Ubi Erat Lupa.
Bilddatenbank zu antiken Steindenkmälern, www.lupa.at
The image database Ubi Erat Lupa maintained by Ortolf and Friederike Harl charts the geographic reach of the Roman ’she-wolf’ with a continually-expanding collection of records on the stone monuments of the ancient world. By privileging monuments made in stone and marble, Lupa traces the most enduring physical relics of ancient history, culture, art and society. The Lupa database brings together sculpture, reliefs, inscriptions and works of architecture. Like the Census database it includes, as well, details of the post-antique afterlife of these monuments. Lupa features thousands of photographs of antiquities preserved in museums (who have often opened up their storerooms to the Harls), of antique monuments in the open landscape and of spolia immured on buildings.
Photographs are a particular strength of the Lupa database. New photographs of the highest quality are continually added to the collection thanks to comprehensive photographic surveys carried out by Ortolf and Friederike Harl, most recently in the Museo Civico archeologico in Bologna and the Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia.
The Census and Ubi Erat Lupa are highly compatible databases that will work collaboratively to provide new resources for their own databases and for the academic community at large. Already the overlaps have proven to be fruitful, given the Census’s strengths in postclassical reception and Lupa’s strengths in the history of inscriptions and in antiquities preserved North of the Alps and in Eastern Europe. A number of antique inscriptions present in the Census database have been identified through cross-checks with the Lupa database. These include, for example, inscriptions in Austria and Slovenia which were known to the antiquarian Jean-Jacques Boissard and are noted in Boissard’s Codex Holmiensis (now in the Stockholm Royal Library). In the mid sixteenth century, Boissard made a drawing of a funerary inscription in Celje, in the church of Saint Maximilian. In the Census database, this inscription was previously recorded as untraced. It was rediscovered in the Lupa database, however, as an object that is still in Celje and is now visible at the Pokrajinski Museum. This match offers insight into Boissard’s working methods, since the representation of the funerary monument itself bears no resemblance to the antique original, in contrast to the relative accuracy of the textual transcription.
Thanks to the Lupa database, in addition to this example, other inscriptions seen by Boissard that were previously catalogued as untraced in the Census database (CensusID 160294, CensusID 160285, CensusID 160281 and CensusID 160298) were identified with works now present in the Pokrajinski Museum, in the Archäologiemuseum in Graz, or in the Burg in Graz (where two inscriptions known to Boissard are now immured in the walls). These examples illuminate how Lupa’s extensive research into stone monuments across Europe will enrich the Census and open up new insights into the antiquarian reception of antiquity in the Early Modern period.
Funerary inscription seen by Jean-Jacques Boissard in the mid 16th century in the church of Saint Maximilian of Celeia and now in the Pokrajinski Museum in Celje. Photograph by Ortolf Harl
Jean-Jacques Boissard, Inscription visible in the church of Saint Maximilian of Celeia, Celje, Slovenia, c. 1559. Stockholm: Codex Holmiensis, fol. 153 v (detail)
Organisation and photography:
1190 Wien, Weinberggasse 60/29/16
ortolf [dot] harl [at] lupa [dot] at
Telephone: +43 1 320 78 63
Mobile: +43 664 920 0880
friederike [dot] harl [at] lupa [dot] at
jakob [at] eggerapps [dot] at