Water, Aemulatio, and Legitimization: Republican and AugustanFountains in the City of Rome

by Elizabeth Gardiner Lytle

Institution: Emory University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Art History; Roman fountains; Aemulatio; Patronage
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2069465
Full text PDF: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/q4h57


This dissertation examines expressions of political legitimacy through fountain construction in the center of Rome during the second and first centuries BC. My research reveals that victorious generals, from Aemilius Paullus to Augustus, intentionally employed the Roman practice of aemulatio in fountain design to visually celebrate supreme status earned through military conquest, political authority, and divine favor. Aemulatio, close emulation of an existing form with observable enhancements, is apparent in the design, location, and symbolism of five public water monuments located along triumphal routes in the Roman Forum and Imperial Fora. Modern scholarship, which frequently privileges Greek forms, has not yet fully considered Roman originality in the creation of Roman water monuments. This dissertation argues that the earliest known lacus (pools) in the Roman Forum were once natural recessions in the archaic landscape, which republican Romans intentionally monumentalized as forms of commemoration of their heroic past. Generals, dictators, and emperors accessed the Roman tradition of aemulatio to memorialize existing pools as well as create original fountains to proclaim collective and individual glory. Affiliation with a public water monument that referenced archaic Roman topography, received a continuous supply of water, and required careful maintenance insured perpetual memory of a patron's accomplishments for generations past his own lifetime. Fountain construction, accessible to only the elite few, therefore survives as a paradigm of the power struggles that led to the formation of the Roman Empire. List of Illustrations i  – INTRODUCTION 1  – 1 THE LACUS CURTIUS: A CELEBRATION OF THE  – HEROIC MARSH 12  – Previous Scholarship 13  – History of Excavation 15  – Archaeological Evidence 19  – Phase I (c. 184 BC) 19  – Phase II (c. 78-74 BC) 21  – The Monument: The Marsh Preserved 26  – Romulean Sulla as Grand Patron 38  – Aemulatio: Similar but Better 49  – Conclusion 54  – 2 THE LACUS IUTURNAE: A SYMBOL OF ROMAN ORIGINS 57  – Previous Scholarship 60  – History of Excavation 62  – Archaeological Evidence 65  – Phase I (c. 164 BC) 65  – Phase II (c. 117 BC) 68  – Phase III (Early Imperial Period) 70  – Phase IV (Trajanic Period) 73  – Phase V (Late Severan Period) 73  – Phase VI (Early Fourth Century AD) 74  – Phase VII (Late Antique to Medieval)75  – The Lacus Iuturnae: A Monument to the Roman Landscape 75  – The Patronage of Lucius Aemilius Paullus and  – the Collective Glory of Rome 81  – Roman Origins, Roman Dominance 85  – Conclusion 91  – 3 THE APPIADES IN THE FORUM IULIUM: A FOUNTAIN OF  – DIVINE LEGITIMACY 93  – Previous Scholarship 95  – History of Excavation 98  – Archaeological Evidence 99  – Phase I (Late Caesarian to Augustan Period) 100  – Phase II (Trajanic Period) 103  – The Monument: Reconsiderations 108  – Dating 109  – The Appian Dilemma 111  – The Appiades Fountain as a Security Barrier: A Reevaluation119  – Caesar as Patron: Divine Ambitions 124  – The Appiades Fountain: Simulated Lacus… Advisors/Committee Members: Robins, Gay (Committee Member), Wescoat, Bonna D (Committee Member), Varner, Eric (Thesis Advisor).