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Lecture 3

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University of Toronto St. George
B Ewald

Walls For much of its history Rome did not need a wall as it was the undisputed ruler. Rome had a third boundary besides the two erected walls: the pomerium Pomerium: ritual boundary. Only marked at its turning points by stones. On the one had it defined a civil space in which no military activity was allowed. The second (disputed) function was that there were no foreign non-roman cults (but seems to only be applied to Egyptian cults).The egyptian cults were located in the field of mars, which was excluded from the Pomerium, also of course because it was associated with military training. The Servian wall appears to include that which the pomerium does. The pomerium changed over the course of Rome’s history, enlarged an redrawn several times. The extending of the boundary was undertaken because whenever they gained new territory abroad (expanding their whole territory) the pomerium was redrawn to mirror their expanding borders. Population The population in the Imperial eriod was roughly 1-1.2mil, 600,000 Roman citizens (including women and children), 100,000 peregrini (‘strangers’), 300,000-500,000 slaves. Population estimates based on 1) a late antiquity catalogue 2) the redistributions of grain and money. Population decreased dramatically in Medieval times because of worsening hygienic situations and the disruption of grain (evidences the weakening of imperial administration). This is when the decline of Rome really begins. Plan of Rome What is this information based on? Situation in Rome is difficult because there are large areas which are inexactitude. Our archaeological plan of Rome is based on information gathered from various different sources: Excavation, such as the plan of the Forum Romanum Literary sources and ancient catalogues that list the buildings - but this only tells us of a building in certain area, but not where it is located or how it looked *Fragments of an ancient marble plan of the city of Rome: Forma Urbis - a fragmented plan of Rome dates in the early 3rd century CE, found in the Forum Pacis of Vespasian. It has been scattered in hundreds of different pieces. It would have covered 280sqm! If you combine the fragments they don’t cover the entire city. It is also curious because it is oriented south (south is up, rather than north like our maps). The place where it was found is earlier than 3rd century CE - did it have a predecessor? People can’t agree on its function: administrative? Found in the office of imperial admin? But it’s size leads scholars to believe that it was meant to visualize the greatness of Rome and make the viewer feel tiny in the face of Rome. Amodern model: ‘Plastico id Roma’(or Gismondi model) built by the architect Italo Gismondi for the ‘MonstraAugestea della Romanita’which resembles Rome during the reign of Constantine in early 4th century. Built under Mussolini. Most virtual reconstructions are based on this model. It is one of the best. Brief History of Roman Ruins What contributed to the destruction and what to their preservation? The buildings were not just abandoned but they were over the century sometimes deliberately destroyed. But they were also repaired and rebuilt over time. Destruction in Antiquity The lack of an efficient fire force, the use of timber for construction, the use of oil lamps for lighting, tightly packed construction; but also lighting, floods, earthquakes and insufficient foundations (no control on materials which lead to collapses) of buildings all contribute to the frequent destruction of public and private buildings. This lead to rising ground levels. Imperial Period Introduced regulations that prevented destruction: instituted a fire force, increased use of brick, regulations on height and location, had to have balconies to allow people to escape. Late Antiquity (Lecture slide) We are well aware of the various buildings. Not included in the count are marble statues. There was a curator in charge of the statuary to prevent people form stealing it. Last monuments erected on the Forum Romanum date to 7th century CE. Even after the western empire ceased and population had decreased Rome still had some new architecture. Constantine First christian emperor. Built a number of secular buildings in centre of Rome but otherwise built churches in the periphery. He is the last to initiate large building projects. Rome’s political significance begins to wane due to his abandonment of it, and the renaming and inauguration of Constantinople as the new capital. This created a power vacuum.Also means there is an increasing lack of control over building activity. This led to the reinforcement of laws or the installment of new laws preventing the stealing of materials: shows that this was happening. Was also done by the emperors. Spoila refers to taking away the booty of the enemy, but starts to refer to the using of parts from earlier buildings in new ones. Eg, use of Spoila on theArch of Constantine: the friezes and capitals were taken from other buildings or were previously stored in workshops. Older buildings had to be disassembled to build the arch. Why? Maybe building materials were not as readily available, perhaps because of disruption of trade routes Evidences that people were not put off by stylistic differences (use of different styles) but in fact liked this. Statues are also re-used. The don’t carve new ones but put new inscriptions on statue bases and a new head on top Eg, re=used statues int he house of the Vestals, Forum Romanum Foreign Invasions Rome was sacked several times by barbarian invaders from the north like the Goths and Vandals. We can see this on architecture: they went for the precious metals at first, but later ones took bronze (re-cycled statues, took off roofs and melted those down, etc). Later still they went for lesser-metals: E.g., Temple ofAntoninus Pius and Faustian (2nd ce
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