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Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time....

Article

Elizabeth Rawson

First known Roman architect. Though a Roman citizen, he probably came from wealthy, Hellenized Campania (annexed by Rome). The pro-Roman King Antiochos IV Epiphanes of Syria (reg 175–163 bc) commissioned him to work on the Temple of Olympian Zeus at Athens (see...

Article

Karolina Lanckorońska

Polish archaeologist, writer, collector and patron, active in Austria. As an archaeologist his main interest lay in the architectural ruins of the late Roman Empire in Anatolia. In 1884 he organized an expedition of which he later published an account, Stadt Pamphyliens und Pisidiens. Sketches made by ...

Article

Seeia  

J. Dentzer-Feydy

Site in southern Syria, 3 km south-west of Qanawat, known principally for its regional sanctuary, now very much decayed (late 1st century bc–2nd century ad). Built on the tip of a spur cut by erosion into the north-west flank of the Jabal al-‛Arab, at some distance from main population centres, Seeia stood in a high position overlooking the valley of Qanawat. Several routes, which met at the lower end of the sacred way, connected this isolated site to neighbouring localities, which suggest that the sanctuary was a place of pilgrimage, trade and general contact for the inhabitants of the surrounding agricultural areas and for nomadic herders. The valley still retains traces of agricultural management, numerous tombs in the form of barrows and towers and a small sanctuary where the routes meet at a crossroads....

Article

Smyrna  

J. M. Cook and William E. Mierse

Greek and Roman site at the head of the Gulf of Smyrna in Ionia, now western Turkey. The earlier site, c. 4 km to the north, has significant Archaic architectural remains; when it became too small it was refounded, reputedly in 334 bc by Alexander the Great....

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....