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Rome Transformed: Interdisciplinary analysis of political, military and religious regenerations of the city's forgotten quarter C1-C8 CE

Project description

Documenting eight centuries of transformations in a politically significant area of Ancient Rome

The Caelian Hill is one of the famous seven hills of Rome, notable for its rich monumental profile and its history as a residential area for the potent classes of the Eternal City. The EU-funded ROMETRANS project will trace the political, military and religious transformation of the Eastern Caelian during the period of 1st - 8th century. By documenting both the mundane and monumental elements of the city fabric in chronological, geographical and ideological relationship to one another, the project will offer an interdisciplinary extensive view of the changing shape of this pivotal area of the Roman and Mediterranean World.


This project revolutionises our understanding of Rome and its place in cultural change across the Mediterranean World by mapping political, military and religious changes to the Eastern Caelian from the first to eighth centuries. The programme offers multiple gains for archaeologists, historians, topographers and geographers by documenting both the mundane and monumental elements of the city fabric in chronological, geographical and ideological relationship to one another. From the extravagant horti, the houses of elite families, through successive imperial palaces to the seat of papal governance the area’s architecture embodied changing expressions of political power. From the early military stations, through the grandeur of the barracks of the emperor’s horse guards, to the building and rebuilding of the Aurelian Walls, it reveals notions about the intersection of security and military power. From the shrines of the early empire to the world’s first Cathedral, it attests successive religious regenerations. RomeTrans has three objectives: first, it determines the appearance of the buildings that drove these changes, producing academically robust visualisations, appropriately contextualised. Second, it brings these elements together to model the five transformations that saw the Eastern Caelian reshaped to meet the needs of shifting political, military and religious ideas. Third, it provides a longer-term interdisciplinary perspective on the changing shape of this pivotal area than any previously attempted. All this requires a survey of unprecedented scale and sophistication, demanding a new methodology for complex urban areas capable of transforming research in historic towns worldwide. Integrating documentary sources, architectural analysis, investigation of 11 sub-surface excavated areas with the largest geo-radar and laser scanning surveys ever conducted in Rome, the project transforms our approach to the city and its relationship to the wider world.



Net EU contribution
€ 2 082 004,00
Kings gate
NE1 7RU Newcastle upon tyne
United Kingdom

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North East (England) Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Tyneside
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 1,18

Beneficiaries (4)