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Tunnels, Tunnel construction

(635 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Tunnel-building is encountered in Classical Antiquity in two fundamental contexts: water supply or irrigation/drainage and - less often - road-building (Roads and bridges, construction of). Tunnels built in the context of siegecraft or military defences in fortifications (undermining city defences, such as in the Persians' attack on Barce: Hdt. 4,200; underground countermines as a defensive measure against siege ramps: Caes. B Gall. 6,24; escape or rescue tunnel) should - for a de…

Lithostroton

(56 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] There are repeated references in Roman written sources (Varro, Rust. 3,1,10; Plin. HN 36,184, among others) to the decorative floor covering made from irregular variously coloured small marble stones found in buildings. It must be distinguished from mosaic (cf. Pavimentum). Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W. Müller-Wiener, Griech. Bauwesen in der Ant., 1986, 109-110.

Pseudoperipteros

(95 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Architectural term, recorded in Vitruvius (4,8,6), describing Italo-Roman temples (Temple) in which the side columns of the porch continue as half-columns on the central wall around the cella, and thus form a  'false' peristyle without a true ambulatory (Greek pterón) (Peripteros). The best-known examples are the Maison Carrée in Nîmes (Nemausus [2]) and the Ionic temple in the Forum Boarium in Rome. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography Ch. Balty, Études sur la Maison Carrée de Nîmes, 1960 (on this type)  R. Amy, P. Gros, La Maison Carrée de Nîmes (Gallia S…

Tarpeium saxum

(44 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Steep crag at the southeast of the Capitol (Capitolium) in Rome; named after Tarpeia. Place of execution, where delinquents accused of various crimes were thrown from the rock to their deaths. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography Richardson, 377 f. s. v. Tarpeia Rupes.

Tholos

(626 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(θόλος/ thólos, fem.; Lat. tholus) rotunda; here, the term will refer to the monopteros as well. [German version] I. Greece In the architecture of the ancient Greek world, the circular shape of the tholos was always a peculiarity that stood out optically. Overall, the tholos was rather rare in Antiquity and was used as a striking and deliberately used architectural type. Building designs and details were not developed in a canonical way and the functions of the tholoi were varied: cult building; heroon/funerary building, memorial, treasurey, banquet/assembly hall; at tim…

Fornix

(238 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Latin term for ‘arch’. As a technical term in ancient architecture, fornix describes the arch of a vault, the vault itself, or the masonry arch of a bridge or aqueduct; also arched gaps in masonry walls for doors and  windows (cf. also  vault and arch construction). A cellar vault or cellar floor may also be meant; the dirt and alleged disreputability of cellars are presumably the origin of the new meaning of the term fornix in the 1st cent. AD as ‘brothel’ (e.g. Hor. Ep. 1,14,21 and passim) or as a label for any form of misconduct. Presumably because of this negati…

Sublaqueum

(47 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] According to Tac. Ann. 14,22,2 and Plin. HN 3,109 one of the emperor Nero's (Nero [1]) villas downstream from a chain of lakes created by damming the Anio (cf. Frontin. Aq.}} 93). Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography F. Cavalliere (ed.), Sublaqueum-Subiaco. Tra Nerone e S. Benedetto, 1995.

Hypogaeum

(290 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Collective term for underground architecture. In modern terms hypogaeum is mainly a part of  funerary architecture, in which case hypogaeum refers to architecture below the earth's surface and not that which is built above ground and then covered with earth in the sense of the tumulus with a tomb chamber inside; moreover heroa, which are closely related to tombs in character (e.g. that of  Calydon) as well as structures for special cult facilities (e.g. the nekromanteion of  Ephyr…

Quarries

(1,012 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Large quantities of purposefully worked, quarried stone were first required by the ancient cultures of Italy and Greece in the Mycenaean Period (2nd half of the 2nd millennium BC), and subsequently not until beginning in c. 600 BC with the onset of major projects for the construction of temples and infrastructure. It is a common feature of the two phases, widely separated in time, that the quarry used, that is to say the origin of the stone, was ideally located in the immediate vicinity (Corinth), seldom further th…

Euthynteria

(127 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (Εὐθυντήρια; euthyntḗria) Rare ancient Greek architectural technical term; according to IG II2, 1668, l. 15-18 ( syngraphe of Philo's arsenal), euthynteria described the levelled top of the foundations, the base for the rising walls of a building; from the euthynteria rose the  orthostates. Modern archaeological terminology customarily uses the term euthynteria in a more general sense in Greek columned buildings, referring to the top and thus the first levelled layer of the foundations, which is just proud of the soil level and upon which the  krepis rises. Höcker, …

Entasis

(273 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] A term transmitted by Vitruvius (3,3,13), a term, that however is not documented in Greek architectural inscriptions, for the swelling of the  column, which is to express the tension of this architectural part under the load of the entablature. Together with the  inclination and the  curvature, the entasis forms the most important element of the  optical refinements in Greek column construction; the entasis turns up in an extreme form in the archaic architecture of Western Greece …

Mons Testaceus

(127 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] An artificial hill, like modern rubbish dumps, to the south of the mons Aventinus in Rome, a heap of rubble dating from classical times measuring about 30m in height and a good 1000m in circumference. It consists for the most part of shards (lat. testa, testaceum -hence the name) of container amphorae (Earthenware vessels) which accumulated as breakages in the nearby port and storage facilities. The greater part of the shards, which were brought there via a ramp, originate from around AD 140 to 250. As a complete archaeologi…

Rostrum

(669 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] A rostrum (Greek βῆμα/ bêma; Latin plural rostra,) is an elevated podium, a pulpit (early Christian  ámbōn, Lat. ambo), or a type of stand, shaped in a variety of forms, which raises the speaker above his audience. This is useful not only from an acoustic point of view, but also lends importance to the protagonist acting on the podium, as it 'lifts' him in a significant way over his surroundings. Rostrum-like devices must already have been present in the archaic Greek citizen communities, as in all larger communities of colonists which had to decide…

Triumphal arches

(1,191 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Nomenclature and definition Roman triumphal arches (TA) as a free-standing monument were originally called fornix . Around the beginning of the Common Era the word ianus came into use, followed with increasing regularity by arcus. The term arcus triumphalis came into use in the 3rd cent. AD, leading in the early 19th cent. to the problematic modern concept of 'triumphal arches'. This refers to an imposing arch structure, generally free-standing, but sometimes also to an arch that spans a roadway and connects two bui…

Theatrum Marcelli

(181 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Theatre on the Campus Martius in Rome; probably already begun under Caesar and completed by Augustus in 17 BC for the Saecular Games ( Saeculum III), but dedicated only in 13 or 11 BC in the name of the nephew and first - early deceased - 'heir' of Augustus, M. Claudius [II 42] Marcellus. It was built on the place on which a large wooden temporary theatre was customarily constructed only for performances, and so takes its place in a tradition which was well-known in the Rome of the time. The complex, wh…

Via

(44 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern architectural term describing the ideally identical spacing between mutuli (Mutulus) - sometimes also the distance between the guttae of mutuli - on the geison in the Doric entablature of a peripteral temple (Angle triglyph problem; Column). Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)

Assembly buildings

(1,652 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Definition Assembly buildings (AB) are in the following defined as any building of Greek and Roman antiquity, which within the framework of the social, political, or religious organization of a community served as the architectonically defined location for interaction and communication. However, it is not always possible to define the function of an AB unambiguously nor to assume its exclusive usage. Sometimes, buildings or parts of buildings fall under the above definition, whic…

Architect

(1,476 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] A. Etymology, term, delimitation The term architect, not documented before the 5th cent. BC, derives from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων ( architéktōn; Hdt. 3.60; 4.87); in turn, this term is derived from τέκτων ( téktōn); τεκτωσύνη ( tektosýnē; carpentry), which shows that the architect of early archaic times initially dealt with  wood and only later came in contact with stone as a building material. The Latin arc(h)itectus is a loan word from this Greek semantic field. An architect is associated with practical tasks carried out by tradesmen in the cont…

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 …

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. Dome, Construction of Domes; Roofing Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W.D. Heilmeyer (ed.), Licht und Architektur, 1990  C. Spuler, Opaion und Laterne. Zur Frage der Beleuchtung antiker und frühchristlicher Bauten durch ein Opaion und zur Entstehung der Kuppellaterne, 1973.
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