HSAR 252 - Lecture 12 - The Creation of an Icon: The Colosseum and Contemporary Architecture in Rome

Lecture 12 - The Creation of an Icon: The Colosseum and Contemporary Architecture in Rome

Overview

Professor Kleiner features the tumultuous year of 68-69 when Rome had four competing emperors. Vespasian emerged the victor, founded the Flavian dynasty, and was succeeded by his sons, Titus and Domitian. The Flavians were especially adept at using architecture to shape public policy. Professor Kleiner demonstrates that Vespasian linked himself with the divine Claudius by completing the Claudianum and distanced himself from Nero by razing the Domus Aurea to the ground and filling in the palace's artificial lake. In that location, Vespasian built the Flavian Amphitheater, nicknamed the Colosseum, thereby returning to the people land earlier stolen by Nero. Professor Kleiner discusses the technical and aesthetic features of the Colosseum at length, and surveys Vespasian's Forum Pacis and Titus' Temple to Divine Vespasian. The lecture concludes with the Baths of Titus, Rome's first preserved example of the so-called "imperial bath type" because of its grand scale, axiality, and symmetry.

Resources


The lectures in HSAR 252 are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner's personal collection, along with others from a variety of sources, especially Wikimedia Commons, Google Earth, and Yale University Press. Some plans and views have been redrawn for this project.

Assignment

Claridge, Amanda. Rome, pp. 16-17 (historical background), 78-80 (Temple of Vespasian); 153-155 (Templum Pacis), 268-269 (Baths of Titus), 276-281 (Colosseum), 312-313 (Temple of Divine Claudius)

Ward-Perkins, John B. Roman Imperial Architecture, pp. 63-73

Course Media

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