Historian to explore ancient Rome

Art historian James Grebl will present a four-lecture series, “Rome Through the Ages,” beginning at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22.

The Thursday night lectures will run through Nov. 12 at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla.

Grebl, a resident of San Marcos, is manager of the library and archives of the San Diego Museum of Art. He holds a Ph.D. in art history from UCLA with a specialization in ancient Greek and Roman art. His dissertation was on the frescos of Pompeii.

“The lecture series on Rome grew out of my ongoing series of lectures on the history of western art, " he said. “Thus far, I’ve offered three, four-lecture programs covering ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art, and next spring I’m planning to offer another series on Baroque art. During the previous lecture series, the audience had many questions about the topography and history of the city of Rome, so it seemed natural to offer an in-depth look at the city as a segue between the Renaissance and the Baroque.”

Guests to his lectures will be given a virtual tour of the Eternal City from its humble prehistoric origins in 753 B.C. as a cluster of huts on the banks of the Tiber to its Baroque architectural grandeur in the 17th century.

Grebl will blend art, architecture, archeology and historical anecdotes to reveal Roman life as it evolved. He will use key monuments and historical personalities as focal points to trace Rome’s successive roles as a primitive town, capital of a mighty empire, seat of one of mankind’s great religions and finally, renowned artistic and cultural center.

The series is $40 for members, $60 for nonmembers. Single lectures cost $12 to $17. For a reservation, call (858) 454-5872.

Lecture schedule

Oct. 22: Ancient Rome

Oct. 29: Medieval Rome

Nov. 5: The Renaissance in Rome

Nov. 12: The Baroque Rome.