I have now officially started on my Leverhulme 'Twelve Caesars' research leave, and I have begun to plan where I am going to need to visit, to run to ground some of the more material that I will need, both in the shape of primary images and research libraries. I have already got a trip in my head to a number of local French art galleries, and I know that I need to understand the German and Austrian material better than I currently do. But it's also obvious that I shall need to go back to Italy and especially to Rome.
In recent years, for various research projects, I have had wonderful hospitality both from the American Academy in Rome and from the British School in Rome. But I fell to reflecting, as I was planning ahead, that the BSR was really where I started my research career. That is to say that, when I was a PhD student in Cambridge almost 40 years ago now, it was during four months residence in Rome that I actually discovered what research directly on Roman material in Rome was like, and how best to do it. In a way it launched my career.