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Lecture 2

4 Pages

Course Code
B Ewald

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General Topography • Located on the lower course of the Tiber river. Rome is on the left bank of the Tiber. 20km inland from coast. • Rome was situated at a natural Tiber crossing on a very old trade route, dating to early 1st millennium BCE going from N/S which connected Etruria. • There were a number of Greek cities in the south (Magna Graecia) colonized in 8th century BC • The city itself lies in the italian coastal plains and occupies a group of low hills • According to Varro the seven are: Capitol, Palatine,Aventine, Caelius, Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal • Has to do with his obsession with the number 7, which was apparently magical. • In reality it would be difficult to say how many hills Rome really has (10-11) • Capitol was a key hill in religious matters • Palatine was site of earliest settlement • The name Rome seems to be derived from the name of an Etruscan Genos, betraying their early influence. • Rome was represented as a female seated figure • The hills were much steeper in antiquity than they are now • Were fairly steep, and carved by rivers and brooks • Early Rome in 6th century BCE may not have had a wall but rather a number of fortified hills Chronological Outline and Some Key Dates Outline • 753 BCE Legendary foundation of Rome • 753-509 BCE Regal Period • 509-31 OR 27 BCE Republican Period • 27 BCE - 476 CE Imperial Period Key Dates • 27 BCEAugustus becomes first Roman Emperor • 64 CE Great fire under Nero • 271-275AD Building of theAurelianic Walla • 325AD the first Christian Emperor Constantine transfers the capital of the Roman Empire to the East by founding Constantinople. This weakens the importance of Rome. The Capitoline Hill • The smallest and steepest of the hills • Capo = latin for head • Etruscan king decided to build a temple to jupiter there and allegedly found a human head buried there.An omen that Rome would be the head of the world at some point • All that has been found of this temple is a huge podium and remains of a very large foundation • This was the most important structure there • the destination for triumphal procession • Mona Tarpeius: a cliff and the place where condemned criminals were (thrown off?).Also apparently where a Vestal met her end Palatine Hill • Associated with earliest history • Has to do with it being rich in minerals and water and on a natural tiber crossing (v. important trade route) and could be fortified easily • Connected with the Esquiline Hill • Named in antiquity • Mythically founded by Romulus and where he lived • Throughout historical times the hut of Romulus was shown on the hill • IronAge Huts reminded Romans of their simple origins • Reflected on the moral of their ancestors • A“moral museum” • Lupercal associated with this • Agrotto where the basket carrying Romulus and Remus had come to • Mythical place where they landed and suckled by a she-wolf • Imperial Palaces • Could watch the chariot races across at the Circus Maximus! • The first Roman emperorAugustus built his house near the hut • His palace associated with temple ofApollo • Public and Private areas Urbanism • One of the characteristics of early urbanism is division of space, often by walls Forum Forum was the centre for business and religion and social • Secular and sacred often mixed • Served important rituals and entertainment • The Forum Romanum provided stage for gladiatorial games • The earliest associated with aristocratic funerals • Also site of processions • In the imperial period is was a contact zone for the people and emperor • Because the Forum was used as a meeting place allowed for Rome to become a city • The etruscans drain
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