A view of the outer peristyle garden at the Getty Villa

Planting for Power: The Elite Gardens of Ancient Rome



Roman gardens provided more than food and ornamentation; they were often planted to help construct the public persona of their elite owners. Exotic plants from the east appeared as proud trophies of military triumphs, and ancient texts tell of prominent statesmen competing to introduce new fruit species. Historian Annalisa Marzano examines the considerable effort that went into crafting luxurious outdoor spaces and providing edibles for the markets of Rome.

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