During the Middle Republican period (396 – 146 B.C.), Rome expanded its empire over the Italian peninsula, and then across much of the Mediterranean. The resulting imperial income was massive and would radically transform the city itself. By the end of the Macedonian wars, Republican Rome emerged as the indisputable capital of its world, and building and maintaining urban infrastructure had become the state’s greatest annual expense. In this talk, I set out the major themes of Rome’s transformation in both physical and human terms; I show how construction was a highly involved social and economic process. We will follow one of the great phases of urban expansion in Rome’s long history by examining the novel architectural forms and innovative technologies that appear during this period. And we will ask how this archaeological material informs us about the history of the masons and laborers who comprised the city’s emerging building industry.
Date: February 23, 2015 @6:00 pm