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Building in early medieval Rome, 500-1000 AD

Coates-Stephens, Robert; (1995) Building in early medieval Rome, 500-1000 AD. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis concerns the organisation and typology of building construction in Rome during the period 500 - 1000 AD. Part 1 - the organisation - contains three chapters on: (1) the finance and administration of building; (2) the materials of construction; and (3) the workforce (including here architects and architectural tracts). Part 2 - the typology - again contains three chapters on: (1) ecclesiastical architecture; (2) fortifications and aqueducts; and (3) domestic architecture. Using textual sources from the period (papal registers, property deeds, technical tracts and historical works), archaeological data from the Renaissance to the present day, and much new archaeological survey-work carried out in Rome and the surrounding country, I have outlined a new model for the development of architecture in the period. This emphasises the periods directly preceding and succeeding the age of the so-called "Carolingian Renaissance", pointing out new evidence for the architectural activity in these supposed dark ages. At the same time I have discovered and presented physical evidence for the important papal rebuilding of the city's fortifications and water-supply during the eighth and ninth centuries. A thorough re-examination of over one hundred years of archaeological publications has provided data for a new outline of the city's early medieval habitation. A picture emerges of an increasingly independent, centralised building administration run by the Church of Rome, breaking away very early from the ambit of Byzantium, and almost entirely uninfluenced by developments in Carolingian Europe. The eclipse of papal authority at the end of the ninth century led to an increasingly vital sector of private architectural patronage. At the same time, however, building techniques never departed radically from those of the Early Christian, or indeed Late Roman, periods.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Building in early medieval Rome, 500-1000 AD
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099990
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