The topographical transformation of archaic Rome : a new interpretation of architecture and geography in the early city

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2010-05

Authors

Hopkins, John North

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Abstract

Most studies of Roman architecture cover the third century BCE to the fourth century CE, a period of luxurious building projects like the Colosseum and Pantheon that remain relatively well documented in the archaeological and literary record. Yet Rome did not spring fully formed from the ground in the third century, its architecture relying entirely on precursors and precedents in buildings from far away times and places. In this study I fit remains of architecture from early Rome (ca. 650 to 450 BCE) into the cultural framework of the contemporaneous Mediterranean and try to assess how the changing cityscape effected both archaic Romans and later Roman architecture and topography. Because many studies of archaic Rome have attempted to fit archaeological remains with the literary record, and because this has created much controversy, I put the literary record to one side and focus on material remains in an attempt to see what they can reveal on their own.

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