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This summer, the Institute continued its online seminars (with a short pause in July) and engaged a new group of summer interns, working on-site and remotely for creating new content and enhancing the platform Ancient Rome Live.  Each initiative adds a new piece to the mosaic of the video platform, enhancing the core content with new outlooks and contributions. 

Returning this summer, Jackson Schrank (George Mason University) continued his work on the ARL site; a core component of ARL is to integrate important copyright-free works like  Platner and Ashby’s Topographical Dictionary of Rome, whose citations of ancient sources and first-hand looks at Rome ruins in the early 20th century, remain priceless, and enhance the video content. 

Danielle Adams, who is a student of DePauw University,  was studying in Rome this spring, but her program closed due to Covid-19.  Remotely, in the US, she has continued with her project of  geo-tagging all monuments and is creating a master list map for Rome and Empire for all ARL content,  a new layer of information that enhances the ARL platform.  One of the trickiest things for students and Rome history lovers is to understand the relationship and proximity of one monument to another.  This geo-tagging project takes the viewer one step further. 

In Rome, Darius filmed the first of 5 videos on the Museo Nazionale Romano consortium with talented filmmaker Matteo Bastianelli (, beginning with Palazzo Altemps (watch below), located just north of Piazza Navona. This little known gem of a museum contains the fabulous Ludovisi collection of statuary, largely from the ancient Sallustian Gardens on the former Ludovisi property, between the Pincio and Quirinal hills.  

Also in Rome, Darius has been working (and continues to work productively) with Jiaqi Song, a student of the University of Pennsylvania.  They will continue this fall their work, as Jiaqi will be studying at Penn remotely, due to Covid-19.  Their collaboration can be seen in the two new introduction videos for the Institute, as well as the ARL platform.  Both are integrated into the respective websites and better explain the relationship between the learning platform and the guiding organization.  

Darius and Jiaqi at the Colosseum on a hot afternoon in Rome

Interns continue to join us, remotely, to work on the ARL platform,  Indeed, Michael Bartlett of Binghamton University has just joined for a project on the Roman emperors, a category sorely missing on the ARL platform.   Additionally, the Institute has created a Humanities advisory board, with professionals and experts in various aspects of Rome and Empire.  These individuals will provide insight, help network the ARL platform, and ultimately assist in the creation of more content for Ancient Rome Live.  There’s a whole lot to look forward to this fall, in terms of content as well as the weekly live seminars, many of which will be on site. 

Buon ferragosto from Roma!