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The refiguring of Ancient Rome in Fascist Italy's national imagination

Nations and Nationalism

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["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 27, Issue 3, Page 721-733, July 2021. ", "\nAbstract\nThe relationship between the Italian fascist regime and Roman archaeology was based on an extreme simplification of antiquity, reduced to a set of aesthetic motifs used to exploit their symbolic power. This article aims to examine how the culture of the ruling classes of liberal Italy came to identify its past in ancient Rome and then to highlight the decontextualisation and semantic transformation of certain symbols taken from ancient Roman iconography under the fascist regime which used them for political and nationalistic purposes. Through the analysis of the process of isolation and transformation to which the ruins of ancient Rome have been subjected, the article highlights how the same dynamics were adopted for iconographic elements of antiquity, leading to the creation of modern symbols invested with supposedly ancient values.\n"]