Following on from the exhibitions that focused on the great civilisations of the past, Rome and the Barbarians takes an original look at the ever-important issue of comparison and contamination.
With over two thousand archaeological treasures from museums all over the world, exhibition curator Jean-Jacques Aillagon explains how the Roman culture and Barbarian identities influenced each other during the first millennium of our era, and gave rise to historic a new civilization.
The birth of the empire, its defence and decline, the Roman-Barbarian kingdoms of Vandals, Ostrogoths, Franks, Byzantium counter offensives, the advent of the Lombards in Italy, and the dream of a new imperial union with Charlemagne... are but a few of the themes explored over the three floors of Palazzo Grassi.
The framework of Europe - a space for communication and contact between diverse people and cultures - provides the background for a thousand years of beneficial exchanges alternating with bloody conflicts.
"Rome and the Barbarians" is the story of a fruitful encounter reinforced by the spread of Christianity throughout the empire, a decisive period for the identity of the European continent.