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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.

Septizonium

(44 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] District of the city of Rome, mentioned only by Suetonius (Suet. Tit. 1) as the location of the house in which the emperor Titus was born; presumably on the Quirinal. Often confused with the Septizodium. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography Richardson, 350 f.

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…

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…

Mons Quirinalis

(201 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] The most northern of the seven great hills of Rome; in classical antiquity it was actually called collis rather than mons. It has been inhabited since the Iron Age; the Sabines are said to have settled there under Titus Tatius. The Quirinal was mainly a residential area up until the late Imperial era, with a mixed social structure in the west but a more impoverished one in the east. (The poet Martialis [1] describes very vividly the conditions in which he lived here on the 3rd floor of a block of fla…

Paestum

(1,940 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[English version] The polis of Poseidonia, founded in the late 7th cent. BC by colonists from Sybaris, was transformed into a Roman veterans colony named Paestum ( P.) in 274/3 BC, with profound consequences for its urban profile and the social composition of its populace. Early in the Roman Imperial period, it began to fall increasingly into decline, firstly because of the new north-south major travel routes which now bypassed it, and secondly because the plain to the south of Salerno, already ment…

Trochilos

(108 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (τροχίλος; trochílos). Cavetto moulding, a concavely curved element in a Classical Attic/Ionic column base separating the upper and lower convex shaped tori (Torus); also current in Archaic/Ionic architecture as a formative element of representational column bases (Column II. B.3. with ill.). The contours of the trochiloi of the column bases in the archaic Temple of Hera on Samos [3], turned on a lathe and of remarkably varied shape, are famous. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography Ebert, 26 (terminology and etymology)  Ch. Höcker, Sekos, Dipteros, Hyp…

Triglyphos

(237 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (τρίγλυφος/ tríglyphos, feminine). The triply grooved panels on the  frieze of the Doric order (cf. Angle triglyph problem, with ill.; Column II. B.). According to an assumption recorded by Vitruvius (4,2,2), that the basic forms of the Doric order derive from a transition from building in wood to building in stone, the tríglyphos marks the notched end of roof beams lying horizontally on the architrave. The indentations of the ends in wooden constructions were (primarily) due to technical rather than decorative reasons; they, together with the roof overhang and the mu…

Gynaikonitis

(94 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (γυναικωνῖτις; gynaikōnîtis). In contrast to the   andrṓn [4], gynaikonitis describes the introverted women's wing in the Greek  house that as a rule was closed off in the upper floor from the rather extroverted area of the world of men and that also held the tools of economic production of the woman (weaving stool, spinning wheel etc.); the inferior position of the  woman in the patriarchal society of Greece was expressed in this hierarchization of building conditions. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography W. Hoepfner, E. L. Schwandner, Haus und Stadt im kla…

Door

(712 words)

Author(s): Hausleiter | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Apart from their architectural function as the transition between inside and outside or between spatial units of a building, doors possessed a symbolic and magical meaning in the Ancient Orient and Egypt. For example, in the Neo-Assyrian period (9th -7th cents. BC), doors and passages of public buildings were flanked by apotropaic hybrid creatures. In the Ancient Orient doors mostly consisted of wooden posts to which a panel of wood or reed was firmly attached. The post, which was anchored at the top, turned on…
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