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, the fundamental reference on the subject.

She has done seminal work on Roman women (I, Clavdia I and II) and her latest book, 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).

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.

Professor Kleiner is also Faculty Director for Yale Educational Travel and, from 1995 to 2003, was Yale’s Deputy Provost for the Arts with responsibility for arts, divinity, and new media.

Selected Recent Publications

  • 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

Kleiner book covers

featured Courses This Year

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CLCV 170/HSAR 250/ARCG 170

Roman Art: Empire, Identity, and Society

Fall 2013, T/TH 9-10:15

This course fulfills the area requirement in the humanities and arts (HU).

Masterpieces of Roman art from the Republic to Constantine studied in their historical and social contexts. The great Romans and the monuments they commissioned: portraits, triumphal arches, columns, and historical relief.

Topics include the concept of Empire and imperial identity, Roman biography and storytelling, the politics of portraiture, the making and unmaking of history through art, and the art of women, children, freedmen, and slaves. For syllabus and course web portal, see Classes*v2.

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CLSS 875 /HSAR 569 /ARCG 704

Cleopatra: A Legend for All Time

Fall 2013, T 1:30-3:20

The life of a queen who became a celebrity and remains a legend serves as the starting point for an exploration of art and architecture produced in Egypt and Rome during the late Hellenistic period and early Roman Empire. Cleopatra was antiquity's greatest female star and one of the most famous women who ever lived. While the full panorama of her life is forever lost, Cleopatra comes alive in surviving works of ancient art and other remains of what was once an opulent material culture.

Every generation has its own Cleopatra, and the mythical Egyptian queen's reinvention in later art, literature, and film is also considered.

Qualified undergraduates who have taken Roman Art: Empire, Identity, and Society, Roman Architecture, or eClavdia: Women in Ancient Rome, may be admitted with permission of the instructor. For syllabus, see Classes*v2.

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CLCV 175/HSAR 252/ARCG 252

Roman Architecture

Spring 2014, 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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CLCV 230/HSAR 424/ARCG 424

eClavdia: Women in Ancient Rome

Spring 2014, T 1:30-3:20

This course fulfills the area requirement in the humanities and arts (HU).

The contributions of Roman women to one of the greatest cities--and one of the greatest empires—in world history.

Lost stories of real-life Roman women recovered from public and residential buildings, portraits, paintings, and other works of Roman art and architecture. 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