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Classical Rome


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Describes the broad history of Rome and its reflection in Roman art, architecture, and sculpture.

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Classical Rome

  1. 1. Rome: Republic and Empire A Precursor to the Medieval Era
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>A classic civilization in its own right, but in different ways. </li></ul><ul><li>A model of government of law, of military strategy—and the roads </li></ul><ul><li>The gods were inherited from the Greeks </li></ul><ul><li>Art: Realism </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture: The arch, the vault, and the dome </li></ul><ul><li>Provided the organizational framework of the church that bore its name: the Roman Catholic Church </li></ul>
  3. 3. Overview of Rome <ul><li>Its rise </li></ul><ul><li>Its Republican phase </li></ul><ul><li>The Imperial phase </li></ul><ul><li>Demise and Transformation </li></ul>
  4. 4. Rome: Its Location <ul><li>Rome: Republican Phase: 750-500 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Rome: Maximum Extent of Empire, AD 63 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Rise of Rome <ul><li>Latins invaded the peninsula in 1000 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>By 800 BCE, founded Rome at the lower valley of the Tiber River, central locus for control of the rest of Italy </li></ul><ul><li>Other ethnicities migrated to the region: Etruscans, Phoenicians, Greeks </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike the other villages, Rome encouraged other ethnic groups to migrate there </li></ul>
  6. 6. Multiethnic Contributions to Rome <ul><li>Phoenicians contributed maritime and commercial skills and phonetic alphabet </li></ul><ul><li>Etruscans brought urban planning, chariot racing, the toga, bronze and gold crafting—and the arch </li></ul><ul><li>Greeks: the pantheon of gods and goddesses, linguistic and literary principles, and aesthetic </li></ul>
  7. 7. Roman Republic: Roots <ul><li>Etruscans ruled the Latins but were overthrown in 509 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Gradually, monarchy gave way to government by the people ( res publica ) </li></ul><ul><li>Predominately comprised the patricians (aristocrats) and the plebians (farmers, artisans, and other common folk. </li></ul><ul><li>Slaves formed a third category as the empire expanded </li></ul><ul><li>The rise of the republic was a slow process </li></ul>
  8. 8. Structure of the Roman Republic <ul><li>Patricians through the Senate controlled the lawmaking process </li></ul><ul><li>However, plebians filled the ranks of the Roman army and exercised veto power over the decisions of the Senate </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually, through their leaders, the tribunes, acquired the right to hold executive office and lawmaking power </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Centrality of the Roman State <ul><li>Expectations of the citizen </li></ul><ul><li>Obedience to the state </li></ul><ul><li>Service in the military—which could be profitable (left) </li></ul><ul><li>The soldier had to finance his own spear, shield, armor and helmet (left) </li></ul><ul><li>Both were essential to the rise of the Roman emporium, the empire </li></ul>
  10. 10. From Republic to Empire I <ul><li>Rome then began to build an empire </li></ul><ul><li>Conquest of the known world was the extension of conquest of the Italian peninsula by the Latins </li></ul><ul><li>War with the Phoenicians of Carthage (Punic Wars) was the first phase of Roman expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Other expeditions led to Roman control of the entire Mediterranean ( Mare Nostrum, “Our Sea”) and much of Europe: Hispania (now Spain), Gallia (France) Britannia (England) and part of Germania (Germany) </li></ul>
  11. 11. From Republic to Empire <ul><li>Led by military dictators, of which Julius Caesar was the best known </li></ul><ul><li>He expanded the empire to include western and central Europe </li></ul><ul><li>He directed the construction of a wooden bridge to enable the troop to invade and conquer Germania (central Europe) </li></ul><ul><li>Under Caesar Augustus, the empire entered into a pax romana (peace under Rome) </li></ul><ul><li>This, which brought in a long era of high culture and stability </li></ul>
  12. 12. Military Organization <ul><li>The army was the tool of imperial expansion </li></ul><ul><li>The Roman army was a highly disciplined force and the backbone of Rome </li></ul><ul><li>Initially, all free men served two-years </li></ul><ul><li>Later, professional soldiers filled the ranks </li></ul><ul><li>As the empire expanded, non-Romans joined to gain Roman citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>The phalanx was the basic unit (left) </li></ul><ul><li>Later it would be divided into smaller units </li></ul><ul><li>These units could combine to form a legion if necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>See pp. 133-134, Fiero, for the Jewish scholar Josephus’s description of an army regiment </li></ul>
  13. 13. Roman Law <ul><li>Formed the model of legal systems throughout European countries except England, which relied on common law </li></ul><ul><li>The term jus meant both the law and justice </li></ul><ul><li>The system of customary law ( ius ) was written down as codes ( lex ) </li></ul><ul><li>These were displayed as the Twelve Tables of Law at the Forum. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Twelve Tables of Roman Law <ul><li>The Twelve Tables of Law formed the basis of all Roman law </li></ul><ul><li>These tenets were engraved in stone and mounted at the speakers’ forum near the Temple of Saturn (left) </li></ul><ul><li>The Tables were destroyed by the Celts in AD 700 </li></ul><ul><li>The Tables summarized such tenets as civil procedure, parents and children, debts, constitutional law, and crime </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other Concepts of Roman Law <ul><li>The Romans also: </li></ul><ul><li>Invented and evolved case law, focusing on bringing commonsense solutions to private disputes </li></ul><ul><li>Invented the concept of equity , putting the spirit of the law above the letter of the law </li></ul><ul><li>After the fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity, Justinian codified the law into jus juris civilis </li></ul>
  16. 16. Roman Philosophy <ul><li>Much of philosophy was derived from the Stoics of the Hellenistic empire, who saw life as adversity to be endured </li></ul><ul><li>Happiness lies in acceptance of things as they are </li></ul><ul><li>Seneca (left) was a proponent of Stoicism </li></ul><ul><li>Lucretius in The Nature of Things saw the world in a purely materialistic light and denied the existence of gods or a spiritual dimension </li></ul><ul><li>This belief system encouraged the sense of duty and also the equality of all, which had a humanizing effect on Roman law </li></ul><ul><li>This world view anticipated the beliefs of the early Christians, emphasizing personal responsibility and the equality of all </li></ul>
  17. 17. Roman Literature <ul><li>Best known for prose, writing as a vehicle for providing information </li></ul><ul><li>Provided the first geographies and encyclopedias </li></ul><ul><li>Other media: instruction manuals, histories, and biographies </li></ul><ul><li>Titus Livius (Livy) provided a detailed history of Rome from the 8 th century BCE to his own day (1 st century BCE) (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>Also masters of oratory, exemplified by Tullius Cicero (106-41 BCE); read his “On Duty” on pp. 138-139, Fiero text </li></ul><ul><li>Cornelius Tacitus was both historian and orator; see his “On Oratory” on pp. 139-140 (lower left) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Roman Literature: Epic Poetry <ul><li>Under sponsorship of Octavian, produced a golden age of poetry </li></ul><ul><li>Virgil (Publius Vergilius Mato) wrote the epic poem Aeneid , on Aeneas, the mythical Trojan founder of Rome (left) </li></ul><ul><li>Virgil accompanies Dante in the Purgatorio and Inferno in the Divine Comedy </li></ul><ul><li>Catullus, a Sicilian, wrote lyric poetry, some of it inspired by his adulterous affair with Clodia, wife of a Roman consul, and the collapse of the affair </li></ul><ul><li>Publius Ovidus Naso (Ovid) covers the art of seduction, work which earned him exile </li></ul><ul><li>Horace was the master of satire that addresses Stoic themes, such as Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Roman Drama <ul><li>Mostly modeled after the comedies of Greece; unlike Greek tragedies, designed purely for entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Romans preferred comedy to tragedy; mostly obscene themes </li></ul><ul><li>Stock characters included the good-hearted prostitute, the clever servant, the shrewish wife </li></ul><ul><li>Horace (depicted right with Caesar Augustus, left) wrote numerous satirical plays </li></ul><ul><li>One story: said to have tried to have sex with a girl who didn’t show up for the date—and woke up next morning with an embarrassing wet dream </li></ul><ul><li>He could be the subject of satire himself </li></ul>
  20. 20. Roman Architecture <ul><li>Noted for the paved roads, still used today </li></ul><ul><li>They extended from Tigris and Euphrates to the Atlantic Ocean </li></ul><ul><li>Tenements (8 or 9 stories) to accommodate thousands of people in Rome were also built </li></ul><ul><li>Constructed 18 aqueducts to supply Rome with water </li></ul>
  21. 21. Building Materials <ul><li>Brick used by both Etruscans and Romans </li></ul><ul><li>Marble was used as a facing over brick </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete: Mixture of mortar, gravel, rubble, and water made a solid mix of material </li></ul><ul><li>Travertine: Hard, durable limestone that ages into an attractive shade of yellow. </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Arch <ul><li>Rome built on the arch, contributed by the Etruscans </li></ul><ul><li>The principle appears left; weight is evenly distributed from the keystone to the sides </li></ul><ul><li>It could provide so much strength that other structures could be built above it </li></ul><ul><li>This aqueduct in Nimes, France, is one example (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>Notice that the lower row of arches support the upper row and the canal at the top. </li></ul><ul><li>More details: see p. 313 </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Vault <ul><li>They also contributed the vault, a three-dimensional extension of the arch </li></ul><ul><li>Notice how a wider surface supports the weight (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>It formed the basic architecture of medieval </li></ul><ul><li>This Gothic cathedral in Pamplona, Spain, includes a row of vaults (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>Further Details: p. 213, box </li></ul>
  24. 24. The Dome <ul><li>The dome was a third form of rooftop architecture in Rome (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>It is created by rotating a round arch through 180 degrees on its axis </li></ul><ul><li>They must be buttressed from all sides </li></ul><ul><li>The weight must be evenly distributed at all sides </li></ul><ul><li>The dome included a circular skylight (interior of dome, lower left) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Domestic Architecture <ul><li>Entrance to a home was an atrium (left) </li></ul><ul><li>This was a large hall entered through a corridor from the street, </li></ul><ul><li>An open compluvium (skylight) which let in rainwater and sunlight </li></ul><ul><li>Rainwater was collected in a sunken basin in the floor (impluvium) and channeled off into a cistern </li></ul>
  26. 26. Architectural and Engineering Professions <ul><li>Roman architecture and engineering were considered to be one discipline </li></ul><ul><li>The most influential manuals were Vitruvius’s Ten Books on Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Function to the Roman architecture determined design </li></ul><ul><li>Classic architecture emphasized size to accommodate 1 million people of Rome: </li></ul><ul><li>Namely, the Coliseum, the amphitheaters, all designed for entertainment, whether gladiators, drama, or circuses </li></ul>
  27. 27. Public Architecture: The Forum <ul><li>A rectangular open space, usually with a temple at one end </li></ul><ul><li>Bounded on three sides by colonnades (rows of columns) </li></ul><ul><li>Fourth side by a basilica </li></ul><ul><li>Best known: Forum Romanum (upper left) and Forum Julium </li></ul><ul><li>The plan of Imperial Fora (lower left) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Basilica <ul><li>A large roofed building, usually at one end of a forum </li></ul><ul><li>Divided into three aisles, one large central one and one smaller aisle on either side (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>The nave (raised section of center aisle) allowed construction of a second story </li></ul><ul><li>The apse was a recessed part at one end </li></ul><ul><li>Trajan’s marketplace was one example </li></ul>
  29. 29. Roman Roads <ul><li>“ All roads lead to Rome” is an apt description of Roman roads </li></ul><ul><li>The network on this map show how the Roman army could go anywhere (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>Later, it also indirectly contributed to the spread of Christianity throughout the empire </li></ul><ul><li>The paving was basic to the rapids transport of troops (lower left) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Aqueducts <ul><li>Romans left their marks in the form of Aqueducts built in Rome and through Europe </li></ul><ul><li>They were built so that water could flow hundreds on miles using gravity </li></ul><ul><li>Notice how arches were so strong that several could be built atop one another (left) </li></ul><ul><li>They were used long after the Fall of Rome </li></ul>
  31. 31. Roman Sculpture <ul><li>Emphasized Roman victories: triumphal arches and victory columns (obelisks redesigned in Roman style) </li></ul><ul><li>Sculptures of Roman emperors, in realistically detailed Roman breastplate and idealized faces and proportions (Caesar Augustus, upper left </li></ul><ul><li>Equestrian statues were added in the 2 nd Century BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on realism was evident in balding senators and matronly women </li></ul><ul><li>Fig leafs in nude male statues such as Mercury (left) were a Roman invention after conversion to Christianity; </li></ul><ul><li>Greek statues had shown male organs in detail </li></ul>
  32. 32. Roman Sculpture: Realism <ul><li>Except for selected emperors, the subjects were portrayed with all their flaws </li></ul><ul><li>Augustus is portrayed here as a idealized figure, though a faithful replication (upper left; detail from the statue, p. 239) </li></ul><ul><li>The woman’s eyes and wrinkles reveal a realistic style of her aging (lower left) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Equestrian Statues <ul><li>Equestrian statues were a Roman invention reproduced throughout history </li></ul><ul><li>This statue of Marcus Aurelius is typical </li></ul><ul><li>It depicts both horse and rider in Grecian naturalistic design </li></ul><ul><li>The veins and muscles of the horse are visible as it raises its foreleg, a triumphal pose </li></ul>
  34. 34. Roman Painting <ul><li>Paintings depicted realistic representations of mythical themes, historical events, and landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Murals in atria (sing. Atrium), large airy rooms, were commonplace </li></ul><ul><li>Mosaics were commonly used </li></ul><ul><li>Frescos gave the impression that viewers were looking out into actual gardens ( trompe l’oeil , or “fool the eye”) </li></ul><ul><li>Still life styles were also common </li></ul>
  35. 35. Murals <ul><li>Scene from the Villa of the Mysteries (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>An initiate is flagellated (by a winged woman out of view) </li></ul><ul><li>Another women plays cymbals while in a frenzied dance </li></ul><ul><li>The technique give a three-dimensional image on a two dimensional surfact </li></ul><ul><li>Portraits were common, as seen in Young Woman With a Stylus (lower left) </li></ul>
  36. 36. Conclusion <ul><li>Romans were imperialists first and republicans second </li></ul><ul><li>Much of the themes emphasize war and conquest </li></ul><ul><li>The arts mostly had a practical side </li></ul><ul><li>There was much art in Rome—sculpture, art, even architecture—that were Greek imitations </li></ul><ul><li>The gods themselves were renamed imitations of the Greeks: Zeus became Jupiter, for example, and Athena, Minerva </li></ul><ul><li>They were engineers first and artist second—size mattered in the arts and architecture </li></ul>