12. The Creation of an Icon: The Colosseum and Contemporary Architecture in Rome
Roman Architecture (HSAR 252)
Professor Kleiner features the tumultuous year of 68-69 when Rome had four competing emperors. Vespasian emerged the victor, founded the Flavian dynasty, and was succeeded by his sons, Titus and Domitian. The Flavians were especially adept at using architecture to shape public policy. Professor Kleiner demonstrates that Vespasian linked himself with the divine Claudius by completing the Claudianum and distanced himself from Nero by razing the Domus Aurea to the ground and filling in the palace's artificial lake. In that location, Vespasian built the Flavian Amphitheater, nicknamed the Colosseum, thereby returning to the people land earlier stolen by Nero. Professor Kleiner discusses the technical and aesthetic features of the Colosseum at length, and surveys Vespasian's Forum Pacis and Titus' Temple to Divine Vespasian. The lecture concludes with the Baths of Titus, Rome's first preserved example of the so-called "imperial bath type" because of its grand scale, axiality, and symmetry.
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: Online Video Lectures and Course Materials — Open Yale Courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2009.