The Sustainable Past

Patricia Baker and Giacomo Savani

In this podcast series, created specifically for the Italian Cultural Institute, London, Drs. Patty Baker and Giacomo Savani explore what we can learn from the ancient Romans and Greeks to help with environmental sustainability issues today. Environmental concerns are of critical importance for ourselves, future generations, and all life on our delicate planet. There are many scientific studies and activist groups that are trying to correct the situation; yet, it is only recently that scholars in the humanities have started to contribute to these discussions. So, we speak with leading scholars, embedded in the arts and humanities of the ancient world, who explore what we can do to help revert this crisis. A theme that runs throughout the interviews is one of resilience. Each speaker also explains their personal view of what we can learn from the past to help make the world more sustainable for the future. Artwork: Untitled by Dr. Giacomo SavaniMusic:played by Daniel Veesey Sonata 8 Pathetique III Rondo Allegro, BeethovenRoyalty Free for public use from Pixabay Pixabay

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The Sustainable Past: Episode Six: Roman Art, Bathing, Urban Planning, and Floral Design
Apr 29 2021
The Sustainable Past: Episode Six: Roman Art, Bathing, Urban Planning, and Floral Design
In this final episode,  Dr. Giacomo Savani and Dr. Matthew Mandich speak about their recent workshop on “Antiquity and the Anthropocene” and their research on Roman Baths and Roman/Modern urban planning respectively. Then, Dr. Giacomi Savani interviews Dr. Patty Baker about her work on ancient floral design and medicine. Dr. Matthew J. Mandich holds a PhD in Roman Archaeology from the University of Leicester (UK) and is currently undertaking a Master’s at the University of San Francisco (USA) in Urban and Public Affairs. His research is founded on the archaeological, topographical, and historical study of ancient Rome and his current interests focus on the comparative study of ancient and modern urbanism, cities, and empires. He is especially interested in exploring how humans can live in close proximity to one another in environmentally, economically, and socially responsible ways. A recent publication is Ancient City, Universal Growth? Exploring Urban Expansion and Economic Development on Rome's Eastern Periphery. He is also a co-founder and an editorial board member of the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal.Dr Patty Baker is an affiliated scholar and adjunct instructor in the Department of History at Virginia Tech, United States, and founder of a new online teaching website, Pax in Natura, that uses crafts and floral design to teach people about Greco-Roman relationships with the environment to help explore environmental issues today. Her main area of research is ancient medicine and health and its relationship to the environment. She is also a floral designer and is currently working on a project that explores ancient floral design to help flower designers develop sustainable practices.  A recent publication is “Identifying the Connection between Roman Conceptions of ‘Pure Air’ and Physical and Mental Health in Pompeian Gardens (c.150 BC–AD 79): a Multi-sensory Approach to Ancient Medicine.” World Archaeology 50 (3): 404-17.Dr. Giacomo Savani is a post-doctoral research Fellow in the School of Classics, University College Dublin, Ireland and a visual artist. He is currently investigating the study and reception of Roman baths in Italy, France, and England from 1500 to 1700. In 2017, he wrote and illustrated the educational book Life in the Roman World: Roman Leicester (2018). His art is inspired by environmental change and was displayed in the online exhibition linked to the workshop Antiquity and the Anthropocene.Artwork: Roman Floral Crown, Created by Dr. Patty BakerMusic:  played by Daniel Veesey  Sonata 8 Pathetique III Rondo Allegro, Beethoven. Royalty Free for public use from Pixabay  Pixabay
The Sustainable Past: Episode Six: Roman Art, Bathing, Urban Planning, and Floral Design
Apr 29 2021
The Sustainable Past: Episode Six: Roman Art, Bathing, Urban Planning, and Floral Design
In this final episode,  Dr. Giacomo Savani and Dr. Matthew Mandich speak about their recent workshop on “Antiquity and the Anthropocene” and their research on Roman Baths and Roman/Modern urban planning respectively. Then, Dr. Giacomi Savani interviews Dr. Patty Baker about her work on ancient floral design and medicine. Dr. Matthew J. Mandich holds a PhD in Roman Archaeology from the University of Leicester (UK) and is currently undertaking a Master’s at the University of San Francisco (USA) in Urban and Public Affairs. His research is founded on the archaeological, topographical, and historical study of ancient Rome and his current interests focus on the comparative study of ancient and modern urbanism, cities, and empires. He is especially interested in exploring how humans can live in close proximity to one another in environmentally, economically, and socially responsible ways. A recent publication is Ancient City, Universal Growth? Exploring Urban Expansion and Economic Development on Rome's Eastern Periphery. He is also a co-founder and an editorial board member of the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal.Dr Patty Baker is an affiliated scholar and adjunct instructor in the Department of History at Virginia Tech, United States, and founder of a new online teaching website, Pax in Natura, that uses crafts and floral design to teach people about Greco-Roman relationships with the environment to help explore environmental issues today. Her main area of research is ancient medicine and health and its relationship to the environment. She is also a floral designer and is currently working on a project that explores ancient floral design to help flower designers develop sustainable practices.  A recent publication is “Identifying the Connection between Roman Conceptions of ‘Pure Air’ and Physical and Mental Health in Pompeian Gardens (c.150 BC–AD 79): a Multi-sensory Approach to Ancient Medicine.” World Archaeology 50 (3): 404-17.Dr. Giacomo Savani is a post-doctoral research Fellow in the School of Classics, University College Dublin, Ireland and a visual artist. He is currently investigating the study and reception of Roman baths in Italy, France, and England from 1500 to 1700. In 2017, he wrote and illustrated the educational book Life in the Roman World: Roman Leicester (2018). His art is inspired by environmental change and was displayed in the online exhibition linked to the workshop Antiquity and the Anthropocene.Artwork: Roman Floral Crown, Created by Dr. Patty BakerMusic:  played by Daniel Veesey  Sonata 8 Pathetique III Rondo Allegro, Beethoven. Royalty Free for public use from Pixabay  Pixabay