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Geison

(331 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (γεῖσον; geîson). Ancient architectural term (instances from Greek antiquity in [1. 32f.]) designating the cornice, the upper section of the entablature, originally in columned buildings with a h…

Dome, Construction of domes

(844 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] ‘Non-genuine’ dome constructions from layered corbel stone vaults ( Vaults and arches, construction of) are to be found throughout Mediterranean cultures from the 3rd millennium BC; they seem to have entered largely independently the architectural repertory of Minoan Crete (tholos graves at Mesara and Knossos), Mycenaean Greece (‘Treasure-house’ of Atreus in Mycenae; ‘domed grave’ at Orchomenus), Sardinia ( nuraghe), Thrace and Scythia (so-called ‘beehive’-domes on graves and also Etruria (domed grave at Populonia). This form is mostly …

Gymnasium

(3,037 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Hadot, Pierre (Limours)
(γυμνάσιον; gymnásion). [German version] I. Building style Public facility for sporting and musical leisure activities in the Greek polis; the term is derived from γυμνός/ gymnós (naked) and refers to the  nakedness at sports practices and competitions. Synonymous with gymnasium for the period from the 4th cent. BC in ancient written sources as well as in modern specialized literature is the concept of the  palaistra (cf. Vitruvius 5,11). This as the ‘Wrestler school’ originally referred only to a functionally determined partial building fie…

Opaeum

(83 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (ὀπαῖον, opaîon). The opening in the roof or dome in the architecture of antiquity; an important element of lighting in ancient buildings. Rare in Greek architecture ('lantern' of the Lysicrates monument in Athens; Telesterion of Eleusis), but common in Roman dome building.…

Pythium

(243 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Kramolisch, Herwig (Eppelheim)
(Πύθιον/ Pýthion). [German version] [1] Term for Attic sanctuaries to Apollo A term rarely used in modern archaeology but common in Antiquity for various Athenian and Attic sanctuaries to Apollo: 1. in southeast Athens on the right bank of the Ilissus (inscriptions, tripod bases extant); 2. cave sanctuary in the cliff on the northwest side of the Acropolis (numerous finds; however, often denoted in ancient literature with the cult name of Apóllōn Hypakraîos); 3. near the Daphni monastery on the sacred way to Eleusis (of undetermined location but presumably the sourc…

Septizonium

(44 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] District of the city of Rome, mentioned only by Suetonius (Suet. Tit. 1…

Monumental columns

(1,545 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. General In archaeological scholarship monumental columns are defined as columns that are used as monuments. They are separated from their traditional architectural context and crowned by a sculpture, a group of sculptures or an object, and they are either free-standing or grouped together in rows. Common to both varieties is the emphasis on the object on top of the capital, which is created through the extreme elevation, vertical trajectory and high visibility of the column. From the 5th cent. …

Praefurnium

(25 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Hearth of limekiln or furnace; also central heating chamber in Roman thermal bath systems. Baths; Heating; Thermae [1] Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)

Materiatio

(900 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] A. Concept Collective term used in Vitruvius (4,2,1) for all kinds of timber construction and the carpentry trades necessary in building. Materiatio thus comprises the field of constructional wood building, including the construction of framework structures, roof-trusses ( Roofing), galleries and inserted ceilings but also the manufacturing of the necessary tools and implements (dowels, wooden nails, wedges, rafters, pegs) as well as, finally, the provision of temporary scaffolding for moving stone in building work and the auxiliary wood constructions used by the Greeks to transport material and by the Romans in cast concrete construction (…

Insula

(744 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern technical term in urban studies derived from Latin insula (‘island’, ‘residence’) that in  town planning describes an area surrounded on all sides by streets and marked for development because of this structure. Insulae are not exclusively the products of comprehensive town planning. Within an orthogonal street grid they are usually rectangular or trapezoid, and rarely square, but the cut-out section of the irregular s…

Boss

(134 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Roughly hewn, unfinished external surface of a piece of work in stone ( Sculpture or  Architecture). The final shaping of the external surface constituted the final phase of work in both construction and sculpture; up to that point the boss provided protection from damage ( Construction technique;  Sculpting, technique of). Unremoved bosses on buildings may indicate incompleteness, but at times a ‘boss style’ was also seen as a distinct aesthetic element in construction art and wa…

Kymation

(161 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] General term for an ornament ( Ornaments) shaped like a strip or a ribbon, which is encountered in all the plastic arts from antiquity, above all in relief sculpture or architectural sculpture, painting/vase painting, and toreutics. Scholars distinguish the Doric kymation, consisting of a double band of orthogonal elements not dissimilar to the maeander, the Ionian kymation, with its sequence of egg and darts ( Egg-and-dart moulding), as well as the Lesbian kymation with its heart-shaped leaves, separated by lance-like darts. Especially Ionian and Lesbian kymatia

Pantheon

(2,240 words)

Author(s): Richter, Thomas (Frankfurt/Main) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] [1] Name to describe the plurality of gods In modern scholarship on religious history, the term 'pantheon' is used in systematizing the plurality of ancient gods (Polytheism). In the following, it will be used accordingly to denote all the many deities worshipped in a particular geographical area and socio-historical context. Richter, Thomas (Frankfurt/Main) [German version] I. Mesopotamia Sumerian does not have its own expression for a collective of gods corresponding to the term 'pantheon'. The Sumerian term A-nun-na, 'seed of the prince' (i.e. of Enki, …

Vitruvius

(1,935 words)

Author(s): Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] [1] Vitruvius Vaccus, Marcus According to Livy (8,19,4-8,20,10), V. was an influential citizen of Fundi (Fondi) who led the revolt against Rome that was undertaken by Privernum (Piperno) with the support of Fondi in 330/329 BC.  After the failed insurrection he was executed in Rome.  It is difficult to explain V's role in this revolt, given that he was clearly not an unimportant figure in Rome and owned a house there, which was then destroyed by decree of the Senate (Cic. Dom. 101 sti…

Thesauros

(505 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(θησαυρός/ thēsaurós; 'treasure', 'treasure house'). [German version] [1] Treasure house A treasure house in the sense of a protective structure within a sanctuary that housed a valuable object crafted from delicate materials, e.g. a votive offering (votive practice), although in ancient Greek terminology, thesauros not only referred to the location or the structural container but to the actual content (the respective piece of value) as well. In Greek sanctuaries esp. from the 7th to the early 5th cents. BC, thēsauroí were the generally common form of votive offerings. Th…

Prothyron

(108 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (πρόθυρον; próthyron). The entrance hall of the Greek house in the form of a roofed vestibule leading to the courtyard, marking the connection of the private and the public areas and thus used as a communicative, connecting element (because the próthyron could also serve as a shelter or meeting place for passers-by). Sometimes, the próthyron was even equipped with benches. The próthyron could usually be closed from the inside by a wooden folding door . Numerous próthyra have been preserved in the houses of Olynthus. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W. Hoepfner,…

Sima

(358 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (eaves). Upturned edge of the roof (together with the waterspouts needed to carry water off the roof) of a Greek columned building on the slopes of the pediment and the long sides of the roof. The name is recorded as a Latin technical term in Vitruvius (3,5,12 et passim) [1; 2]. In archaic architecture, particularly in Doric columned buildings, the sima was a favourite location for architectural decoration; it is part of the roof and has no essential static function. Initially - probably in the tradition of wooden buildings - terracotta simae were predominant; they were…

Masonry

(1,715 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] A. Definition In this article, masonry will be understood as the various construction and design techniques of the structure of the walls of buildings, terraces, and defensive architecture (city walls, etc.) in ancient stonework, but not the various areas of application of woodworking; cf. construction technique; materiatio; on Roman cement construction cf. also opus caementicium. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) B. Greece [German version] 1. Simple masonry The walls of simple early Greek buildings were first made of wood or wattle work. From the 8t…

Spacing, interaxial

(663 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern technical term which in the archaeology of buildings denotes the interaxial distance between two columns (as different from the free interspace, which has been known as the intercolumnium since Antiquity, cf. [1]). The interaxial space was a clearly defined subset of the axial distances, i.e. the distances between the centres of the four corner columns and as such served as one of the crucial design parameters in temple architecture (Temple; Building trade). This goes especially for the peripteral temp…
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