Archaeology •  Art and Latin America

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Altera Roma : Art and Empire from Mérida to Mexico

Edited by John M. D. Pohl
Edited by Claire L. Lyons

Altera Roma explores the confrontation of two cultures, European and Amerindian, and two empires, Spanish and Aztec. In an age of exploration and conquest, Spanish soldiers, missionaries, and merchants brought an array of cultural preconceptions. Their encounter with Aztec civilization coincided with Europe’s rediscovery of classical antiquity, and Tenochtitlán came to be regarded a “second Rome,” or altera Roma. Iberia’s past as the Roman province of Hispania served to both guide and critique the Spanish overseas mission. The dialogue that emerged between the Old World and the New World shaped a dual heritage into the unique culture of Nueva España. In this volume, ten eminent historians and archaeologists examine the analogies between empires widely separated in time and place and consider how monumental art and architecture created “theater states,” a strategy that links ancient Rome, Hapsburg Spain, preconquest Mexico, and other imperial regimes.


John M. D. Pohl has directed numerous archaeological projects in North America and in Europe. He teaches in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Claire L. Lyons is the curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Southern California.

Published By The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press

6.25 x 9.25 in. 385 pages 125 figs., 1 table