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10. Accessing Afterlife: Tombs of Roman Aristocrats, Freedmen, and Slaves

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Published on Sep 11, 2009

Roman Architecture (HSAR 252)

Professor Kleiner explores sepulchral architecture in Rome commissioned by the emperor, aristocrats, successful professionals, and former slaves during the age of Augustus. Unlike most civic and residential buildings, tombs serve no practical purpose other than to commemorate the deceased and consequently assume a wide variety of personalized and remarkable forms. The lecture begins with the round Mausoleum of Augustus, based on Etruscan precedents and intended to house the remains of Augustus and the new Julio-Claudian dynasty. Professor Kleiner also highlights two of Rome's most unusual funerary structures: the pyramidal Tomb of Gaius Cestius, an aristocrat related to Marcus Agrippa, and the trapezoidal Tomb of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces, probably a former slave who made his fortune overseeing the baking and public distribution of bread for the Roman army. Professor Kleiner concludes the lecture with a brief discussion of tombs for those with more modest means, including extensive subterranean columbaria. She also turns briefly to the domed thermal baths at Baia, part of an ancient spa and a sign of where concrete construction would take the future of Roman architecture.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Augustus Family Mausoleum
11:04 - Chapter 2. Etruscan Antecedents of the Mausoleum of Augustus
19:13 - Chapter 3. The Tomb of Caecilia Metella on the Via Appia
28:55 - Chapter 4. The Pyramidal Tomb of Gaius Cestius
41:33 - Chapter 5. The Tomb of the Baker Eurysaces and His Wife Atistia
50:30 - Chapter 6. Atistias Breadbasket and Eurysaces Achievements
01:00:16 - Chapter 7. Tombs for Those of Modest Means and the Future of Concrete Architecture

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.

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