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Creating the Twilight Zone of the Third Reich’s Neo-Roman Imaginary: German Classicists, Resurrectional Performances, and the Trope of the Neo-Roman Conqueror’s Fortified Gaze

Creating the Twilight Zone of the Third Reich’s Neo-Roman Imaginary: German Classicists, Resurrectional Performances, and the Trope of the Neo-Roman Conqueror’s Fortified Gaze

Chapter:
(p.338) Nineteen Creating the Twilight Zone of the Third Reich’s Neo-Roman Imaginary: German Classicists, Resurrectional Performances, and the Trope of the Neo-Roman Conqueror’s Fortified Gaze
Source:
The Conquest of Ruins
Author(s):
Julia Hell
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226588223.003.0020

This chapter explores German classicists’ contribution to the creation of the Nazi empire’s imperial imaginary as a neo-Roman zone. Weber, Rodenwaldt, Stroux, Weickert, Berve, and Vogt erased the distance between neo-Roman present and Roman past. Directing their reader’s gaze toward the Roman past they resurrected Augustus as the model Führer. With Hitler in mind, they refashioned Augustus’s death mask and celebrated the emperor’s commanding gaze. Following in Spengler’s footsteps, Vogt explored the scopic regime proper to the Roman Empire, emphasizing the Romans’ conquering gaze.

Keywords:   Joseph Vogt, Helmut Berve, Aktion Ritterbusch, death mask, Augustus, Führer, Adolph Hitler, resurrectional performance, conquering gaze

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