Karl Frederik Kinch - a Danish Pioneer in Thessaloniki

  • Bente Kiilerich University of Bergen
Keywords: Danish archaeologists, Thessaloniki, Arch of Galerius, historiography, late Roman archaeology


The Danish archaeologist and philologist Karl Frederik Kinch (1853-1921) is probably best known for his investigations on Rhodes, where, together with Christian Blinkenberg, he led the excavations on the acropolis of Lindos between 1902 and 1905. This article focuses on another aspect of Kinch’s research: his pioneering work on the Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki. By studying the iconography of the sculpted reliefs, Kinch could show that the monument was not, as then generally believed, erected in honour of Alexander the Great or Constantine. He was, in fact, the first to establish that the arch celebrated the Emperor Galerius’ victory over the Sasanian Persians in 297/98. Kinch published his results in L’Arc de triomphe de Galère (Paris 1890), which is also the first monograph on the monument. I here take a closer look at this publication, and tries to situate it within the researcher’s life and work.  

rchaeologist and philologist Karl Frederik Kinch

Author Biography

Bente Kiilerich, University of Bergen
On the editorial board of CLARA