THE ROMAN EMPIRE - Point Loma High School

THE ROMAN EMPIRE - Point Loma High School

THE ROMAN EMPIRE GARDNER CHAPTER 10-6 PP. 276-280 LATE EMPIRE The two centuries of the Pax Romana -> in the Late Empire 193-337 CE Roman power begins to erode Difficult to keep order on the borders Emperor Commodus r. 180-192 is assassinated ending the Antonine dynasty

Economy in decline Imperial bureaucracy disintegrating The official state religion was losing ground to Eastern cults Late Empire is pivotal period when pagan ancient world gradually transforms into the Christian Middle Ages THE SEVERANS

Civil conflict follows the assassination of Commodus African born general Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) becomes emperor He establishes a dynasty that will rule for nearly half a century SEVERAN PORTRAITURE After the civil war Severus declares that he was adopted son of Marcus Aurelius

Portraits of the emperor show him with the long hair and beard of his Antonine father Painted portrait of Septimius Severus and his family, from Egypt, ca. 200 CE, tempera on wood Only surviving painting of an emperor Presented as aging w/gray hair -> two sons, Caracalla has his borther murdered and makes the Senate damn Gelas memory -> figure blotted out on the TONDO CARACALLA

Portrait of Caracalla, ca. 211-217 CE, marble, 12 high Portrait bust renders physical likeness as well as character portrayal In life a ruthless tyrant, in sculpture a hard-nosed, stern, and suspicious face Downturned mustache and lines over eyes contribute to harsh characterization

LEPCIS MAGNA Chariot procession of Septimius Severus, relief from the attic of the Arch of Severus, Lepcis Magna, Libya, 203 CE, marble Unlike the triumph panel of the Arch of Titus this gives no sense of rushing motion -> instead, stately stillness Frontality and floating figures -> new to Roman art -> non-Classical style

The new aesthetic relates to social. Political, and economic upheaval New non-naturalistic, more abstract style = Late Antique Style BATHS OF CARACALLA Baths of Caracalla, Rome, Italy, 212-216 CE Could accommodate 1600 bathers -> resembled modern health spa > included libraries, lecture halls, and exercise courts plus bathing rooms and swimming pool

Design was symmetrical along a central axis -> sequestial plunges in tepidarium, caldarium, and frigidarium Stuccoed vaults, mosaic floors, marble faced walls, and marble statuary THE SOLDIER EMPERORS Severan dynasty ends in 235 CE > half century of civil war follows -> one general after another is declared emperor by his troops then murdered by another general

Little to no significant building activity happened in Rome during this time TRAJAN DECIUS Portrait bust of Trajan Decius, 249-251 CE, marble, 27 Portrait of a short lived soldier emperor -> depicts an older man w/bags under his eyes and a sad expression

The eyes glance away nervously, reflecting the anxiety of an insecure ruler TREBONIANUS GALLUS Heroic portrait of Trebonianus Gallus, from Rome, Italy, 251-253 CE, bronze, 711 high Over-life-size heroically nude statue -> projects brute force Heavy set body w/massive legs and swollen trunk -> face has nervous expression

LUDOVISI BATTLE SARCOPHAGUS Battle of Romans and barbarians (Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus), from Rome, Italy, ca. 250-260 CE, marble, 5 high Extremely crowded surface with figures piled on top of one another Figures lack individuality Confusion of battle is echoed by congested

composition Roman army trounces bearded and defeated barbarians Youthful Roman general appears at center top w/ no weapons and is only Roman w/no helmet -> invincible/needs no protection

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