Portrait bust of Lily Ross Taylor in the AAR Library
This 18 November marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Lily Ross Taylor (1886-1969) FAAR’18, who is widely and justifiably regarded as one of the foremost Romanists that North America has produced. During her career at Vassar and (especially) Bryn Mawr, Taylor produced six books—each of unusual importance—some seventy articles and almost sixty reviews. Taylor also was the first woman to hold a Rome Prize in the united American Academy in Rome, and served as Professor-in-Charge at the AAR during two pivotal eras (1934-1935, and 1951-1955).
In one of her essays that appeared in Memoirs of the American Academy of Rome, Taylor surveyed the vexed problem of the location of the ancient municipality of ancient Trebula Suffenas, before definitively placing its location in the territory of modern Ciciliano, 13 km east of Tivoli in Lazio. Here Taylor also traced the whole story of the town’s Plautii Silvani, a powerful family that formed part of the circle of the emperor Augustus and his wife Livia. This past weekend a cultural association from the town of Ciciliano “Committee Article 9” paid tribute to Lily Ross Taylor and her 1954 article “Trebula Suffenas and the Plautii Silvani” by naming a piazza and adjoining garden in her honor, complete with a memorial stele. (more…)