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Article

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.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Elizabeth Rawson

(Decimus)

(fl c. 170 bc).

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 Athens, §II, 4). Vitruvius (On Architecture VII, Preface 15 and 17) noted the temple’s huge cella and double Corinthian colonnade, which showed architectural learning and were admired by connoisseurs for their magnificence; he regretted that Cossutius left no annotated specification, as Greek architects had done. Surviving material, if datable to his time, is Greek and advanced in style, unlike contemporary building in Rome. The name Cossutius (in Latin letters) is also twice scratched inside a 2nd-century bc aqueduct near Antioch in Syria, suggesting that the architect worked on Antiochos’ building programme there. He may have travelled with his own workforce (as was common in the Greek world), probably chiefly his slaves and freedmen: the inscription could record a freedman, properly bearing his patron’s name. He may also have worked on the new Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus at Antioch and on buildings presented by Antiochos to various Greek cities....

Article

Barry Bergdoll

(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).

French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...