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Decoration and Display in Rome's Imperial ThermaeMessages of Power and their Popular Reception at the Baths of Caracalla$
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Maryl B. Gensheimer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190614782

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190614782.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2019

The Power of Place

The Power of Place

Where and Why Caracalla’s Baths Were Built

Chapter:
(p.210) 5 The Power of Place
Source:
Decoration and Display in Rome's Imperial Thermae
Author(s):

Maryl B. Gensheimer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190614782.003.0005

Chapter 5 addresses questions of topography and urban design in order to analyze the “power of place”—that is, the Baths’ deliberate associations with preexisting monuments as part of a larger dynastic building program within the city of Rome. The construction and decoration of the Baths of Caracalla, it is argued, engaged with broader concerns about dynastic legitimacy and imperial power. Thus, the chapter focuses attention on the ways in which the building program sponsored by both Caracalla and his father and imperial predecessor, Septimius Severus (r. 192–211 C.E.), repeatedly emphasizes key themes related to familial legitimacy, imperial authority, and military success.

Keywords:   baths, Caracalla, Septimius Severus, Antonine family, Severan family, dynastic building, topography, urban design, city of Rome

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