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Composite Order - Combination of Ionic and Corithian, large scale valutes and acanthus leaves
Clearly the Romans were excellent engineers and this allowed enormous freedom to architecture. Destructive fires in the city pushed innovations such as the use of pozzolanic concrete. Concrete not only allowed fire-prone materials to be eliminated but its greater strength permitted the construction of enormous structures which until then had been impossible to conceive. The enormous, single-span, dome of the Pantheon is one such example. Other architectural innovations can be found in great buildings such as the Domus Aurea, Nero's Golden House. Its vast dimensions allowed the designers to surprise the visitor with unexpected features such as the vaulted octagonal room. The Domus Aurea also gives us an interesting parallel with the architects and buildings of later periods. For example it is interesting to note how the Romans enjoyed using false structural features to aesthetic ends like building false vaults into their ceilings. These could be plastered and painted as in the Domus Aurea but in fact they performed no real weight-bearing function. There is merely a space between them and the beams of the floor above, which at best provided the function of improved insulation and sound proofing. I find an interesting similarity and counterpoise to this in the Gothic aesthetic trick of accentuating the structural ribs of churches in order to render a stronger sensation of height rather than to actually perform a structural function. The manipulation of "space" in Roman architecture also shows through in the arts closely associated with Roman architecture. For example in Roman mosaics we see a breadth of solutions which manipulate the sense of space through a modular "flat" approach which enhances overall size versus a central "emblema" which creates a focus in the centre - a device rather similar to that employed during the Roman Baroque and counter reformation when the altar was placed closer to the centre of the church.
At the height of the empire we find the first examples of apartment buildings which could reach as many as three or four floors. or "Child of Jupiter". These apartment blocks were made according to predefined models with the apartments conceived as modules. The great baths are a tribute to the position and status of the individual the "civis". Her name was often interpreted as "First-born" or "Eldest". the modern Palestrina in Italy. which was older than that at Rome. The acqueducts are a tribute to the opulence of the state and its dominance over nature and the ravages of the world outside the city walls. blood and gore and yet more blood. Rather than looking inwards towards a central courtyard the apartments now looked outwards to the surrounding streets. appropriate to a Goddess of Fate. as it refers to the antiquity of Her worship at Praeneste. There Fortuna Primigenia had a great temple complex and an oracle. so She was also called puer Jouis. However. Fortuna Primigenia was regarded as a "foreign" Goddess by the somewhat xenophobic Romans. the title Primigenia should be more properly taken to mean "Primordial" or "Original" Fortune. forget the greatest of Roman pass-times: the circus. at first well aligned with political propagandistic drives and later put to use for religious (Christian) motivations: the manipulation of internal space to create an interplay between "inside" and "outside" and hence completely transform the individual's perception of the space and his position within society and "reality". and was located about 20 miles southeast of Rome. and not made part of Rome until the first century BCE. They naturally abounded in what was regarded most noble: water. Fortuna Primigenia is an old Goddess of Fate and Luck in Roman myth whose worship was centered around the city of Praeneste. and taken to mean that She was the eldest daughter of Jupiter. of course. Recognition of the surface brought manipulation of flat colour as a vehicle for conveying space (rather like a Mondrian painting) or by neutralising colour and overlaying images of imaginary creaturs: later known as "grotesque" because of the findings in Nero's Domus Aurea which when found was more like a series of underground grottos. We cannot. Praeneste was a city of the Latini tribe in the region of Italy named Latium for them. As Praeneste was often at odds with Rome during the Republic. The greatest innovation and invention of Roman architecture was not a conceptual one rather than one of engineering.Likewise in ancient Roman painting applied to architecture we find a range of solutions subdivided into the well known 4 styles of Roman painting which show a continued preoccupation with the wall as a surface which can either act as limit and support or as something to be broken down through illusionary space to be viewed from different positions as one moves around the architecture (eg Piazza Armerina villa). on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. though they did come to embrace Her in time. This was in many ways an extension of the Greek Amphitheater but developed to include the shows which were closest to the passions of the common man of Rome: naval battles. columns and vaults with cladding of precious marbles and mosaics. We therefore see the first modern concepts of urban planning. racing chariots. .
though a palace was built on the foundations in the Renaissance. She was especially favored by married women.e. Naturally as a Goddess connected with childbirth. the supreme female and male principles. could be seen from all over Latium. even from as far away as Rome. as in the first to bear children. since it's easier to built on foundations that are already there than to take them apart and start from scratch. It was a huge complex. the one to the west most likely being the original shrine of Fortuna around which the complex was built. are two small caves or grottoes. i. following the original layout.As the "First-born" daughter of Jupiter. On the oldest level. and owing to its spectacular situation on a hill.. The temple of Fortuna Primigenia was one of the largest in ancient Italy. and it incorporated two reservoirs which provided water for a great fountain as well as for the surrounding town. measuring 1300-plus feet at the base of it and stretching vertically up the hillside for 450 feet. Fortuna Primigenia was believed to fix the new-born child's destiny or fate. as is not uncommon of medieval or Renaissance structures built over ancient sites. the temple itself has long since vanished). and had several levels of terraces and staircases. symbolizing totality as Mother and Father Deities. and curia (meeting-hall). it kept the semicircular shape of the colonnade just below the temple (alas. Her temple complex in Praeneste was built into the side of a great hill. . who were said to be Juno and Jupiter. and She was depicted as suckling two infant children. a basilica. that of the basilica. Her name could also be interpreted as "First-bearer". if not the largest. The ruins today are very impressive. with the small circular temple to Fortuna at the top.
which spans are 15. The height of middle part is about 21m and width is 5m. • • . the bottom arch and middle arch. about 8. have 3 times or 4 times of the small arch in span and 6 times of the small arch in height. Segovia. Now the bridge exists about 300m long. Tarragon in Spain and Nimes in France.75m to 21. support the waterway. On the top of the 35 small arches.5m. Pont du Gard in Nimes is one of the famous one which preserve original style of Augustus era. 20m high. The bottom arches.5m high 3m wide. 49m above of the river. There was only 17m fall from the headwaters to Nimes and that meant the incline was 34cm per 1km. The middle arches are same spans of the bottom arches and the length is about 265m in total. Merida.• The aqueducts and bridges in Roman period exist in Rome. On the top of the bottom arches is a 7m wide road which has expanded for the trafic of cars in 1743. are about 155m long. The big arch.
but in that of the various orders of architecture also. of Grecian columns. It would seem that these exquisite edifices. derived from the Greek. but they combined features of different orders. while the columns used have the effect of sustaining the entablature only. and in the three-quarter columns in arcades. and would have added an effect of vast strength as a constructive element. and so placed the Ionic in the centre. courtyards. The entire structure is arched. who appear neither to have understood nor appreciated this column. show the degeneration to which Ionic capitals were subjected. for example. differs from it through the introduction of an independent base. as well as for useful supports in civil buildings. and a regret that buttresses were not used is involuntary. The Roman Doric. were too sublimated in effect to please the ruder Romans.. we see two styles most inappropriately used. The first glance reveals its faults. their structures were so lofty that they found it necessary to use the three orders of pillars. these would appear to sustain the whole. and of adding their own burden to what the arches already had to bear. now in the Palace of the Conservators. supporting an entablature. Two capitals from the Temple of Concord. they not only employed these in ways not before known. This order was used in Roman forums. It is to be deplored that the two orders which had reached perfection in Greece were not appreciated and properly used at Rome. However. in the perfection of Greek refinement. having a pair of rams' heads at each corner. and certain ornamental additions to the capital. and created the so-called composite capitals and bases. as it were. and a net. . one above the other.Arch The Romans not only demonstrated their power to adapt what already existed to many purposes in their use of the arch. The Ionic order suffered absolute degradation at the hands of the Romans. applied to it. In the Colosseum. but no purely Greek temple existed in the entire Roman territory. etc.
The stone work was built up around the frame and finally a keystone was set in position. such is the strength of the arch. Many of the monuments built with stone arch technology can still be seen today. The arch is an prime example of Roman technology that is still used world wide even though modern materials are now used. or perhaps it would be more just to say that Greek artists perfected this order in Rome. for while exquisite in design and grace. The wood frame could then be removed and the arch was left in position. and it is stated that as many as fifty varieties of Corinthian capitals were produced for Roman uses during the three fruitful centuries mentioned above. This the Romans accomplished. Those in the portico of the Pantheon have fine capitals. not over-ornamented. a wood frame was first constructed in the shape of an arch. As described on previous sheets. Stone arch technology was used even on Roman monuments such as the Colosseum in Rome. They applied to bridges they constructed across the known world and examples can still be seen today. . That was still incomplete in the estimation of the Hellenes. Within the Roman territory the Corinthian order underwent many modifications. A basic example of the construction of a typical Roman Stone Arch is shown below. the Greeks had not given it the strength which is an indispensable feature of a supporting architectural member. The technology they used has stood the test of time and some Roman construction methods are still used today. The Romans introduced stone arch technology over two thousand years ago.With the Corinthian order it was quite different. but the incongruity of a plain shaft with a Corinthian capital affords an example of Roman methods. They vary from the elegant simplicity of the Greek artistic taste to that florid ornamentation loved by the Romans.
many of which still stand today. The diagram above shows that accurately cut and shaped stone was used for the external walls." The thrust of the voussoirs pushes outward and downward in a Roman arch.Stone arches are not built entirely from stone. Roman arches are noted for their semi-circular. This filling was cheap to produce and use. Voussoir • The keystone is surrounded on each side by voussoirs. The use of voussoirs creates arches which can be be used to span large distances and which can bear heavy loads. The term voussoir comes from French and Latin roots meaning "to turn. . The Romans had a great understanding of material costs and consequently constructed stone bridges and viaducts from a combination of materials. or wedge-shaped bricks or stones. compared to cut stone and it could be used by unskilled labour to fill the cavities of structures such as bridges and aqueducts. Stone is as expensive today as it was in Roman times. Gravel. sand and rough stone was used to fill all cavities. An example of this can be seen in the arches used in construction of ancient Roman aqueducts. non-pointed curves.
animal hunts. workshops. executions. as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum. It was later reused for such purposes as housing. is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome. Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo). originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium.Colosseum • The Colosseum. quarters for a religious order. with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles. Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum. and dramas based on Classical mythology. reenactments of famous battles. Italy. from the gens Flavia). It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church. Capable of seating 50. The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius. a fortress. • • • . the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. its construction started in 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus. and a Christian shrine.000 spectators. or the Coliseum. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers. a quarry.
This magnificent structure was built of ivory and gold and was sculptured by the renowned sculptor Phidias. Ictinus and Calibrates. This theory was reinforced when Athens moved the Leagues treasury from the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary at Delos to the Parthenon (Opisthodomos room). Phidias and Kalamis were in charge of the design of the sculptures and decorations. Kalamis. although the League continued to exist.The Parthenon Work began on the Parthenon. Not only was the Parthenon a magnificent structure to look at. The vast majority of the money used in the construction came from the Delian League funds. However two years before work started on the Parthenon. built on the Acropolis. The name of the building most likely came from a cult statue of Athena Parthenos housed in the eastern room of the building. Pericles was the leading Athenian statesman at the time. the Athenians had struck a peace treaty with the Persians ending the war. The work began under the orders of Pericles to show the wealth and exuberance of Athenian power. The Delian League was a treaty between the Greek states in league against the Persian Empire. The Parthenon was finally finished in 432 BC and was to show the world the dominance and power of Athens. in 447 BC to replace an existing temple which was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC and cost 469 silver talents to build. The five main instigators of the design and construction on the Parthenon were Pericles. Phidias. It is believed that because of this the league stopped being a mutual defence against Persia but part of the Athenian Empire. As with most buildings on the Acropolis it was dedicated to Athena to thank the Goddess for their success. but it also showed Athenian dominance over the rest of the Greek peninsula and that Athens was its Greek imperial master. and Ictinus and .
The architects used a clever visual effect in their design of the building.8 x 63. This design was so renowned it has been copied centuries later.2 meters wide (97. with internal Doric colonnades in two tiers.9 meters (228. On the exterior.1 ft) high.0 ft). the dimensions of the base of the Parthenon are 69. The Parthenon is a clear example of Doric design with Ionic architectural features. the taper of the Naos walls (housing the cult statue) and the Entasis of the columns allow the visual effect to make the temple appear more symmetrical than it actually is. structurally necessary to support the roof. The curvature of the Stylobate. to the Acropolis. even the Romans incorporated it into the design of their buildings.33 in) on the sides.8 meters long by 19. and of 110 millimetres (4. The corner columns are slightly larger in diameter. It is thought there are around 13400 stones in the building.0 x 101.4 ft). Roman Houses . The Cella was 29. Measured at the top step.36 in) on the east and west ends. the Doric columns measure 1.Calib rates were the main architects.9 meters (6.4 meters (34. The vast majority of the 469 silver talents spent on the Parthenon went on transporting the stone from Mount Pantelakos. which was about 16 kilometres from Athens.5 meters by 30.2 ft) in diameter and are 10. and a good example of this can be seen at the Roman library at Ephesus. The Stylobate has an upward curvature towards its centre of 60 millimetres (2.
But others were not that nice. Even fairly well-to-do tradesmen might chose to live in an apartment-building compound over their store. In the apartment houses. Fire was a very real threat because people were cooking meals in crowded quarters. or flats. sanitary and pleasant.The lower class Romans (plebeians) lived in apartment houses. Their own apartments might be quite roomy. without running water. They had to haul their water in from public facilities. parents. with maybe renters on the upper stories. children) might all be crowded into one room. called flats. occasionally with running water. an entire family (grandparents. above or behind their shops. and many of the .
bedrooms. the columns surrounding the garden supported a shady roofed portico whose inner walls were often . They had to use public latrines (toilets). There was very little furniture. and no carpeting. and a private bath. a dining room. with rooms arranged around a central courtyard. a garden. and kids of one family lived in a home together. a kitchen. Homes were made. an office. which in ancient Rome meant the great grandparents. parents. not the street. The upper class Romans (patricians) lived very differently. There were painting on the walls and beautiful mosaics on the floor. grandparents. Their homes were single family homes. Wealthy Romans might have a house with a front door. The windows and balconies faced the courtyard. a toilet. quite often. of brick with red tile roofs. THE PERISTYLIUM Instead of surrounding their houses with large lawns and gardens. a temple. to keep homes safe from burglars. The peristylium was an open courtyard within the house. the Romans created their gardens inside their domus. an atrium. They didn't have toilets.flats were made of wood.
sculptures and even fish ponds. including a closer view of the peristyle garden. This reconstruction of a peristyle shows how attractive this part of the house could be. See this cutaway view of the rear of the house from the composite model in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. Atrium The formal. Typically beyond the atrium was a reception or office area known as the tablinum. Sometimes the lararium. Between the atrium and the street were the doors and a corridor (vestibulum. . The courtyard might contain flowers and shrubs. The atrium was open to the air and held a small pool to collect rain. Small bedrooms or cubicula branched off from the atrium.embellished with elaborate wall paintings. or it might be found in the atrium. central hall of the Roman domus was the atrium. beyond which would be an enclosed colonnaded garden. fountains. was located in this portico. benches. a shrine for the gods of the household. (one famous painting from a garden in Pompeii is the so-called “Venus on the half-shell”).
from which comes vestibule). Cubiculum .
for example. painted in Pompei red. with traces of wall plaster. Immediately next to the cubiculum there are further traces of Roman masonry. socalled tesserae.” THE CULINA . On the right side of the room the floor is somewhat raised. This type of brickwork is very common in the Augustan period. These paintings are probably from a later date than the Augustan period (27 BC. Perhaps this is from an adjacent room or from a portico facing the sea. a type of brickwork where small squared blocks were laid in a fishnet pattern in the cement core. in Pompei. Above this cubiculum Munthe had a roof erected to protect it.On the walls can be seen remnants of paintings in red on a white background. It is these remnants of a Roman villa that Amedeo Maiuri called ”the poorest and most famous ruins on Capri. of a type that is common. The floor is a simple mosaic floor in white with black decor. The most interesting aspect here. Here as well a corner of a mosaic floor similar to the cubiculum floor is preserved.14 AD). It is Opus reticulatum. however. is the masonry itself. made with small mosaic tiles. the bed probably was placed here. According to Arvid Andrén this indicates that Tiberius must have also used the villa.
some braziers were more elaborately decorated. for example at Hadrian's villa (bowl with doves. the villa at Piazza Armerina in Sicily and of course not . over 60 tesserae per square cm). The great benefit of mosaics with respect to paintings was the greater durability and vibrancy of colour. whose tops were utilized to keep dishes warm. Amazing examples have been found. Baking was done in ovens. dark. so much so that in many cases there will be little left of an excavated villa but the mosaic on the floor may well be close to intact. Embers from the oven could be placed below metal braziers for a form of “stove-top” cooking. so it did not matter if the room was hot and smoky. Ancient Roman Mosaics Ancient Roman mosaics complemented Roman painting both in terms of pictorial effects as well as in terms of their function in Roman architecture as elements of Roman buildings and Roman houses. like this bronze brazier from Chiusi. relegated to an obscure corner of the house. Wealthy matronae did not prepare meals. and poorly ventilated.The culina or kitchen was usually small. the mosaics in the House of the Faun in ancient Pompeii. that was the job of their numerous household slaves.
in public places. type and level of achievement but a second look will show that we can go a step further: Roman mosaics are a significant facet and indicator of the evolution of ancient Roman art and as such display many of the evolutionary twists and turns of Roman society itself. Before we delve into an overview of Roman mosaics and their development through time it is worth running through the table below to get a preview of some of the elements which went into creating the many different examples of mosaics which have survived from ancient Rome and . understanding this statement about Roman mosaics in a little more detail requires us to approach the subject as a mosaic with many components rather than linearly like a chronological piece of story telling though clearly we can't do without looking at timing and development as well as construction methods also.forgetting the wonderful examples from outside Italy such as the numerous mosaics at Antioch (3rd Century AD). houses. gladiator training schools and so on. shops. Ironically. At the bottom end of the scale. When dealing with ancient Roman mosaics it is tempting to simply run through the chronology. Between these extremes we have the multitude of mosaics used in every day situations. The level of detail and finesse achieved was extraordinary and the amount of work required to achieve high quality could make their cost quite prohibitive. but also requiring great time and patience we have mosaics employed for covering floor spaces in a durable yet elegant way.
Dante Domenico di Michelino's Divine Comedy in Duomo of Florence. . executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. Fresco Fresco by Dionisius representing Saint Nicholas in a Ferapontov Monastery.therefore how Roman mosaics reflect use and society of the time. Appreciating these aspects helps us understand the evolution and significance of mosaics in ancient Rome. Fresco (plural either frescos or frescoes) is any of several related mural painting types. The word fresco comes from the Italian word affresca [afˈfresːko] which derives from the Latin word for "fresh".
they enjoyed something of a revival in the 20th century. Declining in popularity.Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance. .
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