Venue: Sydney Law School foyer, Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus.
Time: 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Ancient Cities: The city of Rome: From caput mundi to mirror of princes and beyond
21 June, 2011
Dr Paul Roche
This lecture will trace both the urban development of the city of Rome and some of the ways ancient Romans thought about their city from the period of late republic (second century BC) to the early empire (first century AD). This was a period of radical change, which saw the physical transformation of the city from something of a diplomatic embarrassment to the glittering capital of a Mediterranean world empire (‘beggaring description and never again to be imitated by mortal men’ as a late eye-witness puts it). This metamorphoses was accompanied by a shift in the way urban development itself was conceived, from a concept with limited horizons beyond the unit of the building itself to a more explicit concern with moving people through larger, consolidated units of urban space. Rome’s topography was intrinsic to her politics, culture, religion and self-definition; a theme tracked in this lecture is how the city offered itself as a metaphor or a mirror: of family (self-) esteem, of world empire, of the emperor’s image and his care for his people, and of the care for the individual human soul.
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