Forum of Augustus
The Forum of Augustus is one of the Imperial forums of Rome, built by Augustus. It includes the Temple of Mars Ultor; the incomplete forum and its temple were inaugurated in 2 BC. The triumvir Octavian vowed to build a temple honoring Mars, the Roman God of War, during the battle of Philippi in 42 BC. After winning the battle, with the help of Mark Antony and Lepidus, Octavian had avenged the assassination of his adoptive father Julius Caesar, he became the Princeps of Rome in 27 BC under the name Augustus, planned for the temple to be built in a new forum named after himself. Augustus used social propaganda by continuing Julius Caesar's will to create a Temple to Mars Ultor "greater than any in existence", by placing it within the Temple, linking himself to his divine adopted father, obtaining a strong link to the Roman population through their love for the deceased dictator; the land the Forum was to be built on was owned by Augustus himself. However, the initial plans called for more space.
In order to keep those on the land he would need to purchase to build upon, the plans were altered so some asymmetry is apparent in the Eastern corner of the precinct. This self-proclaimed good deed was more than just a ploy to save Augustus money and trouble; these land issues, as well as prolonged construction. The incomplete forum and its temple were inaugurated, 40 years after they were first vowed, in 2 BC. In 19 AD Tiberius added two triumphal arches either side of the temple in honour of Drusus the Younger and Germanicus and their victories in Germania. With the dedication of the Forum of Trajan in 112, the number of inscriptions found in the Forum of Augustus decline, which suggests that many of its functions were transferred to the new venue, although Hadrian made some repairs; the educational and cultural use of the exedrae were recorded in the late antiquity. The last notice of the forum was given in 395. Archeological data testifies to the systematic dismantling of the structures in the first half of the 6th century because it was damaged in an earthquake or during the wars.
The Forum of Augustus was among the first of the great public buildings of Rome which disappeared that explains the rapid loss of the memory of its original name. In the 9th century a Basilian monastery was erected on the podium of the ruined temple; the Forum of Augustus was built to both house a temple honouring Mars, to provide another space for legal proceedings, as the Roman Forum was crowded. Before battle, generals set off after attending an inaugural ceremony. Other ceremonies took place in the temple including the assumption of the toga virilis by young men; the Senate met at the Temple when discussing war and the victorious generals dedicated their spoils from their triumphs to Mars at the altar. Arms or booty recovered from battle were stored in the Forum as well. Another use that Augustus made of the Temple was to store the standards taken by the Parthians from Crassus during his failed campaign, after their retrieval through Augustus' diplomacy in 20 BC, as depicted by the Augustus of Prima Porta.
Three Aquilae were lost in 9 AD in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest of the Legions Legio XVII, Legio XVIII and Legio XIX. The Forum was filled with a rich variety of different statues. Most notable were the statues of Augustus in full military outfit in the center of the Forum, of Mars and Venus in the Temple. In total, there were 108 portrait statues with inscriptions of each individual’s achievements, providing an important idea of how Augustus viewed his role within Roman history; the inscriptions are called elogia by modern scholars. In addition to statues of all the Roman triumphatores, which were either made of bronze or marble and were placed along the left side of the Forum and in the left exedrae, the entire right side and right exedrae were full of statues of men in the Julian-Claudian family, they trace Augustus’s lineage back through the fourteen Alban kings to the founding ancestors Aeneas and Romulus. These figures reinforced the importance of both Roman lineage and of the prestigious lineage that Augustus himself held.
By advertising this lineage, he reinforced his power and authorities as a leader. By placing himself amongst great figures and heroes, he further portrayed himself and his own importance, he paints himself as one of ‘the greats’ worthy of the power he held. Whilst all the elogia record the deeds of these great men, Augustus’s Res Gestae Divi Augusti acts as a direct parallel; the statues in the forum provided excellent reasoning for Augustus to claim his restoration of the Republic. Not only were the great men of Rome’s past being honored through their busts, but Augustus was establishing his ancestry to these men, either by blood or by spirit; this provided Augustus with another connection between himself and the old Republic, an era of Roman history he continuously tried to invoke during his reign. Other statues included an ivory Athena Alea, sculpted by Endoeus, which Augustus took from its temple in Tegea, in Greece; the forum is made of ashlar blocks of peperino tufa with Carrara marble. Its construction includes colonnades made of giallo antico, from Numidia, with the second storey of colonnades made from africano and pavonazzetto.
These materials are from all over the Empire, but the enclosing walls were made of local Roman stone.
Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the younger brother of Titus and the son of Vespasian, his two predecessors on the throne, the last member of the Flavian dynasty. During his reign, the authoritarian nature of his rule put him at sharp odds with the senate, whose powers he drastically curtailed. Domitian had a minor and ceremonial role during the reigns of his father and brother. After the death of his brother, Domitian was declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard, his 15-year reign was the longest since that of Tiberius. As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the empire, initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia, in Dacia, where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian's government exhibited strong authoritarian characteristics. Religious and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals.
As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army, but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate. Domitian's reign came to an end in 96, he was succeeded the same day by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius propagated the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern revisionists instead have characterized Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural and political programs provided the foundation of the peaceful second century. Domitian was born in Rome on 24 October 51, the youngest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus—commonly known as Vespasian—and Flavia Domitilla Major, he had an older sister, Domitilla the Younger, brother named Titus Flavius Vespasianus. Decades of civil war during the 1st century BC had contributed to the demise of the old aristocracy of Rome, which a new Italian nobility replaced in prominence during the early part of the 1st century.
One such family, the Flavians, or gens Flavia, rose from relative obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth and status under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Domitian's great-grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesar's civil war, his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upward mobility of Petro's son Titus Flavius Sabinus I, Domitian's grandfather. Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied the Flavian family to the more prestigious gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II and Vespasian to senatorial rank; the political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor and praetor, culminated in a consulship in 51, the year of Domitian's birth.
As a military commander, Vespasian gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. Ancient sources allege poverty for the Flavian family at the time of Domitian's upbringing claiming Vespasian had fallen into disrepute under the emperors Caligula and Nero. Modern history has refuted these claims, suggesting these stories circulated under Flavian rule as part of a propaganda campaign to diminish success under the less reputable Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and to maximize achievements under Emperor Claudius and his son Britannicus. By all appearances, the Flavians enjoyed high imperial favour throughout the 60s. While Titus received a court education in the company of Britannicus, Vespasian pursued a successful political and military career. Following a prolonged period of retirement during the 50s, he returned to public office under Nero, serving as proconsul of the Africa Province in 63, accompanying the emperor Nero during an official tour of Greece in 66.
That same year Jews from the Province of Judaea revolted against the Roman Empire, sparking what is now known as the First Jewish-Roman War. Vespasian was assigned to lead the Roman army against the insurgents, with Titus — who had completed his military education by this time — in charge of a legion. Of the three Flavian emperors, Domitian would rule the longest, despite the fact that his youth and early career were spent in the shadow of his older brother. Titus had gained military renown during the First Jewish–Roman War. After their father Vespasian became emperor in 69 following the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors, Titus held a great many offices, while Domitian received honours, but no responsibilities. By the time he was 16 years old, Domitian's mother and sister had long since died, while his father and brother were continuously active in the Roman military, commanding armies in Germania and Judaea. For Domitian, this meant that a significant part of his adolescence was spent in the absence of his near relatives.
During the Jewish–Roman wars, he was taken under the care of his uncle Titus Flavius Sabinus II, at the time serving as city prefect of Rome.
The Fasti Ostienses are a calendar of Roman magistrates and significant events from 49 BC to AD 175, found at Ostia, the principal seaport of Rome. Together with similar inscriptions, such as the Fasti Capitolini and Fasti Triumphales at Rome, the Fasti Ostienses form part of a chronology known as the Fasti Consulares, or Consular Fasti; the Fasti Ostienses were engraved on marble slabs in a public place, either the Ostian forums, or the temple of Vulcan, the tutelary deity of Ostia. The fasti were dismantled and used as building materials. Since their rediscovery, they have become one of the primary sources for the chronology of the early Roman Empire, along with historians such as Tacitus and Cassius Dio; the term fasti referred to calendars published by the pontifices, indicating the days on which business could be transacted and those on which it was prohibited for religious reasons. These calendars included lists of the annual magistrates. In many ancient cultures, the most common way to refer to individual years was by the names of the presiding magistrates.
The annually-elected consuls were the eponymous magistrates at Rome, so lists of the consuls going back many years were useful for dating historical events. Over time such lists became known as fasti. Located at the mouth of the Tiber, Ostia was the chief seaport of Rome from the earliest period until the third century AD, when it was overtaken by Portus; the Fasti Ostienses were inscribed in a public place somewhere in the city, although where is uncertain. In either case, they were superintended by the Pontifex Volkani, the priest of Vulcan at Ostia; the surviving fragments of the Ostienses mention this appointment several times. The carving of the Ostian fasti may have begun as early as the dictatorship of Sulla, in 81 BC, but the earliest surviving portion records the events from 49 to 44 BC; the last extant year is AD 175, but there are many gaps, most of the surviving years are damaged. It is not clear. However, from the ninth century to the nineteenth, the old city was abandoned, regarded as a source of material for construction elsewhere.
For each year, the Ostienses provide a list of the consuls, including both of the ordinares, the consuls who entered office at the beginning of January, traditionally gave their names to the year, followed by all of the suffecti, consuls who took office following the resignation or death of their predecessors in the course of the year. Under the Republic, consules suffecti were elected only if one of the ordinares died, or was forced to resign, but in imperial times, it became common for the emperors to appoint two, four, or six pairs of consuls during the course of a year. Part of the reason for increasing the number of consuls was to show favour to the Roman aristocracy, for whom holding the consulship for a short period was a great honour; each pair of consuls would enter office at the beginning, or Kalends, of a month, although sometimes consuls would take office on the Ides or Nones, or on rare occasions between these dates. Most of the emperors held the consulship several times serving as one of the ordinares, resigning as early as the Ides of January.
In addition to the consuls, the Ostienses listed the local duumviri jure dicundo, the chief magistrates of Ostia, who were tasked with carrying out the census every fifth year. Prefects are mentioned in a few years, but these appear to have been local officials bearing the names of the same families who supplied the city's duumvirs. Inserted between the Roman consuls and Ostian magistrates, the Ostienses describe important occasions, such as events relating to the emperor or the imperial family, the deaths of notable individuals, the dedication of statues and temples; the main focus is on events at Rome, although several events of local significance to Ostians are recorded, including the appointment of new Priests of Vulcan, the donation of congiaria. Although the surviving portions of the fasti cover a period of nearly two hundred and twenty five years, only about eighty-five years are preserved. Moreover, contrary to the Fasti Capitolini, these fasti did not record the consuls' filiations, making prosopography of the Empire more difficult.
Nonetheless, the Fasti Ostienses are immensely valuable as a source for the names and chronology of many of the consuls who held office under the empire. The following tables give the magistrates and events from the most recent reconstruction of the Fasti Ostienses; the years provided in the columns on the left are based on modern scholarship. Portions of names and text in square brackets have been interpolated. Periods have been supplied for abbreviations. Missing text is indicated with an ellipsis in brackets; these tables use modern conventions for distinguishing between I and J, between U and V. Otherwise, the names and notes are given as spelled in the fasti. Coss. = consules, consuls Suf. = consules suffecti IIviri = duumviri, duumvirs c. p. q
In ancient geography in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians. The Greeks referred to them as the Getae and the Romans called them Daci. Dacia was bounded in the south by the Danubius river, in Greek sources the Istros, or at its greatest extent, by the Haemus Mons. Moesia, a region south-east of the Danube, was a core area where the Getae lived and interacted with the Ancient Greeks. In the east it was bounded by the Pontus Euxinus and the river Danastris, in Greek sources the Tyras, but several Dacian settlements are recorded between the rivers Dniester and Hypanis, the Tisia to the west. At times Dacia included areas between the Middle Danube; the Carpathian Mountains are located in the middle of Dacia. It thus corresponds to the present-day countries of Romania and Moldova, as well as smaller parts of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine. A Dacian Kingdom of variable size existed between 82 BC until the Roman conquest in AD 106; the capital of Dacia, located in modern Romania, was destroyed by the Romans, but its name was added to that of the new city built by the latter to serve as the capital of the Roman province of Dacia.
The Dacians are first mentioned in Herodotus and Thucydides. The extent and location of Dacia varied in its three distinct historical periods: The Dacia of King Burebista, stretched from the Black Sea to the source of the river Tisa and from the Balkan Mountains to Bohemia. During that period, the Geto-Dacians conquered a wider territory and Dacia extended from the Middle Danube to the Black Sea littoral and from present-day Slovakia's mountains to the Balkan mountains. In 53 BC, Julius Caesar stated that the lands of the Dacians started on the eastern edge of the Hercynian Forest. After Burebista's death, his kingdom split in four states five. Strabo, in his Geography written around AD 20, says: ″As for the southern part of Germany beyond the Albis, the portion, just contiguous to that river is occupied by the Suevi; the hold of the Dacians between the Danube and Tisza was tenuous. However, the archaeologist Parducz argued a Dacian presence west of the Tisa dating from the time of Burebista.
According to Tacitus Dacians bordered Germania in the south-east, while Sarmatians bordered it in the east. In the 1st century AD, the Iazyges settled West of Dacia, on the plain between the Danube and the Tisa rivers, according to the scholars' interpretation of Pliny's text: "The higher parts between the Danube and the Hercynian Forest as far as the winter quarters of Pannonia at Carnutum and the plains and level country of the German frontiers there are occupied by the Sarmatian Iazyges, while the Dacians whom they have driven out hold the mountains and forests as far as the river Theiss". Written a few decades after the Roman conquest of parts of Dacia in AD 105–106, Ptolemy's Geographia included the boundaries of Dacia. According to the scholars' interpretation of Ptolemy Dacia was the region between the rivers Tisza, upper Dniester, Siret. Mainstream historians accept this interpretation: Waldman Mason. Ptolemy provided a couple of Dacian toponyms in south Poland in the Upper Vistula river basin: Susudava and Setidava.
This could have been an "echo" of Burebista's expansion. It seems that this northern expansion of the Dacian language, as far as the Vistula river, lasted until AD 170–180 when the migration of the Vandal Hasdingi pushed out this northern Dacian group; this Dacian group the Costoboci/Lipiţa culture, is associated by Gudmund Schütte with towns having the specific Dacian language ending "dava" i.e. Setidava; the Roman province Dacia Traiana, established by the victors of the Dacian Wars during AD 101–106 comprised only the regions known today as Banat, Oltenia and was subsequently extended to southern parts of Moldavia, while Dobruja and Budjak belonged the Roman province of Moesia. In the 2nd century AD, after the Roman conquest, Ptolemy puts the eastern boundary of Dacia Traiana as far east as the Hierasus river, in the middle of modern Romania. Roman rule extended to the south-western area of the Dacian Kingdom, to parts of the Principality of Moldavia east of the Siret and north of the Upper Trajan Wall, to areas in modern Muntenia and Ukraine, except the Black Sea shore.
After the Marcomannic Wars, Dacian groups from outside Roman Dacia had been set in motion. So were the 12,00
A portico is a porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls. This idea was used in ancient Greece and has influenced many cultures, including most Western cultures; some noteworthy examples of porticos are the East Portico of the United States Capitol, the portico adorning the Pantheon in Rome and the portico of University College London. Porticos are sometimes topped with pediments. Palladio was a pioneer of using temple-fronts for secular buildings. In the UK, the temple-front applied to The Vyne, was the first portico applied to an English country house. A pronaos is the inner area of the portico of a Greek or Roman temple, situated between the portico's colonnade or walls and the entrance to the cella, or shrine. Roman temples had an open pronaos with only columns and no walls, the pronaos could be as long as the cella; the word pronaos is Greek for "before a temple". In Latin, a pronaos is referred to as an anticum or prodomus.
The different variants of porticos are named by the number of columns. The "style" suffix comes from the Greek στῦλος, "column"; the tetrastyle has four columns. The Romans favoured the four columned portico for their pseudoperipteral temples like the Temple of Portunus, for amphiprostyle temples such as the Temple of Venus and Roma, for the prostyle entrance porticos of large public buildings like the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. Roman provincial capitals manifested tetrastyle construction, such as the Capitoline Temple in Volubilis; the North Portico of the White House is the most notable four-columned portico in the United States. Hexastyle buildings had six columns and were the standard façade in canonical Greek Doric architecture between the archaic period 600–550 BCE up to the Age of Pericles 450–430 BCE; some well-known examples of classical Doric hexastyle Greek temples: The group at Paestum comprising the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Apollo, the first Temple of Athena and the second Temple of Hera The Temple of Athena Aphaia at Aegina c. 495 BCE Temple E at Selinus dedicated to Hera The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, now a ruin Temple F or the so-called "Temple of Concord" at Agrigentum, one of the best-preserved classical Greek temples, retaining all of its peristyle and entablature.
The "unfinished temple" at Segesta The Hephaesteum below the Acropolis at Athens, long known as the "Theseum" one of the most intact Greek temples surviving from antiquity The Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sunium Hexastyle was applied to Ionic temples, such as the prostyle porch of the sanctuary of Athena on the Erechtheum, at the Acropolis of Athens. With the colonization by the Greeks of Southern Italy, hexastyle was adopted by the Etruscans and subsequently acquired by the ancient Romans. Roman taste favoured narrow pseudoperipteral and amphiprostyle buildings with tall columns, raised on podiums for the added pomp and grandeur conferred by considerable height; the Maison Carrée at Nîmes, France, is the best-preserved Roman hexastyle temple surviving from antiquity. Octastyle buildings had eight columns; the best-known octastyle buildings surviving from antiquity are the Parthenon in Athens, built during the Age of Pericles, the Pantheon in Rome. The destroyed Temple of Divus Augustus in Rome, the centre of the Augustan cult, is shown on Roman coins of the 2nd century CE as having been built in octastyle.
The decastyle has ten columns. The only known Roman decastyle portico is on the Temple of Venus and Roma, built by Hadrian in about 130 CE. Classical architecture List of classical architecture terms Hypostyle Loggia Stoa Porte-cochere "Greek architecture". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1968. Stierlin, Henri. Editor-in-chief Angelika Taschen, ed. Greece: From Mycenae to the Parthenon. Cologne: TASCHEN. ISBN 3-8228-1225-0. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list Stierlin, Henri. Silvia Kinkle, ed; the Roman Empire: From the Etruscans to the Decline of the Roman Empire. Cologne: TASCHEN. ISBN 3-8228-1778-3
The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn; the word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus built here, afterwards it was used for the whole hill, thus Mons Capitolinus. Ancient sources refer the name to caput and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found, some sources saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus; the Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, was adopted as a symbol of eternity. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, Capitolium Campidoglio; the Capitoline Hill contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo. Influenced by Roman architecture and Roman republican times, the word Capitolium still lives in the English word capitol.
The Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. is assumed to be named after the Capitoline Hill, but the relation is not clear. At this hill, the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia. For this treachery, Tarpeia was the first to be punished by being flung from a steep cliff overlooking the Roman Forum; this cliff was named the Tarpeian Rock after the Vestal Virgin, became a frequent execution site. The Sabines, who immigrated to Rome following the Rape of the Sabine Women, settled on the Capitoline; the Vulcanal, an 8th-century BC sacred precinct, occupied much of the eastern lower slopes of the Capitoline, at the head of what would become the Roman Forum. The summit was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad, started by Rome's fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus, completed by the seventh and last king, Tarquinius Superbus, it was considered one of the most beautiful temples in the city. The city legend starts with the recovery of a human skull when foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter at Tarquin's order.
Recent excavations on the Capitoline uncovered an early cemetery under the Temple of Jupiter. There are several important temples built on Capitoline hill: the temple of Juno Moneta, the temple of Virtus, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus; the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus is the most important of the temples. It was nearly as large as the Parthenon; the hill and the temple of Jupiter became the symbols of the capital of the world. The Temple of Saturn was built at the foot of Capitoline Hill in the western end of the Forum Romanum; when the Senones Gauls raided Rome in 390 BC, after the battle of River Allia, the Capitoline Hill was the one section of the city to evade capture by the barbarians, due to its being fortified by the Roman defenders. According to legend Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the sacred geese of Juno; when Julius Caesar suffered an accident during his triumph indicating the wrath of Jupiter for his actions in the Civil Wars, he approached the hill and Jupiter's temple on his knees as a way of averting the unlucky omen.
Vespasian's brother and nephew were besieged in the temple during the Year of Four Emperors. The Tabularium, located underground beneath the piazza and hilltop, occupies a building of the same name built in the 1st century BC to hold Roman records of state; the Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum. The main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis. During the lengthy period of ancient Rome, the Capitoline Hill was the geographical and ceremonial center. However, by the Renaissance, the former center was an untidy conglomeration of dilapidated buildings and the site of executions of criminals; the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli is adjacent to the square, located near where the ancient arx, or citadel, atop the hill it once stood. At its base are the remains of a Roman insula, with more than four storeys visible from the street. In the Middle Ages, the hill’s sacred function was obscured by its other role as the center of the civic government of Rome, revived as a commune in the 11th century.
The city's government was now to be under papal control, but the Capitoline was the scene of movements of urban resistance, such as the dramatic scenes of Cola di Rienzo's revived republic. In 1144, a revolt by the citizens against the authority of the Pope and nobles led to a senator taking up his official residence on the Capitoline Hill; the senator’s new palace turned its back on the ancient forum, beginning the change in orientation on the hill that Michelangelo would accentuate. A small piazza was laid out in front of the senator’s palace, intended for communal purposes. In the middle of the 14th century, the guilds’ court of justice was constructed on the southern end of the piazza; this would house the Conservatori in the 15th century. As a result, the piazza was surrounded by buildings by the 16th century; the existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536–1546. At the height of his fame, he w
Smarthistory is a free resource for the study of art history created by art historians Beth Harris and Steven Zucker. Smarthistory is an independent not-for-profit organization and the official partner to Khan Academy for art history. Smarthistory started in 2005 as an audio guide series for use at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as a resource for students taking introductory art history courses at the college level. In addition to its focus on college-level courses in art history, Smarthistory supports the art history Advanced Placement course and examination developed by The College Board. Smarthistory provides essays, video and links to additional resources for each of the 250 works of art and architecture that comprise the new AP art history curriculum. Smarthistory has published 1500 videos and essays on art and cultural history from the Paleolithic era to the 21st century that include the art of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. Smarthistory's essays have been contributed by more than 200 art historians and archaeologists writing in their areas of focus.
Videos are unscripted conversations between experts recorded on location in front of the original work of art or architecture. According to the Smarthistory about page: We are interested in delivering the narratives of art history using the read-write web's interactivity and capacity for authoring and remixing. Publishers are adding multimedia to their textbooks, but they are doing so in proprietary, password-protected adjunct websites; these are weak because they maintain an old model of closed and protected content, eliminating Web 2.0 possibilities for the open collaboration and open communities that our students now use and expect. Smarthistory won the Webby Award for Education in 2009; the Samuel H. Kress Foundation gave them a $25,000 grant for development in 2008 and a $38,000 partnership development grant with the Portland Art Museum in 2009. In an article in the Brooklyn New York Daily News, staff writer Elizabeth Lazarowitz quotes Steven Zucker, "Art can be intimidating for people", said Zucker.
"If we can make art feel exciting and interesting and much relevant to a historical moment...art can have real meaning." Unlike reading about art in a book, "the idea of the audio was to keep a student's eyes on the image", he explained. "It helped students to learn the material a lot better."In a collaborative article by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker, the founders explain the value of the resource for teachers and informal learners: "Smarthistory is helping teachers who are not specialists in art history find strategies to make the subject accessible and meaningful to students who might otherwise not have cultural resources available to them. And for college students, the site is fast becoming an attractive alternative to the commercial textbook whose short life cycle and $100+ price tag has become a barrier."In a Chronicle for Higher Education article, Beth Harris is quoted on the ambitions and goals of Smarthistory: "We just wanted to re-embed the objects in our world", says Harris, the founder and executive editor of Smarthistory as well as the director of digital learning at a New York City museum.
"We thought that that would make them more relevant and more engaging for students." Official website Michelle Millar Fisher, Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts and Design, Philadelphia Museum of Art "Smarthistory," caa.reviews, May 23, 2018, published by the College Art Association ARCHES Patrick Masson, "Smarthistory: No grand strategies needed, just openness," Opensource 5/02/2016 John Seed, "Is Smarthistory the Art History Textbook of the Future?," HuffPost 9/05/2012 "'Smarthistory' rethinks the art history textbook online", The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/23/2010 PC Magazine: Top 100 Websites of 2009, 7/27/2009 "Daily Dose Pick: Smarthistory" Flavorpill, 7/09/2009 "Smarthistory and Portland Art Museum", May 2009 "Brooklyn-based art historians launch website with videos of masterpieces" New York Daily News, 2/25/2011