TERMS AND NAMES USEFUL FOR ROMAN ART AD 15-AD 193
Tiberius: Augustus' successor, ruled AD 14-37. Known for his reclusive retirement (especially after 29) in elaborate villas at Sperlonga and on Capri.
Claudius: Great-nephew of Augustus, ruled AD 41-54 with Augustus as his model. His architecture seems to have been primarily utilitarian, such as aqueducts. Deified after his death.
Nero: Adoptive son of Claudius, ruled AD 54-68. Known for his megalomania and passion for the arts (and things Greek). After the Great Fire of Rome in 64, he confiscated the center of Rome and built a rural villa of great opulence known as the Golden House (Domus Aurea ), which emphasizes interior space by using concrete. Nero was the last Julio-Claudian emperor.
Vespasian: First emperor of the Flavian dynasty, ruled 69-79. Known for his thrift and adherence to Augustan precedent, Vespasian presented himself as an old-fashioned Roman in his portraiture, Built much in Rome in the area occupied by the Golden House, notably the Colosseum (also the Temple of Claudius and the Baths of Titus). Also built the Forum of Peace. Deified after his death.
Titus: Vespasian's elder son, ruled 79-81. Best known for the triumphal arch in his honor at the west end of the Forum Romanum (built by Domitian). Deified after his death.
Domitian: Vespasian's younger son, ruled 81-96. Called himself "Lord and God" (Dominus et Deus ), finally murdered. His memory was ritually expunged from all records (damnatio memoriae ). Built the imperial palace on the Palatine Hill in Rome and the Forum Transitorium (Forum of Nerva).
Nerva: Aged senator who succeeded Domitian in 96 and who died two years later. His major achievement was to adopt Trajan (98-117) as his successor.
Trajan: Adopted by Nerva, ruled from 98 to 117. First Spanish-born emperor, great general who conquered Dacia (modern Rumania) and Mesopotamia. Built his Forum and Baths in Rome. Also known for his Triumphal Arch at Beneventum.
Hadrian: Adopted by Trajan, ruled 117-138. Known for his love of Greek art and culture, was an architect who designed his villa at Tivoli and the Temple of Venus and Roma in Rome. Built Pantheon and the imperial mausoleum which bears his name at Rome. Also built much at Athens (Library, Arch, finished Temple of Olympeion Zeus). Hadrianic art is notably classicistic in style.
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Antinoos: Bithynian (district in Asia Minor) male lover of Hadrian who was deified after his death in 129. Hadrian put statues of him all over empire (between 130 and 138). Images of Antinoos are always ideally classicistic and based on Greek art of the later 5th century BCE.
Marcus Aurelius: Stoic philosopher and emperor (161-180). After 166 faced with plague throughout the empire and wars on German frontier. His campaigns were celebrated in a triumphal arch in Rome (ca. 176) and a column (180-192). His equestrian bronze statue (ca. 164-176) still stands on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.
Commodus: Son of Marcus Aurelius, ruled 180-193 (when murdered and damnatio memoriae decreed). Believed that he was Hercules reincarnated. A fine bust of him so depicted still survives in Rome, showing notable "black and white" treatment of the hair.
II. Artists and Architects
Famulus or Fabullus: Nero's court painter, painted the Domus Aurea (64-68). Apparently important in the development of the Fourth Style.
Rabirius: Architect of the imperial palace built by Domitian on the Palatine Hill (81-96).
Severus and Celer: Architect and engineer (respectively) of the Domus Aurea.
Apollodorus of Damascus: Architect of Trajan's Forum in Rome (ca. 104-113); later critical of Hadrian's design for the Temple of Venus and Roma. Also built a bridge over the Danube River!
Gemma Augustea: A large onyx cameo carved with two tiers of relief ornament. Below are captive Germans and victorious legionaries, above Tiberius dismounts from a chariot driven by Victory to greet Augustus, who sits enthroned beside Roma amidst other deities. Dates ca. AD 10-15.
Sperlonga grotto: Site of a coastal villa of Tiberius (ca. 15-37). A grotto adjoining the villa was remodelled as a dining room and contained remarkable sculptural groups of the exploits of Odysseus in the Hellenistic Baroque style by Rhodian sculptors.
Vicomagistri Relief: a relief from a statue base which depicts the Vicomagistri (freedment magistrates associated with the imperial cult) carrying the Lares and genius of the emperor to a sacrifice. Its style is more crowded and the figures less elegant than the reliefs associated with imperial patronage. Probably dates to the early 20s.
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"Ara Pietatis": a group of fragmentary reliefs in the tradition of the Ara Pacis have been associated with the Ara Pietatis (altar of piety), finished in AD 42. Two of the fragments show sacrifices in front of temples (one in front of the Temple of Mars Ultor). Although it is unsure if they truly are part of the Ara Pietatis, the reliefs belong to the first half of the first century AD, and show a greater pictorialism than the processional reliefs of the Ara Pacis.
Arch of Titus: A single arch at the west end of the Forum with relief panels in its passageway of Titus' triumph after the recapture of Jerusalem in 71. Built ca. 80-90, its inner keystone shows Titus borne to heaven by the eagle of Jupiter (i.e. being deified). The relief panels of the passageway are famous for their "illusionistic" pictorial style. The panel of the Triumph of Titus shows gods and personifications in the same space as humans for the first time in imperial public art.
Cancellaria Reliefs: Two relief panels made under Domitian (ca. 85-90) found under the Cancellaria Palace in Rome. One depicts Vespasian's arrival (adventus ) in Rome in AD 70, where he is greeted by the youthful Domitian. The other shows Domitian setting forth from Rome (profectio ) on an army campaign against the Germans (in 83?). Both show deities and personifications in the same space as humans, and were carved by Classicizing artists. The style is, however, more dynamic than the classicism of most Julio-Claudian monuments.
House of the Vettii, Pompeii: a small house at Pompeii inhabited after AD 62 by two freedment brothers; hence the Tablinum is almost nonexistent since they had no family records. Notable for its opulent Fourth Style paintings.
Tomb of the Haterii: an elaborately sculpted tomb of ca.100, made for a family which did construction work on Flavian buildings. Notable for its depictions in the "Plebeian" style of a tomb being built and a funeral; another relief shows the buildings the family helped build (including the Colosseum).
Column of Trajan: 100 foot high column (125 with its base) erected in the Forum of Trajan in 113. Has a spiraling relief narrative of the Dacian Wars of 101-106. Narrative of "continuous" type with one scene merging into next, has much pictorial detail to enhance the "historicity" of the account. Events depicted are probably "edited" to enhance Trajan's importance, and include many generic scenes (sacrifices, orations, army marches, army builds camp) to stress the overall preparedness of the Roman army and its heroic leader, Trajan. Style generally Roman classical, but the figures show a tendency to be slightly stumpy and big-headed to enhance their recognition. Its scenes must have been hard to see from the ground, but it was imitated at least four times.
Arch of Trajan, Beneventum: Dedicated in 117 at Beneventum east of Naples, done by sculptors from Rome. Relief panels celebrate Trajan's deeds and legislation using many gods and personifications to allude to events: this is characteristic of the High
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Rhetoric of imperial propaganda sculpture of the 2nd century. In some panels Trajan's scale is greater than that of other humans, but the arch is done generally in a Classical style.
"Great Trajanic Frieze": Four fragments of a frieze depicting an allegorical version of Trajan's campaigns are preserved on the Arch of Constantine in Rome. They probably come from either the Basilica Ulpia or the Temple of the Deified Trajan built ca. 120 at the west end of his Forum. The frieze shows the some qualities of the old Hellenistic-Baroque style and include a "Heroic Rider"--Trajan leading a charge.
Hadrian's Hunting Rondels: Eight round reliefs on the Arch of Constantine come from a monument of Hadrian which celebrated his leisure activities with Antinoos. Show scenes of hunting and sacrifice in the countryside, date 130-138. Very pictorial and classical in style.
Column of Antoninus Pius: Base for an obelisk erected by Marcus Aurelius and his co-emperor Lucius Verus in 161 to the memory of their adoptive father. One side has a relief depiction of the apotheosis of Antoninus and his wife Faustina Sr.: they are borne to heaven by a winged youth. The style of this panel is very cool and Classical. The other two sides with reliefs (the 4th side has an inscription) show identical cavalry processions in the "Plebeian" style.
Arch of Marcus Aurelius: Three relief panels in the Conservatori Museum in Rome come from a triumphal arch of Marcus Aurelius which celebrated his joint triumph of 176 with Commodus. Eight further panels on the Arch of Constantine celebrate qualities of Marcus' army campaigns on the German frontier. Although generally Classicizing in style, the panels make heavy use of the running drill to create "black and white" contrasts on the figures. They probably come from a single arch erected ca. 176 to honor Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.
Column of Marcus Aurelius: 100 foot tall column erected to the memory of his father by Commodus 180-192. Spiralling reliefs imitate the Column of Trajan, celebrate Marcus' military campaigns. Style non-Classical ("Late Antique") with much use of the drill to create "black and white" contrasts, stumpy figures and hierarchical poses and composition. Narrative less continuous, more episodic than on Column of Trajan.
Orestes Sarcophagi: The myth of Orestes, who avenged his father's death by murdering his murderous mother and was eventually absolved of his crime, was popular on early Roman sculpted sarcophagi, beginning during the reign of Hadrian. The style of these is generally rather Classicizing.
Battle Sarcophagi: Common in the late 2nd century in the wake of Marcus Aurelius' army campaigns, these often show "historical" battles against barbarians. The general is often seen in the "Heroic Rider" pose first seen in Roman sculpture on the "Great Trajanic Frieze." The sarcophagi generally are sculpted with extensive use of the drill to create "black and white"
stylistic effects, but the figures remain fairly classicizing. Related sarcophagi show the general receiving the surrender of the barbarians, often combined with a scene of his marriage (and then called "biographical" sarcophagi).
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Colosseum: The Flavian amphiteater begun by Vespasian ca. 72 on the site of the lake on the grounds of the park of Nero's Golden House. A traditional vaulted concrete structure similar in construction to Roman theaters (such as the Theater of Marcellus in Rome), its exterior is decorated with the Greek orders applied as decoration (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Corinthian on respective stories as the building rises). The interior floor was pierced to allow animals to emerge at various places to create picturesque and entertaining effects.
Domus Augustana: The imperial palace on the Palatine Hill built by the architect Rabirius for Domitian (81-96). Characterized by the sophisticated use of concrete to create interesting interior spaces, especially in the private wing of the palace. The palace comprised two parts, the Domus Flavia, or official wing, and the Domus Augustana, or private wing.
Domus Aurea: The "Golden House", an elaborate rustic villa built in the heart of Rome by Nero after the Great Fire of Rome of 64. Its architect was Severus, its engineer Celer. Notable for the complex use of concrete vaulting and domes, as well as its opulent decoration, including Fourth Style paintings by Famulus. Apparently largely finished by Nero's death in 68, it was made a public park by Vespasian and largely destroyed in a fire in 104. A basement wing survives under the Baths of Trajan.
Imperial Fora, Rome: The group of Forums built by the Roman emperors around the Roman Forum beginning with the Forum Iulium (begun ca. 54 B.C.??) and ending with the Forum of Trajan (dedicated 113). Generally have colonnades (porticoes) along their long sides with a podium temple capping the Forum opposite to the entrance on one of the short sides.
Porta Maggiore, Rome: A monumental gateway (actually an aqueduct bridge) built by Claudius and finished in 52. Notable for its use of rusticated masonry to give the impression of great strength.
Villa Iovis, Capri: A remarkable rustic villa built atop a mountain on an island in the Bay of Naples by the emperor Tiberius (14-37). Built on a great concrete platform.
Trajan's Baths, Rome: Built ca. 104-109 over the substructures of Nero's Domus Aurea . Known from a 16th century plan, they were the first enormous baths in Rome. Symmetrical in plan, built of brick faced concrete and characterized by the interplay of complex interior space, they served as a precedent for later imperial baths.
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Forum of Trajan: Huge Forum built west of the Forum of Augustus by Trajan 106-113. The architect was Apollodorus of Damascus. Included the Forum proper, the Basilica Ulpia (after the name of Trajan's family--Ulpius), two libraries, and Trajan's
column. The Temple of the Deified Trajan was attached to the complex behind the column by Hadrian (ca. 120). The complex, especially the Basilica, was known for the opulence of its decoration, including much sculpture. Behind the Forum (to the north) were Trajan's markets, a large complex of vaulted brick-faced concrete shops, including a notable Market Hall.
Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli: Enormous suburban villa near Rome built by Hadrian 118-134. Had structures with names evocative of pleasent places throughout the empire (i.e. Canopus, Poikile ). Its structures are notable for their daring use of concrete vaults and domes to create provocative interior spaces (esp. the Piazza d'Oro).
Pantheon: Round temple built by Hadrian 118-128 to replace temple built by Agrippa. Has a monumental temple facade to mark the entrance, interior largely preserves the original facings of multi-colored stone. The huge, niched spherical interior (142' in diameter, 142' in height) is lit by an oculus or eye-of-heaven in the center of the dome. The best preserved Roman building of brick-faced concrete, showing the Roman interest in interior space.
Temple of Venus and Roma: Large 10 X 20 peripteral (ie. Greek in plan) temple built and partially designed by Hadrian at the east end of the Forum Romanorum 125-135. Had a cult room of equal size for each goddess, one facing east, the other west. The temple was set within a colonnaded precinct, and resembles temples in the eastern empire more than those in Italy.
House of Diana, Ostia: Four-storied apartment house of brick-faced concrete built ca. 150. Preserves the most common type of urban housing in Rome and Italian cities during the second century.
V. Places and Peoples
Campania: Region in south-central Italy which contains Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Beneventum and Puteoli (Pozzuoli).
Ostia: Rome's port at the mouth of the Tiber River. Founded as a colony in the late 4th century B.CE, its greatest period of prosperity was the second century A.D. Notable for brick-faced concrete architecture.
Dacians: Inhabitants of modern Rumania, conquered by Trajan 101-106, lost to Germans 256.
Parthians: Rulers of the Persian Empire from ca. 165 BC to AD 222. Frequently in conflict with the Roman Empire.
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Third Style: A "closed" style of wall painting which began ca. 25 BC and which lasted until the mid-1st century AD. Monochrome panels were used to frame "pictures" set on the walls. On the panels float fanciful architectural motifs, landscapes, and other decoration. Some of the best examples are in an imperial villa at Boscotrecase, near Pompeii (ca. 10 BC); another fine wall is in the House of Fronto at Pompeii (ca. 40).
Fourth Style: A style of painting which originated during the reign of Nero (54-68). Combined aspects of the Second and the Third style. Often, lower wall has monochrome panels framing pictures on the wall, while the upper wall may be broken into architectural vistas which do not form a coherent space. Sometimes architectural vistas
appear framing the pictures on the lower wall. There is also a tendency to have figures floating on the surface of monochrome panels to create a tapestry-like effect. Found in Nero’s Golden Hose, and the House of the Vettii at Pompeii, notably.
"Sacral-Idyllic" landscape: A type of landscape painting which originated during the reign of Augustus (developed by Studius??). Characteristics are sketchy, small figures in a hazy and ideal rural landscape with many odd shrines. Generally viewed from high up ("bird's eye perspective").