HSAR 252 - Lecture 20 - Roman Wine in Greek Bottles: The Rebirth of Athens
Lecture 20 - Roman Wine in Greek Bottles: The Rebirth of Athens
Professor Kleiner discusses the rebirth of Athens under the Romans especially during the reigns of the two philhellenic emperors, Augustus and Hadrian. While some have dismissed the architecture of Roman Athens as derivative of its Classical and Hellenistic Greek past, Professor Kleiner demonstrates that the high quality of Greek marble and Greek stone carvers made these buildings consequential. In addition some structures provide evidence for the frequent and creative exchange of architectural ideas and motifs between Greece and Rome in Roman times. After a brief introduction to the history of the city of Athens, Professor Kleiner presents the monuments erected by Augustus and Agrippa on the Acropolis and in the Greek and Roman Agoras, for example the Odeion of Agrippa. Following with Hadrian's building program, she features an aqueduct and reservoir façade, the Library of Hadrian, and the vast Temple of Olympian Zeus, a project begun over six hundred years earlier. Professor Kleiner concludes the lecture with the Monument of Philopappos, a Trajanic tomb on the Mouseion Hill built for a man deprived of the kingship of Commagene by the Romans, but who made the best of the situation by becoming a suffect consul in Rome and then moving to Athens, where he died and was memorialized by his sister Balbilla.
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.
Ward-Perkins, John B. Roman Imperial Architecture, pp. 263-272