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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 …

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]. I…

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…

Volute

(164 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern architectural term, borrowed from French, for a spiral or helical decorative element on corbels, pediments and capitals usually of the Ionic order (Column). The much-admired precise incision of a High or Late Classical capital volute with its often painted or inlaid decoration (Intarsia) was presumably produced with the help of a pair of compas…

Epistylion

(589 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Ancient technical term, frequently appearing In Greek architectural inscriptions as well as in Vitruvius (4,3,4 and passim); applicable to all ancient orders of column construction, it refers to that part of the entablature of the peristasis which rests immediately on top of the columns. Modern architectural terminology often refers to the epistylion as ‘architrave’, whereas the entablature in its entirety ─ i.e. architrave,  frieze, and cornice ( geison) together ─ are referred to as epistylion. The translation of the initially wooden epistylion to stone rep…

Gramme

(83 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (γραμμή; grammḗ). A component of the start and finish line in the Greek stadium (  balbís ), which indicated the start and finish marking. It usually consisted of two parallel lines carved into stone and sunk into the ground. Examples are preserved, e.g., in Olympia, Delphi, Epidaurus and Priene. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W. Zschietzschmann, Wettkampf- und Übungsstätten in Griechenland I. Das Stadion, 1960, 35-39 O. Broneer, Isthmia II, 1973, 137-142 P. Roos, Wiederverwendete Startblöcke vom Stadion in Ephesos, in: JÖAI 52, 1979/80, 109-113.

Xystos

(187 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (ξυστός/ xystós; Latin xystus). In Roman Antiquity a walkway ( ambulatio) or a terrace, usually an element of a hortus (garden) and hence part of a villa. According to Vitr. 5,11,4 such a xystus consisted of an unroofed path edged by plane trees. In a Greek gymnasiun, the original context of a xystus (in evidence there since the 5th cent. BC), in contrast, a covered running track was meant. There is disagreement about the precise definition of a xystus in Roman architecture; sometimes (Varro Men. 162; Cic. Att. 1,4,2) it is only the course of a specifically laid out footpath that is termed a xystus. In the luxurious building style that existed from…

Guttae

(138 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Latin for drops (pl.); in the architectonic sense, ancient technical term only attested in Vitruvius (4,1,2 and 4,3,6) for the drop-like cylindrical shapes that are found on parts of the stone entablature of the Doric building style and that as imitated nails or nail heads attest to the anachronistic transformation of the only wooden building form into the canonical Doric stone temple [1. 53-55; 3. 10-13]. Guttae are to be found (mostly) in three parallel rows of six on the   mutulus of the   geison

Crusta, Crustae

(91 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Ancient technical term used in  construction technique. According to Vitruvius (2,8,7 and passim), a term for the frames or facings of walls made from cast cement (  opus caementicium ), later used generally for the covering of floors, roofs and walls with  stucco, marble, travertine or  mosaic. In  toreutics

Prostylos

(67 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Architectural term recorded at Vitr. De arch. 3,2,3, denoting one of the temple forms listed in that work (Temple). According to Vitruvius' description, a prostylos is an ante temple with one row of columns in front of the pronaos (Cella). An extended variant of the prostylos is the amphiprostylos.…

Byzes

(68 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Architect or building craftsman from Naxos, active around 600 BC. Pausanias (5,10,3) concluded from a supposed epigram that B. was the first to produce roof tiles of marble. An inscription on a marble roof tile from the Athenian Acropoli…

Mons Aventinus

(188 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Steep trapezoidal hill in Rome, stretching from the southernmost point of the city to the Tiber. It includes the Augustan regio XIII and parts of regio XII. The MA consists of two hilltops connected by a ridge (Aventinus Maior and Aventinus Minor). Until the regency of the emperor Claudius it was outside the …

Optical refinements

(300 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern collective term for various phenomena of Greek column construction, coined by the American archaeologist W.H. Goodyear in 1912. They include specifically: (a) solution of the angle triglyph problem; (b) entasis (outward curvature of the column shaft); (c) inclination (inward leaning of columns and cella walls); (d) curvature (slight arching of the stylobate, sometimes also of all other superstructures, e.g. in the Parthenon); (e) increased diameter of corner columns as opposed to the central columns.…

Peristylion

(174 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (περιστύλιον/ peristýlion, Latin peristylium). Representational element of ancient public and private architecture: Peristylion is used to describe a colonnade (Column) surrounding a court or square. In Greek architecture, peristyles can increasingly be found in private houses from the late 4th cent. BC onwards, also in numerous representat…

Regula

(110 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (Lat. 'slat', 'bar', or 'guideline'). Architectural technical term used in Vitr. De arch. 4,3,4 et alibi to refer to a slat with guttae on the epistylion (architrave) of a building of Doric structure. In width, the regula corresponds to the triglyphos and forms its lower end which structurally belongs to the architrave (and not to the frieze). Furthermore, the regula corresponds to t…
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