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ART H101 Lecture Notes - Ancient Roman Architecture, Pozzolana, Pumice

Art History
Course Code
ART H101
Hoyne Santa- Balazs

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Religious architecture:
- Romans build like the Etruscans but decorated like the Greeks.
- Roman cattle market temple from the Republican period, Had an Ionic facade,
pilasters, columns that had only a decorative non structural function. No Doric use in
Roman architecture, very fond of Corinthian capitals on the exterior.
- Religious/ spiritual shopping mall, stalls for fortune telling, was build literally into the
hillside. This mall was made of concrete, which had only been used as mortar before.
They added Pozzolana to concrete so that it would not cure/ solidify as quickly which
would allow them to build larger creations. Most of their large and impressive
structures wouldnʼt have been feasible w/o concrete. It was faster easier and costless.
- Wanted building to be pretty. so they faced everything with a veneer.
- EXCEDRA: small semicircular architectural feature.
- Largest Roman temple, survived the barbarians was the Pantheon, it awed them into
not touching it. its still bloody standing. This temple was for all the planetary gods, it
was model of the universe. Solid granite columns , with no fluting. In the building the
Romans were after a disorientation.
- Romans expanded on the use of the arch.
- Unlike Other Roman temples it is unusual because of its structure(124-126CE) has no
known architect.
- Portico: the portal structure
- This was build in the 5th year of Marcus Agrippa, but was built later, but named as the
one before due to ancestor worship.
- Architect unknown in Rome because they werenʼt about the cult of the individual it was
more about the state and glorifying politicians.
- ROTUNDA: large open space that is circular.
- This was a logic defying experience and it was the shape that gave meaning. This is
perfectly circular spherical space. but the internal space is a perfect sphere. The
sphere was chosen because, this temple was dedicated to the cosmic gods, has since
ancient Greek times represented a mystery of sorts. The sphere had illusive
connotations that were also attributed to the Gods.
- COFFER: rectangular recessed indents in a wall
- What the coffers do in the Pantheon, is that it thins out the wall.
- As you get to the apex they mixed in more pumice to make the concrete more porous
and to lighten the load. The whole at the top was like a gateway to the heavens. The
bonze statues, were plundered from the Pantheon by the order of a Pope Urban in the
17th century. SHAME
- The outside would have had other structures butting up against it. The Front would
have been faced with marble.
The Colosseum!!!
- Would not have been feasible without arches or concrete.
- What made this possible (first century build by Vespasian Flavian) 70-82CE. Emperor
Titus presided over the inauguration. Is not perfectly circular has a slightly oval shape.
- THEATRON: what is often called an amphitheatre.
- AMPHI =both/2
- Put two together you get a an arena in the centre.
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