The Long Reach of Roman Architecture before the Renaissance

Laura Hollengreen
Mondays 1 PM - 3 PM (AZ Time)
September 27, October 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2021
Watch the video to learn more about this course

The Long Reach of Roman Architecture before the Renaissance

1 PM - 3 PM (AZ Time)
September 27, October 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2021


Main Campus



We know that many of the achievements of the Italian Renaissance were founded on a revival of ancient Roman civilization. Less well-known is the variety of ways, moments, and places in which Roman architecture inspired medieval building. On the one hand, Early Christian buildings were modelled on and sometimes built of pieces from ancient buildings and Romanesque architecture looked old enough to be confused at times with ancient Roman architecture. On the other hand, Byzantine and Gothic buildings appear to realize a very different aesthetic while still being indebted to Roman innovations. This series will treat the variety of ways in which Roman architecture provided material, compositional, iconographic, and functional precedents for medieval buildings. In the process, I will emphasize how to “read” a building’s form for structural assessment, spatial complexity, and aesthetic impact.

NEW - Hybrid Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered both in person and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • In person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in person classes is limited by classroom capacity and offered on a first come, first served basis. All students attending on campus will observe the relevant University of Arizona policies designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (more information here). Students who enroll to attend in person will also have complete online access to the course including all class recordings.   
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration will open online on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • No textbook is required. All readings and class materials will be distributed to students electronically. 

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Associate Dean
College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture

LAURA HOLLENGREEN is Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. Trained as a medievalist art historian at UC Berkeley, she has taught in departments of art history at several universities and in schools of architecture at Arizona and Georgia Tech. Most of her scholarship focuses on Gothic art, urban spaces, and interactions among medieval Christians and Jews.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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