Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker


About Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker

Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker is Contributing Editor for Ancient Roman and Etruscan art. His research is focused on Italo-Roman architecture and urbanism, but he is interested in urbanism across the Mediterranean basin, as a well as in building techniques, city planning, Roman villas, and archaeological theory. Becker was trained in Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (M.A., Ph.D.) and has extensive experience as a classroom instructor and as an excavator, having worked for a number of years in and around Rome.










Preparations for a Sacrifice, fragment from an architectural relief, c. mid-first century C.E., marble, 172 x 211 cm / 67¾ x 83⅛ inches (Musée du Louvre, Paris)
Animal sacrifice played an important role in ancient Roman religion, but what was involved in the preparation?

Preparations for a Sacrifice



Maison Carrée, c. 4-7 C.E.
This well-preserved building in modern-day France is a textbook example of a Vitruvian temple.

Maison Carrée






Temple of Baal Shamin, 1st century C.E. (Palmyra—in modern Syria) (photo: Verity Cridland, CC BY 2.0)
A hybrid of eastern and western design, this temple showcased the cultural diversity and great wealth of Palmyra.

Temple of Baalshamin, Palmyra



Column of Trajan (detail)
Trajan expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest extent, celebrating his victories with this monumental column.

Column of Trajan


Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace), 9 B.C.E. (Ara Pacis Museum, Rome, Italy) (photo: Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Augustus is said to have found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble—this altar symbolizes his golden age.

Ara Pacis




Palmyra’s divine triad: Baalshamin, with the Moon god Aglibol on his right and the Sun-god Yarhibol at left, discovered at Bir Wereb, near Palmyra, 60 cm high (Louvre, Paris) (photo: Emmanuel PIERRE, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Drawing from Greco-Roman and Eastern architecture, this temple was one of history’s great architectural achievements.

Temple of Bel, Palmyra