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PELICAN mS'RpRY OF ART

ROMAN IJV^ERIAL
ARCHITECTURE
J.B. WARD-PEgklNS
II c^

0. c

I"
YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS
PELICAN HISTORY OF ART
Founding Editor: Nikolaus Pevsner

J. B. Ward-Perkins

ROMAN IMPERIAL ARCHITECTURE ^


John Ward-Perkins, born in 191 2, was from 1946 to 1974 Director of the British School."at
Rome. He taught in the United States and in Austraha, and conducted architectural researt^v-
and excavations in Italy, North Africa, Turkey, and Britain. He was largely responsible for^^
the 'Pompeii a.d. 79' exhibition. The best known of his many publications are his and Jocetyn,..
Toynbee's The Shrine of St Peter (1956) and his Cities oj Ancient Greece and Italy (197^^
John Ward-Perkins died in 1981.
J, B. Ward-Perkins Roman Imperial

Architecture

Yale University Press


New Haven and London
1970 as Parts Two - Four of Etruscan and Roman Architecture by Penguin
First published
Books Ltd. Second (integrated) edition published under the title Roman Imperial Architecture,
1981
New impression 1994 by Yale University Press
20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7
Copyright J. B. Ward-Perkins, 1970, 1981

Set in Monophoto Ehrhardt


Printed in China through World Print Ltd

Designed by Gerald Cinamon and Bob Wright

All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form
(beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and
except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA

Ward-Perkins, John Bryan, 1912-1981


Roman Imperial Architecture
(The Pelican history of art)
Bibliograph: p. 498
Includes index
I. Architecture, Roman. I. Title. II. Series: Pelican
history of art
NA310W34 722'. 7 79-26799
ISBN 300 05292 8
CONTENTS

Foreword 9
Maps 12

Part One : Architecture in Rome and Italy from Augustus to the Mid Third Century

1. Augustan Rome 21

2. Architecture in Rome under the Julio-Claudian Emperors (A.D. 14-68) 45


Tiberius (a.d. 14-37) 45
Caligula (a.d. 37-41) 48
Claudius (a.d. 41-54) 52
Nero (a.d. 54-68) 56

3. Architecture in Rome from Vespasian to Trajan (A.D. 6g-i ij) 63

Vespasian (a.d. 69-79) 63


Titus (a.d. 79-81) 70
Domitian (a.d. 81-96) 73
Nerva and Trajan (a.d. 96-117) 84

4. Materials and Methods: The Roman Architectural Revolution 97

5. Architecture in Rome from Hadrian to Alexander Severus (A.D. ii/-2j^) 121

Hadrian (a.d. 117-38) 121

Antoninus Pius to Commodus (a.d. 138-93) 124


The Severan Emperors (a.d. 193-235) 126
Private Funerary Architecture in the Second Century 135

6. Ostia 141

The Early Imperial City 141


Ostia in the Second and Third Centuries 145

7. Italy under the Early Empire 157


Campania 157
Northern Italy 171

8. Domestic Architecture in Town and Country 185

The Towns 185


Suburbs and Countryside 193
The Late Roman Town Houses of Ostia 210
.

CONTENTS

Part Two: The Architecture of the Roman Provinces

g. Gaul and the European Provinces 213

The Iberian Peninsula 214


Gaul, Britain, and the Germanies 219
Central and South-Eastern Europe 246

10. Greece 255


Corinth 255
Athens 263
Other Roman Sites 271

1 1 Asia Minor 273


Building Materials and Techniques 273
The Central Plateau 278
The Western Coastlands 280
Pamphylia and Cilicia 299
The Contribution of Asia Minor to the Architecture of the Empire 305

12. The Architecture of the Roman East 307


Judaea: The Buildings of Herod the Great 309
Baalbek and the Lebanon 314
North-West Syria 325
Damascus 328
Southern Syria: Petra and the Decapolis 328
The Hauran 339
The Mesopotamian Frontier Lands: Dura-Europos and Hatra 347
Palmyra 354

13. The North African Provinces 363


Egypt 363
Cyrenaica 368
Tripolitania 370
Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco 391
CONTENTS
7

Part Three: Late Pagan Architecture in Rome and in the Provinces

14. Architecture in Rome from Maximin to Constantine ( a.d. 2j^~jjy) 415

15. The Architecture of the Tetrarchy in the Provinces 441

Trier 442
Thessalonike (Salonica) 449
Spalato (Split) 454
Piazza Armerina 460
North Italy 464
Constantinople 465

List of Principal Abbreviations 467


Notes 469
Select Glossary 491
Bibliography 498
List of Illustrations 511
Index 518
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2011

http://www.archive.org/details/romanimperialarcOOjbwa
FOREWORD

In its original form the present work appeared assimilation that were already at work, the
as part of a composite volume, of which the first provinces were not directly involved. Viewed in
section, by the late Axel Boethius (now issued this perspective it is a fair assessment of
separately), covered the architecture of the Augustus's great building programme in the
Etruscans and of Republican Rome and the city of Rome that it was 'mainly a new, more
remaining three sections, by myself, that of splendid, classicized version of the hellenized
Imperial Rome. This first edition was at the late Republican town'. Well into the first

time criticized as, in effect, consisting of two century a.d. the history of architecture in the
distinct books, juxtaposed between two covers capital did continue to be rooted in the ideas and
but not interwoven into a single continuous traditions of its own recent past, backed by
narrative. There was some justification in this greatly increased resources but with very little

criticism. Given the very different scale and real change of heart. It is a remarkably con-
character of the source material and the necess- sistent, self-contained story, and one that can be
arily rather differing approaches of Boethius told with surprisingly little reference to current
and myself to that source material, some lack of events elsewhere.
continuity was almost inevitable. But the prob- But perspectives change according to one's
lem was undoubtedly exacerbated by the terms viewpoint, and continuity casts its shadow
of the chronological and geographical frame- backward as well as forward. The present
work within which each of us was working; and volume starts with the fall of the Roman
although the appearance of this second edition Republic. But although as a political institution
as two distinct volumes has removed the ele- the Roman Empire only took shape after the
ment of internal inconsistency, the break in assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. and the
continuity of treatment between the earlier, triumph of his nephew and heir, the future
formative stages of Roman architecture and its emperor Augustus, in 3 1 as a territorial fact the
,

full Empire still remains. A


flowering under the Roman Empire had by then been in existence
few introductory words of explanation and for well over a century; and while it is true that
clarification seem to be called for. in these early stages Greece was emphatically
Boethius's text deals almost exclusively with the dominant partner in the resulting cultural
the architecture of central Italy, and in particu- exchange and that the reciprocal influence of
lar of Rome itself, from its beginnings down to Italy on most of the Greek east was still very
the emergence of the 'consuetudo italica', that limited, the future was already taking shape: no
highly successful marriage of the native Italic student of Roman Imperial architecture can
and Hellenistic Greek traditions which charac- afford to ignore the fact of Republican Rome's
terized the architecture of Rome and ofCam- territorial expansion. In very few of the pro-
pania during the closing years of the Roman vinces is the architecture of the early Empire
Republic. This is a story that can quite legi- intelligible without reference to its own recent
timately be told almost exclusively in terms of a past, and even in Italy it is becoming steadily
steady onward progress within Italy itself, and more apparent that late Republican architecture
west central Italy at that. Except in so far as the did not present the sort of monolithic unity
conquest of the Greek east in the second century which a more narrowly Romanocentric vision is

B.C. intensified the processes of Italo-Hellenistic apt to suggest. Side by side with the architecture
FOREWORD

of the capital it comprised a number of distinc- aspects of them that are significant in the larger
tive local architectures, in Campania, in sou- setting. So far as is possible in the present state
thern Italy and Sicily, in the new Roman cities of knowledge I have tried to strike a consistent
of the north, and in the rest of peninsular Italy. balance between the impersonal political, geo-
Of these one may perhaps leave the last-named graphical, social, and cultural forces that con-
out of account as being almost exclusively ditioned them and the more intimately personal
derivative. Southern Italy, on the other hand, contributions of patron and architect; but the
and Sicily had almost as much in common with most that I can hope to have achieved is the
late Punic North Africa as with Rome, an presentation of a reasonably coherent picture of
association which inevitably left its mark on some of the forces that were at work shaping the
subsequent developments, while North Italy larger scene, within which each individual
was the seed-bed and forcing-house of many of reader will have to make his own assessment of
the schemes of planning and the architectural the buildings that especially concern him. The
stereotypes that were to shape the early Imperial sheer quantity of fresh source material that has
architecture of the European provinces. Cam- become available in some areas during the
pania occupies a more equivocal position. In twenty-odd years since I started work on the
certain respects, notably in the development of first edition, and our continued ignorance of
the new concrete-vaulted building technology, other areas that are potentially no less impor-
Latium and Campania were at one. But there tant, would both make nonsense of any more
were also many popular Roman building types exaggerated claim.
that originated in Republican Campania, among In revising this second edition, I am once
them the amphitheatre built of masonry, the again conscious of my indebtedness to friends
Roman-type theatre, the heated bath-building, and colleagues far too numerous to name
the macellum, almost certainly the basilica, and individually. Where I have referred to the
very possibly the combined atrium-peristyle results of work that is as yet unpublished I have
house. The list is an impressive one; and tried to acknowledge this in the relevant notes,
although with the Augustan settlement the but even here I am conscious of omissions. In
balance of architectural patronage and creativity this foreword I must be content to name a few of
swung decisively away from Campania to the those who have been especially helpful in
capital, the architectural legacy of Republican checking and preparing the text and illus-

Campania was unquestionably a factor of con- trationsof this edition. To Roger Agache,
siderable importance in shaping the larger Fernando Castagnoli, Lucos Cozza, Robert
Imperial scene. Etienne, Mark Hassall, Teofil Ivanov, Peter
Another factor making for discontinuity of Parr, Jim Russell, Michael Strocka, Yoram
treatment between Boethius's volume and my Tsafrir, Luciana Valentini, Susan Walker, John
own is the dramatic increase in scale as one Wilkes, and, last but far from least. Sheila
moves out into an Empire that stretched from Gibson, whose contribution to both editions is

the Tyne to the Euphrates. No treatment of so inadequately represented by the small print
nearly four centuries of the history of this vast at the end of this volume: to them and to all
area can be all-embracing. It has to be selective, those others who have been so generous with
not only in its choice of individual monuments their time, knowledge, and practical advice I

for discussion but also in its choice of those express my warmest thanks.

Cirencester, August igjg


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14 MAP RELATING TO PART TWO

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MAP RELATING TO PART TWO 17
i8 MAP RELATING TO PARTS TWO AND THREE

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CMASsi
ROMAN IMPERIAL ARCHITECTURE
PART ONE

ARCHITECTURE IN ROME AND ITALY


FROM AUGUSTUS
TO THE MID THIRD CENTURY

CHAPTER I

AUGUSTAN ROME

In 44 B.C. the murder of Caesar plunged the tant buildings created in the capital on the
Roman world into the last and bloodiest of the initiative of other magistrates or wealthy private
civil wars that had bedevilled the last century of citizens, it is indeed an impressive document;
the Republic. It was not until thirteen years and since through all its many vicissitudes the
later, in 31, that the defeat of Antony and subsequent architectural development of the
Cleopatra left as undisputed ruler of the Roman city during the Empire took place very largely
world Caesar's nephew and heir, Caesar Oc- within the framework established by Augustus,
tavian, and indeed four years later still, in 27, it is with the Augustan city and its buildings that
that Octavian was granted the title of Augustus any study of the Roman architecture of the
and his position formally established upon an Imperial Age is bound to start.

effective, if not yet explicitly acknowledged, We do not lack for information. The record of
basis of individual personal rule. Now, for the building activity in the capital between the
first time within living memory, the civilized death of Caesar and that of Augustus in a.d. 14
world was able to draw breath and to profit from is almost embarrassingly full by comparison
a long period of internal peace and stable with the number of surviving monuments. To
government. Now, at last, the immense energies follow it up would be to compile a
in all its detail

and creative potentialities of the Rome of Sulla list of buildings about many of which we know
and Cicero, Pompey and Caesar could find a virtually nothing except the fact and circum-
constructive outlet in the ordering and develop- stances of their erection. Nevertheless it is

ing of the Empire of which she suddenly found important to have some idea of the extent and
herself the undisputed centre and mistress. character of the building programme as a whole.
One of the first beneficiaries of the new One of the most striking characteristics of the
situation was the city of Rome itself. It was surviving Augustan buildings is their variety;
Augustus's boast that he 'found Rome a city of and although this may be explained in part as
brick and left it a city of marble', and in his the product of an age in rapid transition, it was
autobiographical testament, the Res Gestae Divi undoubtedly accentuated by the legacy of the
August! ,we have in his own words a list of the recent past, by the diversity of patronage in its

public monuments in Rome which he claimed to early, formative stages, and by the very size of a
have built or restored.' When one recalls that programme that could only be carried out by
this list makes no mention of the many impor- pressing into service all the very varied re-
22 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

sources available. These have left their mark Antony, and built probably in 33 B.C.; the
upon the surviving buildings; and before turn- Diana
restoration of the very ancient shrine of
ing to the latter, it is essential first to glance at on the Aventine by L. Cornificius at some date
the historical record. after 33 B.C.; the Amphitheatre of Statilius

One very important factor in shaping the Taurus in the Campus Martius, dedicated in 30
early development of Augustan architecture was B.C. and the first stone amphitheatre in the
the legacy of ideas and of uncompleted build- capital; the Porticus Philippi and the Temple of
ings inherited from Julius Caesar, at the vigour Hercules Musarum, built by L. Marcius Phil-
and versatility of whose vision one cannot cease ippus in the late thirties or early twenties; the
to marvel. His was the grandiose conception of Atrium Libertatis, built after 39 B.C. by C.
replanning the city on the partial basis of which Asinius Pollio, another friend of Antony, to
Augustus, through Agrippa, laid out large parts house the first public library in Rome; and, one
of the Campus Martius and himself remodelled of the last of these great private benefactions,
the ancient centre of the Forum Romanum; his the Theatre of Balbus, built by L. Cornehus
were the first plans for the Saepta and the Balbus and dedicated in 13 B.C. Of none of
Theatre of Marcellus, the Curia, the two ba- these, except for traces of the Theatre of Balbus
silicas in the forum, and the Rostra; it is in his beneath the Palazzo Caetani and possibly of the
buildings that we find the first consistent use of Temple of Neptune, are there any identifiable
the mortar made with red pozzolana which was remains, although the plans of several are
to revolutionize Roman building practice; and it known from the Severan marble map of Rome
is almost certain that it was he who first [61].^

envisaged the hardly less revolutionary inno- Other Augustan buildings have been more
vation of the large-scale exploitation of the fortunate. For example, of the restoration of the
quarries of Carrara (Luni). It is characteristic of Temple of Saturn in the Forum Romanum
the sober genius of Augustus that he recognized undertaken, probably in the early twenties, by
the significance of the programme of his bril- L. Munatius Plancus enough remains to show
liant predecessor, and that he was able to put so that it was built partly of Italian marble; the
much of it into practice. surviving column bases are of an unusual hybrid
Another important legacy from the preceding form, which probably represents an early at-
age was the tradition whereby triumphing tempt at translating into the new medium a type

generals were expected to contribute to the that was current in Late Republican Rome. The
public welfare by devoting a part of the booty Regia, the official residence of the Pontifex
from their campaigns to building. Several of the Maximus, restored after a fire by Cn. Domitius
most important works of Augustus himself and Calvinus in 36 B.C., is another early marble
of his successor, Tiberius, are recorded as building of which the carved detail betrays the
having been paid for ex manubiis (i.e. from spoils inexperience of the masons engaged upon it. By
of war); and many of the buildings in the period contrast, the Temple of Apollo in Circo is a

immediately following the death of Caesar were building of considerable technical refinement.
in fact the work of public-spirited or politically The elaborately carved detail [i] closely re-
ambitious private individuals. In an age when sembles that of the arch erected in the forum in
the tastes of the patron were still an important 19 B.C. in honour of Augustus's diplomatic
factor, this circumstance alone would have been victory over the Parthians, with which it must

enough to ensure a considerable stylistic variety. be roughly contemporary. The gulf that sep-
Recorded examples of such private munificence arates the elegant, sophisticated work on this

include a temple of Neptune in the Circus temple from that of the Regia or the Temple of
I'laminius, vowed in 42 B.C. by L. Domitius Divus Julius, dedicated in 29 B.C., is the
Ahcnobarbus, a follower of Brutus and later of measure of the variety which was possible even
AUGUSTAN ROME 23

I. Rome, Temple of Apollo in Circo, c. 20 B.C., frieze from the interior of the cella

in this early phase, and which was to provide the programme can be seen in the still-surviving

ferment for so much of the later Augustan arch which carried the restored Aqua Marcia (5
achievement.^ B.C.) over the Via Tiburtina, and which was
After Augustus himself, the great builder of later incorporated into the third-century walls
the first half of his reign was his friend and as one of the city gates [2]. Built throughout of
collaborator, Marcus Agrippa, whom we find travertine, it is a characteristically Augustan
already in 33 B.C. engaged upon the programme monument, in its material and detail still firmly
of public works with which he was to be rooted in the practices of the later Republic, but
concerned off' and on until his death in 1 2 b.c.^ A formally, with its archway framed by pilasters
great deal of his work was of a strictly practical, and pediment, already reaching out towards the
utilitarian character. Under his direction the new types of arch and gateway that were to play
whole drainage system of the city was over- so large a part in the monumental architecture
hauled and renovated; the retaining walls of the of the Empire.
Tiber were repaired against flooding and a new Agrippa's activities as a builder were not by
bridge, the Pons Agrippae, added; a fine new any means limited to this severely practical
warehouse, the Horrea Agrippiana, was built programme. On the level ground of the Campus
beside the Vicus Tuscus, between the Forum Martius he built a whole new monumental
Romanum and the riverside wharves of the quarter, which included the Saepta, the Pan-
Forum Holitorium; and the city's water supply theon, the Basilica Neptuni, and a bath-
was doubled by the radical restoration and building, the Thermae Agrippae, laid out in a
enlargement of the four existing aqueducts and spacious setting that included gardens, por-
by the addition, by Agrippa and after his death ticoes, a canal, and an artificial lake. The whole
by Augustus himself, of no less than three that area was swept by the disastrous fire of a.d. 80,
were new, the Aqua Julia in 33 B.C., the Aqua and little or nothing of Agrippa's work has come
Virgo in 19 B.C., and the Aqua Alsietina in 2 B.C. down to us. The Saepta, completed in 26 B.C., is

Not much of Agrippa's own work has survived recorded as having been an enclosure with
the repairs and restorations of the centuries. It marble porticoes a mile in length. Of Agrippa's
remained, however, the basis of almost all Pantheon, dedicated the following year, the core
subsequent work in these fields, and an interest- of the podium has been recognized, incorp-
ing record of a slightly later phase of the same orated within the foundation of its Hadrianic
24 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

^^'%^*^

^^^^m^^ ^^mmi^^^
AUGUSTAN ROME 25

successor; the plan appears to have resembled already available in large quantities. The Pan-
that of the Temple of Concord, with a porch theon, too, must have been built pardy at any
which was narrower than the body of the temple rate in marble, and Pliny records the significant
behind it.^ Of the Basilica Neptuni also dedi- detail that the columns, presumably those of the
cated in 25 B.C. we know nothing except that it porch, were decorated with caryatid figures by
was also known as the Stoa of Poseidon, and was the Athenian sculptor Diogenes.^ The influence
presumably therefore a multiple columnar of Athenian craftsmen is one of the continuing
building, open along one side in the manner of features of the Augustan scene, culminating in
the Republican basilicas of the Roman forum. the Forum Augustum, the many classicizing
Of the Thermae, which were served by the Attic details of which again included caryatid
Aqua Virgo and cannot therefore have been figures, copied from those of the Erechtheion
completed until after 19 B.C., enough is known [9]. In the case of the Pantheon we can
to show that they merited their reputation document not only the fact but also something
as the first of the series of great public bath- of the circumstances of the loan. One of the
buildings that were to play so large a part in the few buildings which Agrippa is known to have
later development of Roman monumental built outside the city of Rome is the odeion in
architecture. the Agora at Athens [168], a building which in

The details are scanty, but they are enough to its own way represents a no less striking
show that Agrippa's work in Rome offers in convergence of Greek and Roman tastes and
miniature a faithful picture of the Augustan skills, Greek in its material, craftsmanship, and
building programme as a whole in its early, detail, Roman in its bold axial relationship to
formative stage. The utilitarian programme, the other buildings of the Agora, and in the
tuned as it was to the practical requirements of technical experience that devised its huge tim-
daily was conservative in character. The
life, ber roof of 80 foot unsupported span.^ There is

sewers were built in squared stone, the aque- nothing to suggest that Cicero's correspondent,
ducts in typical contemporary concrete work, Appius Claudius Pulcher, the donor of the
with a rather coarse facing of tufa reticulate; the Inner Propylaea at Eleusis, was ever responsible
bridge over the Tiber, which disappears from personally for any public building in Rome. But
the record at an early date, may have been an it was undoubtedly enterprises such as these
experimental, and in the event unsuccessful, which afforded the background of reciprocal
venture in the latter medium. For work of a Graeco-Roman exchange that is so characteris-
more" spectacular character we have to turn to tic of the Augustan Age.

Agrippa's monuments in the Campus Martius. Of the buildings erected by Augustus himself
The Saepta, which he inherited from Caesar, and listed in the Res Gestae we are fortunate in

had been one of the first Roman buildings of this possessing the remains of several of the most
size, if not the very first, to be planned in important. None is complete, and of several
marble.^ We shall never know whether, in others, such as the temples of Divus Julius and
conceiving this grandiose project, Caesar in- Apollo Palatinus or the mausoleum, the surviv-
tended from the first to make use of the marble ing elements are tantalizingly fragmentary. But
of Carrara; but it was certainly the opening of enough has come down to us to convey at least

these quarries made this aspect of


that a partial picture of the quality as well as the
Augustus's building programme possible, and mere quantity of the architecture of Augustan
by the twenties the new material was evidently Rome.

2 {opposite). Rome, Porta Tiburtina. Arch, 5 B.C., carrying the Aqua Marcia across the Via Tiburtina,
later incorporated as a gateway into the Aurelianic Walls (a.d. 270-82)
26 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

The Theatre of Marcellus [3, 4] owes its stage-buildings of later practice.'" The sub-
preservation to its conversion in the Middle structures of the seating, on the other hand, are
Ages into a fortress, and in the sixteenth century well preserved beneath the later palace, and the
a palace, of the Savelli family. Projected though curved fa9ade, freed from later accretions and
probably not actually begun by Caesar on the restored, among the most impressive surviv-
is

site of the old theatre-temple complex ad ing monuments of the capital. The scheme of
Apollinis built by M. Aemilius in 179 B.C.,'' it the fa9ade, a system of superimposed arcades
was not finally completed and dedicated until framed within the compartments of orders that
13-11 B.C. The stage-building still lies buried; are purely decorative, stems directly from the
to judge from its representation on the Severan traditions of the later Republic, as represented

marble plan of Rome it was, and remained in the great sanctuaries at Praeneste (Palestrina)
through successive restorations, quite simple in and at Tivoli and, in Rome itself, in the
plan, with none of the elaborate play of project- Tabularium." The principal advances on the
ing and receding features that characterizes the earlier buildings are the use of travertine for the
AUGUSTAN ROME 27

3 {opposite) and 4. Rome, Theatre of Marcellus,


dedicated in 13-11 B.C. Part of the outer fa9ade
and plan, sections, and sectional view

entire fa9ade and the greater boldness of the however, be noted that in fact only the two
rhythm of contrasting voids and solids. It has lower orders, Doric and Ionic respectively, are
usually been assumed that the external order preserved, and some scholars have suggested
was triple, as later in the Colosseum. It should, that the lost superstructure may have been a
28 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

plain attic (as, for example, in the amphitheatre buildings.'^ Decreed in 13 B.C. and dedicated
at Pola, in Istria) rather than the Corinthian four years later, it consisted of an almost square
order of canonical practice. enclosure on a low platform and, on a smaller,
That there was a superstructure of some sort, stepped platform in the centre, the altar itself.

corresponding in height approximately to the The whole of the superstructure is of Carrara


walls of the present palace (which thus presents marble, and the elaborately carved detail, which
an appearance not altogether dissimilar to that includes symbolic figured panels, a long pro-
of the Roman building), is certain from the cessional frieze, panels of spreading acanthus
remains of the seating and of the elaborate scrollwork, and a frieze of pendant garlands, is

substructures that supported it. The latter [4], of a quality unsurpassed in the history of Roman
built partly of cut stone and partly of reticulate- monumental sculpture. Here is a monument for
faced concrete with concrete barrel-vaults, were which there was no native tradition. The ma-
radially disposed, incorporating an ingeniously terial, marble, was one of recent introduction,

contrived system of ascending ramps and an- and from the detail of the ornament it can be
nular corridors for the ingress and egress of the seen that the workmen who carved it were
spectators (about 11,000 according to the latest Greek. Even the plan ofthe altar seems to be
calculation), who sat in three ascending tiers of derived from that of the Altar of Pity in the
seats, each tier pitched more steeply than the Athenian Agora. And yet the content of the
one below it, and the uppermost certainly of monument and the theme that it expresses are
timber. The outer corridor was vaulted with a already subtly but unmistakably Roman. No
series of radially disposed barrel-vaults carried idealized procession this, but a portrayal of the
on massive transverse architraves, one bay to actual procession which took place on the fourth
each compartment of the fa9ade, in order to of July 13 B.C.; and the figured carvings stand at

counteract the outward thrust of the upper tiers the head of the long line of architectural reliefs
of seating. The fa9ade and outer ring of galleries which are one of Rome's principal contributions
were in effect as much a gigantic buttressing to the sum of classical artistic achievement. At
feature as a convenience in handling large no moment in the history of Roman architecture
crowds of spectators, and they demonstrate the was the Roman genius for adopting, adapting,
characteristic ingenuity with which the Roman and taking creative possession of the traditions
architect was prepared to turn such problems to of others to play a larger part than in the
practical advantage. While the theatre derives Augustan Age.
from the great Republican monuments
directly The traditionalism of the Theatre of Mar-
of Latium, it looks forward no less directly cellus and the hellenism of the Ara Pacis
to such engineering masterpieces as the represent the two poles of Augustan architec-
Colosseum. tural taste. It was the mingling of these two
The Theatre of Marcellus represents a sub- currents that provided the ferment for much
stantially pre-existing Republican tradition of that was best and most vigorous in this and the
building which was able to survive, with re- immediately ensuing period. Nowhere is this

markably little new admixture, the impact of the process illustrated better than in the Forum
Augustan Age. It was a developing tradition, Augustum, which in many respects marks the
but the development was in answer to new culmination of Augustus's whole building pro-
practical demands rather than to the stimulus of gramme [6, 7]. The Temple of Mars Ultor
ready-made ideas brought from without. At the (Mars the Avenger), which stood in the same
other end of the scale we have a monument such relation to the forum as the Temple of Venus
as theAra Pacis Augustae [5], the Altar of the Genetrix to the Forum of Caesar, had been
Augustan Peace, which once stood on the west vowed as long before as the battle of Philippi in
side of the Via I'laminia just north of Agrippa's 42 B.C.; but it was still incomplete when the
AUGUSTAN ROME 29

w---- mw/A

5. Rome, Ara Pacis Augustae, dedicated in 9 B.C.


The present building is a restoration, undertaken in the thirties,

on a site near to, but not identical with, that of the original structure,
which is buried far below today's street level.
Plan and axonometric view
30 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

6. Rome, the Imperial Fora. Plan

W III

*-4.. !: \\^y \ J!'"


i-^ = -j^ |i qVi

1. Forum of Caesar (Forum lulium)


2. Forum of Augustus (Forum Augustum) c [00 200 300 m
3. Templum Pacis
4. Forum Transitorium
5. Forum of Trajan and Basilica Ulpia
6. Markets of Trajan
7. North-east corner of the Forum Romanum

forum itself was inaugurated in 2 B.C., and much the lateral halls razed and half the length of the
of the work of both buildings belongs un- forum buried beneath the street, the pro-
doubtedly to this later period. The forum and portions look very different [7]; but when
the temple may reasonably be regarded as standing the temple, which was almost square in
representative of the architecture of the Augus- plan with a deep porch, can only have been
tan Age at the moment of its full maturity. really visible from the front and, set on its lofty
The purpose of the forum, like that of the podium at the head of a flight of seventeen steps,
Forum of Caesar before it, was to provide it towered impressively above the long, surpris-
additional space for the public needs of the ingly narrow space between the flanking por-
growing population of the city, and it followed ticoes [8]. Suetonius records the further detail
essentially the plan established by its prede- that Augustus was unable to purchase all the
cessor, though in a considerably developed form land that he wished to use. This probably refers
and more compactly self-contained. The temple principally to the east corner,where the result-
stood at the far end of an elongated open space ing asymmetry of the ground plan was skilfully
flanked by two colonnaded halls, off which concealed by the flanking porticoes.
opened two semicircular courtyards set at the For all the hellenizing detail, and there was
extremities of a cross-axis that corresponds with much of this, the basic conception of the design
the line of the facade of the temple. Today, with was very Roman. The plan itself, with the
7 and 8. Rome, Temple of Mars Ultor, dedicated in 2 B.C.

and part of the Forum Augustum, with restored view


32 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

9. Rome, Forum Augustum, c. 10-2 B.C., caryatid order from the flanking colonnades

temple set on a lofty platform against the rear afforded by the two courtyards that opened off"

wall dominating the rectangular space before it, the inner sides of the porticoes. They doubtless
is in the direct Italian tradition; so too is the served a practical purpose, probably as court-
rigid axiality of the whole design, imposed rooms, and their form may well have been
forcibly on the ground, where a Greek architect suggested in the first place by the limitations of
might well have preferred to exploit the irregu- the space available at the east corner of the
larities of the setting. Roman architects were building. The introduction of a discreet cross-
always prone to treat individual monuments in accent was, however, a no less characteristically
isolation, and in this case the effect was accen- Roman device, taken up and developed a
tuated by the enormous precinct wall, 115 feet century later in the Forum of Trajan.
(35 m.) high, which served the double purpose The broad concept of the forum, then, its

of a firebreak and a visual screen between the purpose and its plan are all characteristically
forum and the crowded tenement quarter of the Roman. In on the other hand, there
its detail,

Subura. The sense of enclosure was made more was was new and exciting.
a great deal that
complete by the height of the flanking porticoes, Whereas the splendid bossed masonry of the
the fa9ades of which carried an attic above the enclosure wall, with its skilful alternation of
colonnade, upon which caryatid figures sup- Gabine stone and travertine, is in the best Late
ported a coffered entablature and framed a Republican tradition, the finely drafted marble
series of roundels carved with the heads of masonry of the temple, with its tall socle of
divinities. The only contrasting accent was that marble orthostats capped by a projecting course
AUGUSTAN ROME 33

decorated with a carved maeander, is no less Vespasian's Templum Pacis as the three most
distinctively Greek, almost certainly from Asia beautiful buildings in the world.''
Minor and derived from the same source as, for About the interior of the temple, which was
example, the Temple of Augustus at Ankara gutted by the marble-burners of the Middle
[179]. That the architect was also familiar with Ages, we know little except that it was very
sadly
the monuments of Attica, including such near- richly detailed. There was an apse, in which
contemporary buildings as the Inner Propylaea stood statues of Mars, Venus, and the Deified
from such features as the
at Eleusis, is clear Julius, and the roof was supported by two lines
caryatids of the forum [9] and an exquisite of columns set out from the walls, with cor-
responding pilasters against the walls them-
selves. One of the column bases, recorded in the
Renaissance, closely resembles those of the
Temple of Apollo in Circo, indicating yet
another strain in the pedigree of the ornament of
the temple and forum. '^ These strains had not
yet fused, and never did fuse, into a single
'Augustan' style; but they were rapidly being
absorbed into a wide and varied repertory of
styles and motifs that was at the call of every
metropolitan Roman builder. Never again in the
history of Roman architectural ornament was
there to be so extensive and so vigorous an
infusion of new idioms and new ideas, or so wide
a range of decorative traditions all in active

contemporary use.
10. Rome, Temple of Mars Ultor,
dedicated in 2 B.C., figured pilaster capital Although there was hardly a monument in
from the interior of the cella the Forum Romanum with the building or
rebuilding of which Augustus was not in some
Pegasus pilaster-capital from the temple [10], as way associated, much of this work consisted of
well as from a great many details of the the completion or restoration of buildings in-
mouldings of both forum and temple. Many of itiatedby Julius Caesar. Four of the principal
the workmen too must have been Greek, buildings with which he was in this way
brought in to work the profusion of marble concerned, the Basilicas Aemilia and Julia, the
columns, entablatures, pavements, and wall- Curia (senate house), and the Rostra, were all
veneers with which the forum was enriched - part of Caesar's project to bring some sort of
not only the white marble of Carrara, but architectural order into the hitherto haphazard
coloured marbles from Numidia, Phrygia, development of this time-honoured centre. A
Teos, Chios, and Euboea, to name only those fifth, the Temple of Divus Julius (the Deified
that can still be seen in place. This was not the Julius), dedicated in 29 B.C. but possibly sub-
first time that coloured marbles had made their stantially complete some years earlier, was in

appearance in Rome, but it was the first time effect a completion of the same scheme, balan-
that they had been used on this lavish scale. The cing the Rostra and establishing a decisive
contrast between the gleaming white of the architectural accent at the narrow south-east
temple and the profusion of colour around it end of the open space of which the two basilicas
must have been as effective as it was novel, formed the two long sides.

provoking Pliny to class this with the Basilica Except as elements of this ambitious plan the
Aemilia (another lavishly marbled building) and Rostra (orators' platform) are of historical
34 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

rather than of architectural interest, and the intention. Constructionally it seems to have
Augustan Curia was so badly damaged in the been a rather conservative building, remarkable
fire of A.D. 284 that it had to be completely more for the wealth of its materials and dec-
rebuilt by Diocletian. Coin representations oration than for any novel architectural features.
show that it was very like its successor, a tall, Along the south-east side, towards the forum, it
gabled building with three rectangular windows was closed by a row of outward-facing shops,
above a shallow porch stretching the length of the Tabernae Novae, probably themselves in
an otherwise plain facade [11]. Of the two two storeys and opening on to a two-storeyed
portico, the fa9ade of which was composed of
piers carrying arches, framed within the com-
partments of a boldly projecting Doric order
[13]. This portico is usually identified as the
Portico of Gains and Lucius, dedicated in 2 B.C.,
and it was for all practical purposes an inde-
pendent building, a translation into contem-
porary Roman constructional terms of the
hellenistic stoa. The facade was manifestly
designed to answer that of the Basilica Julia
opposite.
The Basilica Julia, destroyed by fire shortly
after its completion, probably in 12 B.C., and
completely rebuilt between then and a.d. 12,
offers an interesting contrast. Built to house the
centumviral law courts (which were held in the
central hall, divided up if necessary by curtains
II. Coin of Augustus showing the Senate House orwooden screens), in one respect it conforms
(Curia), as restored in 44-29 B.C. more closely to the Republican pattern, in that it
was open on three sides and closed only on the
basilicas, on the other hand, enough is known to south-west side, away from the forum, where a

give us quite a good idea of their general two-storeyed row of shops or offices opened
appearance. Though broadly similar in design, inwards on to the outermost of the internal
location, and purpose, they offer an interesting porticoes and the gallery above it [i2B]. But
picture of the variety of architectural practice although in other respects the plan (345 by 1 50
prevailing in Augustan Rome. feet, or 105 by 46 m., exclusive of the offices) is

The more conservative of the two was the only a rather more elaborate version of that of its
Basilica Aemilia. Rebuilt after a fire in 14 B.C., '^ sister basilica, with a double instead of a single
recent excavation has shown that the new ambulatory portico and gallery surrounding the
building [i2a] followed very much the same central hall, the principle of construction is

lines as its predecessor. It consisted of a long, entirely different. Instead of being carried on
narrow central hall, lit by a clerestory and columns, the structure was arcaded, on rec-
surrounded on all four sides by an internal tangular piers, and the ambulatory porticoes
portico with a gallery over it. This hall, which were vaulted, only the central hall being timber-
measured some 295 by 90 feet (90 by 27 m.), was roofed.'^ The inner piers were cruciform and
open to the south-east, and along the north-east built of travertine, those of the outer row of solid
side it had an additional row of columns, which marble, and the arcades of the two principal
from its position close to the outer wall seems to facades were framed within the semi-columns
have been decorative rather than structural in and entablatures of a double Tuscan order.
1
AUGUSTAN ROME
35

m m s s sins
IS II 11 a s D

H 1 i 1 1 1 1 1 1 ri 1 n

50m
V
B

1 M II II II 1 II II II 1 1 II II II II 11 M 1
1 1

1 1 1 II II II 1 I 1 1 II II 1 1 II ll II II II II 1 1 1

1 11 n II 11 1
II iT 1 1 II II 1
II II II
M M
1 1 1 1 1
1
1

1 1
II II II II II II II II II II 1 1 ! 1
II 1

h II 1
ll
|i
1
1
1
i|

M n 11 II II II II II II II II II M 1 1 1 1

M
1 1

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1
1

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II 1
1

11 II II II II II II M

MMMlllll
! i
1
1 1 i 1 1 1 1 1 1
i 1

1
1 1 1
1 II II II 1 1 II II II II 1 1 II {
1 II II 1
1 1

50m ^
12. Rome, (a) Basilica Aemilia, rebuilt after 14 B.C.;
between c. 12 B.C. and a.d. 12. Plans.
(b) Basilica Julia, rebuilt

For the facade of the portico in front of the Basilica Aemilia


cf. illustration 13
36 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

13. Rome, Basilica Aemilia, rebuilt after 14 B.C. Drawing by Giuliano da Sangallo

Except for the greater richness of the materials, the almost universal use of a tall podium, with or
the structural scheme is remarkably similar to without a frontal flight of steps, the general
that of the Theatre of Marcellus and offers an trend was undoubtedly towards a more typically
interesting, and in this form and context unique, Greek hellenistic tradition. Many of the older
example of the reinterpretation of the tra- shrines, with their low columns and spreading
ditional architectural theme of the columnar roofs, must still have survived. But as they
basilica in terms of contemporary construc- burned or were restored they were replaced by
tional methods. buildings which, both in their proportions and
The architecture of the Augustan temples in much of their detail, approximated far more
was by its very nature weighted on the side of closely to the norm of late hellenistic design.
conservatism. In the relatively restricted space One of the earliest and finest of the Augustan
available within the city there was no room for temples was that of Apollo on the Palatine, built
the daring innovations that had characterized between 36 and 28 B.C. Of solid Carrara marble
the great sanctuaries of Latium in the Late and adorned with many famous statues, it was
Republic; and although under Augustus and his acclaimed as one of the wonders of its day.
successors there were still such distinctively Adjoining it were a portico carried on columns
Italic features as the tendency to place the actual of Numidian marble (one of the first recorded
temple against a rear wall, facing forwards, and uses of coloured marbles on such a scale) and a
AUGUSTAN ROME 37

Greek and a Latin library. After the great fire of


A.D. 64 the Hbraries were rebuilt at a higher level
by Domitian, and their remains can be seen
behind the great triclinium of the Flavian
Palace. Of the temple, on the other hand,
nothing has survived above ground except the
core of the podium and a few marble fragments,
but the current excavations confirm that it was
pseudo-peripteral in plan, with a widely spaced
hexastyle porch facing out across the Circus
Maximus at the head of a majestic flight of steps,
flanked on one side by Augustus's house and on
the other by a courtyard and the two libraries.
All that we know of these early Augustan
monuments suggests that they represent a
moment of lively architectural experiment. Had
more of this influential building come down to
us, much that is obscure about the later de-

velopment of Augustan architecture might well


'"^
have been made clear.

The neighbouring Temple of the Great


Mother (Magna Mater, or Cybele) offers a
striking contrast. Its restoration by Augustus
after a fire in a.d. 3 followed thoroughly
conservative lines, probably re-using much of
the material of the Republican building and a
part of its actual structure, with a liberal use of
14. Relief, probably from the Ara Pietatis Augustae,
stucco both for the finished masonry surfaces
dedicated in a.d. 43, depicting the facade of the
and for the architectural detail. A first-century Temple of Magna Mater on the Palatine, restored
relief in the Villa Medici, which illustrates the after a.d. 3. The extant remains show that much of
fa9ade of the Augustan building [14], gives an the detail here portrayed was executed in stucco

interesting picture of the refinement that was


possible in this material, so much used and so
rarely preserved. The masonry convention por-
trayed approximates closely to that of the
Temple of Mars Ultor.
At a time when there was so much building
going on all at once, there must have been many
other instances of a similar conservatism. Of the
eighty-two temples in the city which Augustus
claimed to have restored in 28 B.C. one cannot
doubt that many were done in traditional
materials and following traditional lines. Even
where the restoration amounted in effect to a
complete rebuilding there must often have been
a considerable stylistic time-lag. An extreme
example of this may be seen in the three small
38 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

15.Rome, I'orum Romanum seen tVom the Palatine.


In the foreground the Temple of Castor, rebuilt between 7 B.C. and a.d. 6.
Bevond it {left) the Basilica Julia and {middle distance) the Arch of Scptimius Severus, a.d. 203,

and the Senate 1 louse, rebuilt by Diocletian after the tire of a.d. 283
AUGUSTAN ROME 39

temples of the Forum Holitorium, preserved as already a landmark in the fifteenth century. The
a result of their partial incorporation in the cella has almost entirely vanished, but the
structure of the medieval church of S. Nicola in interior is known to have had a decorative order
Carcere. On the evidence of the materials of columns along each of the side walls, as in the
employed and other seemingly archaic features, Temple of Mars Ultor. Attempts to date the
all three have been accepted as Republican superstructure to an otherwise unrecorded res-
buildings, possibly even as early as the second toration undertaken in the late first or second
century B.C.; but it now seems probable that at century a.d. are certainly mistaken. There are
least one, the Doric temple, which is built in manifest differences, it is true, between this
travertine, and very possibly all three, are work and that of the near-contemporary
almost entirely Augustan work, replacing the Temple of Mars Ultor; but there are also a great
buildings destroyed in the fire that devastated many details that are no less typically Augustan
the whole area in 31 B.C. The two almost and, as we have seen, the possibility of such
identical Ionic temples incorporate features that difference is characteristic of the Augustan Age.
appear to derive from the Late Augustan Of the two buildings, the surviving remains of
Temple of Castor, and one of them is almost the Temple of Castor give the impression of
certainly to be identified with the Temple of being the work of craftsmen who were less

Janus, which was not finally ready for re- directly under the influence of Greek models.
dedication until A.D. 17. At a time when supplies The Temple of Concord, also rebuilt by
of materials and the labour resources of the city Tiberius and dedicated in a.d. 10, stood on the
must have been strained to the uttermost it is site and repeated the unusual plan of its

not altogether surprising that these small and predecessor, in which the longer axis of the cella
unimportant shrines should have had to wait so lay across the building, so that the porch
long for completion, or that when complete they occupied a part only of the front of the cella. ^^ It

should have retained many features that be- was distinguished by the opulence of its marbles
longed properly to an earlier age.'^ and the wealth of fine sculpture and painting
There are two other Augustan temples that with which it was endowed, and although sadly
call for brief comment, the Temples of Castor little of this remains, that littleis enough to

[15] and of Concord, both very ancient build- show that the architectural ornament too was
ings beside the Forum Romanum that were extremely rich, foreshadowing the opulent
completely rebuilt during the last twenty years schemes of the ensuing Julio-Claudian age. The
of the emperor's That ofCastor,'*^
life. as rebuilt surviving fragments include a section of the
by Tiberius between 7 B.C. and a.d. 6, was a richly carved main cornice [16]; a column base
grandiose peripteral structure standing on a from the internal order of the cella, closely
double podium, the front of which, like that of resembling those of the Temple of Mars Ultor;
the near-by Temple of Divus Julius, rose sheer and a figured Corinthian capital with pairs of
from the pavement of the forum and was used as rams at the four angles in place of the usual
an additional platform for public speakers. The angle volutes. The massive door-sill was of
main body of the podium was of blocks of tufa Chian marble, and other marbles attested from
enclosing a core of concrete, except beneath the the floor and walls of the interior include
columns, which rested on piers of travertine; the Euboean, Phrygian, and Numidian.
whole was faced with Carrara marble, and To anyone familiar with the subtleties of
between the column footings there were re- Greek temple architecture it is natural to ask
cesses which may have been used as strong- whether in the case of the Augustan temples one
rooms. The three surviving columns, 47 feet can make any useful generalizations about the
(14.20 m.) high and capped by a section of the types of plans employed, the spacing of the
original entablature, all of Carrara marble, were columns, the proportions, etc. The question is
40 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

~mmm

16. Rome, Temple of Concord, dedicated in a.d. 10.


Restored marble cornice block, now in the Tabularium

one that would have been perfectly intelligible octastyle and dipteral;^' the other two were
to the section of contemporary architectural octastyle and peripteral, that of Mars on three
opinion of which Vitruvius is the representative sides only, in accordance with the familiar type
figure; and if the contemporary answers did not classified by Vitruvius as sine postico. The rest
always satisfy Vitruvius and his colleagues, this were all hexastyle and indiscriminately prostyle,
is not altogether surprising in an eclectic age pseudo-peripteral, or peripteral. ^^ There was a
which was also one where technical achievement marked tendency towards height at the expense
was rapidly outrunning the forms of architec- of length, an extreme case being the Temple of
tural expression currently available. Mars Ultor with its eight columns across the
The plans, as one might expect, reveal little facade and only nine (including the terminal
uniformity. There were too many models avail- pilaster against the rear wall) down either side;
able, too many competing architects of very and the height was in most cases increased by
varied training, taste, and experience. Of the the use of unusually lofty podia, double in the
five largest temples, that of Concord was a case of Divus Julius and of Castor. The latter

special case; two, those of Diana on the Aven- stood over 100 feet high from the pavement to
tine and of (^uirinus on the Qiiirinal, were the apex of the gable. In no less than four of the
AUGUSTAN ROME 41

temples (Divus Julius, Apollo in Circo, Castor, use in 23 B.C. Cleared of the accretions of
and Saturn) the podium also rises sheer in front, centuries, it is today a sorry ruin; but enough
accentuating the effect of height. This may in remains to establish the essential form, which
each case be due to special circumstances; but it was that of a tall, hollow, concrete drum, 290
is worth noting, since it was not without its feet (88 m.) in diameter, faced with travertine
effect on subsequent architecture in the pro- and surmounted by an earthen tumulus, at the
vinces (e.g. the Temple of Rome and Augustus centre of which stood a colossal bronze statue of
at Lepcis Magna, the Capitolium at Sabratha). the emperor. There was a central tomb-
With the exception of the three temples in the chamber and no less than four internal rings of
Forum Holitorium (which can hardly be con- concrete, faced according to their position with
sidered as typically Augustan buildings) and travertine or tufa reticulate, and broken up into
possibly also of Saturn, Divus Julius, and compartments to contain the earthen mass. It

Apollo Palatinus, all three of them early build- was an exceptionally large example of a type of
ings, the normal order was, and was thereafter grandiose family mausoleum that was in wide-
to remain, Corinthian, and the columns seem to spread use among the noble families of the
have settled down to norm of fairly close
a period, two finely preserved and approximately
spacing. This last, though it may have been contemporary examples being of those of
dictated as much by practical as by theoretical Caecilia Metella beside the Via Appia and of
considerations, once again had the effect of Munatius Plancus at Gaeta. The summit of the
increasing the appearance of height.^-' Finally it tumulus was planted with evergreen trees and it
may be noted that the three largest temples all stood in wooded grounds, which included a
had elaborately carved orders down the internal grove of black poplars, within the enclosure of
side walls of the cellas. This feature, which the family crematorium. Landscaping is not a
initially at any rate had a practical as well as a feature that survives the passage of time but, as
decorative purpose, lessening the span of the we know from the literary sources, it was widely
roof,had Greek precedents, but there were also used and esteemed, and was indeed an integral
Republican Italian prototypes such as the apsed feature of many architectural schemes^. Another
hall at Praeneste and the Nymphaeum of the so- well attested Augustan example is that of
called Villa of Cicero at Formia. It had already Agrippa's buildings in the Campus Martius, a
been used in Pompey's Temple of Venus short distance to the south of the mausoleum -
Victrix, and it was to play a considerable part in in which, very appropriately, he was one of the
the temple architecture of the post-Augustan first to be buried.
age. In the techniques of building, the Augustan
The domestic architecture of the Augustan Age was marked rather by a steady advance in
period is discussed in a later chapter. In the the handling of existing techniques than by any
present context it must be enough to note that it notable innovations. In the use of locally quar-
was here, particularly in the big country ried ashlar masonry it was increasingly the finer
residences of the wealthy, that the Augustan qualities only, notably travertine and Gabine
builders made some of their most significant stone, that were employed in positions where
advances. Another field in which, side by side they could be seen, the other, poorer varieties
with traditionalism, fantasy and experiment being relegated to footings and internal walls.
played a surprisingly large part was that of With the example of the temples of the Forum
funerary architecture. This too will be referred Holitorum before us, one must beware of
to briefly in a later chapter. The outstanding excessive reliance upon such criteria as evidence
public monument in this field was the Mauso- of date: what applied to public building did not
leum of Augustus in the Campus Martius, necessarily apply to private construction; still

beside the river, begun in 28 B.C. and ready for less did it apply outside the immediate peri-
42 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

phery of the capital. But with the ever- time of Caesar that Pozzolana mortar made its

increasing availabihty of concrete as a cheap and first appearance in Rome, but that it was only
efficient substitute, there was a clear tendency under Augustus that it passed into general,
for cut stone to be used, if at all, sparingly and to everyday use.^^
deliberate effect. Notable examples of fine The evolution of the successive types of
ashlar masonry in Augustan Rome are the concrete facing has been extensively studied and
Theatre of Marcellus and the precinct wall of offers a useful criterion of date, though one to

the Forum of Augustus, or, used purely struc- be used with far greater caution than is often the
turally, the podium of the Temple of Castor. case. A careful study, for example, of the
x'\s regards concrete, although there were no masonry used Agrippan repair-work to
in the

sensational innovations in the uses to which it the aqueducts shows how wide a range of
was put, there was a steady improvement in the practice was possible even between the different
quality of the concrete itself. Whereas, for firms engaged upon a single enterprise. One
example, in Late Republican monuments it is cannot expect absolute uniformity. In Rome,
still normal to find horizontal lines of cleavage already quite early in the Augustan Age, re-
running right through the core, corresponding ticulate work with tufa arches and quoins had
to the successive stages of the work, by the turn very largely replaced the earlier, more irregular
of the century this phenomenon is becoming forms, and it remained a common type of facing
increasingly rare; the masons had evidently until well into the following century. The most
evolved a slower-drying mixture, enabling the significant innovation was undoubtedly the
whole body of the core to fuse into a virtually occasional use of brickwork, ^^ which makes a
homogeneous mass. So too, arches and vaults cautious appearance in the monuments from the
away from
reveal a clear evolutionary tendency middle of the first century B.C. onwards.
the Republican form with irregular chunks of Throughout the Augustan period such 'bricks'

stone laid radially around the intrados, like the were invariably broken tiles or roof-tiles, broken
voussoirs of an arch, towards one in which the or sawn to shape; and although Vitruvius,
whole mass, intrados and bedded horizon-
all, is writing between 25 and 22 B.C., refers to their
tally and which stood, once the centering was use in apartment-house construction, not until a
removed, purely by virtue of the quality of the quarter of a century later do we have, in the
concrete. Most important of all, Roman buil- Columbarium of the Freedmen of Augustus, a
ders had begun to realize that for everyday building of which the outer face was built
purposes the local red volcanic sand [pozzolana) entirely of bricks. The Rostra Augusti {c. 20
had the same remarkable properties as its B.C.) offer an early instance of their use in a
namesake, the pulvis puteolanus from Puteoli public monument. The great value of this new
(Pozzuoli) on the coast of Campania, which they medium was that it allowed the builder to
had long been importing for the building of dispense wholly or in part with vertical shutter-
harbours, bridges, and similar hydrauHc works. ing, and although its full potentialities in this
It was the hydraulic character of this local red respect were not realized until well after the
pozzolana, when mixed with lime, which gave death of Augustus, taken in conjunction with
the Roman mortar of the Empire its great the improvements in the quality of the concrete
strength; and although the Romans were un- itself, it paved the way fi)r the revolutionary
aware of the theoretical reasons for this pheno- advances that took place under his successors.
menon, the pages of Vitruvius show that by the
twenties of the first century B.C. they had
achieved a wide practical experience of the Faced with the quantity and variety of building
properties of this and other types of mortar. The that took place in Rome in the sixty-odd years
studv of the monuments shows that it was in the that lie between the death of Caesar in 44 B.C.
AUGUSTAN ROME 43

and the death of Augustus in a.d. 14, it is at first decorative role; another was the substitution of
sight hard to detect any single consistent vaulting for the time-honoured system of
pattern. In a sense this is a true picture. The roofing in timber. The strength of this tradition
architectural development of Augustan Rome is apt to be obscured by the bias of the
(as indeed that of almost any period and place numerically largest group of surviving monu-
within the Empire for the next three hundred ments, the temples, at the expense of the secular
years) falls into a number of distinct and at times architecture, inwhich the native Republican
bewilderingly varied patterns. It is only with the element was more pronounced but of which
far

hindsight of history that one can see what these fewer examples have come down to us. Build-
had in common and whither they were leading. ings such as the Theatre of Marcellus and the
Fundamental to the shaping of the Augustan Basilica Julia, which belong to a line of develop-
building programme were the historical circum- ment that leads directly from the sanctuaries of
stances in which it took place. It was the return Latium and the Tabularium to the Colosseum
of peace and prosperity to a war-weary world and the Circus of Domitian, are in fact repre-

that called into being a programme of such sentative of a wide class of administrative and
unprecedented proportions; and the fact that commercial buildings, of which all too few have
Rome was now the undisputed mistress and survived. Yet another characteristic of this Italic
centre of the civilized world meant inevitably tradition was the development to meet local
that the resources of skill, materials, and artistic conditions of such distinctive architectural
talent of that world were all at her disposal. The types as the basilica. Here again Campania, with
surprising thing is not that there are derivative its mixed Graeco-Italic society, had played an
elements in the architecture of Augustan Rome, important role in the formative stages of the new
but that these were so rapidly and effectively architecture; but the Augustan Basilica Aemilia,
acclimatized in their new home. More signifi- for all its wealth of exotic materials, was as
cant in the long run are the reciprocal currents Roman a building as the Basilica Julia, though
that began to flow outwards from Rome. Just as in detail more old-fashioned. Even the temples
the architecture of Republican Italy is unin- prove on examination to be far less directly
telligible except within the larger framework of hellenizing than at first sight they appear. The
the hellenistic world, so now for the first time basic architectural forms already had a long
the arts of the hellenistic East began to find period of acclimatization and adaptation behind
themselves affected by their participation in a them; it was only the materials and detailed
yet larger organism, that of the Roman Empire. treatment that were new. So far as we know,
A very important factor in this situation was there was no building in Augustan Rome
the strength of the native Italic tradition. The was
(certainly not after the very early years) that

hellenistic, and ultimately hellenic, element in so directly and unashamedly derivative from
this native tradition was inevitably pronounced, Greece as the little Republican circular temple
particularly in Campania, where historical cir- in the Forum Boarium.

cumstance had favoured the fusion of the two In its most vigorous and characteristic forms
traditions; but it had been absorbed into, and in the Republican building tradition was ulti-

part transformed to meet the requirements of, a mately connected with the exploitation and
vigorous and organically developing Repub- development of the building materials available
lican architecture which had strong local roots in Central Italy. The hellenizing strain in the
of its own. A distinctive characteristic of this architecture of Augustan Rome was no less

architecture had been its exploitation of the intimately associated with the introduction of an
structural and aesthetic possibilities of the arch, alien material, marble. Previously available only
relegating the column and architrave of hellenic as an exotic luxury, the opening of the quarries
practice to a secondary and often a purely of Carrara within the space of a few years
44 RON4E AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

poured so abundant supply of it upon the


a event than it might at first sight seem to have
Roman market work it, it was necessary
that, to been. There was nothing new in architectural

to import large numbers of skilled craftsmen; polychromy as such; this was only a richer,
and the only part of the ancient world where subtler variant of a familiar idea. What was
marble-workers were readily available was more significant was the scope which the new
Greece. Taken in conjunction with the deep material offered for an ever-increasing dis-
Roman admiration for all things Greek, the sociation of decoration and structure, a ten-

result was a profound and rapid hellenization of dency which was already work in the architec-
at

the established Republican traditions of archi- ture of the Republic, but which only reached
tectural ornament. The sculptors, many of them full fruition within the brick-faced concrete
trained in the neo-classicizing schools of Attica, architecture of the later Empire.
inevitably brought and used the motifs with Seen within the perspective of its own gener-
which they were themselves familiar. What is ation, thedominant note of Augustan architec-
unexpected in all this is not so much the fact of ture in Rome appears as one of opulence,
the sudden appearance of a new decorative coupled with a cautious conservatism and a
repertory as the rapidity with which that reper- respect for the architectural traditions of
tory was absorbed and adapted to suit the Rome's own recent past. Its only really impor-
requirements of a specifically Roman taste. tant formal innovations lay in the field of
Judged by the standards of classical Greece the architectural ornament. But the size, the qual-
proportions and detail of a great deal of this ity, and the variety of the great Augustan
work are deplorable - but it would be wrong to building programme made it an unfailing source
apply such standards. This was something new. of inspiration to successive generations of ar-
Within the space of a few decades we can see the chitects; the circumstances of its creation gave it

emergence from the melting-pot of a style that a unique authority; and it was the school in

was new and specifically Roman, a style which which the builders of the next generation
was to dominate the architectural ornament of learned the mastery of the materials which they
the capital for over a century to come. were to put to such new and revolutionary uses.
By comparison the importation of large quan- In architecture, as in so much else, the real
tities of coloured marble for the columns, significance of the reign of Augustus lay in the
pavements, and wall-veneers of the great fact that it set the stage for the age that was to
Augustan monuments was a less revolutionary come.
CHAPTER 2

ARCHITECTURE IN ROME
UNDER THE JULIO-CLAUDIAN EMPERORS
(a.d. 14-68)

For all the variety of influences already at work, predecessor was alive he had contributed
still

the architecture of Augustan Rome has a topo- programme, being directly


largely to the official
graphical and chronological unity that makes for responsible for two of the largest and finest of
simplicity of presentation. This is still true, the later Augustan monuments, the Temples of
though to a lesser extent, of the period that Castor and of Concord; and after Augustus's
follows. With a few notable exceptions such as death Tiberius carried to completion a number
Spain and Gaul, the provinces were still, archi- of works that had been left unfinished. But after
tecturally speaking, largely self-contained and half a century of unprecedented building
can justifiably be discussed separately. Within activity, a pause cannot have been altogether
Italy the situation was more complex. But unwelcome; and the increasing embitterment of
although in certain fields Campania still exer- his later years, culminating in the retirement to
cised a considerable creative individuality, else- Capri, removed what little incentive there may
where the flow of ideas was still predominantly have been to the continued embellishment of
from the centre towards the periphery. Through- the capital.
out the first century a.d. it was Rome itself that The majority of the recorded buildings of
continued to call the architectural tune. It is Tiberius in Rome belong, as one would expect,
reasonable, therefore, to begin with an account to the earlier part of his reign. Several small
of public buildings in the capital and in the temples dedicated in a.d. 17 were all buildings
immediate neighbourhood; and since the of which the restoration had been begun and left

individual emperors undoubtedly exercised a unfinished by Augustus. An arch erected in the


strong influence upon the work undertaken Forum Romanum in a.d. 16 to commemorate
under their auspices and in their names, this has the German victories of his destined successor,
been classified according to their reigns. Two Germanicus, and a pair added to the Forum
subjects call for more extended treatment and Augustum in a.d. 19, in honour of Germanicus
will be discussed separately. One of these is the and the younger Drusus, are of interest chiefly
domestic architecture of town and country for the evidence that the scanty surviving
during the period in question. The other is the remains give of the development of a specifically
profound change in architectural thinking Julio-Claudian style of architectural ornament.
which took place in the period between the The same is true of the restoration of the
accession of Nero and the death of Hadrian, and Basilica Aemilia in a.d. 22, a restoration which
which has here been termed the 'Roman Archi- appears to have involved the substantial re-
tectural Revolution'. placement and enrichment of the upper part of
the building. Of the Horrea, or warehouses, of
Sejanus nothing is known; it is to Ostia that we
TIBERIUS (a.d. 14-37)
have to look for similar buildings of Tiberian
The reign of Augustus's successor, Tiberius, date. Nor has anything survived of the re-

saw little building in Rome itself. While his storation of the stage-building of the Theatre of
46 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

Pompey, undertaken after a fire in a.d. 21. The makes its appearance during the last few years of
fact that it is one of the only two Tiberian pubhc Tiberius's life, between a.d. 34 and 37, and
buildings in the capital thought worthy of which is usually interpreted as a representation
mention by Tacitus indicates that it was a work of the Temple of Concord. What the con-
of some importance, presumably the replace- ventional view leaves unexplained is why the
ment of the earlier structure in richer materials latter building, dedicated in a.d. 12, should have
and with a more lavish use of coloured marbles.' been so singled out for representation a quarter
The second building mentioned by Tacitus is of a century later; nor can there be much doubt
the Temple of the Deified Augustus, an under- that the Ionic treatment of the fa9ade of the
taking to which, for dynastic reasons alone, temple featured on the Caligulan coins accords
Tiberius must have felt himself committed, and better with what we know of the somewhat
which he did in fact bring to virtual completion experimental architecture of the early years of
before his death in a.d. 37, although it was left to Augustus's reign than with what we know of the
his successor, Caligula, to dedicate it. It lay in tastes of the ageing Tiberius. This is clearly a
the as yet unexplored area to the south of the matter that only further exploration can decide.
Basilica Julia. No remains of it have been For the present it must suffice to note that the
recorded, but it is usually identified with an conventional interpretation of the coin evi-
Ionic hexastyle building which figures pro- dence, though widely accepted, is not altogether
minently on the coinage of Caligula [17]. A less free from difficulties.^

Architecturally, as indeed also politically, the


most significant Tiberian building that has
survived in the capital is the camp of the
Praetorian Guard, built in a.d. 21-3 at the
instigation of its commander, Tiberius's aide
and evil genius, Sejanus. In it were concentrated
the troops that had hitherto been scattered
throughout the city and its environs; and
although its location just outside the city limits
respected the letter if not the spirit of the
convention that no troops might be stationed in
Rome, its establishment was a decisive step
down the slippery slope that led to open
autocracy. Architecturally, too, it marks an
epoch: not only does it represent the first

appearance in the capital of an architecture that


had been evolved in the military encampments
of the Provinces, but the outer walls, large
17. Coin of Cialigula, a.d. 37, stretches of which can still be seen incorporated
showing an Ionic temple, usually identified in the third-century city walls [18], have the
as that of the Deified Augustus
additional distinction of being the first major
public monument to have been built almost
generally accepted, but not unattractive, sug- entirely in brick-faced concrete. The plan, a
gestion is that the building on the coins is the rectangle with rounded corners, measuring 470
Temple of Apollo Palatinus, another building by 406 yards (430 by 371 m.) and enclosing an
which had very close associations with Augus- area of over 14 acres, is that of a typical military
tus; and that for the Temple of Divus Augustus camp, divided, equally about the longer axis and
we have to look instead to a coin type which unequally about the shorter, by two intersecting
ROME UNDER THE JUL lO-CL AUD AN EMPERORS I (A.D. 14-68)
47

Streets and served by four gates placed at the walk; above this stood a parapet 4 feet (1.20 m.)
corresponding points of the outer walls. The high, with a coping upon which were set small,
form of the gateway is a translation into brick of widely spaced merlons. The little that has
an architectural type that was already firmly survived of the internal barrack-blocks suggests
established in stone (e.g the Augustan arch at that, in contrast to the outer walls, they were
Rimini), in which the archway is framed be- built in reticulate work. Considering the novelty
tween decorative pilasters that carry a pedimen- of the medium, the treatment of the outer walls
tal entablature set against a plain, rectangular is remarkably assured. Walls, towers, and gates
attic. Flanking the gateway, and projecting a alike, though fully adequate to the limited
mere foot from the face of it, was a pair of low, military requirements of the situation, were
rectangular towers, and there were similar clearly designed almost as much to impress as

18. Rome, Castra Praetoria, the north outer wall. The lower part, above the exposed footings,
is original (a.d. 21-3) up to and including the projecting string course and, just above it,

the remains of the early parapet and merlons. The upper part dates from the incorporation
of the camp into the Aurelianic Walls (a.d. 270-82)

towers at intervals along the rest of the wall. The for their defensibility; the towers, with their
outer face of the wall itself stood upon a three- very shallow projection, can have served little

stepped plinth, rising 9 feet 6 inches (2.90 m.) to military purpose. The mouldings of the gates in
a projecting string-course, which marks the particular can be seen to foreshadow a simple
height of the pavement of the internal rampart but effective tradition of decorative brickwork
48 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

which was to play a long and distinguished part Antiqua and at the upper level there is a huge
in the architecture of the capital.^ vaulted cistern, of interest in that it offers the
Another building that might be expected to first recorded instance of the lightening of a
throw light on this interesting transitional phase vault by the use, as aggregate, of carefully
in the history of Roman monumental con- selected materials, in this case a porous yellow
struction is the new residence which Tiberius tufa mixed with pumice.^ Caligula began, but
built on the Palatine. Current excavations are did not complete, the construction of two new
confirming that Augustus's own residence had aqueducts,^ while demolishing the terminal
been remarkable more for the ostentatious section of the Aqua Virgo to make way for a new
intimacy of its relationship to the Temple of amphitheatre, which in the event was never
Apollo than for its size or the opulence of its built. The Circus of Gaius in the Vatican area,
fittings. Beside it, on the north-west corner of which was to achieve notoriety under Nero on
the Palatine, Tiberius, shortly after his the occasion of the persecution of the Christians
accession, began to add a new and larger after the fire of a.d. 64, and its near neighbour,
residence, the Domus Tiberiana. The site, a the Gaianum, an open space for the practice of
rectangular platform measuring 200 by 130 chariot-driving, are of more topographical than
yards (180 by 120 m.), is now very largely architectural importance. It was to adorn the
inaccessible beneath the gardens laid out upon it former that Caligula brought from Heliopolis,
in the sixteenth century by Cardinal Alessandro in Egypt, the obelisk that now stands in the
Farnese. There are records of brick-faced as centre of the piazza in front of St Peter's. The
well as of reticulate masonry, and an oval fish- list of public works is short. Even if one adds the
pool near the south-east angle suggests that the buildings of Tiberius that Caligula completed
strict rectilinearity of the outer perimeter was and dedicated, it does not constitute a very
not rigidly observed throughout the building. distinguished achievement.
Nearly all is now visible, however,
of what There are, however, two aspects of the
towards the Forum Romanum, is the work of building activity of Caligula that are of rather
later emperors, and it may well be that work on wider significance. One is in the field of domes-
the new building was far from complete and was tic architecture. Suetonius records that outside
suspended when Tiberius finally abandoned Rome he built many villas and country houses;
Rome. It is Rome, on Capri, and
outside and Pliny the Elder writes that the whole city

perhaps also at Albano, that we have to look if was ringed around with the dwellings of Ca-
we are to form any idea of the way the earlier ligula and Nero.' The coupling of the names of
Julio-Claudian emperors were housed. This Caligula and Nero is significant. Just as
will be discussed in a later chapter."* nineteenth-century Rome was still encircled by
the villas and parks of the princely families

CALIGULA (many of which, indeed, were laid out in


(a.D. 37-41)
conscious imitation of classical precedents), so
The reign of Tiberius's successor, Gaius, better Rome at the end of the Republic was all but
known as Caligula, may be thought to have been enclosed within a ring of wealthy villas and
too brief and his character too frivolous to have gardens, many of which in course of time passed
much permanent mark on the architectural
left by purchase, inheritance, or expropriation into
development of Rome. Of his grandiose plans imperial possession. It was probably under
for the remodelling of the Palatine, and in Tiberius that the Horti Lamiani (on the right
particular for the enlargement of the Domus bank of the Tiber) and the Horti Sallustiani
Tiberiana in the direction of the Forum Ro- (near the modern Palazzo Barberini) became
manum, little has survived. There are the scanty imperial property. It was while directing archi-
traces of an arched courtyard with a central pool tectural operations in the former that Caligula
on the site of the medieval church of S. Maria received the delegation of Jews from Alexandria
ROME UNDER THE JUL lO-CL AUD AN EMPERORS I (A.D. 14-68)
49

of whose reception Philo has left us such a that was addressed ultimately to the individual,
graphic account. offering to the qualified initiate comfort in this
Building of this sort must have been very world and salvation in the next. Together they
much to the emperor's taste; and although unquestionably constituted the most powerful
nothing of it has survived, we can at least get an spiritual force at work during the first three
indication of the wealth and quality of its centuries of our era.
ornament from the galleys of Lake Nemi. The The architectural impact of the mystery
traditional view of these strange vessels is surely religions was as varied as their message. Those
the right one. They were villas afloat, equipped that were politically acceptable were free to
with every luxury, including running water, and develop a monumental architecture of their
adorned with floors and walls of patterned own, although not by any means all of them did
marble and mosaic, partitions and doors cover- in fact do so.^ Of those that were unwilling or
ed with painted wall-plaster, or painted and unable to compromise with the state some, like

inlaid with strips of ivory and gilded bronze, Christianity, were content to forgo an architec-
marble colonnettes, painted terracotta friezes, ture of their own and to meet in private houses.
tiles of gilded bronze, as well as sculpture and Others were driven, quite literally, under-
numerous finely wrought fittings of moulded ground. The so-called Underground Basilica
bronze. What is almost more striking than the beside the Via Praenestina [19] is such a
luxuriance of the ornament is the superb quality building. Constructed about the middle of the
of the joinery and of the workmanship generally. first century a.d. to serve the requirements of a

In all of this one is reminded irresistibly of the Neo-Pythagorean sect, it was suppressed soon
decorative taste displayed in the palaces of Nero
twenty years later; and one may hazard a guess 19. Rome, Underground Basilica

that in the formal qualities, too, of the architec- beside the Via Praenestina, mid first century a.d.
The stucco decoration indicates that it was the
ture there was much that anticipated later
meeting place of a Neo-Pythagorean sect
practice. In an age when the tastes of the patron
might be quite as important of those of the
artist, and in a field that lent itself so admirably
to experiment and fantasy, the impact of
Caligula's enthusiasm upon the domestic
architecture of its age should not be under-
estimated.
Another field in which the emperor's tastes

found ample scope for personal expression was


that of religious architecture. Although the
great Augustan building programme must have
left the buildings of the traditional state cults in
better condition than they had ever been before,
the vital currents of contemporary religious
belief were increasingly turning towards the so-
called mystery religions of the East. The prac-
tices of these religions ranged from the frankly
orgiastic fertility rites of Cybele and Attis,
through the often exalted mysticism of the cults
of Isis and Mithras, to the austerely rational
beliefs of such quasi-philosophical sects as the
Neo-Pythagoreans; but all shared with Chris-
tianity the powerful inducements of a message
50 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235
ROME UNDER THE JULIO-CLAUD AN EMPERORS I (A.D. 14-68)

after its construction and was filled in and rectangular forecourt. Whether Domitian's re-
forgotten. The form, an antechamber and a storation followed the same general lines as its
basilican nave with three equal aisles leading up predecessor we cannot say; nor do we know to
to a single apse, anticipates that which, for not what extent the remarkable curvilinear plan of
dissimilar reasons, the Christians were to adopt the southern building reproduces or reflects
nearly three centuries later; and the method of Isiac practice elsewhere. Architecturally, the
construction, whereby trenches were cut in the significant fact is that it was in a field such as this

tufa and concrete laid in them to form the walls that new architectural ideas were free to cir-
and the piers, the remaining tufa being exca- culate, and that they should in this instance have
vated only after the walls and vaults had set, is a involved so radical a break-away from the
good illustration of the ingenuity of the Roman traditional forms of classical religious building.
handhng the new medium. With its
architect in The fittings of the sanctuary, as distinct from
uniquely preserved facing of delicately moulded the buildings, were unequivocally Egyptian in
stucco and its air of timeless withdrawal, it is a character, many of them being actual Egyptian
singularly moving monument, one of the few pieces imported for the purpose. Much of the
that call for little or no effort of the imagination sculpture still survives, in the Capitoline Mu-
if one is to clothe the bare bones with the flesh seum, in the Vatican, and elsewhere, and two of
and blood of the living building. the smaller obelisks are still in use near the site
Midway between the two extremes came of the temples, one of them in the piazza in front
those cults which, while prepared to conform to of the Pantheon, the other carried by Bernini's
the requirements of the state, were able to retain elephant in the Piazza della Minerva. A taste
much of their outward as well as of their for Egyptian and egyptianizing themes is a
spiritual individuality. Prominent among such recurrent feature of Roman architectural orna-
was the cult of the hellenized Egyptian divi- ment, ranging from the import of such for-
nities, Isis and Serapis; and the chance that midable pieces as the great obelisks, which,
Caligula was personally attracted by this cult resurrected and put to new use, are still such a
gave its devotees an opportunity that they were striking feature of the Roman scene, down to the
quick to seize. The room with Isiac paintings on dilutely and romantically egyptianizing Nilotic
the Palatine, which was preserved by its in- scenes beloved of interior decorators of all

corporation within the substructures of the periods. The Egyptian cults were not by any
Flavian Palace, and which used to be attributed means the only influence at work. There were
to Caligula, is now generally recognized to be the Alexandrian stucco-workers, for example,
half a century earlier in date;^ but there is a and more generally there was the Alexandrian
strong presumption that it was he who was component in the hellenistic tradition that was
responsible for building the sanctuary of Isis responsible, at its best, for such masterpieces as
and Serapis in the Campus Martius. The latter the great Barberini mosaic in the sanctuary at
was damaged in the fire of a.d. 8o and restored Palestrina. But the cults, too, had a part to play,
by Domitian, and again by Alexander Severus. and the establishment of these exotic temples in
As recorded in the Severan marble map of the Campus Martius is a minor but significant
Rome [20] it comprised two distinct shrines landmark in the long process of the oriental-
opening off the long sides of an enclosed ization of Roman beliefs and Roman taste.

20 {opposite). Part of the Severan marble map of Rome, showing the Porticus Divorum,
the Temple of Minerva Chalcidica, the Sanctuary of Isis and Serapis, part of the Saepta Julia,
the Diribitorium, the Baths of Agrippa, and {bottom right) the north end of the group
of Republican temples in the Largo Argentina, and the north-east corner of the colonnaded gardens
behind the Theatre of Pompey
52 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 2^^

CLAUDIUS (A.D. 41-54) Piranesi of one of the several arches that carried
it over the streets of the city centre [23] shows it

The emperor Claudius had Httle in common to have been treated in the same highly man-
with his predecessor. Elderly and pedantic, but nered rustication as another, better-known
endowed with an unexpected streak of practical Claudian building, the Porta Maggiore. The
good sense, not for him the costly luxury of latter is the monumental double arch on which
building for its own sake. Although at least two the two new aqueducts crossed the Via Labicana
more estates, the Horti on the
Luculliani and the Via Praenestina just before their point
Pincian Hill and the Horti Tauriani on the of junction. Used by AureHan as the nucleus of
Esquihne, were confiscated to the imperial the Porta Praenestina, one of the gates in the
domain during his reign, there is no record of third-century city walls, in 1838 it was stripped
any new construction in either. He seems to of its later accretions, and it stands today as the
have been responsible for some alterations and finest and most familiar of the surviving Clau-
additions on that part of the Palatine that was dian monuments of the city [21, 22]. Over 80
later occupied by the Flavian Palace, but noth- feet high, it is built throughout of fine travertine
ing of any great extent; and his religious masonry. That of the attic, which carried the
dedications appear to have been limited to the two conduits and bore a handsome commemo-
addition of altars or statues to existing buildings rative inscription, is dressed smooth, whereas,
and the building of an altar modelled on the Ara apart from the carved capitals and entablatures,
Pacis, the Ara Pietatis Augustae, in honour of that of the lower part has been deliberately left

Augustus's widow, Livia. At least one temple rough, as laid, without the slightest attempt at

that had been destroyed by fire, that of Felicitas, refinement. This was a deliberate mannerism,
was not rebuilt. There are records of two not simply unfinished work, and it was doubt-
commemorative arches celebrating the victories less work such as this that inspired architects of
of the emperor's generals in the field, but such the Renaissance such as Michelozzo, in the
archesmay by this date be considered a com- Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence, and Ber-
monplace requirement of Imperial architecture. nini, in the Palazzo del Montecitorio. Highly
Both are known from coins, and that which mannered rustication of this sort is found in
carried the Aqua Virgo over the Via Lata is also several Claudian buildings in and near Rome,"
known from old drawings.'" So far as one can and taken in conjunction with the no less
judge, they were very similar in general design, characteristically Claudian, and in such a con-
with widely spaced twin columns resting on a text decidedly old-fashioned, predilection for
single base and supporting an entablature with cut-stone masonry, one is tempted to regard it

an attic above, the principal difference between as a personal fancy of the emperor himself.
the two being that the entablature of one was Away from the city the two new aqueducts were
pedimental whereas that of the other was plain. built in the normal contemporary faced con-
Both probably carried equestrian statues of the crete, the main distinguishing feature being the
emperor between trophies. very poor quality of much of the work. The
A which Claudius inherited from his
task Claudian contractors seem to have deserved
predecessor, and which must have been more to their reputation for graft.
his taste, was the completion of the two aque- Without question, Claudius's most impor-
ducts begun by Caligula but left unfinished, the tant contributions to the development of Roman
Aqua Claudia and the Aqua Anio Novus, and architecture lie in a field which one might be
the replacement of the destroyed terminal sector tempted to dismiss as mere engineering, were it
of the Aqua Virgo. The last-named was built not that it was so obviously the practical
throughout of a hard grey-brown tufa {peperino) much that was most vital in
forcing-house of
with travertine details, and an engraving by contemporary Roman building. It was in great
ROME UNDER THE JULIO-CLAUDIAN EMPERORS (a. D. 14-68)
53

21. Rome, Porta Maggiore, a monumental double archway of travertine, built by Claudius
to carry the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus across the Via Labicana and the Via Praenestina.
Completed in a.d. 52. Later incorporated into the Aurelianic Walls
^

54 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

,y.7/ //Uiirarc ,7 ht r//.-' '"' i<7/'tr^t// del 'ncr:cin<,-/:to


ROME UNDER THE JULIO-CLAUDIAN EMPERORS (a. D. 14-68)
55

22 Rome, the Porta Labicana {left) and Porta Praenestina {right) of the Aurehanic Walls
{opposite).
(a.d.270-82, modified by Honorius, a.d. 403, with many later accretions), incorporating the Claudian
archway at the Porta Maggiore. Drawing by Rossini, 1829

23 {opposite, heloiv). Rome, archway of rusticated travertine, a.d. 46, carrying the restored Aqua Virgo.
Engraving by Piranesi, based on the upper part of the arch, all that was visible in his day

public works such as the new harbour at the evidently not accompanied by any theoretical
mouth of the Tiber, near Ostia, and the draining appreciation of the reasons for its hydraulic
of the Fucine Lake that engineers and architects properties.'^
(the distinction would have been meaningless to One of the principal purposes of the new
a Roman) learned the complete mastery of their harbour at Ostia was to ensure the regularity of
materials which lay behind the revolutionary the grain-supply, and it is not surprising there-
architectural progress of the later part of the fore that Claudius should have concerned him-
century. The draining of the Fucine Lake was self also with improving the arrangements for its

one of the many projects which Julius Caesar is storage and distribution. A great deal of the
said to have had under consideration at the time storage was provided at Ostia itself.'^ But
of his death; and it is not at all improbable that although fewer buildings of the sort have been
Claudius was further influenced in his choice by identified in Rome, this must be partly due to
his own antiquarian researches into the Etrus- the difficulties of distinguishing and dating such
cans, those early masters of hydraulic lore. It is utilitarian buildings from the very fragmentary
significant that at about the same date (the remains that have come down to us. It is now
masonry is Julio-Claudian) there was also a generally believed that the traces of a very large
restoration of the emissary of Lake Albano, the porticoed building along the west side of the Via
original drainage of which in the early fourth Lata beneath and adjoining the Palazzo Doria,
century B.C. had been achieved under Etruscan long but erroneously thought to be those of the
guidance. Whatever the precedents, the drain- Saepta, are in fact what survives of the Porticus
ing of the Fucino into the river Liri, four miles Minucia Frumentaria, which about this date
distant, was an enormous undertaking. It took seems to have become the main distributing
eleven years to complete; and although ancient centre within the city.'"^ The piers surviving
writers understandably make much of the sev- beneath the church of S. Maria in Via Lata are
eral humiliating setbacks which the project of travertine and rusticated in the Claudian
underwent as a result of the venality and manner; they were free-standing and carried flat

incompetence of the contractors, the planning arches. Others, no longer visible, were cruci-
and organization of the work was of a high form, indicating a vaulted superstructure. If
order. A detail which illustrates how strongly this is indeed the Porticus Minucia, which is

Roman building practice rested on experience known from inscriptions to have had at least
rather than on theory is that much of the mortar forty-two distinct entrances, or offices, one must
used is of poor quality because, in mixing it, the assume that much of the storage space was
builders chose to use a ferruginous red sand accommodated on an upper storey or storeys,
from the bottom of the lake, which bears a and was accessible, as often at Ostia, by ramps.
superficial resemblance to the red pozzolana of Another commercial building which from its
the Roman Campagna, rather than the readily masonry may well be of Claudian date is the
accessible yellow pozzolana, which looked like easternmost of the two early buildings beneath
clay. Claudius was still importing pulvis pu- the church of S. Clemente. It consists of a
teolanus from Pozzuoli for his harbour works. number of small, uniform chambers grouped
The very considerable practical knowledge al- around three sides of a rectangular enclosure
ready acquired of the uses of pozzolana was (the fourth side, with the entrance, is missing).
56 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

The openings into the individual chambers are were the first public expression, and the wider
narrow, suggesting that the commodity handled implications of the great imperial residences
was less bulky than grain; and the provision of upon which he lavished so much money and
windows may indicate that the building com- attention are discussed later. '^ In the pages that
bined the functions of depot and bazaar. follow we are concerned only with his public
Finally, one may mention the grandiose building, and with his palaces in so far as they
temple and precinct begun in Claudius's honour affected the architectural development of the
immediately after his death by his widow and city as a whole or illustrate the personality of
alleged poisoner, Agrippina. Although the vis- their builder.
ible remains are almost entirely the work of During the early part of his reign Nero's
Nero, who incorporated the site into the gardens interests were those of a wealthy young patrician
of the Golden House, and of Vespasian, who of his day. In the Vatican area he completed the
completed the temple, the elaborately rusticated unfinished Circus of Caligula and built a new
travertine masonry [28, 29] is so very closely in bridge across the river, the Pons Neronianus, to
the tradition of the Claudian Aqua Virgo and give access to it. He laid out a temporary
the Porta Maggiore [21-3] (and so very much stadium in the Campus Martius (possibly the
in contrast with the elegant refinement of most forerunner of the Stadium of Domitian) and in
Neronian building) that they constitute a fitting 57 a temporary amphitheatre, the lavish ap-
postscript to the work of the emperor in whose pointments of which - marbles and precious
memory they were erected. gems, ivory inlay, golden nets hung from tusks
of solid ivory, and star-spangled awnings - are

NERO very much in character with what we know of


(a.d. 54-68)
the builder of the Domus Aurea. In more
The emperor Nero was seventeen when he serious vein he was responsible for a market-
succeeded his stepfather, Claudius. He was a building on the Caelian, the Macellum Mag-
young man of decided artistic tastes and some num, dedicated in 59. The building itself has
talent, but temperamentally unstable and vanished, but coins show a two-storeyed col-
wholly unfitted for the responsibilities of un- umnar pavilion within what appears to have
bridled power. Two circumstances singled his been a porticoed enclosure, also of two storeys.
reign out to be a turning-point in the history of It was evidently an elaborate version of the
Roman architecture. One was the fire which in single-storeyed market-buildings of Pompeii,
'^
a.d. 64 destroyed half the centre of ancient Lepcis Magna [245], and other early sites.

Rome, with results that may fairly be compared Nero's most popular building was without
with the aftermath of the Great Fire of London question the public baths, the Thermae Nero-
of 1666. The other was the situation created by nianae, which he completed in 62 or 64 in the
the great advances in building materials and Campus Martius, near the by now sadly in-
techniques that had taken place during the adequate Baths of Agrippa. 'What worse than
preceding half century. Although there was no Nero, what better than Nero's baths?' was
single dominating architectural personality Martial's verdict.'"^ The building underwent a
comparable to Sir Christopher Wren, con- major restoration at the hands of Alexander
temporary building practice had within itself Severus in 227, and it was on this occasion that it

the resources fof a development unprecedented took on the form that was recorded in the
in the history of ancient architecture. They only Renaissance, showing a symmetrical building of
awaited an outlet and a stimulus. The fire the same general type as the Baths of Titus,
provided the one, Nero the other. Trajan, and Caracalla. It is a great pity that we
The resulting revolution in architectural have no means of telling what, if any, part of this
technology and taste, of which Nero's buildings represents Nero's original design, and that we
ROME UNDER THE JUL lO-CL AUD AN EMPERORS I (A.D. 14-68)
57

cannot, therefore, determine whether it repre- alsoon the Oppian'^ by building across the low
sented a first step towards the formation of the saddle thatis now crowned by the Arch of Titus

'Imperial' type which was to dominate later and the church of S. Maria Nova. Although it
Roman practice. We can only say that such an was all swept away in or after the fire, enough
innovation would have been in character with has come down to us to give an idea of the
what we know of contemporary planning combination of rich materials and a meticulous
trends. Adjoining the baths was a gymnasium - refinement of detail which was the hallmark of
an interesting anticipation of the provision Nero's personal taste. One well preserved frag-
made in the great public bath-buildings of the ment,^" buried deep within the platform of

5m

24. Rome, junction of two corridors within Nero's Domus Transitoria, before a.d. 64,
later incorporated within the platform of the Temple of Venus and Rome. Plan and sectional view.
The form of the dome is conjectural

second and third centuries for the social and Hadrian's Temple of Venus and Rome, com-
educational activities which had belonged to the prises a small, circular, and presumably domed
Greek gymnasium.'^ chamber at the intersection of two barrel-
Nero had inherited from his father a town vaulted corridors [24]. There were shallow,
house beside the Via Sacra, and it must have marble-lined pools behind columnar screens in
been this fact which first suggested the idea of two of the arms, and the whole was paved in rich
the Domus Transitoria, which was to link the colours, partly in marble, partly in a geometric
extensive imperial properties on the Esquiline design of tiles of semi-opaque glass paste. Apart
and on the Palatine and, it now seems, a nucleus from its materials, however, this fragment of a
5 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

larger complex, with its wide penetration of a well have been the first major public monument
small, circular, and probably centrally lit, in which this tendency found monumental
domed chamber by vaulted corridors, offers a expression. But the ferment was already at
valuable foretaste of one of the most striking and work, and in a surprisingly sophisticated form.
significant features of the Golden House, name- Another well preserved fragment of the
ly the interest of its architect in the inter- Domus Transitoria is the sunken fountain
play of enclosed curvilinear forms. As we shall court, or nymphaeum, beneath the triclinium of
see in a later chapter, the Golden House may the Flavian Palace [25]. This was an elongated

i
s
vAr

25. Rome, fountain court of Nero's Domus Transitoria,


destroyed in A.D. 64 and later incorporated in the substructures
of Domitian's Palace. Axonometric view. The central pavilion
probably had a gabled timber roof
ROME UNDER THE JUL lO-CL AUD AN EMPERORS I (A.D. 14-68) 59

rectangular building recessed into the valley Park, or about one-third of Central Park, New
bottom between the two eminences of the York, and comprising the whole basin of which
Palatine Hill. In the centre was an open court- the depression occupied by the Colosseum is the
yard, with an elaborately scalloped fountain and natural centre. For all the perversity of its

cascades occupying the whole of one wall and, conception, the result was a remarkable and
opposite it, a square dais covered by a columnar highly individual complex of buildings and
pavilion; facing each other across the courtyard parkland which, in several respects, can fairly

from either end, there were two suites of small claim to have been a turning-point in the history
rooms, very richly decorated with marble in- of Roman architecture.
tarsia, marble panelling, and vaulted ceilings In essence the Golden House was a wealthy
covered with paintings and elaborate stucco- country residence established in the heart of
work, enriched with coloured glass and semi- urban Rome [26]. It was this fact, not its

precious stones. This was a suite for intimate, al opulence, which was its crime in the eyes of
fresco dining and repose in hot weather, com- Nero's contemporaries, and it was this fact

parable both in form and in intent to such which determined the whole layout. The
Renaissance nymphaea (themselves based on centrepiece was an artificial lake on the site later

classical models) as that built by Ammanati in occupied by the Colosseum. Facing out across
the Villa di Papa Giulio. The fountain bears a the lake from the sheltered lower slopes of the
distinct family resemblance to the scaenae frons Oppian Hill (an off"shoot of the Esquiline) was
of a theatre, the pavilion to those that one sees in the main domestic wing; streams fed by spe-
the wall-paintings of Pompeii; the materials cially built branches of the aqueducts cascaded
were the richest money could buy - on the floor down the slopes; and, grouped along the water-
and walls are specimens of all the finest varieties side and scattered picturesquely through the
of marble and porphyry from Greece, Asia parkland as far as the eye could reach, were
Minor, Egypt, and Africa, several of them fountains, baths, porticoes, pavilions, and tem-
appearing here for the first time; and the pietti. The boundaries were sited so that from
workmanship matched the materials. To cite a the terrace in front of the residential wing one
single instance, the decoration of the walls was saw nothing of the encircling town. Only
protected from damp by an air-space contrived towards the Forum Romanum, along the Velia,
by means of specially constructed tiles. The was there monumental group of buildings.
a
floor too was specially damp-proofed. Here the fire had destroyed the Temple of Vesta
The fire of 64, which started in the Circus and everything to the south of it, and here Nero
Maximus and spread thence eastwards and built a grandiose vestibule on the site later
southwards across the Palatine and Caelian occupied by the Temple of Venus and Rome. In
towards the Esquiline, swept away the Domus the centre stood a colossal gilt bronze statue of
Transitoria and with many of the oldest and
it himself, 120 feet high; and down the western
most populous quarters of Rome. Of the four- slopes of the Velia the Via Sacra was taken out of
teen administrative Regions into which the city its traditional winding course and made the axis

was divided, three were totally destroyed and of a monumental approach flanked by multiple
only four were untouched. Nero had the au- streetside colonnades.^'
thority which, in similar circumstances, Wren All this was swept away after Nero's death,
lacked, and he was quick to seize his oppor- and over most of the area its only lasting result
tunity. To provide for his new and yet more was to make available to Nero's successors the
ambitious residence, the Domus Aurea or Gol- ground upon which were built most of the great
den House, he annexed the properties adjoining monuments of Rome during the next half-
his own estates throughout an area of some century - the Templum Pacis, the Temple of
300-350 acres, roughly the equivalent of Hyde Venus and Rome, the Colosseum, the Baths of
6o ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235
ROME UNDER THE JUL lO-CL AUD AN EMPERORS I (A.D. 14-68) 61

Titus and of Trajan, and the Flavian Palace, to one of them was also the architect of vision who
name only some. Only the residential wing saw and exploited the aesthetic possibilities of
survived long enough to be incorporated within the new concrete medium is entirely possible;
the substructures of Trajan's Baths and so but upon this aspect of the Golden House the
preserved to be rediscovered by the artists and sources are silent.
antiquarians of the Renaissance. Its vaulted Nero himself is remembered (and would
chambers were the grotte where Raphael and his undoubtedly have wished to be remembered)

followers saw and studied the models for the for his Golden House. He deserves, however, to
style of which the name 'grotesque' has since be given credit also for the admirable regu-
passed into the language - a strange but not lations which he drew up to govern the rebuild-
altogether inappropriate memorial to the biz- ing of Rome after the fire.^-^ The new city was to
arre fancy of its one-time imperial patron. be laid out with regular, broad streets instead of
The Romans were not alone in failing to the tortuous alleyways of the old town; street-
observe the real architectural significance of side porticoes were to be provided, from the flat

what was going on around them. By its con- roofs of which fires could be fought; no building
temporaries the Golden House was seen prin- was to be more than seventy feet high;^"^ every
cipally as a feat of engineering and as a repertory house was to be structurally independent of its
of mechanical marvels. ^^ Nero's taste was above neighbours; timber was to be restricted to a
all for the novel and the spectacular, and his minimum and the use of certain fire-resistant
architects, Severus and Celer, were practical stones encouraged. Human nature being what it
engineers who had been associated with the is, these regulations were not always observed.
ambitious enterprise (begun but never com- But for a more positive view of their effective-
pleted) of cutting a canal from Lake Avernus to ness one has only to look at the streets and
the Tiber. They were well equipped to provide apartment-houses of second-century Ostia,
such wonders as the artificial lake, a revolving which in this, as in so much else, copied what
banqueting hall (or a hall with a revolving was going on in Rome. Nero's regulations
ceiling) representing the motions of the hea- expressed and codified changes that were al-
venly bodies, coffered ivory ceilings which ready in the air. The time was ripe for the
scattered flowers and scent upon the guests replacement of the ramshackle tenement-
beneath, or baths suppHed with sea-water and houses of old Rome by the neat, orderly insulae
with water from the sulphur springs near Tivoli; which the newly developed concrete medium
and they were able within the compass of a few had made possible. The Great Fire furnished
years to plan and to carry into effect the whole the occasion; and if it was, broadly speaking, a
vast programme of landscaping and construc- new Rome that rose from the ashes, Nero most
tion that lay behind the contrived rustic sim- certainly deserves a substantial share of the
plicity of this extraordinary enterprise. That credit.
CHAPTER 3

ARCHITECTURE IN ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN


(a.d. 69-1 17)

VESPASIAN (a.d. 69-79) The decision to complete the Claudianum,


the temple of the Deified Claudius, left incom-
When the dust and confusion of the civil war plete and partially dismantled by Nero, was an
that followed Nero's death had settled, the astute political move, designed to lend re-
Roman Empire found itself with a new dynasty, spectability to the new dynasty's claim to
the Flavians, estabHshed on the imperial throne. succeed the Julio-Claudians and yet at the same
The family was of sound, middle-class, Central time to dissociate itself from the policies of the
Italian stock, and the founder of the dynasty, last member of that family, Nero. Of the
Vespasian, a capable general and a shrewd original project very little had probably sur-
administrator, had all the virtues and limitations vived except the great platform, some 220 by
of his modest origins. The heir to a bankrupt 175 yards (200 by 160 m.) in extent, which
treasury, which during the ten years of his rule occupied the top of the Caelian To this was
Hill.

he successfully replenished by a policy of rigid added a wide on the shorter,


axial staircase
economy and sound finance, not for him the northern side, towards the Colosseum, and
indulgence of lavish building for its own sake. down the west side, facing the Palatine, a double
One may be sure that any architectural enter- order of travertine arcades, the remains of which
prise of his was undertaken with a clear purpose. have recently been restored fully to view within
It is perhaps for this reason that the list of his
27. Coin of Vespasian depicting the Temple
work, though short, contains so much of real
of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus,
architectural importance.
as rebuilt after a.d. 70 and rededicated in 75.
An immediate and urgent necessity was the It was again destroyed by fire in 80
rebuilding of the official state sanctuary, the
Temple of Optimus Maximus on the
Jupiter
Capitol, which had been burnt to the ground
during the last stages of the civil war. Re-
dedicated in A.D. 75, it was again totally de-
stroyed by fire five years later, and no fragment
of Vespasian's building has come down to us.
But from the literary record and from repre-
sentations on coins' [27] we know that, as was
appropriate in such a case, the design was
conservative, somewhat taller than its Late
Republican predecessor and doubtless making
far more use of fine marbles, but in other
respects following the traditional plan and
repeating such time-honoured features as the
four-horsed chariot of Jupiter above the apex of
the gable.
64 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 69-1 17) ' 65

28 {opposite) and 29. Rome, the grounds of the monastery of the Passionist
Temple of the Deified Claudius (Claudianum), Fathers; down the east side the ornamental
completed by Vespasian after 70.*
fountain added by Nero was allowed to remain.
The rusticated travertine west facade of the terrace
and detail of upper order
The west fa9ade^ [28, 29] consists of two orders
of elaborately rusticated masonry; the lower
*From this point onwards, all dates are a.d. openings are rectangular, with flat arches and a
unless otherwise noted.
cornice carried on shallow Doric pilasters, and
the upper openings round-headed, framed be-
tween pilasters that rise to carry a projecting
entablature. The keystones of the upper arches
project in bold relief, and of the masonry only
the pilaster capitals, the two cornices, and the
architrave of the upper order are carved, all the
rest being left rough and in high relief, with only
a hint of the architectural framework in the
deeply channelled joints. Set back within the
openings of this double order were the closure
walls of a continuous facade. Those of the
ground were of brick-faced concrete, with
floor
single doorways opening into a range of shops;
those of the upper floor of rusticated travertine,
with rectangular windows lighting a range of
interconnecting chambers. It is, however, the
arcaded framework that dominates the scheme,
presenting a bold, rhythmical fa9ade towards
the Palatine. For all its complexity of detail, one

is closely reminded of the Temple of Jupiter


Anxur at Terracina,^ from which it is indeed in
the direct line of descent.
Of the temple itself nothing is preserved, but
the plan is known from the Severan marble map
of Rome. It was a hexastyle prostyle building,
set on a tall podium, and it stood somewhat to
the east of the centre of the platform, facing
westwards across the shorter axis. The open

space around it was planted with rows of trees,


or shrubs, and it was at any rate in part enclosed
by shady porticoes. That the surviving traver-
tine fa9ade of the platform (and a fortiori the
temple and other superstructures) is the work of
Vespasian is almost certain. Not only is it built
against the core of an earlier, simpler platform,
but it faced on to a paved street, which would
have been completely out of place in the
parklands of the Domus Aurea. But the
masonry, with its mannered rustication, is so
characteristically Claudian, recalling that of the
66 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

Porta Maggiore and the Aqua Virgo [21-3], yards (no by 135m.) in extent, laid out upon
that one is wonder whether it may
tempted to the same alignment as the Forum of Augustus,
not have been remodelled on some surviving towards which it faced, but from which it was
elements of the original project. separated by the line of the Argiletum, the busy
The Templum Pacis, often though less cor- street that linked the Forum Romanum with the
rectly referred to as the Forum of Vespasian, crowded urban quarter of the Subura. The
was another dynastic monument, vowed in 71 greater part of the site was occupied by an open
after the capture of Jerusalem and designed, like space, slightly shorter than it was broad, which
Augustus's Ara Pacis, to identify the new was laid out as a formal garden and enclosed on
dynasty with the blessings of peace after a three sides by porticoes with columns of red
period of civil and external strife."* It took the Egyptian granite. On the fourth side, towards
form [30] of a rectangular enclosure, 120 by 150 the Argiletum, instead of a portico there was a

30. Rome, Templum Pacis ('Forum of Vespasian'), 71 g. Restored view,


looking south-eastwards across the Forum Transitorium [cf 6 and 35]
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 6q-I 17) " 67

colonnade of even larger columns of africano it as one of the three most beautiful buildings of
marble, set close up against the entrance wall; the Rome of his day (the others on his list being
and pairs of columns of the same marble the Forum of Augustus and the Basilica Aemi-
spanned the entrances to four square exedrae lia).One of the last great buildings in the con-
which opened, two and two, off the lateral servative Roman tradition, barely touched by
porticoes. The actual temple faced north- the innovating currents of contemporary archi-
westwards, down the shorter axis, and instead of tectural thought, it was also one of the finest.

projecting into the open central area it was so Very much the same might be said of the
placed that the fa9ade stood on the line of the Flavian Amphitheatre or, to give it its familiar
south-east colonnade, the porch occupying the name, the Colosseum [31, 32]. One of the
breadth of the portico and the apsed cella wonders of its own day, ever since the Middle
projecting beyond it, terraced into the rising Ages it has been a symbol of the majesty and
ground of the Veha. Opening off the south-east enduring might of Rome. One recalls the words
portico on either side of the temple was a range of the Venerable Bede, as translated by Byron:
of large halls, one of which contained a Hbrary.
Another was later used to house the great 'While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall:
Severan marble map of Rome.
And when Rome falls - the World.'
There are many points of interest about this
plan. The choice of the shorter axis and the use For that very reason it is not an easy building to
of trees, or shrubs, to accentuate the architec- view dispassionately in its contemporary con-
tural design are features that it shares with the text. Even its popular name, however apt, lacks
Claudianum. The exedrae opening off the classical authority and may well be derived at

lateral porticoes recall the great precinct of second-hand from the Colossus of Nero, which
Baalbek or, later, Hadrian's Library at Athens. stood near by.
The colonnade along the inner face of the north- Of the amphitheatres already existing in
west wall is an early, if not the earliest, Rome, that of Taurus had been recently dam-
monumental example of the application to an aged by fire, and those of Caligula and Nero
external wall of a decorative device long familiar were both temporary structures, manifestly
in interior architecture (it is a pity that we do not inadequate to the needs of a rapidly growing
know exactly how the entablature of the col- population.^ As a popular gesture by the new
onnade was related to the wall behind it). Above dynasty, the construction of a new, permanent
all, the relation of the actual temple building to amphitheatre was a wise choice. Equally shrewd
the forecourt has qualities of reticence that are, was the choice of the site, the valley bottom that
to say the least, unusual in metropolitan Roman had housed the artificial lake of Nero's Golden
architecture.^ The precinct was focused upon, House. At one resounding stroke Vespasian was
but in no way dominated by, the temple. To an able to redress one of the most bitterly resented
exceptional degree it was the whole building wrongs of his predecessor, while at the same
that constituted the Temenos Eirenes, as the time securing an ideal site for his new building -
Greek writers call it, and it derived its effect as central, ready-excavated, easily drained, and
much from the simplicity of its lines and the with a compact clay subsoil admirably suited to
skilful interplay of trees and architecture as carry the vast weight of the projected building.
from the richness of its materials and the wealth It was probably begun early in his reign and was
of its fittings. In it, alongside such trophies of unfinished at his death. Exactly which parts are
the Jewish war as the Seven-branched Candle- the work of Vespasian, and which of Titus and
stick and the Ark of the Covenant, were Domitian, are questions of little importance.
displayed some of the finest masterpieces of Apart from modifications to the attic storey

Greek painting and sculpture, and Pliny names during construction, the outstanding character-
68 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

istic of the building is the skill and foresight was of marble carried
external order the seating
with which the unknown architect can be seen on substructures of vaulted masonry. Above
from the very outset to have marshalled the this height it was of wood (the 'maenianum

whole gigantic enterprise towards its predeter- summum in ligneis' of the texts) in order to
mined conclusion. reduce the weight at a point where the outward
The problem that he faced was the seating thrust was contained only by the thickness and
and the orderly handling of vast and potentially solid construction of the outer wall. Below this
unruly crowds of spectators, usually estimated level the doubling of the ambulatory corridors
as between 45,000 and 55,000 persons. There and the radially vaulted vomitoria afforded a
were plenty of precedents, though none on this system of buttressing that was more than
enormous scale. The solution adopted by the adequate to the demands made upon it. Porches

architect of the Theatre of Marcellus [4], itself in themiddle of the two long sides gave access to
presumably modelled on that of the yet earlier the imperial box and to the seating for senators
Theatre of Pompey, is one that we find in an [31].
infinite number of local variants throughout the Structurally, the interest of the building lies
theatres and amphitheatres of the Roman world, mainly in its choice of materials and the
in every province and at every date, wherever evidence that it offers of working methods. As
these had to be built up from level ground always in the best Roman building, enormous
instead of resting against the slope of some care was lavished on the foundations. To
convenient hillside. The seating was terraced support the cavea a vast elliptical ring of
upwards and outwards on the rising vaults of a concrete, about 170 feet (51 m.) wide and 40 feet
network of radiating, wedge-shaped chambers (12 m.) deep, was laid down, the lowest part of it
and ambulatory corridors; and into the resulting (about 20 feet/ 6 m. in depth) being laid directly
voids was fitted a system of radiating staircases in a huge trench cut into the compact clay
or ramps {vomitoria) and lateral passageways, so subsoil, while the upper part (another 20 feet)
contrived as to provide separate access to each was contained within a massive outer ring of
wedge (cuneus) of seating, and within each brick-faced concrete. Built into this upper part
wedge to the several concentric sectors {maeni- were drains and practical facilities, and the
ana) into which the whole of the interior was whole was capped with a platform of travertine
divided by horizontal gangways. In the case of blocks.^ On this platform was built a framework
the Colosseum there were no less than seventy- of piers of travertine, specially quarried near
sixnumbered entrances; and wherever necess- and it was this squared stone masonry
Tivoli,
ary,movement could be further controlled by which constituted the essential load-bearing
wooden barriers. In addition to providing skeleton of the entire building up to the spring-
lateral circulation, the outer ring of corridors ing of the vaults of the second order. Between
helped to buttress the outward thrust of the the piers were inserted the radial walls, which
seating. were of squared tufa up to an irregular line
was familiar ground. What was new
All this corresponding roughly with the floor of the
was the sheer size of the structural problems second order, and above this of brick-faced
involved. The plan, as regularly in the amphi- concrete. With the exception of one of the
theatres of the Roman world, was an ellipse, and smaller, internal corridors, which has a groined
it measured no less than 615 by 510 feet (188 by vault, the vaults are all of barrel form, in some
156 m.) externally and 280 by 175 feet (86 by cases incorporating ribs of brick, a very early use

54 m.) internally, the seating {caved) forming a of a device which, though of little or no
uniform ring 167 feet (51 m.) wide and 159 feet independent structural value, was widely used
(48.50 m.) high from the pavement to the outer in later Roman architecture to facilitate the
cornice. Up to the full height of the third actual processes of construction.^ The use of a
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a.D. 69-I 17) 69

31. Rome, Amphitheatrum Flavium (Colosseum), inaugurated in 80.

Plans, sections, and sectional view

^^ CONCRETE
^

70 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

variety of materials was undoubtedly an eco- the entablature of each bay of the attic; and it

nomy in time as well as cost, since each was was further braced by bollards set at pavement
handled by a different group of workmen, the level a short distance out from the steps of the
tufa and the concrete being added when the lowest order.
travertine skeleton was already in place, and the About the interior, which was stripped of its
timber work and the marble seating later still. marbles during the Middle Ages, there is little

The work was further speeded by dividing the to be said. The remains of an order with large
building laterally into four or more sectors. At granite columns must come from a portico
least two gangs can be seen to have been at work somewhere near the top of the building, perhaps
simultaneously on the surviving half of the carrying a timber roof over the wooden seats of
travertine facing of the attic storey, and in a the summum maenianum. The elaborate network
building that had been so carefully thought out of service corridors and chambers below the
in advance there would have been no difficulty arena is mainly the work of Domitian. Among
in applying the same system throughout. them were lifts with an ingenious system of
Architecturally there was little that was new counterweights for hoisting scenery or wild
in the travertine fa9ade [32]. It consisted of beasts to the floor above, a feature for which the
three superimposed orders, Doric, Ionic, and amphitheatre at Puteoli in Campania offers
Corinthian respectively, of which the half- interesting parallels.
columns and entablatures were purely decor- The Colosseum was not a building of any
ative, and above these a tall attic storey with great originality. It was as conservative in its
lofty Corinthian pilasters supporting the crown- structural methods and choice of materials as it

ing entablature. The three orders framed arches was in design, preferring in both cases to refine
opening on to the ambulatory corridors, while upon a tradition that went right back to the
smaller, rectangular windows, placed in alter- Republic, to buildings such as the temple at

nate bays, lit the corridors serving the upper Praeneste and the Tabularium. Formally and
part of the cavea. Except for the elaborately materially it represents a strain in Roman
marbled porches surmounted by statuary which architecture that was very shortly to be swept
projected from the four cardinal points of the away by new techniques and new aspirations.
plan, the entire circumference was uniformly For all that, this was a tradition capable of a

treated. All this follows conventional lines, the great strength and dignity, and one well suited
architect's principal contribution lying in the to display the qualities of bold, orderly planning
skill with which he handled the proportions of and technical competence which characterize
what could so easily have become a mere the best Roman work of all periods. In the
unwieldy bulk of masonry, and in the un- Colosseum it found a worthy consummation.
obtrusive ingenuity with which he manipulated
the detail of the orders to meet the requirements
TITUS (a.d. 79-81)
of the structures within. Two points only call
for comment. One is the use of huge decorative Vespasian's elder son and successor, Titus, did
shields of gilded bronze, alternating with the not live long enough to stamp his personaUty
windows of the attic storey; the supports for upon the architecture of Rome. Apart from
these are still visible. The other is the arrange- continuing his father's work on the Colosseum,
ments for supporting the velarium, the huge he was responsible for initiating only two major
awning that protected the spectators from the enterprises, the Temple of the Deified Ves-
sun, for the manipulation of which a special pasian and a new public bath-building, the
detachment of sailors was quartered near by. Thermae Titi. He was also accorded an hon-
The poles supporting this were carried on large orary arch, probably to be identified with the
brackets, three of which can be seen just below triple arch that stood in the middle of the curved
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 69-1 17) ' 7

32. Rome, Amphitheatrum Flavium (Colosseum), inaugurated in 80. Exterior


72 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

end of the Circus Maximus; and it is not exposed, but the cella (which was almost cer-
impossible that he began the well-known arch at tainly completed by Domitian) was elaborately
the end of the Via Sacra, between the Forum finished in fine marbles. The three standing
Romanum and the Colosseum. columns are an early example of the careful
For the Temple of Vespasian he chose a site restoration of an ancient building, undertaken
at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, beside the by Valadier in i8i i. The entablature, preserved
Temple of Concord. Apart from the steps, in the substructures of the Tabularium, is an
which owing to the limitations of space available outstanding example of Flavian architectural
were set back between the columns of the ornament, bold, deeply cut, and very rich, a

fa9ade, the hexastyle peristyle plan followed style native to Rome, where one can follow its

conventional lines. Rather unusually for so late a by step, from Late Augustan and
evolution, step
date the travertine of the podium was left through Julio-Claudian and Flavian times down

Caldarium
33. Rome, Baths of Titus, Frigidarium
inaugurated in 80. Palaestra
Plan, after Palladio

ISir Tepidarium

Som
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (A.D. 69-II7) 73

to Domitian and to the early years of Trajan. as indeed they may well have been twenty years
The Baths of Titus, built in haste to grace the earlier (though this cannot now be proved) in
dedication of the Colosseum in a.d. 8o, followed the Baths of Nero." In either case, like so much
the precedent established by Vespasian in using that is vital to the development of later Roman
ground that had belonged to Nero's Golden architecture, the seeds are to be sought in the
House, standing alongside the main domestic fruitful middle years of the first century a.d.
wing and looking out over the valley. Except for
the remains of a portico of brick-faced concrete
DOMITIAN (a.d. 81-96)
with engaged columns, across the street from
the Colosseum, hardly anything has survived, Domitian, Vespasian's second son, succeeded
but the plan, which is known from measured
a his brother in a.d. 81 . During the fifteen years of
sketch by Palladio [33], suggests that this was his reign he was responsible for a great deal of
the essential structural material throughout. ' building, and although his work, viewed as a
Palladio's plan, whatever the reliability of its whole, may be regarded as broadly progressive
detail, reveals unmistakably that the layout was rather than revolutionary, it did by its very

of the so-called 'Imperial' type. This type, quantity leave its mark upon Roman architec-
which had a long and important history before ture at a critical stage in its development. It

it, consisted essentially of a large, approximately included, moreover, the creations of Rabirius,
rectangular enclosure and, placed symmetri- one of the few Roman architects of distinction
cally within it, a central bathing block. The whose name is known to us. Domitian has every
bathing block was itself symmetrical about its right to be considered one of the great builder
shorter axis, transversely across the northern emperors.
end of which (or in the later examples centrally) Domitian's work may conveniently be dis-
stood the mzin frigidarium, or cold room, a lofty cussed under three headings: buildings that he
three-bay, groin-vaulted hall, buttressed by inherited unfinished from his father or his
smaller, barrel-vaulted bays containing cold- brother; those that he restored after the great
plunges; and at the south end, often projecting fire of 80; and those that he initiated ex novo,
so as to take full advantage of the sun, the main although he did not in all cases live to complete
caldarium, or hot room. Along the north side them.
were disposed two identical ranges of smaller To the first category belong the Colosseum,
suites of changing rooms (apodyteria), exercise the Baths of Titus, and the Temple of Ves-
yards (palaestrae), latrines, and other services, pasian, all of which have already been suf-
and along the south side two identical ranges of ficiently described. The well-known arch at the
smaller heated rooms. Around the outer peri- head of the Via Sacra may also have been begun
meter of the enclosure lay the cisterns, and by Titus, but it was certainly finished after his
facing inwards from it on to gardens were halls death as a commemorative monument. Built of
to house the manifold social activities for which Pentelic marble about a concrete core, it is

these great bathing establishments served as remarkable chiefly for the simple dignity of its

centres - meeting rooms, libraries, lecture halls, architectural lines and for its sculptured orna-
museums, etc. Such in brief was the fully ment, which includes the two familiar panels
developed 'Imperial' type of baths. Those of illustrating Titus's triumph after the capture of
Titus were small by comparison with the later Jerusalem. It is one of the earliest public
giants (less than half the equivalent linear monuments to use the Composite capital, which
dimensions of those of Trajan), and the outer had been invented by Augustan architects but
enclosure was little more than a large rect- which only now began to come into common
angular terrace along its southern side. But most use. It is also the first metropolitan Roman
of the essential elements were already present. building since the Republic known to have been
74 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

built of imported white marble. Incorporated in crete and the travertine arcades of its outer
the Middle Ages into a fortress of the Frangi- facade framed in the traditional manner by
pane family, it was not restored to its familiar decorative classical orders. Indeed, its principal
form until whose use of
1821, by Valadier, claim to distinction is that it is the last building
travertine to distinguish the new from the in Rome which we know to have used travertine
original masonry is an early and wholly success- ashlar as a monumental material in its own
ful example of scientific restoration. right.

The fire of 80 left a heritage of buildings Between the two extremes lie a large number
damaged or destroyed which extended all the of buildings which, though essentially in the
way from the Capitol to the Pantheon and which classical monumental tradition, can be seen to
ranged from the Temple of Jupiter Optimus have introduced novelties of design or detail
Maximus, re-dedicated barely five years before, that are significant for the subsequent develop-
to the great complex of monuments built by ment of Roman architecture.
Agrippa in the Campus Martius. Almost with- Nothing has survived above ground of the
out exception the buildings destroyed are Porticus Divorum, but the plan is known from
known to have been restored by Domitian, and the Severan marble map [20]. An elongated
something is known about several of them from rectangular enclosure, dedicated to the two
the Severan marble map of Rome, including the deified emperors of the Flavian dynasty, it

Temple of Isis and the Baths of Agrippa [20]. probably served also as a marshalling ground for
But of the buildings themselves little or nothing the triumphal processions of Domitian himself.
has survived. On the Capitol only the little At one end stood a grandiose triple arch (the

Republican Temple of Veiovis beside the Tabu- Porta Triumphalis.^) and at the other an altar.
larium has preserved any substantial remains of Two small tetrastyle temples faced each other
its Domitianic restoration, which took the form across the inner face of the arch, and along the
of replacing the timber roof by a fireproof rest of the two long sides and across the far end
concrete vault and decorating the interior with ran colonnaded porticoes. The proportions are
an elaborate scheme of coloured marble. The quite different from those of Vespasian's Tem-
Temple of Jupiter was once again restored on plum Pacis, but in other respects there are many
traditional lines, with a wealth of fittings such as similarities: *the formal planting of the central
gilded bronze tiles and doors plated with gold. space; the rectangular exedrae that open off the
But although this time it stood undamaged until porticoes; the emphasis upon the monument as
late antiquity, hardly a trace of Domitian's work a whole at the expense of the individual temples;
has come down to us. and the deliberate exclusion of the outer world
The buildings initiated by Domitian himself by means of high enclosing walls.
cover a remarkably wide range of techniques In this last respect we can trace two distinct
and architectural styles. At one end of the scale currents in the temple architecture of the Early
we have the Flavian Palace, described later in Empire. In the Forum Romanum, for example,
this chapter; and at the other we have the successive emperors were content to follow the
stadium in the Campus Martius, now the Piazza traditional Italic practice of treating each temple
Navona, the open space of which is still that of as an integral part of the urban setting to which
the Roman racetrack, while the houses in- it belonged. Side by side with this, however,
corporate much of the structure of the seating. there had been during the later Republic a
Constructionally a two-storey version of the growing fashion for setting temples within
Colosseum adapted to the elongated shape porticoed enclosures, such as the Porticus Met-
of a stadium, it was a thoroughly conservative elli (soon after 146 B.C.), and this tendency was
building, with its marble seating carried on accentuated and given fresh emphasis in the
substructures of travertine and brick-faced con- Imperial Fora. The great enclosing walls of
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 69-1 1?) ' 75

these may, as it is often claimed, have been one of Domitian's buildings, and it is certain
designed partly as firebreaks; but it is almost that at the end of it adjoining the Forum of
certainly true also that they reflect the increas- Augustus it was Domitian who started cutting
ing Roman contacts with the hellenistic East, in back the lower slopes of the Quirinal Hill to
particular with Syria and Egypt, where the clear space for some monumental building.'^
enclosed, inward-facing sanctuary was the rule Since, however, it is no less certain that the

rather than the exception. ^^ In the eastern Domitianic project was very different from that
provinces, as we shall see, the tradition was finally put into effect, the credit for the planning
continuous into Roman times. Here in the west as well as for the execution of the latter must go
one result was to accentuate the trend towards to Trajan and to his architect, Apollodorus of
formalism that was one of Roman architecture's Damascus. We shall never know what exactly
strongest and most enduring characteristics. Domitian had in mind for this area.
The Roman architect was not the blind slave to The rebuilding of the Temple of Venus
symmetry that he is often portrayed as being. Genetrix in the Forum of Caesar is another
But it is true that in his monumental architec- enterprise that was certainly completed by
ture he preferred to avoid the intangible. He had Trajan, who is known from an inscription to
little of the classical Greek architect's instinctive have re-dedicated it in 113, the year of his own
feeling for placing buildings in casual but great forum. The evidence for attributing the
harmonious relationship, and he was happiest inception of the work to Domitian, namely the
when dealing with problems that were capable distinctively Flavian style of its richly carved
of clearly defined, 'drawing-board' solutions. entablature [34], is not in itself conclusive.
Another area in which Domitian was engaged Sculptural styles did not change overnight, and
was that of the Imperial Fora [6], where he built this could have been a purely Trajanic project,
the Forum Transitorium, dedicated after his carried out by workmen trained under the
death by Nerva, and where he seems to have previous regime. On the other hand, the whole
been active also both in the Forum of Caesar area had suffered damage in the fire of a.d. 80
and in the area later occupied by Trajan's and it is very likely that the repairs were begun
Forum. Eusebius in fact lists the last-named as by Domitian but finished after his death by

34. Rome, Temple of Venus Genetrix,


by Trajan and dedicated in 113.
rebuilt
Marble cornice block from the pediment
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (A.D. 69-I 17) 77

Trajan, who deferred their inauguration to from the Severan marble plan. It was hexastyle
coincide with that of his own forum. The plan of prostyle with columns of
elegantly fluted
the new temple closely followed that of its Phrygian marble and a colonnaded interior
predecessor, of which it incorporated the po- ending in an apse. The awkward problem of the
dium. The front of the latter rose sheer from the projecting south-eastern apse of the Forum
pavement in front, access to it being by two Augustum was resolved in characteristically
small lateral staircases, and the temple itself was Roman manner by siting the end wall of the
short in proportion to its breadth, with very forum proper at the level of the front of the cella
closely set columns, eight across the front and so as to conceal the greater part of the wall
eight down either flank. The columns, three of behind, and by using the irregular space beyond
which were re-erected in the thirties, and the to house a semicircular portico (the Porticus

entablature were of Luni marble, and against Absidata), which served as a monumental entry
the inner walls of the apsed celia there were from the crowded urban quarters to the north
decorative colonnades of Numidian marble with and east into the new forum and, through it, to
very elaborately carved capitals and bases. A the Forum Romanum, to the Fora of Caesar and
feature of the marble revetment of the cella is of Augustus, and to the Templum Pacis. After
that it was channelled to imitate drafted over a century of piecemeal development this
masonry.^'* whole monumental complex now for the first
The Forum Transitorium occupied a long time began to acquire a certain architectural

and narrow space (about 395 by 150 feet; 120 by unity.

45 m.) between the Fora of Caesar and Augus- There are two of Domitian's buildings of
tus on the one hand, and the Templum Pacis on which we may particularly regret the absence of
the other. The site offered little scope for any surviving remains. One is the Temple of
architectural originaUty, and is remarkable Minerva Chalcidica, which stood in the angle
chiefly for the still-standing remains ('Le between the Porticus Divorum and the Iseum
Colonnacce') of the decorative colonnades with [20]. The plan of it on the Severan marble map
which the two long walls were treated [35]. is curiously at variance with the record of a
These were free-standing to capital height, only circular temple with an outer and an inner ring
the entablature and the attic storey above being of columns given by Panvinio on the basis of
bracketed out to form a series of pedestals and measurements by Pirro Ligorio.'^ The other is
re-entrant bays. Attic and frieze alike were the family mausoleum which Domitian built on
richly carved. Such semi-engaged decorative the Esquiline, on the site of the family house of
colonnades had long been a common feature of the Flavii where he himself had been born.
interior architecture, but their use as a monu- References to it by contemporary writers show
mental enrichment of exterior walls was a that it was circular in shape.
novelty of which there is no certain example Finally, before turning to the great complex
before the Flavian period. Of the Temple of of buildings on the Palatine which represents
Minerva, which stood at the south end, in much the principal contribution of Domitian and his
the same relation to the forum as the Temple of architect, Rabirius, to the history of Roman
Venus Genetrix to the Forum of Caesar, the architecture, it is well to be reminded of the
greater part was still standing until 1606, when tremendous amount of everyday architecture
it was demolished to provide materials for the that was going on in Rome throughout the latter
fountain of Paul V on the Janiculum, and it is part of the first century a.d. The great fires of 64
known both from Renaissance drawings and and 80 had left a legacy of destruction that must

35 {opposite). Rome, Forum Transitorium (Forum of Nerva), dedicated in 97. 'Le Colonnacce', part of the
decorative facade of the Templum Pacis [cf. 30]
78 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

have taken many years to make good, and while Hill was divided. Except for its northern spur,
much of this was undertaken by successive its eastern counterpart, the Palatium, had
emperors, a great deal more was left to private already been appropriated by Nero; and it was
initiative. This is not the place to catalogue the here, occupying the saddle between the two
long list of buildings on the Caelian, Aventine, and the whole of the central and south-eastern
and Esquiline Hills, in the Campus Martius, part of the Palatium, that Domitian built the
and elsewhere, known from their brick-stamps main block of his great palace [36].
and other indications to belong to the Flavian The Domus Tiberiana itself does not seem to
period/^ They include private houses (a good have been greatly altered, but below it, at the
example is that which lies beneath the apse of levelof the Forum Romanum, the area between
the chuch of S. Clemente), private bath- the Temple of Castor and the Horrea Agrip-
buildings (Martial, writing under Domitian, piana was converted into a monumental ves-
mentions eight such), shops, warehouses (the tibule serving the whole complex. The vestibule
Horrea Vespasiani, the site of which is not we know from brick-stamps to have been an
known, and the Horrea Piperataria, or Spice afterthought, added during the last years of
Market, on the site of what later became the Domitian's life. All the rest was undertaken
Basilica of Maxentius), minor public monu- early in his reign and, except for the 'stadium',
ments such as the Meta Sudans, and a multitude was completed in time for the inauguration of
of fragments of masonry which, in the nature of the palace in 92. The architect was Rabirius.^^
things, are almost bound to remain anonymous. His plan lacks the rather obvious formal unity of
What happened at Ostia under Hadrian and many Roman buildings, but there is nothing
Antoninus Pius was happening in Rome a makeshift about was an ingenious and on
it. It

generation or so earlier. These buildings, many the whole very successful answer to the problem
of them individually of little importance, to- of combining the conflicting requirements of a
gether constituted an almost total reconstruction palace and a private residence on a site of some
of the heart of ancient Rome, and they were initial complexity. With remarkably few ad-
the school in which the builders of the later ditions and modifications (undertaken chiefly
Empire learned much of their craft. by Hadrian and Septimius Severus) Domitian's
Domitian's enduring monument is the great building was to remain the official Roman
imperial residence on the Palatine, known offi- residence of the emperor right down to late
cially as the Domus Augustana (or Augustiana) antiquity, the eponymous precursor of all sub-
and in popular usage as the Palatium [38]. The sequent 'palaces'.
residential block of the Golden House may have Of the factors that determined the choice of
remained in intermittent use for some time after plan, the most important was the need to site the
Nero's death, but the construction of the state rooms where they would be readily ac-
Colosseum and the Baths of Titus, cutting it off cessible from the Clivus Palatinus, the road that
from the centre of the city, deprived it of any ran up the valley between the Germalus and the
value it may have had as an official residence. Palatium and at that time the only direct means
It is not surprising, therefore, that Domitian of access from the city centre. They were
should have decided to abandon it altogether accordingly grouped together at the west end,
and to turn instead to the development of the terraced up above the saddle, where they
pre-Neronian nucleus on the Palatine. Here formed an almost independent block, with the
there already existed the Domus Tiberiana, main fa9ade facing down the valley and a
which, together with a group of venerable secondary facade towards the Domus Tiberi-
monuments at the angle overlooking the river, ana. (Within the make-up of the terrace
occupied the whole of the Germalus, the western were incorporated and preserved the Late Re-
of the two eminences into which the Palatine pubHcan 'House of the Griffins', the Augustan
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 69-1 17) '
79

a?i^

36. Rome, Flavian Palace (Domus Augustana), inaugurated in 92. Plan.


Solid black indicates buildings at the upper level still in whole or part upstanding
8o ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

painted Isiac hall, and the nymphaeum of rectangular hall, with an apse at the far end and,
Nero's Domus Transitoria.) To the east of the set about 6-7 feet out from the side walls, two
official wing, alongside but almost independent ranges of Numidian marble columns, which
of it, lay the emperor's private apartments, and helped to provide a broad seating for what is

to the east of this again a sunken garden in the usually thought to have been a coffered vault -a
shape of a stadium. On the side facing the disposition which in its essentials goes right
Circus Maximus it was the domestic wing which back to the vaulted nymphaea of the Late
dictated the layout of the fa9ade, with a wide, Republic.'^ Quite soon after construction the
shallow, central exedra, flanked on one side by outer wall began to show signs of settlement,
the imperial box, overlooking the circus, and on and the whole north-west angle had to be
the other by a formal terrace masking the elaborately buttressed by Hadrian. That the
irregularities of plan that arose at this point central hall, the throne room, was vaulted is

from the need to respect the Augustan Temple doubtful. The span was considerably greater
of Apollo and other venerable monuments. than that of the basilica, and although the walls
Towards Forum, on the other hand, the
the were robust and well buttressed laterally it is

whole architectural emphasis was upon the very questionable whether they would have
fa9ade of the public wing, which reared its stood up to the resulting pressures. Projecting
impressive bulk directly above the head of the rectangular piers broke the inner faces up into a
ClivjLis Palatinus. As one approached up the hill series of bays, within which were decorative
the domestic wing lay round the corner to the aediculae containing statuary, the bays them-
left, with its main block set well back beyond a selves being framed between tall fluted columns
pair of colonnaded courtyards. On plan the as of Phrygian marble carrying a highly decorated
yet only partly excavated buildings to the north order; a shallow apse at the south end housed
of the stadium may seem to balance the pro- the imperial throne. The 'Lararium' was a

jection of the public wing; but they were smaller room, and would have presented no
certainly far less bulky, and there does not in problem to vault, although the addition of
fact seem to have been any attempt to treat the internal buttresses by Hadrian suggests that
whole north fa9ade as a monumental unit. The even here Rabirius may have under-estimated
intention here was rather to emphasize the the structural problem involved. There was no
separate character of the two parts of the palace. axial staircase leading up to the fa9ade, but an
It was only internally, at the level of the two external portico, which ran right across the
peristyle courtyards, that the two wings were fa9ade and along part of the west side, linking
linked by a clearly established cross-axis. To- the state rooms with the Clivus Palatinus and
wards the east Domitian's work remained un- the Domus Tiberiana.
finished at his death, and it was left to Septimius The courtyard behind was surrounded by a
Severus to complete the development in this portico enclosing a fountain and a formal garden
direction. and it was flanked by a series of small rooms of
The official wing of the palace formed an interesting curvilinear design. The whole of the
elongated rectangular block, with three great south side was dominated by the great tri-

rooms opening directly off the facade and,


state clinium, or banqueting hall [37]. Nearly as large
beyond them, a large colonnaded courtyard as the throne room, it must have been timber-

leading to the state banqueting hall {triclinium). roofed. Towards the courtyard it was open

The staterooms were (from west to east) the between huge columns of grey Egyptian
six

basilica, in which the emperor sat in judgement, granite behind an octastyle porch of the same
and two rooms conventionally known as the proportions and materials. At the far end there
'throne room' ('Aula Regia') and the 'palace was a shallow apse and a raised dais for the
chapel' {lararium). The basilica was a large emperor and important guests, and along each
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (A.D. 69-I 17) 81

37. Rome, Flavian Palace (Domus Augustana),


inaugurated in 92.
Restored axonometric view
82 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

of the side walls, helping to support the roof, beneath the floor - a very early example of such
stood columns of the same granite, between heating used domestically.
which two doors and three large windows The private wing of the palace was built on
opened on to a pair of identical fountain ground that sloped steeply down towards the
courtyards. Except for a portico round three Circus Maximus, and the level corresponding
sides, the latter were open to the sky, with a with the official wing was here that of the upper
large, elaborately scalloped, oval fountain in the storey. The main entrance was in the ground

38. Rome, Flavian Palace (Domus Augustana), inaugurated in 92. The courtyard of the domestic wing
looking northwards. The door and windows on the left are those of the room shown in illustration 46

centre, the curve of which was picked up and floor, 35 feet below, and opened off" the middle

repeated by the outer wall and portico of the of the curved portico that occupied the centre of
courtyard itself. Wherever they sat the guests the south facade. From it a rectangular vestibule
would have looked out on vistas of ornamental led into a square central courtyard [38], the two
water and greenery, framed in a setting of richly storeys of which were probably carried on piers
variegated marble. To ensure their comfort in with arches (as in the later apartment-houses of
any weather Hadrian inserted a hypocaust Ostia) rather than on columns. The whole
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a.D. 69-II7) 83

central area was occupied by an elaborately ning yet further work, possibly a bath-building
curvilinear fountain in the form of four juxta- on the site of that finally constructed by
posed 'pelta' designs adorned with statuary. Septimius Severus; the aqueduct which served
Along the east and west sides, grouped about the latter, an offshoot of the Neronian branch of
rectangular light-wells, were stairs to the upper the Aqua Claudia, was in origin certainly
storey, together with a number of smaller Domitianic. Towards the north, too, the great
rooms, some of them at mezzanine height; along platform which occupied the whole of the
the north side, terraced into the rock of the northern spur of the Palatium, and which
were the three polygonal domed cham-
hillside, carried the Aedes Caesarum (the shrine of
bers which are the best-known features of this Augustus and all succeeding deified emperors,
still very incompletely published monument later incorporated into Elagabalus's Temple of
[46]. The upper storey was more complex. Most the Sun), seems to have reached its definitive
of the rooms faced inwards, but along the north form under Domitian, thereby not only estab-
side there were two elaborately interlocking lishing the line of the Clivus Palatinus, but also
ranges of rooms, the one facing inwards, the restricting the effective northern fa9ade of the
other outwards on to the peristyle courtyard to palace to the west wing - a circumstance of
the north. ^^ Owing to the rise of the ground the which, as we have seen, the architect took full
latter was already at the upper level and was the advantage. Finally one may note Domitian's
principal architectural link between the domes- reconstruction at a new, higher level of the two
tic and the official wings. The importance of the Augustan libraries, damaged in the fire of 64, in
domestic wing lies above all in the evidence the angle behind the triclinium; and, terraced
which it gives of the architect's intense interest down the slopes beyond them, the so-called
in creating novel spatial forms and of the great Paedagogium and the lodging of the imperial
progress that had been made in this direction heralds, completing the build-up of the whole
during the twenty years since Nero built his southern fa9ade of the palace. It is only when
Golden House. This aspect of the building one assembles all these scattered elements that
will be discussed more fully in the following one can fully appreciate the ingenuity and
chapter. thoroughness with which Domitian and his
The sunken garden that delimited the domes- architect, Rabirius, tackled the problem of
ticwing to the east was a conceit, laid out in the welding the whole Palatine Hill into a coherent
semblance of a stadium,^" 175 yards long and 55 architectural unity, as a proper setting for the
yards wide (160 by 50 m.), with five large great palace itself.

vaulted chambers in place of starting gates at the The palace vestibule, the grandiose public
north end, fountains representing the turning- entrance from the Forum, was one of
posts (metae), and a segmental curve at the south Domitian's last works, left incomplete at his

end. Around three sides ran a double portico, death and finished by Hadrian. It replaced an
the lower one arcaded with brick piers, the earlier and differently oriented structure,
upper one probably colonnaded. In the middle perhaps Caligula's notorious extension of the
of the east side there was a large vaulted exedra, Domus Tiberiana, and it consisted of three
suggesting that the garden might also be used distinct elements: the huge reception hall (long
for displays (as it has been in recent times), and thought to be the Temple of Augustus), which
at the south end, facing outwards, was the lay immediately behind and was oriented upon
imperial box overlooking the Circus Maximus. the Temple of Castor; beside this hall and to the
Unfinished at Domitian's death, the whole east of it, the building which later became the
complex was completed, with some modifi- church of S. Maria Antiqua, and which is

cations, by Hadrian. To the east of it, traces of plausibly identified as the quarters of the palace
Flavian masonry show that Domitian was plan- guard; and to the east of this again, zigzagging
84 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

up the hillside, the triple ramp that led up to the the effective founder of the adoptive dynasty
Clivus Victoriae and the Domus Tiberiana. which was to reign unchallenged for nearly a
The reception hall itself was a huge con- century to come and was to bestow on the great-
struction of brick-faced concrete, measuring known world a period of unpre-
er part of the

109 by 80 feet (33.10 by 24.50 m.) internally, of cedented peace and material prosperity. Trajan,
which the ceiling or vault sprang from at least 60 born of an old Romano-Spanish family and the
feet above pavement level. A portico ran round first Roman from the provinces to become

the two exposed fa9ades, of which that along the emperor, was a dynamic personality, active in
west side was replaced by Hadrian with a series many fields, and the buildings of his reign,
of buttresses, no doubt as a result of the though distinguished rather by the grandeur of
settlement which finally brought the roof and their conception than by any great architectural

almost the entire west wall to the ground. The originality, may be regarded as marking the
interior seems to have been quite plain except climax, and in many respects the completion, of
for a series of alternately rectangular and curved the great building programme in the capital
recesses, the doorways being off-axis and sited initiated over a century before by Augustus.
so as to blend unobtrusively with the pattern of When one recalls that in later antiquity
the recesses.^' The reason for this was no doubt Trajan had the reputation of being an avid
partly practical, to facilitate the strict control of builder and restorer, the literary record of his
visitors, who then had to pass by a devious route work is sadly thin.^^ There is no mention, for
through the guardrooms to reach the ramp example, of the rebuilding of the House of the
beyond. It is hard to believe, however, that in Vestals in the Forum Romanum to substantially
forgoing so established an architectural device the form in which we see its remains today,
as the monumental axial entrance, the architect although it is certain from the brick-stamps that
was not also aware of the greatly enhanced this was undertaken during the first decade of
impact of sudden, unprepared entry upon the his reign. The rebuilding of the Forum of
enormous, almost empty space beyond. With Caesar and the Temple of Venus Genetrix is

the possible exception of the throne room another wholly or partially Trajanic enterprise
(which was, anyway, very different in con- about which the literary sources are silent.

ception, with a well established movement from Allowing for the gaps in the record, however, it

one end of the hall to the other) this was in fact is evident that his work in and near the capital
the largest uninterrupted volume of space (some falls under three main heads: the building of the
700,000 cubic feet) that had ever yet been great baths on the Esquiline Hill; the under-
brought beneath a single roof. Lit from above taking of a series of major engineering works to
by two large windows placed in the two end improve the port and wharf facilities of Ostia
walls, it must have been a very impressive and Rome; and the definitive completion of the
building indeed, an awe-inspiring foretaste of complex of monumental piazzas, temples, and
the architectural marvels that lay beyond. other public buildings that had grown up to the
north of the Forum Romanum by his con-
struction of the forum, basilica, libraries, and
NERVA AND TRAJAN (A.D. 96-II7)
market that occupy the low ground between the
Domitian was murdered in a.d. q6. The only Forum Augustum and the southern slopes of
claim of his successor, Nerva (96-97), to archi- the Quirinal [6].

tectural distinction is that he completed and The Thermae Traianae, the great Baths of
dedicated in his own name the forum built by Trajan on the Esquiline, were dedicated in 109,
his predecessor. Without question the principal and although there was a consistent tradition in
event of his reign was his choice as heir and later antiquity which coupled Trajan's name
successor of the great soldier-emperor Tfajan, with that of Domitian, this was certainly mis-
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (A.D. 69-I 17)
85

taken. The Golden House, on the site of which middle of the outer enclosure, projects inwards
it stood, was not burnt until 104; and the from the middle of the northern side. Compared
evidence of the large number of surviving brick- with the contemporary Baths of Sura on the
stamps shows conclusively that the whole struc- Aventine,^^ the layout of which on the Severan
ture was Trajanic, the work of Apollodorus of marble plan is still that of a typically Pompeian
Damascus. ^^ The claim, sometimes made, that bath-building, with the bath-suite occupying
this was the first of the great 'Imperial' baths the whole of one side of a porticoed courtyard
requires quahfication. The essential elements of [61], this is a thoroughly up-to-date plan. It

the 'Imperial' plan were already present in the displays many similarities of detail to

Baths of Titus, and may indeed go back to Domitian's palace, and it reveals its architect,
Nero's bath-building in the Campus Martius. Apollodorus, as a master of the contemporary
What was new and significant for the future was concrete medium.
the sheer bulk of the structure (the actual bath- Another ambitious but essentially practical
building covered three times the area of that of enterprise was the construction of a new inner
Titus) and the development of the outer pre- harbour at Portus, the suburb and eventual
cinct to include the gardens, libraries, meeting successor of the ancient Tiber-mouth harbour
rooms, lecture halls, and rooms for all the many of Ostia. The steady deterioration of the Tiber
social activities which henceforth were to be as a navigable stream had created a problem that
regarded as an essential part of one of these great called for a drastic and definitive solution.
centres of daily social life.^"^ Claudius had sought an answer by abandoning
The site chosen was that part of the Golden the actual river-mouth and cutting a pair of
House which lay immediately to the north-east canals on a more direct line to an artificial
of the Baths of Titus and included the main harbour a mile or so to the north. Here too,
residential wing of Nero's Palace, which thus however, the predominantly northward set of

finally vanished from sight barely forty years the coastal currents was already creating serious
after its first construction. Fortunately the axis difficulties, and these Trajan's engineers now
chosen for the new layout was somewhat ob- undertook to resolve by digging a vast inner

lique to that of the earlier buildings, in order to basin, the flow of water into and out of which
take fuller advantage of the sun in the afternoon, could be controlled and the basin itself main-
the normal time for bathing; and since the site of tained by dredging. The basin, hexagonal in
the Neronian palace coincided with that part of shape and nearly halfa mile in'mean diameter,

the new construction which had to be terraced was equipped with berths for nearly a hundred
outwards from the hillside, the existing struc- ships, and all around it, parallel with the
tures were left largely intact. (It is to such wharves, ran warehouses {horrea), long series of
we owe many of the
terracing operations that deep rooms of equal size, set back to back and
best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome - opening on to porticoes or covered galleries.

for example, the House of the Griffins, the S. There was also a lighthouse of canonical type,
Clemente Mithraeum, and the Vatican ceme- with its beacon carried on a superimposed series
tery.) Little enough of the baths has survived, of diminishing cubical structures, after the
but that little is sufficient to confirm the model of the Pharos of Alexandria; a colossal
substantial accuracy of the careful drawings statue of Trajan; a portico of which the exag-
made in the sixteenth century, when a great deal geratedly rusticated travertine masonry shows it
more was still visible. These reveal an overall to be a relic of the Claudian harbourside
plan that conforms closely to that of the later buildings; a pair of temples, whose curved
and far better preserved Baths of Caracalla and pediments indicate a dedication to the Egyptian
of Diocletian, except that the main bathing divinities Isis and Serapis;-'' and a substantial
block, instead of being free-standing in the bath-building. One of the warehouses, probably
86 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

of Severan date, has ramps leading to an upper the saddle of higher ground between the Qui-
gallery, and the raised pavements of the ground rinal and Capitoline Hills and the lower slopes
floor show that it was for grain. of the Quirinal itself were cut back to a
Another commodity attested by the surviving maximum depth of 125 feet (38 m.), a figure of
remains at Portus is marble, many blocks and which Trajan's column, 125 feet high, was
columns of which have been recovered still in designed to preserve a dramatic visual record.
the rough form in which they were shipped Three-fifths of this level area was reserved for
from the quarries. They were evidently off"- the open space of the forum proper and for the

loaded here and transhipped to barges for two lateral porticoes, the central sections of the
transport to the marble yards of the capital, outer walls of which were broken outwards to
which lay in the 'Marmorata' quarter on the form large semicircular exedrae. Both the plan
river bank below the Aventine. Such tranship- and the order of the lateral colonnades, the attic

ment seems to have been normal practice, ^^ and storey of which is decorated with large orna-
a natural corollary of the work at Portus was the mental roundels and caryatid figures of Dacian
improvement of the riverside facilities of Rome prisoners, clearly derive from the Forum of
itself. When the modern embankments were Augustus. The gently outcurving entrance wall
built along the left bank the extensive remains seems, on the other hand, to have been inspired
were uncovered of a system of wharves, berths, by the flanking walls of the Forum Transi-
and mooring-rings, loading-ramps and ware- torium. In the centre of it, surmounted by a six-
houses, all in characteristically Trajanic brick- horse chariot, was a monumental entry, of
and-reticulate masonry. This reticulate work, a which the coins give a lively picture; and the
conscious revival of a practice that had gone out centre focus of the whole forum, at the in-
of use in the capital half a century earlier, was to tersection of the two axes, was a gigantic
enjoy a considerable vogue under Trajan and his equestrian statue of the emperor. There were
immediate successors and is one of the many gilded statues of horses and military standards
symptoms of a renewed interest in the architec- along the roofs of the lateral colonnades, and
tural heritage of Rome's own recent past. there was a great deal of other statuary, some of
Another commercial building, found and de- it carved in polychrome marbles and all of it

stroyed in 1878 on the right bank near the devoted to the theme of the emperor's triumphs.
Farnesina, was an imperial storehouse for wine, But despite the opulence of its detail, the forum
built in 102. It was a rectangular structure, was saved from mere grandiloquence by its fine
resembling the horrea, with vaulted storehouses proportions and by the purposeful sweep of the
full of amphorae at ground level and above them design as a whole. When the emperor Con-
a complex of courts surrounded by long por- stantius II visited Rome for the first and only
ticoes of plaster-faced travertine columns - a time, in 357, of all the monuments of the city
surprisingly late use of this material in such a this was the one which he most admired. ^^
context. There was a grandeur of conception about it to
The monument upon which above all Trajan satisfy even the most jaded taste.

lavished his resources and which most vividly The fourth side of the forum was occupied,
mirrors the curiously eclectic architectural aspi- not by the temple as in all the previous Imperial
rations of his reign is forum which he built
the fora, but by a huge, transverse, basilican hall.

out of the spoils of the Dacian War and The Basilica Ulpia (the name derives from
dedicated in 113 [6j. Physically as well as Trajan's family name of Ulpius) was by any
stylistically this was a building of unusual standards an imposing building. The main hall,
complexity. To provide a level space some 220 exactly twice as long as it was broad, extended
yards long and 130 yards wide (200 by 120 m., the full width of the forum (some 400 feet).

exclusive of the exedrae) for the main complex. Within it two ambulatorv colonnades enclosed a
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 69-1 17) ' ^7

long, narrow, central nave, the timber roof of tier was accessible from a gallery served by an
which had a span of 80 feet (23 m.) and was independent staircase.

nearly 260 feet (80 m.) long. At either end of the The column stood 125 feet (38 m.) high and
building, spatially independent except as was built throughout of finely jointed blocks and
viewed through the columns of the ambula- drums of Carrara marble of colossal dimensions
tories, were two large apses. The main hall is (each drum weighed about forty tons). It

usually, and probably rightly, restored as having comprised a tall plinth carved with Victories
had galleries over one or both the ambulatory and trophies of arms, a sculptured shaft with a
colonnades. The apses had semi-engaged dec- Doric capital, and a pedestal bearing a gilded

orative orders round the inner faces and must bronze statue of Trajan." Within the base was a
have been independently lit; but how exactly tomb-chamber, destined for the emperor him-
they were related in elevation to the rest of the self, and carved out of the solid marble of the

building is uncertain. Outstanding among the shaft was a spiral staircase of 185 steps. There
rich variety of marbles with which the interior were many Republican precedents for the erec-
was lavishly faced were the columns of grey tion of such commemorative columns. What
Egyptian granite. Another noteworthy feature was singular and original about Trajan's
was the which was sheathed with sheets
ceiling, Column was the continuous spiral frieze that
of gilded bronze. It was presumably coffered wound unbroken from base to capital, carved in
and lit by clerestory windows, soaring in bril- exquisite low relief with a dramatized historical
liant and effective contrast above the relative narrative of Trajan's two Dacian wars. It is hard
obscurity of the galleries beneath. Externally to admire unreservedly the relegation of this

the dominating feature was a shallow tetrastyle sculptural chef d' cmvre to a situation in which
porch in the centre of the facade, at the even the vigorous use of colour would have left

culminating point of the axis established by the many of the upper scenes barely visible, let

outer archway of the forum and the central alone intelligible in terms of the narrative which
equestrian statue. This porch too was illustrated they set out to portray. On the other hand, there
^"^
on the contemporary coins. cannot be the slightest doubt either of the
Beyond the basilica, within a small col- masterly quality of the sculpture itself or of its

onnaded courtyard off which, to right and left, outstanding importance for the later develop-
opened a pair of libraries, stood Trajan's Col- ment of Roman narrative art; and that the
umn. It is characteristic of the 'drawing-board' scheme of the column and its sculpture struck
mentality of so much Roman architectural the imagination of antiquity is shown by the
thinking^" that, although the column and the several copies of it that were erected later, in

temple beyond it picked up the line of the long Rome by Commodus and in Constantinople by
axis of the forum, there was no visual continuity Theodosius I and by Arcadius.
whatsoever between the two. The library com- Beyond the column, completing the grand
plex was quite independent, accessible from the design, lay the temple which after Trajan's
basilica only by a pair of doors, which seem to death was dedicated by Hadrian in honour of
have been deliberately placed so as to avoid any Trajan and of his wife, Plotina. The remains of
direct relationship with those of the main the temple itself still lie buried beneath and
facade. Unlike the basilica and forum, the beyond the church of S. Maria di Loreto, but
librarieswere built of brick-faced concrete and from the coins and from a fragment of the
vaulted, presumably as a protection against fire Severan marble map of Rome we know that it

and damp. They were plain rectangular halls of was an enormous octastyle building, standing
conventional classical library design, the cup- on a tall podium and set against the semicircular
boards for the scrolls being contained in two rear wall of a colonnaded enclosure. Its size is

tiers of rectangular recesses, of which the upper graphically attested by part of one of its col-
88
ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A. D. 235

view.
39. Rome, Trajan's Market, c. 100-12. Axonometric
Forum;
Centre foreground, the hemicycle of Trajan's
left foreground, one end of the
Basihca Ulpia
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a.D. 69-I 17)
89

umns, of grey Egyptian granite, which is now followed closely the run of the steeply sloping
lying near the base of Trajan's Column. When hillside. At one point only were they grouped
complete it was one quarter as long again as the into a more intimate relationship. This was in
columns of the porch of the Pantheon, and it the covered market hall [40, 41], a tightly
must have weighed nearly a hundred and twenty planned building laid out at three distinct levels.
tons.-'^ There was an independent row of six shops
To the north-east of the forum complex, facing directly on to the Via Biberatica, at the
terraced steeply up the artificially steepened south end of which a flight of steps led to the
lower slopes of the Quirinal Hill, lay the storey above, which was that of the main market
Markets of Trajan, an elaborately planned hall. This was a vaulted rectangular space, 92

commercial quarter, containing more than one feet long and 32 feet wide (28 by 9.80 m.), with

hundred and fifty individual shops and offices two rows of six shops each opening off" either
and a large covered market hall, linked by stairs side of it at two levels, those of the upper floor
and streets and accessible at three different being shallower and served by a gallery-like
levels - at the foot of the hill by a broad street corridor with balustraded openings correspond-
laid out along the outer perimeter of the forum ing to the six bays of the central vault. The latter
and basilica; at the level of the third storey by was cross-vaulted, a utilitarian version of the
what in theMiddle Ages became the Via vaulting characteristic of the central hall of one
Biberatica; and two storeys higher again by a of the great 'Imperial' baths, with massive
street facing towards the Quirinal [39]. The travertine brackets used instead of marble col-
whole complex was built of brick-faced concrete umns to reduce the span at the springing-points.
with travertine details. It is a remarkable Staircases linked the successive levels, and there
example of the vaulted cellular construction of was a second entrance at gallery level leading in

which the Roman architects of the capital had from the upper street. The whole design has the
already shown themselves masters, the unit inevitability of good planning and, compared
throughout being the taberna, the single- with the stolid simplicity of the earlier market
roomed, wide-doored, barrel-vaulted shop of halls at Tivoli and Ferentino, it admirably
standard Roman commercial Both in practice. exemplifies the progress which Roman archi-
plan and to a lesser extent in elevation (there was tecture had made in practical as well as in
often a wooden mezzanine gallery lit by a monumental fields since Late Republican times.
window above the door) this unit itself was Although this was essentially an architecture
capable of considerable adjustment, and used in of function, remarkable chiefly for its practi-
conjunction with vaulted corridors and stair- cality and for its extraordinary flexibility in the
cases it lent itself admirably to the requirements face of a potentially very difficult site, it could,
of what could hardly have been a more irregular wherever appropriate, achieve a certain austere
site. An interesting technical novelty is the use monumentality. The three-storey fa9ade of the
of tiles as a substitute for planking in the market hall towards the Via Biberatica [42],
centering of the vaults, a device that had made a with its robust, travertine-framed shop-fronts
first Domus Aurea
tentative appearance in the at ground level and shallow 'balconies' bracket-
and Colosseum and which was to be
in the ed out over the mezzanine windows, is a
widely used in the second and third centuries to typical example of what, as we know from the
achieve flexibility and speed of construction by streets of Ostia, was the appearance of much of
reducing carpentry to a minimum. the new Rome that had been coming into being
The shops were for the most part laid out in since the great fire of 64. More elaborate is the
single rows, facing on to streets or corridors that well-known hemicyclical fa9ade where the
90 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 69-1 17) ' 91

40 {opposite). Rome, Trajan's Market, c. 100-12. Interior of the market hall

41 {below). Rome, Trajan's Market. Axonometric view. The main market hall, c. 100-12.
Foreground, the street that later became the Via Biberatica

STAIRS TO
GALLERY
i2 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (A.D. 69-I 17) 93

lowest street frontage of the markets conformed had yet to establish themselves in monumental
to theoutward curve of the forum exedra [43]. usage, at any rate in Italy. Their employment on
Here the range of uniform, round-headed win- this occasion is doubtless to be connected with
dows which is the dominant feature of the upper the use of a medium - stuccoed brickwork -
of the two storeys is framed within the pilasters which was still in the process of developing a
and continuous entablature of a decorative monumental language of its own.
order, which was broken out in shallow relief to (In view of the long-established belief that
form a series of Hnked aediculae, every fourth this well-known facade was part of Trajan's
pediment of which was triangular, alternating Forum itself, it is worth emphasizing that it was
with groups of three in which a low segmental never in fact visible from within the forum, nor
pediment was framed by two triangular half- could it ever have been viewed frontally, as it is

pediments. Such broken pedimental schemes today, to the detriment both of its proportions
had made their appearance at least half a and of the quality of its detail. It was meant to be
century earlier on the walls of Pompeii, but they seen from street level, obliquely and in receding

42 {opposite). Rome, Trajan's Market, c. 100-12. The former Via Biberatica,


with shops at ground level and, above them {left), the fa9ade of the market hall.
Note the remains of shallow balconies {maeniana) over the shops

43 {below). Rome, Trajan's Market, c. 100-12, fa9ade of the lower hemicycle [cf 39].
In antiquity the left-hand part of the fa9ade would have been hidden by the high, curving outer wall
of Trajan's Forum, now robbed to ground level
94 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

perspective [43], its length suggested by the indicate a broad catholicity of taste and abihty.
curve of the street and by the repeated rhythm On the one hand the baths and the markets show
of its design, but nowhere in fact visible in its him to have been quite as much at home in the
entirety, and its delicate relief picked out by the contemporary Roman concrete medium as his
cross-fall of the light and contrasting with the predecessor, Domitian's architect, Rabirius:
massive simplicity of the wall opposite.) from such of their work as has survived,
The Forum and the Markets of Trajan were Rabirius may perhaps be thought to have been
contemporary and complementary monuments, the more important innovator, but in this
the two halves of a single plan; and yet it would respect both Apollodorus and Rabirius belong
be hard to imagine two groups of buildings that to the same broad stream of historical develop-
were more different in almost every respect - ment. The forum and basilica, on the other
the one ruthlessly imposed upon its site and hand, have surprisingly little to do with recent
developed with an arrogant self-sufficiency architectural trends in Rome. The combination
within the circuit of its high containing walls, of basilica and forum into a single, closely knit
the other conditioned at every turn by the unit in itself derives from schemes that had been
accidents of the ground on which it was built evolved elsewhere in Italy and in the western
and meaningful only in terms of its wider provinces - one of the earliest instances of such
architectural setting; the one ultra-conservative reciprocal influence upon the architecture of the
in its choice of materials, in its spatial re- capital. ^"^ At the same time both the planning
lationships, and in its taste for rich classical and the detail of the forum reveal a marked
ornament, the other the last word in con- break away from the Flavian tradition and a
temporary taste and techniques. The contrast is, return to the Augustan sources. We see this very
of course, symptomatic of an age in transition. clearly in the adoption of such features as the

The markets represent one of the outstanding exedrae of the forum and the caryatid order of
achievements of the 'modern' architecture the flanking porticoes, both copied directly from
which is the subject of the next chapter, whereas the Forum Augustum. We see it again in the
the forum and basilica belong to a field in which details of the individual mouldings, many of
the traditional pomps and grandiosities were which are barely distinguishable from those of
still a required currency. It is inevitably the the Augustan building. ^-^ More generally we
former that engage the sympathies and interest can see it in the rejection of concrete (except, for
of most twentieth-century observers, but it is practical reasons, in the libraries) in favour of
well to remember that it was the latter that was the traditional materials, dressed stone and
regarded both by its contemporaries and by timber. Apart from its two apses, the Basilica
later generations as the outstanding monument Ulpia is still essentially an enlarged and en-
of its age; and since this is also one of the few riched version of an Augustan monument. In its

great Roman building schemes of which we ornament too, just as Augustus's own architects
know the name and something of the history of had turned to the classical monuments of
the architect, it is worth while, in conclusion, to Athens for inspiration, so now Apollodorus
inquire briefly what was his architectural train- turned back to those of Augustus.
ing and what was his impact upon the con- By the authority of its example the Basilica
temporary architectural scene. Ulpia did more perhaps than any other single
There is little to suggest that Apollodorus of building to keep alive in the capital a tradition
Damascus was influenced by his Eastern ori- which in many other fields was dying, if not
gins. His bridge over the Danube reveals him as already dead. This was the building which
a first-class structural engineer, and even the above all others came to be felt to epitomize the
short list of buildings in Rome that can be grandeur of Roman Imperial might at the peak
attributed to him with certaintv^"' is sufficient to of its power. Though it had no immediate
ROME FROM VESPASIAN TO TRAJAN (a. D. 69-1 17) '
95

successors in Rome, and though two centuries architectural type for the places of worship of
later, when Maxentius gave the capital its last the newly enfranchised Christian religion,
great public basilica, it was the contemporary Trajan's building was one that must inevitably
architecture of the great bath-buildings that have been in every mind. The Basilica Ulpia
supplied the model, the Basilica Ulpia was very may not have been a building of any profound
widely copied in the provinces. Moreover, it was architectural originality. But there are few
still standing in Constantine's day, venerable monuments of antiquity that enjoyed a greater
and universally admired; and whatever may and more enduring prestige, or that did more to
have been the reasons that led him and his shape the subsequent course of architectural
advisers to select the basilica as the preferred history.
CHAPTER 4

MATERIALS AND METHODS:


THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION

The death of Trajan in 1 17 is as good a moment tendency to relegate the traditional classical
as any to pause and take stock of what had been forms to a purely decorative role had already
happening to the architecture of Rome in the taken on a monumental shape of its own during
160-odd years since the murder of Caesar. Not the last century of the Republic, and it was upon
that there was any real break in the development the well established Italic version of this wider
at this time, or indeed at any other time before hellenistic tradition that Augustus had drawn
the third century. But the new era was to bring for an important part of his programme. The
new problems and new perspectives. The Stadium of Domitian, the last great public
impetus of the great Augustan building pro- building in Rome to clothe the arcaded struc-
gramme was all but spent. For over a century it ture of its facade in a continuous framework of
had carried the architecture of the capital along applied classical 'architecture', marks the end of
on its own momentum. Throughout the first an epoch that spans the whole of the last century
century, besides creating the circumstances that of the Republic and the first century of the
made possible the revolution in architectural Empire.^
thinking which is the special subject of the Many of the changes that were now taking
present chapter, it had been the accepted place are, of course, explicable in purely local
framework of reference for all architectural terms. In the case just referred to, for example,
thinking, progressive and conservative alike. one can see that brick-faced concrete, hence-
Now the horizons were once more widening. forth the building material par excellence of the
The balance of wealth and prosperity was capital, lent itself naturally to an altogether
beginning to shift away from Italy and towards simpler exterior architecture, one that was
the provinces, and increasingly it was towards expressive of the constructional material with
the latter that the architect of the second little or no overlay of extraneous classicizing
century looked for those aspects of his craft detail. It is to the interiors, and to the decorative
which were not satisfied locally. skins of marble and painted stucco with which
There were, of course, certain elements of the they were clothed, that such detail was increas-
classical tradition which were now so deeply and ingly relegated. But even in such essentially
so widely rooted that they transcended all conservative fields of practice as temple archi-
frontiers. The classical system of column, tecture and the carving of the detail of the
capital, and entablature, for example, was to classical orders, one can detect an important
remain an established part of the architectural shift of allegiance. The Augustan monuments
scene for centuries to come, whatever the setting remained in this respect an inexhaustible reper-
and whatever the circumstances; not until Jus- tory of ideas and motifs, time and again to be
was architecture to break significant fresh
tinian quarried by later Roman architects in search of
ground in this respect. But there were a great inspiration. But, just as the Stadium of Dom-
many other, hardly less fundamental respects in itian marks the end of an epoch, so one may
which there were wide divergences of practice single out a building such as Trajan's Forum as
from one part of the Mediterranean world to one of the last representatives of a tradition of
another. In Italy, for example, the widespread planning and ornament that derives, almost
98 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

without a break, from the buildings of Augustan chemical processes involved. It was the product
Rome. Barely a generation later, for his great of centuries of trial and error, each generation
Temple of Venus and Rome, we find Hadrian adding its quota of practical experience until, by
looking instead to Asia Minor. This is sympto- the last century of the Republic, what had
matic of what was happening in many fields. started as a mere inert fill suitable only for the
Although the development of concrete architec- interiors of platforms, city walls, etc., had
ture was, and was some time to remain,
for become a building material in its own right,
essentially a domestic phenomenon, the stage which could be used not only for the con-
was being set for wider things. struction of walls but also of arches and vaults.
We have already had occasion to observe, in The history of pozzolana (the Latin pulvis
buildings such as the Golden House and the puteolanus) is in itself a graphic illustration of

Flavian Palace, something of the new spatial the extent to which the whole development was
ideas that were developing in Rome during the governed by the chance discoveries and rule-of-
second half of the first century a.d. As has so thumb wisdom of successive generations of
often happened in the history of architecture, it contractors. One of its most valuable properties
was the advent of new materials and new is that with it one can make a mortar that will

methods that stimulated and shaped the new harden in contact with water, a property that

theoretical approach. In this case the new must have been discovered in the first place in
material was Roman concrete, and to follow the the course of waterside building in the harbour
development of progressive architectural think- of Puteoli (the modern Pozzuoli) in Campania,
ing during the period in question, it will first be whence it took its name and whence it was
necessary to describe in rather greater detail regularly imported to the capital for use in
than has yet been done its properties, its bridges, riverside wharves, and harbour jetties.

advantages, and its limitations. There are plentiful supplies of an identical


First, a word of definition. Roman concrete volcanic sand in and around Rome, and under
{opus caementicium) was neither a concrete nor a Augustus the local pozzolana was in fact already
cement in the modern sense of those words, a being used regularly in ordinary building. And
material that could be mixed and poured, or yet fifty years later we find Claudius still

used in its own right independently of other importing it from Puteoli for his harbour works
materials. Itwas a combination of mortar and at Ostia.^

lumps of aggregate {caementa) and it was almost It is against such a background of cautious,
invariably laid in roughly horizontal courses, practical conservatism that we have to envisage
not poured, the only difference from the mor- the whole history of the early development of
tared rubble of contemporary usage (into which, Roman concrete. Such slow, empirical advances
indeed, the poorer qualities of Roman concrete are in the nature of things hard to document. It

shade imperceptibly) lying in the better quality is the successes that survive, the failures that are
of the mortar. It was, in fact, the strength of the swept away. For example, the workmanship of
mortar that gave Roman concrete its unique Agrippa's very extensive programme of aque-
properties; and although the concrete core was duct building and repair was so faulty that it had
regularly faced with other materials, the facing to be undertaken afresh almost in its entirety by
was structurally of altogether secondary Augustus twenty years later. The Aqua Claudia,
importance. dedicated in a.d. 52, needed drastic repairs in
In the fully developed Roman concrete these 71
and again under Domitian. These are simply
,

properties were the result of mixing lime with two examples about which we happen to be
the local volcanic sand {pozzolana). This was unusually well informed, thanks to the survival
not a sudden, dramatic discovery; still less was it of the treatise of Frontinus, who had himself
the result of any theoretical knowledge oT the been a water commissioner. It is not altogether
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION 99

surprising therefore that under Augustus, and devices as built-in arches over doorways, win-
for a long time thereafter in conservative build- dows, and any point of special architectural
ing circles, squared stone was still the preferred strain (cf. illustrations 76, 79, 85). The arches,
material whenever it was a question of carrying the flat-arched lintels, and the relieving arches
a serious load. This was still the attitude of, for that are such a characteristic feature of the
example, the builders of the Colosseum. Al- brick-faced monuments of the capital convey an
though by the beginning of the Christian era almost irresistible impression of a 'live' material
concrete was already in widespread use as an within which each of these elements plays an
efficient and economical substitute for the ashlar active part in carrying and distributing the load
walls and timber roofing of traditional classical of the structure as a whole. In reality this is true
practice, there is little indication that it was yet only in a very special and limited sense. They
thought of as a monumental building material in did unquestionably play an active and useful
its own right. In this respect the great Re- part during the actual construction of the
pubhcan sanctuaries of Latium stand in curious building, and to a diminishing degree during the
isolation from what immediately followed them. period of its drying out. Once the concrete had
An aspect of Roman concrete construction hardened, however, they served no further
that has led to a great deal of confusion of structural purpose whatsoever; indeed, by in-
thought is the regular practice of applying a troducing potential lines of cleavage they were,
facing of some other material to the exposed if anything, a source of weakness. The same is

wall-surfaces. These wall-facings range from true in varying degrees of such features as the
the squared stone or the irregular stone patch- brick ribs not uncommon in later Roman
work {opus incertum) of the earliest faced walls,-' vaulting, or the so-called 'bonding courses', flat

through the neat chequerboard opus reticulatum single courses of large tiles that were introduced
which took shape during the last years of the at regular intervals into many Roman walls,
Republic [51], to the brickwork {opus testaceum) running right through them, facing and core
characteristic of the fully developed Roman alike [79]. The use of brick ribs will be discussed
concrete. But the study of these facing tech- in a later section. The main purpose of the
niques, valuable though it may be as a guide to 'bonding courses' was to provide a neat, level

the chronology of individual monuments, is of finish at the end of each stage of construction,
only marginal importance to any understanding but they served also to prevent any minor
of the architectural properties and possibilities settlement in thestill fluid mass of the concrete

of Roman concrete as such. It was in the mass of from spreading vertically."^


mortar and aggregate forming the core that the It was the strength of the core that really

strength of Roman concrete lay. Apart from mattered, and it was the steady progress in the
providing a neat finish suitable for the appli- quality of this that was the most significant
cation of marble or stucco, the principal func- advance of the Augustan and early Julio-
tion of the facing was to simplify the actual Claudian period. From the time of Augustus
processes of construction by providing a care- onwards the quality of the mortar itself was
fully built and quasi-independent framework improved by the regular addition of the local
within which the main body of the wall could be pozzolana. Another significant improvement
laid accurately with a minimum both of shutter- was the gradual elimination of the horizontal
ing and of skilled supervision. lines of cleavage that mark the divisions between
The relative unimportance of the facing is a the successive stages of the work in so many of
fact that needs to be stressed, since to facilitate the earlier concrete buildings. This was pre-
its construction the concrete-builders of the sumably achieved by using a somewhat slower-
Empire, and in particular those working in drying mixture, which enabled the successive
brick, made widespread use of such familiar horizontal lavers of the core to fuse into a
ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

virtually homogeneous mass. As the quality of which it would be hard to overestimate the
the concrete improved, so the vaulting tech- historical significance. Here, for the first time in
niques too were simplified, and the vaults the recorded history of Roman architecture, we
themselves strengthened, by the omission of the have a room which was not only breaking away
radially laid intrados of rough stones which from the conventionally rectangular pattern of
characterizes so many Republican vaults. the complex of which it was a part, but was also
Henceforth the concrete of the vaults was laid deliberately designed to exploit the novel spatial
against the shuttering in precisely the same effects so obtained. The fact that many of the
horizontal beds as the walls themselves, and it resulting problems of planning were left unre-
stood by virtue of the almost monolithic quality solved and that much of the detail, such as the
of the finished concrete mass."* small, box-like, triangular spaces in the angles
Roman architects were surprisingly slow to between the radiating chambers, is clumsy,
appreciate the revolutionary architectural possi- cannot conceal the startling novelty of the vision
bilities inherent in the new material that was so embodied. This is essentially an architecture
developing under their eyes. When it did come, of the interior, in which light and space are
however, the realization was rapid and com- every bit as important as the actual masonry. In
plete; and thanks to the fortunate circumstance a subtle but significant way the emphasis has
of the survival of a number of the key monu- suddenly shifted from the solids to the voids. At
ments, we are able to document the process in the same time there is a deliberate playing down
unusual detail. At Hadrian's death in 137 there of the constructional problems. Walls and vaults
must have been persons still living who could are no longer the distinct contrasting factors of a
remember Nero and the great fire of 64; and yet clearly stated structural equation, but the com-
between these two dates there took place all the plementary and merging elements of an en-
essential stages of the revolution in architectural velope enclosing a shape. Moreover, the shape
thinking which Rome's great original contri-
is itself is elusive. Although the plan is rigidly
bution to the history of European art. centralized upon a common focus, the eye is in
The first great public monument in which we fact drawn away from the centre, out through

can detect the ferment at work is Nero's Golden the oculus or down the tantalizing vistas opened
House. To contemporary eyes it was the in- up by the radiating chambers. The lighting, too,
congruity of the setting - a luxurious country through oblique slots above the extrados of the
villa in the heart of Rome - and its manifold dome, displays the same qualities of deliberate
engineering marvels that constituted the prin- evasiveness. Here in embryo we have all the
cipal novelty of this singular building.^ Seen in elements that were to characterize so much of
such a perspective the recessed courtyard in the later Roman architecture.
centre of that part of the facade which has been To see how new all this was, one has only to
exposed by excavation, with its flanks splayed pause to reflect on the extent to which all
out to form three sides of an irregular hexagon, previous architecture of the ancient world had
though a newcomer to the architecture of the been dominated by the concept of mass, and by
capital, was one for which, as we shall see in the explicit statement of the structural problems
Chapter 8, there were already plenty of pre- involved in supporting a roof on four walls.
cedents in the seaside villas of Campania and Whether in Greece or in the ancient East its
Latium. Though symptomatic of the general effects had been very largely achieved by the
breakdown of the tyranny of the right-angle, its orderly marshalling of masonry and by the
architectural significance is slight in comparison contraposition of such tangible features as wall
with that of the octagonal hall in the middle of and roof, platform and superstructure, column
what we may still fi)r convenience refer to as the and architrave. Greek architecture had been
east wing.' The latter [44, 45] is a structure of logical, rational, lucid, an architecture of which
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION

the niceties lay in the subtle exploitation of Republic one can detect a growing awareness of
familiar structural themes. In particular it had the properties of interior space. This is the
been essentially an architecture of the exterior, essential difference between the Greek stoa and
to be viewed and comprehended from without the Roman basilica and it is none the less

rather than experienced from within. Even significant for being in other respects still

when, as in such great assembly halls as the contained within the rigidly rectilinear frame-
Telesterion at Eleusis, it became necessary to work of a conventional classicism. Seen from
roof over a large interior space, the result was at this point of view the Basilica Ulpia and the
best an uneasy balance between the physical central hall of Trajan's Market are the collateral
requirements of the situation and an aesthetic branches of a single Roman tradition. Hardly
tradition to which such problems were essen- less significant was the growing taste, already
tially alien. ^ It was left to Rome to evolve an evident in Augustan times, for curvilinear or
architecture to which the concept of interior polygonal forms, a taste for which the wealthy
space was fundamental, and of this evolution the seaside villas, with their spreading porticoes,
octagon of the Golden House is a decisive their fountains, and their tempietti, afforded
milestone. such ample scope. At a more functional level it

Because the Golden House is the first build- found expression also in the building of amphi-
ing in which we can clearly and unequivocally theatres and theatres, a task for which by its

observe the full impact of this new vision, it does flexibility concrete early showed itself to be
not, of course, follow that it was the result of a admirably suited. From the placing of sloping
sudden, blinding revelation, or indeed that this vaults over the radial segments of an ellipse, a
was even the first time that it had found explicit regular feature of amphitheatre construction, it

architectural expression. On the contrary, the was a short step to the realization that with

plan of the octagon itself has all the appearance concrete one was no longer tied to the very
of having been evolved independently in the restricted repertory of architectural forms
first place and rather summarily adapted to fit proper to the traditional building materials.
into its present location. One thinks inevitably Once a concrete had been developed which, by
of the garden pavilions, fountain grottoes, and comparison with other known building
other architectural conceits of the wealthy parks materials, would stand as an almost monolithic
of Julio-Claudian Rome, which have left tan- unit, there was very little but the force of
talizing traces in the contemporary literature tradition to limit the shapes of either walls or
(e.g. Varro's celebrated aviary at Casinum) and vaults. The key to a new world of architectural
painting, but so sadly few actual remains. Here ideas stood ready in the lock, and by Nero's
was a natural ground for experiment and fan- death it had been firmly and irrevocably turned.
tasy, and it may very well be that, like so much In the Golden House not only do we find the
else in the Golden House, the immediate architect actively exploring the possibilities of
inspiration for the octagon came from some the new medium for the creation of new and
garden pavilion of one of Caligula's urban villas exciting spatial forms but - possibly for the first
or Nero's own Domus Transitoria.'' time ever - we also find him giving these forms
More important, however, than the possible monumental expression within the best known
derivation of the octagon, as such, from some and most discussed building of its day.
particular building is the recognition that most Once this decisive step had been taken
of the ideas which it embodies were in them- progress was rapid and assured, as we see very
selves already familiar features of the architec- clearly in the great palace of Domitian, com-
tural scene. What was new was their con- pleted less than twent}-five years after the
vergence upon a single building. Already, for Golden House. ''^
The first and most obvious
example, in the Roman architecture of the Late advance is in the quality of the material and the
102
ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

64-8.
44 and 45 {opposite). Rome, Nero's Golden House,
Octagonal fountain hall with axonometric view from below, section, and plan
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION
103

15m

15m
104 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

virtuosity of its handling. Even if the vaulting of examples of the former one may select for
the vestibule be left out of account as possible mention the suite of small rooms along the west
but unproven, the barrel-vault of the basilica side of the courtyard of the official wing; a small
was already a notable achievement. (That it domed room in the upper storey of the domestic
needed buttressing very soon after construction wing, in plan a circle inscribed in a square, with
is not altogether surprising when one recalls that two rows, one above the other, each of eight

lom

V lom

46. Rome, Flavian Palace (Domus Augustana), inaugurated in 92. Domed octagonal room.
Sections, plan, and axonometric view from below. For the facade of this room, see illustration 38

the architect's only guide was experience; it was decorative recesses, alternately curved and rect-
only by working up to the limit, and at times angular; and the somewhat similar but more
exceeding it, that such experience could be elaborate pair of domedrooms in the north wing
gained.) Hardly less striking are the notable of the ground floor of the domestic wing [46].
increase in the deliberate use of curvilinear The last-named in particular, with their studied
features and the growing reliance for effect upon avoidance of the expected (even the doors being
the properties of interior space. Of the many sited with a deliberate disregard for symmetry
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION 105

or axiality), are for their date astonishingly of the new architectural ideas current in the
advanced; and while one may feel that some of Rome itself these ideas took shape
capital, so in

the architect's less ambitiously elaborate ven- under the strong influence of (and themselves
tures, such as the fountain courts adjoining the did much to promote) the rapid development of
great Triclinium, were more successful, these contemporary bathing-habits, both public and
domed rooms give us the full measure of his private, in and immediately after Augustan
determination at all costs to create new and times. Foremost among the buildings in the new
interesting interior forms. The only limitation style were the 'Imperial' bath-buildings de-
in this respect by which he still felt constrained scribed in the preceding chapter. Those of Titus
was that imposed by the traditional rectilinear certainly, and very possibly those of Nero before
framework of the building as a whole. Apart him, were already built almost exclusively of
from the facade towards the Circus Maximus concrete. Essentially compact, functional build-
with its gently curving central portico, the ings, they offered little scope for the more
whole building, whether viewed from without elaborately fantastic curvilinear forms. They
or from its own inner courtyard, was still were, on the other hand, ideally suited for the
clothed in a rectilinear decorum which gave development of large, dignified interiors and of
scarcely a hint of the ferment within. the interlocking vistas bymeans of which the
Side by side with this increasing use of individual rooms were made to participate in the
curvilinear features we find an increasing aware- larger unity of the building as a whole. In the
ness of the value of suggestion and surprise, as Baths of Titus the forms that were to dominate
well as of sheer size, in the creation of im- the great public bath-buildings of the capital for
pressive interiors. The suggestive glimpses the next two and a half centuries had not yet
afforded to diners in the great Triclinium, out taken decisive shape. The main cold hall {frigi-

into the central courtyard and across into the danum) is still at one end of the central axis
small garden courts to right and left, were an instead of, as functionally it belonged and as
essential part of the total architectural effect, a thirty years later we find it in Trajan's Baths, at
lesson of which a generation later Hadrian was the centre of the whole complex, with vistas
to show himself well aware in planning the opening out in all directions. Moreover, if

dining halls of his villa near Tivoli. As for the Palladio's drawing [33] is right in showing this

element of surprise, one has only to imagine the hall as essentially cruciform in plan, with a
sense of shock with which the huge, almost groin-vaulted central bay buttressed on three
empty spaces of the vestibule, lit from high sides by barrel-vaults and on the fourth by the
above, must have burst upon the visitor ushered large apse which closed the axial vista, this all-
in through the modest doorway which was the important feature was itself still feeling its way
principal entrance to the palace from the world towards its final was left to Trajan's
form.'' It

outside. architect, Apollodorus of Damascus, to take the


Another group of buildings well suited for decisive step of substituting for the lateral

the expression of the new spatial ideas was the barrel-vaults groined vaults of a height and size
series of large 'Imperial' bath-buildings. The equal to that over the central bay, thereby
Roman taste for public bathing as a social establishing an axis at right angles to that of the
relaxation was from the outset an important building as a whole and creating that deliberate
factor in the development of the new architec- sense of spatial ambivalence which one can still

ture. Vaulted concrete was a medium ideally experience today in the frigidarium of the Baths
suited to the practical requirements of the of Diocletian, now the church of S. Maria degli
Roman bath; and just as bath-buildings were to Angeh. was precisely on the question of axis
(It

become one of the earliest and most influential that the plans of Michelangelo and of Vanvitelli
means of dissemination through the provinces for the remodelling of this church found great-
I06 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

47 and 48 {opposite). Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa.


The island villa ('Tcatro Marittimo'), 118-25 [cf. 49A, 123, and 124]
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION 107

est scope for difference.) Apart from the form of been fully comprehended and explored. By
the frigidarium, which we may note in passing contrast the actual period of revolutionary
was a variant of that used by Apollodorus experiment was, as such moments of intense
himself in the central hall of Trajan's Market, intellectual or artistic activity often are, re-
and which was to play an even more important markably brief. By the death of Hadrian in 138
role in the development of later Roman archi- it may be said to have achieved all its immediate
tecture, it was principally in the greater size and objectives; and it is accordingly with a brief
elaboration of the plan as a whole and the discussion of Hadrian's work in this field that
introduction of a great many more circular, we may fittingly conclude this account of the
semicircular, and, in two instances, oval features emergence in the capital of the new architecture
that Trajan's building differed from its prede- of the middle and late Empire.
cessor. With its construction the pattern for the Hadrian's Villa,'' that imperial Xanadu in

great public bath-buildings of the capital was the heart of the Campagna, near Tivoli [123], is

established on lines which it was to follow with a monument that does not lend itself to easy
remarkably little change for the next two generalizations. The product of a restless, in-

centuries. quiring mind, with a strong bent for architec-


The ferment of new architectural thinking tural experiment and backed by unlimited
which we have termed the Roman Architectural resources, it is hardly surprising that it should
Revolution had not sprung upon the world have come to include a number of extraordinary
unheralded, and it was to be many generations, buildings, of which almost the only common
indeed centuries, before its implications had elements are the ingenuity with which they
I08 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A. D. 235

10 15m

20 25m
49. Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa. Plans, (a) Island villa ('Teatro Marittimo'), 118-25;
(b) Piazza d'Oro, pavilion and south-cast end of the peristyle
court, 125-33
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION 109

exploit the possibilities of the gently undulating- result is in both cases a curvilinear, cruciform
site and their technical mastery of the material, plan of extraordinary complexity, between the
concrete faced with brick or reticulate work, of columns of which could be glimpsed a bewilder-
which it is almost entirely built. Curvilinearity ing variety of matching or counterposed rooms
has become a commonplace. In the emperor's and courtyards. The latest studies suggest that
private island retreat, for example, the so-called neither building was roofed;'-' but there is a

Teatro Marittimo (118-25), there is hardly a small room of the same general shape in the

straight line anywhere; instead, within the Lesser Baths (another building of the second
severely simple triple circle of the surrounding phase) with a correspondingly curvilinear octa-
portico and moat, there is a bewildering medley gonal vault which merges imperceptibly into a
of convex and concave chambers facing on to a dome.
miniature courtyard with a central columnar Apart from the semi-dome of the Serapaeum
fountain, the scalloped plan of which echoes [50], a 'melon' or 'pumpkin' vault of which the

50. Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa. The Canopus, after 130

that of the facades of the surrounding chambers nine radiating segments are alternately concave
[47-49A]. The theme of curve and countercurve and flattened,'^ there are no grandiose interiors
is one that we find further elaborated in the - the character of the villa lent itself to virtuosity
second phase of the villa's construction rather than mere size - but a great deal of
(125-33), notably in the central courtyards of ingenuity has been lavished on the invention of
the pavilions of the Piazza d'Oro and of the new and exciting room-shapes. In the Lesser
West Palace, or Accademia, the former of which Baths, for example, one feels that the architect's
is delimited by eight identical, alternately pro- principal object has been to discard the obvious,
jecting and re-entrant, segments of curved both in the forms of the rooms themselves and
colonnade [49B], the latter by a circle which is in the jigsaw-like planning of the complex as a
interrupted for about two-thirds of its circum- whole. At ground level it is still compressed into
ference by four large convex colonnades. The a rectilinear framework; but the roof plan defies
I 10 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

51. Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa. rational reconstruction. In the vestibule of the


Vestibule to the Piazza d'Oro, after 125 Piazza d'Oro [51] we can follow the process a
stage further.'-'' The plan itself is a variant of one
that we have already met in the Flavian Palace, a
circle inscribed in a square, with eight alter-
nately rectangular and curved recesses; the
recesses are arched, and above them the ribs of
the octagonal 'pumpkin' vault merge into the
uniform curvature of a dome with a central
oculus. There are other examples of this in-

scribed form elsewhere in the villa, in the


several bath-buildings, for example, or in the
basement of the Roccabruna pavilion. What is

altogether new and unprecedented in the Piazza

d'Oro vestibule is that the outer square frame


has been stripped away, and that the outside of
the building follows the outline of the internal
recesses. Here, for the first time, we see the
principles of the new architecture pressed to
their logical conclusion and the forms of the
exterior dictated simply and solely by those
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION I I I

within. One of the last entrenched positions of volution was an accomplished fact. Architec-
traditionaHsm had been overturned, and the tural thinking had been turned inside out; and
way lay open whole new field of architec-
to a henceforth the concept of interior space as a
tural endeavour. There was still a long way to go dominating factor in architectural design was to

before any really satisfactory solution was found be an accepted part of the artistic establishment
to the problem of creating an exterior architec- of the capital.
ture genuinely expressive of the new interior Agrippa's Pantheon, rebuilt by Domitian
forms. But at least the problem had been after the fire of 80, had again been destroyed or
recognized and brought into the open. badly damaged in no, and it was entirely
There could hardly be a greater superficial rebuilt by Hadrian between the years 118 and,
contrast to the villa than Hadrian's other great at latest, 128. The dispute as to whether any part

monument in the contemporary manner, the of the existing building is earlier or later than
Pantheon. By comparison with the villa, the the time of Hadrian has been resolved once and
prevailing note of which is one of restless for all by the study of the brick-stamps, which
experiment, the Pantheon seems the very em- show that, apart from minor repairs, the whole
bodiment of solid achievement; and although in structure is unquestionably Hadrianic.''' It con-
this respect appearances do less than justice to sists of two quite distinct elements, the huge
the architect's originality in solving a number of domed hall, which served as the cella of the
formidable problems, both structural and aes- temple, and the no less huge columnar porch
thetic, for which there were no clear precedents, which in antiquity constituted almost the entire

there is certainly no other single building which visible facade of the building towards the long
so fully and, by the very fact of its survival, so narrow colonnaded precinct in front of it [52,
vividly sums up the achievement of the sixty 53]. In judging the effect of this facade one must
years since Nero's Golden House was planned. remember that in antiquity the eye-level was a

With the building of the Pantheon the re- great deal lower (and the relative level of the

52. Rome, Pantheon, c. ii8-f. 128. Restored view of the fafade, as seen from eye-level in antiquity
112 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

53. Rome, Pantheon, c. iiHc. 128, facade

gable correspondingly higher) than it is today. which a religious building should present to the
Even so the junction of the two elements is in world. It could be - and still is today - forgotten
detail so clumsily contrived that it is not the moment one stepped across the threshold
surprising that scholars have been tempted to into the cella.
sec in them the work of two different periods. In The formal scheme of the rotunda [54J is

reality, however, the difference is one of func- deceptively simple - a circular drum, internally
tion, not of date. The porch is the architect's half the height of its own diameter (142 feet;

concession to tradition. This was the sort of face 43.20 m.), surmounted by a hemispherical
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION II3

54. Rome, Pantheon, c. ii8-r. 128.


Axonometric view and section. The stippled area
in the section (here shown sHghtly exaggerated)
represents the masonry added below the
structural intrados of the dome so as to complete
the visual curvature of the coffering
114 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

dome, the crown of which is thus, in accordance quality of the mortar; and the very careful
with the precepts of Vitruvius,'"' exactly the grading of the caementa, the materials used as
same height above the pavement as the diameter aggregate. The selection of specially light cae-
of the building. Internally the drum is divided menta for vaulting was already familiar building
into two zones, and externally into three, by practice;^" but here the grading runs through
cornices, theuppermost zone of the exterior the building, from the heavy, immensely strong
corresponding to the lower part of the dome. basalt {selce) of the footings to the very light,
The exterior is otherwise quite plain, but the porous pumice of the part of the dome nearest to
interior is more elaborate. The lower zone is the oculus. By this means, and by diminishing
considerably the taller (40 feet; 12.30 m.), and it the thickness of the envelope to less than 5 feet
is interrupted at regular intervals round the at the centre, the actual turning moment was
circumference by an apsidal recess directly kept uniform throughout at about 35-40 lb. per
opposite the door and by six columnar exedrae, square inch. For this the walls of the drum, 20
alternately rectangular and curved, as well as by feet thick, were more than adequate; indeed, it

eight smaller aediculae projecting from the wall- was possible to reduce the dead weight by
faces between the exedrae. Evenly spaced introducing a series of cavities, both those that
around the upper zone, which is 31 feet are visible from the interior as recesses, and a

(9.50 m.) high, are sixteen smaller, rectangular, number of smaller spaces that were completely
window-like recesses. The dome is coffered, enclosed. It was the presence of these cavities
with five diminishing rings of twenty-eight that led the architect to incorporate the elab-
coffers each, in antiquity stuccoed and perhaps orate series of 'relieving arches' which are so
gilded, and the only light comes from the great conspicuous a feature of the outer face of the
central oculus [55, 56]. Whether or not it was so drum. He was determined at all costs to prevent
intended by the architect, the rhythmic contrast settlement during the drying out of the enor-
(8 :
7) between the compositional schemes of the mous mass of concrete (the cavities themselves
drum and of the dome does undoubtedly would have helped to hasten the drying pro-
emphasize the visual discontinuity, thus contri- cess), and the whole structure, including the

buting to the magical, soaring quality of the lower part of the vault, was further laced with
latter.'^ horizontal courses of tiles, at vertical intervals of
There were many precedents for the essen- 4 feet (1.20 m.). There is, on the other hand, no
tially octagonal layout of the interior: for ex- factual basis for the elaborate series of brick
ample, in the Augustan or early Julio-Claudian arches and ribs which Piranesi claimed to have
'Temple of Mercury' at Baiae, which had seen in the dome. The only brickwork feature of
already achieved a diameter of 71 feet the dome is the triple ring of tiles closing the
(21.55 m.),''* or more recently in the circular oculus. Even the three relieving arches shown
nymphaeum of Domitian Albano (diameter
at internally in 54 are part of the
illustration

51 feet; 15.60 m.). But there were no precedents vertical inner face of the uppermost zone of the
on this enormous scale - the span of the dome drum itself. The lowest part of the coffering is a
was not surpassed until modern times (that of St superficial (and structurally otiose) inner skin,
Peter's measures 139 feet; 42.50 m.) - and its added to complete the required hemispherical
successful completion was an outstanding dome.
profile of the
achievement of structural engineering. The For all the magnitude of the engineering
secret of its success lay in three things: the huge problems involved, the result was far from being
and immensely solid ring of concrete, 15 feet a mere technical tour de force. Familiarity cannot

(4.50 m.) deep and 24 feet (7.30 m.) wide (en- deaden the impact of the interior as one steps
larged during construction to 34 feet; 10.30 m.) through the great bronze doors into the rotunda.
upon which the building was founded; the tried In startling contrast to the grandiose, but
MATERIALS AND methods: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION II5

55. Rome, Pantheon, c. 118 i\ 128,


one of the paintings of the interior made by Panini
before the modifications to the upper order undertaken in 1747
ii6 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

56. Rome, Pantheon, c. ii8-r. 128, interior

essentially conventional monumentality of the recesses, which, with their glimpses of heavy
porch, where it is the very size and solidity of the shadow beyond the brightly lit facade, effec-
columns that rivet the attention, inside the tively break up the solidity of the masonry drum
building one is conscious, not of the solid mass and convey an illusion of a spatial continuum
of the encircling masonry, but of light and spreading beyond the rotunda itself. The il-
colour and of the seemingly effortless lift of the lusion is furthered by the pattern of the marble
dome, soaring high above. Quite apart from the veneer. Instead of an inert mass of brickwork,
element of sheer surprise, this is due in no small one is confronted with a fictitious pattern of
part to the skilful disposition of the columnar verticals and horizontals, reassuringly evocative
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION 117

of the traditional classical orders and effectively the Early Empire must include a brief survey of
diverting the eye from the real structural prob- the decorative materials, and particularly of the
lems of the building. To complete the illusion, marbles which played so large a part in de-

there is the deliberate lack of orientation termining the appearance of the finished
achieved by lighting the whole building from a building.
single, central source. Apart from the very Although already in hellenistic times col-
unobtrusive axis established by the door and oured marble was beginning to be used both for
apsidal room opposite it, in the horizontal plane columns and pavements and as a substitute for

the building is directionally neutral from floor to painted plaster in interior decoration, in Italy it

ceiling. The eye is almost inevitably drawn up, was still something of a rarity until the last few
through the richly traceried pattern of light and decades of the Republic. It was not really until
shade cast by the coffering, to the light that the time of Augustus, with the opening of the
floods in through the great central opening. Carrara (Luni) quarries and the ever-increasing
Such effects have to be experienced. They can importation of foreign coloured marbles, that
be analysed, but they cannot really be described. marble, both white and coloured, began to be a
Few who have seen the Pantheon will, however, commonplace of the monumental architecture
dispute that it is one of the great buildings of of the capital. Employed at first chiefly as a
antiquity. It has also been one of the most substitute for the travertines and tufas of
influential. Perhaps the first great public monu- established architectural usage, it soon came to

ment - it is certainly the first on anything like be valued as a material with which to clothe the
this scale that has come down to us - to have bare bones of the new concrete architecture, and
been designed purely as an interior, it ranks the rapid increase in the use of the latter was
with the Colosseum as one of the few Roman accompanied by a hardly less rapid develop-
buildings that have been a continuing source of ment in the uses of marble veneering. Painted
inspiration to architects ever since. wall-plaster and floor mosaics, though still the
Quite apart from its merits as a building, the predominant decorative materials in domestic
Pantheon is of importance also as being one of use, early gave place in monumental architec-
the few Roman monuments that can be experi- ture to floors and walls of marble and to vaults of
enced under something very like the conditions polychrome mosaic or moulded stucco.
prevailing in antiquity. Unlike, for example, Of the marbles known to antiquity (the term
Greek architecture, which even in a partially may be taken to cover also the porphyries and
ruined condition can still convey much of the granites in common use) the majority of those
spirit of the original, Roman concrete architec- that were most highly prized came from the
ture, stripped of its marbles and mosaics, its Aegean and from Egypt. Marble was a costly
intarsias and its stuccoes, calls for a powerful commodity, expensive both to quarry and to
effort of the imagination if one is to recreate transport, and an early result of the great
anything of the atmosphere of light and colour increase in demand created by the building
upon which so much of its effect depended. It is programme in the capital was a reorganization
not at all surprising that it should be its of the whole system of supply, begun by
engineering achievements, so starkly and em- Tiberius and carried to completion by his
phatically revealed, which have come to domi- immediate successors. The essence of the new
nate the popular conception of Roman archi- system was to concentrate production at a
tecture, at the expense of the many other limited number of carefully selected,
qualities which it once possessed, but which can imperially-owned quarries, situated wherever
so rarely be directly experienced. For this possible so as to take advantage of cheap water-
reason alone, if for no other, any account of transport. Quarrying methods were reorganized
Roman building materials and practices under on mass-production linesand large stocks were
ii8 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

built up, to be held in the form either of roughly than an extension of the same architectural
squared blocks, equally suitable for the carving scheme, and the whole of the upper order^^ is a
of individual architectural members and for superficial fiction, with no justification what-
sawing into slabs, or else of pieces, principally soever in the physical structure of the building.
columns, that were already roughed out to shape The use of the classical orders as a purely
and only needed the final stages of carving after decorative facade was not, of course, in itself a
receipt.^' novelty. It had, indeed, been one of the most
The results were rapid and far-reaching. By successfully and widely used of the conventions
the middle of the first century we already find which the Augustan architects inherited from
most of the familiar types represented in build- their Late Republican predecessors, both in
ings such as Nero's Domus Transitoria; and their monumental building and in a great deal of

even outside Rome considerable quantities were their domestic wall-painting. But the orders of
already available for small-scale private use the Theatre of Marcellus or the flanking pilas-
before the destruction of Pompeii in 79. Under ters of a pseudo-peripteral temple still reflect

the Flavian emperors large monolithic columns the essential structural realities of the building
of imported marble, still a feature to be re- which they adorn; even the painted columns of a
marked in Julio-Claudian times, were rapidly Second Style wall-painting appear to support a
becoming a commonplace of the monumental real roof. With the development of concrete, on

architecture of the capital. Some of the in- the other hand, there began to emerge an
dividual pieces were of enormous size. The architecture which, as we have seen, was no
columns of the Pantheon, of red and of grey longer capable of being expressed in the tradi-
Egyptian granite, were 40 Roman feet tional terms; and since throughout antiquity it

(ii.8om.) high, weighing an estimated eighty- was these traditional terms which continued to
four tons, and others are recorded nearly half as be the everyday language of classical ornament,
long again. ^^ When one reflects that a single it was inevitable that the internal veneer of such
block of marble weighing a ton would have concrete buildings should come to be treated
furnished the material for 35-45 square yards of increasingly as an element almost independent
paving or for panelling up to 100 square yards of of the underlying structure. It is not until late

wall-surface, it is not altogether surprising that antiquity that we find this tendency pressed to
the Roman emperors could afford to be lavish in its logical conclusion as a means of 'dema-
its employment. terializing' the structural envelope and accen-
At first the uses made of the new material tuating the effects of light and space; but the
were strictly conventional, as one sees them, for seeds of the later development were already
example, in the Forum of Augustus - pave- present in Hadrianic architecture.
ments made up of simple geometrical patterns Of all the decorative materials used by the
of contrasting colours, and architectural wall- Romans, stucco is the least durable, and al-

schemes which echo those of the free-standing though was undoubtedly the normal medium
it

orders which they accompany. Very soon, how- for the covering and decoration of concrete
ever, one can detect the beginning of a tendency vaults [57, 58], there are few great public
towards a greater elaboration, as in the boldly monuments in which any substantial remains
curvilinear pavements and complex wall- have been preserved. Most of what we know
patterns of Nero's palaces, coupled with a about the stucco ornament of Imperial Rome
growing divorce of the decorative forms from comes from a number of minor buildings,
the real framework of the underlying structure. mainly tombs, which chance has preserved
In the Pantheon, for example, only the lateral intact, and it would be unwise to deduce from
recesses are functional; the columns and pilas- these that such motifs as the free foliate arabes-
ters of the apse opposite the door are no more ques of the Tomb of the Axe under the church
MATERIALS AND METHODS: THE ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL RE VOLUTION

of S. Sebastiano found any place in the public


architecture of the day. What little we do know
about the employment of stucco in the latter
appears to suggest two principal uses. One of
these was to furnish the moulded detail of the
coffering which the concrete architects in-
herited from the traditional repertory and ap-
phed, with great effect, to the domes, semi-
domes, and barrel-vaults of buildings such as
the Pantheon [56], the great public baths, and
the Basilica of Maxentius [289, 290]. The other
was to form the elaborate schemes of panelling,

57 {left). Pompeii, Forum Baths,


painted stucco decoration of vaulting

58 {below). Rome, Via Latina,


painted stucco vaulting in the Mausoleum
of the Anicii, second centurv
120 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

applicable both to barrel-vaults and groined Mercury' at Baiae are original, it began to be
vaults and often combined with painting or applied to vaulting very soon after the time of
gilding, of which we can still see traces in, for Agrippa; and by the end of the first century it

example, the Sala della Volta Dorata of the was in widespread use, not only in bath-
Golden House, in the passages of the Colosseum buildings, but also in theatres (the Theatre of
and the Palatine, and in the bath-buildings of Scaurus), in palaces and wealthy villas (the
Hadrian's Villa, as well as in a number of tombs Palatine, Domitian's villa near Sabaudia), gar-
and private houses. This, the style so success- den pavilions (the nymphaeum in the Gardens
fully imitated and adapted by Robert Adam, of Sallust), and, generally, wherever there were
depended for its effect very largely on the buildings of a sufficiently opulent character with
delicacy of its detail, and one may reasonably concrete vaults to be adorned. At Hadrian's
doubt whether it was used to any great extent in Villa it has left many traces - in the two
the main halls of the larger public monuments. 'Libraries', for example, in one of the crypto-
Both uses have this in common, that they derive porticoes, in the Pavilion of the Semicircular
from practices already current in the Late Arcades, and on the semi-dome of the Canopus.
Republic, for example in the coffering of the This is not the place for a discussion of the
semicircular exedrae of the Temple of Fortune development of vault mosaics as such. It is

at Praeneste and in the elaborately panelled important, however, to note that, although there
stuccoes of the barrel-vaults of the Farnesina was inevitably an exchange of patterns and ideas
villa. This was evidently a very conservative between the mosaics of floors and vaults, the
medium. It has to be borne in mind when trying two media were in fact quite distinct. They were
to visualize the appearance of these great handled by different groups of craftsmen {tessel-

concrete-vaulted interiors, but it cannot be said hiri and mmivarii respectively), and whereas the
to have played an important part in their normal materials of the former were stone or
development. marble, with glass confined at first almost
With mosaic it was a very different matter. At exclusively to the small figured panels that were
Pompeii and Herculaneum it was still restricted often inset into them, the mosaics of wall and
to fountains and garden architecture, and oc- vault were from the outset made almost entirely
casionally used as a substitute for painting in of glass. Quite irrespective of the designs used,
small figured wall-panels.^"^ In Rome, on the the gently rounded contours, the irregular
other hand, the development of large-scale surfaces, and the play of light upon the back-
vaulting and a rapidly growing taste for lux- grounds of white or deep, translucent blue
urious bathing establishments, both public and glass, all helped to minimize the solidity of the
private, was already creating a new situation. surfaces and to accentuate the spatial qualities of
Mosaic was an ideal decorative medium for the this vaulted architecture. It was not until
humid interiors of bath-buildings, and although Christian times, with the invention of gold-
none of the surviving examples in Rome or ground mosaic, that this particular aspect of the
Ostia is as early as the first century, the mosaicist's craft came to full fruition. But the
statement of the Elder Pliny (who perished in seeds had been sown long before; and while it
the eruption of 79) that the Baths of Agrippa did was the forms of the new architecture which in
not make use of mosaic because it had not yet the first place suggested this particular use of
been invented, clearly implies that in the mean- mosaic, in the later stages the qualities of the
while it had become a familiar feature of the mosaic itself were to play a far from un-
bath architecture of his own day. Indeed, if the important part in shaping the development of
traces of mosaic on the dome of the 'Temple of structure and decoration alike.
CHAPTER 5

ARCHITECTURE IN ROME
FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS
(A.D 117-235)

HADRIAN (A.D. II7 38) Italy was now rapidly losing; and although it

was to be a long time before the city of Rome lost

The death of Trajan in 1 17 marks the end of an its unique position, as the years passed it did
era. Rome was at the height of her power, her increasingly find itself the first only among a
authority unquestioned from the Tyne to the number of powerful and prosperous cities, all of
Euphrates. But the tide had reached its peak. which might also be candidates for the benefits
Trajan's successor, Hadrian, turned his back of imperial patronage. It is hardly surprising
resolutely on the mirage of Oriental conquest that, faced with this situation and confronted by
and devoted himself instead to the benefits of the extraordinary wealth of fine building already
peace and sound administration; and although a existing in the capital, the later emperors should
contemporary observer would no doubt have have been more discriminating in their architec-
attributed - and rightly attributed - any im- tural favours. The student of Roman architec-
mediate changes of policy to the more cautious ture may be permitted a similar discrimination.

temperament of the new emperor, it is easy for Many fine and important buildings were to be
a later generation to see that his was a just built in Rome during the next two centuries; but
assessment of the spirit and needs of a changing to a degree that is not true of the first century,
world. they are a part only of the larger picture.
In architecture, as in many other fields, one of Within the city of Rome the major contri-
the most significant manifestations of the new butions of Hadrian ( 1 17-38) to the architectural
age was the steady decline of Italy in relation to landscape were four: the completion and dedi-
the rest of the Empire. During the first century cation of the Temple of the Deified Trajan at
A.D. it would still be possible, even if somewhat the north end of Trajan's Forum; the Pantheon
misleading, to write a history of Roman archi- (nominally a restoration of Agrippa's Pantheon
tecture based almost entirely on a study of the but in fact an entirely new building); the
buildings of Rome itself. This is not simply Temple of Venus and Rome on the Velia; and
because many of the earlier emperors were avid Hadrian's own mausoleum across the river,
builders who lavished their attention on the together with the bridge leading to it, the Pons
capital, nor even because it was during this Aelius. He was also active in restoring existing
period that the architects of the capital were buildings, notably in the Forum of Augustus
making their great original contribution to the and on the Palatine, where several of the more
architectural progress of the ancient world, the audacious enterprises of Rabirius were already
contribution that is described and discussed in in serious need of reinforcement and con-
the previous chapter: Both of these circum- solidation. Outside the city he was busy through-
stances were themselves the products of the out his reign with the plans for his great
broader historical situation whereby Italy was country residence, near Tivoli; and at Ostia it is

still the effective centre of the Roman world, and hardly an exaggeration to say that the city as we
Rome the centre of Italy. That privileged status see it today is very largely his creation.
122 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

The Temple of Trajan and the Pantheon was in its public face a direct and logical
have already been sufficiently described. Both development of what had gone before.
belong to the earlier part of Hadrian's reign, if The clear element of continuity lends added
indeed the former was not substantially com- point to the innovating tendencies that make
plete before Trajan's death; and although it themselves felt in Hadrian's later work. We do
would be hard to imagine two buildings more not know when the Temple of Venus and Rome
profoundly different in their architectural in- was begun, but it was not consecrated until 135.
tention and design, this is of course precisely the Dedicated to the personification of Rome and to
situation that we have already encountered in the legendary ancestress of the Roman people, it
the public monuments of the previous reign, occupied the site of the vestibule of Nero's
between the Baths and the Markets of Trajan on Golden House on the crest of the Velia. The
one hand and the forum and the basilica on the roof was destroyed in the fire of 283, and the two
other. When one turns instead to the details of semi-domed apses, together with the remains of
the architectural ornament, so often a useful the internal columnar orders of the two cellas,
indication of the training of the craftsmen date from the radical reconstruction of the
employed on a given building, one does in fact interior undertaken by Maxentius (305-11).
find in both a strong degree of continuity with The basic plan, however, with the two cellas
the work of the previous reign. For all its placed back to back and facing, respectively,
diversity, the earlier architecture of Hadrian towards the Colosseum and down the Via Sacra

59. Rome, Temple of Venus and Rome, consecrated 135.


For the cella as restored by Maxentius in 305, see illustration 284
50 m

\
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) " 123

towards the Forum, repeated that of Hadrian's and Rome the blue-veined marble of Procon-
building [59].' This was a gigantic decastyle nesus; and whereas in the Pantheon he had been
peripteral temple (217 by 348 feet; 66 by 136 m.) content with Rome-trained sculptors for the
with ten columns across the facade and twenty imported materials, for the later building he
along the sides, and set, not on a podium in the imported the workmen also. The profiles of the
usual Roman manner, but in the centre of a order and the decorative mouldings and the
rectangular temenos-like platform, above the manner of their carving all betray the direct
pavement of which it was raised merely by a low influence of Asia Minor. Whether or not the
encircling flight of steps. Along the two outer workmen included any who had actually taken
long sides of the platform ran colonnades of grey part in the building of the Traianeum at

Egyptian granite columns, while the two short Pergamon,^ there can be no doubt that that was
sides were open. the sort of enterprise in which they had been
The design, closely modelled on classical trained.
Greek precedents, we know to have been that of This was a major innovation. In an age when
Hadrian himself and to have been criticized, there were no hard-and-fast distinctions be-
with more justice than prudence, by Apol- tween planning and execution, between crafts-
lodorus, with whom by this date the emperor manship and design, it meant far more than
had quarrelled.^ The substance of his criticism the mere introduction of a new repertory of
is recorded, and it is revealing of the artistic decorative motifs. It meant that after more than
men. Apollodorus, oriental
personalities of both a century of virtually self-sufficient develop-
by name but Roman by training, maintained - ment the architectural thought and practice of
and he was surely right - that in its setting the the capital were suddenly exposed to a whole
temple itself was too low and needed to have new world of ideas. Not since the time of
been placed on a tall podium. As the builders of Augustus had there been such an infusion of
the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek had realized new blood.
[202], a decastyle temple that was to look The fourth of the major architectural tasks
convincing in a Roman context needed ad- undertaken by Hadrian within the city was the
ditional height to offset its unusual breadth. building of a mausoleum for the new imperial
Instead, Hadrian had chosen to place his temple family. That of Augustus, last opened to receive
on a low, stepped plinth,' giving it the overall the ashes of Nerva, was now full, and the placing
proportions, but neither the grace nor the of Trajan's remains within the chamber at the
setting, of a traditional Greek Doric temple. foot of his column offered no precedent for
The fact that the Temple of Venus and Rome general use. The site chosen by Hadrian lay on
was, as regards the temple itself, an aesthetic the right bank of the Tiber, opposite the
failure in no way lessens its historical signifi- Campus Martius. To give direct access to it he
cance. It is not only the planning that reveals the built anew bridge, the Pons Aelius (now the
cosmopolitan interests of its imperial designer. Ponte S. Angelo), dedicated in 134. The mau-
The scanty surviving remains of the peristasis soleum, unfinished at Hadrian's death in 138,
date from the time of Hadrian, not of Maxen- was completed by Antoninus Pius and dedi-
tius, and they too reveal a complete break with cated two years later. It remained in use through-
contemporary Roman tradition. The material is out the second century, the last recorded burial
itself significant. Trajan had used predom- within it being that of Caracalla in 217.
inantly the white marbles of Carrara for the Hadrian's Mausoleum, now Castel S.

architectural members of his forum and basilica Angelo, was a considerably elaborated version
and for his column. Hadrian preferred the of that of Augustus. It consisted of a marble-
marbles of Greece: for the porch of the Pan- faced, podium-like base, 276 feet (84 m.) square
theon Pentelic, and for the Temple of Venus and 33 feet (10 m.) high; a main drum, the
124 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

mausoleum proper, 210 feet (64 m.) in diameter servatori Museum, nothing of these has come
and 69 feet (21m.) high, the top of which was down to us. The Column of Marcus Aurelius
planted with a grove of cypresses; and rising (the 'Antonine Column', still standing in the
from the middle of the latter, a smaller pedestal centre of the Palazzo Colonna), modelled very
and drum crowned either by a statue of Hadrian on Trajan's Column and recording the
closely

or by a quadriga. The tomb-chamber and the events of theDanubian wars of 172-5, was a
ramps and stairs that led up to it and to the memorial rather than a triumphal monument.
terrace above were contained within the body of The same was true of its neighbour and im-
the main drum, which was in turn faced with mediate predecessor, the Column of Antoninus
marble. The whole was elaborately embellished Pius, which was a fifty-foot monolith of red
with gilded fittings and statuary. Already in the Egyptian granite standing on a tall sculptured

sixth century it had become a bridgehead base, now in the Vatican.'^

fortress, and throughout the Middle Ages it was Another, and architecturally more substan-
the principal stronghold of the popes in times of tial, aspect of the public image of empire was the
trouble, so that it is not altogether surprising proper provision for the cult of the deceased and
that it has come down to us stripped of every bit deified members of the imperial family. This
of its superficial decoration. From drawings was a field which even the Antonine emperors
made in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth could not afford to neglect. Of the temples built
centuries, however, and from the disjecta by Hadrian in honour of Matidia, his mother-
membra that can be attributed to it, one can see in-law, and by Commodus in honour of Marcus
that, though carved in Italian marble, it fol- Aurelius we know nothing except their probable
lowed closely the models established a few years location in the Campus Martius. Hadrian him-
earlier in the Temple of Venus and Rome."^ The self was commemorated in a large temple (the
innovations from Asia Minor embodied in the 'Hadrianeum') of which eleven marble columns
latter building had taken firm root, and from and the remains of the cella are still standing
now on they were to be an essential ingredient in along one flank of the 'Borsa', in the Piazza di
the decorative repertory of the capital. Pietra. It was dedicated in 145. From it,

presumably from the plinth of a decorative

ANTONINUS PIUS TO COMMODUS order within the cella, comes the well-known
series of rather arid, classicizing reliefs now in
(A.D. 138-93)
the Conservatori Museum, depicting personifi-
The fifty-odd years that followed the death of cations of the provinces of the Empire. Archi-
Hadrian are a lean period in the architectural tecturally the principal interest of the surviving
history of the capital. After a long series of lavish remains is the mixture of styles and motifs
builders, there followed three emperors, represented in the entablature. Side by side with
Antoninus Pius (138-61), Marcus AureUus elements of purely Asiatic extraction (e.g. the
(161-80), and Commodus (180-93), who were convex profile of the frieze) are others that come
content to restrict themselves to the bare mini- from the first-century Roman repertory, while
mum consistent with dynastic prudence and the the alien austerity characteristic of the Temple
proper maintenance of imperial authority. of Venus and Rome has already begun to give
The military triumphs of the imperial house place to the natural Roman taste for ornamental
continued to be celebrated by the erection of exuberance.^ Those of Hadrian's Asiatic crafts-
triumphal arches, but with the exception of the men who had stayed on were rapidly being
well-known series of sculptured panels from an assimilated, and motifs which ten years earlier
arch, or arches, of Marcus Aurelius, eight of had been exotic intruders were by now becom-
which were later incorporated in the Arch of ing part of the common stock of the architec-
Constantine and three more are in the Con- tural ornament of the capital.
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) ' I25

The well-known Temple of Antoninus and whole area had risen by the beginning of the
Faustina in the Forum Romanum was begun by seventeenth century [60c]. With its walls of
Antoninus himself in 141 in honour of his squared tufa, once marble-faced, its entablature
deceased wife, Faustina. A hexastyle prostyle of Proconnesian marble, its columns of green
building of conventional plan standing on a tall Carystian marble, and its carving, which com-
podium, owes its preservation to its con-
it bines elements of both Trajanic and Hadrianic
version in the Middle Ages into the church of S. derivation (the principal source seems to have
Lorenzo in Miranda, the Baroque fa9ade of been Trajan's Forum) within the framework of
which (1602) marks the level to which this a rather lifeless, academic eclecticism, it is a

60. Rome, Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, begun in 141.


(a) As shown on a contemporary coin; (b) restored view; (c) as the church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda
126 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

typical building of its day, but not a very the Syrian Ba'al, shortly after 138; the other, on
interesting one. Its principal interest is as a the Janiculum, rebuilt in the second century in
reminder of the vicissitudes, structural and honour of Jupiter Heliopolitanus, the head of
aesthetic as well as historical, through which the Syrian triad worshipped at Baalbek.^ The
many of the familiar monuments of ancient temple is of interest, not so much because of its
Rome have passed before presenting themselves resemblances (in themselves fortuitous) to cer-
today, scrubbed and stripped down to whatever tain Early Christian buildings, as because it

has survived of their classical skeletons. In a illustrates a characteristic which these indi-
great many cases the result represents the vidually unpretentious but cumulatively power-
appearance neither of the original building nor ful Oriental cults had in common with Chris-
of any stage through which it has subsequently tianity, and which found common expression in
passed. Although complete restoration, as in the their architecture. With a very few exceptions
case of the near-by Arch of Titus, may rarely be the older classical cults were of an essentially
justifiable, a building such as the Curia offers a public character; the altar stood in front of the
warning of the hazards of partial restoration. In temple, and the sacrifices or other rituals took
this respect the present aspect of the Temple of place in full view of all who cared to participate.
Antoninus and Faustina, though no more repre- The rituals of the Oriental cults were no less

sentative of the building's appearance at any essentially private, privileged occasions, and
stage in its past history, does at least offer a their sanctuaries turned inwards upon them-
visual synopsis of that history. Furthermore, in selves, screened by high walls from the gaze of
this instance we do happen to possess the the profane.
evidence for completing the classical picture.
Illustration 6oa shows the temple as it appears
THE SEVERAN EMPERORS (A.D. 193-235)
on a contemporary coin, together with all the
statuary which was its principal distinguishing The civil war that followed the murder of
feature and which is so very rarely preserved. Commodus in 193 ended with the establishment
The restored view [6ob] shows it as it might of a new dynasty, the provincial Roman origins
have been glimpsed (though never in fact in its of which were even more strongly marked than
entirety from this frontal view) between the those of its predecessor. Its founder, Septimius
back of the Temple of the Deified Julius and the Severus (193-2 11), was a tough, able soldier of
Regia. African extraction, whose wife, Julia Domna,
Apart from the restoration by Antoninus Pius was the daughter of the hereditary high priest of

of the venerable Temple of the Deified Augus- the great sanctuary of Ba'al at Emesa in Syria;

tus, a restoration which is illustrated on coins and although by an ingenious process of retro-
and which is usually interpreted as having spective auto-adoption he contrived to pre-
involved the rebuilding as octastyle Corinthian sent himself officially to the world as the
of what had been originally a hexastyle Ionic legitimate heir and successor to the Antonine
building,^ the recorded works of restoration emperors, he was well aware that dynastic
during this period are almost all of a routine considerations called for a certain display of
character. During the second half of the century architectural munificence. After the lean years
architectural interest passes almost entirely into of the later second century the list of building
the domain of private rather than of public undertaken in Rome by Severus himself and by
building. Some aspects of this private activity his successors, Caracalla (211-17), Elagabalus
are discussed in Chapter 8. Within the private (218-22), and Alexander Severus (222-35), is a

sphere belongs also the building, or rebuilding, lengthy one; and although, architecturally
of two sanctuaries of Oriental divinities, one on speaking, the forty-odd years of Severan rule
the Aventine, dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus, may be classed as an age of consolidation and
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) ' 127

achievement rather than of important new fulfilment, it is also in some important senses
experiment, the work of these years could not one of transition.
help reflecting the wider changes in the political A first charge on the architectural resources
and social structure that were taking place of the new regime was the restoration and
throughout the Roman world. If the architec- modernization of existing monuments. Among
ture of the Severan age is primarily one of the buildings recorded as having been restored

61. Fragments of the Severan marble map of Rome,


showing part of the Aventine Hill with the Temples of Diana Cornificia, restored under Augustus,
and of Minerva; also an early-second-century bath-building, the Balnea Surae
ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

by Severus himself and his immediate family are Not least of the services of the marble plan is

the Temple of the Deified Vespasian; the the graphic portrayal of the innumerable private
Pantheon (where the work can have involved houses, apartment-houses, shops, and other
little more than the repair of the existing commercial buildings about which the literature
ornament); the Porticus Octaviae, the surviving and the archaeological and epigraphic record
pedimental brick porch of which is entirely his can preserve only a tantalizingly incomplete and
work; and Vespasian's Temple of Peace and the haphazard record. One recognizes in it all the
buildings lying between it and the Temple of types of building familiar from second-century
Vesta and the House of the Vestals, all of which Ostia; and although a few private houses of the
had been damaged in a recent fire, in 191. An old-fashioned, Pompeian type still survived,
important by-product of this last-named work their comparative rarity shows how profoundly

was the preparation of a detailed map of the face of the capital had changed during the
contemporary Rome, which was carved on 151 last 100-150 years. Now and then one of the

slabs of marble and affixed to the wall of one of lesser buildings escapes from its anonymity. An

62.Fragment of the Severan marble map of Rome, showing three old-style atrium-peristyle houses,
rows of shops and street-front porticoes, a flight of steps leading up to a pillared hall (warehouse?)
with internal shops or offices, and a porticoed enclosure with a central garden

the halls adjoining the Library of Peace. example of presumably Severan date is the
Though sadly fragmentary, enough of it has headquarters of the guild of tanners, the Coraria
been preserved to make it a document of unique Septimiana, known from inscriptions to lie near
value for our knowledge of the vanished monu- the Ponte Rotto. We also know the names and
ments of the ancient city [61, 62].** locations of many of the wealthy properties. One
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) ' 1^9

of these, the Horti Variani, had belonged to the keep up with demand. (The Regionary Cata-
father of Elagabalus, and at the time of the logue of A.D. 354 lists no fewer than 952 bathing
latter's death was being developed as an im- establishments in the capital.) Septimius Sev-
perial residence. Its surviving remains include a erus himself is credited with a large bath-
small amphitheatre, the Amphitheatrum Cas- building, the Thermae Septimianae, in the
trense; a full-sized circus for chariot racing; a Aventine district, and Alexander Severus, be-
bath-building, restored in 323-6 by the empress sides renovating the Baths of Nero in the
Helena, which is now destroyed but which was Campus Martins, is said to have erected lesser
recorded by Palladio; and a spacious, arcaded baths throughout the city. Dwarfing all these,
audience hall with large square windows, sub- however, were the Thermae Antoninianae of
sequently converted by Constantine into the Caracalla, dedicated in 216 and still in sheer
church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme. The bulk alone one of the most impressive buildings
Amphitheatrum Castrense, with its two-storey that have come down to us from antiquity
facade of traditional type carried out entirely in [63-5]. The layout of Caracalla's Baths followed

63. Rome, Baths of Caracalla, 212-16, before the modern adaptation of the great circular caldarium
as an auditorium for open-air opera

brick-faced concrete (cf. the theatre at Ostia), is essentially the model established a century
example of an architecture that stands
a typical before in the Baths of Trajan, the principal
midway between the early Empire and late innovation being that of the surrounding en-
antiquity but is difficult to classify as belonging closure. The latter, nearly 500 yards square and
to either. In such a case the transition was enclosing an area of almost 50 acres, combined
almost imperceptible. the practical function of water storage with
The Severan emperors were active in the provision for all the subsidiary social amenities
provision of public baths. With the steady proper to a great bath-building. The central
increase in population and a rising standard of bath block stood in the north-eastern half of the
living, supply was evidently hard put to it to enclosure, and except for the vast circular bulk
64. Rome, Baths of Caracalla, 212-16, north facade of the central block

of the main caldarium projecting from the and other offices. Invisible service corridors,
centre of the south-west side, it was contained stairs, and galleries gave access to the furnaces
within a simple rectangular perimeter, 234 and cisterns.'"

yards long and 120 yards wide (214 by 1 10 m.). The Baths of Caracalla are the embodiment
It was a model of tight, rational planning, based of the concrete architecture of the earlier Em-
on two identical bathing circuits laid out sym- pire at the moment of full maturity. One can, of
metrically about the shorter axis, with a hardly course, detect in it problems and aspirations still

less important transverse axis running at right to The great circular caldarium, for
be resolved.
angles down the centre line of the building. At example, with its moments of indecision be-
the intersection of the two axes stood the great tween circular and octagonal planning belongs
three-bay, vaulted frigidarium. At one end of to a tradition that still had a long development
the shorter axis lay the main caldarium, a vast, before it; but the large windows in the drum
circular, domed hall with a span (115 feet; 35 already represent an important step forward in
m.) not much smaller than that of the Pantheon the direction that was to be followed by the
and far taller, with large, scalloped windows in monuments of the later third century.'' Ano-
the drum; at the other end lay the natatio, or ther problem still unresolved was that of devis-
swimming pool. At the two ends of the longer ing an architecture of the exterior consonant
axis were two identical palaestrae, or exercise with that within. On three sides the main
yards, surrounded by terraced porticoes. The bathing block is little more than a gigantic
hot rooms occupied the whole of the south-west masonry box; only the south-west fa9ade, with
long side, with large arcaded windows facing the its long rows of uniform windows leading up to

afternoon sun, while the more secluded north- the powerfully projecting bulk of the central
east side housed the changing rooms, latrines, caldarium, faces up to and answers the problem
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) ' 131

of presenting to the world outside a front that and the use of light was subtle and assured. One
was both expressive of what lay within and at notes, for example, the effective contrast be-
the same time interesting in itself. The interior tween the coarse texture and plain black and
on the other hand was, within its terms of white colouring of the floor mosaics, the warmly
reference, a thoroughly satisfactory solution to on the walls, and the vivid
tinted marble veneers
the architectural problem, smoothly functional polychromy of the stuccoes or mosaics on the
and yet eloquent of the ideals described in the vaults; or again the alternating pools of shadow
previous chapter. The formal extravaganzas of and light that gave depth and quality to the long
Hadrian's Villa would have been out of place. In axial vistas. The style is one that is out of tune
their place we have elusive vistas and an adroit with modern taste - or perhaps would be truer
it

exploitation of the spatial ambivalence of in- to say that it has so often been perverted by its

tersecting axes, contrasting in the hot wing with imitators and would-be imitators into a cold,
a deliberately contrived self-sufficiency (in a meaningless grandiosity that it is hard for
smaller building one would call it intimacy), modern eyes to assess it dispassionately. Above
each room detached from its neighbours and all it needs to be thought of in terms, not of the
facing inward upon itself except on the one side overpowering lumps of masonry that have
where it was wide open to the afternoon sunlight survived, but of its mastery of soaring space,
and to the gardens beyond. The colouring, too. light, and colour. Viewed imaginatively in these

65. Rome, Baths of Caracalla, 212-16. Plan

C Caldarium PAL. Palaestra


F Frigidarium s Services
N Natatio T Tepidarium 80 m
132 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

terms it comes to life as an architecture full of many cities of Asia Minor during the first and
vigour and resource, admirably suited to the second centuries a.d.
needs of its day and an eloquent expression of One other detail of the Severan work on the
the robust assurance of the Roman Empire at Palatine is worth recording in passing, if only

the height of its power and wealth. because of its long-term consequences: Alexan-
The same qualities of resource and of high der Severus is credited with introducing here
technicalcompetence are characteristic also of the type of paving in red and green porphyry
the Severan work on the Palatine. This was which bears his name {opus alexandrinum) and
directed principally towards the development of which was to be the inspiration and material
the southern corner of the hill, extending in this source of the pavements of countless Roman
direction the already existing Flavian Palace; churches in the later Middle Ages.'^
and in addition to the modification of the so- The official religious foundations of the
called stadium and the completion of a bath- Severan emperors were few but important; and
building that had been projected but barely although they seem to have been cast in a
startedby Domitian, it involved the building of somewhat conservative architectural mould, in
a whole new wing, terraced out upon the other respects they represent a significant ad-
massive arched substructures which are so vance towards the beliefs and aspirations of late
conspicuous a feature today of the view of the antiquity. Alexander Severus undertook a major
Palatine from the Aventine and the Circus restoration of the Iseum in the Campus Mar-
Maximus. The substructures in particular, tius, Caracalla built a new and splendid temple
though still awaiting detailed study, can be seen on the Quirinal in honour of Serapis, and
to represent an extraordinary economy of ma- Elagabalus a no less magnificent temple on the
terials and effort. All too little has survived of Palatine to house the cult-image of the Ba'al of
the buildings that stood upon them at the level Emesa, together with an adjoining garden and
of the main palace, but that little suffices to show shrine of Adonis. None of these divinities, it will
in places an almost frightening disregard for the be noted, was a member of the traditional
disposition of the walls and vaults beneath; the pantheon; and although their choice reflects the

architect of this wing was very sure both of his particular Eastern connexions and sympathies
materials and of his own ability to use them. of the reigning dynasty, it is nonetheless
The most singular of the Severan buildings symptomatic of the religious tendencies of the
on the Palatine was the Septizodium, a lofty age. Even Septimius Severus's dedication of a

decorative fagade dedicated by Septimius Sev- temple to Hercules and Dionysus'"* sounds less

erus in 203, of which the plan is known to us conventionally classical when its recipients are
from the marble map and of which the eastern disclosed as the romanized versions of Melqarth
corner was still standing to its full height until and Shadrap, the patron divinities of Severus's
demolished for its materials in 1588 [66]. It took own native city, Lepcis Magna.
the form of an elaborate columnar screen, three The location of Septimius's building is not
orders high, and in plan consisting of three known, and it may well have been of a domestic
apsed recesses flanked by two shallow rect- rather than a public character. The Temple of
angular wings, the free-standing equivalent of Sol Invictus Elagabalus occupied the site of
the stage-building of a contemporary theatre. It what had been the Aedes Caesarum on the east
was probably equipped as a fountain and the spur of the Palatine, opposite Hadrian's Temple
name'^ suggests a symbolic association with the of Venus and Rome. The platform is still a

seven planets. Architecturally its only function prominent landmark and the foundations of the
was as a screen concealing the buildings behind. temple itself have been partly excavated, beside
The nearest analogies to it are the nymphaea and beneath the church of S. Sebastiano al

that were used for precisely this purpose in Palatino. From these remains and from repre-
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) ' 133

Sif0i jamtt^n

66. Rome, Septizodium, dedicated in 203. Drawn by Martin van Heemskerk between 1532 and 1536
134 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

sentations on coins^^ it can be seen to have been being recorded as 60 Roman feet (17.66 m.) with
a large (200-230 by 130 feet; 60-70 by 40 m.) comparable capitals and entablature (just over 8
hexastyle peripteral building standing within a English feet (2.47 m.) and nearly 16 feet
rectangular porticoed enclosure, with a monu- (4.83 m.) respectively).
'"^
The alleged Egyptian
mental entrance facing on to the Glivus Pa- affinities of the plan may be questioned. The
latinus. After Elagabalus's death it was re- drawings and the scanty surviving remains show
dedicated to Jupiter the Avenger (Juppiter the temple itself at any rate to have been, apart
Ultor) [67]. from its size, a building of conventionally
classical type. The most puzzling feature of the
surviving remains is the strongly 'Asiatic' char-
acter of the ornament, very similar both in
choice of motifs and in treatment to that of the
Hadrianeum, from which it would be hard on
this evidence to separate the present building by
more than a decade or so. The difficulty is all the
greater in that it differs markedly in this respect
from other known Severan monuments, which
in their choice and treatment of traditional
motifs reveal a decided bias towards the rich
exuberance of the Flavian period. This is not
altogether surprising in that the largest single
enterprise of Septimius Severus's reign had
been the restoration and extension of the palace,
where Flavian ornament was predominant; and
it must have been workmen trained on this site

67. Rome, coin of Alexander Severus,


who moved on to build the Baths of Caracalla.'^
depicting Elagabalus's Temple of Sol Invictus, One can only conclude that at least one of the
A.D. 218-22, after its rededication to Juppiter Ultor workshops employed by the Severan emperors
was eccentric in this respect, and preferred for
Caracalla's Temple of Serapis is to be iden- its models the austerer grandeurs of the 'Asiatic'

tified with a gigantic building on the western type.


edge of the Quirinal, near the Piazza del Two other Severan buildings in the capital
Quirinale, of which considerable remains were call for brief mention. One is the camp of the
still preserved and were recorded in the fifteenth Equites Singulares, the Severan imperial body-
and sixteenth centuries."' It stood within a guard, extensive remains of the headquarters
rectangular enclosure, and the most singular building and barrack blocks of which have come
feature of the design, dictated presumably by to light beneath the church of St John Lateran.
the desire for strict orientation, was that
it was The plan is distinctively military, but the
the rear (west) which dominated the
wall methods of its construction and the manner of
composition, flanked by the ramps of a gran- its detailing are indistinguishable from those of
diose double stairway which led down the steep its civilian neighbours, an interesting antici-
slopes to the Campus Martins, 70 feet below. pation of the meeting and mingling of military
The temple itself faced towards the higher and civilian architectural forms which is so
ground and, if Palladio is to be believed, it was characteristic of the later third century. The
unique among Roman temples in having a second building is the well-known arch in the
fa9ade of twelve columns. It was certainly of P'orum Romanum(A.D. 203) [15]. Except for the
gigantic proportions, the heights of the shafts plain inscribed panel running the full length of
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) ' 135

the attic, the design of the arch itself is later. The latter are in their own way no less re-

traditional, but both the form of the four great vealing than the domestic architecture, display-
panels depicting the story of Severus's Eastern ing the arts of second-century Rome in some of
campaigns and the style and manner of their their most attractive and unexpected aspects.
carving represent a whole-hearted renunciation The manifestations of Roman funerary archi-
of the traditional classical formulae (as still tecture are so diverse and so full of personal
embodied in the panels of the Arch of Marcus idiosyncrasies as almost to defy brief analysis. If
Aurelius barely twenty-five years earlier) and this is less true of second-century Rome than of
look instead decisively forward towards late many other periods and places, the merit lies

antiquity. very largely with the requirements and taste of


this new middle class. Already in the first

century a.d. (e.g. in the cemeteries beneath S.


PRIVATE FUNERARY ARCHITECTURE
Sebastiano)'^ one can detect the emergence of a
IN THE SECOND CENTURY
type of unpretentious family tomb which, for all

Of the very large body of private building that its variations of detail, followed broadly stan-
figures on the Severan marble plan of Rome, a dardized lines. This was a small rectangular,

great deal was of relatively recent, second- vaulted structure, built in reticulate work or,
century date. To some extent it must have increasingly as time passed, in brick, and equip-
provided the element of continuity that was ped internally with recesses for the ash-urns of
programme. For example,
lacking in the official the dead. The interior was often gaily painted
had it not been for a large and continuing or stuccoed; but apart from giving a certain
private demand, the slump that took place in the prominence to the principal burial, usually by
production of bricks after the Hadrianic boom framing it within a small decorative aedicula in
(a slump of which the brick-stamps offer clear the middle of the rear wall, there was at first very
evidence) might well have taken on disastrous little concession to architectural complexity.
proportions. As it was, although a certain The subsequent development of this com-
number of the smaller producers were forced monplace architectural type is a copybook ex-
out of business, there was an ample margin of ample of the familiar evolutionary cycle from
organized production upon which Severus and classical simplicity to baroque exuberance.

his successors could base their great new pro- Once launched, the process was remarkably
gramme of public works. There was also a large rapid. One can follow every stage of it, from bud
reservoir of skilled building labour upon which to full-blown flowering, in the tombs of the
to draw. Vatican cemetery between (in round figures) the
Building had ceased to be a luxury for the years 120 and 180. The initial stimulus was of a
wealthy few. An ever-increasing proportion of practical nature, namely the gradual shift which
the private building both of Rome and Ostia was was taking place about this time from cremation
in fact in the hands of a new and rapidly growing towards inhumation. To provide for the new
middle class, a great many of whose members rite the lower parts of the walls were marked off"

were of freedman stock, the sons and grandsons as a continuous plinth, within which were
of enfranchised slaves, most of whom came housed the large curved or segmentally arched
originally from the Eastern provinces. They burial recesses {arcosolia)\ the ash-urns con-
were intelligent and adaptable; business, trade, tinued to occupy the upper part. Within this
and the minor ranks of officialdom were increas- framework there came into operation what
ingly in their hands. They could afford to build seems to be an innate propensity of classical

or to rent houses and apartments equipped with forms to proliferate and to recombine in certain

the latest luxuries, and their tombs throng the remarkably stereotyped aclassical patterns. No
urban cemeteries. The former are described sooner had the aediculae spread to the lateral
136 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

walls than they began to disintegrate and from the other, were it not that in this case one
multiply and to coalesce into a continuous can document the whole process as one of pre-
architecturalframework of running pedimental dominantly organic development from within.
entablatures and colonnettes. At first the This is the way that, divorced from function,
schemes were relatively simple and coherent; classical ornament is apt to behave. To the stu-
but they very soon began once more to disin- dent of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
tegrate into elaborate split-pedimental fantasies, the phenomenon needs no further explanation.
of which the forms were worked up into an One must not imagine that a development of
ingenious counterpoint of curved and straight, this sophistication took place solely upon the

68. Rome, Vatican cemetery, Tomb of the Caetennii, mid second century, interior

concave and convex, plain and decorated, and walls of these crowded urban cemeteries,
the colour schemes and materials into contrast- although it is here that we can best observe it. In
ing zones of plain colour and polychromy. The the second century at any rate there was a
Tomb of the Caetennii ('Tomb F') in the parallel but architecturally more ambitious line
Vatican cemetery [68, 69] will serve to illustrate of development of which a few examples have
There are many formal analogies
this final stage. come down more spacious ceme-
to us in the
with the decorative schemes portrayed on the teries of the suburbs. Built free-standing, some-
walls of Pompeii a century earlier, or again with times in the form of a low gabled tower, the
the fa9ades of Petra [213], so close indeed that interiors of these suburban mausolea are rarely
one might well be tempted to suspect re- preserved in any detail (a partial exception, with
miniscences from the one or cross-influences fine stucco-work vaults, is the pair of tombs
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) ' 137

69. Rome, Vatican cemetery


Tomb of the Caetennii,
mid second century.
Axonometric view
i3i ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

70 (above) and 71 (opposite). Rome, \ la \ppia, I'omb of Annia Regilla, wife of Herodes Atticus,
third quarter of the second century. Detail of moulded brick entablature and exterior

beside the Via Latina) [58],^ but such of the devices were freely imitated on the facades of
exteriors as have come down to us are remark- the urban cemeteries, and in a more restrained
able for the exceptional quality of the brickwork manner in the domestic and utilitarian architec-
[70, 71]. Capitals and entablatures, doorways ture also of the cities [78]. Although the more
and window-frames, were built up in moulded elaborately decorative forms seem to have drop-
terracotta, normally pale in colour, contrasting ped out of use after the second century, these
with the rest of the wall-faces, which were mausolea were undoubtedly an important factor
carried out in a brickwork that was specially in developing the taste for brick as a building
selected for its decorative qualities and was not material inits own right which characterizes so

uncommonly even treated with a deep crimson much later Roman building.
slip and picked out along the joints with a The subsequent history of the interior archi-
hairline of gleaming white plaster. All these tecture of these tombs can be briefly stated. Just
ROME FROM HADRIAN TO ALEXANDER SEVERUS (a. D. I 17-235) " ^39

when the baroque schemes described above had broadly planned interiors were to remain char-
reached a point of such complexity that it is hard acteristic of Roman funerary architecture for a
to see how they could have developed further, long time to come, as we see them, for example,
they were rendered functionally obsolete by the in the Hypogeum of the Aurelii a few decades
virtual abandonment of the rite of cremation. later, in the catacombs, or even in the Late
The whole elaborate paraphernalia of niches Roman imperial mausolea. The emphasis had
and orders was dropped, never to be revived. In shifted emphatically to the symbolic repre-
its place we get tombs like that of Quintus sentational content of the painting or mosaic
Marcius Hermes in the Vatican cemetery that now tended to cover every inch of the
{c. 180-200), the interior of which, with its smooth, stuccoed surfaces, or to the elaborate
two zones of plain arcosolia, is of an almost carving of the marble sarcophagi which are so
aggressive architectural simplicity. Simple, popular in the funerary art of later antiquity.
40 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235
CHAPTER 6

OSTIA

No description of classical Rome is complete development throughout antiquity. These walls


without some reference to the remains of Ostia. enclosed an irregular trapezoidal area of some
Not only was Ostia town of Rome
the harbour 1 60 acres, one long side of which fronted on to

and connected with by the closest possible


it the lowest reach of the Tiber. Near the centre of
ties, but its abandonment in the early Middle the Sullan city lay the 'castrum', the fortified
Ages resulted in the preservation of the evidence military colony established here by Rome at the
for many aspects of classical architecture of end of the fourth century B.C. This was a
which all trace has vanished for ever in Rome rectangular walled enclosure, approximately
itself. This is particularly true of the everyday 220 by 140 yards in extent and divided into four
commercial and domestic buildings which in equal quarters by two intersecting streets.^ It
Rome were torn to pieces in the Middle Ages for was the roads leading from the gates of the
their materials or else lie buried deep beneath castrum which determined the physiognomy of
the buildings of the modern town. The pages the later town [72]. That from the east gate, the
that follow give some account of the develop- eastern decumanus, was a prolongation of the
ment of the city as a whole and something of the major axis, running parallel with the river and
story of its principal public monuments. The dividing the eastern half of the Sullan town into
apartment-houses, which strike such an im- two almost equal and roughly rectangular
pressive note of modernity, are discussed later. halves. The north-east quadrant, between the
eastern decumanus, and the river, was early
declared public property and developed on
THE EARLY IMPERIAL CITY
strictly controlled rectangular lines. The rest of
The main outlines of the town plan of Ostia had the town grew up as best it might about the lines
already been established early in the first cen- established by the road to Laurentum and by
tury B.C., when Sulla enclosed the city within the pair of roads leading to the sea-front (the
the circuit of walls which, except along the sea western decumanus) and to the Tiber mouth
front, was to remain the effective limit of urban (the Via della Foce), which left the south and

72 (opposite). Ostia, the central part of the city, the street plan of which was determined by the lines of the
roads radiating from the four gates of the four-square late-fourth-century B.C. settlement, the 'castrum',
here indicated in heavy dotted lines

1. Capitolium 13. Horrea Epagathiana


2. Temple of Rome and Augustus 14. House of Diana
3. House of the Lararium 15. Theatre
4. Circular Temple 16. Piazzale of the Corporations
5. Basilica 17. Barracks of the Vigiles
6. Forum Baths 18. Neptune Baths
7. Via della Foce Baths 19. Seat of the Augustales
8. House of the Charioteers 20. House of Fortuna Annonaria
9. House of the Triple Windows 21. Precinct of the Oriental Gods
10. Schola of Trajan
11. Macellum H Horrea (warehouses)
12. House of Cupid and Psyche
42 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

Som vi^

73. Ostia. Plan of a typical quarter, to the south of the forum, including private houses,
a medium-sized bath building {balneum), streetside porticoes, a fountain, and two public lavatories,
and along all the main street frontages shops {lahernae) and in many cases staircases leading directly
to apartments on an upper storey
OSTIA 143

west gates of the castrum respectively, and all with the best Vitruvian precepts;^ but in the
three of which swung to left or right im- absence at this date of a forum or public basilica,
mediately on leaving the line of the early walls. it is very likely that it also served from the first as

There was, in short, a clear contrast between a commercial meeting-place - as it certainly did
those areas (the castrum, the north-east sector, in the later second century, when the outer
and to a lesser degree the south-east sector) colonnade was broken up into sixty-one small
which were available for orderly, rectangular rooms, the mosaics of which reveal them as the

development and those (the whole area west and offices {st at tones) of the merchants and ship-
south of the castrum, between it and the sea) in wrights of Ostia itself and of its principal over-
which development was determined by the seas clients and customers. The double portico,
prior existence of irregularly disposed topo- with its inner row of tall Ionic columns and outer
graphical features [73]. row of Doric columns, is an adaptation of a
It was within this framework that the whole famihar Italo-hellenistic model; and although in
of the subsequent development of Ostia took general at this date Ostia lagged well behind the
place. By the end of the Republic several of the capital in its use of materials (the theatre was
main sanctuaries had been established. Rather built entirely of tufa), the Ionic columns offer
surprisingly there was still no forum, or at best an interesting early example of brick (in this
only a very small one; but a pair of very late case tiles cut to shape) used as a building mater-
Republican or Augustan temples, one of them ial in its own right and faced with stucco.^
perhaps the original Capitolium, constituted a The first, and for some time the only,
formal civic nucleus facing on to the main building at Ostia to reflect the new Augustan
decumanus where later the forum was to be. architectural dispensation in the capital was the
The remains of several pre-Imperial com- Temple of Rome and Augustus, a substantial
mercial buildings include a formally planned hexastyle prostyle building of Tiberian date, the
market quarter (the 'Magazzini Repubblicani') fa9ade of which was built of Italian marble and
with rectangular blocks of shops built of re- carved by sculptors who were brought in from
ticulate work about framework of tufa piers.
a Rome for the purpose. At the same time the
On three sides they were fronted by porticoes of space in front of it was cleared to form the
stuccoed tufa columns, the earliest archaeologi- nucleus of the later forum. With this exception,
cally attested example of this very common the new building of the Julio-Claudian and
feature of later urban planning. Early Flavian period at Ostia continued to
The first century of the Empire was marked follow traditional lines. New street-front por-
by a change in the tempo rather than in the ticoes were added both to private houses and to

pattern of development. The only major monu- commercial buildings, preparing the way for

ment attributable to Augustus (and it must be what was to be one of the most distinctive and
remembered how much of the early city was attractive features of the later architecture of the
buried or swept away in the second century) is city. These and in Rome,
porticoes, both here
the theatre, built in its original form by Agrippa have compared with the colonnaded
been
(i.e. before 12 B.C.) [74]. It was laid out on an streets of the Eastern provinces, and there is
open site between the eastern decumanus and indeed a family resemblance. But there is also an
the river with, behind it, a large (410 by 260 feet; important difference: whereas in the colon-
125 by 80 m.) rectangular, double-colonnaded naded streets of Syria and Asia Minor it was the

portico enclosing a garden. The quadrangle street that was planned as a unit, to which the
behind (the porticus post scaenam or 'Piazzale of buildings adjoining it had to conform, the
the Corporations') was an integral part of the streetside porticoes of Ostia and of the western
theatre complex and was intended to serve as a provinces always remained formally part of the
covered retreat for the audience, in accordance buildings of which they were the frontage.
144 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

61

.2

V
?^

i_i_i_LXJ rt
OSTIA 145

Colonnaded streets in the Eastern manner are baths of first-century date, made possible by the
not found in the West before late antiquity."* construction of an aqueduct in the thirties, it

The most important commercial buildings of was not until the early second century that the
this early period are three of the large public town received its first large, up-to-date public
warehouses {horrea) that were used for the bath-building.
storage of grain and other commercial com-
modities prior to their reshipment up-river.
OSTIA IN THE SECOND
These were large, enclosed, rectangular build-
AND THIRD CENTURIES
ings with storage rooms opening off the four
sides of a colonnaded or porticoed courtyard The overall impression conveyed by the first-

(e.g. the possibly Tiberian 'Horrea of Horten- century remains of Ostia is one of a cautiously

sius' [75]), the central area of which might also progressive conservatism. In some respects,

75. Ostia, 'Horrea (granaries) of Hortensius'


c. 30-40. Plan

contain similar but outward-facing blocks (e.g. notably in its poorer-class domestic architec-
the Claudian 'Grandi Horrea'). In Rome we ture, Ostia had lagged far behind Rome, where
find this plan already well established in the overcrowding had long ago necessitated a dras-
Republican Horrea Galbae and in the Augustan tic new approach to the problems of urban
Horrea Agrippiana near the forum. The regular housing. In a great many other ways, however,
type of private house at Ostia throughout the the better-class domestic and commercial quar-
first century continued to be the old-fashioned ters of the capital must have looked very much
atrium-peristyle house; and although there are like this before the great fire of a.d. 64. At this
the recorded remains of at least three small date the wave of prosperity that followed the
146 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

building of the Claudian and Trajanic harbours horrea, and Septimius Severus, who rebuilt (or
had still to make itself felt in Ostia. The completed rebuilding) the theatre and the bar-
revolution in building methods for which the racks of the Vigiles and restored a number of
reconstruction of the capital after the Neronian warehouses and bath-buildings. The last im-
catastrophe offered such scope did not reach portant public building in the excavated area,
Ostia until about thirty years later. When it did the round temple west of the basilica, dates from
come, however, it came in no uncertain manner. the reign of Alexander Severus (222-35), or
If the surviving remains of the first-century possibly Gordian (239-44), who had family
town afford a tantalizing glimpse of the streets connexions in the district. By that date Ostia
and buildings of pre-Neronian Rome, second- was already launched on the decline from which
century Ostia offers a picture of its successor it never recovered.
that is almost embarrassingly rich. What was the cause of this outburst of
The detailed stages of the rebuilding need not building activity during the first half of the
concern us. Before his death in 96 Domitian second century? First and foremost it was the

seems to have put in hand the modernization of sudden access of prosperity and the explosive
several city blocks between the castrum and the growth of population that followed the re-
theatre; and forum area he had added to
in the organization of the harbour facilities of the
the limited available by rebuilding
facilities capital city at a moment of already rapid growth
what is usually identified as the curia and by and material development. Of the factors that
building opposite it a large basilica of conven- shaped it, unquestionably the most important
tional Early Imperial type, with one long side was the availability of the new building tech-
open forum square and an internal
to the niques and materials which had been developed
ambulatory. It was under Trajan, however, that during the first century a.d., and which were
the reconstruction of the town really gathered now becoming available at increasingly advan-
momentum, to be continued on an even larger tageous prices as a result of the reorganization
scale under Hadrian and completed under of the brickyards undertaken by Trajan and
Antoninus Pius. Trajan's work lay chiefly in the Hadrian. Hardly less important must have been
district between the castrum and the sea. By the sheer force of example of a wealthy and
Hadrian's death in 137 the whole of this western powerful neighbour. Ostia lacks the great
quarter and the whole quarter between the imperial monuments of the capital, but in all

castrum and the river had been rebuilt; with a other respects it was following the models
few exceptions (the theatre, the Claudian hor- established by the recent and still continuing
rea, and a few minor, mainly religious buildings) rebuilding of central Rome.
the same is true of the north-east quarter, From the wealth of surviving buildings, we
between the eastern decumanus and the river. can here select for description only a very small
Antoninus Pius was concerned mainly with representative sample. The commonest of all

completing what Hadrian had begun, although Ostian building types, repeated with little or no
he seems to have initiated at least one major variation in a very wide variety of contexts, was
public building, the Forum Baths [8oa]; and the taberna, the Roman version of the simple
private enterprise was still actively at work one-roomed shop which has served the artisan
throughout his reign, in buildings such as the and the retail trader in Mediterranean lands at

House of Diana [76], the Schola del Traiano, all periods. In its developed Roman form (as in
the Horrea Epagathiana [77B, 78], and the illustration 76) this was a tall, deep, barrel-
House of Fortuna Annonaria [128A]. After the vaulted chamber, open in front almost to its full

middle of the century the tempo dropped width. It could be closed by means of a series of
rapidly. Later emperors were active sporadi- which the ashes of
sliding panels of a type of
cally in the field of public works, notably Pompeii have preserved the exact imprint.
Commodus, who rebuilt the large Claudian Inside there was a wooden mezzanine, for
OSTIA
147

76. Ostia, House of Diana, mid second century. South facpade,


with shops along the street frontage and stairs leading to the upper storeys [cf. 128CJ.
The small windows above the entrances to the shops lit wooden galleries
accessible by steps or ladders from within the shops

storage or for lodging, accessible by wooden Pompeii, at Ostia they were regularly an integral
steps and lit by a small window over the door. part of the buildings to which they belonged.
An architectural unit so simple and so flexible The apartment-houses of Ostia are described
could be adapted to almost any context ranging in the next chapter. In terms of the new building
from a single row of shops fronting directly on technology, the combination of shops and
to the street to the intricate multi-level com- multi-storeyed dwellings was the logical answer
plexity of Trajan's Markets in Rome. Tabernae to population pressures, increased land values,
might be ranged along a street-front or grouped and a steadily-rising standard of living among
around a courtyard to form a market; or they the professional and mercantile classes. From
might be part of the frontage of an apartment- casual references in classical writers we know
house, just as today one finds their modern that Ostia was not the only harbour city where
equivalents everywhere built into the facades of this was happening;^ nor were the resulting
the palaces of Renaissance Rome. But whereas architectural solutions confined to domestic
in Rome the great majority were carved out of architecture. The palazzo type of apartment-
existing properties, as they had once been in house, built around a central courtyard, needed
148 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

little modification to serve as the barracks of the Only three of the city's temples of the
local fire brigade [77A], as the headquarters and ImperialAge were conspicuous public monu-
social centre of one of the prosperous trade ments: the Tiberian Temple of Rome and
associations {collegia), or as a multi-storeyed Augustus, the centre of the imperial cult; facing

private warehouse for the storage of retail goods it down the enlarged forum, the Hadrianic
[77B, 78].^ The public granaries and warehouses Capitolium, a very richly marbled brick con-
of the type already established in the first struction, of which the unusually tall podium
century A.D. lent themselves to a very similar was presumably dictated by a wish to dominate
development, with ramps instead of stairs lead- the multi-storeyed houses of the neighbourhood
ing to the upper storeys. [79]; and a large circular temple, of unknown

Jl II II I

30tn

Na

77 {above). Ostia. (a) Barracks of the Vigiles, headquarters of the fire brigade, 117-38;
(b) Horrea Epagathiana, multi-storeyed warehouse, c. 145-50. Plans

78 {opposite, above). Ostia, Horrea Epagathiana, c. 145-50. West faq:ade, showing the main entrance,
stairs to the upper storeys {foreground), and, beyond the entrance, four shops

79 {opposite). Ostia, Capitolium, c. 120. Originally faced throughout with marble,


the brickwork structure illustrates the use of 'bonding courses' of tiles and of relieving arches
over the internal recesses of the cella
ISO ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A. D. 235

C Caldarium
F Frigidarium
L Lavatory
s Services

50m

a PALAESTRA

80. Ostia, bath-buildings.


I
-j
i4
1
I,
..
am . [

Plans, (a) Forum Baths, c. 160;


(b) Neptune Baths, 117 38.
Note the shops and arcade
4
along the main street frontage
of the Neptune Baths a a
OSTIA 151

dedication and late Severan date, with a deca- upwards all those types of building that lent
style porch. "^
As one might expect in a harbour themselves to such a development. Shops with
town, the Oriental cults were widely and vari- apartments over them, apartment-houses of
ously represented from an early date. None of three, perhaps in places even four or five,

their buildings are of any architectural dis- storeys, commercial buildings of two and some-
tinction, but the large triangular enclosure that times three storeys became the regular rule.
housed the temples and orgiastic rites of Cybele, The formal changes are less easily summar-
Attis, and Bellona offers an unusually clear ized.The element common to all may perhaps
picture of the buildings and fittings appropriate most simply be stated as a decisive movement
to such a cult. Of the bath-buildings three at away from those architectural usages, how-
least were large public thermae, all built within ever time-honoured, which no longer had any
the first sixty years of the second century with meaning in terms of the contemporary con-
money. The Hadrianic
the help of imperial cretemedium, and an ever-increasing readiness
Baths of Neptune [8ob] and the Antonine to treat the brickwork facing as a material in its

Forum Baths [8oa] offer an interesting contrast own right.*' In positive terms this meant a
in design. The former represent a logical de- steady drift away from the use of the columnar
velopment of the latest Pompeian type, as orders and towards an architecture which
represented there by the Central Baths, with the could be viewed from without principally
bathing block occupying one side of a rect- as an orderly alternation of solids and voids. In
angular, colonnaded palaestra and shops along this context the introduction and widespread
the main street-frontage. The Forum Baths adoption of window glass proved to be an event
were more adventurous in design, combining a of the first importance. In urban architecture
frigidarium wing of conventionally rectilinear it was increasingly the patterns constituted
form with a range of interestingly diverse by the wall-surfaces, the doors and the win-
polygonal and curvilinear hot rooms, stepped dows which were left to tell the architectural
out so that the large southward-facing windows story [81].
might take full advantage of the afternoon sun.
The free, functional planning closely resembles
81. Rome, Trajan's Market, c. 100-12.
that of the so-called Heliocaminus baths at
The seven windows of the semicircular room
large
Hadrian's Villa, built a few years earlier. Across corner must have been glazed
on the
the street is a finely preserved public lavatory.**
In Chapter 4 we have discussed in general
terms the characteristics and aims of the new
architecture and, in some detail, some of its
manifestations in the monumental architecture
of the capital; and in describing the Markets of
Trajan, we caught a glimpse of it at a rather
more prosaic, though still basically monumen-
tal, level. It remains to ask briefly what was its

impact upon the architecture of daily life as so


fully and vividly exemplified by the buildings of
second-century Ostia.
In terms of planning the answer is simply and
briefly stated. Pressure of population and the
rise in land values made for tighter, more
economical planning, the most conspicuous
manifestation of which was a tendency to build
152

82. Ostia, House of the Charioteers,


shortly before 150. Central courtyard

83. Ostia, House of the Lararium,


second quarter" of the second century.
The ground floor was organized as a market
building, with shops opening off the central
courtyard; the upper floors were residential.
The house takes its name from the small
domestic shrine {lararium) visible centre left,

opposite the main entrance


153

These changes were not applied in any the familiar classical system the courtyards of
doctrinaire spirit, nor were the traditional prac- apartment-houses [82, 83] and commercial
tices abandoned overnight; but we do find the buildings and the street-front porticoes [84]
latter increasingly relegated to certain well now invariably used plain brickwork piers and
defined spheres within which traditionalism still arches, and the street frontages [76, 85, 86] were
had a claim to speak as the accepted architec- hardly less uncompromisingly 'modern'. At
tural language. The marble colonnade, for Ostia one can study the impact of the new
example, still had connotations of grandeur and Roman architecture, not in the context of court
was felt to be proper for such buildings as or temple, but as it affected the everyday
temples, major civic monuments, and the por- surroundings of the man in the street [87]. One
ticoed exercise yards of bath-buildings; and, is made vividly aware how far the Romans of the

more generally, the classical orders remained an second and of the third centuries had already
important constituent element of most interior progressed towards producing an architec-
decorative compositions, whether in private ture ofwhich many of the essential concepts
houses or in large public buildings. On the other were to remain valid right down to our own
hand, instead of the columns and architraves of times.

84. Ostia, south-western decumanus, looking towards the Porta Marina,


showing the piers of a streetside portico and a fountain fronting a block of shops
with staircases leading to the upper storeys. Second quarter of the second century
154 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235
OSTIA
155

85 {opposite, above). Ostia, House of the Triple Windows, third quarter of the second century

86 (opposite). Ostia, row of shops (Regio IX, insula 15), mid second century

87 {above). Ostia. Facade of an insula with a cookhouse on the ground floor


CHAPTER 7

ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE

CAMPANIA under the Julio-Claudian emperors. An in-


exhaustibly rich soil supported a population in
When, in 42 B.C., the future emperor Augustus which Greek, Samnite, and Roman elements
united the lowlands beyond the river Po, the mingled to create and to enjoy the solid, middle-
former province of Cisalpine Gaul, to the rest of class prosperity to which Pompeii and Hercu-
the Italian peninsula, he was completing a laneum bear such eloquent witness; Puteoli had
process of unification begun many centuries not yet been supplanted by Ostia as the gateway
before when Rome first began to establish her for the rich trade with the eastern Mediter-
hegemony over her Latin neighbours in the ranean; and since the early years of the first

west-central coastlands. The Roman military century B.C. the shores of the Bay of Naples had
colonies both within and beyond the limits of become the fashionable playground of the
Italy had long been centres for the diff"usion of wealthy Roman. This was fertile ground for the
Roman ideas and Roman habits. But it was dissemination and development of new ideas.
barely half a century since the Social War had It is the relative completeness of Pompeii that
given the greater part of the peninsula parity inevitably strikes the modern visitor. What is

of rights and duties with the capital, and within not so immediately apparent is that in a.d. 79,
the formal unity of the twelve administrative when the eruption of Vesuvius overwhelmed
regions of Augustan Italy there were ethnic, the city, it was still in the full tide of recon-
linguistic, social, and cultural difterences as struction after another, and only relatively less
extreme as any with which modern Italy has had disastrous, natural catastrophe, the earthquake
to contend. Architecture was no exception. of 62. Very few of the public buildings that one
'

Each region had its own problems and its own now sees had been completely repaired; some
traditions; and although outside the immediate were still in ruins, many more, including almost
periphery of Rome it was Campania which had the whole of the forum area, were still in the
made by far the most important direct contri- hands of the builders. It is above all the fact that
bution to the Early Imperial architecture of the so much of the town incorporates work from the
capital, the experience gained elsewhere in last fifteen years of its existence that gives the
Italy, notably in the north, was undoubtedly an remains a special interest in the present context.
important factor in shaping the architecture of By comparison, the changes of the previous fifty

many of the newly emergent provinces. Before years were relatively modest and had mostly
turning to the latter, it is necessary to glance taken place within the framework of a well
briefly at some of the cities and monuments of established local Campanian tradition.
provincial Italy. The immediately pre-eruption domestic
The impact of the Greek architecture of architecture of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the
South Italy and Sicily upon that of Rome al- excavation of which has done so much to shape
ready belonged to a remote past. There are very the familiar picture of Roman living, is de-
few important monuments of the Imperial Age scribed in the following chapter. Change was in
in Magna Graecia. The centres of wealth and the air. The evidence of Herculaneum, which in
influence had long shifted elsewhere. By con- such matters was the more progressive of the
trast, Campania was at the peak of its prosperity two cities, suggests that another few decades of
during the last century of the Republic and existence might well have seen the introduction
^

15 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

of a local version of the Ostia-type apartment- official religious centre of the Roman colony
house. Many of the older houses were in fact which Sulla established at Pompeii in 80 B.C.
already being broken up into smaller units; The other four were all post-Republican foun-
upper storeys had become a commonplace; and dations, and the dedications are characteristic of
at Pompeii the arcaded streetside Porticus the times - two, the temples of Fortuna Augusta
Tulliana just north of the forum shows that at (3 B.C.) and Vespasian, being associated with the
least one aspect of the post-Neronian architec- imperial cult, and a third, that of Isis, being a
ture of the capital was making itself felt in the private benefaction in favour of one of the most
years just before 79. But the scene was still mystery religions, for
influential of the Oriental
dominated by the old-style atrium-peristyle which Puteoli's many Eastern connexions made
houses of the later Republic. Here too things Campania receptive ground. Between them
were changing; but the most immediately ob- these three temples represent the two most
vious innovations lay not so much in the powerful and consistent trends in contemporary
architecture as in the styles of painted orna- religious practice, the one very early developing
ment, which reveal a steady evolution away into a formal state religion embodied in the
from the architectural illusionism of the so- person of the reigning emperor and his divi-
called Second Style towards decorative schemes nized predecessors, the other as an essentially
that subsist in their own right, almost unrelated individual response to the spiritual problems of
to the underlying architectural facts. the age. (It is significant in this respect that the
It is, however, in the public monuments that Temple of Isis is one of the very few buildings
we can better see the extent (and the limitations) that had been completely rebuilt and redec-
of the city's response to the changing conditions orated before the eruption.) The fourth of the
of the first century a.d. Moreover, apart from Imperial Age dedications, the public Lararium,
the special circumstances of the earthquake, a shrine to the city's tutelary divinities, was a
what was happening at Pompeii was happening propitiatory foundation undertaken immedi-
in innumerable other small towns up and down ately after the earthquake.
the length of Italy, and, farther afield, in the Of the city's other public buildings the
There were certain public buildings
provinces. basilica, the curia (the meeting place of the city

which any town of substance was expected to fathers) and its associated offices, and the
have. In this respect Pompeii, with its charac- comitium (the voting precinct of the city
teristic mixture of traditionalism and inno- assembly) were, as one would expect, grouped
vation, of Republican and Early Imperial build- around the forum [88, 89]. These were all in

ing types and techniques, will serve admirably origin Republican buildings, as also were the
as an introduction to the municipal architecture principal places of public entertainment, of
of Italy and the western provinces during the which the larger, open-air theatre was created
first century a.d. well back in the pre-Sullan, Samnite period,
The list of public monuments at Pompeii is in while the amphitheatre and the covered theatre
itself instructive. Apart from minor wayside and {theatrum tectum) were both built in the early
domestic shrines the religious life of the com- years of the Sullan colony. Other Republican
munity was taken care of by nine temples. Two buildings were the Samnite-period gymnasium
of these, the Doric temple in the so-called and two of the city's three public bath-
Triangular Forum and the Temple of Apollo, buildings. Among the buildings added during
date from the earliest days of the city's history; the last century of the city's history were a
and three others are certainly pre-Imperial, the vegetable market, the Forum Holitorium; the
Capitolium and the temples of Jupiter Mei- palaestra, a grandiose open-air exercise yard
lichius and of Venus, of which the first-named, with enclosing porticoes and a central swim-
sited at the head of the forum, became the ming pool; and the headquarters of the guild of
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE
159

Pompeii, forum
Plan

TEMPLE OF
APOLLO

CURIAi
CITY OFFICES

loom

fullers, the most influential of the city's com- last-named building, which occupies a large,
mercial corporations, built for them during the central site beside the forum, is a noteworthy
reign of Tiberius by their wealthy patroness, the anticipation of the position which we find these
priestess Eumachia. The prominence of the guild headquarters acquiring later, in second-
89. Pompeii, forum, south end, looking across to the Building of Eumachia.
The whole area was still under reconstruction in 79 after the earthquake of 62

century and third-century Ostia. The palaestra, practice would not have seemed out of place.'
an Augustan building, replaced the old Finally, to complete the catalogue of the
Samnite-period gymnasium near the theatre public monuments of the Imperial Age, there is

and it represents an initiative that was not the forum area itself, the tufa porticoes and
generally followed outside Campania, where we pavement of which were already in process of
meet it again at Herculaneum. It has been aptly replacement in travertine at the time of the
described as a hellenistic gymnasium without earthquake and were incomplete in 79. We
still

the actual gymnasium block. In ordinary Roman are reminded that no less than the individual
practice this functionwas taken over by the buildings, the streets and piazzas of the old-
large public bath-buildings which regularly established Italian towns were the product of a
incorporated swimming pools and porticoed long and often piecemeal growth.'^ That, despite
courtyards for athletics. Here at Pompeii, where this haphazard development, the civic centres of
the existing bath-buildings were situated too Roman towns should so often have achieved a
near the crowded centre for any such develop- unity and a dignity which may not unfairly be
ment, a solution more in accordance with Greek compared with that of their medieval successors
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE l6

is a tribute both to the vitaHty of the civic remains that have come down to us, which in the
institutions of the Roman town and to the nature of things tend to be those of the more
essential good manners of the architectural solidly constructed public buildings. Not only
tradition through which they found expression. were the door-frames, architraves, balconies
Almost without exception the public build-
ings of Pompeii were badly damaged in the
earthquake. At least two of the most important,
the Capitolium and the basilica, were still lying
in ruins in 79, presumably awaiting a more
radical rebuilding than was possible in the
period immediately following the disaster. A
few, such as the Temple of Apollo and the
amphitheatre, had needed little more than
patching and buttressing, and others, such as
the theatre and the Forum Baths, though still

far from completely restored, were partially


back in service. Many more, however, were still
in the builders' hands, and although wherever
possible the restorers incorporated what was
still serviceable of the earlier structures, the
majority would on completion have been sub-
stantially new buildings.
The picture which these buildings convey of
architectural practice at Pompeii during the
decade before its final destruction is, broadly
speaking, one of the widespread adoption of the
building techniques of contemporary Rome,
coupled with a rather cautious conservatism
towards the new ideas that were accompanying
these techniques. The extensive re-use of earlier 90. Herculaneum, streetside portico
building materials led to a variety of unusual, with timber-framed superstructure
makeshift practices; but the dominant facing carrried on brick columns, before 79
material in the new work is brick, the most
noticeable difference from Rome being that, [90], and roofs of wood, but much of the
wheareas a really up-to-date (and perhaps im- superstructure too was often timber-framed, as
perially financed) building such as the Central it had been
in Republican Rome.-^

Baths [92] might have large square windows Although the upper part of the seating of the
spanned by flat arches of brick, with brick theatre, which had been radically modernized in
relieving arches above them in the Roman the time of Augustus, was still in ruins in 79, the
manner, timber lintels were still the regular stage-building, with its triple system of alter-

practice in the houses and shops. One of the nately rectangular and curved re-entrant fea-
most valuable lessons to be learned from Pom- tures and counter-projecting aediculae, seems
peii and Herculaneum, and one that can all too tohave been completely remodelled after 62 to
rarely bedocumented archaeologically, is that conform with the increasing elaboration of
timber was still far more widely used in the contemporary theatrical design. Another monu-
everyday architecture of the ordinary Italian ment to be influenced by contemporary trends
town than one might be led to suspect by the was the Building of Eumachia [89]. The main
l62 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

lines of the plan, a rectangular porticoed en- plinths can be seen in the curia, where they may
closure, are simple enough; but the fa9ade that almost certainly be interpreted as the structural
opens on to the forum portico is enlivened by basis for shallow aediculae of plaster, or even of
two shallow, curved recesses, and not only do veneer marble, one of the standard devices for
the lateral porticoes end in small apses, but breaking up the wall-surfaces of later Roman
there is also a larger, central apse, screened by a architecture. The brick piers of the adjoining
pair of columns, at the far end of the main axis. hall are on the other hand functional, being
The handsome, carved marble door-frame, on intended to support the wooden cupboards
the other hand, and the continuous scheme of housing the contents of the tabularium, or city
decorative wall-panels, with alternately tri- record office.

angular and curved pediments, are both in- Another contemporary feature is to be seen in
herited from the original Tiberian building, the the adjoining macellum, the meat and fish

latter being copied also in the adjacent Temple market [88]. The plan of the market itself, a
of Vespasian. The most elaborately 'contem- rectangular porticoed enclosure with offices at

porary' of the forum buildings was the La- the far end and a circular pavilion (tholos) in the
rarium [88], which consisted of an open court- centre, follows well-established models, e.g.
yard flanked by two rectangular, barrel-vaulted already in 8 B.C. at Lepcis Magna in Tripolitania
recesses, leading up to a spacious apsidal fea- [243]. To judge from the recent discovery of a
ture, which in turn was broken out into a market building of this type at Morgantina in
shallow central apse with, on the diagonals, two Sicily, dating from the second century B.C. [91],

smaller, rectangular recesses; the altar stood in the form may well have originated in South
the centre. The contours of the wall-features are Italy, spreading thence to North Africa, Greece
further enriched with pilasters, recesses, and (Corinth), Asia Minor, and the capital, where
projecting plinths, and although the building the old macellum just north of the forum had a
can have been only partially vaulted, the archi- central tholos in Varro's day (i.e. before 27 B.C.).

tectural intention clearly derives from the cen- The Macellum Liviae, by Augustus on the
built
tralized vaulted architecture of the capital. Esquiline, and Nero's Macellum Magnum on
Similar wall-recesses coupled with shallow the Caelian, followed similar models.^ The

Qi. Morgantina, market building, r. 160 B.C.

1,1 ^v-e
92. Pompeii, Central Baths, inner facade of the main wing, towards the palaestra, 63-79

Pompeian building incorporated three rows of natural consequence of increasing urban


single-room shops (tahernae), one facing in- congestion and rising land values. Already
wards and forming part of the market, and two widespread in the latest phase of Pompeii, it is

facing outwards on to the adjoining streets. This one of the characteristic features of the architec-
use of valuable street frontages and courtyards ture of Ostia [cf. 73]. Another striking example
for the incorporation of individual shops into at Pompeii is the Central Baths [92, 93] which,
other buildings, both public and private, was a when finished, would have been the most up-to-

93. Pompeii,
Central Baths, 63-79
Plan L Lavatory

50m
i64 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

date building of the city. Here there were shops onnettes, elaborately figured or foliated finials, ii

on two adjacent frontages, backing on to the brackets, balustrades, pergolas, and other, often
quadrangular exercise yard which occupied at first sight purely fantastic, architectural
rather more than half the available space; along details of the so-called Third Style [e.g. 94, 95]
the corresponding third side were the smaller echo the verandas and balconies, the windows,
offices of the baths themselves, the bathing suite the sun-terraces, the decorative wall-schemes in
proper being concentrated along the fourth, a gilded metal work, the draperies and hangings,
simple but effective arrangement reminiscent of that one would have found in real life in the

that of the traditional hellenistic gymnasium. wealthy villas of Baiae and of Rome itself.

The brickwork detail, however, was thoroughly It may well be that some of the characteristic
contemporary, particularly in the fa9ade of the elements of the Third Style derive ultimately
main block, with its severely effective alter- from other sources - for example, from the
nation of half-columns and large square win- decorative innovations attributed by Vitruvius
dows, and in the lofty recesses, alternately to the Asiatic Greek architect, Apaturius of
curved and rectangular, which occupy well over Alabanda, or from the sort of dream architec-
half the wall-surface of, and give life and ture recorded as having graced the shipboard
movement to, the interior of the main hot room. pavilion of Ptolemy IV of Egypt. ^ That the
The opening of doors and windows in the luxurious courts of the late hellenistic monarchs
curved features is another striking innovation. should have left their mark in such a field as this

Together with the still incompletely excavated it is very easy to believe. It does not follow,
Suburban Baths at Herculaneum, this building however, that such alien manners and motifs
offers a vivid glimpse of how much greater the reached the walls of Pompeii direct. The pro-
transformation might have been if the earth- and assimilation are likely to
cesses of borrowing
quake and the eruption had happened even have been complex; and just as some of the
twenty-five years later than they did.^ hellenistic elements demonstrably present in

To what extent does the fantasy architecture Second Style Campanian painting can be shown
of the latest stagesof Pompeian wall-painting to have taken definitive shape in the real

(as distinct from the often demonstrably re- architecture of Late Republican Italy, so there is

alistic architectural landscapes which it in- every reason to believe that a great many of the
corporates) represent a decorative style in real Third Style motifs are based on contemporary
architecture that has not survived elsewhere in architectural forms in local use. Once again we
more tangible form? It is not easy to generalize; are reminded how much of our knowledge of
there is a natural tendency in such cases for ancient architecture is based on the bare bones,
painters to mannerize and to exaggerate, nor is it stripped of their flesh and blood. The value of
always the minor art that is copying the major. Pompeii and Herculaneum lies not only in the
With the improved excavational techniques of actual surviving buildings, but also in the
the last half-century, however, it has become glimpses that one can catch on their walls of
increasingly clear that there was a very sub- many other aspects of classical architecture
stantial element of real, three-dimensional prac- which might otherwise have been irretrievably
tice behind a great many of the features por- lost.

trayed. When therefore one finds, for example, a Although by the first century a.d. Campania
painting illustrating a facade, the two projecting was fast losing the privileged position which it
wings of which terminate in the two halves of a had held during the last two centuries of the
broken pediment, it is reasonable to assume that Republic as a centre of creative Italo-hellenistic
this was already an accepted feature of the architectural experiment, the remains of the
architectural repertory.* Again, allowing for an cities buried in 79 do not by any means exhaust
element of painterly exaggeration, it seems very the wealth of fine classical monuments of the
likely that the slender, candelabrum-like col- Early Empire which it has to offer. The seaside
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 165

94 Pompcn, 'Third St\lc' architectural wall paintings in the House of Lucretius Fronto, mid first century.
Note the \ie\\s of seaside \ilhis in the two lateral panel pictures

95. Pompeii, painting of a seaside villa with projecting wings and porticoed fa9adc
from the House of Lucretius Fronto, mid first century
i66 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

villas are described in the next chapter. Here it clear above the seating. The same is true of Pola,
must suffice to mention a few only of the more where little more than the outer ring has
important of the other buildings. survived, the windows in this case being rect-
Besides possessing, at Pompeii, the earliest angular openings in an otherwise plain attic.

all-masonry amphitheatre known, Campania Both at Verona and at Pola the pilasters of the
can boast also two of the largest and best fagade are restricted to the two lower orders and
preserved of those of later date, at Capua (560 are carved in very shallow relief, thus em-
by 455 feet; 170 by 139 m., in size second only to phasizing the pattern of the arches rather than
the Colosseum) and at Pozzuoli (490 by 370 feet; that of the orders themselves. This is exactly

149 by ii6m.). The former, in its present form the opposite of the effect sought by the builders
probably a late Julio-Claudian monument, but of the closely contemporary amphitheatres
extensively remodelled under Hadrian, the lat- of Nimes and Aries [143, 142], who went out of
ter a Flavian building, they may be compared their way to accentuate the rhythmical pattern
with the approximately contemporary North of the classical framework, by carrying the
Italian amphitheatres of Verona (500 by 405 projection of the pilasters of the fa9ade up
feet; 152 by 123 m.; it is estimated to have held through the corresponding entablatures; and it

some 25,000-28,000 spectators) and Pola in may not be altogether fanciful to detect in the
Istria (435 by 345 feet; 132 by 105 m.). The attitude of their Italian colleagues the dawning
known earlier amphitheatres of Italy had all of a new sensibility, based on the more strictly

been either partially recessed into the ground functional simplicity of the concrete medium
and only in part built up above it (e.g. Sutri, in which they were increasingly having to work.
Lucera, Syracuse, Terni; cf. also Merida, in The macellum, or market building, at Poz-
Spain), or else, like those of North Italy (e.g. zuoli (Puteoli)'^ is a fine example of the type
probably Piacenza) and of Rome itself, were already noted at Pompeii, though of later date,
built of timber on masonry footings. With the the columns being of imported granite and
construction of the Colosseum and of these four Carystian marble [96]. The paved courtyard,
amphitheatres the form reached its full ma- 125 feet (38 m.) square with a central pavilion, is

turity. That of Pozzuoli is remarkable also for surrounded on four sides by a portico, with
the quality of its brick-and-reticulate masonry shops opening both inwards and outwards. In
(only the outer ring, now largely robbed, was of the middle of the east side the colonnade is

stone) and for the elaboration of the service interrupted by the four larger columns of the
corridors and other substructures, in which one fa9ade of a pedimental shrine dedicated to the
can make out all the details of such features as divinity under whose protection the market
the lifts for raising the wild beasts to the floor of was placed, and the two eastern angles were
^"
the arena above. occupied by public lavatories. The integration
The Verona amphitheatre'^ (which owes its of temple and portico into a single fa9ade is

preservation in part to an endowment for its a device which we have already met in

maintenance established in the thirteenth cen- Vespasian's Templum Pacis in the capital,

tury - a remarkably early instance of such civic where it may well in fact be derived from earlier
enlightenment) has a great deal in common Campanian models.
constructionally with the Colosseum, including Little has survived of the luxurious villas for
a very similar use of dressed stone for the which Baiae was once famous, but the thermal
essential framework of the building, concrete establishments that crowded the southern
playing a lesser and structurally secondary role. slopes behind and above the present village have
Of the three orders of arched openings of the fared better.'-' The remains of one of these can
outer face, the uppermost were not the arches of still be seen, terraced impressively up the
an encircling gallery but were windows that rose hillside; and there are no less than four circular
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 167

96. Pozzuoli (Puteoli),


market, second century A^
Plan

30111

halls, housing thermal springs, which were the circular rooms'"^ of the early bath-buildings at
architectural speciality of the place. The earliest Pompeii, to which the suite of rooms adjoining
of these, the so-called Temple of Mercury, the rotunda, securely buttressing it against the
consists of a masonry drum, circular internally hillside, bears a very close resemblance. The
and supporting dome with a central oculus
a masonry is a good early reticulate, and the
and, half-way down the curve of the dome, four materials of the dome, which tapers to a mere 2
square windows. The drum, which enclosed a foot (60 cm.) thickness near the crown and was
circular pool, now buried, has a diameter of no decorated with mosaic, are laid radially, in the
less than 71 feet (21.55 m.), and the inner face of Republican manner. Even if this latter were a
it is interrupted by four small apsidal recesses, conscious archaism, adopted because it was
alternating with two large and two small rect- thought to give greater strength, the building
angular openings, a formula which suggests that can hardly be later than the early Julio-Claudian
the immediate inspiration for this grandiose period, and it represents a remarkable architec-
hall is to be sought in the very much smaller. tural achievement for so early a date.
I 68 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

The Temple of Mercury, with its evident tionately taller, with buttresses at the outer
anticipations of the Domitianic rotunda at angles; the dome (diameter 86 feet; 26.30 m.)
Albano and ultimately of Hadrian's Pantheon, was of the same general type as the semi-dome
offers an unusually clear instance of a type of of the Canopus at Hadrian's Villa, with eight
building that was evolved first in Campania and concave 'melon' or 'pumpkin' segments alter-

only later taken over by the architects of the nating with eight narrow, flat segments, and
capital. Its subsequent development locally can there were shallow balconies externally and
be studied in the very similar 'Temples' of internally at window level. The Temple of
Diana and Venus at Baiae itself, and in the Apollo beside Lake Avernus was the largest of
'Temple of Apollo' near by, on Lake Avernus, the three, with a circular drum rising from an
all three of which are probably of second- octagonal base. Though only about 20 feet less

century date. That of Diana is now deeply in diameter than the Pantheon (or St Peter's),
buried, but the visible superstructure is octa- the drum was pierced with windows.
windows at the spring of
gonal, with eight large Another category of monument well repre-
the dome and, below them in the interior, the sented in Campania is its tombs, in the neigh-
usual alternation of apsidal and rectangular bourhood of Capua, outside the gates of Pom-
recesses and doorways. The dome (diameter 95 peii, and elsewhere. The variety is great, but
feet; 29.50 m.) is featureless. In the Temple of through it, despite vagaries of personal taste that
Venus [97] the octagonal drum is propor- often baffle systematic analysis (the Pyramid of
Cestius in Rome is a striking example of this),

97. Baiae, 'Temple of Venus', one can detect certain consistent strains of
second quarter of the second century. development. Two of these merit brief mention.
The was faced with marble
interior
One is that which derives from the simple,
up to the base of the windows and with mosaic
drumlike form set on a square podium of which
from that point upwards
the Tomb of Caecilia Metella, beside the Via
Appia, is the classic example. The other is that
represented by the well-known mausoleum of
Saint Remy (Glanum) in Provence [146], a

tower-like structure crowned by some sort of


open pavilion or canopy with a pyramidal or
conical roof. The first of these was an Italian
innovation of the first century B.C., and wher-
ever one finds it, whether in the wilds of the
Dobrudja at Adamklissi, in Pamphylia at At-
taleia [193], or in Africa near Tiddis, it derives
more or less directly from Italy. The second has
a mixed ancestry, one line going back to the

famous Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, another


probably to the tower tombs of Syria; but it
early became acclimatized in Italy and the West,
where it took on characteristics of its own, as in
the often needle-thin tower-tombs of Africa.
What one sees in the Campanian tombs is a

gradual elaboration of (principally) the first of


these types, at first by the introduction of
relatively simple decorative schemes that accen-
tuate the basic architectural framework, and
later by the elaboration of these schemes in a
98 {above). Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Capua),
mausoleum ('Le Carceri Vecchie')
beside the Via Appia,
probably first half of the second century

99. Pozzuoli (Puteoli),


tomb beside the Via Celle, second century.
Axonometric view

5m
manner which deliberately sets out to disrupt it,
merging them with elements drawn both from
the tower-tombs (e.g. in the Tomb of the
Istacidi at Pompeii) and from such other local

tomb types as the columbarium, the exedra, etc.


To the first category belong the mausolea of
Marano and another near Pozzuoli, the square
bases of which are divided into panels by
pilasters; or the 'Carceri Vecchie' near Capua
[98], the scalloped outline of which may echo
the structural niches that were incorporated in
so many of the earlier Roman mausolea (the
Mausoleum of Augustus, the Tomb of the
Plautii, etc.). Outstanding examples of the later,

baroque phase are a tomb beside the Via Celle


near Pozzuoli [99], which might almost be a
work of Borromini, and the remarkable tomb
known as 'La Conocchia' near Capua [100].
^mm^

*^..* im

^m
:^ mti^

m%
'y, -
Wk *$'.

^^'^
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 171

100 {opposite). Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Capua), mausoleum ('La Conocchia')
beside the Via Appia, second half of the second century

NORTHERN ITALY to the Celtic peoples of what is now France and


of large parts of central Europe. Until absorbed
In Northern Italy our knowledge of the archi- into Italy in 42 B.C. this was in fact the province

tecture of the Roman period suffers greatly from of Gallia Cisalpina and, to happen later in
as was
the lack of any major excavated site comparable Gaul proper, Roman urban civilization, model-
to those of the south and centre. There is no led on that of Central Italy, found itself on
northern Pompeii, no Ostia. Aquileia, which congenial soil. By the time of Augustus all
might have furnished a key to the archaeology of except the Alpine fringes had become Italy in
the whole of the northern Adriatic as well as fact as well as in name. Virgil came from

much of the Danube basin, has yet to be tackled Mantua, Livy from Pavia, Catullus from
on a scale commensurate with the problems Verona. Despite this early and enduring
involved: scattered buildings, part of one of the romanization, however. North Italy also had,
cemeteries, the tantalizing remains of the river and throughout the Roman Empire continued
port - there is little more. Velleia was too to have, certain affinities with the provinces be-
unimportant and too remote to offer more than a yond the Alps, affinities with which the facts of
modest what was happening in its
reflection of history and geography had endowed it. As time
wealthier neighbours. We are dependent almost passed these were to play an increasingly impor-
entirely on what we can learn from chance tant part in shaping the wider architectural
excavations and from the study of those in- development of the later Empire.
dividual buildings which happen to have come When we turn to the architecture of the
down to us. Augustan Age we find that it is the Alpine
Another serious gap in our knowledge is the fringes rather than the established cities of the
almost total lack of any surviving buildings of plains that have left the most substantial traces.

the Republican period, serious because it was in The monument of La Turbie above Monte
Northern Italy that Rome learned a great many Carlo was erected in 76 B.C. to commemorate

of the lessons which she was later to apply so Augustus's subjugation of the Alpine tribes. It

successfully elsewhere. It was, above all, in the consisted of a huge cylindrical drum with
and towns, great and small, of Cisalpine
cities twenty-four recesses framed between as many
Gaul that she adapted and perfected the system Tuscan columns, the whole capped by a conical
of planning and the types of building which crown and standing on a square plinth. It is a
enabled her with so sure a touch to launch Gaul grandiose version of the familiar type of Late
and the other provinces of the West upon the Republican and Early Imperial mausoleum of
path of urban development. But although we which that of Caecilia Metella on the Via Appia
can catch glimpses of this at Aosta, at Brescia, is the best known example, a type which by a

and at Velleia, most of the evidence is lost for simple extension of ideas lent itself admirably to

ever beneath the flourishing modern cities a memorial monument of this sort; and, if

which everywhere attest the vision and good rightly restored, it affords a striking example of a
sense of their Roman founders. method of architectural planning that was com-
Tuscany and Umbria Rome had still been
In mon throughout antiquity, whereby the major
dealing with people who had much in common dimensions are all related in some simple
with herself. Once across the Apennines things proportion to some basic unit, in this case a
were different. Over a large part of the Po basin module of 4 Roman feet. The arch at Susa, built
the dominant element was Celtic, closely related two years earlier in Augustus's honour by a
\

loi. Susa, Arch of Augustus, q-8 b.c.

group of the same tribes, is an interesting North, whereas the architectural form belongs
example of the commemorative arch at an early to the new. Imperial Age; and the naive, lively

stage of its development as an independent carving of the frieze (the subject at one time or
monumental type [loi]. Three-quarter col- another of much misdirected erudition) is

umns on the plinth at the four angles and a long patently the work of a local craftsman doing his
straight entablature crowned by a plain attic best in an unfamiliar medium. For all its

frame a simple arch with shallow pilasters and embodies all that was vig-
crudities, the arch
archivolt. The pilaster capitals are of a type orous and actual in the contemporary art of
characteristic of the Republican colonies in the North Italy.
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 173

We find very much the same quahties ex- monuments of Aosta, all probably of Augustan
pressed in the architecture of Aosta (Augusta date, include the walls and gates, an arch, a
Praetoria). Founded in 24 B.C. and the last theatre, an amphitheatre, and the remains of a
miHtary colony to be established on Italian soil, temple framed on three sides by the substruc-
it is also the one that has retained the most of its tures of a monumental double portico which is

Roman physiognomy and buildings. Sited at a very similar to the cryptoportico at Aries, '^
crossroad on the important trans-Alpine route discussed in a later chapter. The gates are of the
across the St Bernard passes, it is one of the very familiar Italian and Gaulish type, discussed
few Roman towns where the rectangular grid of further below, in which the actual gateway and
streets, comprising sixteen equal rectangular the arcaded parapet walk above it are flanked by
blocks, each of them measuring 590 by 460 feet projecting towers and the former opens into a

GREAT
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44^
102. Aosta (Augusta Praetoria), laid out in 24 B.C.
Plan of the Roman town in relation to that of the earlv-nineteenth-centurv town

(180 by 140 m.) and most of them further rectangular inner courtyard; the towers in this
subdivided into four, is matched by a perfectly case are square and the single carriageway is

rectangular perimeter of walls [102]. The rect- flanked by two smaller footways. The arch is a

angular grid is a commonplace of Roman urban somewhat clumsy building, the archway being
design. On the other hand, the regular outline of crowded into place between the inner pair of the
the walls, found also at Turin (Augusta Taurin- four half-columns of the fa9ade, all four of
orum, founded c. 25 B.C.), is rare elsewhere, and which stand on a continuous plinth that en-
must in this instance reflect the influence of circles all four faces of each pier, truncating the
contemporary military planning. The surviving pilasters of the archway. The attic has not
174 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

survived, but the order was mixed Doric-Ionic, much the same stage in the development of
a Hellenistic feature that was quite early aban- Roman theatre design as the roughly con-
doned by the Augustan architects of Central temporary theatre at Aries [142]. It has been
Italy;^^ and the capitals of the archway pilasters suggested that this may have been an odeum, or
are of the same Republican type as those of the covered theatre and concert hall, rather than the
arch of Susa. Of the amphitheatre one can say usual open building.
little more than that the masonry had the same At Turin the Porta Palatina [103], largely
robust, rather crude finish as that of the theatre. what is essentially the
built of brick, illustrates

The latter is unusual in that the cavea is fitted same type of gate as that of Aosta, but in more
into a rectangular perimeter, the street facade of elaborate form. The central carriageway is

which, with its massive buttresses and four double; the towers are sixteen-sided; and the
ranges of arches and windows, makes up in gallery above, together with its framing pilasters
strength for what it lacks in elegance. The stage- and entablature, is repeated twice. But these are
building with its shallow, very tentatively cur- inessential embroideries upon the same basic
ved recess framing the central door, illustrates theme. At Como, for example, and at Avenches

103. Turin (Augusta Taurinorum), Porta Palatina, probably early first century. Restored view.
Of the two towers, which were built of brick, only the lower parts survive
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 175

(Aventicum) in Switzerland (which is Flavian) statuary, bronzes, and objects of domestic use
the towers are octagonal; in the Porta Venere at attest the prosperity which it enjoyed under the
Spello (Hispellum) in Umbria, another fine Early Empire. Without these finds one would
Augustan building, they are decagonal; at Asti hardly have guessed at such material well-being
(Hasta) sixteen-sided; the 'Torre di Ansperto' at merely from the architectural remains; and yet
Milan has twenty-four sides; at Fano (a.d. the history of Velleia must be that of countless
9-10) and in the Gaulish gates of the same type small towns in Italy and the provinces. Its early
(Nimes, Autun [135]) the towers are rectangular growth, terraced down a shelving hillside, seems
with rounded fronts. Circular towers are not to have been shaped by topographical con-
recorded in this context, but they are found in venience rather than any coherent plan, but
the contemporary type of gate (Aries, Frejus, under Augustus the centre of the town was
Vindonissa) in which the actual gateway stands remodelled by the creation of a rectangular
at the back of a recessed forecourt. forum together with the appropriate municipal
The most extensive excavations in North offices [104, 105]. At the upper end stood a

Italv are those of the little town of Velleia basilica; at the opposite end a temple and on

104. \ clkia, loruni and basilica, early first century, from the air.

In the left foreground the amphitheatre

(Veleia) in the Apennine foothills, south of either side of it, flush with the cella and of
Piacenza. Created in the first place to be the roughly the same size, a row of large rooms,
administrative and commercial centre of a vast which no doubt housed the curia and other
area of mountain and forested uplands, the municipal buildings. Rows of shops occupied
excavated remains of inscriptions, municipal the two long sides, fronted by porticoes with
176 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

105. Vellcia, forum, early first century. Plan

columns of stuccoed brick. The basilica was a columns marked off a rectangular annex of the
large rectangular hall measniing 1 14 by 38 feet same width as the main hall. Like the paving of
(34.85 by 11.70 m.) internally, open along one the forum, the basilica was owed to the munifi-
long side towards the forum and structurally cence of a wealthy local citizen, and in it were
plain except that at either end a screen of two found eleven statues of members of the Julio-
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 177

Claudian family and the famous bronze tables by 55 m.), with shops down two sides and what
recording the details of Trajan's charitable may have been a very simple basilica or covered
foundations. The blocks immediately adjoining market across the north end.
the forum were rebuilt to conform with the new At the other end of the scale we have the
rectangular scheme, but the rest of the town, forum of Brescia (Brixia), as remodelled by
including a small amphitheatre and a bath- Vespasian.'^ This was a long, narrow open
building, retained its old, irregular layout. space measuring 130 by 456 feet (40 by 139 m.)
Numerous streetside porticoes, giving shelter in and flanked by colonnades, the rhythm of which
winter and shade in summer, anticipate medi- was emphasized by a slight projection of the
eval and North Italian practice in cities
later trabeation above each column, a characteristic
such as Bologna and Padua. '^ late-first-century innovation that is repeated,
The scheme of the forum at Velleia is one that for example, in the flanking order of the Forum
we find repeated, at every level of elaboration, Transitorium in the capital and in the am-
all over Italy and the Western provinces. An phitheatre at Nimes [143].' The composition
even more elementary version is that repre- was dominated by the Capitolium, which was
sented at Martigny in the Valais, the first terraced above and separated from the rest of
roadside hamlet on the far side of the Great St the open area by the line of the city's main
Bernard, which was a native centre, Octodorus, transverse street - a disposition commonly

106. Brescia (Brixia), model of the Capitolium, third tiuartcr ol the hist century

refounded by Augustus beside the road under adopted in the Western provinces, notably in
the name of Forum Augusti Vallensium.'^ Later Gaul (cf. Augst [134], Saint Bertrand-de-
rebuilt in more elaborate form by Claudius, it Comminges, etc.).^' The building itself [106] is
was at first a simple rectangular enclosure, noteworthy for its almost Palladian plan, the
comprising an open space, 148 by 180 feet (45 hexastyle, pedimental porch of the central one
178 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

of the three cellas projecting boldly forward layout, on the grounds of its undoubted formal
from, and dominating, the rest of the columnar resemblances to the headquarters complex of a

facade. At the opposite end, facing up towards large legionary fortress. Both were products of
the Capitolium, lay a basilica. This was a free- an organic and closely interrelated evolutionary
standing rectangular building, occupying the development, in which it was the new cities of
full width of the forum, on to which it opened North Italy and the neighbouring provinces
through three symmetrically placed doors, set that played a determining role.)
within a scheme of fluted pilasters which ap- Of the scattered individual monuments only a
pears to have been carried uninterruptedly right few call for detailed comment. The Temple of

round the building. Similar, but plain, pilasters Rome and Augustus at Pola, built between a.d.
on the inner face suggest there was an internal 2 and 14, was one of a pair flanking a much
ambulatory colonnade. Parallel with the main larger temple (the Capitolium?) on the north
forum and alongside it there seems to have been side of the forum. It was tetrastyle Corinthian,
another, similar monumental enclosure domi- the frieze being carved with an acanthus scroll
nated by a theatre. The details are uncertain; which, like that of the Maison Carree at Nimes
but the broad lines of the layout are clear [137], reflects the style introduced into Italy by
enough to serve to illustrate what, to judge from the sculptors of the Ara Pacis. Of several fine
the scattered remains of monumental buildings bridges, that which carries the Via Aemilia
dating from the Early Empire, must have been across the river at Rimini is a handsome
happening in the centres of many of the cities of Tiberian (a.d. 22) structure of five equal arches
North Italy. A somewhat special case, rather built of dressed stone, with decorative aediculae
betterdocumented than most, is that of Assisi. on the outer faces of the piers. It still stands,
Here the ground sloped too sharply for the parapets and all, very much as on the day
it was

normal longitudinal layout and the forum was built [107]. Another impressive early bridge was
sited along the slopes, with the still surviving
temple terraced directly above it in the middle
of one long side. In this case we do not know
where the other public buildings were.
(In parenthesis, it should be remarked that
the development of this characteristic forum
type, although it may contain certain echoes of
contemporary military practice, was in itself

essentially a civil phenomenon. In certain speci-


fic instances, e.g. at Aosta, it is probably right to

detect the direct influence of contemporary


military design. But such borrowings were not
usually so explicit, nor was the flow of ideas by
any means all in one direction; as the camps of
the legionary and auxiliary troops came to take
on a more permanent character, they in turn
borrowed much from contemporary civil prac- 107. Rimini (Ariminum), bridge, A.D. 22

tice. In the frontier areas the exchange must in that which carried the Via Flaminia at a height
fact have been close and continuous, and the of about 100 feet over the river Nera at Narni. It

results no doubt filtered gradually through to was unusual in that the arches, which have
other regions. But except in this very genera- strong, simple archivolt mouldings, were almost
lized sense it is mistaken to claim, for example, exactly semicircular and, being of different
the Forum and Basilica of Trajan as a military spans, had to spring from the piers at different
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 179

heights. As in the Pont du Gard [136], project- Less florid in detail but even more elaborate
ing bosses were left in the faces of the piers to in conception are the two partially surviving city
faciHtate maintenance. gates of Verona. The present fagade of the Porta
The most numerous and varied group of dei Leoni masks an earlier structure, probably
surviving North ItaHan monuments is that of Early Augustan, which is known chiefly from
the arches and city gates, of which those at Renaissance drawings. This was an eminently
Aosta, Susa, and Turin have already been sober, dignified monument, very like the Porta
described. From the outset they were used for a Palatina at Turin [103], with plain stone arch-
variety of purposes: as city gates, as entrances ways set in a facing of brick and a mixed Doric-
to fora or similar enclosures, as free-standing Ionic order (as at Aosta) over the lower of the
bases for commemorative statuary, or even as two arcaded galleries. The elaboration of its

funerary monuments. The earliest dated mem- successor, rebuilt probably after the troubles of
ber of the northern series, at Rimini, was one of a.d. 69,shows how far architecture had travelled
a pair built in 27 B.C. to mark the completion of in the hundred-odd years that intervene. The
the restoration of the Via Flaminia; its fellow- scheme of the lower part is still essentially the
stood near the Pons Mulvius, outside Rome. same, but the carriageways are now framed by
The type originated very simply as a pedimental half-columns and by pediments of which the
frame in low relief enclosing an arch, as we see it horizontal member is omitted, and the arches of
still in the early (pre-Augustan?) Porta Santa the gallery are set in elaborately carved aedi-
Ventura at Spello or the Porta Tiburtina in culae; at the same time the upper gallery has
Rome [2]; but at Rimini one can already see been entirely remodelled, with four spirally
signs of the disintegration of this basic type in fluted colonnettes on projecting plinths framing
favour of a looser decorative grouping of its a large curved statue recess in the centre
constituent elements. The proportions of the between two narrow, plain wings. The roughly
archway have widened, and the pediment no contemporary Porta dei Borsari [108] is closer in
longer rests on the flanking columns but is layout to the earlier models, but a great deal of
poised uneasily between them. The Arch of the the decorative detail is quite extraordinarily
Sergii at Pola, a funerary monument dating baroque in character - spirally fluted columns,
from the last decades of the century, represents contrasting curved and triangular pediments,
another strain, being essentially a richer version pilasters springing from brackets, aediculae
of the arch at Susa, with paired instead of single alternating with simple projecting columns or
half-columns flanking the arch and an entabla- pilasters, and, perhaps the most striking feature
ture and attic that repeat the articulation of the of all, the contrasting rhythms of thetwo
facade below. The Claudian Porta Aurea at which are so devised that the aediculae
galleries,

Ravenna (a.d. 43), now destroyed but known of the upper gallery are poised, on brackets,
from Renaissance drawings and surviving de- above the voids between the aediculae of the
tails, was an altogether more elaborate struc- lower gallery. For all the other features referred
ture. It had a double carriageway beneath twin to one can find individual parallels in Italy

pediments, the whole framed between three already in the early first century a.d., but for the
pairs of half-columns, of which the two outer last-named one has to turn to the eastern
pairs were more widely spaced to make room for provinces, whence these baroque fa9ades drew
decorative aediculae and richly carved medal- much of their inspiration.^^
lions. Of the superstructure, presumably an With the latest of the Early Imperial arches in
arcaded gallery as in the city gates already North Italy, that of Trajan at Ancona (a.d. 115),
described, there is no record. The elaborate and the almost exactly contemporary arch at
ornament is characteristic of much
quality of the Benevento in Central Italy (114) we return to a
Julio-Claudian work in Italy. more sober, classical manner [109]. The first
l8o
ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

108. Verona, Porta dei Borsari, one of the city gates, formerly flanked by projecting towers,
probably third quarter of the first century

impression conveyed by the two inonuments robust, rather pedestrian solidity of Benevento,
could hardly be more dissimilar Ancona with overloaded with symbolic and allegorical relief
its tall, ornament
graceful lines and very simple sculpture in the grand manner. But both can, in
consisting of little more than framed decorative fact, be seen to derive very closely from the Arch
panels and applied bronze wreaths, and" the of Titus in Rome; and we have the Arch of the
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE l8l

109. Ancona, Arch of Trajan, 115


82 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

Gavii at Verona to show that this return to a the late Republic of the forum as an explicit
more formal classicism was felt outside the architectural form, a form which was to have a
narrow circle of monuments that were directly long history in provincial Italy and in the
inspired from the capital. In the North, no less western provinces. In Rome itself the Forum
than in Rome itself, the reigns of Trajan and Romanum, crowded with venerable monu-
Hadrian mark the end of an epoch. ments and heavy with tradition, did not lend
Since it was through provincial, and partic- itself readily to such radical experiment; but
ularly through northern, Italy that many of the with the creation of the successive Imperial
architectural forms and practices of the capital Fora we can watch the emergence and develop-
first reached the European provinces, we may ment of a comparable and, in its own way, no
usefully conclude this chapter with a few less influential architectural model. In Trajan's
remarks on one or two of the building types in Forum the two currents were to meet and merge
question. Some, and the amphi-
like the theatre in what, very appropriately, later antiquity was
theatre, call for no explanation beyond that to regard as the quintessential expression of the
given elsewhere in describing the individual Roman forum.
monuments. Others have connotations that may Of the many individual types of Roman
vary greatly according to the context, and a building that were regularly associated with the
knowledge of the formal background is neces- forum, by far the commonest was the basilica.
sary if one is to appreciate the full architectural In strict architectural usage the term denotes a
significance of the several variant forms. columnar hall with clerestory lighting, a type to
In the first place, the centre of every Roman which some at any rate of the great Republican
city, the forum. Throughout antiquity this Forum Romanum belonged, and
basilicas of the
retained something of its original character as an to which many of the later buildings of
a great
open space available for all the manifold com- the same name did in fact conform. A great
munal activities of urban life in Mediterranean many, on the other hand, did not; nor was the
lands: market-place, place of political assembly, term basilica by any means confined to large

law court, a setting for public spectacles, the public halls erected alongside the forum. At
natural meeting-place for private citizens doing Velleia, for example, already in Augustan times
business, and, since all these activities were in we see a building which has few of the architec-
some degree under divine protection, a focus for tural characteristics of the ancestral type but
the religiouslife of the community. It was, in which stood beside the forum and was certainly
short, the piazza, a flavour that it never wholly At the same time we find the
called basilica.
As time passed, however, and urban life
lost. name basilica used in a variety of contexts that
grew more complex, special provision came to have nothing whatever to do with the forum or
be made elsewhere for many of these activities, public aff'airs: the halls flanking the stage-
in basilicas, market-buildings, theatres, amphi- building of a theatre; one of the rooms of a bath-
theatres, sanctuaries. Some of these buildings building; the audience hall of a private villa; a

might be adjacent to the forum, others not. cloth market; the headquarters of the Roman
There was no regular rule about their location, silversmiths; a covered exercise yard for troops;
and they came into being as local circumstance the private meeting-place of a religious cult. Not
demanded. In Rome, for example, the cattle all of these were basilican even in the architec-
market had at a very early date moved to a more tural sense; it is quite clear that in course of time
convenient site beside the river, whereas glad- the name came to be applied to any large
iatorial displays were still held in the Forum covered hall, regardless of its architectural form.
Romanum right down to the very end of the The variety of possible usage is bewildering,
Republic. In this chapter we have caught a few and in view of the widespread discussion that
tantalizing glimpses of the emergence during there has been about the classical origins of the
ITALY UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE 183

Christian basilica (a discussion which has fre- the direct worship of the living ruler was for a
quently confused the type of building and the long time prudently avoided in Rome itself, the
name) the fact of this variety is important. same result was achieved in the thinly disguised
There can be little doubt, however, that in form of the official cult of the emperor's deified
antiquity the term basilica would, unless further predecessors, and this practice was widely
specified, have called to mind the great halls that followed also in the West. Where Sabratha in
played so large a part in public life and affairs, Tripolitania had its Capitolium, its neighbour
and it may conveniently and properly be so used Lepcis had a temple of Rome and Augustus
in the present context. established under Tiberius.
The Capitolium, a symbol of Roman majesty Some of these temples of the imperial cult,
in partibiis, is another type of monument which, like that of Claudius at Colchester, were official

though ultimately derived from Rome, from the foundations, others were established by private
state Temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva on individuals; and once again the architectural
the Capitol, is found everywhere in a bewilder- forms adopted were very diverse. They might
ing variety of architectural forms, some copying take the form of separate temples, as in Rome
or adapting the plan of the parent building with itself, at Pompeii, at Terracina, at Ostia, and in
its three separate cellas, some indistinguishable innumerable cities of the provinces, or they
architecturally from any other temple, and might be annexed to other buildings, as to
many adopting local variants of their own - a Vitruvius's basilica at Fano or to the basilicas of
single cella divided by columns into nave and Lucus Feroniae and Sabratha. A distinctive and
aisles (Merida, Cuicul) or with three separate important architectural type was that estab-
apses (Thugga, Timgad); three almost identical lished by the Caesarian 'Kaisareia' of Antioch
temples, side by side (Baelo in Spain, Sufetula); and Alexandria, discussed in a later chapter, a
or even a double cella (Lambaesis). The only type which struck echoes in Rome itself, pos-
secure common denominator is the dedication. sibly in the Imperial Fora, almost certainly in
Usually (though not invariably, e.g. Timgad) buildings such as the Porticus Divorum.
the Capitolium stood at or near the city centre, Yet another category of building for which
and most cases it is probably a justifiable
in Rome offered an obvious standard model for
assumption that its erection signified some any who wished to use it was the curia.
event in the city's progress towards full Roman Buildings based more or less directly on the
status. senate house in the Forum Romanum are not
Like the basilica, the Capitolium found its uncommon, particularly in the African pro-
way occasionally to the eastern provinces, a vinces. On the other hand, many cities were
notorious example being the central temple of content with models of their own devising, and
the colony, Aelia Capitolina, that was estab- in the eastern provinces we still find examples of
lished by Hadrian in 137 on the site of Jeru- the equivalent Greek type, the bouleuterion,
salem. But it was far commoner in the West, par- with its seating arranged like a theatre. One such
ticularly in the provinces adjoining the western that was restored in traditional form Roman
in
Mediterranean, to which the conception of the times can be seenat Nysa on the Maeander.

old Capitoline divinities came easily. There were these and other standard build-
A common and in many respects com- ing types available for use, but it is a mistake to
plementary equivalent of the Capitoline cult attach too much weight to them. Such stereo-
was that of the reigning emperor, usually types clearly were congenial to the Roman
accompanied by that of the goddess Roma. This mind; and yet one is constantly being astonished
was widely adopted from Augustan times on- by the flexibility with which they were adapted
wards in the East, where it was a simple to local circumstances. It seems likely that they
extension of hellenistic practice; but although were just as often selected by the free choice of
184 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

the local inhabitants, wishing to be more Roman Early Imperial Italy did furnish architectural
than the Romans, as by an imposition of ideas prototypes that were freely and widely copied,
from above. This is a question that has to be particularly in the western provinces. They are
studied case by case. For the present it is less common in the eastern half of the Empire,
sufficient to remark that Late Republican and which had well established traditions of its own.
CHAPTER 8

DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY

THE TOWNS general survey the most that one can hope to do
is to indicate some of the broader trends that
As late as the first century B.C. the atrium-house were already beginning to make themselves felt
with or without a peristyle garden was the even before the destruction of Pompeii and
standard residence of the well-to-do Roman, Herculaneum in a.d. 79.
whether in Rome or in Campania. The weight One of the most insidious of these trends was
of tradition was considerable. Even so poten- the steady drift of the wealthy classes away from
tially disruptive a force as the very great increase the town house, or domus, to the villa estab-
in wealth among the upper classes had found an lished in the less congested areas of the suburbs,
outlet principally in the introduction of new and or even in the open countryside near the town.
costlier materials and furnishings; and although At Pompeii, as land values rose, many of the
space too was beginning to become an important older houses began to be split up into apart-
consideration (as one can see if one compares a ments or put to commercial use. By the time of
wealthy Late Republican town house in Rome, the eruption wealthy town houses like that of
such as the House of Livia on the Palatine, with the Vettii were rapidly becoming the exception.
its Pompeian equivalent) the difference still Pompeii, it is true, was not altogether typical. At
amounted to the compression of familiar archi- a time when Italy was fast losing its position of
tectural forms rather than to the emergence of commercial privilege with respect to the pro-
any that were radically new. vinces, wealthy householders of Pompeii had
With the establishment of the Empire the also to contend with the results of the earth-
seeds of change took firmer root. Populations quake of A.D. 62. In Rome it might still be
continued to grow rapidly and the pressures on convenient to retain one's family residence near
space were no longer confined to the big cities the centre, as Nero's father had done beside the
but were felt even in prosperous country towns Via Sacra, or the Flavian family on the Es-
like Pompeii. Wealth was no longer the pre- quiline; but it was only in his properties outside
rogative of a small ruling class, but was be- the city that the wealthy owner could find real
ginning to spread to a new and growing middle scope for his architectural ambitions.
class, whose tastes and rapidly rising standards Within the towns the inevitable result of
of living demanded comparable living con- population pressure was to set a premium on
ditions. Abroad horizons were widening, bring- forms of planning which were economical in
ing fresh and fruitful exchanges of ideas; and at ground space, or which offered scope for de-
home the development of new^ building ma- velopment upwards. The older houses did not
terials and techniques provided the means of disappear overnight. As late as the beginning of
putting these ideas into effect. The stage was set the third century one finds a few of them still

for a new and altogether more complex chapter depicted on the Severan marble plan of Rome
in the story of Roman domestic architecture. [62]. But in new building the relaxed sprawl of
The development that followed defies con- the old atrium-peristyle house no longer made
cise, tidy analysis. The cross-currents were too economic sense. The most conspicuous casualty
many and, as the range of possible choice of the new planning was the atrium. Once the
increased, one must reckon also on the irrational physical and social centre of the Italic house, it

factor of personal taste. Within the compass of a had already begun to lose its predominant role
86 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

during the later Republic, as more and more upper storeys and galleries, in many cases the
aspects of daily life moved to the lighter, more atrium was reduced to little more than a

secluded setting of the peristyle. One solution, passageway and a light-well, finally disappear-

favoured by the more conservative-minded ing altogether. In its place the peristyle now
architects and patrons, was to multiply the became the architectural as well as the social
columns around the atrium so as to create in centre of the town house.
effect a miniature peristyle. This was Vitru- One can follow these processes very clearly in

vius's atrium corinthium, as we see it in the a pair of houses at the southern edge of
house of the same name at Herculaneum. But by Herculaneum [i 10-13]. This quarter was de-
A.D.79 there were other, radical alternatives. veloped in late Julio-Claudian times, with well-
With the addition of increasingly substantial to-do houses terraced out across the line of the

no. Herculaneum, the southern garden verandas of the House of the Mosaic Atrium
and the House of the Stags terraced out over the old city wall, shortly before 79
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 107

old town wall so as to take advantage of the view aegyptiiis} The central garden, on the other
towards the sea. In one of these houses, the hand, was built in the new manner [113]. Piers
House of the Mosaic Atrium/ the traditional and a half-columnar order of brick framed the
forms were still partially observed in the north large square windows of a corridor which ran
wing, which was laid out across the main axis of round three sides of it, in place of the open
the building. It consisted of a central atrium, colonnade of a traditional peristyle; and on the
shorn of its lateral rooms, preceded by a porter's fourth side there was a range of living-rooms
lodge, entrance corridor, and kitchen, and at the fronted by a narrow corridor of which the wall
far end, instead of the traditional tablinum, it towards the garden was a mere framework of
had a winter dining-room of the rather unusual, timber and glass. ^ At the south end another
basilican type described by Vitruvius as an oecus range of rooms opened on to an outer portico.

III. Herculaneum, House of the Mosaic Atrium {left) and House of the Stags {right), shordy before 79.
Elevation and restored view of the south fa9ade, built out over the old city wall
ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

20 m

D Diaeta
TR. Triclinium

112. Herculaneum, House of the Mosaic Atrium {left) and House of the Stags (right),
shortly before 79. Plan

which faced towards the sea; two small living- In the neighbouring and closely contem-
rooms {diaetae) projected at either end, framing porary House of the Stags^ one sees this

a long, narrow terrace; and in the centre, facing development carried one stage further. The
outwards towards the sea and inwards across the rudimentary atrium, which was roofed right
garden, was the principal summer dining-room over, has here become little more than an
and reception hall of the private wing, a room entrance lobby and passageway; and the sem-
which within the context of the domestic blance of an earlier, more traditional layout
architecture that was now taking shape it is which determined the different orientation of
convenient to refer to as a triclinium .* Through- the north wing of the House of the Mosaic
out the building there were upper storeys over Atrium has been abandoned altogether in
the smaller rooms. favour of a symmetrical layout about the axis of
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 189

113. Herculaneum, House of the Mosaic Atrium, the internal courtyard,


showing on the right the glass-fronted passageway, shortly before 79

the garden courtyard. The inner triclinium faces town house, indulge in one of the panoramic
axially down the garden; the corridor around the terraces currently fashionable in the villas of the
sides of the garden has shed all pretence of being suburbs, as in the Villa of the Mysteries and the
a traditional columnar peristyle; and the terrace Villa of Diomede at Pompeii. But the symmetri-
wing at the south end is symmetrically disposed cal layout about a central courtyard and the
about a large outer triclinium, its terrace garden emergence of the triclinium as the most impor-
flanked by the same two small projecting diaetae tant room in the house are both features that had
with large panoramic windows for day-time a long development before them, not least
relaxation and repose. The terrace wing is because they brought the Italian house back into
clearly a product of special circumstances; the line with the developed peristyle houses of the
site was such that the owner could here, in his other Mediterranean provinces.
190 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

One more example, this time from Pompeii. length of the north end of a large garden
The House of Loreius Tiburtinus^ [ii4i 115] beyond, and which was the nucleus of a plan for

was still in process of modernization and re- the main living-rooms that closely resembles
decoration at the time of the eruption. The that of the terrace of the House of the Stags.

forepart of the house, grouped in two storeys Terrace and garden were formally linked in an
around a spacious atrium, was still that of the elaborate T-shaped scheme of pergolas, tem-
early building.The miniature peristyle, on the pietti, statuary,and fountain basins, and
other hand, was now little more than an intimate whether from the luxurious central triclinium,
extension of the terrace which occupied the full from the open-air dining-room at the east end of
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 191

114 {opposite) and 115. Pompeii,


House of Loreius Tiburtinus, 62 79.
View from the house down the axis of the formal garden
with section and restored axonometric view

the terrace, or from the diaetae at the west end, detailed knowledge of the single-family town
the eye was led out across the garden to the house in Central Italy;and the individuality of
mountains beyond. the latest Pompeian houses is a warning against
With the destruction of Pompeii and Hercu- trying to establish any too-rigid sequence of
laneum in 79 we lose the best source for our onward development on the basis of the much
192 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

smaller number of post-Pompeian examples inaccurate convention. In antiquity it meant an


known to us. Houses like that excavated on the apartment-house, occupied by a number of
Esquiline in the eighteenth century [116] or the families, in contrast to the domus, which was
essentially a single-family unit. It might occupy
an entire block, but more often than not it was
only one of several buildings which together
comprised an insula in the larger sense of the

term. It came into being as a result of population


pressures and the rise of a new and prosperous
middle class; and its may be
importance
measured by the fact that when the regionary
catalogues were drawn up in the fourth century

there were 46,000 insulae in Rome and only


i,7Q0 domus. "^

m m The essential architectural quality of the


insula was its height in proportion to the area
which it covered. This element of height was in

itself nothing new . It had long been a feature of

the tenement-houses of old Rome. But these


were notorious fire-traps and liable to collapse

upon their inmates. It was not until the Early


Empire that the new building materials and
techniques made it possible to rationalize the
experience of the past into a type of building
that was convenient, economical of space, struc-
116. Rome, House on the FLsquiline,
turally sound, and, at any rate by ancient
probably first or second century. new fashions
standards, fireproof. Echoes of the
Plan, after Lanciani had reached Pompeii and Herculaneum before
79. But it was the rebuilding of Rome after the
late-second-century House of Fortuna Anno- great fire of 64 which established the brick-and-
naria at Ostia [128A] are a logical product of the concrete insula as the norm for urban domestic
sort of processes that we have been describing.
"^
architecture; and it is the houses of Ostia, where
The standard private house of the second and the full impact of the new fashion was not felt

third centuries at Ostia is the peristyle-house, until a generation later, which tell us what this
consisting of a portico accessible more or less new architecture was like.
directh from the street and enclosing three or Although it is the broad uniformity of the
four sides of a garden or courtyard, with rooms finished product that immediately impresses the
opening otf the portico. But this no longer modern visitor, it was in fact the innate flexi-

represents the main stream of urban architec- bility of design which made the insula such a
tural development. With the second century successful building type. The simplest plan was
(and mdeed in Rome itself since the middle of probably also the oldest. Already in Late Re-
the previous century) the focus of interest shifts publican Pompeii one finds upper storeys added
dccisnelv av\a\ from the domus, the old- over a row of shops along the street front, and it

fashioned town house, to the insula. is not impossible that the type had originated in
The term insula requires definition. Its mod- Rome and had been introduced to Pompeii by
ern usage, to define the city block, the area the Sullan colonists. At Ostia one sees insulae of
delimited b\ four streets, is a convenient but this elementary type along the main cardo.
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 193

between the forum and the river, or again along tural continuity between classical and later

the main decumanus, in front of the Neptune medieval or Renaissance Rome is very doubtful.
Baths. The same idea, but without the shops, is But the solutions arrived at are often extra-
found in the so-called Casette Tipo (Region i, ordinarily similar. The necessary complement
12 and 13),'* which were laid out on a single to a visit to the ruins of Ostia is a walk in the
occasion in a series of uniform blocks, sym- streets of old Trastevere.

metrically disposed; and, in a more elaborate


version, in the garden houses (iii, 9), which
SUBURBS AND COUNTRYSIDE
consisted of two large apartment blocks laid out
on a common plan in the middle of a large Outside the city things were very different.
garden. In contrast to the inward-looking Pom- Town house and country house had long parted
peian house, the widespread adoption of win- company. What had started as a community of
dow glass enabled many of the individual rooms peasant farmers had gradually evolved into the
at Ostia to be lit from the outside, and it w as no highly stratified society of the Late Republic
doubt similar considerations which determined and the Augustan Age. We have a great deal still
the most elaborate and most strikingly in- to learn about the detailed impact of this social

dividual development of the type in which the revolution upon the countryside of Italy; but
apartments were arranged around a central one of the immediate results of the widening of
court} ard in the manner of a Renaissance the range of the social scale was inevitably to
pcihizzo [82]. The courtyard was regularly diversify the pattern of living. At one extreme
arcaded, and it ranged in scale from what, in the there were now the great landowners with
House of Diana (ii, 3. 3), was hardly more than a estates up and down the length of Central Italy,

monumental light-well to the spacious central and even farther afield. Though very far from
corti/e of the Fiouse of the Muses (iii, 9. 22). being extravagantly wealthy by contemporary
There were individual staircases to the upper standards, Cicero, for example, had more than a
store) s; window-glass was common in the dozen scattered properties Latium and Cam-
in

better-class blocks; and although water had to pania. Some of these wealthy property owners
be fetched from a common tap, many apart- still preferred to live close to the land; and we

ments had provision for individual sanitation, have the examples of such agricultural special-
with chutes for garbage disposal. Heating was ists as Cato, Varro, and Columella to show us
by means of braziers. If one makes allowance for how much they might contribute to the well-
the perishable fittings, of which, unlike Pom- being of their estates. But (and this was increas-
peii, there are only scant remains, these apart- ingly true of the Late Republic and the Early
ment-houses represent a standard of middle- Empire) the vast majority now used some of
class living unequalled until quite recent times. their estates as part-time country residences,

The external appearance of these buildings and their standards of comfort and luxury were
[76, 85] was severe, relieved by an occasional those of the town rather than of the country. At
string-course or by projecting 'balconies''" and the other extreme, side by side with the freed-
dependent on the quality and texture of the men and slaves cultivating the properties of

brickwork (which was regularly exposed and absentee landlords, there were innumerable little
even, on occasion, picked out in a crimson slip men, both smallholders and tenant farmers,
with white pointing) and on the rhythm of living close to the soil and cultivating the land

doorways, arches, and windows. This was es- on which they lived.
sentially a practical, functional architecture and, It is against such a background that one has to

combined with the regular incorporation of view the architecture of the Italian countryside
shops at street level, it strikes a singular note of under the Early Empire. If the result is at first

modernity . That there was any real architec- sight bewildering in its variety, it can neverthe-
194 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

less be seen to fall very roughly into three broad rusticae, with which one may compare the long-
categories: there were the country residences of established fattorie and casali of the Roman
the rich, corresponding roughly to the country Campagna, centres of substantial agricultural
villas of Renaissance Italy; there were the i'/7/flf estates, run by bailiffs but often including a

117. Pompeii, Villa of the Mysteries. Plans.


(a) Second half of the second century B.C.;

(b) before the earthquake of A.D. 62

f/^

2sm
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 195

lodging for the visits of the landowner himself; yard but already beginning also to look out-
and at the lower end of the scale there were the wards; and, on the other, the emergence of a
modest farmhouses of the smallholders and type of country residence of which the dominat-
tenant farmers. That one will, in practice, find ing factor was increasingly the outer fa9ade,
infinite gradations between the several cat- which frequently took on a quasi-monumental
egories is the inevitable fate of any such classifi- character in relation to the landscape of which it

cation. It will serve none the less as a basis for was a closely integrated part.

discussion. The platforms of the well-to-do Republican


In the age of Augustus one can still dis- villas are a commonplace of the landscape from
tinguish two main types of wealthy country the Sabina right down to southern Latium and
residence. One was the relatively compact Campania. Many continued to be content with
platform-villa, a long-established type charac- the simple rectangular plan, built upon a single

teristic of (though not confined to) the Roman level around a central courtyard. Such, for
Campagna and southern Latium. The other was example, were the well-known villas of the
the far more loosely integrated seaside villa with country around Pompeii or the recently exca-
spreading porticoes, best known to us at this vated San Rocco villa in northern Campania

early date from the coastlands of Campania.'' [118].'^ But long before the end of the Republic
The two types had already met and mingled - one can discern a tendency to terrace the villa

not altogether surprisingly when one recalls that platform outwards so as to catch the breeze in
they represent ultimately a fusion between the summer and to enjoy the views which so many
same two traditions, betweeit the old compact of those villas were manifestly sited to com-
Italic atrium-house and the familiar type of mand. From this it was only a short step to

hellenistic house built around a central col- increasing the number of terraces and develop-
onnaded courtyard. Within the town the result ing the plan about an axis running up and down
was the essentially inward-looking atrium- the slope of the hillside. Around Terracina and
peristyle house. In the countryside there had, on Gaeta there are multiple-terraced villas of this
the other hand, from a very early date been a sort which must go back at least to the second
contrary tendency to open up the house out- century B.C. An unusually well documented
wards. Already in its earliest form the Villa of example is the Late Republican villa of which
the Mysteries, the best known of the 'suburban' Hadrian incorporated the substantial remains
villas of Pompeii, was surrounded on at least into his own great villa near Tivoli.'^ This was
three sides by a terraced portico [117A]. In this laid out at two levels, of which the lower
case the peristyle on the north-east (upper) side platform contained a garden with a typical

of the building was a later addition, of the late Republican nymphaeum, while the upper
second century B.C.; and it was later again, housed the villa proper, along the axis of which,
towards the middle of the first century a.d., that stretching back from the facade, lay an atrium
the south-western wing was transformed by the opening on to a tablinum, beyond this a second
addition in the centre of a large, projecting, tablinum facing on to a large peristyle, and
semicircular veranda flanked by a pair of com- beyond this again, cut into the hillside, a

fortable diaetae at the two corners [i 17B]. Here, stepped, semicircular exedra.
in the successive transformations of the Villa of The second type of Early Imperial villa, with
the Mysteries, we catch a vivid and instructive its more informal layout, is less immediately
glimpse of the impact of the two conflicting recognizable on the ground. From the fre-
trends in the Late Republican and Early Im- quency of its representation, however, in the
perial domestic architecture of the countryside: wall-paintings of Pompeii and Herculaneum
on the one hand the development of a compact [94], and from the regular association of such
platform-villa, grouped around a peristyle court- representations with seaside landscapes, we may
196 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

f?5JP COURTYARD COURTYARD


1
Q

VATS

MAIN ENTRANCE

118. Francolise, San Rocco villa, early first century. Plan. On the left, the residential block,
of which the portico and cubicula of the north-west facade enjoy superb views across the Ager Falernus.
On the right, the villa rustiai, with extensive facilities for pressing oil, threshing, and making tiles

reasonably deduce that it was originally de- single occasion, the layout of the buildings,
veloped locally, presumably when, in the clos- strung loosely around the shores of a narrow
ing decades of the first century B.C., the Cam- coastal inlet, very closely resembles that de-
panian coastlands began to take the place of picted in the Campanian landscapes. The main
Formia and Gaeta as the fashionable seaside residential block lay along the southern shore,
resort of the wealthy Roman. In this setting, facing north. It consisted of a large, rectangular,
with its distinctive landscape and strong Greek single-storeyed blocksome 230 by 260 feet in
traditions, one can readily understand the adop- extent, grouped around two peristyle court-
tion of a layout that relied less on the formal yards, with a portico and terrace along the
qualities of the architectural design than on the fa9ade, facing the head of the inlet. To the east
relation of the buildings to the natural scenery of it, stretching along the southern shore, lay a
around them. formal garden, partly terraced out into the
One of the few such villas to have been fully water, and a private anchorage sheltered by a
and systematically explored is not in Campania protecting mole. The coast of the northern side
at all but at Val Catena on the island of Brioni of the inlet was more irregular, an irregularity
Grande in the northern Adriatic [119].'^ Al- that was deliberately exploited in the layout of
though of slightly later date and not all built on a the quays and buildings along it. The principal
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 197

features on this side were an improved an- smaller scale that of the harbourside terrace in
chorage near the point; towards the centre an front of it, and along the whole length of it ran a
elaborate suite of baths and sunny, southward- portico, interrupted only at the head of the
facing rooms, and beside it, a rectangular U- curve by four large columns, which must have
shaped portico, also facing south; and, directly carried a gable projecting from the building
opposite the main block but facing south-east behind. The marked the position of a
gable
at a slight angle to it, a quayside portico large, open or partially open triclinium, with

475 feet (145 m.) long. At the head of the inlet, views both outwards across the water and
facing down it and linking the residential block inwards, through the arches or windows of a
to the long portico, was a large, concave projecting, curved inner wall, on to a peristyle
feature, consisting of three small shrines placed garden behind. Opening off the portico to either
symmetrically at the centre and two extremities side of the central room, on the oblique axis of
of a curved Doric portico, and, behind and the curve, there were two smaller chambers
above them, a second portico carried on a {diaetae). The long portico follows a simpler,
covered passageway, or cryptoportico. but no less effective, plan. This was the ambu-
The whole layout is of extraordinary interest lation where the owner of the villa and his close
and variety, qualities that are repeated in the friends might take their exercise or sit and enjoy
treatment of the individual groups of buildings, the view from one of the seats placed in the small
notably in the complex of living-rooms and rectangular or curved recesses along the rear
baths on the north side of the inlet. This was wall. A square central chamber might serve as a
grouped around a curved, re-entrant courtyard more intimate dining hall; and if the owner
which occupied the greater part of the frontage. wished seclusion, there was a small private suite
The curve of the fa9ade repeats on a slightly at the south-west end of the portico.

119. Island of Brioni Grande, ATHS


villa of Val Catena, first-second century.
Plan

loom
iqS ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

With this example before one, it is obvious buildings, the broad layout can be traced from
that a painting such as that from the House of the series of terraced platforms strung out along
Lucretius Fronto at Pompeii [95] is no flight of the cliff-top for a distance of well over 600 yards.
fancy, but depicts real architecture, the sort The main residential block lay towards the east
of building that the had seen many times
artist end, with a bath-building just behind it, and a
along the neighbouring coasts, possibly even an short distance to the west, at the same general
actual country property belonging to the owner level, there is the platform of what may have
of the house. Here same porticoed fa9ade
is the been a long LJ -shaped portico, facing out to sea
as at Val Catena, the same curving setback on across a garden laid out at a slightly lower level.
the central axis, in this case with a circular Beyond this again the terraces drop gently
pavilion in the centre, perhaps to house a westward, with a slight shift of alignment, and
fountain. For the convex porticoed feature at near the west end, built into and down the face
the ends of the two wings one may compare the of the cliff, are the remains of the so-called
Damecuta villa on Capri, described below. The 'Bagni di Tiberio', a separate waterside block of
projecting wings themselves, to be seen on apartments with its own enclosed pool, or
another Campanian painting, from Stabiae, miniature anchorage. A rather larger harbour
recall the U-shaped portico at Val Catena, or lay just outside the villa proper, to the east, and
that of another Dalmatian villa, at Punta Bar- scattered throughout the whole area are the
bariga near Ppla, where the summer quarters cisterns so essential for the amenities of a
were grouped around a LI -shaped peristyle, summer villa. To judge from what has survived,
which opened westwards directly on to the sea. itwas not a particularly elaborate or luxurious
There are several other Campanian paintings, example of its type. Strung out along the cliffs,
now in Naples, illustrating the broader layout of however, against a backcloth of wooded moun-
these seaside, or lakeside, villas, with their long, tains, it belongs unmistakably to this fascinating
low porticoes and deliberately informal group- class of villas, in which, as perhaps in no other
ing, to which it was essentially the setting of domestic architecture of the ancient world,
trees, rocks, and water that gave unity and landscape and buildings were so unmistakably
meaning. This was architecture in a landscape; a and indissolubly two parts of a single whole.
highly sophisticated landscape, it is true, but not Slightly later than the Palazzo a Mare, and far

for that reason anv the less deeply felt or less better preserved, are two other Capri resi-

skilfully handled.'^ dences, the Villa Jovis (the name is ancient) and
For an actual Augustan example of one of the Damecuta villa, both of which bear the
these Campanian seaside villas one may turn to unmistakable stamp of the sombre personality
the island of Capri. Though better known as the of Augustus's successor, Tiberius.
refuge to which Tiberius retired during the last The Villa Jovis [120, 121] is magnificently
ten years of his reign, the whole island had in situated on the rocky eastern summit of the
fact been acquired fifty years before by Augus- island, perched on a cliff that drops a thousand
tus, of whom-it was a favourite summer resort, feet sheer to the sea below. '^ The site did not
and to whose hand may certainly be attributed lend itself to spacious treatment; and the sus-
the so-called 'Palazzo a Mare'.'^ This lay along picious temper of the emperor forbade the
the open crest of the low cliffs, between 100 and luxury of development on lines that would have
150 feet above sea-level, half a mile to the west made it readily accessible from without. Despite
of the Marina Grande, in the middle of the these restrictions, however, the architect suc-
north coast of the island; and although the many ceeded in planning a residence that was no less a
structures then surviving suffered greatly in the part of its setting than the seaside villas just
early nineteenth century and one can now make described, incorporating several of their most
out verv little of the detail of the individual characteristic features. In such a position the
120. Capri, Villa Jovis, the private, mountain-top retreat built by the emperor Tiberius (14-37)

collection of every drop of rainwater was an cycle, one may recognize the audience hall and
urgent necessity, and the core of the villa was a reception rooms necessary to an emperor even
rectangular courtyard measuring 100 by 100 in retirement. To the north, almost completely
feet (30 by 30 m.), suspended over a network of detached beyond a suite of four rooms occupied
massive, vaulted cisterns. Built around and by the emperor's personal servants and body-
against this nucleus, at a number of different guard, lay the emperor's private apartments.
levels connected by staircases and ramps, were Very modest in scale but richly appointed, they
four distinct wings. The entrance, with a opened on to a sheltered terrace, with steps
columned vestibule and guardroom, was at the leading up to a belvedere offering magnificent
south-west angle. Along the south side, sep- views over the greater part of the island and the
arated from the main block by a corridor, lay a Bay of Naples. From the entrance to the private
suite of baths; along the west side, built up apartments a corridor, with a ramp and flights of
against the sheer outer face of the cistern block, steps, led down to a long, narrow terraced walk,
were the lodgings of the emperor's entourage, set on the lip of the steep northern slopes, some
three almost identical storeys of simple, cell-like distance from, and 60-70 feet below, the level of
rooms, each opening on to a long, narrow- the main block. This was the ambulatio of the
corridor; and along the north and east sides, cut villa, just like that of the Val Catena villa, with

off from the rest of the building and carefully recesses for seats and, in the centre, a vaulted
shielded against any unauthorized access, were dining-room with a small suite of private rooms
the quarters of the emperor himself. In the opening off Other related structures are a
it.

buildings of the east wing, a suite of rather signal tower and lighthouse, situated on an
larger rooms backing on to a projecting hemi- eminence a hundred vards to the south of the
200 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

121. Capri, Villa Jovis.


Sections and plan

50m
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 201

main block; below, and projecting from the spicuous feature is the curved projection of the
western wing, a large kitchen; and, somewhat central part of the seaward facade, with the
detached from the rest, a group of massive footings of a porticoed loggia running around
foundations sometimes identified as those of the the outer face, and at the opposite end of the
observatory of the emperor's private astrologer, ambulatio, below the rock platform of a medi-
Thrasyllus. To the west, terraced down the eval tower on the site of what was perhaps a

slopes, are traces of gardens. belvedere, there is an isolated suite of small but
Few Roman buildings that have come down luxuriously fitted rooms, terraced into the cliff

to us convey such a vivid impression of the face and approached only by a narrow ramp and
personality of the unknown architect and of his steps. As must be the
in the Villa Jovis, this

skill inwedding the unusual terms of his emperor's private That the same architect
suite.

commission to the potentialities of a magnificent was responsible for the two buildings one can
but difficult site. Here, on a waterless mountain- hardly doubt. The main difference is that here
top, throughout the summer months the em- he was free to develop his plan upon more
peror could conduct affairs of state or retire into conventional lines, more closely resembling
absolute seclusion, enjoying the beauties of those of the Augustan Palazzo a Mare. The
nature and as safe as human ingenuity could baths, the service buildings, and the lodging for
contrive, and yet maintained by an ample staff the emperor's retinue were scattered over a
and surrounded by every comfort. A modern considerable area within the grounds, which
housewife might criticize the location of the every analogy suggests were elaborately planted
kitchen, but by contemporary standards it was and landscaped.
unusually large and well appointed. The plan- To follow the story up in the same detail is

ning was as sensitive as it was skilful. The impossible within the compass of a general
diversity of interest resulting from the loose, review of Roman architecture. Nor is it neces-
spreading layout of most of these luxury villas sary. If one makes allowance for the rapid
was here achieved within the limitations of a increase in luxury during the first century A.D.,

compact, tightly organized plan by means of a for the impact of the new building materials and
skilful play of levels. On such a site a more for the innumerable cross-currents inevitable
relaxed plan might well have spelt architectural within a society in a state of rapid evolution, the
confusion. story is in its essentials one of the development
The site of the Damecuta villa, 500 feet above of architectural themes that were established
sea-level on the broad, shelving promontory under Augustus and his immediate successors.
that slopes gently downwards from Anacapri, One important current- somewhat paradoxi-
towards the north-west corner of the island, cally leads back to Rome. The Roman taste for
lacked the rugged grandeur of the Villa Jovis landscaping and for gardens was, it seems, one
but offered far greater scope for the develop- of the many introductions from the hellenistic
ment of the individual buildings. ^^ The re- world that took steady root and throve on Italian
mains, being more accessible, have suffered far soil. Already by the end of the Republic it had
more than those of the Villa Jovis, and, apart manifested itself in a wide variety of related
from the huge cisterns on the upper part of the forms: within the towns by the addition of the
site, the principal features now visible are those peristyle to the old atrium-house and by the
along the brow of the cliffs that slope steeply creation of such monumental formal gardens as

towards the north-west. Here the central feature the Porticoes of Pompey and of Livia;'** in the

is an ambulatio of the familiar pattern, following open countryside by the creation of the land-
the line of the cliff edge, with alcoves for seats on scaped country villas of southern Latium and
the landward side. At the south-west end are the Campania and, within a generation or two, on
substructures of what appears to have been a the Adriatic coast too, and in North Italy; and
residential block, of which the most con- thirdly, as the city centres grew more and more
202 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

crowded, by the development of the villae model the villa of his birth. ^^ Too little has come
suburbanae and the parks (horti) of the wealthy down to us (and that little too ill studied) to
upper classes. By the middle of the first century convey any coherent picture of the whole, but it

B.C. Rome was already ringed around by such was undoubtedly a luxurious seaside estate of a

private properties, very much in the manner of type from innumerable earlier ex-
familiar
the belt of Renaissance villas and parks which amples. Another early venture (it was in occu-
formed an almost continuous ring around the pation by a.d. 60) was the villa at Subiaco.^^
city right down to 1870. Some of these estates This too was built around the nucleus of an
were subsequently built over: the gardens ad- earlier building, but in this case the site was
joining the Baths of Agrippa and the Mauso- completely transformed by damming the valley
leum of Augustus were probably carved out of below the later monastery to create an artificial

what was left of the horti of the Republican lake, so creating a landscaped 'seaside' villa
Campus Martins. Others, such as the Gardens within the setting of an upland Apennine valley.
of Lucullus, of Sallust, and of Maecenas, Yet another contributory circumstance was
survived as parks and private residences; and Nero's inheritance of a property on the Velia
belonging wholly neither to town or country, and his decision to link the imperial estates on
they were the natural meeting-point of the two the Palatine and on the Quirinal and Caelian
divergent architectural traditions. For example, Hills into a single residence, the Domus Transi-
the great hemicycle of the Early Augustan villa toria. It was from these ingredients that the idea
suburbana beneath the Farnesina'" finds its of the Golden House took shape - a landscaped
closest contemporary analogies in Campania. villa of which the central feature was an artificial

They were, moreover, a natural field for fantasy lake, and at the same time a villa suburbana and
and experiment. We have already suggested that its surrounding parkland transplanted to the
the garden pavilions, fountain-buildings, and heart of Rome. Here, on a scale never to be
grottoes of those parks may have had a lot to do repeated, was embodied the Roman vision ofrus
with shaping the new spatial conceptions that in urhe.

characterize the palace architecture of the later This determination to have the best of both
first century a.d. Last but not least, like the worlds, to enjoy all the advantages of an
English which in
eighteenth-century parks advanced urban civilization within a setting of
many ways they so closely resemble, they were the rustic amenities that Italy was so well
the embodiment of the cultured ideals of the equipped to offer, is perhaps the most consistent
age. It is to the pages of Cicero or Pliny that we single characteristic of all this wealthy country
have to turn for a glimpse of the intellectual architecture of the Early Empire. It cut right
conventions which lay behind the 'gymnasium' across the traditional formal proprieties of
porticoes and garden terraces (xystoi), or of the peristyle and portico, of town and country, of
literary conceits which shaped the precursors of nature and art. When Tiberius or Caligula
the 'stadium' of the Domus Augustana and the remodelled the upper terrace of Pompey's great
"^
'Academy' of Hadrian's Villa. platform-villa at Albano [122],^^ with its mag-
In course of time a great many of these nificent views out across Lanuvium towards the
properties fell into imperial hands, and as they sea, the scheme adopted was essentially that of
did so they offered an irresistible outlet for the the House of the Stags at Herculaneum [112],
more frivolous architectural whims of the reign- with a central pergola and garden flanked by two
ing emperor. Both Caligula and Nero were diaetae; but the conventions of conservative,
active in this field, and under the latter a rectangular planning were thrown to the winds.
combination of circumstances gave a new and The diaetae were angled so as to take full
dramatic twist to the resulting development. advantage of the summer and winter sun, and
Nero was born at Antium (Anzio), and one of the rooms behind were fitted in around the
his earliest architectural ventures was to re- hemicycle of the north-east facade in a manner
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 203

122. Albano, villa of Pompey, first century B.C.


remodelled in the first century A.D. Plan

which in the context must surely reflect the the Via Appia, and besides incorporating several

latest models among the villae suburbanae of the earlier landscaped villas it was dotted with

capital. From it was only a


this sort of thing buildings of its own, among which one can still

the octagon of the Golden House. identify a theatre, a 'stadium', 'gymnasium'


short step to
terraces and promenades, waterside jetties, and
Half a century later the Villa of Pompey
became part of Domitian's great estate at an abundance of pavilions and fountain-

Albano.--'' The latter's country house beside the buildings.The main residence occupied one
Lago di Paola, near Monte Circeo,^^ seems to end of the three descending terraces on the
have been a seaside portico-villa of conventional seaward side of the crest and, though never
type. That at Albano, on the other hand, was adequately explored, it must have been a build-

comparable both in scale and character to the ing of considerable pretensions, at least three

Golden House and Hadrian's Villa, a palace in storeys high and making full use of the latest
building methods and materials, as we see them
all but name. The park stretched from Castel

Gandolfo to Albano and from the lake to beyond in the buildings of Rabirius on the Palatine.
204 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

All these traditions and trends were caught deliberate juxtaposition of conflicting axes that
up and consummated in Hadrian's great villa at follow the natural lie of the ground,^^ stems
TivoH [123, 124]. The architecture of most of straight from the landscaped villas of the pre-
the individual buildings was strictly contem- vious century, and the themes of the individual
porary. The layout, on the other hand, with its buildings and groups of buildings belong to an

123 and 124 (opposite). Tivoli, Hadrian's villa, between 118 and 134, model and plan
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 205

S^% At:Al)EMYiC. / >.. ^r

TR. Triclinium
206 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

even earlier tradition, that of the wealthy Late archaeologist and the social historian rather
Republican villa- the terraced 'gymnasia' with than of the historian of classical architecture.
their libraries and sculpture galleries, the the- Under the later Empire the interest of the
atres, the belvedere tower ('Roccabruna'), the Italian villa in suburb or country shifts increas-
covered portico for exercise (the 'Percile'), the ingly away from landscape and large-scale
bath-buildings, the pavilions and al fresco planning and towards the architectural treat-
dining halls. The names given to many of these ment of the individual buildings. Here, while
buildings-** were not the whims of a much most villa owners seem to have been content
travelled emperor, nor were they in any sig- with relatively minor adaptations of the tradi-
nificant sense copies of thefamous places and tional schemes, a certain number did follow the
monuments whose names they bear. They were lead of Domitian and of Hadrian in exploring
traditional conceits, to which Hadrian's own their development in terms of the new concrete
well-known philhellenic tastes were no more architecture. One such experiment was that
than a contributory factor. embodied in the 'Grotte di Catullo', a very large

The country residences of the emperor and of platform-villa built, probably early in the
the very rich were one aspect only of the rural second century, at the northern tip of the
scene, albeit one which increasingly tended to peninsula of Sirmione, on Lake Garda [125].-'

become identified with the more progressive The plan was symmetrical about its longer,
trends in contemporary architecture. Side by north-south axis and consisted of a rectangular
side with these great estates there were in- central block, 590 feet long and 345 feet wide
numerable smaller properties for which the (180 by 105 m.), with two small rectangular
peristyle-villa long remained the established blocks projecting at the two ends. That at the

norm. Many of the early buildings remained in north end was built up on enormous substruc-
active use, remodelled and modernized but still tures to carry a terrace, offering magnificent
recognizably grouped around their original views out over the lake, and although the terrace
courtyard nucleus. The Tuscan villa of Pliny itself has gone, the plan suggests a version of the
the Younger, for example, still possessed an familiar theme of a triclinium looking out across
atrium, ex more veterum?'^ For another thing, a terrace with a pair of flanking diaetae and
over large parts of the Mediterranean world, perhaps a pergola. The other living quarters
from Spain to Syria, the peristyle-house was the faced inwards on to the very large garden
standard form of better-class domestic architec- courtyard which occupied the centre of the main
ture both in town and country; and with the block. The layout, though based on the
steady breaking-down of regional barriers Italy peristyle-villa, was monumental in conception
was bound to be influenced increasingly by and was clearly the product of the same sort of
provincial practice. In the absence of systematic architectural thinking as that embodied in the
excavation we do not know nearly as much as we ceremonial wing of the Domus Augustana.
should like to know about the lesser country The 'Grotte di Catullo' represent an experi-
houses of Roman Italy (far less than we know, ment that was not followed up widely, if at all. A
for example, about their Romano-British equi- more representative picture of second-century
valents), but it is almost certainly true to say that enterprise is offered by the wealthy 'suburban'
among villas of any architectural pretensions the villa of Sette Bassi, outside Rome near the sixth
peristyle-house remained by far the commonest milestone on the Via Latina [126, 127]. This was
type right down to late antiquity. There were of the product of three successive building cam-
course also innumerable smaller, simpler build- paigns undertaken in rapid succession between
ings in everyday local use; but about these we about 140 and 160." The first of these was
are even worse informed. For the present they conventional in plan and consisted of a compact
must be held to fall within the province of the residential block occupying the south side of a
'

DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 207

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u 3

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large garden peristyle. Except for a number of segmental arches carried on travertine brackets,
smaller upper rooms the whole building occu- akin to the 'balconies' (maeniana) of Ostia and of
pied a single level, and the exterior at this stage the fagade of Trajan's market hall overlooking
was very simple. Very soon after completion a the Via Biberatica. The third stage was the most
second wing was added, along the west side of elaborate of all. This involved the building of a
the entrance peristyle. This involved terracing new wing across the north end of the area
out on substructures and, although smaller, the immediately west of the the existing building
added wing was more ambitious in design. The and the addition of a vast cryptoportico, over
southern half of the new west facade was 1,000 feet long, enclosing the whole area west
occupied by a projecting hemicyclical veranda, and south of the residential complex as a formal,
with a portico enclosing a fountain court, and terraced garden. The new north wing was
the outer face of the supporting terrace was monumental both in scale and in intention. The
crowned with a decorative motif of shallow whole length of it was built up on terraced
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY
20g

126 (opposite) and 127.Rome, Via Latina, Villa of Sette Bassi, c. 140-60,
facade (now and restored views of villa,
fallen),

looking north-westw ards, and of north fagade

^^<
-^
'^t.
-V/ "rPti-.-lt;
'S
?? -jjfr:

^ (approx.

substructures to counteract the natural west- continuous roof-line of the corridors, did in fact
ward fall of the ground, and the piano nobile was provide a most effective focus for the whole
divided almost equally between, at the east end, composition at the point where the natural fall

two suites of rooms (one of them a bath- in the ground gave it the maximum of emphasis.
building) opening off an arcaded courtyard, and For all its debt to the villas of the previous
at the west end two very large, lofty reception century - the garden, for example, is patently a
halls. The latter rose clear of all the surrounding sophisticated version of the 'stadium' motif -
structures and occupied the full width of the this was a strictly contemporary building. The
building between the pair of corridors which ran arcaded courtyards, the windows, the brick
down the north and south facades at this level; mouldings and bracketed 'balconies', all of these
and although there was no attempt at formal came straightfrom contemporary urban prac-
symmetry, the large triple windows and gabled tice. So did the decorative use, without any
roofs of these halls, towering high above the stucco surfacing, of such elements as window-
ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A.D. 235

frames and relieving arches and of the masonry Constantinian age, which will be discussed in a

facing itself, in this case a very early and later chapter, are the great villa of Piazza
effective use of opus mixtum, in which the Armerina and Diocletian's palace at Spalato.

brickwork alternated with bands and panels of


small tufa blocks. Among the many features that THE LATE ROMAN
looked forward to later practice (at Spalato, for
TOWN HOUSES OF OSTIA
example) were the high lighting of the main
halls and the corridors along the main facades. ^^ It remains to make brief reference to the rather
The small inner 'peristyle' of the early block, surprising re-emergence in late antiquity of the
with its principal living-room looking out across domus as a significant feature of the metro-
a small arcaded garden courtyard on to an politan city scene. Once again it is Ostia that
elaborate fountain structure, was already mov- furnishes the evidence. For nearly two centuries
ing towards a type of plan that was common in such single family residences as had been built
fourth-century Ostia. Perhaps the most striking at Ostia were almost invariably of the peristyle
anticipation of late antique and medieval prac- type, built around a colonnaded or arcaded
tice was the use of slender, sloping buttresses to courtyard. Good examples are the second-
support the plunging outer faces of the crypto- century House of Fortuna Annonaria [i28a]^*'
portico and of the circular towers at the angles and the somewhat later, more orthodoxly plan-
of it. ned House of the Columns [73].^^ There was
The most obvious distinguishing characteris- invariably one main reception room, the tri-
tic of the Sette Bassi villa is its application of clinium, and the first-named had also one
up-to-date building techniques and masonry centrally-heated room - the earliest example in
finishes to introduce an element of taut monu- domestic use yet recorded from Ostia. But these
mentality within the hitherto rather relaxed were the exceptions. Right down to the middle
sprawl of the landscaped country residence. of the third century the standard urban
Domitian seems to have set the fashion in his residence even of the well-to-do was the
villa at Albano, and tower-like residential blocks apartment-house, or insula.

two and three storeys high are a feature of Under the later Empire, however, as land
several other wealthy second-century villas on values dropped, there was a marked shift of

the periphery of Rome - the Villa of the Quintilii emphasis away from the insula and back to the
on the Via Appia, for example, or the 'Mura di domus. The late antique private houses of Ostia
S. Stefano', near Anguillara.-^-' In other respects follow no regular plan, preferring to adapt
the wealthy domestic architecture of the Central themselves wherever possible to the structures
Italian countryside seems to have been content of already existing buildings. But they do have a
to exploit the existing models. The Horti great many distinctive features in common with
Variani of Elagabalus were still an elaborately each other - a courtyard, usually containing an
landscaped villa suburbana of which the known elaborate fountain; opening off the courtyard,
buildings include a circus, an amphitheatre (the often up several steps, the main living-room of
Amphitheatrum Castrense), a bath-building the house; central heating in one or more rooms
(the Thermae Helenae), and the great audience and in several cases private lavatories; a lavish

hall which Constantine converted into the use of coloured marbles on walls and floors; and
church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme.^"* The a marked taste for apses and for triple-arched
Villa of Maxentius, with its more compact columnar screens of a type widely used in late
articulation of residence, circus, and maus- antiquity as an alternative to (and no doubt
oleum, does, like so much of Maxentius 's work, originally developed from) the 'arcuated lintel'
suggest the impact of new ideas. ''^
In the event, convention. In the already existing House of
however, these were stillborn. The represen- Fortuna Annonaria [128A] the innovations
tative monuments of the immediately pre- were aimed mainly at the enlargement and
DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 211

128. Ostia. Plans of houses and apartment-houses.


(a) House of Fortuna Annonaria, late second century,
remodelled in the fourth century;

(b) House of Cupid and Psyche, c. 300;


(c) House of Diana, c. 150 [cf. 76];
(d) Garden House, 117-38
212 ROME AND ITALY FROM AUGUSTUS TO A. D. 235

129. Ostia, House of Cupid and Psyche, c. 300, looking the corridor and fountain court [cf 128B]

embellishment of the triclinium by the addition parallels would seem to lie rather with the
of a large apse, a fountain (with latrine behind) contemporary houses of Syria, as revealed by
along the south wall, and a triple-arched screen the Antioch excavations. With their intimate
towards the courtyard. The House of Cupid and association of triclinia and fountain courtyards
Psyche [128B, 129]^^ rather unusually had an and their seemingly deliberate avoidance of
upper storey over the western range of small symmetry, buildings such as the early-third-
rooms. Even so more than half the available century house at Seleucia [210] or the late-
floor space was taken up by the luxuriously third-century House of Menander at Antioch'*"

marbled, centrally heated triclinium and by the do indeed have a great deal in common with
large central corridor, one side of which was an these late Ostian houses. At a time when the old
arched columnar screen looking out across the regional barriers were everywhere breaking
garden courtyard to the elaborate fountain that down, nothing is in fact more likely than that
occupied the whole of the east wall. Ostia, with its many Oriental connexions,
These houses represent something quite new should have drawn upon the experience of the
in Italian domestic architecture. Analogies have wealthiest and most influential city of the
been sought in North Africa, ''* but the closest Roman East.
PART TWO

THE ARCHITECTURE
OF THE ROMAN PROVINCES

CHAPTER 9

GAUL AND THE EUROPEAN PROVINCES

Within the confines of Italy it is still possible to to-day exchange and those that derived instead
speak of 'Roman architecture' and to under- from the individual traditions and propensities
stand thereby an architecture which reflects that of its very diverse constituent peoples.
of the capital so closely that the term is Of the many cultural boundaries that one can
intelligible without further qualification. There draw within the Roman Empire, by far the most
were indeed diversities of local taste and prac- important is that which separated the Greek-
tice, but these were no more than one would speaking provinces of the eastern Mediter-
expect to find as a result of the very considerable ranean, including the eastern Balkans and
differences that still existed in Italy under the Cyrenaica, from the Latin-speaking West. The
Early Empire, in historical and social traditions difference is one not merely of language (there
as well as in climate, materials, and building were indeed substantial areas in the west, in

practices. As Roman political authority expan- Southern Italy and Provence, where Greek long
ded, however, Rome found herself the political remained the common language of the educated
mistress of a kaleidoscopic variety of peoples classes) The eastern
but also of recent history.
covering every shade of the civilized spectrum. part of the Roman Empire corresponds closely
It was her great achievement that, after an initial in extent with the hellenistic kingdoms estab-
period of exploitation and misrule under the lished after the death of Alexander, and
Late Republic, she did succeed in welding this throughout these territories Rome was dealing
heterogeneous assortment into a body politic with peoples who either boasted a far longer
within which all the participants could feel native tradition in the arts than she did, or else
themselves to be in some real sense Romans. had at the very least undergone the same
But this took time. Under the Early Empire hellenistic experience as herself. In matters of
there was still a wide gulf between the super- the arts she was dealing here with her equals or
ficial unity of the political framework and the superiors. In the European West she was, on the
extraordinary diversity of cultures, social other hand, for the most part confronted by
habits, and languages contained within it. Any civilizations which, whatever their poten-
study of classical art in the wider setting of the tialities, were substantially inferior to her own.
Empire is almost bound, therefore, to find Even here the process of romanization can be
expression in a dialogue between those elements seen in the long run to have been one of give and
that accompanied the uniting of a large part of it was Rome that
take; but in the early stages
the civilized world upon a basis of peaceful, day- was the dominating member of the exchange.
214 THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE ROMAN PROVINCES

Within the Latin-speaking half of the Empire Zaragoza, and the first two non-Italian emper-
there were regional and local differences hardly ors, Trajan and Hadrian, were both of Romano-
less far-reaching than those between East and Spanish stock, from Italica near Seville. Then as
West - differences of geographical orientation, now, however, Spain was a land of strong
inwards towards the Mediterranean or out- contrasts. Despite the fact that large parts of it

wards towards the Atlantic, the Rhine, and the had been under Roman rule since 206 B.C.,
Danube; differences of cultural background, Augustus two hundred years later had to engage
between those territories that already had en- in long and bitter fighting before the entire

joyed some measure of urban life under Greek peninsula was finally subdued; and although it

or Carthaginian rule and those that the Romans had valuable resources, particularly in minerals,
found still organized upon a purely tribal basis; romanization was never as broadly based as it

and differences of historical circumstance, be- was in Gaul. Even if one makes allowance for
tween those which settled down rapidly under the continuous occupation since Roman times
civilian rule to enjoy the fruits of the Roman of most of the major cities and the consequent
Peace and those in which Roman civilization destruction of most of the finer monuments, one
was, and long remained, dependent upon the can hardly fail to be struck by the limitations of
presence of the army. When one recalls the great the Hispano-Roman architectural tradition.
differences also of climate and of natural re- The finest monuments are significantly those

sources (over much of Northern and Central of the Early Empire, from Augustus to Trajan.
Europe, for example, timber was still available By contrast the two preceding centuries of
for building in almost unlimited quantities) it is Republican rule have in themselves left little

hardly surprising that the resulting provincial tangiblemark on the archaeological record.
architecture should be seen to cover a very wide There must have been fortifications and public
range of local practice. works of a specifically Roman character during
Nevertheless, by comparison with the pro- this period; and the establishment of military
vincial cultures of the eastern half of the Empire colonies, of which Italica (206 B.C.) was the first,
those of the European provinces during the first had undoubtedly helped to spread urban life on
two and a half centuries of our era do display the the Mediterranean model. But although there is

w ider unity of a civilization which in almost all at present little to show how much of all this was
its manifestations stemmed more or less directly based directly on Italian models and how much
from Italy. It is this wider unity which must be was evolved locally within the framework of the
held to justify the devotion of the greater part established Graeco-Punic building tradition,
of this chapter to the architecture of a single there can in fact be little doubt that, as in
region, Gaul. Roman Gaul is broadly repre- Provence and in Punic Africa, the real long-
sentative of what was happening all along the term significance of the Republican Roman
northern frontiers of the Empire. It was unique presence in Spain was that it prepared the
only in the degree to which it succeeded in ground for the outburst of building activity that
making Roman civilization its own. took place under Augustus and his immediate
successors. To cite a single example, Merida,
the military colony of Augusta Emerita founded
THE IBERIAN PENINSULA
in 25 B.C., by 18 B.C. already possessed a fine
Spain' was the only western province with an theatre and by 8 B.C. an amphitheatre; and the
early flowering in any way comparable to that of other known structures of Merida that are
Gaul. Spaniards were among the first provincial attributed to the Augustan or the immediately
citizens to take their place as equals within the following period include three aqueducts, a
Empire; Seneca was born at Cordoba, Quin- circus, and a magnificent sixty-arch bridge
tilian at Calahorra (the Roman Calagarris), near across the river Guadiana.
mmm\ :f.%;--**^,

A\

130. Segovia, aqueduct, variously dated to the early first and to the early second century.
It still carries the city's water supply

A characteristic of this early work, and one stone locally available. In the great aqueduct at
which continued for a long time to make itself Segovia, nearly 900 yards and 128 arches long
felt in Spanish provincial building, was the fine and nearly 100 feet high at its highest point
tradition of opus quadratum stone masonry. [130], the blocks were left rough, giving an air of
The workmanship varied with the quality of the solid strength to the unusually tall, slender
2l6 THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE ROMAN PROVINCES

piers. ^ The builder of the aqueduct of Los Coimbra in north-central Portugal. Here, in the
Milagros at Merida, on the other hand, em- middle of what had been a pre-Roman pro-
ployed smaller courses of stone, using them as a montory settlement, the existing buildings were
facing around a core of concreted rubble and levelled to make way for a civic centre built in
alternating them with narrow bands of brick, the new Roman manner. This in its turn was
very much as in a lot of Gaulish work. The swept aside a century later, but the foundations
aqueduct at Tarragona, another impressive but and in places the substructures present a picture
more conventionally proportioned structure, that is clear in its essentials [132A, b]. A
over 200 yards long and 250 feet high, used a central paved piazza, measuring 125 by 83 feet

coarse mason's drafting, whereas the builders of (38.10 by 25.35 m) - a strict application of
the bridge at Merida chose a heavy bossing, akin the Vitruvian precept (v. i, 2) that the dimen-
to the decorative hugnato of Renaissance prac- sions of a public place should be in a ratio of 3:2
tice. Another justly renowned bridge is that - was framed on the south and west by
built in 106 by Trajan over the Tagus at porticoes; shops opened off the west portico,
Alcantara [131]. This was a structure of de- and, facing them, along the east side of the
ceptively simple-looking proportions (the six paved open space, were a severely simple, three-
arches are, in fact, of four different spans) with aisled basilica and a small rectangular chamber
an arch spanning the carriageway over the with a vestibule, which in the context must
central pier and a small bridgehead temple. An surely have housed the curia. At the north end
unusual feature of the dedicatory inscription is the ground dropped, and here a cryptoportico
that names the architect. Gains Julius Lacer.
it formed the substructure of an upraised trans-
One reminded of another Trajanic bridge-
is verse portico and, axially beyond it, the square
builder who was also an architect, Apollodorus cella of a temple. The layout, a concise architec-
of Damascus.^ tural expression of the three fundamentals of
For a graphic vision of what Romanization Roman civic life, official religion, orderly
meant in the Iberian peninsula we now have the government, and commerce, is in effect that of
excavations at Conimbriga in Lusitania, near the forum at Velleia, except that, as at lader

Alcantara, bridge over the Tagus, 106


THE IBERIAN PENINSULA 217

(Zadar) in Dalmatia, the basilica is displaced to .,

one side. It also recalls Velleia, and countless


other pre-existing urban centres throughout the c;uYi' I oi'oi^ 1 1(

Empire (we shall be meeting well documented


North African examples at Thugga (Dougga)
and Sabratha), in the readiness of Roman

c:RYi'ic)i'c^init:c)

FC:)RUM
<
a

H H I H .

""
B H H
H H
-11=-I1-J 1=1

132. Conimbriga. (a) and (b) Forum,


(a) late Augustan (r. a.d. 1-14), and, replacing it

(see dotted outline), (b) late Trajanic

architects to a symmetry
impose an order and pseudoperipteral Corinthian building, set with-
which were what was there before as
as alien to in a raised temenos and framed on three sides
the Via Nazionale was to nineteenth-century by double porticoes. This was a thoroughly
Rome or the boulevards and expressways of conventional scheme, little more than an opu-
modern Brussels. lent restatement of its predecessor, and it was
When the site was redeveloped towards the one that would have been at home in any of the
end of the first century a.d. the shops, the western provinces; we shall meet something
basilica, and the curia were eliminated, pre- very like it at Sabratha in Tripolitania. By con-
sumably to be resited independently, and their trast, the other major public building to be exca-
place was taken by an enlarged forum, enclosed vated, the South Baths [132c, d], did undergo
symmetrically on three sides by porticoes and a substantial and significant architectural de-
dominated on the fourth side by the temple, velopment. The original Augustan building, a

now rebuilt as a free-standing tetrastyle, compact, interconnecting suite of hot and cold
2l8 THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE ROMAN PROVINCES

r--ir-nf-

Gaidar lum PAL. Palaesti


F Frigidarium S Services
L Lavatory x Tepidarium
LAC Laconicum

132. Conimbriga.
(c) and (d) central bath-building,
(c) late Augustan {c.a.d. 1-14)
and, replacing (see dotted outline),
it

(d) late Trajanic (c.a.d. 105-15) WWW


rooms with an open-air cold plunge and a small Cadiz, which consisted of three distinct temples
palaestra, was closely based on Pompeian mod- placed side by side, as at Sbeitla (Sufetula) in

els. Its Trajanic successor, on the other hand, Africa [274]; a growing number of residential
was not only larger and richer, but it embodied villas, some of them very wealthy and reflecting
quite a different type of layout, planned sym- both in their plans and in their mosaic de-
metrically about its north-south axis, in this