Research Seminar

3 March 2022, 17.00, at the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome and on Zoom

Stefano Fogelberg Rota

Swedish Images of Italy: Travel Literature in the Age of Liberty (1719-72)

Detail from Giambattista Nolli’s map of Rome 1748

Swedish travel literature from the Italian peninsula during the Age of Liberty (Frihetstiden, 1719-72) engages in several of the main cultural and political debates of the time. Swedish travellers show both a reorientation in the understanding of classical Antiquity, as a result of the sensational archaeological discoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum, and an interest in the various claims for social reform that characterise the Age of Enlightenment. Their representations of the Italian states convey new approaches to these issues while highlighting the tensions between perceptions of antiquity and contemporary debates pertaining to culture, politics and religion. This presentation will introduce an ongoing project on how the images of Italy are mediated and rhetorically formulated in the Swedish travellers’ writings. The project is funded by Riksbankens jubileumsfond and hosted by the Swedish institute in Rome

Stefano Fogelberg Rota is Associate Professor of Literature at the Dept. of Culture and Education, Södertörn University, Stockholm. He has published several works on Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689) and her literary patronage. His research interests focus on, among other topics, travel literature from Italy during the early modern period

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