Art1204 the burden of glory & fall to grace art of the high & late roman empire

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Art1204 the burden of glory & fall to grace art of the high & late roman empire

  1. 1. The Burden Of GLORY & The Fall to Grace The Art Of The High & LATE Roman Empire Art  Appreciation  –  ART1204   Professor  Will  Adams  
  2. 2. Pont-­‐du-­‐Gard,  Nîmes,  France;  19   BCE   The Imperial Age §  The  Romans  typically   built  aqueducts  to  serve   any  large  city  in  their   empire.   §  The  city  of  Rome  itself,   being  the  largest  city,  had   the  largest  concentration   of  aqueducts,  with  water   being  supplied  by  eleven   aqueducts  constructed   over  a  period  of  500  years.  
  3. 3. The Imperial Age
  4. 4. The Imperial Age
  5. 5. The Imperial Age §  There  were   approximately  300  miles   of  aqueducts,  while  only   29  of  them  were  above   ground.   §  The  aqueduct  provided   about  one  hundred   gallons  of  water  a  day   for  the  inhabitants  of   Nîmes  from  a  source   some  thirty  miles  away.  
  6. 6. The Imperial Age
  7. 7. An empire emerges §  After  his  father’s  death,   Vespasian’s  son,  Titus,  assumes   control  of  the  Empire  in  79  CE,   the  same  year  that  Mt.  Vesuvius   erupts  and  buries  the  cities  of   Pompeii  and  Herculaneum.   §  Despite  the  disaster,  Emperor   Titus  was  known  as  “the  light  of   the  world”  during  his  reign,  in   recognition  of  his  administration   and  completion  of  his  father’s   Coliseum  project.   §  Titus  was  mysteriously  killed  in   81  CE.  
  8. 8. Pompeii & Herculaneum §  Pompeii  &  neighboring   Herculaneum  were   buried  on  August  24  &   August  25,  79  CE  by  the   eruption  of  Mt.   Vesuvius.   §  Pompeii  is  the  most   important   archaeological  site  for   learning  about  life  in  a   Roman  city.  
  9. 9. The City of Pompeii
  10. 10. The Imperial Age Roman  Cities  &  Pompeii   §  The  forum  was  an  oasis  in   the  heart  of  Pompeii  -­‐  an   open,  airy  plaza.   §  Throughout  the  rest  of  the   city,  every  square  foot  of   land  was  developed.   §  The  forum  was  constructed   at  the  southern  end  of  the   town,  immediately  after   the  Roman  colony  was   founded  in  80  BCE.  
  11. 11. MISCONCEPTIONS §  Some  misconceptions  about  Pompeii  are:   § The  victims  were  “buried  alive;”  they  had   no  chance  of  escape.   § The  city  was  buried  “as  it  was;”  the   victims  were  caught  completely  unaware.   § Pompeii  was  never  again  explored  since   ancient  times.  
  12. 12. REALITIES §  Some  of  the  realities  about  Pompeii   include:   § The  eruption  did  not  occur  without   warning;  there  were  many  earthquakes  in   the  week  leading  up  to  the  eruption.   § Many  people  did  escape;  some  of  those   who  did  not  may  have  been  looters  or   were  simply  unwilling  to  leave.  
  13. 13. THE PLASTER MOLDS §  Despite  these  misconceptions,  no  other   ancient  site  shows  what  an  ancient  city   may  have  been  like  better  than  Pompeii.   §  The  most  striking  example  of  this  is  the   plaster  molds  from  Pompeii.   §  In  1863,  Giuseppe  Fiorelli,  an  Italian   archaeologist,  invented  the  technique  of   the  plaster  molding.  
  14. 14. THE PLASTER MOLDS §  Pompeii  was  buried  under  roughly  70  feet  of   volcanic  ash.   §  Fiorelli  realized  that,  by  pounding  on  the   ground,  he  could  identify  areas  which  were   hollow  below.   §  The  hollow  areas  were  once  filled  with   remains  -­‐  pottery,  bodies,  or  other  items  -­‐   that  had  long  since  decomposed,  leaving   negatives.  
  15. 15. THE PLASTER MOLDS §  By  pouring  plaster  into  this  hollow  area,  the   plaster  would  dry  and  take  the  original   shape  of  what  once  laid  there.   §  Archaeologists  could  then  dig  around  the   plaster,  and  take  out  the  positive  model  of   what  was  once  actually  contained  there.   §  The  following  are  some  examples:  
  16. 16. THE PLASTER MOLDS
  17. 17. The Imperial Age §  Pompeii’s  new  citizens   erected  a  large  amphitheater.     §  It  is  the  earliest  such   structure  known  and  could   seat  some  twenty  thousand   spectators.     §  The  word  amphitheater   means  “double  theater”,  and   the  Roman  structures  closely   resemble  two  Greek  theaters   put  together,  although  the   Greeks  never  built   amphitheaters.     17Aerial  view  of  the  amphitheater,   Pompeii,  Italy,  c.  80  BCE  
  18. 18. The Imperial Age §  Greek  theaters  were  placed   on  natural  hillsides,  but   supporting  an   amphitheater’s  continuous   elliptical  cavea  required   building  an  artificial   mountain,  and  only   concrete,  unknown  to  the   Greeks,  was  capable  of  such   a  job.   §  Barrel  vaults  also  form  the   tunnels  leading  to  the  stone   seats  of  the  arena.  
  19. 19. DAILY LIFE IN POMPEII §  The  remains  of  certain  buildings  give  us  a   glimpse  of  what  daily  life  was  like  for  the   people  of  Pompeii.   §  Among  some  of  the  buildings  we  have   remains  of  are  shops,  baths,  and  homes.   §  Even  graffiti  on  the  walls  still  remains  in   certain  areas  of  Pompeii.  
  20. 20. A PISTRINUM (BAKERY)
  21. 21. THERMOPOLIUM ( FAST FOOD RESTAURANT)
  22. 22. THERMAE (BATH)
  23. 23. ROMAN HOUSES §  Because  of  its  inhabitants’  wealth,   Pompeii  also  has  some  of  the  most   magnificent  houses  in  Rome’s  history   §  Among  the  more  famous  homes  are:   §   The  Villa  of  the  Mysteries   §   The  House  of  the  Faun   §   The  House  of  the  Vettii  
  24. 24. ROMAN HOUSES 24
  25. 25. ROMAN HOUSES 25
  26. 26. HOUSE TERMS TO KNOW §  Fauces:  The  narrow  entryway  from  the  street.   §  Atrium:  The  central  public  room  of  the  house,  just  inside  the   entryway;  it  usually  has  an  impluvium,  or  water  basin  at  its   center.   §  Cubiculum:  The  small,  painted-­‐but-­‐windowless  bedrooms  &   dressing  rooms  surrounding  the  atrium.   §  Tablinum:  The  homeowners’  office,  study,  or  greeting  area.     §  Peristyle:  The  open  courtyard  or  garden  surrounded  by  a   colonnade  at  the  back  of  the  house.   §  Triclinium:  The  dining  room,  located  off  the  peristyle.     §  Lararium:  A  shrine  to  the  Roman  household  gods,  usually   located  in  the  peristyle.  
  27. 27. SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE HOME §  Like    the  Greeks,  the  Romans  (and  Italians)  were  big   on  social  hierarchy.   §  The  plans  of  most  of  the  homes  differ  slightly  in  the   layout,  but  inevitably  are  designed  to  enable  the   visitor  to  see  into  the  home.     §  When  the  front  door  was  open  during  the  day,  a   passerby  could  see  directly  into  the  atrium,  then  the   tablinum,  which  lead  directly  into  the  peristyle.     §  The  more  gardens  and  courtyards  you  had,  the   greater  your  wealth  and  status.  
  28. 28. ROMAN HOME DECORATION §  These  houses  also  contain  a  number  of   magnificently  preserved  decorative   elements  in  the  form  of:     §   Frescoes:  Wall  paintings  created  by  painting   into  wet  plaster  to  create  a  bonded  image  &   wall.   §   Mosaics:  Images  created  from  tiny,  tiny   pieces  of  glass  or  tile  that  are  called   tessurae.  
  29. 29. The Imperial Age §  The  majority  of  homes  in   Pompeii  were  decorated  with   muralistic  wall  paintings.   §  Especially  striking  is  how   some  of  the  figures  interact   across  the  corners  of  the   room.   §  Nothing  comparable  to  this   existed  in  Hellenistic  Greece.   §  Despite  the  presence  of   Dionysus,  satyrs,  and  other   figures  from  Greek   mythology,  this  is  a  Roman   design.   Dionysiac   Mystery  Frieze   Pompeii,  Italy,   c.  60-­‐50  BCE  
  30. 30. FRESCOES FROM THE VILLA OF THE MYSTERIES
  31. 31. ALEXANDER THE GREAT MOSAIC FROM THE HOUSE OF THE FAUN
  32. 32. DETAILS OF THE MOSAIC
  33. 33. The Imperial Age §  Originally  formed  part  of  a  Fourth   Style  wall  of  an  exedra,  recessed  area   on  the  opening  of  the  atrium  of  a   Pompeiian  house.       §  Standard  attributes  of  Roman   marriage  portraits  are  displayed  here   with  the  man  holding  a  scroll  and  the   woman  holding  a  stylus  and  a  wax   writing  tablet.       §  These  portraits  suggested  high   education  even  if  it  wasn’t  true  of  the   subjects.   §  The  heads  are  individualized  to  the   subject’s  features,  not  simply   standard  types.       §  This  is  the  equivalent  of  modern   wedding  photographs.     33 Portrait  of  a  Husband  &  Wife;   Pompeii,Italy;  c.  70-­‐79  CE  
  34. 34. §  Roman  painters’  interest  in   the  likeness  of  individual   people  was  matched  by  their   concern  for  recording  the   appearance  of  everyday   objects.   §  This  still  life  demonstrates   that  Roman  painters  sought   to  create  illusionistic  effects   while  depicting  small  objects.       §  Here  they  used  light  and   shade  with  attention  to   shadows  and  highlights.   Still-­‐Life  with  Peaches,  Fresco,   Herculaneum,  Italy;    AD  62-­‐79   The Imperial Age
  35. 35. Arch  of  Titus,  Rome,  Italy;  81  CE   The Imperial Age §  When  Vespasian’s  older  son,   Titus,  died  only  two  years  after   becoming  emperor,  his  younger   brother  Domitian,  took  over.   Domitian  made  this  arch  in   Titus’s  honor  on  the  Sacred   Way  leading  into  the   Republican  Forum  Romanum.   §  This  type  of  arch,  the  so-­‐called   triumphal  arch,  has  a  long   history  in  Roman  art  and   architecture,  beginning  in  the   second  century  B.C.  and   continuing  even  into  the  era  of   Christian  Roman  emperors.  
  36. 36. The Imperial Age §  The  Roman  arches   celebrated  more  than  just   military  victories,  as  they   often  commemorated   events  such  as  building   roads  and  bridges.   §  This  arch  commemorates   Titus’  sack  of  Jerusalem   around  70  CE.       §  This  is  the  oldest  arch  of   its  kind.  
  37. 37. The  Spoils  of  the  Temple  Relief  depicts  the  triumphal  parade  down  the  Sacred  Way   after  his  return  from  the  conquest  of  Judaea  at  the  end  of  the  Jewish  Wars  in  70  CE.       This  panel  contains  a  depiction  of  the  sacred  seven-­‐branched  menorah,  from  the   Temple  of  Jerusalem.   The Imperial Age
  38. 38. The  Triumph  of  Titus  Relief  depicts  the  actual  triumphal  procession  with  the  toga-­‐ clad  Titus  in  the  chariot,  but  with  the  addition  of  allegorical  figures  (the  winged   Victory  riding  in  the  chariot  with  Titus  who  places  a  wreath  on  his  head,  the  goddess   Roma  leading  the  horses).  Because  the  reliefs  were  deeply  carved,  some  of  the   forward  heads  have  broken  off.   The Imperial Age
  39. 39. The High Imperial Age
  40. 40. Portrait  Bust  of  Hadrian  as  General,    Tel  Shalem,  Israel;  c.  130-­‐138  CE   The High Imperial Age §  Hadrian  was  a  connoisseur   and  lover  of  all  the  arts,  as   well  as  an  author  and   architect.       §  There  are  more  existing   portraits  of  Hadrian  than  of   any  other  emperor,  except   Augustus.     §  Though  he  ruled  Rome  for   more  than  20  years,  he  is   depicted  in  portraits  as  a   mature  adult  who  never   ages.    
  41. 41. The High Imperial Age §  Hadrian’s  portraits  more  closely   resemble  Greek  portraits  of   Pericles  than  those  of  any  Roman   emperor  before  him,  undoubtedly   his  likenesses  were  inspired  by   Classical  Greek  statuary.   §  Hadrian  wore  a  beard,  a  habit   that,  in  its  Roman  context,  must   be  viewed  as  a  Greek  affectation   (an  appearance  or  manner   assumed  or  put  on  as  a  show  or   pretense,  often  to  impress  others).     §  Beards  then  became  the  norm  for   all  subsequent  Roman  emperors   for  more  than  a  century  and  a  half.  Marble  Bust  of  Hadrian  Wearing  Military   Dress    Tivoli,  Italy;  c.  117  -­‐  118  CE  
  42. 42. Pantheon     Rome,  Italy;  125-­‐128  CE   The High Imperial Age §  With  the  new  Emperor   Hadrian  in  power,  work  on   a  new  temple  dedicated  to   all  the  gods  began.   §  This  temple  became   known  as  the  Pantheon.   §  Excluding  the  use  of  an   eight  Corinthian  column   facade,  the  temple’s   design  was  completely   revolutionary  for  its  time.  
  43. 43. The High Imperial Age
  44. 44. The High Imperial Age
  45. 45. The High Imperial Age §  The  dome  of  the  Pantheon   steadily  decreases  in   thickness  from  the  drum  to   the  apex,  and  is   constructed  from  pumice  &   Roman  concrete.     §  In  the  very  middle  there  is   an  opening  called  an  oculus   that  acts  as  a  skylight.   §  The  oculus  is  the  only   source  of  natural  lighting   for  the  building’s  interior.  
  46. 46. The High Imperial Age §  The  oculus  measures  30  feet   in  diameter.   §  This  is  the  oldest  domed   building  in  the  world  that   still  has  its  original  roof.   §  From  this  indoor  photo  of   the  Pantheon  you  can  see   the  carved  panels  as  well  as   the  intense  light  that  the   oculus  provides  for  the  room.     §  These  decorative  panels  are   called  coffers,  and  serve  two   purposes.  
  47. 47. The High Imperial Age Originally,  the  interior’s  niches  and  altars  contained  images  of  the   Roman  gods  and  goddesses.  However,  when  the  Pantheon  was   consecrated  as  a  Catholic  church  in  609  CE,  they  were  replaced  by  images   of  saints  and  those  buried  within  the  structure.  
  48. 48. The High Imperial Age
  49. 49. The High Imperial Age §  During  Hadrian’s  reign,  he   ordered  construction  of  a   monumental  stone  wall  to   keep  the  ‘barbaric’  Scots  and   Picts  from  invading  from  the   North.   §  This  74-­‐mile  stretch  across   Northern  England  is  known  as   Hadrian’s  Wall.   §  It  was  8-­‐10  feet  wide  and  20   feet  tall,  with  a  tower  located   at  every  mile  mark.     §  It  was  built  in  only  about  8   years,  from  122  –  130  CE!  
  50. 50. The High Imperial Age
  51. 51. The High Imperial Age
  52. 52. The High Imperial Age §  After  Domitian’s  death,  the   Senate  and  the  army  played  a   more  active  role  in  the  selection  of   the  emperor,  which  resulted  in  the   appointment  of  the  Emperor   Nerva  in  96  AD,  who  ruled  until  98   AD.   §  When  he  was  elected  by  the   Senate,  Nerva  was  already  elderly,   and  passed  away  in  office.   §  Between  96  CE  and  180  CE,  the   Romans  handled  the  problem  of   succession  by  having  each   emperor  select  a  younger   colleague  to  train  as  a  successor.   §  Resulted  in  almost  a  century  of   stability  
  53. 53. The High Imperial Age §  Following  Nerva’s  death,  the   Senate  elected  the  Emperor   Trajan  to  lead  Rome.   §  Born  in  Spain,  he  was  the  first   Roman  Emperor  of  non-­‐Italian   origin  &  was  a  great  ruler.   §  He  was  able  to  extend  Rome’s   territory  to  its  greatest  size   during  his  reign.   §  Wisely,  Trajan  was  mindful  to   keep  the  Senate  informed   about  his  campaigns,  and   waited  for  their  approval  before   signing  treaties.  
  54. 54. The High Imperial Age §  The  Emperor  was  very   popular  with  the  public   because  he  greatly  increased     Rome’s  wealth  through   conquest  &  spent  large  sums   on  building  aqueducts,   temples  and  public  baths   §  Today  his  body  is  entombed   beneath  his  column  in  the   Roman  Forum.   §  His  reign  ended  with  his   death  in  117  AD.  
  55. 55. §  This  belvedere  was   erected  in  celebration   of  Emperor  Trajan’s   victory  over  the   Dacians  (ancient   Romanians).   §  The  story  of  the   campaign  is  depicted   in  a  spiral  relief  that   winds  up  the  length   of  the  column’s  shaft.   §  The  Emperor’s  tomb   is  located  beneath   the  column’s  plinth  in   the  Roman  Forum.   The High Imperial Age Trajan’s  Column,  Rome,  Italy;    113  CE  
  56. 56. The High Imperial Age §  After  Hadrian’s  death,  Antonius   ruled  as  Emperor  from  138  CE  –   161  AD.   §  He  was  later  assigned  the   honorific  “Pius”  in  recognition  of   his  just  and  honest  nature.   §  Due  to  his  skillful  management,   the  Roman  Empire  reached  its   peak  under  his  guidance   §  Historically,  he  ruled  during  the   final  few  years  of  tranquility  in   Rome.   §  As  a  result,  his  death  is  associated   by  many  with  the  end  of  the  Pax   Romana.  
  57. 57. Portrait  of  a  Man   Faiyum,  Egypt;  160-­‐170  CE   The Late Imperial Age §  Historically,  Egyptians  buried   their  dead  in  sarcophagi  with   portrait  masks.     §  In  Roman  times,  however,   painted  encaustic  portraits  on   wood  replaced  the  traditional   stylized  portrait  masks.     §  The  man  in  this  mummy   painting,  mimicking  Marcus   Aurelius,  has  long  curly  hair  and   a  full  beard.   §  This  all  indicates  a  strong   influence  on  Egyptian  artists  of   the  time  by  Roman  artists.  
  58. 58. The High Imperial Age §  The  Emperor  Marcus  Aurelius,   who  succeeded  Antonius  Pius,   was  the  most  well-­‐educated   Roman  Emperor.     §  Apparently,  he  preferred   studying  &  writing  philosophy   –  such  as  his  work  Meditations   –  to  fighting  wars.       §  Unfortunately  for  him,  during   his  reign,  Rome  was  forced  to   fight  constantly  against   foreign  invaders,  such  as  the   Germanic  Goths,  and  the  Asian   Huns.  
  59. 59. Equestrian  Statue  of  Marcus  Aurelius   Rome,  Italy;  175  CE   The High Imperial Age §  This  larger-­‐than-­‐life  gilded   bronze  equestrian  statue  was   selected  by  Pope  Paul  III  as  the   center  piece  for  Michelangelo’s   new  design  for  the  Capitoline   Hill  (Rome’s  city  hall).   §  Most  ancient  bronze  statues   were  melted  down  for  their   metal  value  during  the  Middle   Ages,  but  this  one  happened  to   have  survived.   §  He  possesses  a  superhuman   grandeur  and  is  much  larger   than  any  normal  human  would   be  in  relation  to  his  horse.  
  60. 60. The High Imperial Age §  He  stretches  out  his  right  arm  in  a   gesture  that  is  both  a  greeting   and  an  offer  of  clemency  (an  act   that  bestows  or  shows  mercy   toward  another  person  over   whom  somebody  has  ultimate   power).   §  Some  speculate  that  an  enemy   once  cowered  beneath  the   horse’s  raised  right  foreleg   begging  the  Emperor  for  mercy.   §  The  statue  conveys  the  awesome   power  of  the  god-­‐like  Roman   Emperor  as  ruler  of  the  whole   world.  
  61. 61. Equestrian  Statue  of  Marcus  Aurelius,  Rome,  Italy;  175  CE   The High Imperial Age
  62. 62. The Late Imperial Age
  63. 63. The Late Imperial Age §  The  start  of  Marcus  Aurelius'  insane   son,  Commodus’s,  reign  from  180  –   192  AD,  signals  the  beginning  of   the  Empire’s  end.   §  Quite  probably  mentally  disturbed,   Commodus  was  a  terrible,  vain  man   who  fought  in  the  gladiatorial   contests  of  the  Coliseum.   §  He  is  said  to  have  fought  in  over   1,000  gladiatorial  contests,  often   dressed  as  Hercules.     §  For  his  amusement,  wounded   soldiers  or  amputees  would  often   be  brought  into  the  arena  for  him   to  kill.       Commodus  As  Hercules,  c.  191-­‐192  AD,   Late  Empire  Roman  
  64. 64. The Late Imperial Age §  Once,  the  citizens  of  Rome  who   were  missing  their  feet  through   some  accident  were  tied   together,  and  Commodus   clubbed  them  to  death  while   pretending  he  was  a  giant.   §  For  each  appearance  in  the  arena,   he  charged  the  city  of  Rome  a   huge  fee.   §  He  was  later  poisoned  by  his   mistress,  but  he  vomited  the   poison  up.   §  Finally,  Commodus  was  strangled   as  he  bathed  by  his  wrestling   partner.  
  65. 65. The Late Imperial Age §  For  the  next  300  years,  Europe   witnessed  the  decline  of  the  Empire.   §  After  Commodus  died,  the  throne   was  up  for  auction.   §  From  192  –  193  AD,  several  men   tried  to  gain  power  by  buying  the   loyalty  of  different  Roman  armies.   §  The  Emperor  Septimius  Severus,   who  ruled  from  193  –  211  AD  was  a   weak  military  commander  who   catered  to  the  army  to  hold  his   power   §  He  let  the  men  go  soft  by  allowing   their  families  to  travel  with  them,   (which  slowed  them  down),  and  also   admitted  barbarians  to  the  army.  
  66. 66. The Late Imperial Age §  The  new  emperor  Septimius  Severus   proclaimed  himself  as  Marcus  Aurelius’s   son.   §  For  this  reason,  he  is  depicted  with  long   hair  and  the  “trademark”  beard.   §  The  Severan  family  portrait  is  special  for   two  reasons  beyond  its  mere  survival.   §  The  emperor’s  hair  is  tinged  with  gray,   suggesting  that  his  marble  portraits  also   may  have  revealed  his  advancing  age  in   this  way.     §  Also  notice  the  face  of  the  emperor’s   youngest  son,  Geta,  was  erased.   §  When  Caracalla  succeeded  his  father  as   emperor,  he  had  his  brother  murdered  and   his  memory  damned.     §  The  painted  tondo,  circular  format,   portrait  is  an  eloquent  testimony  to  that   damnatio  memoriae  and  to  the  long  arm   of  Roman  authority.   Painted  Portrait  Of  Septimius  Severus  And   His  Family,  c.  200  AD,  Late  Empire  Roman  
  67. 67. The Late Imperial Age §  Power  passed  to  Septimius’  son,   Caracalla  (211-­‐217  AD),  a  cruel  man   who  murdered  his  brother  to  gain  the   throne   §  Additionally,  he  was  a  poor  leader   who  raised  the  armies’  wages,  bribed   barbarians  to  stay  away  from  Rome  &   increased  taxes  so  much  that  the   currency  lost  its  value.   §  Following  that,  Rome  descends  into  a   state  of  military  anarchy  during  which   there  were  plagues,  constant  wars,   skyrocketing  taxes,  100  claimants  for   the  role  of  Emperor  &  a  abandonment   of  a  cash  economy  in  favor  of  the   barter  system  until  284  AD.  
  68. 68. The Late Imperial Age §  Typical  sculpture  of  the   ruthless  emperor  Caracalla                                     §  The  sculptor  suggested  the   texture  of  his  short  hair  and   cropped  close  beard.   §  Caracalla’s  brow  is  knotted,   and  he  abruptly  turns  his   head  over  his  left  shoulder,  as   if  he  suspects  danger  from   behind.   §  He  was  killed  by  an  assassin’s   dagger  in  the  sixth  year  of  his   ruling.     Portrait  Of  Caracalla,  c.  211-­‐217  AD,     Late  Empire  Roman  
  69. 69. The Late Imperial Age §  The  Emperor  Diocletian   attempted  to  provide  some   semblance  of  order  during  his   reign  from  284  –  305  AD.   §  His  solution  for  the  unwieldy   Empire  was  to  divide  it  into   Eastern  &  Western  halves,  with   each  half  ruled  by  its  own   Emperor  &  Caesar  (co-­‐ruler).   §  This  four-­‐man  arrangement  was   called  a  tetrarchy.   §  The  Emperor  Constantine  ruled   with  3  others  from  305  –  324  AD,   and  alone  from  324  –  337  AD.   Portraits  Of  The  Four  Tetrarchs   Saint  Mark’s,  Venice,  305  AD,   Late  Empire  Roman  
  70. 70. The Late Imperial Age §  Constantine’s  decisive  victory   over  Maxentius  at  the  Milvian   Bridge  resulted  with  a  great   triple-­‐passageway  arch  in  the   shadow  of  the  Colosseum  to   commemorate  his  defeat  of   Maxentius.     §  The  arch  was  the  largest  erected   in  Rome  since  the  end  of  the   Severan  dynasty  nearly  a  century   before.   §  There  is  great  sculptural   decoration,  which  was  taken   from  earlier  monuments  of   Trajan,  Hadrian,  and  Marcus   Aurelius.     Arch  Of  Constantine   Rome,  Italy,  312-­‐315  AD,   Late  Empire  Roman  
  71. 71. The Late Imperial Age §  Sculptors  re-­‐cut  the  heads  of   the  earlier  emperors  with  the   features  of  the  new  ruler  in   honor  of  Constantine.   §  They  also  added  labels  to  the   old  reliefs  that  were  references   to  the  downfall  of  Maxentius   and  the  end  of  civil  war.   §  The  reuse  of  statues  and  reliefs   (spoila)  by  Constantinian  artists   has  been  seen  as  a  decline  in   creativity  and  technical  skill  in   the  waning  years  of  the  pagan   Roman  Empire.  
  72. 72. The Late Imperial Age §  In  312  AD,  Emperor  Constantine   had  a  religious  vision  while   preparing  for  battle,  during  which   he  reported  seeing  a  giant  cross   projected  into  the  sky.     §  Upon  witnessing  this,  he  foreswore   his  pagan  beliefs  &  became  a   Christian.   §  Later,  he  would  pass  the  Edict  of   Milan  in  313  AD,    which  granted   religious  toleration  across  the   Empire.   §  As  the  Western  Empire  collapsed,   he  moved  to  Constantinople   (modern-­‐day  Istanbul,  Turkey),  and   made  it  the  capital  city  of  the   Empire.  
  73. 73. Acta Est Fabula

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