A classic returns to the Classics Museum

12 June 2020

An icon at the ANU Classics Museum has gone on display once again following the January 20 hail storm.

"We are very pleased to see the model of Rome once more as the centrepiece of the ANU Classics Museum in the AD Hope Building," says Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Minchin.

Professor Minchin, the Museum's Curator, says the Rome model was quickly covered by a wooden structure to prevent damage after skylights located above it were smashed in the storm.

Why is the model of Rome so significant to the collection? According to Professor Minchin, it has a strong physical presence.

"It stands in the centre of the museum space and is thus a focus for all eyes," she says.

But its significance comes also from the fact that humans love three-dimensional representations of space and the capacity of landmarks for prompting stories.

"On this model of Rome we can locate the site of Julius Caesar's assassination by his fellow senators; we can locate the settings that the historian Livy describes when he sets out the early history of Rome; or, on the other hand, we can pinpoint the settings which the poet Ovid recommends for social encounters with the opposite sex. This model enables us to bring the world of ancient Rome to life."

The model was constructed for the Classics Museum by Errol B. Davis in 1976. Its dimensions are 221cm x 263 cm and its scale is 1 : 1200.

You will be able to check out the iconic model and the University's impressive collection of ancient artefacts once the A.D Hope Building (entrance off Ellery Crescent) on the ANU campus, is open again to the public. The Classics Museum will then be open from 8.30am to 6.00pm.