Course Content (Syllabus)
The aim of the course is to set the basis in order to approach the roman culture and art, as they developed during the late republican and imperial period. The blend of Rome with the Etruscan and later with Greek civilization is the basic prerequisite in order to understand every form of culture and art in the empire. The comparison to the architecture and art of the Greek world is necessary in order to discern which of the features are characteristically Roman. At the same time, another of the main targets of the course is to demonstrate the functions of the monuments, especially buildings, sculptures and other forms of art, which are ideologically and politically laden. Finally, to the degree that this is feasible in an introductory course, an attempt will be made to show the differences between Rome and the provinces, especially the provinces in Greece.
Week 1 Introduction to the early history of Rome. Mythological tradition concerning Rome and its foundation. Early archaeological evidence (Palatine hill, Forum Boarium, area of the future Forum (velabrum). The period of the Etruscan domination and the great public works in Rome (fortification wall, temple of the Capitoline Triad). The Etruscan civilization and its influence in the culture and art of Rome.
Week 2 The expansion of Rome and its contact to Greek civilization and art. Romans meeting the Greeks: the monument of Aemilius Paulus in Delphoi and its significance. Roman archaeology and research from the time of J. J. Winckelmann to modern days.
Week 3 Building materials and construction techniques in roman architecture. The introduction of opus caementicium and its importance for the construction of great projects of infrastructure. The planned roman city: city plan, Forum, Capitolium. Case studies from the western roman provinces.
Week 4 The Forum Romanum and its development. The main religious and public buildings. Basic features of the planned Agoras. Administrative and religious functions. The imperial Fora in Rome (Agora of Caesar, Augustus, Nerva, Trajan and the Vespanian’s Templum Pacis). Plan and function of these multifunctional complexes.
Week 5 Religious complexes and temples. The roman podium temple in contrast to the Greek peripteral temple. The development of roman temples from the archaic to the imperial period. Round temples, the Pantheon of Rome and the Rotonda in Thessaloniki.
Week 6 The arches and their function as bearers of statuary and as passages. The development of its architectural form and their decoration. Examples from Rome and Greece
Spectacles buildings. The roman theater and its differences from the Greek theater. Theatrical and musical shows.
Week 7 Amphitheater, its appearance in Italy and the dissemination in the rest of the empire. Spectacles in the amphitheater (gladiatorial and wild beast shows). The Colosseum of Rome. The Hippodrome and chariot races. The Circus Maximus in Rome.
Week 8 Buildings related to water usage: aqueducts, nymphaea, thermes. Baths as places of social intercourse. The private house. Luxurious houses with atrium and peristylion (domus), and multi-storey apartment blocks (insulae). Sepulchral monuments.
Week 9 The so called historical relief and its significance for the distribution of political messages. The roots of the “historical” relief and its more representative monuments, from Ara Pacis in Rome to the Galerius Arch in Thessaloniki.
Week 10 The roman portrait. It’s beginning in the republican period and its connection to the statues of public figures. From the realistic representation of personal features in the 1st century BC to the conventionalism of the imperial era. Development from Augustus to Constantine.
Week 11 Idealistic sculpture and its relation to the architectural framework. Copies of Greek sculpture and new creations. The relief sarchophagoi, a very important type of sepulchral monuments of the 2nd-3rd century AD with widespread diffusion and many workshops throughout the empire. Special mention to the attic workshop.
Week 12 Internal decoration of buildings. Frescoes, the so called Pompeian styles and their special characteristics. Examples from Rome and the Campanian cities. Mosaics, an art with widespread distribution in Italy. Black and white and colored mosaics.
Week 13 Recapitulation and preparations for the exams
Additional bibliography for study
B. Andreae, Römische Kunst (1973)
R. Bianchi-Bandinelli – M. Torelli, Etruria-Roma. L’ arte dell’ antichità classica 2 (1976)
A. Claridge, Rome. An Oxford Archaeological Guide (1998)
F. Coarelli, Guida archeologica di Roma (1974)
F. Coarelli, Ein archäologischer Führer (2000)
M. Henig, A Handbook of Roman Art (1983)
F. Prayon, οι Ετρούσκοι: ιστορία – θρησκεία - τέχνη (2004)
J. B. Ward-Perkins, Roman Imperial Architecture (1981)