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Skeuotheke

(182 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (σκευοθήκη; skeuothḗkē). Epigraphically documented Ancient Greek term for a store, arsenal or hall for storing the rigging of warships (esp. IG II2 1668 for a skeuotheke in Peiraeus near Athens). Skeuothekai belong to the Greek publicly funded sphere of useful architecture, which in the 4th cent. BC acquired an increasingly representational character; existing functional buildings of wood were sometimes lavishly rebuilt in stone. Typologically the

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

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

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…

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)

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…

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

Akroterion

(118 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] (ἀκρωτήριον; akrōtḗrion) Akroteria are sculptured figures or ornamental pieces that decorate the ridge (middle akroterion) or the sides (side akroterion) of  gables of representative public buildings. Akroteria can be made of clay or stone (poros, marble). Initially, in the 7th/6th cents. BC, round, disc-like akroteria with ornamentation dominate (e.g. Heraeum of Olympia) while later on, three-dimensionally crafted plant combinations (volutes and palmettes) or statue-like figures a…

Console

(216 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] Modern term, derived from French, for a horizontal support protruding from a wall or pillar, and serving as a ledge for an arch, statuary, or as the base of a corbel or  geison. As multi-storey buildings became more frequent with the increasing range of constructional forms available to Hellenistic architects, the console could form the transition to the roof of a building while still serving as a structural element of the multi-storeyed façade. The combination of console and corb…
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