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Article

Thorsten Opper

Elaborate monument erected by Octavian (later Augustus) in 29–27 bc on the Preveza Peninsula in Western Greece, north of the present-day town of Preveza, overlooking Cape Actium, to commemorate his naval victory over Mark Antony at Actium in 31 bc. The nearby city of Nikopolis (Gr.: ‘city of victory’) was founded for the same purpose at about the same time.

According to the historian Dio Cassius (Roman History LI.i.3), after his victory Octavian laid a foundation of square stones on the spot where he had pitched his tent, which he then adorned with the captured ships’ rams. On this foundation, according to Dio, Octavian established an open-air shrine dedicated to Apollo. Suetonius (Augustus xviii.2) and Strabo (Geography VII.vii.6) corroborate this evidence, although the trophy itself (with the ships’ rams) was, according to Suetonius, dedicated to Poseidon and Mars, presumably for their help during the battle. The hill itself was, according to Strabo, sacred to Apollo, and therefore the shrine was dedicated to him....

Article

(b Berlin, Oct 15, 1827; d Berlin, Sept 15, 1908).

German architect, archaeologist and writer. He was one of the leading figures of Berlin’s architectural establishment in the latter half of the 19th century. On completion of his studies in 1852, he was given the prestigious post of Bauleiter at the Neues Museum in Berlin, designed by Friedrich August Stüler. He subsequently became a lecturer and in 1861 a professor of architectural history at the Bauakademie in Berlin. Many of his church buildings used medieval motifs and elements, for example the Christuskirche (1862–8) in Berlin and the Elisabethkirche (1869–72) in Wilhelmshafen. He followed Karl Bötticher in his attempts to merge medieval and classical elements, best illustrated in his design for the Thomaskirche (competition 1862; built 1865–70), Berlin. There, Adler used Gothic structural devices embellished with rich Renaissance detail, a tendency that was also present in many of the entries for the Berlin Cathedral competition (...

Article

Franz Rickert

Roman and Early Christian city at the east end of the plain of the Veneto, c. 90 km north-east of Venice and 5 km from the Adriatic coast. Founded as a Roman colony in 181 bc, it received full town status in 89 bc and became the regional capital of Venetia et Histria. It was strategically sited on the River Natissa, which was navigable to the sea, and at the intersection of routes leading north-west over the Alps and north-east to the Balkans. Written sources indicate that several emperors, including Constantine the Great, had a residence in Aquileia; from ad 294 to the 5th century it also had its own mint. In 313 it became a bishopric and in 381 it was the venue of a council before which followers of Arianism were tried. Civil wars and the invasions of the Huns (452) and the Lombards (568) led to the migration of most of the population and the transference of the see to Grado....

Article

D. Evely

[Arkalokhori]

Minoan sacred cave in central Crete, which flourished c. 1650–c. 1425 bc. Situated 33 km south-east of Herakleion, on the west slope of Profitis Elias, a mountain to the east of the modern village of Arkalochori, it was a cult centre throughout the Minoan era (c. 3500–c. 1100 bc). Excavations by Joseph Hazzidakis (c. 1911), Spiridon Marinatos and Nikolaos Platon (1935) uncovered prolific finds despite previous plundering.

The earliest, scanty remains are ceramic and date from the periods Early Minoan i and ii (c. 3500/3000–c. 2200 bc) and Middle Minoan i (c. 2050–c. 1800 bc). Material from Neo-Palatial times (c. 1650–c. 1425 bc) was also found, but a roof collapse severely curtailed worship thereafter. Low walls may have been constructed to give the cave an architectural focus, but all that survive are a passage and a possible cell. Most of the finds are Neo-Palatial metal ...

Article

Augst  

Anthony King

[anc. Augusta Raurica]

Swiss town on the Rhine near Basle, formerly a Roman colony. The well-preserved and extensively excavated Roman town is important for the study of urban planning and civic architecture. It was founded by a close colleague of Julius Caesar, L. Munatius Plancus, c. 44 bc in order to establish a bastion of Romanization in the region. The earliest surviving remains date from the Augustan period, and there was much building activity throughout the 1st and 2nd centuries ad, a period that marks the floruit of the colony. The centre of Augst was dominated by its forum–basilica–capitolium complex, laid out in the format typical of Gallic towns and one of the best examples of its type (see Rome, ancient, §III, 2). Considerable rebuilding during the 2nd century included the addition of a circular curia. The axis of the complex was the same as that of the surrounding street grid. At the temple end of the forum, however, the axis changed orientation and led to a second major group of monuments, including a theatre, which faced a second large Classical temple (am Schönbühl). The theatre originated in the early 1st century but was transformed into an amphitheatre in the later 1st century and then back into a theatre in the mid-2nd century. The Schönbühl temple (2nd century), positioned on a low hill and aligned with the theatre, would have been a major backdrop to theatrical performances. It succeeded a group of much smaller Romano-Celtic temples. The town as a whole is notable for its religious remains....

Article

Janet DeLaine

(Rome)

Janet DeLaine

Basilica erected on the site of the earlier Horrea Piperataria (Spice Market), in a prominent position overlooking the eastern end of the Forum Romanum. It was begun by the Emperor Maxentius (reg AD 306–12), possibly following the fire of AD 307, which severely damaged the nearby Temple of Venus and Rome, but was only completed, in slightly altered form, after his death in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (AD 312). The Senate subsequently dedicated it to his victorious rival Constantine. The collapse of the nave and south aisle in the medieval period created the imposing ruin visible today (see fig.). It was a popular subject for Renaissance artists, who identified it mistakenly as the Templum Pacis, and it may have inspired Bramante’s design for St Peter’s in Rome.

Unlike most earlier basilicas, which had internal colonnades and trabeated timber roofs, the Basilica of Maxentius was built with brick-faced concrete walls and concrete vaults, to a design based on the ...

Article

Bassai  

Frederick Cooper

Site on the slopes and peak of Mt Kotilon in Arcadia, southern Greece, overlooking the fertile plains of Messenia. It is renowned for the late 5th-century bc Temple of Apollo with its sculptured Ionic frieze, its peculiar plan and the earliest extant Corinthian capital.

Apollo Bassitas was the principal god but his sanctuary also embraced cults to other gods, notably Artemis. Twin temples to Apollo and Artemis were built by c. 625–600 bc, the former (Apollo I) found immediately south of the present structure. The second temple (Apollo II, c. 575 bc) was replaced by Apollo III c. 500 bc, and blocks from Apollo III were reused in the last temple, Apollo IV, the remains of which stand today. The construction of Apollo IV began shortly after 429 bc, according to Pausanias, although some scholars date it to one or more generations earlier. Other evidence, however, including inscriptions and literary references, support Pausanias’ date. The architect was ...

Article

Janet DeLaine

(Rome)

Janet DeLaine

Vast baths south of the Porta Capena. Known in Latin as the Thermae Antoninianae, they are the best preserved of the Imperial thermae (see also Rome, ancient §II 1., (i), (d)) and the only ones in which the combination of monumental architecture and garden setting can still be appreciated. Begun c. AD 211, the baths were dedicated by Caracalla (reg AD 211–17) in AD 216, although the outer precinct was not completed until the reign of Alexander Severus (reg AD 222–35). There were several later restorations, and an apse was added to the caldarium in the 4th century AD. Fifth-century AD sources record the baths as one of the wonders of Rome, while brick-stamps of the Ostrogothic king Theodoric (reg AD 493–526) suggest that they continued in use into the 6th century AD.

The site chosen for the baths was terraced to create a platform (328×323 m) from which rose the bathing block proper, surrounded by gardens. Incorporated in the platform were extensive subterranean service areas, including a water-mill and a large Mithraeum. Two tiers of barrel-vaulted chambers formed an impressive façade overlooking the Via Nova, while a monumental staircase led down from the Aventine Hill at the rear. The hillside was buttressed by a series of cisterns fed from an aqueduct built especially to serve the baths. Tiered rows of seats masked the cisterns and provided an area for performances; flanking this were libraries. Either side of the garden between the bathing block and the theatre area were broad exedrae housing other halls for cultural and social activities....

Article

Daniela Campanelli

(b Lugano, March 26, 1787; d Naples, Dec 6, 1849).

Italian architect and archaeologist, of Swiss origin. He was a pupil of Luigi Cagnola and attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan, graduating in architecture at Pavia in 1806. He lived in Rome and between 1810 and 1814 was superintendent of the excavation of the Colosseum, which was being directed by Giuseppe Valadier. In 1812 Bianchi published the Osservazioni sull’arena e sul podio dell’Anfiteatro Flavio … in Rome, and he also carried out excavations on the Forum Romanum.

As a member of the Accademia di S Luca, Bianchi was put forward to design the layout of the Largo di Palazzo (now the Piazza del Plebiscito), Naples; the commission was awarded him by Ferdinand I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (reg 1759–1825). Ferdinand had in fact announced a competition in 1817 for the completion of this work, which had been initiated by Joachim Murat, King of Naples, in ...

Article

Thorsten Opper

Roman town in Italy on the southern slope of Mt Vesuvius immediately to the north of Pompeii, sometimes identified with the ancient Pagus Augustus Felix Suburbanus (one of the town's outer districts). Excavations carried out mainly in the later 19th century brought to light some thirty villae rusticae, part of an intense network of smallholdings situated on the lower slopes of the volcano and the adjacent Sarno plain, and plentiful evidence of intense agricultural activity, principally the production of wine and olive oil. Probably due to its fertility, the area was resettled after the eruption; baths dating to the 2nd or 3rd century ad were discovered in Via Casone Grotta. Most of the villas were reburied after the excavations and documentation tends to be sparse. Finds are now mostly in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, as well as a number of private collections; more recent discoveries are exhibited in a new local museum. The nearby Villa Regina is the only structure that can be visited; it has wine production facilities and large storage areas....