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An Urban History from Antiquity to the Present


  • Date Published: November 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107013995

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About the Authors
  • Spanning the entire history of the city of Rome from Iron Age village to modern metropolis, this is the first book to take the long view of the Eternal City as an urban organism. Three thousand years old and counting, Rome has thrived almost from the start on self-reference, supplementing the everyday concerns of urban management and planning by projecting its own past onto the city of the moment. This is a study of the urban processes by which Rome's people and leaders, both as custodians of its illustrious past and as agents of its expansive power, have shaped and conditioned its urban fabric by manipulating geography and organizing space; planning infrastructure; designing and presiding over mythmaking, ritual, and stagecraft; controlling resident and transient populations; and exploiting Rome's standing as a seat of global power and a religious capital.

    • The only study of Rome from an urban perspective that covers its entire period of occupation
    • Designed to function both as an original scholarly contribution to the study of the city and as a textbook for urban history courses
    • Divided into three principal historical periods: ancient, medieval, and modern
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this volume will be useful for scholars from many sub-fields looking to situate their work in the city's own history. … But the value of the large-scale urban biography model is precisely to make us think about patterns in the city's life over time. This book achieves its aims admirably, and will be valuable for students and researchers alike.' Amy Russell, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107013995
    • dimensions: 260 x 188 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.13kg
    • contains: 216 b/w illus. 12 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A bend in the river
    2. A storybook beginning
    3. Ideological crossfire
    4. Big men on the campus
    5. Res publica restitute
    6. Memorials in motion: spectacle in the city
    7. The concrete style
    8. Remaking Rome's public core I
    9. Remaking Rome's public core II
    10. Continuity and crisis
    11. Rus in urbe: a garden city
    12. Administration, infrastructure, and disposal of the dead
    13. Mapping, zoning, and sequestration
    14. Tetrarchic and Constantinian Rome
    15. Trophies and tituli: Christian infrastructure before Constantine
    16. Walls make Christians: from fourth to fifth century
    17. A tale of two Romes
    18. The Rome of Goths and Byzantines
    19. Christian foundations
    20. From Domus laterani to Romanum palatium
    21. The Leonine City: St Peter's and the Borgo
    22. Via Papalis, the Christian decumanus
    23. The urban theaters of imperium and SPQR
    24. Housing daily life
    25. Chaos in the fortified city
    26. The Tiber River
    27. Humanist Rome, absolutist Rome (1420–1527)
    28. Planning Counter-Reformation Rome
    29. Processions and populations
    30. Magnificent palaces and rhetorical churches
    31. Neoclassical Rome
    32. Picturing Rome
    33. Revolution and Risorgimento
    34. Italian nationalism and romanità
    35. A city turned inside out.

  • Authors

    Rabun Taylor, University of Texas, Austin
    Rabun Taylor is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Texas, Austin. He has published articles in the American Journal of Archaeology, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Journal of Roman Archaeology, and Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome. His books include Public Needs and Private Pleasures: Water Distribution, the Tiber River, and the Urban Development of Ancient Rome (2000) and Roman Builders: A Study in Architectural Process (2003).

    Katherine Wentworth Rinne, University of California, Berkeley
    Katherine Rinne is an independent scholar and lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley and Adjunct Professor of Architecture at California College of the Arts. Her book The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City (2011) won the 2011 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Prize for Landscape History from the Foundation for Landscape Studies and the 2012 Spiro Kostof Award for Urban History from the Society of Architectural Historians. She is Project Director for Aquae Urbis Romae: The Waters of the City of Rome.

    Spiro Kostof, University of California, Berkeley
    Spiro Kostof (1936–91) was a professor of the History of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and one of the foremost architectural and urban historians of the twentieth century. His books include A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals (1987), The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings through History (1991), and The City Assembled: Elements of Urban Form through History (1992). His previously unpublished Mathews Lectures at Columbia University, New York, delivered in 1976, form the foundation of the middle section of this book.

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