Margaret M. Miles

Picture of Margaret M. Miles
Edward A. Dickson Emerita Professor of Art History and Classics
School of Humanities
Ph.D., Princeton University, Classical Archaeology
University of California, Irvine
Department of Art History
2331 Humanities Gateway
Mail Code: 2785
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Greek and Roman Art, Architecture and Archaeology; Cultural Heritage and Cultural Property
Academic Distinctions
Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome; Mellon Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Agora Excavations, Athens; Resident, American Academy in Rome; Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classical Studies, American School of Classical Studies at Athens (2008-2014)
Research Abstract
As an archaeologist, I am interested in how religion and ritual shaped architecture in ancient Greece and Italy. I have excavated in Athens and Corinth, and I've done field work on Greek temples in Rhamnous and Sounion in Greece, and in Selinous and Agrigento in Sicily; currently I am studying an early 5th c. BCE temple at Contrada Mango (Segesta) in western Sicily. In my first project, I measured and drew all the remaining parts and foundations of the Temple of Nemesis at Rhamnous and reconstructed it (in drawings). Subsequently I published the American excavations of the sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone near the Agora of Athens that was ritually linked to the Eleusinian Mysteries. I am now writing a book on Greek temples and religion during the 5th century BCE, a formative period for western culture! For another book, I am investigating more specifically temples and religion in Sicily and Southern Italy, in which I show how the cosmic views of Presocratic philosophers (especially Pythagoras and Empedocles) helped to shape the design of western Greek temples.

I am also interested in the issues of cultural property, ethics of collecting and the fate of art in wartime: in addition to my book on the origins of the modern concept of "cultural property" in the Verrines of Cicero (2008), I’ve written several articles exploring the topic further.
Awards and Honors
Aristeia Award, 2022, Alumni/ae Association, American School of Classical Studies, Athens

(Editor) A COMPANION TO GREEK ARCHITECTURE. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
(Editor) CLEOPATRA: A SPHINX REVISITED. University of California Press, 2011.
ART AS PLUNDER: THE ANCIENT ORIGINS OF DEBATE ABOUT CULTURAL PROPERTY. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Paperback edition, 2010.
"Athenian Festivals," (with Jenifer Neils), in Jenifer Neils and Dylan Rogers, eds., THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO ANCIENT ATHENS, Cambridge University Press, 2021, 332-344.
"Archaic Greece, c. 750-500 BCE," in SIR BANNISTER FLETCHER'S GLOBAL HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE, 21st edition, London, 2020, 139-152.
"Classical Greece, c. 500-400 BCE," in SIR BANNISTER FLETCHER'S GLOBAL HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE, 21st edition, London, 2020, 253-291.
"Large Temples as Cultural Banners in Western Sicily," in Sandra Blakely and Billie J. Collins, eds., RELIGIOUS CONVERGENCE IN THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN. Atlanta, 2019, 59-76.
“War and Passion: Who Keeps the Art?” (essay), CASE WESTERN RESERVE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 40, 2017: 5-21.
“Constructing Architects: the So-called ‘Thesion Architect’,” in K. Seaman and P. Schultz, eds., GREEK ARTISTS AND ARTISTRY. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017: 101-123.
“The Archaic Temple of Poseidon at Sounion,” with Jessica Paga, HESPERIA 85, 2016: 657-710.
“The Interiors of Greek Temples,” in M. M. Miles, ed., BLACKWELL'S COMPANION TO GREEK ARCHITECTURE, Boston, Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016: 206-222.
“Roman Architecture for Greek Eleusis: The Second Sophistic in Marble,” ACTAS DEL XVIII CONGRESSO INTERNACIONAL DE ARQUELOGIA CLÁSICA. Merida, 2015: 9-11.
"Birds around the Temple: Creating a Sacred Environment," in J. McInerney and I. Sluiter, eds., VALUING LANDSCAPE IN CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY. Natural Environment and Cultural Imagination. Leiden, 2016: 151-195.
"The Vanishing Double Stoa at Thorikos," in M.M. Miles, ed., AUTOPSY IN ATHENS. RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ATHENS AND ATTICA. Oxford, Oxbow Books, 2015: 163-180.
"Collecting the Past, Creating the Future: Art Displays in the Hellenistic Mediterranean," in M. Wellington Gahtan and D. Pegazzano, eds., MUSEUM ARCHETYPES AND COLLECTING IN THE ANCIENT WORLD. Leiden, 2015: 33-44.
"Greek and Roman Art and the Debate about Cultural Property." In C. Marconi, ed., THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF GREEK AND ROMAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE. Oxford, 2015: 499-515.
“Burnt Temples in the Landscape of the Past,” in C. Pieper and J. Ker, eds., VALUING THE PAST IN THE GRECO-ROMAN PAST. Leiden: Brill, 2014: 111-145.
“Classical Greek Architecture in Sicily,” in C. Lyons and C. Marconi, eds., CLASSICAL SICILY: BETWEEN GREECE AND ROME. Los Angeles: Getty Press, 2013: 146-158.
“Archaeology and Acquisition: The Experience of Republican Rome,” in Jane D. Evans, ed., A COMPANION TO THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2013: 598-610.
“Entering Demeter’s Gateway,” in Bonna D. Wescoat and Robert G. Ousterhout, eds., ARCHITECTURE OF THE SACRED. SPACE, RITUAL AND EXPERIENCE FROM CLASSICAL GREECE TO BYZANTIUM. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012: 114-151.
“The Lapis Primus and the Older Parthenon.” HESPERIA 80, 2011: 657-675.
“Still in the Aftermath of Waterloo: A Brief History of Decisions about Restitution,” in Peter G. Stone, ed., CULTURAL HERITAGE, ETHICS AND THE MILITARY. Newcastle: International Centre for Culture and Heritage, Newcastle University, The Boydell Press, 2011: 29-42.
"Cicero's Prosecution of Gaius Verres: A Roman View of the Ethics of Acquisition of Art." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURAL PROPERTY 2, 2002: 28-49.
"Interior Staircases in Western Greek Temples." MEMOIRS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY IN ROME 43/44,1998/1999: 1-26.
"The Propylon to the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros at Selinous." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY 102, 1998: 35-57.
"A Reconstruction of the Temple of Nemesis at Rhamnous." HESPERIA 58, 1989: 131-249.
"The Date of the Temple on the Ilissos River." HESPERIA 49, 1980: 309-325.
Professional Societies
Archaeological Institute of America
American Philological Association/Society for Classical Studies
Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Fellows, American Academy in Rome
Graduate Programs
Tri-Campus Classics
Visual Studies
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