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The Meaning of Rome: The Renaissance and Baroque City

Learn how the art, architecture, and urban form of Renaissance and Baroque Rome projected the city’s image of itself to its citizens and the world.
This course is archived
Estimated 6 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Instructor-paced
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

Skip About this course

We can read a city in a number of ways: in its plan, in the buildings that make its streets and public spaces, in the skyline. We can ask, what are the buildings or spaces saying? How do they say it? How does it all stitch together?

In this architecture course you will learn how to “read” Rome, an ancient city, reborn in the fifteenth century and reshaped substantially in the following three centuries. You will discover how Renaissance and Baroque Rome’s urban form, art, and architecture projected the city’s image of itself to its citizens (urbi) and the world (orbi).

Popes, architects, scholars and sculptors invested in Rome a variety of narratives that strove to explain the city’s history, convince its citizens and visitors of its harmony, and exhort society at large to share in and shape its destiny. The city that resulted became a destination for pilgrims and Grand Tourists, and still is today.

The Meaning of Rome: The Renaissance and Baroque City is organized around three themes—the city and memory, the city as reliquary, and the city as theater. In uncovering some of the meaning of Rome, you will be equipped with the skills necessary to consider how our own cities and communities are, or could be, meaningful. You will come away from this course not only better informed about the cities of the past, but also better equipped to think about the cities of the present and the future.

Students who successfully complete all of the required course assignments will have the opportunity to compile a Digication ePortfolio and earn a digital badge.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Discover the major players and events that shaped the architecture of Rome and the world beyond. 
  • Explore ways that sacred relics and monuments, theaters, and other buildings convey meaning and how this meaning reflects a people's values.
  • Learn to ‘read’ cities, by applying the concepts covered in class to cities other than Rome.

About the instructors

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