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Level 5

5AACAR35 Building Rome

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutor: To be confirmed
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour class (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list  for relevant year
Assessment: 1 x essay of 2,500 words (60%); 2 x commentary of 750 words (20% each)

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand, there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

What is ‘Roman’ architecture? How does it come into being and adapt other architectural traditions? How far can we read Roman buildings as statements of ideology and power? What is the relationship between buildings and Roman social structures? The course studies the development of Roman architecture from c.500 B.C. to c.AD 300. It investigates the major monuments of the city of Rome (e.g. Colosseum, Pantheon) and the typical public buildings of Roman cities, including forum and basilica, temples, theatres, amphitheatres, circuses, baths and aqueducts, fortifications and houses. Examples are drawn from Italy and the provinces. Materials and construction techniques, architectural orders and the role of architects will also be examined. The relationship of buildings to their political, social and cultural context is a key emphasis.

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

  • Barton, I.M. (ed.) 1995. Roman Public Buildings Exeter: Exeter UP [useful short introduction]

  • Claridge, A. 2010. Rome, Oxford: OUP [a comprehensive, succinct and very well-illustrated guide to ancient Rome’s monuments]

  • Coarelli, F. 2007. Rome and environs : an archaeological guide,Berkeley,  [ditto]Fentress, E. ed. 2000. Romanization and the City. Creation, transformation and failure, Portsmouth, R.I.: JRA [an important collection of essays on cities]

  • Sear, F. 1982. Roman Architecture London: Batsford [readable guide to the major monuments]

  • Ward-Perkins, J.B. 1981. Roman Imperial Architecture, 2nd ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin  [remains a fundamental source, very well-illustrated] Zanker, P. 1998. Pompeii, Public and Private Life, Harvard: Cambridge MA [a key case study in reading social history from buildings]

  • Kenrick, P.M. 2009. Tripolitania, London: Society for Libyan Studies

  • King, A. 1990. Roman Gaul and Germany, London: British Museum Press

  • Potter, T. W. 1987. Roman Italy London: BMP [all key introductions to the cities and buildings of individual provinces]

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