A Conference on "The Villa of the Papyri"

Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September, 2007

Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies and Christ Church, Oxford

The Villa of the Papyri is a unique archaeological site and, although still largely
underground, has been very influential in the field of classical studies and the modern
imagination owing to its discovery and underground exploration in the 18th century. The
papyri (the only intact library to survive from Greco-Roman antiquity) and bronze
sculptures found in the villa have contributed to our knowledge and understanding of the
ancient world and the architecture of the villa has inspired today's architects and tycoons.
This villa has become forus the "ideal model" of Roman luxury villa culture. It is also an
object of much international attention in debates about excavation, restoration, and
management of archaeological sites. The purpose of this conference is to address the
cultural significance of this ancient site in its contemporary Roman context as well as its
cultural reception since its discovery in the late 18th century, and address the ways in
which digital archaeology may assist our efforts to understand and investigate such sites.
Papers from leading experts will address the importance of the Villa's architecture and
findings, especially papyri (David Sider) sculptures (Carol Mattusch) and wall paintings (Eric
Moormann), discuss their implication on the ownership of the villa (Mario Capasso), tackle
their reception since the Villa's discovery in the late 18th century (Dana Arnold, Kenneth
Lapatin), and present the current state of the excavations in the Villa (Antonio De Simone)
as well as new work on the papyri from the Villa (Richard Janko). Furthermore, a digital
model of the Villa that incorporates the data from the new excavations will be presented
(Mantha Zarmakoupi) and this virtual and real re-piecing of the villa's fragments will be
compared to the fragmented understanding of Pliny's villas (Reinhard Förtsch). Finally, the
conference will conclude with discussions on the role of digital reconstruction in the study
of and research on the archaeology of the villa (Diane Favro) and in the work on the library
and bookrolls (Dirk Obbink).


Saturday 22 September 2007 at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies

12 noon–1:45 pm
Registration: Christ Church (delegates with accommodation)
Classics Centre (delegates without accommodation)

2:00 – 2:05 pm
Introduction by Mantha Zarmakoupi

Session 1: The Archaeology of the villa of the Papyri

2:05 – 2:45 pm
Antonio De Simone (Università Suor Orsola Benincasa Napoli)
Recent excavations at the Villa of the Papyri

2:55 – 3:35 pm
Carol Mattusch (George Mason Univ.)
Programming Sculpture? Collection and display in the Villa dei Papiri

3:45 – 4:00 pm

4:00 – 4:30 pm
Annual General Meeting of The Friends of Herculaneum Society

4:30 – 5:10 pm
David Sider (New York University)
The books of the Villa in Context

5:20 – 6:00 pm
Eric Moormann (Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen)
Wall paintings in the Villa of the papyri, old and new finds

6:00 – 6:30 pm

6:30 – 7:30 pm
Drinks reception – for all

8:00 pm
Dinner (Christ Church – Lee Building) for those who have booked

Sunday 23 September 2007 at Christ Church (McKenna Room)

Session 1: (cont.) The Archaeology of the villa of the Papyri

9:45 – 10:25 am
Mario Capasso (Università degli Studi di Lecce)
Who lived in the Villa of the Papyri? An unsolved question

Session 2. The Reception of the Villa of the Papyri

10:35 – 10:40 am

10:40 – 11:20 am
Dana Arnold (University of Southampton)
Imag(in)ing the Villa Papyri. British and European architects' responses to the Villa of the

11:30 –11:50 am

11:50 am – 12:30pm
Kenneth Lapatin (The J. Paul Getty Museum)
The Getty Villa

12:30 – 1:00 pm

1:00 – 2:00 pm

Session 3. Digital Reconstruction

2:05 – 2:10 pm

2:10 – 2:50 pm
Diane Favro (UCLA)
From pleasure, to `guilty pleasure,' to simulation: rebirthing the Villa of the Papyri

3:00 – 3:40 pm
Dirk Obbink (University of Oxford)
Innovation and Impact in Digital Reconstruction of the Herculaneum Library

3:50 – 4:30 pm
Richard Janko (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
The leaves of the Sibyl: rediscovering the lost originals of forty Herculaneum papyri

4:40 – 5:00 pm

5:00 – 5:40 pm
Mantha Zarmakoupi (University of Oxford)
The digital model of the Villa of the Papyri: issues of reconstruction

5:50 – 6:30 pm
Reinhard Förtsch (Universität zu Köln)
Fragmented understanding of Roman Villas. Some levels of perception in antiquity and 3 D

6:30 – 7:00 pm
Discussion and concluding remarks.

Generously sponsored by:

The Friends of Heculaneum Society

Supported by:

The British Academy

The Classics Faculty, University of Oxford


For abstracts and further information about registering, accommodation and a
booking form please go to www.herculaneum.ox.ac.uk