Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


HISTORY OF ART OF THE LATE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN
STORIA DELL'ARTE DEL MEDITERRANEO TARDO ANTICO

MARBLE IN LATE ANTIQUITY: PRODUCTION, TRADE, REUSE
IL MARMO NELLA TARDA ANTICHITÀ: PRODUZIONE, COMMERCIO, REIMPIEGO

A.Y. Credits
2021/2022 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Andrea Paribeni During the course on a date to be decided (teacher's office at DISTUM Palazzo Albani); in the other periods of the academic year by appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Art History (LM-89)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to present, in their historical and cultural context, the most significant artistic expressions of a hinge period between classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages for which the historiography of the last century coined the term of Late Antiquity and whose chronological and geographical areas are still the subject of debate and comparison among scholars.

However, it is an era extremely rich in political (the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire; the birth of the Eastern Roman Empire; the affirmation of Islam), religious (the ever-increasing spread of Christianity and its relationship with the persistence of cults and traditions linked to the pagan heritage) and cultural ferments (the meeting between the tradition of classical culture and the new demands that manifested themselves in society), which did not fail to leave a sign in the artistic production of all territories involved, whose common denominator was their economic and cultural relationship with the Mediterranean Sea.

Program

The great machine that had regulated the phases of extraction, processing and distribution of marble in the imperial age remained in full efficiency even in Late Antiquity: after a partial decline in the third century, the fabrics linked to the quarries located around the Mediterranean drew new life from the urban redefinition programs of the large cities (Rome, Antioch, Alexandria) and above all from the creation of a new capital - Constantinople - on the nucleus of ancient Byzantium. At the same time, the legitimacy of Christian worship brought with it the need to ensure sculptural and liturgical furnishings for the basilicas and pilgrimage centres that were built all over the empire. This incessant demand for marble materials was compensated by the intensification of the quarrying activity (which continued until at least the entire sixth century) and, at the same time, with the massive recourse to the reuse of marble from buildings which, for various reasons, had fallen into disuse.

The course proposes a path through these different realities, with the intention of illustrating the different stages of production in the quarry (extraction of the blocks, partial or complete processing of the artifacts, transport systems by land or by sea) and the variety of uses of the marble (purposedly made or reused) for honorary monuments, statuary, sarcophagi, architectural sculpture, flooring, household or liturgical furnishings.

The main case studies and topics of the course include:

-  Mediterranean white and polychrome marbles: typological varieties, determination of the provenance

-  Organization of the marble trade in the imperial age and continuity of quarrying activity  in late antiquity

-  The meaning of spolia in Late Antiquity

-  Marble (specially quarried and/or reused) in public and private buildings in Rome and in the suburbs between the 4th and 5th centuries

-  The great architectural projects of Constantinople between the 4th and 5th centuries: the marbling of the new capital

-  The supply of marble for the Christian basilicas of the Mediterranean

-  The wreck of Marzamemi: a 6th century ‘flat-pack’ marble furniture destined to a church of the  Mediterranean Sea

-  The aesthetic and symbolic value of marble in decorative systems: the contribution of written sources

-  White and polychrome marbles in the great religious and civil construction sites of the Justinian age

-  The marble of Saint Sophia: typologies, decorative patterns, organization of the marmorarii workshops

-  The steps of Justinian's renovatio imperii seen through the lens of the diffusion in Italy and Africa of the liturgical furnishings produced in the capital

-  Reuse of Roman and Byzantine marble in the civil and religious foundations of the early Islamic period from Bilad al Sham to Andalusia

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

The student will have to demonstrate basic knowledge regarding the chronological articulation of the different stages of artistic production in Late Antiquity and of the main characteristics of the various stylistic currents thanks to a correct reading and understanding of the textbooks;

must be able to apply the knowledge acquired in such a way as to be able, through appropriate arguments, to compare and possibly correlate monuments and artefacts of different geographic, chronological or client areas;

must demonstrate the ability to develop independent judgments with respect to controversial issues from an attribution or chronological point of view, through the collection and critical examination of the data deemed useful;

will have to demonstrate autonomy and display effectiveness in communicating the notions and concepts assimilated during the lessons and in the study;

will have to refine those learning skills necessary to undertake the study of artistic production subsequent to Late antiquity.
 

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

Froantal lessons

Course books

A. Marcone, Tarda Antichità- Profilo storico e prospettive storiografiche, Roma Carocci 2020

A collection of essays relating to the topics covered in the lessons will be made available to students on the Moodle platform

Assessment

The exam will consist of an oral test based on the verification of the learning of the study text; in the test will be used the images contained in the textbook and the power points shown during the lessons.

In the course of the assessment, the student, to merit a sufficient evaluation, will have to demonstrate that he has assimilated the fundamental concepts and notions; rewarding elements for a higher evaluation will be the ability to link together certain components of the program, to understand the different readings proposed by scholars regarding specific critical nodes, to know how to exercise their own evaluation with respect to the various problems raised, to finally demonstrate mastery in the use of specific language.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Didactics

Individual study

Course books

A. Marcone, Tarda Antichità- Profilo storico e prospettive storiografiche, Roma Carocci 2020


M. David, Archeologia della tarda Antichità, Milano Mondadori 2021.

Assessment

The exam will consist of an oral test based on the verification of the learning of the study texts; in the test the images contained in the textbooks will be used.

In the course of the assessment, the student, to merit a sufficient evaluation, will have to demonstrate that he has assimilated the fundamental concepts and notions; rewarding elements for a higher evaluation will be the ability to link together certain components of the program, to understand the different readings proposed by scholars regarding specific critical nodes, to know how to exercise their own evaluation with respect to the various problems raised, to finally demonstrate mastery in the use of specific language.

« back Last update: 28/09/2021

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