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Tainia

(303 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(Greek ταινία/ tainía). Term for bindings of all kinds. [German version] [1] Headband for festivals (Head)band, worn at Greek festivals (Pl. Symp. 212d.e, 213d; Xen. Symp. 5,9). Even gods wore, or bound their heads with, tainiai. (Paus. 1,8,4). Furthermore, cult images (Paus. 8,31,8; 10,35,10), trees (Theocr. 18,44), monuments [3], urns, sacrificial animals and deceased (Lucian, Dial. mort. 13,4) had tainiai wound round them. The Romans adopted tainiai from the Greeks (e.g. Ov. Met. 8,724 f.). As a sign of a victor and of success (Paus. 4,16,6; 6,20,10; 9,22,3…

Altar

(1,994 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen)
[German version] A. Definition and function The Graeco-Roman altar (ἐσχάρα, βωμός; eschára, bōmós; Lat. ara, ‘fireplace’) is defined by its function and not as an object of a certain type. An altar can be an ephemeral natural or artificial elevation, hearth or building for sacrifices involving fire, drink or other elements (in contrast to the sacrificial pit dug into the ground, the βόθρος [ bóthros], Hom. Od. 10, 517; Lucian Char. 22) and marks the centre of a sacrificial act. There are sanctuaries without a  temple, but never without an altar ([23. 150]; a…

Angiportum

(61 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (Angiportus). Lane; synonymous with vicus. According to Vitr. De arch. 1,6,1, a narrow lane or side street in contrast to platea and via, sometimes a cul-de-sac in Roman city layouts. Larger houses had a rear entrance accessible from the angiportum. Cf.  Town planning;  Roads;  Construction of Roads Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W. H. Groß, s. v. Angiportus, KlP 1, 352.

Phigalia

(734 words)

Author(s): Lafond, Yves (Bochum) | Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
This item can be found on the following maps: Achaeans, Achaea | Education / Culture (Φιγάλεια/ Phigáleia, Φιγαλία/ Phigalía, from the Hellenistic Period Φιάλεια/ Phiáleia). [German version] I. Location and historical development Town in southwest Arcadia on a very remote mountainous site above the north bank of the Neda (Pol. 4,3,5ff.; Str. 8,3,22; Paus. 8,39,1-42,13; Ptol. 3,16,19; Hierocles, Synecdemus 647,13), near present-day Figalia, and with close geographic and historical connections to Messana [2]. The town has a well…

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…

Spina

(237 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Uggeri, Giovanni (Florence)
[German version] [1] Barrier in a Roman circus Term for the massive elongated barrier that divided a Roman circus into two tracks running in opposite directions. A spina was usually walled and variously decorated (e.g. with statues); at its ends stood the metae (Meta [2]) that marked the turning point of the running track. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography J. Humphrey, Roman Circuses, 1986, Index s. v. S. [German version] [2] City at the mouth of the Spines This item can be found on the following maps: Venetic | Etrusci, Etruria | Colonization Etruscan city at the mouth of th…

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 …

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 determine…

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.

Incrustation

(507 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Wall decoration with a structure imitating architecture misleadingly described in Vitruvius (7,5) as stucco facing in the sense of the 1st Pompeian style ( Stucco;  Wall paintings); as an archaeological technical term incrustation (from Latin   crustae sc. marmoreae, Greek πλάκωσις/ plákōsis) in contrast describes solely the interior facing of walls of lesser material with marble slabs (however, the relationship of this ‘genuine’ incrustation to the 1st Pompeian style which imitates incrustation and therefore is frequen…

Atrium

(292 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen)
[German version] 1. Central room in the ancient Italian and Roman house with lateral cubicula (sleeping chambers) and rear tablinum (room serving as passage between the atrium and the peristylion) flanked by the   alae which had no door. Early forms of the atrium are reproduced in Etruscan chamber tombs (Cerveteri), the oldest evidence is represented by Etruscan domestic architecture at the end of the 6th cent. BC in Rome (the Palatine) and in the Etruscan Marzabotto. The early Roman atrium served as a reception room for the clientes whom the patron received while sitting on the solium. In …

Pnyx

(127 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (πνύξ/ pnýx). Conspicious large hill built with houses in the urban area of Athens to the west of the Acropolis (Athens II. 3, Hill of the Muses). From the late 6th century BC this was the place of the people's assembly (Ekklesia). Initially they held sessions on a gently sloping piece of ground following a natural semi-circle, which was almost undeveloped; the only structure was a rostrum (βῆμα/ bêma). In the late 5th century BC the whole site was architecturally shaped and in the process turned through c. 180°. The lavishly and representatively built orchestra-sha…

Egg-and-dart moulding

(216 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Distinct  ornamentation in the decorative canon of Ionic architecture, in modern architectural terminology also known as the ‘Ionian  kymation’: a profiled ledge with an arched cross section whose relief or painted ornamentation consisted of an alternation of oval leaves and lancet-shaped spandrel tips and which often concludes at the lower end with pearl staff (astragal) corresponding to the rhythm of the egg-and-dart moulding. Apart from decorating the  epistylion or the  frieze…

Compluvium

(84 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] According to Varro (Ling. 5,161) and Vitruvius (6,3,1f.) the customary formation of the roof opening of all types of the  atrium in the Roman  house. The funnel-shaped roof surfaces of the compluvium, which slope inward, conduct rainwater into the  impluvium, a basin at the atrium's centre. In the older displuvium the roof surfaces slanted outwards. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography E. M. Evans, The Atrium Complex in the Houses of Pompeii, 1980 R. Förtsch, Arch. Komm. zu den Villenbriefen des jüngeren Plinius, 1993, 30-31.

Construction technique

(3,375 words)

Author(s): Sievertsen, Uwe (Tübingen) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
I.Near East and Egypt [German version] A. Near East From the earliest times clay was the most important building material in Mesopotamia, along with reeds in the marshlands of the extreme south. With only a few exceptions, stone architecture, in a fairly strict sense of the term, is not found either in Babylon, which was lacking in raw materials other than limestone lodes, or in Assyria. When stone was used it was mainly for functional purposes, e.g. in laying foundations. Only in late Assyrian monumenta…
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