HSAR 252 - Lecture 17 - Bigger Is Better: The Baths of Caracalla and Other Second- and Third-Century Buildings in Rome

Lecture 17 - Bigger Is Better: The Baths of Caracalla and Other Second- and Third-Century Buildings in Rome

Overview

Professor Kleiner discusses the increasing size of Roman architecture in the second and third centuries A.D. as an example of a "bigger is better" philosophy. She begins with an overview of tomb architecture, a genre that, in Rome as in Ostia, embraced the aesthetic of exposed brick as a facing for the exteriors of buildings. Interiors of second-century tombs, Professor Kleiner reveals, encompass two primary groups -- those that are decorated with painted stucco and those embellished primarily with architectural elements. After a discussion of the Temple of the Divine Antoninus Pius and Faustina and its post-antique afterlife as the Church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda, Professor Kleiner introduces the Severan dynasty as it ushers in the third century. She focuses first on the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum, the earliest surviving triple-bayed arch in Rome. She next presents the so-called Septizodium, a lively baroque-style façade for Domitian's Palace on the Palatine Hill. The lecture concludes with the colossal Baths of Caracalla, which awed the public by their size and by a decorative program that assimilated the emperor Caracalla to the hero Hercules.

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. 19-21 (historical background), 21, 121 (Septizodium), 75-76 (Arch of Septimius Severus), 107-108 (Temple of Antoninus and Faustina), 319-328 (Baths of Caracalla), 340 (Tomb of Annia Regilla)

Ward-Perkins, John B. Roman Imperial Architecture, pp. 124-139

Course Media

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