McCullin in the Roman world

The photographer Sir Donald McCullin has been travelling the world for 65 years, but until recently he had never explored Turkey, though he had chronicled many wars fought near its frontiers. He made up for that at a time when most of us were still sheltering from Covid, exploring the mountains, valleys and coast in the west of the country to photograph the most powerful and poignant ruins of the Roman Empire. In 2019, 2021 and 2022 he made three expeditions with the writer Barnaby Rogerson (publisher at Eland Books), each recorded in the pages of Cornucopia, “the magazine for connoisseurs of Turkey”. The project is now being turned into a book of black-and-white pictures, Don McCullin: Journeys Across Roman Asia Minor (Cornucopia Books, £95, September 1), with a commentary by Rogerson and a foreword by the historian William Dalrymple. The book is “a meditation on landscape, the effects of light on ancient stone, the way clouds animate the past, but [it] is also inescapably about conquest, imperium and power”.

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