Winter Roses for Caesar

Winter Roses for Caesar: plants and trade in Roman Empire


Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis


Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics,
CUNY Graduate Center, New York


The trade in ancient plants has been well known since the discovery of how the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut sent ships to the land of Punt to recover incense plants. Foodstuffs and spices were desired by Romans, who traded with the Levant, the Arabian Gulf and India to obtain such plants. However, plants that were used in gardens have been little studied. This lecture discusses the first-ever plant nursery in the Roman world to be identified and studied. We will also consider how widely traded plants were across the Empire, and we will look at how Roman gardens were planted and developed with exotic fauna.

Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis holds a B.A. in Classics, History, and Archaeology from Cornell University and a Master of Studies and D.Phil. from Oxford University. Her research centers on gardens and their settings in the Roman world, a topic on which she has published several articles. She has extensive archaeological field experience in Italy, the Middle East, and Egypt.


Further information: 973-655-3479 or 973-655-7420,