This study examines Domitian's building program in Rome, and how it changed the urban image. Domitian's building program projected a subtly hellenistic image for the city, one that would have been more agreeable to Domitian's brand of autocracy. The Introduction sets the stage for the inquiry, demonstrating an instance of people interacting with the landscape. Chapter One examines the definition and creation of an urban image through semiotic relationships between buildings, symbols and spaces in the city and visitors reactions and ideas to these relationships. This chapter also examines the Republican and Augustan urban images, as well as how literature can shape and reflect an urban image. Chapter Two looks at how Domitian built his dominus et deus image into the landscape controlling the relationships between buildings and symbols to express his supposed divine aspirations. Chapter Three explores the literary image of Domitianic Rome, as written by the poets Martial and Statius, and how their images reflect and encourage Domtian's dominus et deus image. Chapter Four aims to synthesize and expand on the previous chapters, looking at Domitian's urban image outside the city of Rome. This chapter also looks at the relationship between our perception of the emperor's character and the urban image. The Conclusion considers the implications of this study in the context of imperial philhellenism in Rome, and the significance of this study to Classics at large.


Florence, Monica


Classical Studies


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity


domitian, martial, statius, urban image, rome, philhellenism, architecture, literature

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Daniel P. Axmacher