Saturday, March 2, 2013

CFP: Santa Maria Antiqua: the Sistine Chapel of the Roman Forum in Context, The British School at Rome, December 4 -6 2013

A conference to celebrate the completion of the restoration of Santa Maria Antiqua and to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the death of Gordon McNeil Rushforth

Between 1900 and 1914 Giacomo Boni and the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma exposed and excavated the church complex of S Maria Antiqua, which was partially abandoned in the 9th century and later completely buried. In 1902, Gordon Rushforth, first Director of the British School at Rome, published one of the earliest definitive papers on the site. In 2000, these two organisations organised the Conference ‘Santa Maria Antiqua al Foro Romano cento anni dopo’ to mark the centenary of the exposure of the site. In 2013, they are again sponsoring jointly, with others, a conference to consider further advances in research on this unique church and also to consider the additional information gained during the restorations now nearing completion. The conference will include a visit to the site
(which is not yet routinely accessible).

Following the recommendations of the 2000 conference, the 2013 conference will focus on placing the S Maria Antiqua complex in the context of its surroundings (the Forum, the Palatine and the wider Byzantine and Early Medieval world). It was Gordon Rushforth who first pointed out that the inscriptions on the four scrolls held by the church fathers in the apse came from the Acts of the Lateran Synod of 649 and the reasons for this link will be explored further. In addition there will be sessions dealing with the establishment of a church on the site, incubation, the cult of medical saints and changing social and political concerns within Rome and the Byzantine Empire during the life of the complex. The additional insights and interpretations of the decorations made possible by the ongoing restorations will also be central to the conference.

Confirmed speakers:
Peter Wiseman (University of Exeter)
Henry Hurst (University of Cambridge)
John Osborne (Carleton University, Canada)
David Knipp (Freiburg University)
Giuseppe Morganti (Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma):
Werner Matthias Schmid (Freelance Conservator, Rome)
Richard Price (Heythrop College, University of London)
Katy Cubitt (University of York)
Eileen Rubery (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London)
Manuela Gianandrea (Sapienza University of Rome)
Robert Coates-Stephens (British School at Rome)

Registration: There is no charge for attendance at the Conference, but space in the lecture theatre is limited and so early registration is recommended. Registration is also essential to secure a place on the planned visit to the complex of S Maria Antiqua. The Form for Registration (FORM ONE) should be returned to by November 16 2013 whether or not you are offering a paper to ensure a place at the Conference and on the visit to S Maria Antiqua.

Proposals for papers: Titles of proposed papers (20 min.) plus an abstract of no more than 250 words should be sent to on the accompanying Form for submission of an Abstract (FORM TWO) by April 12, 2013. We hope to contact those whose papers have been accepted by June 16, 2013.

Accommodation: Those requiring local hotel accommodation must make their own bookings.
Further information: The Conference Secretariat can be contacted at Visit the British School at Rome website for updated details of the conference.