Monday, September 29, 2014

Gregory Aldrete on "Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome: The Eternal City Goes Under"

Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 11am in the Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts,_Italy_-_12_Dec._2008.jpg
Lecture summary: Ancient Rome was perhaps the largest and most architecturally sophisticated western city until the Victorian era, but this impressive metropolis was frequently the victim of violent floods.  The Tiber river could rise as much as 15 meters above normal water levels and left large sections of the city submerged for up to a week at a time. This lecture will survey the history and characteristics of these floods, their effects on the city, and how the Romans attempted to prevent or alleviate flooding.  Finally, it will suggest some surprising ways in which ancient Rome was unusually well-suited to surviving the onslaught of these natural disasters. As we have seen with the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and recurrent flooding in the Midwest, floods remain a serious threat today.  Given this reality, it is worth examining how the largest city of the ancient world met this danger.

About the speaker: Gregory Aldrete is Frankenthal Professor of History and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  His particular areas of research interest are the history of the Roman Empire, rhetoric and oratory, military history, and urban problems in the ancient world.  He is a recipient of several awards for excellence in teaching at the university level, including the 2012 Wisconsin Professor of the Year.   Professor Aldrete has published a number of books and articles on his research, including Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins 2007), Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome (Johns Hopkins, 1999), Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii and Ostia (University of Oklahoma, 2009), The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done For Us? with Alicia Aldrete (Continuum 2012), and Ancient Linen Body Armor: Unraveling the Linothorax Mystery with S. Bartell and A. Aldrete (Johns Hopkins, 2013) The lecture is free and open to the public.  Dr. Aldrete will be giving a Joukowsky Lecture, named for Martha Sharp Joukowsky, past President of the Archaeological Institute of America and Professor of Old World Archaeology at Brown University.  The Joukowsky Lectureship is part of the AIA’s National Lecture Program.

A no-host lunch open to AIA members with the speaker will follow the lecture at Christos Greek Restaurant, 2632 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis

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