21 Architecture of the Western Roman Empire

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By Diana E E Kleiner | Roman Architecture Lecture 21 of 24

Lecture Description

Professor Kleiner explores the architecture of the western provinces of the Roman Empire, focusing on sites in what are now North Italy, France, Spain, and Croatia. Her major objective is to characterize "Romanization," the way in which the Romans provide amenities to their new colonies while, at the same time, transforming them into miniature versions of the city of Rome. Professor Kleiner discusses the urban design of two Augustan towns before proceeding to an investigation of a variety of such established Roman building types as theaters, temples, and aqueducts. The well-preserved Theater at Orange, the Maison Carree at Nimes, and the unparalleled aqueducts at Nimes (the Pont-du-Gard) and Segovia are highlighted. The lecture concludes with an overview of imperial and private arches and tombs in the western provinces, among them the controversial three-bayed arch at Orange. The Trophy of Augustus at La Turbie serves as a touchstone for the Roman West, as it commemorates Augustus' subjugation of the Alpine tribes, clearing the way for Rome to create new cities with a distinctive Roman stamp.

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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