1st Edition

Perspectives on Public Space in Rome, from Antiquity to the Present Day

By Jan Gadeyne, Gregory Smith Copyright 2013

    This volume provides readers interested in urban history with a collection of essays on the evolution of public space in that paradigmatic western city which is Rome. Scholars specialized in different historical periods contributed chapters, in order to find common themes which weave their way through one of the most complex urban histories of western civilization. Divided into five chronological sections (Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Modern and Contemporary) the volume opens with the issue of how public space was defined in classical Roman law and how ancient city managers organized the maintenance of these spaces, before moving on to explore how this legacy was redefined and reinterpreted during the Middle Ages. The third group of essays examines how the imposition of papal order on feuding families during the Renaissance helped introduce a new urban plan which could satisfy both functional and symbolic needs. The fourth section shows how modern Rome continued to express strong interest in the control and management of public space, the definition of which was necessarily selective in this vastly extensive city. The collection ends with an essay on the contemporary debate for revitalizing Rome's eastern periphery. Through this long-term chronological approach the volume offers a truly unique insight into the urban development of one of Europe’s most important cities, and concludes with a discuss of the challenges public space faces today after having served for so many centuries as a driving force in urban history.

    Contents: Presentation: crossroads in space and time, Ali Madanipour; Introduction, Gregory Smith and Jan Gadeyne; Part I Antiquity: Omnis Caesareo cedit labor amphitheatro, unum pro cuntis fama loquetur opus (Mart., I, 7-8), Manuel Royo; Emperors, baths, and public space: the imperial thermae in Rome’s late antique landscape, Dallas DeForest. Part II Middle Ages: Shortcuts: observations on the formation of the medieval street system in Rome, Jan Gadeyne; Public access, action, and display in Rome of the later anni milli, Lila Yawn. Part III Renaissance: La loggia delle benedizioni at St Peter’s in the quattrocento and the visualization of power, Ioana Jimborean; Marcantonio Colonna and the victory at Lepanto: the framing of a public space at Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Paul Anderson; ’SPQR/CAPITOLIVM RESTITVIT’: the Renovatio of the Campidoglio and Michelangelo’s use of the giant order, Tamara Smithers. Part IV Baroque: From cattle market to public promenade: remaking the forum in the 17th century, Jasmine R. Cloud; Performance and politics in the urban spaces of Baroque Rome, Joanna Norman. Part V Modern: Public space as desire, dream and history: Freud and Rome, Paola Di Cori; Political public space in Rome from 1870 to 2011, Vittorio Vidotto. Part VI Contemporary: Narrating place: perspectives on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Rome, Gregory Smith; The shape of public space: place, space, and junkspace, David Mayernik; Contemporary debates on public space in Rome, Marco Cremaschi; Bibliography; Index.


    Jan Gadeyne, Gregory Smith

    'This volume contains a wealth of information ... some of the essays are bound to become set reading for students, scholars, and anyone wanting to understand how Rome evolved from classical monument to medieval maze and back again.' Urban History 'Bringing together a vast chronology (over 2,000 years), the variety will give the readers a taste of how approaches to public space vary according to chronology, types of evidence, but also the narratives that can be produced by the built environment. The collection makes accessible to an English language audience topics more commonly published in Italian, French, and German.' Sixteenth Century Journal