CLAS 2250/ HART 2250 - Roman Art & Architecture


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Ramona Romero
She, her, hers
Central Library

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Knowing where to start isn't always easy, especially when you're dealing with an unfamiliar subject.  Sometimes the best place to start is a subject specific dictionary or encyclopedia. Below is a selected list of print and online reference resources.

Available Online

Available in Print

  • Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World

​Central Library, Reference 6th-flr:  ATLAS G1033 .B3 2000

In 99 full-color maps, the atlas recreates the entire world of the Greeks and Romans from the British Isles to the Indian subcontinent and deep into North Africa

  • Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC)

Central Library, Reference 4th-flr: NX650 .M9 L494

The LIMC tries to present what we know of the iconography of Greek, Etruscan and Roman mythology as well as of the neighbouring Mediterranean cultures. Each of the illustrated figures of Greek, Etruscan and Roman mythology is discussed in alphabetic order, usually in an individual article of a uniform structure.

  • Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae

Central Library, Stacks 3rd-flr:  DG63 .L49 1993

Encyclopedia covering the physical fabric of ancient Rome, both as it survives in archeological remains and as it can be deduced from literary, numismatic, epigraphical, and other sources. Organized alphabetically.

The Social History of Roman Art

The character of Roman art history has changed in recent years. More than ever before, it is concerned with the role of art in ancient society, including the functions that it served and the values and assumptions that it reflects. At the same time, images have become centrally important to the study of ancient history in general. This book offers a, critical introduction to Roman art against the background of these developments. Focusing on selected examples and themes, it sets the images in context, explains how they have been interpreted, and explodes some of the modern myths that surround them. It also explores some of the problems and contradictions that we face when we try to deal with ancient art in this manner. From wall-paintings to statues, from coins to the gravestones, this is a lucid and often provocative appraisal of the world of Roman images.

The Splendor of Roman Wall Painting

Following an introduction to the Roman domestic ideal that inspired these wall decorations and a discussion of the evolution in painting styles, the author conducts a tour of twenty-eight houses in Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, and the city of Rome. Here are painted scenes—rich with fabulous details of illusionistic architecture, lush gardens, exotic animals, and erotic adventures—impressive in their display of technical mastery and enduring in their visual impact.

The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture

The study of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture has a long history that goes back to the second half of the 18th century and has provided an essential contribution towards the creation and the definition of the wider disciplines of Art History and Architectural History. This venerabletradition and record are in part responsible for the diffused tendency to avoid general discussions addressing the larger theoretical implications, methodologies, and directions of research in the discipline. This attitude is in sharp contrast not only with the wider field of Art History, but alsowith disciplines that are traditionally associated with the study of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, like Classics and Classical Archaeology. In recent years, the field has been characterized by an ever-increasing range of approaches, under the influence of various disciplines such asSociology, Semiotics, Gender Theory, Anthropology, Reception Theory, and Hermeneutics. In light of these recent developments, this Handbook seeks to explore key aspects of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, and to assess the current state of the discipline.The Handbook includes thirty essays, in addition to the introduction, by an international team of leading senior scholars, who have played a critical role in shaping the field, and by younger scholars, who will express the perspectives of a newer generation. After a framing introduction written bythe editor, which compares ancient and modern notions of art and architecture, the Handbook is divided into five sections: Pictures from the Inside, Greek and Roman Art and Architecture in the Making, Ancient Contexts, Post-Antique Contexts, and Approaches. Together, the essays in the volume makefor an innovative and important book, one that is certain to find a wide readership.

Roman Art in the Private Sphere

Roman Art in the Private Sphere presents an impressive case for the social and art historical importance of the paintings, mosaics, and sculptures that filled the private houses of the Roman elite. The six essays in this volume range from the first century BCE to the fourth century CE, and from the Italian peninsula to the Eastern Empire and North African provinces, treating works of art that belonged to every major Roman housing type: the single-family atrium houses and the insula apartment blocks in Italian cities, the dramatically sited villas of the Campanian coast and countryside, and the palatial mansions of late antique provincial aristocrats. This new edition includes a fresh contribution by editor Elaine Gazda, tracing the developments in the treatment of private Roman art since the publication of the original edition of Roman Art in the Private Sphere.

The Artists of the Ara Pacis: The Process of Hellenization in Roman Relief Sculpture

The Ara Pacis Augustae, or Altar of Augustan Peace, was built to commemorate the return to Rome of the emperor Augustus and his general Agrippa, who had been away for many years on military campaigns. Dedicated in 9 B.C., the monument consists of an altar and surrounding wall, both decorated with a series of processional friezes. Art historians and archaeologists have made the Ara Pacis one of the best-known, most-studied monuments of Augustan Rome, but Diane Conlin's reassessment of the artistic traditions in which its sculptors worked makes a groundbreaking contribution to this scholarship. Illustrated with over 250 photographs, Conlin's innovative analysis demonstrates that the carvers of the monument's large processional friezes were not Greek masters, as previously assumed, but Italian-trained sculptors influenced by both native and Hellenic stonecarving practices. Her systematic examination of the physical evidence left by the sculptors themselves--the traces of tool marks, the carving of specific details, the compositional formulas of the friezes--also incorporates an informed understanding of the historical context in which these artists worked.

Roman Architecture and Urbanism

Since antiquity, Roman architecture and planning have inspired architects and designers. In this volume, Diane Favro and Fikret Yegül offer a comprehensive history and analysis of the Roman built environment, emphasizing design and planning aspects of buildings and streetscapes. They explore the dynamic evolution and dissemination of architectural ideas, showing how local influences and technologies were incorporated across the vast Roman territory. They also consider how Roman construction and engineering expertise, as well as logistical proficiency, contributed to the making of bold and exceptional spaces and forms. Based on decades of first-hand examinations of ancient sites throughout the Roman world, from Britain to Syria, the authors give close accounts of many sites no longer extant or accessible. Written in a lively and accessible manner, Roman Architecture and Urbanism affirms the enduring attractions of Roman buildings and environments and their relevance to a global view of architecture. It will appeal to readers interested in the classical world and the history of architecture and urban design, as well as wide range of academic fields. With 835 illustrations including numerous new plans and drawings as well as digital renderings.

Tunisian Mosaics: Treasure from Roman Africa

As the Roman Empire expanded its African settlements in the early centuries of the common era, thousands of mosaic floor pavements were fashioned to adorn the townhouses and rural estates of the African upper classes. Between the second and sixth centuries, mosaic art blossomed, particularly in Africa Proconsularis, the region comprising modern Tunisia. In contrast to the official art of imperial Rome, mosaics generally expressed the worldviews of private citizens. These artworks are remarkable for the intricate beauty of their polychromatic geometric and floral designs, as well as for figural scenes depicting the interests and activities of the patrons who commissioned them--scenes of daily life, athletic contests, gladiator spectacles, and classical literature and mythology. Abundantly illustrated throughout, Tunisian Mosaics: Treasures from Roman Africa offers the general reader a lively introduction to this extraordinary ancient art. 

Theatres in Roman Palestine and Provincia Arabia

This volume deals with the architectural history of the theatre in Roman Palestine and Provincia Arabia, a region which comprised a Jewish, Nabataean, and Hellenized population but lacked any tradition of classical theatre. The earliest examples, erected by Herod, were actually a foreign imposition upon the landscape of Judaea, while the theatres built in the Nabataean kingdom provided no more than an architectural setting for activities which were often unrelated to theatre in the accepted sense. When the Hellenized cities in the region began building their theatres, classical plays were already disappearing from the stage throughout the Roman world, their place taken by lighter, less select forms of public entertainment.

Coining Images of Power: Patterns in the Representation of Roman Emperors on Imperial Coinage, A.D. 193-284

Current scholarship on Roman imperial representation addresses both the ways in which individual rulers presented themselves to their subjects and how particular aspects of imperial representation developed over time. This book combines these two approaches. It examines the diachronic development of the representation of Roman imperial power as a whole in one medium over a longer period of time. Through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of coin types issued between A.D. 193 and 284, patterns in the representation of third-century Roman emperors on imperial coinage are made visible. The result is a new perspective on the development of imperial ideology in times of crisis.

Roman Architecture

In this fully updated new edition, Frank Sear offers a thorough overview of the history of architecture in the Roman Empire. Arranged logically in six historical sections interspersed with material on Roman architects and their techniques, the building types found in Roman cities and the different buildings found in the Roman provinces, this volume now contains the latest insights into Roman architecture and takes account of the past 20 years of scholarship. This seminal work covers the architecture of the Republic, the Age of Augustus, the imperial period, Pompeii and Ostia, the eastern and western empire, and the Late Antique period, exploring subjects such as patronage, building techniques and materials, Roman engineering, town planning and imperial propaganda in a concise and readable way. Illustrated with nearly 300 photographs, maps and drawings, Roman Architecture continues to be the clearest introductory account of the development of architecture in the Roman Empire.

The Art of the Roman Empire AD 100-450

The passage from Imperial Rome to the era of late antiquity, when the Roman Empire underwent a religious conversion to Christianity, saw some of the most significant and innovative developments in Western culture. This stimulating book investigates the role of the visual arts, the great diversity of paintings, statues, luxury arts, and masonry, as both reflections and agents of those changes. Jas' Elsner's ground-breaking account discusses both Roman and early Christian art in relation to such issues as power, death, society, acculturation, and religion. By examining questions of reception, viewing, and the culture of spectacle alongside the more traditional art-historical themes of imperial patronage and stylistic change, he presents a fresh and challenging interpretation of an extraordinarily rich cultural crucible in which many fundamental developments of later European art had their origins.