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NYU: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
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ancient history, ancient historiography, Roman archaeology, Roman art history, imperialism, Italy--Rome, urbanism, urban development, topography, ancient religion, Landmarks (Boundaries), Latin prose, Latin philology, ancient political activity, religious studies, Roman history, Roman republic, Rome (City), Rome (Empire), spatial history, spatial turn
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About Me

Lisa Mignone’s research focuses on the history of the Roman Republic (C6-C1 BCE), especially the ongoing and interactive relationship of historical events and the places in which they occur.

Mignone’s current monograph, Rome’s Juno: religious imperialism and self-preservation (under contract: University of Michigan Press), treats religious interconnectivity and spiritual mobility across three rival communities: Etruscan Veii, Punic Carthage, and Republican Rome. This book examines the role of worship in military action: how did ancient communities worship their own gods and the gods of their enemies? While reconstructing religious topographies in three major cities of the ancient world, the project privileges physical presence as a manifestation of divine favor. The removal of that entity and of her favor—whether through “god-napping” of the cult statue or through the goddess’ complicit self-relocation—proves a powerful strategy in imperialist programs.

Mignone’s first monograph, The Republican Aventine and Rome’s Social Order (2016: University of Michigan Press) treated the relationship between social geography and conceptual landscapes. Since 1906, the Aventine—one of Rome’s canonical seven hills—has been marked the city’s plebeian district, that is, the part of city that housed the lower orders of society and served as the political headquarters, religious citadel, and social bastion of those seeking radical reform of the Republican constitution. Mignone’s book challenged the “plebeian Aventine” paradigm through an interdisciplinary study of the ancient evidence and demonstrated that this construct proves to be a modern creation. Through comparative studies of pre-modern urban planning and development, combined with an assessment of gang violence and ancient neighborhood practices in the latter half of the first century B.C., Mignone demonstrated that there was no concentration of the disadvantaged in a “plebeian ghetto.” Residency patterns throughout this pre-modern city likely incorporated the full spectrum of society.

Mignone has additional research projects on Roman urbanism, including one on the economic, demographic, urban, and social impact of the introduction of Rome’s first aqueduct.  Future work will consider the use of urban renovation as a mechanism for authoritarian control.

Mignone received her PhD from Columbia University in Classical Studies, an interdisciplinary program in Ancient History, Art History & Archaeology, and Classical Philology (2010). She has an MPhil (Classical Studies) from Columbia, MA (Classics) from University of Virginia, and AB magna cum laude (Classical Philology) from Radcliffe College of Harvard University.

Since 2018, Mignone has been a research affiliate at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (NYU). In spring 2019, she will be a Margo Tytus Visiting Scholar at the University of Cincinnati. From 2009 to 2018, she was an assistant professor of Classics at Brown University, where she served on the executive committee for the Doctoral Program in Ancient History.  There, she was also affiliated with S4: Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences, the Joukowsky Insitute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, and  Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean (a doctoral program through Religious Studies). In 2006-2007, Mignone enjoyed a Helen M. Woodruff Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome (AAR) and spent the subsequent year as an AAR exchange fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. In 2008-2009, she served on the faculty at NYU.

Mignone’s ancillary training includes numismatics (American Numismatic Society), epigraphy (Oxford University), archaeology (La Sapienza/AAR and AAPP), and topography (American School of Classical Studies in Athens and AAR).  In the past, she spent several summers on archaeological projects in Pompeii.

Recent Publications

under contractRome’s Juno: religious imperialism and self-preservation (University of Michigan Press)

2018A. Capodiferro, L. Mignone, P. Quaranta (editors). Studi e Scavi Sull’Aventino (2003-2015). (Quasar, ISBN 9788871407241)

2016 The Republican Aventine and Rome’s Social Order  (University of Michigan Press, ISBN  9780472119882)

forthcoming  “The Aventine Queen: Juno’s place in the caput mundi” in N. Laubry, S. Milanezi, and C. Sotinel (edd.), Analyse topographique du fait religieux (forthcoming)

2018  “(Non) Ritirarsi sull’Aventino? Residential Heterogeneity Across The Republican Urbs,” in A. Capodiferro, L. Mignone, and P. Quaranta (edd.), Studi e Scavi Sull’Aventino 20032015. Edizione Quasar, 47-56.

2017 “Wohnintegration in Rom während der Republik,” in A-C. Harders and M. Haake (edd.) Die politische Kultur und soziale Struktur der römischen Republik : Beiträge einer internationalen Konferenz aus Anlaß des 70. Todestages von Friedrich Münzer, Münster, 20.–22. Oktober 2012, Franz Steiner Verlag Stuttgart, 232-236.

2017 “Living in Republican Rome, shanty metropolis,” in R. Evans (ed.) Relocating Mass and Elite in Antiquity, Ashgate Publishing / Acta Classica Supplement, 100-117. (ISBN: 9781472462077)

2016  Rome’s Pomerium and The Aventine Hill: from auguraculum to imperium sine fine,” Historia, Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 65.4: 427–449.

2016 “The Augural Contest at Rome: the view from the Aventine,” Classical Philology 11.4: 391-405.

2014 “Remembering a Geography of Resistance: Aventine Secessions, then and now,” in K. Galinsky (ed.) Memoria Romana. Memory in Rome and Rome in Memory, MAAR suppl., pp. 137-150.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Material Culture, Military, Politics, Rebellion & Revolution, Religion, Rural & Agrarian History, Urban History