B1 Intermediate US 9121 Folder Collection
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Prof: Good morning.
From the time of Julius Caesar, we have seen the rulers of Rome
brag about building buildings that were bigger than any others
in the world.
You'll remember Caesar referred to his Temple of Mars in that
way, that he was building the largest Temple of Mars in the
And we also saw the same for Domitian, with his palace on the
Palatine Hill; for Trajan with his enormous
forum; for Hadrian,
building the greatest-- largest dome that had been
built up until that time and, as we discussed,
still the largest diameter dome in the city of Rome today;
and Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, just as a selection of
We are going to see today that if bigger was better,
biggest is best, and in the case of the emperor
Caracalla, an emperor who was a
megalomaniac, in the tradition of Nero and
Domitian, that he built the largest
imperial bath structure to date.
And we're going to be looking at that bath structure today,
and we're going to see it as really a colossal and
fascinating building, in all kinds of ways.
But before I get to that--in fact,
we'll end with that bath structure today--
before I get to that, I would like to look with you
at architecture in Rome, in the second and third
centuries A.D., and we'll see that architecture
is quite varied in terms of whether it's private,
it's civic, it's also funerary.
I want to begin though by just reminding you of what we talked
about last time.
We looked at the city of Ostia, and we looked at the city of
Ostia, the port of Rome, in its entirety;
once again, its public buildings, its civic structures,
its commercial enterprises.
And we also went, at the very end of the lecture,
out to Isola Sacra, where the tombs of those who
lived in Ostia were located.
And I show you a couple of those again now on the screen;
these brick-faced tombs, these tombs that are made of
concrete, at Isola Sacra,
that were put up for the professionals,
for the traders, the commercial merchants and so
on that lived in the city of Ostia.
They were made of brick-faced concrete construction.
They had barrel vaults or groin vaults inside.
And you can see also that they were faced with brick,
and they were faced with brick, as we discussed,
that was exposed; the idea of brick being
attractive in its own right, a fabulously beautiful facing,
that they take advantage of in the second century A.D.,
and decide not to stucco it over, as you can see so well
The doorways into those tombs, surrounded by travertine jambs
and lintels, the inscription in the center,
the small slit windows, and then a pediment at the top.
We saw, when we looked at funerary architecture in the age
of Augustus, for example, that is was very varied;
very varied.
Tombs in the shape of pyramids, in the shape of circular tombs.
Tombs that made reference to bakeries, like the Tomb of the
Baker Eurysaces.
There is still a certain amount of variety in tomb architecture
in the second century A.D., but they tend to hone in on one
type in particular, and that type is the so-called
house tomb type; which is exactly what we see
here, a tomb that is rectangular in shape, for the most part,
boxlike, and does resemble, very closely,
a house; this close relationship that
we've talked about so many times this semester between houses of
the living and houses of the dead.
So we looked at those last time.
And where I want to begin today is just to demonstrate to you
that these same kinds of house tombs that we see in Ostia and
Isola Sacra, in the second century A.D.,
we also see in Rome.
And in some cases they are commissioned by individuals of
comparable social status, to those in Ostia,
but sometimes they are commissioned by the most elite.
And I'd like to begin with an example of a similar tomb
commissioned by the most elite.
This is the so-called Tomb of Annia Regilla,
in Rome.
It was put up on the famous via Appia, or the Appian Way.
It dates to around A.D. 161.
In this case we know who the commissioner was,
and I can show you what he looked like as well.
You see him here, on the right-hand side of the
He was a man by the name of Herodes Atticus;
I've put his name on the Monument List for you,
Herodes Atticus.
Herodes Atticus was actually a Greek.
He was Athenian, from the Greek part of the
He lived in Athens, for the most part,
and he commissioned a very famous music hall,
an odeon, which still survives.
You can see it over here.
It's without its roof today, but it was originally one of
these roofed music halls, an odeon.
It is located on the slope of the Acropolis in Athens;
the Acropolis that of course we know primarily for its great
architectural feats of the fifth century B.C.
in Greece.
This is the Roman building, put up by Herodes in the second
century, and we see it on the slope of the Acropolis,
very well preserved.
In modern times its greatest fame is the fact that Yanni
performed his "Live at the Acropolis"
concert at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
And even if you don't like Yanni, it's actually quite an
interesting concert to view-- and one can view it in video
and so on-- because it does take such
wonderful advantage of this extraordinary ancient structure,
as Yanni presents his music.
At any rate, at one point Herodes Atticus,
who had a lot of connections, not only in Athens but around
the Empire, at one point,
through those connections, he gets himself appointed a
senator in Rome, and in order to take up that
position he needs to leave Athens behind and go spend some
time in Rome, and he and his wife,
Annia Regilla, set up house in Rome.
Annia Regilla, unfortunately,
dies in Rome, and he needs to bury her,
and he decides to bury her in Rome,
instead of in Athens, and he builds for her a tomb on
the Appian Way, on the Via Appia,
in around 161 A.D.; that's the date that we believe
she died.
And we see a view of that tomb here.
What we're looking at--and you probably recognize this already
because we've looked at a number of models from this museum of
casts in Rome, the Museo della Civiltà
Romana, in EUR in Rome.
And I show you two views of this model of the Tomb of Annia
Regilla; one that we see from the front
and another that we see from, if we're facing the monument,
the left side of the tomb.
And these are extremely helpful, because they give us a
very good sense of what we are dealing with here.
It is clear that we are dealing with a tomb type that is not
that different from what we saw in Ostia;
although this looks more like a temple than it looks like a
And you can see that right off.
It looks exactly like a typical Roman temple.
We see that it is on a high podium;
it has a deep porch; it has freestanding columns in
that porch; it has a single staircase on
the front of the structure; has a façade orientation;
then an entranceway into the structure.
It also has freestanding columns that support a pediment.
So if I were to show you this, and not identify it and say to
you: "What kind of a building is this?"
I'm sure you would have said it was a temple;
and you would've been right in the sense that it looks most
like a temple.
But it is a tomb in the form of a temple, as you can well see
Looking on the side of the monument, you can also see those
same features that I've just described.
And while we are looking at this view--
because I'm not going to bring it back--
I want to point out one detail that will loom large as we look
further at this structure.
You will see on the left side of the tomb that the architect
has created, has kind of scalloped out the
side on either side, creating niches,
tall niches on the side, and placed columns into that
space; which is a very unusual thing
to do.
It's not true on the other side of the monument,
only on this side of the structure.
Why has the architect done that?
I think it might have something to do with the siting,
perhaps how you viewed it from the street.
Maybe it was skewed in such a way that you would see not only
the façade but also the side,
and he wanted to emphasize the columns on that particular side
of the structure.
But it may also have just had to do with a quirk,
with a particular interest that the architect or the patron had
in doing something different than any other tomb,
and I want to return to that point in a moment.
But most significant of all is that in terms of the building
technique, the use of concrete faced with
exposed brick, this is exactly what we saw in
And you can see that just as in Ostia,
they have taken that brick as far as it can go,
in terms of its aesthetic value, by respecting the texture
of the brick, playing that texture off,
playing color, different colored bricks,
a reddish brick against a more yellowish colored brick,
playing those off against one another,
and then adding certain very highly decorative details like a
meander pattern, that we're going to see in a
moment, and decoration around the
windows of the tomb, done in stucco.
The columns, however, are marble;
the columns are marble, and in that sense again
something somewhat different than what we saw at Ostia.
This is a view of the tomb as it looks today.
The porch is not well preserved, and I can't show you
any of that.
But I can show you the rest of the structure,
and you can see it quite well in this particular view.
And again, you see that it is indeed well preserved.
Concrete construction, faced with brick,
the brick left exposed, respected and enjoyed,
in its own right.
What I've already described: the playing off of one color of
brick against another; this meander pattern done in
stucco; the stucco decoration,
very elaborate decoration, as we're going to see,
around the windows; tall podium,
we see that here as well.
An extraordinary structure.
And what's interesting I think to note,
at least culturally and in terms of social status,
is the fact that although this structure was put up for one of
the most wealthy men in-- or the wife of one of the most
wealthy men in Rome at this particular time,
the general aesthetic is very similar to what we saw for
professional people in the city of Ostia: that is,
a concrete tomb, in the form of a house,
or a temple in this case, that has as its facing brick,
and a respect for that brick in its own right.
Here are a couple of details.
I show you once again a detail of the warehouse or the Horrea
Epagathiana at Ostia that we looked at,
and also a detail of the Tomb of Annia Regilla in Rome.
And I think you can see here what I mean.
Again, the different coloration of brick, the yellowish brick,
the reddish brick, played off one against the
other; the use of stucco decoration,
in this case for the volutes of the composite capitals.
In this case--and in fact you'll remember I pointed out
what was interesting about these capitals at the warehouse was
that they were-- that the brick was used to make
up the main body of the capital.
And this is not one of them, but I also showed you one where
you could see the way in which that brick formed the actual
acanthus leaves of the capital, and then the volutes added in
We see the same thing at the Tomb of Annia Regilla.
We see those--and here I think you can see it well --
the brick used to create the lower part of the acanthus
leaves, and then stucco added for the
curving part, and for some of the additional
decoration, the flower and so on up above.
And so we see--and here again very elaborate decoration around
the windows, which we also saw at the warehouse in Ostia.
Two more details of the Tomb of Annia Regilla.
Here you see what I was talking about before,
the way the architect has scooped out two areas on the
left side of the tomb, and placed the columns inside
of those, which is a unique--I don't know
of any other example of this in Roman architecture,
and it underscores, once again, that when it came
to tomb architecture, that the patron could pretty
much do whatever he wanted, as long as the architect could
build it.
It could be quite idiosyncratic as a form of architecture.
And we see not only has he scooped out these niches in
which to place the columns, but if you look at those
columns very carefully, and at the bases of those
columns, you will see that they are not round.
They are multi-sided, and the bases are also
So doing something very unique in the context of this
particular tomb of Annia Regilla.
So two main points.
One, that there is clearly an aesthetic that is used for tomb
architecture, concrete faced with brick that
is used in the uppermost levels of Roman society,
and then further down in Roman society,
not only in Rome but also in Ostia.
But at the same time individuality,
eccentricity is valued in tomb architecture,
allowed in tomb architecture in a way that perhaps it isn't in
other forms of Roman architecture,
and we see it taken to its limit in this particular
Just a few more details.
We see a niche from the Tomb of Annia Regilla.
We also see here both the meander pattern and this very
elaborate decoration around the windows;
a frame around the windows and then a projecting element up
above, with these great spiral volutes on either side;
very similar to the same sort of thing that was happening at
I remind you of the niche in the courtyard of the Horrea
Epagathiana, the warehouses at Ostia,
where you see the same sort of thing: these pilasters added in
stucco, the brickwork creating
triangles and lozenges, as you can see here.
Same idea over here, in the Tomb of Annia Regilla.
And if you look very closely at the pediment that is located
above the niche, from the tomb in Rome,
you see the projecting entablatures;
you see where the capitals would have been.
There would also have been probably columns added here,
on either side of the niche, making it look much more
similar to here.
But look closely at the pediment.
You will see that there is projecting entablature above
each column, but then in the center the
triangular pediment is cut back, and that playing around with
the traditional vocabulary of architecture is something that
I've noted is going to be a part of what we call the baroque
trend in Roman architecture.
I'm going to devote an entire lecture to the baroque trend in
Roman architecture, around the Empire,
not just in Rome, but mostly in the provinces.
And we'll see that same sort of thing, which creates a kind of
in-and-out lively movement to the façade that is part
of that approach.
The tomb itself again.
And just to point out, interestingly enough,
a couple of female figures with capitals on the top of their
head, or what look maybe more like
vases on the top of their head, but looking very much like
caryatids, like the caryatids that we saw
from the Erectheion in Athens, fifth century B.C.,
from the Forum of Augustus and from Hadrian's Villa around the
They are not duplicates of those in Athens,
like the other two are, but they do seem to make
reference to them.
They're a bit more casual.
When I look at this pair, they always look to me like
they're kind of standing at a cocktail party together and
conversing with one another, using the usual gestures that
Italians are so famous for.
We see them doing that sort of thing here.
But they do seem to have that same pedigree,
going back to the whole idea of the caryatids.
And I only mention it to you, they were found right near this
tomb, and so it has been speculated,
although it is by no means certain,
that they might have belonged to the tomb.
They might have been located in front of the tomb,
or have been part of some kind of forecourt or fore space to
that tomb.
It's pure conjecture, but it would be interesting if
it were the case.
Because remember Herodes Atticus comes from Athens.
We see that the tomb is a thoroughly Roman tomb of the
second century A.D.
But it would be interesting to think that he might have added
some touches that might have made some reference for him,
and also especially for his wife whose tomb it was,
to the Athens of his birth.
With regard to tomb interiors in the second century A.D.
in Rome, there are two major types, and I want to treat both
of those today.
One of them is a type that we've seen before,
and that is where you stucco over the interior of the tomb;
you stucco it over, and then you add additional
stucco, in relief, to form the decoration,
and then you paint it.
That's one type.
And the second type, which might also use that for
the vault; but for the walls,
the second type is to use instead architectural members--
columns, pediments and the like--to enliven the wall and to
create a much more sculptural effect.
Both of these types are used in Rome, in the second century A.D.
in tomb architecture.
And I want to show you examples of both of them today.
The first, type 1, with stucco,
painted stucco, we see in the so-called Tomb of
the Valerii; the Tomb of the Valerii which
dates to around A.D.
159, and is located on the Via Latina in Rome.
We haven't looked at the Via Latina before,
but it is one of Rome's main streets,
that had along it cemeteries, and there are a fair number of
concrete tombs, faced with brick,
that are preserved, very well preserved on the Via
Latina today.
And what makes them particularly special is the
interiors are almost pristine.
It's quite extraordinary to go into these and see how well they
have stood the test of time.
The Tomb of the Valerii, you see the lunette and the
vault of the interior of that tomb right here.
And as you look at the acanthus leaves growing up in the
lunette, all done in stucco relief,
and the barrel vault with its individual compartments,
round and square compartments, with floating figures inside,
you should certainly be reminded of things we've already
seen before.
When one looks at the acanthus leaves,
one can't help but think back to the delicate leaves of the
Ara Pacis, the delicate acanthus leaves of
the Ara Pacis Augustae, which you see on the left-hand
side of the screen.
And I'm sure you are as reminded as I am,
looking at this vault, by other things that we have
seen earlier this semester.
What's this over here?
The Domus Aurea; it's one of the vaults of the
Domus Aurea.
Third style; done, we believe,
by Fabullus himself.
And you'll recall, very delicate,
very light floral motifs; compartments,
in this case rectangular, with floating sea creatures in
the center.
We see exactly the same sort of thing here, although done in
stucco instead of paint.
But this was painted originally in antiquity,
and we see these floating, these Nereids on the back of
sea creatures inside, floating inside these.
And we think the message here, of course, is of the soul of
the deceased being carried to the Iles of the Blessed,
by these sea creatures.
So very much stucco decoration, second century A.D.,
but very dependent on Third Style Roman wall painting and
third style stucco decoration of earlier dates.
The Tomb of the Pancratii, in Rome, which dates to 169,
also on the Via Latina, has similarly well preserved
stucco decoration, also painted;
and I'll show you a color view in a moment, for you to get a
sense of that coloration.
But here you get an idea of the scheme of the wall:
very, very elaborate; stuccoed over;
stuccoed, much of the stucco is done in relief.
You can see it here.
If the stucco decoration of the Tomb of the Valerii made
reference to the Third Style, I think the inspiration here
was Fourth Style Roman wall painting and stucco decoration.
Because although you continue to see floating mythological
figures in these rectangular or triangular compartments,
if you look very closely, especially in this zone here,
you will also see these architectural cages,
done in stucco, very similar to the
architectural cages that we saw at the top of Fourth Style Roman
wall design.
So this taking its cue from Fourth Style Roman wall
And I have mentioned to you a couple of times already this
term that, in fact, most post-Pompeian
painting, and stucco decoration,
post-79 A.D., does seem to be inspired by the
third style, but even more so by the fourth
style of Roman wall painting, and we see that very well here,
with this stucco decorating the lunettes and also the vaulting.
Here's a view in color of the interior of the Tomb of the
Pancratii, where you can see the same sort
of scheme that I've already described,
but with the color.
And you can also see that we are dealing here with a
groin-vaulted interior.
And, what's interesting, is that sometimes the walls
have small niches for urns and the so-called arcosolia--
I've mentioned those to you before--
that were used for the placement of bodies,
once inhumation became as popular, indeed even more
popular, than cremation.
But we also sometimes see the sarcophagi themselves,
the freestanding coffins located in these tombs,
as we see here.
And it's interesting to keep in mind that all of the money and
time that was expended on this interior decoration--
keep in mind that very few people entered into these tombs.
When you looked at a tomb, you saw primarily its exterior.
Some family members, on special occasions,
might go inside, but it was relatively rare.
So all of this, all of this done,
in fact, to give the deceased a pleasant
home in perpetuity, and to help them on their
journey to the Isles of the Blessed.
This structure also has sea creatures depicted in it.
So travel is clearly also alluded to.
And scholars who have worked on this particular monument,
in particular, have noted that they think it
has to do with one of these secret mystery religions,
in this case the Orphic, O-r-p-h-i-c,
the Orphic religion that was practiced in secret initially
and then eventually came up above ground.
Two more details of the Pancratii ceilings,
in stucco.
These, I think, give you a particularly good
sense of the way in which they were built up almost as reliefs,
in some parts of these scenes -- this figure here,
for example.
Some of the rest was painted.
We see heraldic leopards over here, on either side of a vase.
The shell in the niche also done in stucco and raised in a
very sculptural way, and then the whole painted in a
variety of attractive maroons and blues and greens.
The most interesting tomb, from my point of view actually,
is a tomb that is located, a Roman tomb of the second
century that is located beneath the Vatican today.
And I show you a view again of the dome of St.
Peter's Cathedral in Rome, designed by Michelangelo
Another view over here showing also Michelangelo's dome,
but showing below it the so-called Baldacchino that was
put up by the famous seventeenth-century Italian
architect, Borromini, Francesco Borromini
, the Cathedral of St.
And any of you who've been there will agree with me on
this, it's one of the great wonders of the world;
there's no question it is.
If you want to talk about bigger is better,
or biggest is best, this is a truly colossal
building, as any of you who have been there know.
But it does give me occasion to mention,
as I've mentioned a couple of times already this term,
that one of the really great things to do when you visit Rome
is to climb things, is to climb.
If you're so lucky to climb the Column of Trajan,
or the Pantheon, up to the dome--those you have
to get special permission to do.
But what you don't need special permission to do,
and is one of the great climbs in Rome, is to go up St.
And you can go up St.
Peter's either on the outside of the building,
to various levels from which you can see some of the greatest
views of Rome, including back over central
Rome, ancient Rome, all the buildings that we've
been talking about.
You can see the dome of the Pantheon from the top of St.
You can see the Victor Emmanuel Monument, tall and proud,
from the dome of St.
But you can also climb up to the dome, from the inside,
which is another extraordinary experience.
You can go almost--not quite but almost--to the apex of
Michelangelo's dome, walk around a corridor there,
and look down on Bernini's Baldacchino.
So for those of you who are going to Rome anytime soon,
or in the future, it's a not to be missed
experience to climb the Cathedral of St.
Peter's, on the outside, and also on the inside.
I bring you to St.
Peter's because one can also go down underneath St.
And that's another very interesting experience,
to go down in the depths, beneath St.
Peter's and get a really great sense of the centuries of
civilization that have been piled one on top of another,
from ancient Rome, or from the time of Romulus,
indeed all the way up to today.
And in order to see the Tomb of the Caetennii,
which is the tomb that I want to turn to now,
you do have to go down underneath St.
You have to--this is something you can't just walk it.
You can climb St.
Peter's any day of the week, but if you want to go
underneath St.
Peter's, you have to make special arrangements.
You have to get special tickets to do that.
And now one can do that online; you can plan that online and
you can get tickets to go to the so-called Vatican cemeteries
And they don't have them--they have a small number of hours,
on a variety of days.
So it is something one needs to plan for well in advance.
But you can do it.
You go to the left of the Baldacchino, you go down,
and you go down century upon century.
You see primarily the tombs of the popes, the crypts with the
tombs of the popes.
And I show you Pope Boniface here, just to give you an idea
of what some of these look like, lying in eternity here on the
top of his sarcophagus, or a sculptured portrait of him
on the top of his sarcophagus.
But if you go all the way down, all the way down--
and most tourists don't do this--but if you go all the way
to the bottom, what you end up with is one of
Rome's great tomb streets.
And this tomb street was out in the light of day,
of course, in antiquity, like all the other tomb
streets, but because of the passage of
time, because other buildings that
were built on top, primarily the Cathedral of St.
Peter's, and just the rising ground level over time,
it now is subterranean.
But when you--it's amazing.
You go down, you walk along it,
it is like you are--it's a dark street, but nonetheless--I
wouldn't want to record in that street.
But you go down under.
It's a dark street but it is--you feel like you are
walking along a major tomb street in Rome;
and indeed you are.
And I show you a plan of it here, so that you can see.
It is very much like walking along the tomb street in Isola
You see at your left and right these concrete,
brick-faced tombs, that look very much like the
Tomb of Annia Regilla, or the ones that we saw in
Isola Sacra: typical house tombs of the second century A.D.
One of the tombs that is located down there has long been
thought by scholars, and believers,
to be the Tomb of St.
No one has been able to prove this incontrovertibly,
but there is some interesting evidence, both pro and con.
And it has been thought--and you know Peter's famous
statement, Upon this rock I shall build this church,
namely the Church of St.
We believe that when Constantine, the last pagan
emperor-- and we're going to talk about
him in the last lecture this semester--
when Constantine built the first basilica,
Christian basilica on this site, the basilica that we refer
to as Old St.
Peter's, that obviously predated New St.
Peter's, we think he may have built it on that very rock and
on that very tomb of St.
And that's what this restored view shows you here.
If you walk along though and look at these tombs,
for the most part they look like typical Roman tombs from
the second century: brick-faced concrete
construction, with interesting decoration
And I show you just the most famous mosaic that is located
down there, which you see is a figure in a chariot.
We think it's a representation of the Sun God Sol or Helios,
in the chariot, because you can see the rayed
But some believe it is a representation of Christ as
And I show it to you only because it is the single most
famous mosaic down there, and one of the most famous
mosaics in Rome, but also because it heralds
what we're going to begin to see happening,
especially in the last lecture, and that is this transition
from paganism to Christianity in Rome--
Constantine being the last pagan, first Christian emperor--
and this interesting way in which pagan imagery elides into
Christian imagery, both in terms of figural
decoration, but also in terms of
I can't, because it's so poorly lighted down there,
I can't show you a good picture of the tombs beneath St.
But I can show you another set of tombs beneath a--
that are very well lighted and can be photographed better--
beneath a columbarium, an underground--
a catacomb actually, an underground burial area that
was used by the early Christians in Rome.
And you see it's called--you don't have to worry about
this--it's called the Church of San Sebastiano,
and these tombs are underneath that.
But I show them to you here, just to give you a sense of
what that tomb street looked like,
underneath the Vatican, or looks like underneath the
Vatican, with the concrete brick-faced
tombs, looking very similar to those
we saw at Isola Sacra.
The same travertine door jambs, inscriptions,
slit windows.
And if you look through the entranceway of this one,
you will see it's barrel vaulted, and it has a scheme
that is very similar to the stucco decoration of the Tomb of
the Valerii, with these circles done in
raised stucco and with the floating figures in between
And this is exactly what it looks like beneath the Vatican.
I can show you some views of the interiors of some of the
Vatican tombs, because those have lights in
them; they're better lighted.
You can see them here.
We see this interesting combination,
that we also saw at Isola Sacra, of the smaller niches
that are used for urns, and the larger arcosolia
that are used for the placement of bodies.
And then you can see, in this view on the right,
the way in which they have closed off those
arcosolia by placing marble plaques on them that
either have inscriptions or sometimes figural scenes,
and then again here a freestanding sarcophagi on these
interiors as well.
This is an axonometric view from Ward-Perkins of the Tomb of
the Caetennii.
It dates to 160 A.D., in the Vatican Cemetery in
And I think you can see here both the brick-faced concrete
construction, the way in which the windows
have similar stucco decoration to what we saw on the Tomb of
Annia Regilla, on the Via Appia in Rome.
But most interesting for us is the way in which the interior is
treated, because this is my type 2.
Here we will see some stucco, but you will see here that the
walls are enlivened in a different way.
They are enlivened through architectonic means,
through the use of columns, through the use of niches,
through the use of pediments, triangular pediments,
but also broken triangular pediments.
Here you see a pediment that has been split apart,
a triangular pediment split apart to show what is inside.
This is the same scheme that we saw in Second Style Roman wall
painting, way back when; this whole idea of taking the
traditional vocabulary of architecture and dealing with it
in a very different way than had been done before --
breaking the rules so to speak.
We see that happening here.
But the main thing is that we're looking at this designer
using architectural members to create the visual interest of
the walls of the structure.
You can also see in this axonometric view this
combination of small niches for cinerary urns,
and then these larger arcosolia for the bodies.
So cremation and inhumation still going on hand in hand,
during the second century A.D.
This is a spectacular view of the interior of the Tomb of the
Caetennii, and here you can really see what I mean.
Yes, there is some stucco.
If you look at the vaults you will see that those--
this is again a groin vault that has been stuccoed over,
and it had the same kind of compartments and painted
decoration, relief decoration,
that we saw in the Tomb of the Pancratii.
But you can see that most of the effects have been done
through architectural means.
If you look carefully you will see that there is a
black-and-white mosaic on the floor;
not so different from what we see in Ostia.
There are niches on the walls, these niches used for cinerary
urns; arcosolia down here for
the bodies.
And there are stuccoed decoration and the use of the
shells that you can see here.
But if you look very carefully at the combination of sort of
maroon and cherry red walls, you will see the remains of the
architectural members that served to enliven this space.
Look up here; you will see that there was a
triangular pediment over the central niche.
You can see parts of the broken triangular pediments on either
You can see the remains of capitals, and beneath those
would have been the projecting columns that we saw in the
axonometric view in Ward-Perkins.
So this again the second type, where the walls are enlivened
with architectural members, and those architectural
members, when intact, would have created a scheme in
which you had progression, recession, progression,
recession, all along the wall --
this in and out scheme that we're going to see becomes the
hallmark of what I'm going to term here this semester the
baroque element in Roman antiquity,
in Roman architecture.
All of these buildings were being put up during the reign of
Hadrian's successor.
Hadrian had died in 138 A.D., and he was succeeded by a man
by the name of Antoninus Pius, whose portrait you see here on
the upper right.
Antoninus Pius again was--he reigned for a quite long time.
He reigned between 138 and 161 A.D.
It was a period of extraordinary peace.
He, like Hadrian, was a peace loving man,
and he was able to maintain that peace exceedingly well,
and Rome really thrived under his emperorship.
He's also interesting because he seems to have had more of a
love relationship with his wife than any other Roman emperor
that I can think of, a relationship that was so
strong that when his wife died-- he became emperor--here's his
wife, Faustina the Elder.
He became emperor in 138, but she died already in 141,
and as I mentioned he stayed emperor until 161;
so he was emperor for twenty more years after her death.
He never forgot her.
He stayed completely enamored of her.
He never remarried.
We don't even have any rumors that he had any concubines or
anything like that.
He seems to have stayed completely true to her.
And what's interesting is that when the two of them died,
their successors, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius
Verus, put up a monument to them.
And it's not on your Monument List and I'm not holding you
responsible for it, but I just want to show it to
you, because it will illuminate a monument that I am going to
show you in a moment.
This base, which served as the base for a porphyry column,
that was located on top, represents a scene in which we
see Antoninus Pius and his wife, Faustina the Elder,
being carried to heaven on the back of a male personification.
We see Roma, in the bottom right,
and she is saluting them; she is bearing witness to what
is a representation of their joint divinization.
The two of them, Faustina the Elder,
divinized at her death in 141; Antoninus Pius divinized at his
death in 161.
And yet we see them being carried to heaven as if their
divinizations happened exactly at the same time.
This is obviously a fiction.
It is a conflation of time.
It is a fiction of which the Romans were particularly adept
in their sculptural representations.
But I show it to you here because it has some bearing on a
temple that I now want to talk about.
This is the so-called Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina the
It is a temple that Antoninus Pius put up in honor of his wife
in 141, to her as a diva, after she was divinized.
But at his own death, twenty years later,
in 161, his successors--again, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius
Verus-- rededicated it to the two of
them, to the divine Antoninus Pius and to the divine Faustina.
It is quite well preserved today, and it is important for
two main reasons.
It is important because it is our best surviving temple that
was put up to an emperor and an empress.
It wasn't the only one, but it's the best surviving
example of that.
And it is another example of the way in which antiquities are
reused over time, in other contexts and at later
times, and how that reuse sometimes
helps to preserve them.
What I show you now on the screen is a coin,
on the upper left, representing Faustina the Elder
on the obverse of the coin, on the left,
her portrait, and it refers to her as
"Diva Faustina."
So it is a coin that Antoninus Pius struck after her death and
after her divinization.
And we see on the back the temple that Antoninus Pius
originally made, in her honor.
Over here we see a series of drawings,
that come from the Ward-Perkins textbook,
that show once again a depiction of that original
temple on the coin, and with a legend that says
aeternitas, for eternity,
because now she is a diva for eternity.
And then a restored view, over here, of what the temple
would've looked like after it was rededicated to Antoninus and
Faustina, in 161.
And then over here, the Baroque building that was
built into it, in the seventeenth century
A.D., when it was turned into the Church of San Lorenzo in
Miranda, and I've put the name San
Lorenzo in Miranda on your Monument List.
If we look at the view of it, as it was after it was
re-dedicated to Antoninus Pius and Faustina,
we will see a typical Roman temple.
All the features that we have described so very often in the
course of this semester--the deep porch;
the freestanding columns in the porch;
the very tall podium; the single staircase;
the façade emphasis--we see all of that here.
A very conventional Roman temple, with sculpture in the
pediment and decoration on the eaves of the temple as well.
What we see on the bottom left is what happened to this temple
in the seventeenth century.
Part of it was preserved--maybe more of it was preserved,
we're not absolutely sure--but at least part of it was
The walls, the sidewalls, and also the columns and the
front of the-- well the sidewalls primarily,
and the columns, and the lintel over here that
has the inscription that dedicates the temple to
Antoninus Pius and Faustina.
But what you see behind it is the Baroque façade rising
up, a Baroque façade that
has buttresses-- and I'm going to show it to you
in actuality in a moment-- that has buttresses on either
side, that has this wonderful split,
arcuated pediment-- a split, arcuated pediment that
would've been impossible to conceive,
I believe, without these architects,
Baroque architects of seventeenth century,
looking back to the baroque element in Roman antiquity.
The cross is added in the center, of course.
But there's one major difference between this building
and this building.
Does anyone see what that is, besides the addition of the
Baroque façade?
Student: Podium.
Prof: What?
A little louder.
Student: The podium.
Prof: The podium, exactly.
The podium is not there.
The podium is not there.
The staircase is not there.
Why is that?
Student: I don't know if it's because like the land is
Prof: Yes.
Student: >
Prof: Yes, the ground level has risen,
so that at the time that they decide to turn the Temple of
Antoninus Pius and Faustina into San Lorenzo in Miranda--
this is where the ground level is.
There's no podium anymore.
The podium is completely underground, as are part of the
columns; we see only the part of the--so
they put the door at the bottom, what is the bottom at that
particular time.
Now let me show you the building today.
It's very well preserved.
So you see what I mean by the best-preserved monument to--the
best-preserved temple to an emperor and an empress in Rome:
extremely well preserved.
You see its location is in the Roman Forum, with the backdrop
of the Imperial Fora behind it: the Forum of Augustus,
the Forum of Trajan.
In the Roman Forum.
So prime real estate for this temple, when Antoninus Pius
decides to build it to his wife.
We see here the original podium, the original staircase,
the original columns: grey granite columns,
white marble capitals.
We see the original lintel with the inscription still preserved:
To Divine Antoninus Pius, to Divine Faustina.
We see the original tufa walls of the side.
We see the lintel on this side that also has a frieze that is
preserved from antiquity.
And then we see, growing up behind it,
the seventeenth-century Baroque church, with its buttresses and
with its broken arcuated pediment.
And if you look very carefully, you will see this was ground
level, in the seventeenth century.
This is the seventeenth-century door.
This is the ancient door down here.
I'll show you a couple of views where you can see that even more
Here's another view showing you those grey granite columns,
the white capitals, the seventeenth-century door.
And then down here the ancient door,
which shows you more dramatically than anything else
I've been able to show you this semester,
this change in ground level.
And two more views that I took that show you the same here,
the seventeenth-century door.
So you have to think of all of this underground in the
seventeenth century, and then only in more modern
times was the temple excavated, temple and church excavated
down to their original level.
Here's another view showing you again the seventeenth-century
doorway, the earlier doorway, the staircase.
A little baby down here, which I was happy to have for
It gives you a sense once again of how--and that makes it even
more dramatic, because--I don't know if it's a
he or a she; she, she, sitting there,
that she--it makes it even more dramatic to demonstrate to you
again, since this is a lecture on
bigger is better, that this Temple to Antoninus
and Faustina was also very, very--also is very,
very large in scale.
When Antoninus Pius died, in 161, he was succeeded by
Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus;
Marcus Aurelius, one of the most famous of the
Roman emperors, the great stoic philosopher,
and you see him in a portrait here.
You see Lucius Verus on the left-hand side.
The two of them were co-emperors between 161 and 169.
Lucius Verus died in battle in 169.
Marcus Aurelius continued on alone, until the year 180 A.D.
So he too had a very long reign.
Marcus spent most of his reign, however, on the front.
During the period that he was emperor, the barbarians were
literally at the gates.
There was concern that they were going to,
in fact, overrun the city completely,
overrun the Empire completely, and he had to spend most of his
reign on the frontiers, and he did, beating back those
For that reason, there was very little
architectural construction.
Even though he had a very long reign,
there was very little architectural construction
during the time of Marcus Aurelius,
because of the time that he had to spend in war.
He was succeeded by his son, Commodus, whose portrait you
see down here; Commodus in the line,
also in the megalomaniacal line of Nero and Domitian:
a man who saw himself as a god on earth,
who saw himself as the Greek hero Hercules.
He called himself Hercules Romanus.
And we see him in his most famous and most fabulous--this
is about one of the best portraits preserved from ancient
It's in the Capitoline Museums today,
and you see him masquerading here as Hercules,
with the lion's skin around his head,
holding the club, holding the apples of the
Hesperides, demonstrating that he has
completed that last labor, just as Hercules had done,
and is going to become a god in the manner of Hercules.
He used to parade around in Rome openly in this way,
and actually struck coins showing himself as Hercules
Romanus, just to give you a sense of how
extreme it was.
And he was always challenging people to hand-to-hand combat.
And, in fact, he eventually got his
comeuppance because although he himself also reigned for quite
awhile, between 180 and 192--so he
lasted for twelve years-- but nonetheless even his
closest advisors eventually turned against him and plotted
behind his back and arranged for one of the most famous
gladiators of the day, Narcissus, interestingly called
Narcissus, to take up Commodus' offer to
fight anybody who wanted to fight him in the Colosseum.
And, of course, he thought that being emperor
protected him, and that he,
like Nero, who fixed the Olympic Games in his favor,
that Commodus would also never lose in a contest like this,
because he was by definition emperor.
But his advisors turned against him, let Narcissus loose,
and Commodus was slain by Narcissus in the Colosseum.
But he did--I do want to just mention,
and only in passing--Commodus did put up a column to his
father, Marcus Aurelius,
that is based very closely on the Column of Trajan in Rome.
I'm not going to go into it with you today,
because the architectural complex in which it was
originally found no longer survives.
But I just wanted you to be aware that the Column of Trajan
was succeeded by the Column of Marcus Aurelius.
I want to however turn, for the rest of the lecture,
to a new dynasty that came to the fore after the end of the
so-called Antonine emperors.
When Commodus died, there were no more Antonines to
succeed him, and Rome once again fell into a
civil war, and there were rivals warring
with one another for supreme power.
And the man who came to the fore was a man by the name of
Pertinax, P-e-r-t-i-n-a-x.
But he had other rivals, and one of them was the man who
eventually really came out on top, and his name was Lucius
Septimius Severus.
Lucius Septimius Severus was within that year,
between 92 and 93 , able to get rid of not only
Pertinax but other rivals, and become supreme ruler of
And because he, like Vespasian before him,
had two sons to succeed him, Caracalla and Geta,
he was able to set up a new dynasty,
the so-called Severan, what we call the Severan,
S-e-v-e-r-a-n, the Severan dynasty in Rome.
The Severan dynasty in Rome, extremely important,
because Septimius Severus commissioned some important
structures, both public structures and
private; he was an interesting emperor
because he combined an interest in the two.
And then his son, Caracalla, who epitomizes,
as I began today, the whole bigger is better,
or biggest is best philosophy, in life and in architecture.
I want to show you first, just to introduce you to these
two patrons, this wonderful painted tondo that is preserved
from Rome.
It was found--excuse me, not in Rome but in Egypt,
and is now in a museum in Berlin.
But it is important because it is our only surviving painting
of an emperor, and not only an emperor but an
emperor and his whole family, his wife and his children;
the only surviving painting of an emperor today.
But there were obviously many of these in antiquity.
It's a fascinating painting.
We see Septimius Severus with his grey hair and beard,
and his wonderful jeweled crown.
We see his wife, Julia Domna,
who--and by the way, I neglected to mention,
but one of the interesting things about Septimius Severus'
biography is the fact that he was born not in Rome,
and not in Spain, as Trajan and Hadrian had been,
but rather in North Africa, in a place called Leptis Magna,
L-e-p-t-i-s, new word, M-a-g-n-a,
in Leptis Magna, born in North Africa.
He hooked up with a woman from Syria, whose name was Julia
She was the daughter of an important priest in Syria called
She was famous in Rome for her wigs;
she used to wear wigs, and you can see her wearing one
of her wigs in this wonderful painted portrait.
She also clearly liked jewelry, because you can see her with
these fabulous triple pearl earrings and a wonderful pearl
necklace here also, looking very vibrant in this
And then the two of them with their sons;
their elder son, Caracalla over her,
and their younger son, or what remains of him,
Geta, on the left.
Geta and Caracalla succeeded their father together,
as co-rulers.
But Caracalla, very jealous of his brother,
who was much more popular with the Roman populace than
Caracalla himself was.
And Caracalla eventually had his brother murdered,
and after his brother was murdered,
he convinced--that is, Caracalla--convinced the Roman
Senate to issue a damnatio memoriae,
or a damnation of the memory of Geta,
and an attempt was made to eradicate Geta from history by
eradicating him from art.
And you can see that he was snuffed out;
his face was removed on this.
But then it was left to stand, to show the power that
Caracalla had to destroy his brother, as you can see here.
This gives you a glimpse into the mind and psyche of
I want to show you first though two buildings;
before we look at the Baths of Caracalla,
I do want to show you two buildings of Septimius Severus:
a public building first, the so-called Arch of Septimius
Severus in the Roman Forum, and then an extension to the
Palatine Palace.
The Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum dates to A.D.
203, and it commemorates the Parthian victory of Septimius
Septimius Severus, I already mentioned to you,
came to power in a civil war.
So like Augustus, and like Vespasian before him,
he needed to gain legitimacy by having an important foreign
victory, and he does this by looking
East, as Augustus had done before him,
looking to Parthia, and does war with Parthia,
and in fact has an important victory,
and celebrates that important victory in this triumphal arch
that is put up in his honor in 203 A.D.,
in once again the choicest spot of real estate in Rome,
the Forum Romanum, the Roman Forum.
I show you a Google Earth view over here.
We've seen this one before, so you've undoubtedly got this
one memorized by now, this Google Earth image of the
Roman Forum as it looks today, with the Colosseum up there,
with the Via dei Fori Imperiali,
Imperial Fora, over here, the Circus Maximus,
the Palatine Hill, the Campidoglio,
Capitoline Hill as redesigned by Michelangelo,
the wedding cake of Victor Emmanuel here,
between the Campidoglio and the Colosseum.
We see, of course, the remains of the ancient
Roman Forum -- much lower ground level than the modern ground
You'll recall the location of the Temple of Venus and Roma,
just underneath the Colosseum.
The Arch of Titus on the Velia.
And you should remember also that we talked,
way in the beginning of the term, about two arches,
two successive arches, built in honor of Augustus:
first his Actian victory, victory in Actium,
and then his victory over the Parthians,
which is over here.
And then if we look very close--it's a little hard to see
when I'm up this close-- but we look very closely,
we will see the location-- I think it's roughly around
here--of the Arch of Septimius Severus.
We can see it better in this plan of the Roman Forum as it
developed between the third and seventh centuries A.D.
We see the Tabularium at the top, which means we're close to
the Capitoline Hill.
We see two basilicas that were put up in the Republican period.
We see a temple that we did not study, that was put up in honor
of the divine Julius Caesar, by Augustus.
We see the Speaker's Platform.
We see the Senate House, which I will show you in a
later lecture.
And over here we see the location of what was originally
the Actian Arch of Augustus, and then the Parthian Arch of
And remember that the Parthian Arch of Augustus had a triple
And then if you look at the rest of the plan,
you will see the location of the Arch of Septimius Severus,
over there, diagonally across, in dialogue,
with the Parthian Arch of Augustus.
Was this coincidence?
Absolutely not.
This was clearly very carefully orchestrated by Septimius
Severus and his advisors to build his Parthian Arch in
dialogue with the Parthian Arch of Augustus.
With regard to its form, it also made reference to the
Augustan arch.
I show you here the Arch of Septimius Severus as it looks
It is our first example that we've seen this semester of a
Roman arch with a triple arcuated opening:
a large arcuated opening in the center,
flanked by two smaller, lower arcuated entrances.
We have not seen that before -- first surviving example in Rome.
We remember, if we think back to the arches
we have explored, from the time of Augustus on,
you'll remember that they are single-bayed arches.
Augustus' Actian arch, the Arch of Titus,
and even the second-century Arch of Trajan at Benevento.
But, as I've already said today, if we look back to the
coin-- the arch no longer exists--but
we look back to a coin depiction of the Parthian Arch of
Augustus, it had three openings:
a central arcuated opening and then two rectangular openings,
trabeated openings, with pediments on either side,
flanking it.
So this is not--the Parthian arch of Augustus is not a triple
arcuated arch, but it is a three opening arch.
And I think there is no question that those three
openings are being alluded to in the Severan arch,
and being transformed into something that was new,
which was the idea of the triple-arcuated bay.
Or maybe it wasn't so new, because there's an arch--
the arch that you see down here--in the south of France,
at Orange -- and we'll look at this arch when we make our
journey to the south of France; in an upcoming lecture we will
look at this arch.
And it's a triple-bayed arch, just like the Arch of Septimius
It's covered with sculpture, just like the Arch of Septimius
So for a while there were scholars who dated this to the
time of Septimius Severus, although put up in the
But recent scholarship, more recent scholarship,
has demonstrated--scholars have looked at the piles of arms and
armor on here, and identified it as piles of
arms and armor that had to do with battles that took place in
the south of France, or what is now the south of
France, in the age of Augustus.
There's also an inscription referring to a specific
historical figure who lived during the time,
the late period of Augustus, and into the time of Tiberius.
So it seems very likely that this is not a Severan arch but a
Tiberian arch.
And I show it to you here only because while we usually--
and this may be helpful to some of you who are doing paper
topics or city plans in the provinces--
we usually think of ideas flowing from the center to the
But here we seem to have an idea that comes to the fore
first in the periphery, and then ends up ultimately in
the center; although, of course,
there are lots of missing pieces to the ancient puzzle.
There are lots of monuments that have not come down to us.
So it is not inconceivable that a triple-bayed arch was built in
Rome earlier, but we just have no evidence
for it.
I want to show you the arch itself very quickly,
because it's mainly a work of sculpture.
But just to show you the three bays.
Victories in the spandles; river gods down here;
inscription at the top.
You'll have to imagine the great bronze quadriga of the
emperor at the apex.
Decorated bases down here.
But most interesting are the panels that we see,
four panels that we see, two on either side of the arch.
And I show you a detail, a very good detail,
of one of them here; although it's weathered,
you can see it quite well.
You can see that this panel, instead of having full-length
figures standing on a single ground line,
as we saw, for example, in the frieze of the Ara Pacis,
we see figures on a number of tiers here,
small figures on a number of tiers.
It should remind you of the scenes on the Column of Trajan,
those spiral, the spiral frieze,
with the individual figures telling the story of war,
and in this case the Parthian War of Septimius Severus.
And so what I think happened here--
my theory, and there are others who've said the same--
is that what happened here is that the designer of this got
the idea to take excerpts, in a sense, from the Columns of
Trajan, or the Column of Marcus
Aurelius, and put them in panel format,
on this monument.
I don't know whether--you can think to yourselves whether you
think this is successful or not.
I think it probably was not deemed to be particularly
successful, because it is the only arch design of its type.
No one picked up afterwards and imitated this particular idea.
The bases down below representing Romans,
bringing back Parthian prisoners.
I want to speak very briefly also about Septimius Severus'
extension of the Imperial Palace on the Palatine Hill.
He extended it to the south.
He lived there, just like every emperor since
He extended it on the southern side--
that's the side nearest the forum--and he added a
façade to it, a very elaborate façade
that does not survive.
It doesn't survive because we know it was torn down in 1588 to
1589 by one of the popes, because the pope wanted to use
it in his own papal building; wanted to use the building
materials in his own papal building.
But fortunately the artist, Marten van Heemskerck,
the Renaissance artist--and I've put his name on the
Monument List for you-- Marten van Heemskerck drew some
of it while it was being dismantled.
And you see a piece of it over here in the Marten Van
Heemskerck drawing.
There's also the plan of the structure, also preserved on the
Forma Urbis, and we can see that marble plan of Rome from the
Severan period.
If we take both of those--that evidence together,
we can reconstruct it quite effectively.
We can see that it was a façade that looked very
much like a theater, with wings on either side,
with apses here, three large apses,
and columns inside those apses, with other elements that have
columns in three tiers: looking very much like a
theater stage set, all done in marble.
It might have been also a fountain.
There might have been a basin down here with a water display.
All of this serving as a new façade for Domitian's
Palace on the Palatine Hill.
It's important because it's another example of this use of
progression, recession, progression,
recession, across the façade,
to give an in-and-out, undulating movement,
using the traditional vocabulary of architecture in a
way that is striking and in a way that again heralds this new
baroque style in Roman architecture.
I also mention, just as the last point about
this monument, that we also--the reason it's
called the Septizodium or the Septizonium--
and you see that name on the Monument List for you--
the reason it's referred to as the Septizodium is because it
was thought to honor the-- or to commemorate the seven
planets, which is not surprising in the
orbits of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna,
because we know that Julia Domna was an avid follower of
astrological signs, used to predict what was going
to happen in her husband's reign,
through those signs, and this is likely a nod to her
particular astrological interests.
In the nine or ten minutes that remain,
I want to end today with this extraordinary imperial bath
structure that was designed at the behest of the emperor
When Septimius Severus died in 211, he was succeeded by
Caracalla and by Geta.
I've already told you what Caracalla did to get rid of
Geta, and Caracalla became sole
emperor in 212 A.D., and remained emperor until his
death in 217 A.D.
And one of his major commissions was this imperial
bath structure.
He wanted to ape his father, because we know that Septimius
Severus had also built a major public bath in Rome,
the Thermae Septimianae.
They do not survive.
We have very little knowledge of them, so there isn't anything
that I can show you or tell you about them.
But we know he built it.
So like father like son.
He wanted to outdo his father--this is like Bush One,
Bush Two--wanted to outdo his father, and to build an even
larger bathing establishment.
And he does it here, in Rome, a bathing
establishment called the Baths of Caracalla,
or the Thermae Antoninianae.
Baths of Caracalla: dates to 212 to 216 A.D.
Any of you who have seen it will agree with me this is one--
if we had, if Trajan's Forum was the mother of all forums,
this is certainly the mother of all imperial bath structures.
This is quite something.
Fortunately, much of it survives,
mainly the concrete shell, a concrete shell of itself.
But we can see the outlines here in this Google Earth image,
which shows you not only the bathing block,
but also part of the precinct that surrounded it.
Because we shall see, if we look at a plan of the
Baths of Caracalla-- which you see here in the
bottom left-- this is a detail of just the
bathing block, and if we compare the general
plan with the plan of the Baths of Trajan in Rome,
we will see that the Baths of Trajan,
which were very large in their own day,
have been exceeded here in terms of size,
but are very much in the same general format.
By that I mean a large bathing block here, inside a larger
That precinct has around it a host of rooms that were used as
lecture halls and seminar rooms and Greek and Latin libraries.
So a great locus of intellectual,
as well as wellness, in the city of Rome,
in the third century A.D.
We see that in the Baths of Caracalla,
just as--if we look at the bathing block--
just as in the Baths of Trajan, we see that all the main
bathing rooms, which were used both for men
and women, but probably at different times
of day, are aligned with one another.
We see the great frigidarium here,
with a triple groin vault over that, buttressed by rooms with
barrel vaults on either side.
We see a conventional, vertically oriented
tepidarium; essentially a rectangle here,
leading into the caldarium.
So all of these on axis: frigidarium,
tepidarium, caldarium.
Caldarium, a roundish structure,
with alcoves and--but very large in scale.
In fact, you'll be interested to hear that the span of the
dome of the caldarium of the Baths of Caracalla was
almost as large as the span of the dome of the Pantheon in
Rome; just to give you a sense of the
extraordinary bigger is better scale in this particular bath.
Over here a natatio, located where it usually isn't,
but here on axis with the other rooms: an interesting
natatio with a scalloped side,
screened by columns.
And then otherwise all the rooms symmetrically disposed
around it.
The two palaestrae, one on either side -- matching
rooms symmetrically disposed around the central building
So the same imperial bath structure type,
that we saw developed under Titus and Trajan,
but taken to much larger scale here.
This model shows you the hall here.
We are looking back at the walls, which were very plain on
three sides, toward the natatio,
toward the vaulting of the frigidarium.
And then the dome, as you can see there,
of the caldarium.
Interesting is the front side of the--
or the side where you can see the caldarium projecting
over here, which you can see is opened up
much more than the other sides, with a series of columns,
screened columns, and then columns screening and
opening up the caldarium as well,
on the southern side of the monument.
Just a few views, to give you a sense of what
this structure looks like today.
Again, it's mainly piles of concrete faced with brick.
But you can see some of the soaring vaults still there.
This is in fact--even in this view it's much smaller than it
would've been, because so much of the ceilings
and the vaults are missing today.
But you can get a sense by looking at this family of four,
standing next to it, the colossal scale of the Baths
of Caracalla in Rome.
Here's another view, with some tourists as well,
to also give you a sense.
Again, this is very incomplete today, but it still gives you
some idea of the colossal magnitude of this particular
bath structure.
As one walks through it, there's actually very little
ornamental decoration still preserved, but there was plenty
in antiquity.
You can see here and there some fragments of a frieze.
This is a restored view of what the frigidarium would
have looked like, the most important room in the
bath, which would have been
triple-groin vaulted, as you can see here,
which would have had grey granite columns with white
marble capitals, and would have had an
incredible sculptural display.
And Caracalla, like Domitian before him--
remember Domitian's Aula Regia and those colossal statues of
Dionysus and Apollo, with whom Domitian wanted to
associate himself-- Caracalla, of the same ilk,
who also wanted to ally himself with great heroes of the past,
great gods of the past, and he follows the lead of
Commodus, in whose model he kind of--he
looked back again to Nero, Domitian, to Commodus--and he
likened himself to Hercules.
And we have sculpture, that is preserved from the
frigidarium that represents Hercules;
Hercules, the weary, the famous weary Hercules type.
This is now in Naples, in the Archaeological Museum,
this statue, but it comes from the
frigidarium of the Baths of Caracalla--
we're absolutely sure of that--and it depicts the weary
It is a Roman copy.
The artist, we know his name.
I've put his name on the Monument List for you,
Glykon of Athens.
So an Athenian sculptor, working in the time of
Caracalla, makes this copy.
But he makes it of a very famous lost Greek original by
the Greek sculptor Lysippus, whose name is also on your
Monument List, a work of art that he
originally made in the 330s B.C.
So Glycon of Athens copies Lysippus, also of Greece,
this statue at the behest again of Caracalla.
And the fact that this was a theme or a leitmotif that ran
through all the decoration of the frigidarium is
underscored by the fact that a composite capital that survives,
also from the frigidarium,
shows a figure of that same weary Hercules interspersed with
the acanthus leaves of that capital.
So again a very carefully orchestrated program to try to
underscore the relationships between Caracalla and Hercules.
Mosaics, geometric mosaics, not unlike those in Ostia,
found, and still exist, in the Baths of Caracalla today
-- black and white with a little
addition of color.
Here another section that shows you the interest in geometry,
as well as floral motifs.
This detail, that you can also see on the
site still today, showing the sea scenes that
were not-- were the kind of scenes one
would expect in a bath, very similar to those at Ostia
but done in a somewhat more-- a better way.
And then the pièce de résistance,
I think, of the mosaics of the Baths of Caracalla,
and well preserved today, was a mosaic that you can see
is curved, to be placed into a room of
this shape that depict on the floor all the famous athletes
and gladiators of the day, either in full-length images or
in portrait images.
And I don't doubt that these would have been recognizable
stars, superstars--the Alex Rodriguez
of their day-- superstars, flexing their
muscles for the public, and hoping to be recognized by
everyone who came to this bath.
And you can just imagine men and women standing above,
looking and trying to pick out who is depicted here.
Here's another view that I took that is in its current location,
which is in the Vatican Museums in Rome.
That's where one needs to go to see what survives of this
wonderful mosaic with the athletes and gladiators of the
And I show them to you here as well.
And if you look at these, you can see that they not only
are shown--some are already victors, some are taking part in
their sport.
But once again, just as in the Alexander
Mosaic, we see the use of a lot of different colored tesserae.
We see cast shadows.
This is very well done: wonderful facial configurations
done by what must have been the leading mosaicist of the day,
for the Baths of Caracalla.
And just in closing today, I thought I would show you one
of those heads, blown up to poster size,
as you can see here, but also put it next to an
actual portrait of Caracalla.
This is not a course in sculpture, but I wanted to show
this to you, especially since it's a portrait that you can
It's in New York, at the Metropolitan Museum of
Art -- a very powerful portrait of a very intense Roman emperor,
as you can see on the left.
But I think there is some relationship between the way in
which the sculptors have depicted Caracalla,
with his very cubic and abstract face,
his short military hairstyle, and the depictions of the
athletes and the gladiators.
So I think he was not only trying to draw a relationship
between himself and Hercules Romanus,
but also between himself and some of the greatest athletes
and gladiators of the day, to underscore his strength as a
It was all for naught ultimately, but nonetheless he
achieved it, and I think it also speaks to him as a man with that
bigger is better philosophy.
Thank you.
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17. Bigger Is Better: The Baths of Caracalla and Other Second- and Third-Century Buildings in Rome

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Sofi published on March 17, 2015
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