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|Title:||THE COUNTRY UNDER THE CITY: THE SYMBOLIC TOPOGRAPHY OF THE RUSTIC PAST IN LATE REPUBLICAN AND EARLY IMPERIAL ROME|
|Authors:||Brown, Nicole Gillett|
|Contributors:||Art and Archaeology Department|
|Publisher:||Princeton, NJ : Princeton University|
|Abstract:||This dissertation, The Country under the City: The Symbolic Topography of the Rustic Past in Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome, argues that fundamental to the Roman conception of their capital city was the idea of its being superimposed on top of a pre-existing rural topography, quite literally, a “rus sub urbe.” To demonstrate the various strategies by which this “monumentalization” of the city’s rustic past was achieved, the project considers a number of sites that rarely feature in discussions of Roman topography, largely because there is no trace of them in the archaeological record, ranging from plots of un-built public land termed “meadows” (prata) to the electoral voting precinct designated as the “Sheepyard” (Ovilia). Using the accounts of authors writing across a wide array of genres – pastoral and bucolic poetry, history and antiquarian investigation, as well as the agronomic writings of Cato, Varro, and Pliny the Elder – and comparison with existing structures, I reconstruct their physical appearance in order to demonstrate how, for centuries, the city’s evolving architectural forms and preserved open spaces insisted on Rome’s rustic origins, even as its growth into a pan-Mediterranean empire would suggest otherwise. Ultimately, the research shows that – even in the context of the march toward empire, even as the city’s older buildings burned or fell down and were gradually replaced with ever grander ones – Romans used key topographic features both to vivify the story of the city’s rise from humble beginnings, and to foster a genuine sense of continuity with the landscape and religion of their farmer ancestors, beyond mere nostalgia or conceit.|
|Alternate format:||The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: catalog.princeton.edu|
|Type of Material:||Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)|
|Appears in Collections:||Art and Archaeology|
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