Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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.