A blogcast of academic articles and reviews on interdisciplinary subjects within classical antiquity.
Friday, January 10, 2014
John N. N. Hopkins, "The Cloaca Maxima and the Monumental Manipulation of Water in Archaic Rome"
Area of the Cloaca Maxima later repaired under Domitian.
This week we dive into the major sewer of Rome, the Cloaca Maxima, and attempt to dispel some preconceived notions surrounding it---namely that it always served as Rome's sewer. An article by John N.N. Hopkins explores the topography of early Rome during the regal period--the period of the kings prior to the founding of the Republic [753-509 BCE]--and proposes that the use of the Cloaca Maxima changed over time from the regal period into the Republican and then later imperial era. Moreover, its initial building served as a monumental statement to both Romans and non-Romans of the power of the burgeoning city. His article is a splendid reminder that infrastructure can shift in purpose over time and a further demonstration of how monumental building serves as visual propaganda.