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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

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

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

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....

Article

Gordon Campbell

In 55 bc Julius Caesar landed in Britain, and the following year returned with a substantial army. He did not attempt to conquer territory, but on his second expedition he installed a client king, and so inaugurated the process whereby Britain established ever closer political and commercial relations with Rome. Caligula attempted an invasion in ad 39 or 40, but it was aborted before his army left Gaul. In ad 43 the army of Claudius invaded successfully, and gradually large tracts of Britain were conquered and incorporated into the Empire. The Roman province was known as Britannia. The northern limit of Roman expansion was achieved in ad 84, when Agricola defeated the Caledonians at the Battle of Mons Graupius, the location of which is unknown. Thereafter the Romans retreated to the narrow expanse of land between the Clyde and the Forth (later to be fortified with the Antonine Wall). Some 30 years later the Romans retreated south to another isthmus, this time between the Solway and the Tyne. When ...

Article

Valeria Farinati

(b Casale Monferrato, Oct 24, 1795; d Florence, Oct 17, 1856).

Italian architect, archaeologist and architectural historian. He studied architecture at the University of Turin (1810–12) under Ferdinando Bonsignore (1767–1843) and his assistant Giuseppe Talucchi (1782–1863). After serving (1812–14) in the fortress of Alessandria, he resumed his studies and obtained a degree in architecture in 1814. He served a period of apprenticeship under Talucchi, who helped him obtain a three-year grant from the Court of Turin for further study in Rome, where Canina settled in January 1818. He worked on engravings of Roman monuments under the antiquarian, scholar and publisher Mariano Vasi (1744–1820), and at the end of his three-year period as pensionato, he presented a survey of the Colosseum (Anfiteatro Flavio descritto, misurato e restaurato; dispersed) to the architects of the Accademia di S Luca, including Giuseppe Valadier, who were much impressed.

In 1824 Canina was appointed to execute his scheme for the expansion of the park of the ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

The Latin name of the smallest of Rome's seven hills, known in English as the Capitoline Hill. The term was subsequently used to denote the monumental Temple of Jupiter on the hill, and is now used to denote any citadel on the head or top of a hill, and especially temples dedicated to Capitoline Jupiter such as the one at ...