La Dissertatio de antiquis romanorum monumentis de Pierre-Joseph Heylen, premier inventaire des vestiges romains situés dans l’espace belge (1783)

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In 1782, Pierre-Joseph Heylen, a member of the “Académie impériale et royale de Bruxelles”, presented a dissertation entitled Dissertatio de anti-quis romanorum monumentis. The author aimed to identify all the Roman remains discovered in the Austrian Netherlands and the Prince-Bishop-ric of Liège (present-day Belgium and Luxembourg). This dissertation was innovative and ambitious because it was the first “national” inventory of Ancient vestiges in that area. This geographical scope was in accordance with the historical works written by other academicians: at that time, most of them wanted to compose a “national” history of the Austrian Nether-lands. Heylen divided his dissertation into four chapters: introduction, roman coinage, antique roads and “monumenta” (inscriptions, architec-tural remains, vases...). Even if he observed by himself some vestiges and he got in contact with local antiquarians, his approach of the archaeologi-cal remains was not so innovative: the descriptions of the items found were brief and vague and he furnished only a few illustrations
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationAntiquitates et Lumières
Subtitle of host publicationÉtude et réception de l’Antiquité romaine au siècle des Lumières
EditorsMarco Cavalieri, Olivier Latteur
Place of PublicationLouvain-la-Neuve
PublisherPresses universitaires de Louvain
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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