17 May 2024 Start
17 May 2024 End
16.00 CEST (Rome, Paris, Berlin / GMT+2) 15:00 BST (London, GMT+1) 17.00 (İstanbul, Athens / GMT+3) 10.00 (New York / GMT-4) Time
Online lecture


The Image of Forced Migration in Roman Imperial Propaganda

Friday, May 17, 2024   

ARWA – The International Association for Archaeological Research in Western & Central Asia has the pleasure to invite you to the following 2024 AAA online lecture of the Art History and Visual Studies series: ‘How to Interpret Images’.

Organizers: Christina Tsouparopoulou & Catherine Draycott, Durham University Department of Archaeology

Lecture 4: Friday, May 17, 2024

Tuna Şare, “The Image of Forced Migration in Roman Imperial Propaganda”

War, climate challenges, political turmoil, and economic instabilities have collectively transformed the 21st century into an era marked by widespread migration. The visuals of migratory movements dominate the headlines of contemporary newspapers, underscoring the profound impact on our modern world. This lecture delves into historical perspectives, specifically exploring the representation of “forced migration” in Roman imperial art. The primary focus lies on a sculptural relief, a fragment from the renowned Nicomedia frieze, once adorning the imperial complex of Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia, Türkiye. The focus of the discussion revolves around the processional scene depicted on this relief, featuring heavily-loaded mules, horses, and people walking in the countryside. The discussion offers a novel interpretation of the image as a portrayal of ‘state-enforced migration’ during Diocletian’s reign. By drawing parallels from analogous imagery found in Roman coinage and sculpture, as well as insights from ancient literary sources, the lecture contends that forced migration was strategically employed as a facet of imperial propaganda, particularly during the Tetrarchic Period.

16.00 CEST (Rome, Paris, Berlin / GMT+2)
15:00 BST (London, GMT+1)
17.00 (İstanbul, Athens / GMT+3)
10.00 (New York / GMT-4)

To attend this online lecture please follow this Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 955 4315 1924
Passcode: 129726

The lecture will be recorded and posted on the ARWA Youtube channel a few days later:

The full programme of the 2024 AAA Art History and Visual Studies lecture series can be found at the bottom of the list of AAA lectures here:

ARWA website: