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Wonders of the world

(657 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (Greek e.g. ἑπτὰ θεάματα/ heptà theámata 'seven spectacles': Str. 14,652; 656; 16,738; 17,808, among others; Latin e.g. [ septem] miracula: Plin. HN 36,30; Mart. de spectaculis 1,1; septem opera mirabilia 'seven wondrous works': Hyg. fab. 223; septem spectacula: Vitr. De arch. 7, praef.). In antiquity, magnificent human cultural achievements that were particularly notable for their technical construction and artistic ornamentation were referred to as "wonders of the world". The term was traced back by Gell. NA 3,10,16 to Varro's lost work septem opera in orbe …

Lacus Curtius

(156 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Monument on the Forum Romanum in Rome, which already in antiquity was associated with various myths of Rome's early history ( Curtius [1]). Probably built in the Augustan period, the lacus Curtius (LC) was among the monuments on the Roman Forum that served as vivid, palpable manifestations of early Roman history and, as such, provided a means by which mythology could be given a role to play in the depiction of historical reality, which so far had been recorded primarily in the form of chronicles. The LC consist…

Stylobate

(307 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (στυλοβάτης/ stylobátēs, Lat. stylobates). Ancient term belonging to construction technique [1]; in Greek buildings with columns, the term for the surface of the uppermost step of the krepis [1] or the individual slabs of it on which the columns stand (not, as is commonly and mistakenly assumed, the uppermost step of the krepis as a whole). The stylobate was a central objective in planning temples (Building trade). In an archaic Doric temple it is mostly in the (usually very elongated) stylobate that one of the leading proportions o…

Water pipes

(64 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] were an essential element of the water supply and the infrastructure of ancient cities. They brought fresh water over or under ground into the city from springs outside (Roman aqueducts of up to 130 km in length). As an underground network they formed the prerequisite for distributing water within the city. Water supply I C, II C, and E Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)

Cavea

(118 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (‘hollow’). 1. Animal cage, beehive. 2. Grid rack placed by fullers over coal fires to dry materials. 3. Terrace-shaped rising seating area in the  amphitheatre,  odeum and  theatre, also common as a public meeting place (e.g. Athens, Pnyx). In larger facilities divided by ambulatories into prima, media and summa cavea that were allocated to various groups of people. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W. A. McDonald, The Political Meeting Places of the Greeks, 1943 J. A. Hanson, Roman Theatre-Temples, 1959 D. B. Small, Social Correlations to the Greek…

Subura

(115 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Ancient topographical designation for an area in Rome the precise location of which is unclear or ambivalent. Apparently, S. at first referred to the area in the valley between Oppius and Caelius; S. marks the first of four urban regions (Varro, Ling. 5,48; Tribus). Later, in everyday language S. was used to refer to only one part of this regio IV, and that is the densely populated quarter between Quirinalis, Cispius, Viminalis and Esquiline which housed many craftsmen and stood in ill repute (Mart. 12,18; Juv. 11,51). Roma Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography Å. Fri…

Culina

(277 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Lat. term for kitchen. In Greek antiquity, an independent room in the  house with hearth and other infrastructure (smoke outlet, drainage) for preparation of meals was unknown for a long time; generally, the hearth served as a focal point in the main room of a house and was at the same time the centre of social communication. Kitchens in a more narrow sense, as functionally-defined, separate room components, are to be found first in the late Classical houses of Olynthus, then incr…

Apse

(560 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (ἀψίς; apsís). ‘Arch, vault’, Latin apsis or absida, cf. also  exedra. Semicircular, sometimes polygonal, roofed architectural element, normally used as a closure or part of a room. Early proof in Aegean house architecture ( House); houses with an oblong rectangular plan closed at the rear by a semicircular apse can already be found in the lowest layers at Troy (Troy I a), in the entire Aegean Bronze Age and also in the Geometrical architecture of Greece (i.a. Antissa, Lefkandi, Lerna, M…

Velabrum

(115 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] An originally swampy area within the City of Rome (with plan 2), between the Capitol, the Palatine and the banks of the Tiber; the naming and the origin of the word (from Etruscan  vel, 'swamp'?) was already disputed in Antiquity (cf. Varro Ling. 5,43). The area was drained as early as the Republican period with the help of the Cloaca maxima , after the Neronic fire (64 AD) further raised and then densely built on as a significant mercantile quarter near the city centre. The Forma Urbis Romae shows the V. as a close-built inner-city district. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Biblio…

Balbis

(117 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Starting- and finishing-line in the Greek  stadium. The balbis was a stone bump equipped with grooves and let into the ground; starting gates made of wooden posts were anchored into it. The grooves served as places for the feet to rest against when starting. Numerous examples are preserved such as in Olympia, Delphi, Nemea, Ephesus. Artistic representations in sculpture, relief art and vase-painting. In addition, balbis is also a term to describe the line to mark the throwing off of discus and javelin. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W. Zschietzschmann, Wet…

Lararium

(225 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Private family sanctuary or cult memorial - most commonly situated in the atrium, sometimes also in the kitchen, peristyle or garden of the Roman house - for the lares familiares ( Lares; Personification), either in the form of a niche, a small temple ( Aedicula) or even in the form of a wall painting creating an architectural illusion. Lararia were originally decorated with statuettes and additional votive offerings, depending on wealth, and served a vital purpose within the larger context of social interaction as each family's representative focal point. Numerous lar…

Ianiculum

(104 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] One of the seven hills of Rome ( Roma), located on the right bank of the Tiber and already during the Republican period connected to the  Campus Martius by four bridges. Because of its military significance, the I. was incorporated into the ager Romanus at an early date (Cass. Dio 37,27,3 - 37,28,1). The name I. probably refers to a cultic site of Ianus. In the later Republic this hill, which was traversed by the via Aurelia was the location of several large  gardens ( horti Agrippinae; horti Caesaris). Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography P. Liverani, s.v. I., LTUR …

Caryatids

(390 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (Καρυάτιδες; Karyátides). Female figures, mostly in long robes, used as supports for various utensils (i.a. mirror handles) or in an architectural context ( Architectural sculpture), where they replace columns, semi-columns or pilasters. According to Vitruvius (1,1,5), the term was derived from the Peloponnesian town of  Caryae [2]; it cannot be found in Greek before the 4th cent. BC (Lynceus in Ath. 6,241d). In inscriptions on buildings of the 5th cent. BC (Erechtheion), caryatids are referred to as κώραι ( kṓrai). The earliest architectural caryatids occ…

Attillus

(31 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Roman mosaicist, signed a figural mosaic found at Oberwenigen near Zurich ( Attillus fecit). Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography A. Blanchet, La mosaïque, 1928, 56 L. Guerrini, s.v. A., EAA 1, 906.

Angle triglyph problem

(861 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern term for the problem arising in Greek stone constructions of the Doric order in the attempt to effect a regular sequence, around a corner of,  triglyph and  metope in the  frieze above a row of columns. In canonical Doric structure, every other triglyph rests over the centre of a column. At angles this becomes unfeasible where the depth of the architrave ( Epistylion) exceeds the breadth of a triglyph, since in that case either the architrave is no longer centred on the aba…

Könnensbewußtsein

(301 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern term coined by the ancient historian Ch. Meier [1. 435-439], which refines, in a democratic-pluralistic context, the technical-qualitative self-image of the artisan class in the classical Greek period, as well the political self-awareness which interacts with it; Könnenbewußtsein encompasses in this sense an important aspect, resp. subarea of the Greek term téchnē (cf. also Demiourgos [2] and [3], Crafts, Artist, Art, Technique, technítai , Technology). Especially in the building trade of the 5th cent. BC, besides o…

Cella

(722 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(‘Chamber, room, cell, booth’). [German version] [1] Enclosed cella in an ancient temple Technical term coined by Vitruvius (4,1 and passim) for the space enclosed by walls within an ancient  temple (Greek: σηκός, sēkós). The formal development of the Greek temple cella from early Greek domestic architecture ( House), together with the related development of the peripteral temple ( Peristasis), is still a subject for debate. In monumental stone structures from the 7th cent. BC onwards, the cella served for the safe-keeping of the cult image or the image of the god, and…

Tugurium

(141 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (Latin). A primitive hut of perishable building materials; as a rule, a wood and clay construction, roofed with reeds, tree bark or turf (house), in Roman literature, originally described as humble housing (Varro Rust. 3,1,3; Verg. Ecl. 1,68; Plin. HN 16,35) and predominantly classified as for primitive peoples (cf. the huts of the Dacians and Marcomanni in reliefs on the columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius in Rome). The principle of the 'natural house', which had been described…

Septizodium

(368 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Ostentatious monumental facade, almost 90 m long, at the intersection of the Via Triumphalis and the Via Appia , which led into the city, near the Circus Maximus, forming the conclusion of the southeastern slope of the Palatine in Rome (and terminologically often confused with the Septizonium). The splendid facade, presumably of five storeys, consisted of three exedra side-by-side, which were provided with terminations at right angles towards the sides of the monument. The S. wa…

Waterworks

(318 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] In Classical Antiquity, the playful and wasteful use of water – already known occasionally from the Near East – became a factor within the context of a secured water supply, an unrestrictedly enjoyed, at least in part positively defined, public and/or private luxury and especially in the framework of a specifically Roman understanding of nature (Environment II.); it was also reflected in the architecture relevant for them. Waterworks were uncommon in the Greek polis world. Waterworks are first recorded in connection with opulently designed gardens. Parti…
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