrum of Roman phenomena.

In the final two years (2012/2013), the emphasis shifted more toward publication. This has included collected papers from some of the highly successful conferences sponsored byMemoria Romana and monographs resulting from the work of its grantees and others, as listed on this page.

We welcome suggestions and comments. Please write to Prof. Galinsky at

Some recent publications supported or generated by Memoria Romana

Three Conference Volumes

Memoria Romana: Memory in Rome and Rome in Memory, Suppl. Vol. 10 of Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome.

Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (Oxford U.P. 2016)

Cultural Memories in the Roman Empire (Getty Publications 2015).

Individual Publications

  • Alessandro Barchiesi: The War for Italia: Conflict and Collective Memory in Vergil's Aeneid. Sather Lectures (University of California Press, forthcoming)
  • Douglas Boin, Ostia in Late Antiquity. (Cambridge Univ. Press 2013). Also: "A Late Antique Statuary Collection at Ostia's Sanctuary of Magna Mater: A Case Study in Late Roman Religion and Tradition," PBSR 81 (2013): 1-31
  • Virginia Fabrizi: Mores veteresque novosque. La rappresentazione del passato e del presente di Roma negli Annales di Ennio. (Pisa, ETS 2012)
  • Kelly Shannon, "Memory, Religion and History in Nero's Great Fire: Tacitus, Annales 15.41-7 in Classical Quarterly 62 (2012) 749-765. Religion in Tacitus' Annals: Historical Constructions of Memory (OUP, forthcoming).
  • Damien Nelis and Joseph Farrell (eds.): Augustan Poetry and the Roman Republic. (Oxford University Press 2013)
  • Emmanuelle Raymond (dir.): Vox poetae: Manifestations auctoriales dans l'épopée gréco–latine. (Lyon, CECOR 2012)
  • Stefano Rebeggiani: “Reading the Republican Forum: Virgil's Aeneid, the Dioscuri and the battle of Lake Regillus”, in Classical Philology 108 (2013) 53-69.
  • Aaron Seider: Memory in Vergil's Aeneid: Creating the Past (Cambridge University Press, Oct. 2013); also “Competing Commemorations: Aposrophes of the Dead in the Aeneid“, in AJP 133.2, June 2012.
  • Pietro Li Causi: Il riconoscimento e il ricordo. Fama e memoria nel De beneficiis di Seneca (Palumbo Editore, Palermo 2012)
  • Lauren Ginsberg: “Wars More than Civil: Memories of Caesar and Pompey in the Octavia,” American Journal of Philology 134.4, 637-74; also Staging Memory, Staging Strife: Empire and Civil War in the Octavia (Oxford University Press 2016).
  • Markus Stachon's monograph (2014) on Vergilian and Ovidian pseudepigraphica
  • Maggie Popkin, The Architecture of the Roman Triumph: Monuments, Memory and Identity (Cambridge U.P., 2016).
  • Sebastian Modrow, Vom punischen zum roemischen Karthago. Reflexionen eines Konflikts und ihr Beitrag zur Konstruktion roemischer Identitaet (Heidelberg: Studien zur Alten Geschichte, 2015).
  • Rebecca Sweetman "Memory, Tradition, and Christianization of the Peloponnese," AJA 119.4 (2015) 501-31
  • Nota Bene

    • Memoria Romana has a group on Facebook: click here to view our page and request to join.
    • Basic Bibliography has been updated (11/22/2013)

Congratulations (2012-16)!

  • Lauren Donovan Ginsberg (tenure-track Assistant Professor, Dept. of Classics, University of Cincinnati)
  • Aaron Seider (tenure-track Assistant Professor of Classics, College of the Holy Cross)
  • Claudia Moser (Prix de Rome Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome for 2012-13); (tenure-track assistant professor of art history, University of California at Santa Barbara)
  • Kelly Shannon (tenure-track assistant professor of classics, University of Alabama)
  • Emmanuelle Raymond (for being appointed Maitre de conferences at Universite d'Angers)
  • Sarah Davies (tenure-track Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, Whitman College WA)
  • Chris Keith (for his appointment as Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary's University College, Twickenham, London; For more on Chris' appointment, see here.)
  • Virginia Fabrizi (for being awarded a Dahlem Research School Postdoc Fellowship COFUND at the Freie Universität of Berlin) and now (Fall 2014) another Fellowship at the Ludwig-Maximilians Univ. Munich
  • Douglas Boin (promoted to Associate Professor, Dept. of History, St. Louis University, as of Fall 2016)
  • Sinclair Bell (promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, Northern Illinois Univ.)
  • Maggie Popkin (tenure-track Assistant Professor, Dept. of Art History, Case Western University)
  • Susan Blevins Program Coordinator at the Univ. of Georgia Program in Italy
  • Markus Stachon who has received a 3-year research grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for work on Suetonius'Lives of the Poets
  • Shreyaa Patel for passing her Viva doctoral defense at Royal Holloway, London (July 2013). Viva Shreyaa!
  • Lynley McAlpine for passing her doctoral defense at the University of Michigan in February 2014; Lecturer at UM 2014/15
  • Bart Natoli (tenure-track Assistant Professor, Dept. of Classics, Randolph Macon College, VA)
  • Zena Kamash (Lecturer in Roman Art and Archaeology, Department of Classics, Royal Holloway, Univ. of London, Grant from the AHRC for project: 'Remembering the Romans (ReTRo): making memories and rebuilding Middle Eastern communities and cultural heritage')
  • Rebecca Sweetman (promotion to Professor at University of St. Andrews, 2016)

Last Update: December 22, 2014 (

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