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Provincial Roman architecture and decoration during the Severan Age: identity and propaganda

Grant number: 21/13066-6
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants
Duration: September 01, 2023 - August 31, 2028
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Historical Archaeology
Principal Investigator:Leonardo Fuduli
Grantee:Leonardo Fuduli
Host Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Antonio Dell'acqua ; Claudio Walter Gomez Duarte ; DIMITRIOS PALEOTHODOROS ; Erica Morais Angliker ; George Papasavvas ; Gilvan Ventura da Silva ; Lorenzo Campagna ; Marco Sfacteria ; Maria Cristina Caggiani ; Maria Cristina Nicolau Kormikiari ; massimo limoncelli ; Niccolo' Mugnai ; Oren Tal ; Paulo Martins ; Rebecca Sweetman ; Rodrigo Araújo de Lima ; Stylianos Katakis ; Vagner Carvalheiro Porto ; Viviana Lo Monaco
Associated scholarship(s):23/12563-1 - PROVINCIAL ROMAN ARCHITECTURE AND DECORATION DURING THE SEVERAN AGE. Identity and Propaganda., BP.JP


Septimius Severus founded a dynasty (193-235 A.D.), one of the last in the history of Rome, which ruled the empire for about 40 years and restored the peace following the upheaval of the late 2nd century. Peace and a period of relative well-being throughout the empire favoured the flourishing of art once again used for legitimating the imperial power through the official propaganda of the Principatus. In this framework of rebirth or restoration, a fundamental role lies with architecture, which represents the area in which Roman art distinguished itself for technological and stylistic innovation. The Severans inaugurated a policy of new buildings, restoration of previous buildings and urbanization in many regions of the empire of which imposing ruins remain. Over the extensive use of marble, some peculiar characteristics are highlighted from a stylistic point of view such as the emergence of elements of provincial art in official art, alongside a strand of classical tradition of Hellenistic derivation that continues to be cultivated. The architectural decoration shows two trends: the continuation of the classicist trend linked to the Augustan revival and the imitation of the current deriving from the Flavische Renaissance, often however with rather poor results. The aim of this research is to study the Severan architecture and architectural decoration of Rome and Roman provinces, focusing on pivotal questions: the use and the trade of marble; the reception of stylistic models from Rome and the influence of local traditions, with particular attention to hybrid forms of decoration; the use of architecture and architectural decoration as a means of propaganda; the participation of architecture and architectural decoration in the construction of the identity of the dynasty; the social role of architecture and its impact on the urban landscape. The research will focus on four cases studies: Sicilian east-coast cities; Athens, Israel and Cyprus cities. This can be accomplished through a preliminary study phase and a fieldwork phase. The main results of the research will be the training of specialized personnel, the creation of a site on the activity to be kept up to date and linked to the LARP website and the communication of results through articles, seminars, conferences. (AU)

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