In Memoriam: Professor Giovanni Uggeri

A man in a coat and tie, left, and the interior of a library, right
Professor Giovanni Uggeri was a long-time reader at the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library.

The American Academy in Rome is saddened to learn of the death of Professor Giovanni Uggeri (1965 Affiliated Fellow). Uggeri was an internationally renowned archaeologist and scholar in the field of ancient topography. At the Academy, we knew him also as a regular reader at the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library, up until his death. With his passing, we have lost a treasured user of our Library.

Uggeri was born in Vittoria in Sicily in 1939. After his high school studies in Vittoria, he graduated in classics at the University of Florence and specialized in ancient topography. Among his mentors were Giovanni Becatti, Luisa Banti, Giacomo Devoto, Paolo Graziosi, Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli, and Nereo Alfieri.

In 1968, at the University of Lecce, he held the chair of topography of ancient Italy, and then continued at the Universities of Florence, Ferrara, and Perugia. Finally, he was professor of topography and urban planning of the classical world for years at the Università degli studi “La Sapienza” di Roma.

Uggeri participated in numerous excavations conducted in Italy (Camarina, Gela, Metaponto, Otranto, Brindisi, Vetulonia, Cosa, and Spina) and abroad (Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, and the Persian Gulf).

His scholarly interests ranged from ancient topography to archaeology, Roman and Etruscan epigraphy, early Christian architecture, and classical philology, combining disciplines in wide-ranging studies. With this unique and broad perspective, he organized international conferences on ancient topography and founded the only international body for the discipline, the Journal of Ancient Topography.

Uggeri’s death was unexpected. His book Spina tra Greci ed Etruschi, 1. Le ceramihe di produzione locale, written together with his wife Stella Patitucci, was published only a couple weeks ago, by Congedo Editore. He had completed work on a further study that was being prepared for publication.

In his years as professor at La Sapienza, he inspired many students and colleagues. Those who knew him will long remember his scientific and human generosity, along with his sharpness and subtle irony. He was a kind and generous man—a true gentleman—and will be greatly missed.

The Academy thanks Dott.ssa Angela Gallottini for providing information for this tribute to Uggeri’s life and accomplishments.

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