Monumentality in Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture: Ideology and Innovation

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Michael Thomas, Gretchen E. Meyers
University of Texas Press, Nov 1, 2012 - Social Science - 200 pages
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Every society builds, and many, if not all, utilize architectural structures as markers to define place, patron, or experience. Often we consider these architectural markers as "monuments" or "monumental" buildings. Ancient Rome, in particular, is a society recognized for the monumentality of its buildings. While few would deny that the term "monumental" is appropriate for ancient Roman architecture, the nature of this characterization and its development in pre-Roman Italy is rarely considered carefully. What is "monumental" about Etruscan and early Roman architecture?

Delving into the crucial period before the zenith of Imperial Roman building, Monumentality in Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture addresses such questions as, "What factors drove the emergence of scale as a defining element of ancient Italian architecture?" and "How did monumentality arise as a key feature of Roman architecture?" Contributors Elizabeth Colantoni, Anthony Tuck, Nancy A. Winter, P. Gregory Warden, John N. Hopkins, Penelope J. E. Davies, and Ingrid Edlund-Berry reflect on the ways in which ancient Etruscans and Romans utilized the concepts of commemoration, durability, and visibility to achieve monumentality. The editors' preface and introduction underscore the notion of architectural evolution toward monumentality as being connected to the changing social and political strategies of the ruling elites.

By also considering technical components, this collection emphasizes the development and the ideological significance of Etruscan and early Roman monumentality from a variety of viewpoints and disciplines. The result is a broad range of interpretations celebrating both ancient and modern perspectives.


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The Experience of Monumentality in Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture Gretchen E Meyers
Transitions in Building Practices and Society in Protohistoric Latium Elizabeth Colantoni
Monumentality Burial Practice and Community Identity in Central Italys Urbanizing Period Anthony Tuck
4 Monumentalization of the Etruscan Round Moulding in SixthCentury BCE Central Italy Nancy A Winter
Somatic Symbolism and the Tuscan Temple P Gregory Warden
6 The Capitoline Temple and the Effects of Monumentality on Roman Temple Design John N Hopkins
7 On the Introduction of Stone Entablatures in Republican Temples in Rome Penelope J E Davies
Reflections Ingrid E M EdlundBerry
About the Contributors

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About the author (2012)

Michael L. Thomas is Director of the recently launched Center for the Study of Ancient Italy at the University of Texas at Austin. He has excavated in Italy for seventeen years, and he currently codirects two archaeological projects there.

Gretchen E. Meyers is Assistant Professor of Classics at Franklin and Marshall College. A scholar of Etruscan archaeology and culture, she has authored articles on architecture, roofing tiles, and textile production and serves as Director of Materials at the Etruscan site of Poggio Colla.

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