Thursday, August 10, 2023

Gardens of the Roman Empire

Here's a new site I just came across (HT: DCCommentaries on Twitter/X): Gardens of the Roman Empire. From the site description:

The peoples of the Roman Empire conducted their lives outdoors in gardens, parks, groves, tomb gardens and other designed environments. Whether created by highly skilled topiarii such as the freedman Tiberius Claudius Turiscus in Rome, by an anonymous team of gardeners and trainees at a tomb in Andematunum, Germania, or by a shopkeeper in Pompeii, gardens have left material traces discoverable from archaeological digs, in literature, paintings, inscriptions, or coins.

We present this evidence for the garden culture of the Roman Empire in a searchable encyclopedic format. Scholars, students, and the interested public internationally can explore a wide array of topics to address contemporary questions about imperial power, daily life, the environment, garden art, and religion across the diverse cultures of the Roman world.

We are launching the GRE website in a beta format. As a legacy project, our goal is to share the original text prepared by Wilhelmina Jashemski and her editorial team, and develop this site in collaboration with our readers. 

There are many gardens located in Greece, as one would expect, but surprisingly, lots in England and few in Italy. The map is interactive and can go full screen and makes beautiful implementation of OpenStreetMap.Clicking on a site will bring up a separate page of information that is quite complete and very well done.

Of biblical interest, there were Herodian gardens at Machaerus, three gardens at Herodium, five at Herodian Jericho (Kypros), Masada, Ein Gedi, and two at Caesarea Maritima. (For now, Machaerus is mislocated near Jericho. I've reported it.) There are also sites in Greece where Paul travelled.

Check it out and click away!

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