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  • Prof: Good morning everyone, and welcome back,

  • after what I hope was a great spring break.

  • This lecture, that I'm going to deliver this

  • morning, has been an inspiration to

  • students who have selected Option 3 for their paper topic:

  • "How to design a Roman city."

  • Because this lecture has it all.

  • It has great architecture; it has an extraordinary patron

  • -- a man who traveled the Empire,

  • to all kinds of exotic places, some of which we'll be talking

  • about today and some of which we'll be talking about in the

  • future; a love triangle;

  • some of the best buildings that we'll see in the course of this

  • semester, including the Pantheon and also Hadrian's Villa at

  • Tivoli.

  • The patron Hadrian, whom I show you in a portrait

  • from Rome, now on the left-hand side of the screen,

  • was an extraordinary man.

  • He was born in 76 A.D., and he became emperor at the

  • age of 41, after having served with Trajan for a number of

  • years.

  • He was born, like Trajan before him,

  • in Spain, not in Italy, and he also was the most

  • educated, one of the most educated,

  • and most intellectual of the Roman emperors.

  • We'll talk about the impact that that intellect had on his

  • architecture.

  • I mentioned that he already--he also liked to travel.

  • He traveled extensively during his reign,

  • had three major trips that had an enormous impact on his

  • architecture, and also on architecture around

  • the Empire.

  • And it's also important I think to know that he reversed

  • Trajan's policy.

  • You'll remember that Trajan's major political policy had to do

  • with military conquest, that Trajan was involved in a

  • number of very important wars, and he celebrated those wars,

  • and he extended the Empire to its furthest reaches,

  • reaches that were never gone beyond for the rest of the Roman

  • Empire.

  • Hadrian reversed that policy.

  • He was a peace loving man.

  • He had no interest in being involved in these kinds of

  • military exploits; although he had served with

  • Trajan in some of them, in earlier years,

  • he had no desire to continue that on.

  • And he was much more concerned with consolidating and

  • preserving the Empire, as expanded by Trajan.

  • And so one of his greatest claims to fame is the great

  • wall, the famous Wall of Hadrian that

  • he built in order to separate the Roman Empire,

  • the Greco-Roman Empire, from the rest of the Empire,

  • this great wall that divided Greco-Roman civilization from

  • the barbarian world that lay outside.

  • And there are fragments of that wall, a quite extensive part of

  • that wall that still survives in Europe today.

  • You can see it in Britain, and I show you an example of

  • some of those remains here on the right-hand side of the

  • screen, that is, of Hadrian's Wall.

  • Hadrian was also a great philhellene, and you notice in

  • that portrait that I just showed you that he wore a beard.

  • And, in fact, he's the first Roman emperor to

  • wear a beard.

  • Beards were not worn by Romans up to this time,

  • but they were worn by Greeks, and we believe that he wore

  • that beard, in large part,

  • to look more Greek.

  • We also know that, although he wore a toga in

  • public, he was known for wearing the

  • Greek himation, in private, and he did that,

  • we think, in large part because of his

  • love for Greece and for Greek culture.

  • He was so philhellenic in his leanings that he received the

  • nickname "The Greekling,"

  • and we'll see, as we look at his architecture,

  • the impact that his love of Greece had on that architecture.

  • In fact, what I'd like to do today is to begin with the most

  • Greek of Hadrian's buildings, a building that we think he may

  • have designed himself, because we also know that

  • Hadrian was an amateur architect;

  • Hadrian himself was an amateur architect.

  • And we think he designed this very building,

  • the so-called Temple of Venus and Roma.

  • He was also particularly interested, by the way,

  • in religious architecture.

  • Most of his public building was religious architecture,

  • temples, this being one of them: the Temple of Venus and

  • Roma, a temple put up to Roma,

  • as the patron goddess of the city of Rome,

  • and to Venus as the patron goddess of the Roman family.

  • And you'll remember that Venus was a special favorite of Julius

  • Caesar, and of Augustus,

  • and those two thought of her as the special patron of the Julian

  • family.

  • So we also see Hadrian here, conjuring up,

  • I think, his connections to the earlier dictators and emperor

  • Julius Caesar, and Augustus,

  • by his emphasis on Venus.

  • So this Temple to Venus and Roma.

  • You'll see that we don't have a precise date for this monument.

  • We think it was put up sometime between 121 and 135.

  • We know it was dedicated in 135.

  • It seems to have been long in the making.

  • So it's hard to categorize it as either an early- or a mid- or

  • a late-Hadrianic building, because it does seem to have

  • been in production for quite some time.

  • I show you two plans of the Temple of Venus and Roma,

  • because there's controversy about which plan most accurately

  • reflects the original Hadrianic temple.

  • Because we know the temple was -- while it was built under

  • Hadrian and dedicated in 135, we know that it burned down in

  • a very serious fire in Rome, in the late third century A.D.,

  • and then was renovated by an emperor,

  • whom we'll talk about later in the semester,

  • by the name of Maxentius, M-a-x-e-n-t-i-u-s;

  • it was renovated by Maxentius in 307 A.D.

  • And we think Maxentius kept quite closely to the original

  • Hadrianic plan, but we're not absolutely sure

  • about that.

  • So that some of the discrepancies that you see

  • between these two plans may have to do with the discrepancies

  • between the original building and the eventual renovation.

  • But you will see that in the main these two plans--

  • and the one on the left-hand side of the screen is the one

  • that's on your Monument List that you have in front of you.

  • The one on the right-hand side of the screen is the one in your

  • Ward-Perkins textbook.

  • But if you look at its most outstanding features,

  • you will see that most of them are similar to one another,

  • that the main features of these two buildings--

  • of these two plans--are the same.

  • And you should be immediately struck by these plans,

  • both of these plans, and how different they are from

  • what we have characterized as the typical Roman temple;

  • that typical Roman temple, usually with a single cella,

  • with a deep porch, with freestanding columns in

  • that porch, with a façade

  • orientation.

  • This is very different indeed, no matter which of these two

  • plans you look at.

  • Because you will see that this large temple has a double cella,

  • two cellas, back-to-back--and you see it in both plans--

  • two cellas back-to-back.

  • Well the reason for that is obvious, because it commemorates

  • two divinities, Venus and Roma,

  • and each one needed to have a cella.

  • But these are not cellas within a larger cella,

  • located side by side, as in the Capitoline Triad

  • Temple, but rather two that are

  • back-to-back, two that are back-to-back.

  • Now what this does is take away the façade orientation of

  • the building and give us two facades, in a sense,

  • one on either side.

  • So we see that in both of these.

  • We also see that the columns go all the way around the

  • structure, and so does the staircase go all the way around

  • the structure; we see that in both plans.

  • And then there is a large precinct that also has columns

  • around it.

  • I can also tell you, you can take on faith,

  • that this building also has a low podium.

  • So what we see here is a temple that looks much more Greek than

  • it looks Roman; in fact, as I said,

  • it doesn't look anything like the typical Roman temples that

  • we've been talking about today.

  • Why is this?

  • This has to do with the fact that Hadrian was a philhellene,

  • that he was enamored of Greek architecture,

  • and that he opted, in this case when he himself

  • appears to have been the architect of this building,

  • Hadrian, amateur architect, seems to have designed this

  • building himself.

  • We see that when he was left entirely to his own devices,

  • he wanted to build a Greek temple in Rome,

  • and that is exactly what he did.

  • Now also important vis-à-vis this temple is

  • location, location, location.

  • This building is located at the edge of the Roman Forum,

  • closest to the Colosseum, and on the Velia;

  • you'll remember the Velia where the Arch of Titus is located,

  • the Arch of Titus.

  • And you'll remember that that was the area that the Flavian

  • dynasts chose to build their buildings on,

  • in order to raze to the ground Nero's earlier Domus

  • Transitoria, and build their own buildings

  • in its place.

  • So we see Hadrian continuing on in that same tradition,

  • returning to the Roman people land that had originally been

  • theirs, that had been stolen by Nero,

  • by building, in this case,

  • a religious structure on that site instead.

  • So that also extremely important.

  • To get back for a moment to the plan,

  • we see again the major difference between these two

  • versions is that in this case there is a flat back wall for

  • each of the individual cellas; for this one,

  • a niche on either side, niches back to back,

  • almost kissing, as you can see here.

  • And then you can also see another difference is the walls

  • are very elaborately scalloped in this plan,

  • which we can see in the Maxentian renovation that still

  • exists; and I'll show it to you in a

  • moment.

  • But again, we're not sure if that was a Maxentian innovation,

  • in the early fourth century A.D., those back-to-back apses

  • and scalloped walls, or whether they come from the

  • original-- whether they restore what was

  • in the original Hadrianic building.

  • I tend to prefer the one on the left because there is every

  • evidence that we already have all of these features in Roman

  • architecture.

  • Think to the Flavian Palace on the Palatine,

  • Domitian's Palace, where we saw the scalloped

  • walls in the Aula Regia, and where we certainly saw

  • these niches with vaults of heaven,

  • semi-vaults up above them.

  • So everything was in place to have that kind of structure;

  • so it's certainly not inconceivable in the Hadrianic

  • period.

  • Here's a view of the Temple of Venus and Roma as it looks as if

  • you are standing atop the Colosseum, and taking a picture

  • back toward it.

  • And this is very useful, because it shows you--

  • this is not a high podium, this is just the difference in

  • ground level, once again--ancient ground

  • level being lower than modern ground level--

  • and some of the structures that lay below originally of Nero's

  • Domus Transitoria, for example,

  • that this building was built on.

  • Here you can actually see the podium of the temple,

  • and you can see that it is very low, compared to what we're used

  • to.

  • We're looking back at one of those niches.

  • You can see the semi-dome here, as well as the relationship of

  • it to the Arch of Titus, and the Velia,

  • which once again points out the fact that we are dealing here

  • with a building that was put on property that had originally

  • been the location of Nero's Domus Transitoria.

  • Here are three very useful views, one showing that same

  • niche closer up, taken from the Colosseum;

  • one of those back to back niches, as it looks today.

  • And then this one, over here, which is the other

  • niche, which is preserved inside a

  • later building that was transformed into a museum of the

  • Forum Romanum, at one point.

  • We see it here, and you can see in both cases

  • the semi-dome.

  • You can see the concrete construction,

  • faced with brick.

  • In this one, which is better preserved in

  • large part because it was in part indoors,

  • we can see the columns on either side of the niche,

  • and we also see that scalloped wall that I described before,

  • just like the Aula Regia, with niches flanked by columns.

  • And you can see the beginning of a coffered vault.