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The American Academy in Rome’s latest Memoirs offer a special issue on national narratives and the medieval Mediterranean


The Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, an annual publication of the American Academy in Rome, gathers articles on topics including Roman archaeology and topography, ancient and modern Italian history, Latin literature, and Italian art and architectural history.

Volume 62—a special issue, “National Narratives and the Medieval Mediterranean”—opens with an introduction to the volume, its theme, and its participants by volume editors Kimberly Bowes and William Tronzo. The first section, “Basic Building Blocks—Names and Objects,” includes the following essays: “The Role and Perception of Islamic Art and History in the Construction of a Shared Identity in Sicily (ca. 1780–1900),” by Silvia Armando; “Visigoths, Crowns, Crosses, and the Construction of Spain,” by Francesco Moreno Martín; and “Baptismal Font of the Croats: A Case Study in the Formation of a National Symbol,” by Trpimir Vedriš.

The second part, “Historiography and the Monument,” includes “Recreating the Façade of a Fatimid Mosque at the Coptic Patriarchal Museum: A Step Toward the Museum’s Nationalization?” by Dina Bakhoum; “Zionism, Medieval Culture, and National Discourse,” by Judith Bronstein; and “Idealizing Medieval Mediterranean? Creation, Recreation, and Representation of Siculo-Norman Architecture,” by Ruggero Longo.

The final section, “Sites Set to Work,” features “Fortifications as Urban Heritage: The Case of Nicosia in Cyprus and a Glance at the City of Rhodes,” by Nikolas Bakirtzis; “Pre-Islamic Archeology in Tunisia: The Stakes of a Colonial Science,” by Moheddine Chaouali; and “Approaches and Perspectives on the Origins of Venice,” by Erica D’Amico.

The volume closes with a related article by Irene SanPietro, “The Making of a Christian Intellectual Tradition in Jerome’s De viris illustribus.”

Kimberly Bowes is Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and has been Director of the American Academy in Rome.

William Tronzo is a Teaching Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego.