Hales, Shelley 1971-

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Hales, Shelley 1971-

PERSONAL: Born 1971. Education: Cambridge University, M.A.; Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Bristol, 11 Woodland Rd., Bristol BS8 1TB, England. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: University of Bristol, Bristol, England, lecturer in visual art and culture.


The Roman House and Social Identity, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to periodicals, including Greece & Rome.

SIDELIGHTS: Shelley Hales is a scholar whose research interests include Greco-Roman art and architecture. Her book The Roman House and Social Identity was developed from her doctoral thesis, written at the Courtauld Institute of Art of the University of London. In it, the author focuses not on the construction of Roman houses, but on their social function. From this perspective she examines the great houses of Rome, including those built from the late days of the Republic until the demise of the Roman Empire. She reviews ancient literature that discusses houses, including the writings of Vitruvius, Pliny, and Cicero. She illuminates the significance of various parts of the buildings, including the atriums and gardens. In the book's second part, Hales writes exclusively about Pompeii, the Roman city that was well preserved by the same volcanic eruption that obliterated its inhabitants. In the final section, Hales discusses houses on the edges of the Roman empire. Greek and Byzantine influences are also considered by Hales.

As a reviewer for Architectural Science Review noted, "This is an interesting book with numerous good illustrations, particularly of the wall paintings and the mosaics. However, the reader may need a dictionary, as the author assumes some knowledge of Latin." Reviewing the book for Architectural Review, Mark Wilson Jones found that Hales engages "a range of sub-themes: the affirmation of identity, the perpetuation of memory, the allure of exoticism and the perennial tussle over the border between decorum and 'un-Roman' luxury. Her main conclusions may not be revolutionary, but they are sound and well-argued."



Architectural Review, May, 2004, Mark Wilson Jones, review of The Roman House and Social Identity, p. 97.

Architectural Science Review, September, 2004, review of The Roman House and Social Identity, p. 311.

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