11 Nero and His Architectural Legacy

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By Diana E E Kleiner | Roman Architecture Lecture 11 of 24

Lecture Description

Professor Kleiner features the architecture of Augustus' successors, the Julio-Claudian emperors, whose dynasty lasted half a century (A.D. 14-68). She first presents Tiberius' magnificent Villa Jovis on the Island of Capri and an underground basilica in Rome used by members of a secret Neo-Pythagorean cult. She then turns to the eccentric architecture of Claudius, a return to masonry building techniques and a unique combination of finished and unfinished, or rusticated, elements. Finally, Professor Kleiner highlights the luxurious architecture of the infamous Nero, especially his Domus Aurea or Golden House and its octagonal room, one of the most important rooms in the history of Roman architecture. The construction of the Domus Aurea accelerates the shift in Roman building practice toward a dematerialized architecture that fully utilizes recent innovations in concrete technology and emphasizes interior space over solid form.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner's personal collection.

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