Diana E. E. Kleiner

Dunham Professor of History of Art and Classics: Roman art and architecture

Diana E. E. Kleiner is an art historian known worldwide for her expertise on the art and architecture of the ancient Romans. She is the author of numerous books and articles on Roman art in its political and social context including Roman Sculpture (Yale University Press), the fundamental reference on the subject.

Kleiner book coversShe has done seminal work on Roman women (I, Clavdia I and II) and her book on Cleopatra and Rome, published by Harvard University Press, opens a new perspective on one of the most intriguing women who ever lived.

Professor Kleiner is also Founding Director of Open Yale Courses. One of her own courses, HSAR 252: Roman Architecture, recorded at Yale in spring 2009, is available at http://oyc.yale.edu/history-art/hsar-252, through iTunes U and YouTube, and as a MOOC on Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/course/romanarchitecture). As a companion to the Roman Architecture course, she has recently published an interactive e-book, Roman Architecture: A Visual Guide (Yale University Press), which includes maps, geolocation links, and more than 250 photographs, most of them taken by Professor Kleiner herself. The iBooks version includes popup references, visual book navigation, and a set of flashcards for students (see: http://romanarchitecture.yupnet.org/ebooks/).

Professor Kleiner was Yale’s Liaison for Faculty Programs at AllLearn from 2001 to 2006. She authored three online courses, including “eClavdia: Women in Ancient Rome,” which she regularly teaches as a Yale College seminar. She has also created web portals for her two undergraduate lecture courses — Roman Art and Roman Architecture — which are among the most sophisticated at Yale in their use of digital technology and the online discussion board.

From 1995 to 2003, Professor Kleiner was Yale’s Deputy Provost for the Arts with responsibility for arts, divinity, and new media.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Roman Architecture: A Visual Guide (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2014).
  • Cleopatra and Rome (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press,
    2005; paperback edition, 2009).
  • With Susan B. Matheson, I, CLAVDIA II: Women in Roman Art and Society,
    (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000)
  • With Susan B. Matheson, I, CLAVDIA: Women in Ancient Rome, (Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 1996, distributed by the University of Texas Press)
  • Roman Sculpture, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press 1992;
    paperback edition, 1994)
  • Roman Imperial Funerary Altars with Portraits (Rome: Bretschneider, 1987)
  • With Bridget Buxton, “Pledges of Empire; The Ara Pacis and the Donations of Rome,” American Journal of Archaeology 112 (2008) 57–89.

Click here for CV

featured Courses This Year

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CLSS 868/HSAR 569/ARCG 569

Living the Life of Nero: Megalomania and Making Great Art

Fall 2015, T 1:30-3:20

Nero is Rome’s most infamous emperor. Played with gusto by Peter Ustinov in Quo Vadis, Nero personifies Roman leadership at its most tyrannical. Nonetheless, the Roman Age of Nero witnessed an extraordinary efflorescence of art and architecture that set the stage for Rome’s magisterial 2nd century. Furthermore in a society in which few names of artists and architects were recorded, the work of those of Nero’s era (Severus and Celer, Fabullus, and Zenodorus) is well documented and enhanced by new archaeological discoveries.

Student projects will focus on the fabled Domus Aurea, the alleged Tomb of Nero, Third- and Fourth-Style Roman Wall Painting, the legendary Colossus of Nero and other Neronian portraiture. The commissioning of art by powerful elite Roman women and freedmen in the Neronian age will also be explored and there will be emphasis on the possible correlation between megalomania and great art. Qualified undergraduates who have taken Roman Art: Empire, Identity, and Society and/or Roman Architecture may be admitted with permission of the instructor.

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CLCV 175/HSAR 252/ARCG 252

Roman Architecture

Fall 2015, T/TH 9–10:15

The great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire. Study of city planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting.

Emphasis on developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy; survey of architecture in the provinces. For syllabus and course web portal, see Classes*v2.

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Contact details

Loria 554

Phone (203) 432-2673

Fax (203) 432-1079