17. Bigger Is Better: The Baths of Caracalla and Other Second- and Third-Century Buildings in Rome

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Roman Architecture (HSAR 252)

Professor Kleiner discusses the increasing size of Roman architecture in the second and third centuries A.D. as an example of a "bigger is better" philosophy. She begins with an overview of tomb architecture, a genre that, in Rome as in Ostia, embraced the aesthetic of exposed brick as a facing for the exteriors of buildings. Interiors of second-century tombs, Professor Kleiner reveals, encompass two primary groups -- those that are decorated with painted stucco and those embellished primarily with architectural elements. After a discussion of the Temple of the Divine Antoninus Pius and Faustina and its post-antique afterlife as the Church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda, Professor Kleiner introduces the Severan dynasty as it ushers in the third century. She focuses first on the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum, the earliest surviving triple-bayed arch in Rome. She next presents the so-called Septizodium, a lively baroque-style fa├žade for Domitian's Palace on the Palatine Hill. The lecture concludes with the colossal Baths of Caracalla, which awed the public by their size and by a decorative program that assimilated the emperor Caracalla to the hero Hercules.

00:00 - Chapter 1. A Brick Tomb for Annia Regilla on the Via Appia
17:44 - Chapter 2. Second-Century Tomb Interiors in Rome
24:42 - Chapter 3. The Tomb Of the Caetennii in the Vatican Cemetery
36:31 - Chapter 4. The Temple of Antoninus Pius and Faustina the Elder in the Roman Forum
46:21 - Chapter 5. The New Severan Dynasty and The Parthian Arch in the Roman Forum
01:01:59 - Chapter 6. Biggest Is Best: The Baths of Caracalla in Rome