Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hadrian: Empire and Conflict

From 24 July through 26 October 2008, the British Museum is hosting an exhibition entitled 'Hadrian: Empire and Conflict' (official website). The scope of the exhibition has been outlined in a recent CNN article and a number of lectures, workshops, and other events are being offered in conjunction with the exhibition. One of the highlights is a colossal head of Hadrian that was recently excavated in Sagalassos (modern Turkey) and was part of a statue that stood over 5 meters tall.

The Roman Empire reached its greatest geographical extent under Trajan, but his successor, Hadrian is known for withdrawing the Roman military presence from Mesopotamia, roughly the area of modern Iraq, and for consolidating borders by reinforcing and erecting permanent limes. In Britain he is known for constructing a stone wall, which divided the Roman south from the tribes living in the north. The writer of CNN article expects that the exhibition will resonate with modern viewers in the context of modern conflict and military occupation.

A fine time to visit London!

Image: Bust of Hadrian from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, now in the British Museum.