Mythology at Centrale Montemartini

March 19, 2008 at 1:47 am 1 comment

Today I took Althea, our friend from school, to the Roman forums and the Colosseum while David was in class. It was cool to finally get there, but nothing to write home (or blog) about especially. But after that, we met up with David and his Mythology class at Centrale Montemartini. Besides having a name that I think translates roughly into “Martini Mountain,” this museum acts as overflow for the popular Capitoline Museum in the Campidoglio above the forum and Piazza Venezia. From the 1890s until the 1930s, the building operated as a electric power station and when it was converted into a museum, a lot of the original industrial equipment was left intact. The result is a perfect example of the juxtaposition between modern and ancient that Rome does so well.

And so David’s professor led the class around the museum, reviewing for the class’ midterm by going to statue after statue and asking the class to the identify the deity. It was interesting to hear the stories in brief, summed and connected together. I definitely learned somethings, and Althea remembered a lot from all the Latin she took in high school. In the class, they (were supposed to have) learned not only the content of the stories but how they were used and what purpose they served in Roman society. It was interesting to sit in and get a guided tour. When it comes down to it, stories are stories, and I can’t get enough of them. Below, the prof. explains how Bacchus, the god of wine, got so wasted he lost both of his arms.


Entry filed under: art, Italy, juxtapositions, myth, Roma. Tags: , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. john rubino  |  April 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Josh,
    I am a Master’s student in the Museum Studies Program at the University of Toronto. I read your interesting and funny blog enrty on the Centrale Montemartini Museum in Rome. I am curently wrinting a paper on that museum, and was wondering if you had any particular impressions of the place. I understand that you were there with a mythology class. Was any mention made of how mythology fit into the lives of the Romans who collected or comissioned the sculpture? How about the myth of progress embodied in the power plant? My essay deals primarily with the archeological layering, specific to Rome, found in the Montemartini museum. What did you think of the various timeframes covered by the museum? Were the combinations of elements successful? I’ve never been to the museum, but spent lots of time in Rome- so I know what you mean by the “juxtaposition between modern and ancient that Rome does so well.” I would appreciate any comments or observations that you might have toward my paper, due April 22. Thanks for you time and your blog.
    Regards, John Rubino


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Shit Just Got Real

Josh Kramer is a blogger, cartoonist, journalist, etc. I'm the Editor of The Cartoon Picayune. I live in Washington, DC and I just graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies. See work by me and my classmates.

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