Ubi erat Lupa

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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)


Ubi Erat Lupa

Orga­ni­sa­tion und Foto­grafie:
Ortolf Harl
1190 Wien, Wein­berg­gasse 60/29/16
ortolf [dot] harl [at] lupa [dot] at
Fest­netz: +43 1 320 78 63
Mobil: +43 664 920 0880

Daten­be­ar­bei­tung und Redak­tion:
Frie­de­rike Harl
frie­de­rike [dot] harl [at] lupa [dot] at

Tech­ni­sche Betreuung:
Jakob Egger
jakob [at] egge­rapps [dot] at