Visions of Rome: Uses and Abuses of the Eternal City (CLAM109)

15 credits

There are many different visions of ancient Rome.  The city is a palimpsest, written over by subsequent generations, who have discovered and ‘rediscovered’ the ruins of the ancient city.  This module will explore what ‘Rome’ has meant to different people in different historical periods. It will explore how ideas of the Roman past have been used to convey different and often competing messages to contemporary viewers, from the preservation of the so-called casa Romuli and Augustus’ use of exemplary heroes in his forum through to Mussolini’s glorification of Rome’s imperial past and the recent controversy surrounding Richard Meier’s new museum of the Ara Pacis. It will address wider issues of manipulation, creation, and ownership of the past, Roman ‘mythmaking’, ideas of heritage and preservation, and the impact of the ancient core on the development of the built environment of Rome.