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C O U R S E 
Roman Architecture
Diana Kleiner, Yale University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Caligula, Lighter Concrete, and the Underground Basilica
Notes taken on March 6, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
emperor 12-41 AD
was young, reigned for only three years
he was unbalanced, became a despot
mostly occupied with odd projects (e.g. fighting faux wars) instead of architecture, but he made some contributions
like Tiberius, more interested in private villas
also finished buildings begun by Tiberius
two new aqueducts and circus near Vatican city area
main interest was villas outside Rome
enjoyed finished villas e.g. on the island of Capri
Rome was ringed with the villas of Caligula and Nero
two main architectural contributions of Caligula
1. altered the recipe for Roman concrete construction by lightening it up
instead of mixing it with stone rubble, mixed it with a porous yellow tufa and pumice
led to lighter domes which were able to span greater spaces
very significant
the Golden House of Nero would not have been possible without this change in the make up of concrete
2. impace of mystery cults on Roman religion
Rome had a state religion
over time, especially because of their Eastern provinces, other religions came to Rome
through the army
through commerce
initially not accepted by Roman government
Caligula became to show some interest these mystery religions
although they didn't become accepted during his reign
they continued to meet in secret
underground basilica
used to celebrate the Neo-Pythagorean sect
dates to the reign of Claudius, after Caligula, around AD 50
it is miraculously preserved, simply because it is underground
very difficult to get permission to go down and see it
cut trenches in the tufa rock
poured concrete into those trenches to create the walls
once it had dried, they cut it out of the rock
a small structure but light and airy
figures on vault indicate that it was made for the Neo-Pythagorean cult
religious figures floating