View Page: The Evolution of a Monumental Space: The Baker's Tomb and Porta Maggiore
University of Washington Honors Program in Rome

The Evolution of a Monumental Space: The Baker's Tomb and Porta Maggiore
Section Five 5 of 7

The success of the Baker’s tomb is not only demonstrated by its two thousand years of survival, but also by its influence in the construction of more recent tombs. One of the greatest examples of funerary monuments with similar advertising strategies is the Column of Trajan. Penelope Davies, in her investigation into the role of the great column, continually refers to the tomb of Eurysaces as a provocative “record of things achieved, for the viewer’s entertainment, thus perpetuating interest in their lives” (51). The long, winding narrative relief sculpture spanning the Column of Trajan serves the same purpose as the simple frieze found just below the cornice of the Baker’s Tomb. Each aims at earning the focus of the passerby and searing a lasting impression into his or her mind. The effectiveness of Eurysaces’ tomb continues today as visitors are still attracted to its innovative style and unsolved history.

Porta Maggiore is recognized as an amazing achievement as it serves as the face of the aqueducts, one of Rome’s most ambitious developments. The meaning of the Porta was so significant that a Pope completely destroyed another entryway for the sole purpose of liberating the great old monument. The allure of this structure persists because it represents the legacy of the emperor that built it. Claudius’ double arch convinces the contemporary viewer of his faithful service to a furiously growing city.