Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,588 words)

1. Definition and methodological approaches

The word spolia goes back to Latin spoliare (plunder, strip) and spolium (the arms of a slain foe taken as a trophy). The modern use of the word, documented since approximately 1500, denotes the secondary incorporation of translocated workpieces from antiquity into post-classical buildings. It presupposes a normative meaning of classical antiquity, which could be “plundered” by spo…

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Wiener, Jürgen, “Spolia”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027822>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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