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ARCHITECTURE:
Architecture of the Etruscans and Romans. In architecture, as well as sculpture, the Romans were long under the influence of the Etruscans, who, though denied the gift of rising to the ideal, united wonderful activity and inventiveness with a passion for covering their buildings with rich ornamental carving. None of their temples have survived, for they built all the upper parts of wood; but many proofs of their activity in building remain, surviving from various ages, in the shape of Tombs and Walls. The latter clearly show how they progressed from piling up polygonal blocks in Cyclopean style to regular courses of squared stone. Here and there a building still shows that the Etruscans originally made vaultings by letting horizontal courses jut over, as in the ancient Greek thesauroi above mentioned; on the other hand, some very old gateways, as at Volterra (fig. 7) and Perugia, exhibit the true Arch of wedge-shaped stones, the invention of which is probably due to Etruscan ingenuity, and from the introduction of which a new and magnificent development of architecture takes its rise. The most imposing monument of ancient Italian arch-building is to be seen in the sewers of Rome laid down in the 6th century B.C. (See CLOACA MAXIMA.) When all other traces of Etruscan influence were being swept away at Rome by the intrusion of Greek forms of art, especially after the Conquest of Greece in the middle of the 2nd century B.C., the Roman architects kept alive in full vigour the Etruscan method of building the arch, which they developed and completed by the inventions of the Cross-Arch (or groined vault) and the Dome. With the Arch, which admits of a bolder and more varied management of spaces, the Romans combined, as a decorative element, the columns of the Greek Orders. Among these their growing love of pomp gave the preference more and more to the Corinthian, adding to it afterwards a still more gorgeous embellishment in what is called the Roman or Composite capital (see ARCHITECTURE, ORDERS OF). Another service rendered by the Romans was the introduction of building in brick (see POTTERY). A more vigorous advance in Roman architecture dates from the opening of the 3rd century B.C., when they began making great military roads and aqueducts. In the first half of the 2nd century they built, on Greek models, the first Basilica, which, besides its practical utility served to embellish the Forum. Soon after the middle of the century, appeared the first of their more ambitious temples in the Greek style. There is simple grandeur in the ruins of the Tabularium, or Record-Office, built B.C. 78 on the slope of the Capitol next the Forum. These are among the few remains of Roman republican architecture; but in the last decades of the Republic simplicity gradually disappeared, and men were eager to display a princely pomp in public and private buildings; witness the first stone theatre erected by Pompey as early as 55 B.C. Then all that went before was eclipsed by the vast works undertaken by Caesar, the Theatre, Amphitheatre, Circus, Basilica Iulia, Forum Caesaris with its Temple to Venus Genetrix. These were finished by Augustus, under whom Roman architecture seems to have reached its culminating point. Augustus, aided bu his son-in-law Agrippa, a man who understood building, not only completed his uncle's plans, but added many magnificent structures--the Forum Augusti with its Temple to Mars Ultor, the Theatre of Marcellus with its Portico of Octavia, the Mansoleum, and others. Augustus could fairly boast that" having found Rome a city of brick, he left it a city of marble." The grandest monument of that age, and one of the loftiest creations of Roman art in general, is the Pantheon (q.v.) built by Agrippa, adjacent to, but not connected with, his Thermae, the first of the many works of that kind in Rome. A still more splendid aspect was imparted to the city by the rebuilding of the Old Town burnt down in Nero's fire, and by the "Golden House" of Nero, a gorgeous pile, the like of which was never seen before, but which was destroyed on the violent death of its creator. Of the luxurious grandeur of private buildings we have ocular proof in the dwelling-houses of Pompeii, a paltry country-town in comparison with Rome. The progress made under the Flavian emperors is evidenced by Vespasian's Amphitheatre (q.v.) known as the Colosseum (figs. 8, 9, 10), the mightiest Roman ruin in the world, by the ruined Thermae, or Baths, of Titus, and by his Triumphal Arch (q.v.), the oldest specimen extant in Rome of this class of monument, itself a creation of the Roman mind (fig. 11). But all previous buildings were surpassed in size and splendour when Trajan's architect Apollodorus of Damascus raised the Forum Traianum with its huge Basilica Ulpia (fig. 12) and the still surviving Column of Trajan. No less extensive were the works of Hadrian, who, besides adorning Athens with many magnificent buildings, bequeathed to Rome a Temple of Venus and Roma, the most colossal of all Roman temples (fig. 13) and his own Mausoleum (q.v.), the core of which is preserved in the Castle of St. Angelo. While the works of the Antonines already show a gradual decline in architectural feeling, the Triumphal Arch of Severus ushers in the period of decay that set in with the 3rd century. In this closing period of Roman rule the buildings grow more and more gigantic, witness the Baths of Caracalla (fig. 14), those of Diocletian, with his palace at Salona (three miles from Spalatro) in Dalmatia, and the Basilica of Constantine breathing the last feeble gasp of ancient life. But outside of Rome and Italy, in every part of the enormous empire to its utmost barbarian borders, bridges, numberless remains of roads and aqueducts and viaducts, ramparts and gateways, palaces, villas, market-places and judgment-halls, baths, theatres, amphitheatres and temples, attest the versatility, majesty, and solidity of Roman architecture, most of whose creations only the rudest shocks have hitherto been able to destroy.
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