This article deals with literary war landscapes in ancient Rome. I investigate how Roman authors depict landscapes affected by armed conflict as acting upon those who visit them or view them. When, how, and why do visitors experience past events in such places? And conversely, in what ways do these visitors analyse and interpret such landscapes? Rather than scenes of the immediate aftermath of battle, where the recent devastation of war tells its own story, I focus on landscapes where the traces of wars past only reveal themselves to those who actively interpret the landscape and allow its features to evoke past events. Focussing on visits to battlefields as described by Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Livy, I investigate the different ways in which all three construct this interaction between viewer and landscape. I then argue that the authors’ literary depictions of audience experience and response also relate to how they envisage their external audiences’ experience of and response to their own literary works.
|Translated title of the contribution||Reading, Viewing, Experiencing: Roman Battlefields as monumenta|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|