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Obelisk

(1,597 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. Architectural typeThe two monumental ancient architectural forms, the O. and the formally similar pyramid, only underwent systematic symbolic interpretation in the Renaissance. It was also only in this period that they began to be built in Europe. The O.s surviving from Antiquity were made in Egypt, Ethiopia and Assyria, and some were transported from Egypt to Rome from the reign of Augustus. There were pyramids in Ancient Egypt, and occasionally in Rome as funerary monuments (Pyramid of Cestiu…
Date: 2016-11-24

Church architecture

(3,159 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. Church architecture and the ancient tradition As a building type, Christian C. stands in a remarkably complex and conflicted relationship with ancient architecture. The adoption of ancient building types and their adaptation to new requirements, as practised in other architectural fields (e.g. Bridge architecture; Theater architecture), could only take place in conditions of glaring ideological and objectual or structural discrepancies. Since the late Roman Empire, Christianity…
Date: 2017-06-20

Theatre architecture

(1,825 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. Introduction The Renaissance theatre building long remained an unfulfilled promise. Although architectural theorists of the early Renaissance had made thorough studies of ancient T. on the basis of the treatise by the Roman architect Vitruvius, it was not until the 1580s that purpose-built, permanent theatres began to be built in Italy. Like baths, mausolea, villas and aqueducts, theatres were an ancient architectural typology for which there was, at first, no socially established us…
Date: 2016-11-24

Urban architecture

(3,279 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. ConceptThere was no equivalent in the terminologies of earlier eras for the concept of UA, which was developed in the 19th cent. There was, however, an idea in existence from Antiquity of a planned conception of the key elements of urban design (e.g. streets, squares, blocks, individual buildings, parks and water facilities) that reflected social and aesthetic concerns, emerging in conjunction with the phenomenon of the town as a feature of settlement geography distinct, for instance, from ind…
Date: 2017-06-20

Architecture

(4,345 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. Problems and contextsEuropean A. of the 15th and 16th cents. can only be properly understood in the context of the Renaissance, as a movement of general renewal and, in the context of Humanism, a movement of erudition and education, built on a knowledge of classical texts. At issue, therefore, are not so much the internal systems that characterized the A. of the period, in terms of material and structural manufacturing techniques, building typologies, the development of a formal repertoire and t…
Date: 2016-11-24

Architectural ornament

(2,438 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. Concept and usage The concept of A. in Renaissance architecture covered a far wider spectrum of formal matters and theoretical considerations than in modern terminology (which confines it to "decoration on the surface of an object"). The Latin terms ornamentum and  ornatus ('ornament', 'that which is adorned', 'the ornate'; Italian from 15th cent. ornamento, French from 16th cent. ornemens; German from 16th cent.  Ornament, Zierungen), used throughout the sources, denote very varied forms of decoration in Renaissance architecture and also have wide-rangin…
Date: 2016-11-24

Bridge architecture

(1,298 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. Principles and challenges Ancient bridges were visible to later eras as sections of roads constructed with great architectural sophistication and as aqueducts conducting water across impassable terrain. Like ancient roads, many bridges remained in use after Antiquity, some even to this day (e.g. Pons Fabricius/Ponte dei Quattro Capi and Pons Aelius/Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome, others at Salamanca, Cordoba and Merida). Furthermore, even ancient authors already regarded the Roman Empire's …
Date: 2016-11-24

Architectural theory

(3,031 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. IntroductionThe modern history of reflection on European architecture begins in the early Renaissance. The fact that an independent theoretical discipline developed alongside the technical and artisanal practice of building and the professionalization of the builder's occupation lends early modern European architecture a unique cultural character. It also distinguishes it from architectural creativity outside Europe, for instance in Asia, Africa and South America, where despite the outstanding…
Date: 2016-11-24

Palace architecture

(1,808 words)

Author(s): Erben, Dietrich (München)
A. Definition and building type The word 'palace' and its cognates in the various languages of Europe, which were used synonymously with other terms (Italian palazzo with  casa; French  palais with  hôtel; German Palast/Pallas overlapping with  Burg,  Schloss,  Residenz, Kastell) is derived from the name of the Palatine Hill ( mons Palatinus) in Rome, which under the late Republic became the preferred residential area for the wealthy urban elite (e.g. House of Augustus), and where from the 1st cent. AD the palaces of the Roman Emperors were b…
Date: 2016-11-24

Discovery, Rediscovery

(10,607 words)

Author(s): Gastgeber, Christian (Wien) | Erben, Dietrich (München) | Ruby, Sigrid (Gießen)
A. Greek literature A.1. Access to Greek The rediscovery of Greek literature in Italy necessarily began  ab ovo. The division of the two halves of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity had led not only to the gradual disappearance of Greek texts (partly because they were not copied to minuscule manuscripts to replace papyrus and parchment majuscule texts in scriptura continua), but also to a declining knowledge of Greek as a literary language, although sporadic interest in Greek did persist in the West under certain conditions and at certain centres [3]. It remained a firm linguistic …
Date: 2016-11-24