Hippolytos-statue. A multidisciplinary workshop

A Multidisciplinary Workshop

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The so-called ‘Hippolytos-statue’ is far more than one of the countless Roman antiquities to decorate the hallway of the Vatican Apostolic Library: it is the first known Christian, or Christianised, free-standing sculpture in history. Originating in the Pre-Constantinian era, it is one of the “Last Statues of Late Antiquity. Although the statue itself appears to be unspectacular at first sight, a closer look, however, reveals that it must be a ‘transvestite’: the bearded philosopher wears female underwear and is seated on a throne covered by inscriptions. The anomaly has its roots in the Renaissance reassembly of antique torso(s)/fragment(s) and in a “modern” completion by the antiquarian Pirro Ligorio (1512?-1583), a papal architect under popes Paul IV and Pius IV. Once identified with Hippolytus, an influential theologian, martyr and bishop of Portus, it was installed at various papal representative spaces over the centuries. This international expert’s workshop approaches the statue from multidisciplinary perspectives with the aim to reveal some of the statue’s well kept secrets.


Thursday and Friday, 02-03. September, 2021.


Thursday, 02. September 2021

9:00 – 9:40András Handl: Introduction: Past, Present and Future of the Research on the Statue
9:40 – 10:30Paweł Nowakowski: Doubtful Dates, or Revisiting the Inscriptions from the so-called Statue of St. Hippolytus
10:30 – 10:50Coffee break
10:50 – 11:40Sacha Stern: The Easter Calendar Inscriptions on the Hippolytus Statue Chair
11:40 – 12:30Emanuele Castelli: The List of Titles on the Statue of “Hippolytus”: A Comparative Study with Other Lists of the Same Genre
12:30 – 13:00Discussion
13:00 – 14:30Lunch break
14:30 – 15:20Bryan Ward-Perkins: How likely is a third-century statue of Hippolytus?
15:20 – 16:10Thomas Schmidt: The Hippolytan Corpus and the Hippolytan Statue
16:10 – 16:30Discussion
16:30 – 17:00Coffee break
17:00 – 18:30Cultural program

Friday, 03. September 2021

9:00 – 9:50Ginette Vagenheim: Pirro Ligorio and the Restoration Techniques of Antique Statues in the 16th century: The Example of the “Hippolytus statue”
9:50 – 10:40Roald Dijkstra: Reconstructed Image or Historical Figure? Hippolytus’ Reception in Fourth Century Poetry
10:40 – 11:00Coffee break
11:00 – 11:50Ine Jacobs: The Many Lives of Hippolytus’ Statue
11:50 – 12:30Discussion
12:30 – 13:00Conclusions
13:00 – 14:30Lunch


You can download the conference booklet by clicking here.


The workshop took place at the house Convent van Chièvres located in the idyllic UNESCO World Heritige site Great Beguinage (Groot Begijnhof 39, Leuven).




To registration to the workshop is closed.


    If you have any questions or remarks, please do not hesistate to contact András Handl.