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authors Dobbins, John J.
year 1994
title Problems of Chronology, Decoration, and Urban Design in the Forum at Pompeii
source American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 08, no. 4, October, pp. 629-694
summary This article offers an archaeological and structural analysis of the four main buildings on the east side of the forum at Pompeii and challenges widely published and generally accepted views about the forum. Major problems of chronology, decoration, and urban design are emphasized through a methodology that rejects the prevalent building-by-building approach to the forum in favor of an approach that allows the significance of the urban ensemble to reveal itself. Connections with Rome in areas of building type, iconography, and design are stressed. A reexamination of the evidence points to a comprehensive post-earthquake (i.e., post-62) plan for the east side of the forum, a design whose hallmarks are the unification and monumentalization of the urban center. These goals were achieved by blocking streets, linking facades, upgrading building materials, and emphasizing the now more prominent northeastern and southeastern entrances. The concomitant economic implications are significant. Rather than being a symbol of the depressed economic conditions at Pompeii after 62, the forum with its vigorous and ambitious post-earthquake building program reveals both a de- sire to rebuild on a grand scale and an ability (with assistance from Rome?) to carry it out.
series journal paper
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