1A_Kostof - sixth century B.c., this oracle had emerged as...

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Unformatted text preview: sixth century B.c., this oracle had emerged as the general fount of wisdom, the dis- penser of binding advice that softened the harsh ancestral morality of tribal living with a new doctrine of moderation and respect for civilized order. The craggy wild of the site testified to the violent struggle be- tween old underworld forces, like the snake. Pytho, and the young god who in over‘ coming these forces trampled basic fear and made reason triumph. There in the tossed land, over the chasm of the earth, Apollo's temple rose as a trumpet call to measure and self-control. Many of the early temples in mainland Greece and abroad were ded- icated to the Lord Apollo. Colonies were usually established on the advice of his Delphic oracle. The Panhellenic community that such a national church encouraged corresponds with the rise of the polls or city-state at the regional level. The Greeks embraced ur- banism as a matter of choice. The polis did not respond to a major technological ad- vance or the push of commerce. It was not, initially at least, a manufacturing or mar- keting center; if anything, it remained an overgrown agricultural village dependent on the traditional labor of the countryside. The importance of urban organization lies in the desire to go beyond the common law of tribe and clan, to live under controllable institutions of self-government. The Greek city was founded on two con- cepts that typify the turn away from a pa- triarchal and custom-bound society and its burden of aidos, "that vague sense of re- spect for gods and men," as one scholar describes it, "and shame of wrong—doing before earth and sky.” One of these con- ccpts was the right of private property, which spelled the breakdown of the tribal common land. The other concept was in- dividual freedom, the faith in human parity that is the opposite of the self-reducing collectiveness of tribal destiny. The social grouping was now, theoretically at least, one of equals bound by their own decision- making and administered by elected mag- istrates. The hearth became the city, and every Greek became above all a citizen, there to light for the city’s interests and guide its affairs. There was to be no orga- nized military system, any more than there was an organized priesthood. Each man A PLACE ON EARTH carried his own weapons, as each person was ultimately accountable for his or her own good relations with the immortal pro- tectors of the city and its laws. The Greek Temple Greek temples served simultaneously as the symbol of a broad union of Greeks—a union predicated upon a common religion, a common tongue, and the belief in a com~ mon ancestry—and also as the symbol of each city’s special involvement with one of the immortals—Samos with Hera, Ephesos with Artemis, Corinth with Apollo, Athens with Athena. They had, then, both general and particular validity; they distinguished Creek from "barbarian" and one Greek city from the others. The message of the tem- ple to its own audience, from the Tyrrhen- ian to the Black Sea, was that the same ar- chitecture and religious iconography could be used to make very individual state- ments. The message of the temple to the alien world was that of a free people, sub— iect to neither king nor priest: "The whole folk year by year, in parity of service is our king,” as the playwright Euripides was to put it about Athens. In this larger sense, in what it stands for as much as in the way it looks, the temple remains a uniquely Greek achievement. There were, of course, some borrow- ings—both in the built form itself and in the art that enhanced it. Already in the eighth century, the geometric style of the funer- ary vases was being overlaid by a hybrid language of curvilinear designs, plants, and intimidating beasts borrowed from the late phases of Anatolian, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian art. (Fig. 6.7) At the same time, Homer's consolidation of fable into his— toric memory was finding a visual counter- part in the potter’s workshop. It is out of this visual codification of myth, scenes in- volving Herakles or the wily Odysseus, that the formulae of temple art were to emerge. in architecture, however, foreign influ- ence went far beyond the importation of specific motifs. The great “barbarian” les- son was monumentality, the power of an architecture of public scale built of cut stone and made pregnant with communicative sculpture: and the great teacher was Egypt, Fig. 6.7 Greek vase in the "orienlalizing” style, seventh century ac. (Louvre, Paris) a country with which the Greek world had been in close contact at least since the sev— enth century. This lesson in architectural expression swept aside the early folk ex— periments and brought forth the strong, salient form of the Greek temple that we can still see in hundreds of sites throughout the Aegean, southern Italy, and Sicily. it is this luminous stone specter in the landscape Fig. 6.8 Corinth (Greece), temple of Apollo, sixth century B.C.; view of remains. THE GREEK TEMPLE AND “BARBARIAN” ALTERNATIVES that has been, along with Roman law, the Bible, and the plays of Shakespeare, one of the prime staples of the Western imagina- tion. We should distinguish three overlapping stages in the evolution of the Greek tem- ple. 1. To the first stage belong the apsidal chapels prevalent in the obscure period following the Dorian occupation of main~ land Greece. The domestic character of these structures, their literal function as houses of local deities, is evidenced not only in their basic form but also in the fact that some among them included a hearth within the cult room. 2. This initial experimental stage, when the structure of the Greek pantheon was still vague and the Greek nation still unformed, was superseded by a generation of temples noteworthy for two things: their compara- tively larger size and the appearance of the peristyle. The period in question, the eighth and seventh centuries, corresponds with the rise and early success of the polls, wide— spread colonization, and the genesis of a common Creek tradition and faith. The ap- sidal form was now everywhere aban- doned in favor of strict rectangularity. The cult room, or cella, created a tunnel view toward the statue at the far end. This view could be kept clear only by limiting the width of the room. Ampler proportions usually called for a central row of supports, which either blocked the view or forced the statue to one side of the central axis. The peristyle made these internal ar- rangements of minor consequence. (Fig. 6.8) This format portico that surrounded the entire outline of the cella, including the entrance front, may have been employed first in the temple of Hera on the island of Samos, which was built sometime in the early eighth centu ry. So far, the temples we have studied in the Near East fall into two classes. They either have cult rooms which are hermetically sealed from the outside, as is the practice in Egypt, or else the temple envelope is perforated with windows that bring in am- ple light, the solution of Temple | at Hat- tusas. (Figs. 4.18, 5.5) The effect of the peri- style is very different. Rather than opening up the cella walls toward the light, the Greek builder at Samos chose to enshrine this hall within an architectural screen, and 121 in so doing he changed the concept of the temple from a tabernacle of the holy image to an external thing, a form that mattered as a mid‘space object and had visual valid— ity from all sides. The ring of uniform wooden posts outside prevented the long narrow hall from being read as a simple container and obscured the distinction be- tween the open entrance end and the solid end with the cult statue. The house of the deity was on its way to becoming the men‘ ument and talisman for the city. And, in fact, this conceptual advance is what is so rev- olutionary about these early temples. The continuous portico was never wide enough to provide usable space. The practical ad» vantage of being able to extend the eaves beyond the walls, and thus protect the mud- brick structure from rain, had already been recognized in the first stage. Besides, when a generation or two prior to 600 B.C. stone columns began to replace the Wooden posts, and ashlar masonry the mud-brick of the walls, such practical considerations were clearly irrelevant. 3. The shift to permanent materials was completed with the invention of terra-cotta tiles as a new roofing material. Since these tiles were not fastened to the roof but were kept in place by their own weight, the steepness of the roof was moderated to an easy rise, visually more stable and more in tune with the height of the stone columns at the two short ends than the earlier high- pitched gables had been. (Fig. 6.11) These two ends were made to look identical even beyond the perister layer by the addition of a false back porch to the main body of the cella, matching the entrance porch of the east front. (Fig. 6.16) In its plan the cella now resembled the megaron type of Troy II. (Fig. 5.9) Once again, however, it would be per- verse to explain the choice of stone col- umns in the peristyle as the practical re- quirement for the heavy tiles. Masonry structure and tiles both were the outcome of a new vision that required a new tech- nology and had to do with intangible gains, such as community pride and faith in the city’s stability and strength. This mood of confidence that was articulated in the new architecture also accounts for the simulta neous rebirth of large-scale stone scu|p« ture, absent from the Greek scene since the days of Mycenae. Public statues of young men and women singled out for athletic prowess or exceptional virtue began to people the periphery of the temples. (Fig. 6.9) These full-size images were not set up as individual portraits but, instead, existed as civic monuments~—generalized pres- ences honoring the city through its choice citizens. That architecture and sculpture were thought to be integral to this public display of a city's prosperity and glory is suggested by the fact that early architects like Theo- doros of Samos were equally well known as sculptors. They were in charge of the total decorative program of the temples which at this time began to include figured panels in painted terra-cotta (a device probably learned from Assyria) and stone reliefs. The spare, almost heraldic, depiction of famil- iar subjects, the deeds of immortals and half-mortals, completed the statement of the temple, the fabled content of the scenes supplying the citizenry with the archetypes of a shared morality. The very first stone temples seemed to have appeared in the northeastern corner of the Peloponnesus, at places like Corinth and tsthmia, and in outposts within their cultural sphere, like Thermon in the re- mote region west of Delphi. It is surely not fortuitous that this sudden show of con- structive courage should be staged in the area of the Argolid plain where the ruins of the two greatest Mycenaean citadels, Ti— ryns and Mycenae, proclaimed past ac- complishment and invited revival, even though the stone temples showed little formal and technical similarity to this My- cenaean precedent. The initial source, for the mechanics of stone~cutting as well as the conventions of large—scale sculpture, was Egypt. Even the Doric column, the central element of the decorative order that was invented on the spot and was adhered to in mainland Greece and the Western colonies for at least three centuries, favored the Egyptian look. The capital itself may well have been in- spired by the Mycenaean exampies on the triangular relief of the Lion Gate and the facade of the so-called Treasury of Atreus. (Fig. 5.17) But Doric columns did not adopt the peculiarly Minoan-Mycenaean inverse taper; instead, they tapered upward in the A PLACE ON EARTH Egyptian manner. At any rate, the bor- rowed preliminaries were digested within the span of a generation, and the Doric or- der emerged as a quintessentially Greek system of design. So did the Ionic order, some fifty years later than the Doric, in the Greek cities of the eastern Mediterranean. The names of their creators have been preserved in the record: Trophonios and Agamedes, the legendary pair associated with the first stone temple at Apollo's Del- phi; Theodoros, who worked on the huge temple of Hera at Samos, which superseded the timber structure we spoke of above; Chersiphron, the designer of the temple of Artemis at Ephesos. The task they faced, to embrace a technology that differed funda- mentally from the traditional building methods of wood and mud-brick, was comparable to that of lmhotep at Saqqara 2,000 years earlier. Quarrying and transporting the stone were their principal worries; construction techniques and structural soundness were rudimentary. Beginner's caution probably accounts for the overbuilt forms—the thickly spaced peristyle columns (at times mono- lithic), heavy superstructures, massive foundations. Chersiphron, we are told, sought the advice of Theodoros of Samos regarding the Ephesian temple’s stability on its marshy site; he was instructed to put a layer of ashes (packed charcoal, according to another source) beneath the founda- tions to keep the stone blocks from sink- ing. Chersiphron wrote a book about his experiences with the new technology, in which he explained the mechanical device he had used for transporting column drums from the quarry to the site. These were too large to be carried in ox-drawn wagons, so he set them in cylindrical frames of wood that could be pulled along like enormous rollers. (Fig. 6.10) The general attitude in the ancient world was to submerge the identity of the archi- tect in the person of his powerful patron, the king or minister who commissioned the building. This is the case with Mesopota— mian and Hittite architecture. In Egypt, we know a fair number of state architects by name, and we have plenty of evidence that they were held in high esteem and exer- cised considerable power as supervisors of vast and costly public projects. But their 122 Fig. 6.9 Archaic Greek kouros, athlete named Bi- ton, ca, 600 [LC The statue stands over 2 meters (7 feet) high. (Museum, Delphi) THE GREEK TEMPLE AND "BARBARIAN" ALTERNATIVES Fig. 6.10 Two ways of transporting stone build- ing blocks in the sixth century B.c., according to ancient Greek sources; reconstruction drawing. craft was secretive. The architect practiced with the aid of documents, including draw- ings, that were considered to be divinely inspired and were kept in the archives of temples and other official institutions. He was prominent precisely because of this privileged access to occult sources, since literacy was the exclusive attribute of high courtiers and the priesthood. Senmut, the famous architect and intimate of Queen Hatshepsut, boasted of this distinction on the walls of his tomb: “I had access to all the writings of the prophets; there was nothing which I did not know of that which had happened since the beginning.“ The Greek architect was not so exalted, but he was a respected professional whose name was on public record and whose craft was accessible in trade books and trea- tises. His patron was commonly the city, as represented by its governing bodies. These government agencies set the budget and appointed a building commission to work closely with the architect in procuring the designs and in putting the proiect out to contract. The contractors were responsible for cutting and shaping the blocks at the quarry and for transporting them safely to the site. There they would be trimmed down to their final surface for proper fit- ting. The finishing and assembly of the hundreds of premade units were the most exacting responsibilities of the architect. The Doric Order Matters of technique and construction, though obviously important, were not the prime testing ground of Greek architects. The mettle of Greek built form lies in seemly appearance. Greek thinking is at once typal and spe- cific. It takes on an idea (or a form, which is nothing other than a congealed idea), nourishes and perfects it through a series of conscious changes, and in this way in- forms it with a kind of universal validity that seems irrefutable. The process is in fact ideal. that is, based on "the perfection of kind.” It presupposes orderly develop- ment and the practicability of consumma- tion. Greek architecture is, by this defini- tion, conservative. It invented little, and invention was slow. License was disci- plined, and quality filtered through self- imposed restriction. Every building existed within the limits of its norm and was judged 123 against other exponents of this same norm. And because this was so, every building could convey precise meaning against a background of familiarity. The stone temple of mainland Greece and its full decorative panoply, the Doric or- der, was an ideal invention. It did not con- stitute, as a mechanistic view would have it, the gradual translation into masonry of conventional timber forms. It seized upon the possibilities of the new technology to restate the principal theme of religious ar- chitecture as typified by the first peripterai temples of the eighth and early seventh centuries. in so doing, it expressed some of the effects of wood detailing rather than trying to petrify them exactty. It is there- fore not very fruitful to seek precise refer- ences in timber construction for individual elements of the Doric order, to see trig- lyphs as beam ends and columns as tree trunks. It is the contrast and not the trans- ference that needs to be stressed. This is plain when we set side by side the recon- structed elevations of the temple of Ar— temis at Kérkyra (Corfu), about 600 3.32., where the Doric order appeared in full form, and that of the second temple of Hera at Samos from the mid-seventh century, with its flimsy timber armature and its ner- vous verticality. (Fig. 6.11) Once launched, this system of design re- mained fairly stable, except for corrective changes that smoothed out infeliclties of form and heightened the expressive im- pact. This of course is a statement of gen- eral fact. The evolutionary process could have been neither entirely systematic nor predictable. Regions marched at a varying pace and offered different solutions to the same design challenges. On occasion a Doric temple—the temple of Zeus at the Sicilian town of Akragas (Agrigento) is a good instance—would take so many ex- traordinary liberties that it would seem to defy the essential constant of its norm. Fi- nally, we must allow that the results of the evolutionary process could have been very different from what we know them to be. There is no strict determinism in the his- tory of architecture. Tidy amounts of de- velopment can be drawn by historians only because they know how it all came out. and they can therefore rationalize a quirky string of choices so that it seems predestined. F O 25 l__l_—_#l—. 4—. rr—r' ‘fitil — Tl M O 5 IO Fig. 6.11a Samos (Greece), the second temple of Hera, mid-seventh century B.c.: coniectural el< evation. __—___..————~— Let us now take a close look at the Doric temple. The first thing we should notice is that the temple was a supremely artificial construct—a luminous presence of right angles and sharp geometries. It stood apart in the land, a monument of a vital abstrac- tion, eschewing the studied fusion with the natural site, which was the aim of Minoan- Mycenaean design or the city defenses of Hattusas. Greece is devoid of great sweeps of nature like the Egyptian desert, devoid too of grandiloquent mountain chains or broad navigable rivers. The contrasts are dramatic but on an intimate scale: defiles and precipitous valleys that might become contested boundaries between city-states; small cultivable plains boxed in by naked mountains, which are themselves small but also visually explosive because of the con- stricted formation of the land; and craggy, wind-battered, inhospitable shores with few natural harbors or easy beaching facilities. It is against all this that the temple stood, its form the very opposite of the agitated landscape. (Fig. 6.6) This contrast of the natural and the de- vised is at the heart of Greek religious ar- chitecture. It heralds both the separate- ness of human achievement from the dark ancient forces of the land and the propitia- tion of these divinely controlled forces A PLACE ON EARTH lTl l iii H lV——l ll # Fig. 6.11b Kérkyra (Corfu, Greece), temple of Ar- temis, ca. 600 u.c.; restored elevation. through the act of building. We should neither consider the temple, then, merely as a thing in itself, a beautiful shell inde- pendent of its setting, nor should we as» sume that the setting had primarily pictur- esque value, as if the land were a neutral element which the builders made use of to add visual interest to their own creation. For the land was not neutral. Where the temple came to stand was not a matter of arbitrary choice. The choice had been made before any temples were up, by what had once transpired on the land. Here Leto had leaned against a bay tree while giving birth to Apollo: there Athena and Poseidon had fought for the privilege of ruling Attica; here divinity was befriended at the hearth of a Mycenaean king or appeased at some cave or spring source or mountaintop. The hal- lowed spot was thus predetermined: from the earliest altar set upon it to the latest temple, it would be respected and cele- brated. Even where the terrain was ex- tremely unpromising, as at Perachora on the Gulf of Corinth, the temple went up where it did because it had to. (Fig. 6.12) The first step in the monumental com- memoration of the sacred site was the ter- race—the element that would horizontally define the space and serve as the pedestal for the structure. The freestanding rectan- 124 gular shape of this terrace clearly an- nounced that the finished temple would not attempt to blend in with its surroundings. The three continuous steps all around the edge of the terrace would lift the temple above the land and make it equally ap- proachable from all sides. The length and width of the top platform would determine how many columns the temple would have along the flanks and across the two fronts, as well as their spacing. This spacing depended on two things: the choice of a lower diameter for the col- umns, which in turn woud dictate their height; and the disposition of the frieze above the perister which determined, as we will see, whether the spaces between columns would be of uniform width. or whether there would be variation between the middle range of columns and those at the corners of the rectangle. In other words, the upper parts of the building made pre- cise demands on the lower, and each ele- ment was not only proportionally gener- ated but also proportionally keyed to all other elements of the design. The number of columns for the standard perister would be set at 6 by 14, counting the corner columns twice, but early tem- ples sometimes had longer flanks. The col- umns were stood up along the edge of the THE GREEK TEMPLE AND "BARBARIAN" ALTERNATIVES m... . i a a».me “it at Fig. 6.12 Perachora (Greece), sanctuary of Hera Akraia (Hera of the Cliffs): general view. The ar- chaic temple is in the immediate foreground, with a fourth-century sloa just behind, and further up, beyond the modern structure, the remains of a Hellenistic cistern. stylobate, the topmost oi the three terrace steps, without bases. (Fig, 6.8) The drums were plain and had a hole in the center, so that they could be twisted about a peg as they were piled one on top of the other until they were tightly fitted together. In the sixth century, the height of the shafts mea- sured 4.5 to 5 times the lower diameter; the column was 8 times as high as its capital. The tendency was to make these propor- tions leaner and more elegant in the course of decades, so that by the fifth century the relation of diameter to shaft was 1:55 or even 1:5.75, and the total column stood 11 {012 times as tall as its capital. At the same time, the upward taper of the columns was also being reduced, so that the flare of the lower member of the capital, or echinus, would not be quite as forceful as it had been in the sixth-century temples. It was this taper as well as the entasis, or the slight bulging of the shaft profile, that gave Doric columns a look of vitality and expressed their load-bearing function. The fluting of the shaft also helped to convey this feeling of compression, while at the same time it distinguished the shaft from the smooth background masonry of the cella 125 walls. Fluting was done on the spot, after all the drums of a column were in place. Normally there were twenty flutes per col- umn. This pattern of arrised grooves pulled the individual drums together and created the illusion of flow along the length of the unified cylinder. The idea of emphasizing the function of lifting by the curved profile and surface treatment of the shaft was an old one. A primitive form of both tapering and entasis had been attempted in the sarsen uprights of Stonehenge. Fluting had been applied to wooden columns in Minoan-Mycenaean architecture, and much earlier in Egypt where entasis was also a common practice. There is in fact a striking resemblance be- tween Doric columns of the sixth and fifth centuries B.c. and some of the attached columns at Zoser’s Saqqara complex 2,000 years earlier. (Fig. 4.6) The Doric capital made the transition from the circular column shaft to the bridging blocks of the architrave above. The capital consists of two parts, a flaring echinus that broadens the circle of the shaft top and brings it in line with the scale of the super- structure, and the square unit of the aba- cus on which the architrave blocks rest. This is a purely geometric cushion of juncture between support and load, with no refer- ence to natural forms like plants or trees. Consequently, we cannot read the column in any literal sense, but must respond to it as an abstraction, or rather as a metaphor. Perhaps inevitably in the light of their self- awareness, the metaphor of the Greek col- umn has to do with the human body. It is as though we are there bearing the load of the superstructure and would know in our own bodies, empathetically, what is too much or too little for the constitution of the columns. At issue is the appearance of a fair balance. The column height and its thick— ness in relation to the mass of the super- structure are determined with a sense of visual, justice, so that both look adequate to their task even if, in the narrow structural context, one or the other, the colonnade or its burden, might actually be overbuilt. The principle of empathy is central to the understanding of Greek architecture. It comes about intangibly, through the pro- portional interlocking of the members, which evokes the proportional relation- ships of a standing human. Proportion, ac- cording to the Classical theorist Vitruvius, "is a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work, and of the whole to a certain part selected as standard . . . as in the case of those of a well-shaped man.” This description and the fact that the units of measurement them— selves are derived from members of the human body—the palm, the foot—are not unique to Greek architecture. But the phrase “as in the case of those of a well- shaped man” implies a physical affinity be- tween user and building so that, for ex- ample, the ratio of column to capital could not be too far removed from the ratio of the human frame to its head. It is this affinity that enables us to comprehend the scheme of the peristyle, and what the column is ca- pable of, in terms of our own capabilities. In the end, this humanly inspired reason- ableness of built form is what distinguishes the experience of a Greek temple from the crushing gigantism of Egyptian structures. (Fig. 4.20) The architrave completes the vertical def- inition of the peristyle. It is a band of stone that separates the colonnade proper from the crowning elements of the temple—the frieze, the gables, or pediments at the two short ends, and the roof (Fig. 6.13) In real- ity the architrave is not made, as it appears to be, of a line of single blocks bridging pairs of columns but, instead, of two such blocks, one behind the other, extending from the center of one capital to the center of the next. The plain surface of the archi- trave effectively distinguishes the struc- tural reality of the perister from the ap- plied decorative scheme of the frieze, whose component parts, the alternating triglyphs and metopes, repeat schemati- cally the rhythm of alternating columns and voids in the peristyle. The play between the actual thing and its apostrophe was originally highlighted by the use of color. The colonnade and its archi» trave were not painted, if a porous stone had been selected, a coat of stucco would ordinarily be applied to cover up the rough texture; marble columns were sometimes waxed so that they would gleam under the strong Greek light. The frieze up above, having no true structural accountability, was painted gain—blue for the triglyphs, whose grooves echoed the fluting of the actual columns, and red for the background of the A PLACE ON EARTH Fig. 6.13 Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily), the so—called Temple of Concord, later fifth century B.C. metopes against which sculptured scenes stood in relief. We might today be startled by the notion that good limestone or mar- ble should be concealed by bright paint. Faithfulness to the nature of materials is, however, a relatively modern concern. The Greek architect was interested in clarity; he felt no scruples about tampering with the texture and hue of stone for the sake of proper distinctions. The appropriate place for triglyphs was directly above the columns they recalled, centered over each capital. But sinca the proportion of mass to void in the perister could not be approximated in this way, ad- ditional triglyphs were placed in the center of each intercolumniation. The architec- tural symbolism required that triglyphs oc— cupy the corners of the frieze, since colv umns defined the four corners of the peristyle. To be flush with the corners, the last triglyphs on each side of the temple had 126 to be displaced in relation to the corre- sponding capitals below. This created a wider spaCe between these corner tri- glyphs and their immediate neighbors than between any other pair of triglyphs. Two solutions were espoused to deal with the problem (Fig. 6.14). One, favored by the Greeks of Sicily and south ltaly, in- volved the progressive stretching of the frieze elements next to the corner. In mainland Greece, the irregularity was off- set at ground level by reducing the span of the columns close to the corner, a proce- dure known as angle contraction. Some- times a combination of both systems would be used. The tiled roof and the two pediments formed the crowning unit that projected beyond the line of the frieze. This unit closed off the perister screen to create a stone canopy that sheltered the cella building with its cult statue. It seems evi- THE GREEK TEMPLE AND “BARBARIAN” ALTERNATIVES i _t.: i.. ' m Fig. 6.14 The “corner problem“ in the Doric temple. The diagram. with vertical guidelines that are equally spaced, indicates the two alternative adjustments: top, enlarging the width of me- topes toward the corner,- and bottom, reducing the span between the corner columns. or “angle contraction.” Fig. 6.15 Greek refinements, or visual adiust- ments in Greek temple design, exaggerated for emphasis: diagrammatic drawing. dent from temples left unfinished that the cella building was constructed, despite the inconvenience, after the perister screen had been set up. It was the screen, then, that mattered most in the expression of the program, both in terms of form and as a religious statement. The priority of the screen meant that the temple was conceived primarily as an ex- terior presence. Indeed, it leaned against nothing and had no backdrop except the land shapes around it or the cityscape. It was mid-space architecture par excellence. To stress this point, the screen was made visually continuous. The three steps went all around the terrace; the frieze wrapped itself around the top like a fancy ribbon. There was, in appearance at least, no front and back to the building, no designated entrances. Every approach, ideally, was valid: every intercolumniation could func- tion as a door. To bring home this freedom from a fixed line of access, the path from the precinct gate often cut an oblique line to the temple, so that two sides of the building would be visible at once. (Fig. 6.16) Meanwhile the architect look pains to have this mid-space object spring force- fully from the ground. To achieve this look of vitality, be incorporated in his design a whole gamut of visual subtleties. (Fig. 6.15) The groundline of the terrace gently curved upward toward the middle of each side. The columns, as we have already observed, ta- pered and had slightly convex profiles. In addition, the four-corner columns inclined inward and back, and they were also made thicker than the rest. Angie contraction, where it was resorted to for the sake of the corner triglyphs, further strengthened the visual articulation of the temple corners. These refinements are commonly ex- plained as corrective measures designed, for example, to counter the appearance that the straight lines sag; curving the lines would make them look straight to the naked eye. We had noticed similar adjustments before in the great ziggurat of Ur—Nammu at Ur. Philon of Byzantium in the late third cen- tury B.C. wrote that such optical compen- sation was necessary to prevent things that "were in fact of equal hickness and straight" from appearing not to be so. But actually some of the refinements, for ex- ample, the rise of the stylobate and en- tasis, are easily detected for what they are 127 if we have been made aware of them. (Fig. 6.13) They are intentional and evident dis- tortions that render the otherwise thor- oughly rational design of the temple live and spry. If we do not ordinarily notice them, it is precisely because they are so success- ful that they become part of the natural im- age of the Greek temple. “The eye," John Ruskin once wrote, "is continually influ- enced by what it cannot detect. . . . it is most influenced by what it detects least.” In religious terms as well, the perister screen was preeminent. The cult statue in the cella would be glimpsed through the doors that were opened during important Observances. The daily intercourse with the godhead took place in the open. At the level of the terrace, the temple was surrounded by statues, mostly of humans—the stand- ing life-size images of nude male youths and draped women set up by their cities as me- morials of special excellence. They peo- pled the sacred precinct and underscored that peculiarly human scale of Greek archi— tecture we spoke about earlier. The met- opes and pediments received sculpture too, all of it religious. These sculptures were reared aloft by the columns of the peri- style. Nonetheless, they could clearly and unequiviocally be seen by all users of the temple precinct and in the open daylight. The temple, in this sense, was the meeting ground of the human and the divine. At the same time that humans were lifted up by the proud and measured soaring of the columns, deities came down to the level of human visibility. (Fig. 7.21) This, then, is the Doric temple as it ma- tured in Greece during the sixth and fifth centuries ac. It registered, close up, through the special arrangement and pro- portions of its parts; and in the distant view, through its interaction with natural ele- ments like the mountains and the sea. There was also an intermediate frame, the holy precinct, defined by a wall that narrowed the landscape at large and that established a fixed boundary within which the temple was played against smaller buildings such as treasuries, altars (and especially the principal altar to the east of the temple on which the open-air ritual focused), and dozens of votive monuments. Within the precinct, the interplay of the looming mass of the temple and these smaller foils to its visual statement was a U M \“XMME: \LWL: v—x \\' «v \\\§\\\\\\( \11\Q‘\33Mw\2’:\\ \ W l \ WWI/fl) C; J _ \\\\ W /” \j\\\séc&ag:~§1\% \ \ V 3/ ’ u ’? W § r :\ \VNMI- I‘ \m 5% f? a _r\\\ x . H‘h L,\~:;,.\\\\_I_~ 6%‘7 (21),“) '01; _ 0411 I" >/\ \ ’ ' r r ’ _ J ‘ .-""WH w Mm ‘_,.‘:v‘"k.l;]meW @ Fig. 6.16 Delphi, the sanctuary of Apollo; gen- erai site plan ca. 400 3.6. 128 THE GREEK TEMPLE AND "BARBARIAN" ALTERNATIVES vigorous, constantly changing relationship (Fig. 6.16) First, the buildings and statues were seen according to the way the wor- shipper moved through the site along time- worn paths. The visual experience of any one building or statue had no fixed value, no single point of View. Treasuries, small replicas of the temple built by individual cities in Panhellenic sanctuaries like Delphi or Olympia, created an unregimented pat- tern in relation to the sacred way, jostling each other as spectators might during a pa- rade. And second, new structures or mon- uments were regularly added to the site, and with each addition the relationship of those already present would alter and shift. The site plan, haphazard looking to the modern observer, was keenly reflective of old patterns, the drive of civic competi- tion, and change through time. The flame- nos was caught in a process of continuous becoming; yet it was also complete at every stage of its growth. The Temple in the West A spirited individualism, only partly attrib- utable to local conditions, characterizes the transplanted Doric temple in the Western colonies. At the outset, the strange land in the West posed two unique problems. For one thing, it was not marked, in the way that Greece had been, by a legendary age of pre- Hellenic ancestors. Moreover, the look and feel ol the land was alien. The vast, labu» lously fertile plain of Catania, the natural harbors and sand beaches, fuming Etna— for these there were no Greek parallels. To mark this unfamiliar territory with 129 proper, broad-based reverence, and to hold dOWn the extravagant spaces, the religious architecture of Greek Sicily and southern Italy behaved remarkably. The size of the temples was often prodigious. No sixth- century Doric temple in Greece can com— pete with the heroic bulk ol Temple G at Selinus, under construction for more than a century and still unfinished when the Carthaginians destroyed the city in 409 s.c. Such striking monumentality did more than advertise the prosperity of the colonies and their boastful pride: it also overreached in response to the call of the open, un-Greek horizons. The same rationale, coupled with the desire to play host to a fair number of Olympians, must hold for the banding of temples in groups of tour or more, as is the case with the group east of the akropolis at Selinus and the other on the akropolis it- self, and in the splendid series that clots the southern sea ridge of Akragas. (Fig. 6.17) Western Greece, although it remained within the Hellenic fold, was in no way subservient to its historic homeland. its own unique contributions were legitimate re- gional preferences rather than aberrant provincialisms. We can quickly scan these design peculiarities by looking atone of the most impressive of sixth-century Sicilian temples, the so-called Temple C at Selinus built about 500 .c. on the highest point of the akropolis and in plain view of the sea. Temple C was built of local stone. There were no marble deposits in Sicily, and so public architecture relied on local varieties of somewhat friable limestone and sand- stone that had to be protected by coats of stucco and terra-cotta revetments. Marble, used for luxury details or heads of sculp— tured figures, was commonly imported from Greece. The general plan of Temple C is very elongated. (Fig. 6.17) There are seventeen columns along the flanks in comparison to the standard fourteen. The cella is conse- quently long and narrow, all the more so Fig. 6.17 Selinus (Selinunte, Sicily), temples at a major intersection of the upper town,- ground plan. Temple C, ca. 500 B.c., is in the middle; Temple 0 is shown to the north; and Temple A to the south. Hatching indicates houses. one at Pompeii next to the main theater being an early survivor of the type. They were usually small and specialized in mu— sical events. The stage of a Roman theater was low and deep. The back wall was mod- ulated into a facade with three main en~ trances, the central one cut into an apse. In some instances this wall was left plain and in front of it was erected a stage set (called scaenae fmns) in several storeys. This was composed of a remarkable assembly of columns and niches capped by alternating segmental and triangular pediments. The inspiration is Hellenistic stage design, translated into permanent stone lrontis- pieces. Gladiatorial games, beast lights, and even a spectacle that involved a mock sea battle Fig. 9.21 Pompeii, amphitheater, first century 3c; ROME: CAPUi MUNDI were sometimes staged at the theaters, in addition to the farcical shows so popular with Roman audiences. For these special purposes the orchestra, which was always paved, was enclosed by a low wall all around. But the amphitheater was the standard building type in those cities that could afford one, or merited that level of state patronage, for gladiatorial combat and venationes, the pitting of wild animals against men. The former sport originated in Campania and derives ultimately from the bloody funeral games of the Etruscans. The gladiator contests were held in the forum at first, with improvised bleachers for spectators, and this is the reason, accord ing to Vitruvius, for the long and narrow space of the early forums. Venationes are aerial view. thought to have started with the Second Punic War, when a contingent of Cartha- ginian elephants were captured by the R0- mans. The amphitheater, despite its Greek name which implies two theaters set end to end with the stage buildings removed, was a Roman invention. They are immense stone constructs (though there were probably wooden predecessors) designed to hold anywhere from 15,000 to 80,000 people. Both because of their size and because the type was formalized rather late, they ap- peared at the edge of town. The elliptical arena, often sunk into the terrain and paved with sand, was surrounded by continuous stone bleachers that sat either on banked mounds of earth held behind retaining walls or on an elaborate maze of radial substruc- tures which housed the circulation system. At Pompeii the amphitheater, the oldest surviving example, is a compromise. (Fig. 9.21) The building is only partly freestand- ing; half of it, from northeast to southeast, is propped against the city wall, saving much buttreSsing labor. Outside staircases led to a corridor at the summit where the seats for women were. The best seats, here as well as in the theaters, Were at the lowest level. At Pompeii these were reached by vaulted corridors that led directly into the arena and were separated from the rest of the tiered seating by a high baluslrade. The Look of Empire: Rome at the Millennium The most famous of Roman amphitheaters, and one of the world’s best-known build- ings, is the Colosseum, dedicated in A1). 80. (Fig. 1.6) It was an entirely freestanding structure, 188 meters long by 156 meters wide (617 by 511 feet), in the hollow of three encompassing hills east of the Roman Forum. Eighty arches all around its girth swallowed the more than 50,000 spectators that came to the games—first, into two an- nular corridors at ground level, and then by means of three storeys of stairs to the dif— ferent levels of the cavea whose stone seats rested on an immense skeleton of radial walls at a 37-degree incline. (Fig. 9.22) The floor of the arena and the metal barrier around it are now gone, exposing to our view a nightmarish warren of hundreds of subterranean chambers that once housed beasts as well as staff, machinery, and ser- vices. The clifflike exterior, of travertine blocks fastened with iron clamps, is com- posed of three storeys of arches framed by piers and three-quarter columns, and a fourth storey, unprecedented for this type of building, in which bays displayed alter- nately bronze shields and windows in a manner reminiscent of the bouleuterion at Miletus. (Fig. 8.21) A row of brackets at this level served to moor the awning that shielded the upper third of the cavea. The four storeys employed the principal Roman orders: Tuscan first, which is the ancient Italian variation of Doric; ionic and Corin- thian for the second and third storeys, re- spectively; and tall Corinthian pilasters for the attic. This was not Rome‘s first amphitheater. Its predecessor, the amphitheatrum Taun', stood in the Campus Martins, the flatland in the crock of the Tiber, north of the re- publican city, where the first emperors continued the tradition of creating build— ings of a popular nature: the amphithea- trum Tauri, at least two theaters, an odeum and a stadium, porticuses, two sets of baths, and a circus for chariot races auxiliary to the ancient Circus Maximus in the valley be tween the Palatine and Aventine hills. (Fig. 9.23) These programs strove to satisfy the insatiable appetite of the populace for diversion during the frequent holidays that accounted for nearly one-half of the year. The vast proletariat, once a self-governing people in theory at least, now had to be appeased and kept under control through bread, circuses, and the presence of an imperial home guard. A fifth of the popu- lation, ab0ut 200,000 in all, were on the public dole. Real power was in the hands of the emperor and the bureaucracy of ap- pointees that had replaced the old elective offices of the republic. To curry favor with the volatile public and to impress his im~ age on the city, each emperor lavished moneys on places of leisure and public amenities. The Emperor‘s Palace The Colosseum was sponsored by the Fla- vian emperors (AD. 71 —96), whose dynasty rose victorious after the precipitous end of Nero’s rule. Under Nero (A.D. 54-68) this A PLACE ON EARTH section of the city between the downtown and the villa-strewn eastern hills, wiped out in the fire of AD. 64, had been appro— priated by a rambling palace, the Domus Aurea or “Golden House.“ An artificial lake occupied the hollow of the later Colos- seum. Around it, pavilions were erected representing prominent cities of the em- pire. A 36 meter (‘120 feet) high statue of Nero as the sun-god stood between this Fig. 9.22 Rome, Colosseum, amphitheater built under the Flavian dynasty, AD. 72—80; sections and sectional view (see also Fig. 1.6b). lllllll -- ill 208 |lll|l|llll|llllllllllllllllillllll-IllllllllillllHillllllllJJMflwlllllll it til it F O 50 lOO 500 L_. . ._J. .1. J h. —fiii fi«77fl r —. M O 25 50 300 Fig. 9.23 Rome, as it appeared at the. end of the imperial period. early fourth century A.lJ.: detail of a model. (Museo delta civilta romana, Rome) The Pantheon is in the center; to its left are the ensemble and the Forum, whose sacred way had been reorganized in this direction into a broad processional avenue lined with multiaisled porticoes. The main residential quarters were on the Palatine and the Es- quiline. A wing of some one hundred rooms has been unearthed on the Esquiline. lts de- sign and structure, credited to Nero’s ar- chitects Severus and Celer, were of a5- tounding virtuosity. Here for the first time we have the unabashed flowering of vaulted architecture—«no longer with the excuse of practicality but as conscious high art. The object was an exciting and mystery-filled drama of inwardness that made use of ma- nipulative lighting, running water, and a gamut of geometric shapes realized in con- crete and clad with Curtains of color—mar- bles, painted stucco, and mosaic. The octagonal hall in the east half of the Esquiline wing should suffice to character- ROME: CAPUT MUNDI baths of Nero (mo. 54—68) as rebuilt in the third Century, and further left is the Stadium of Dom- itian (AJJ. B1e96) whose outline survives in the present Piazza Navona (see Fig. 21.7a). ize this new language. (Fig. 9.24) It lies to one side of a pentagonal court edged with rooms where Nero’s fabulous collection of sculpture may have been displayed. The hall, seen from above, consisted of two oc- tagons inscribed one inside the other. Clerestory lighting that came in between them illuminated a series of rooms radially arranged around the central octagon. A viaduct bridging a service corridor that ran behind the hall carried water that was al- lowed to cascade down into one of these rooms. The central octagon was covered by a dome rising from eight corner piers and pierced by a large oculus. On sunny days a shaft of light moved around this pavilion of concrete, beyond which water fell and pools of indirect light picked out statuary set in the niches of the subsidiary rooms. It is easy to ridicule the Golden House, along with other excesses of Nero, as the fantasy of an unbalanced mind over- 209 wrought by power. In one sense, however, this bombastic country villa in the centerpf town must be taken seriously, in spite of its flamboyant rooms that had ceilings of movable parts, which, we are told, changed patterns like a kaleidoscope or opened to sprinkle guests with blossoms, and its ban- quet hall that “was circular and constantly revolved clay and night, like the heavens.” Since the first emperor Augustus, the en— vironment of Rome was trying to adjust to a new political reality, a world empire gov“ erned by the authority of a single individ- ual in the way of Eastern autocracies. This meant nothing less than the overhauling of a whole system of old values and the cre- ation of new rituals. lust as Alexander had loosened the Classical balance of Greek cities, so less precipitously Augustus and his successors were dismantling the republi- can ethos of Rome. “The rough simplicity of the past is gone," Ovid wrote, “now Rome is golden.” Gold was the traditional substance of the divine ruler. And Nero’s Golden House was, at one level, the idealization of an official residence for a Roman ruler who had be- gun to assume extrahuman prerogatives. If the Roman Forum had been the focus of republican sentiment, the Golden House posed as the traditional setting of absolut- ism. it was the stage for ritual ceremonies involving the imperial person. These acts were not altogether different from the du- ties of an eminent citizen of the republic which would be performed in the setting of his town house or his villa: eceiving clients and wards daily, dining in ihe company of peers, dispensing household justice. But now these acts were transformed into daz- zling, operatic performances with an eye toward impressing and intimidating or, more specifically, glorifying the aims and power of the new regime. This, as we have seen before, is a purpose of autocratic states: to equate the extent of their au- thority with the size and magnificence of their official quarters. But the effort was too flamboyant and came too soon. Nero was toppled, and the Flavians set out to make amends by bury— ing the Golden House under a populist ar- chitecture. The lake was turned into an amphitheater and the colossus of Nero given a new head representing the legiti- mate deity of the Sun. Over the Esquiline A PLACE ON EARTH property the emperor Titus erected a small set of baths, overshadowed shortly by the baths of Trajan close by on the famous pal- ace wing. (Fig. 9.25) They became the model for a splendid run of imperial baths in the next two hundred years. The cold, warm, and hot rooms were now arranged on a strict axis and llanked by courts. This core was then placed in a vast enclosure that contained stadia lor races, xysti or covered gardens, libraries, and refreshment rooms. The question of the imperial residence still had to be faced. Thirty years after the demise of Nero, the decision was taken to locate it on the Palatine where the imperial family owned considerable property. There were other reasons, The hill, isolated by valleys on all four sides, was the least crowded area in the center of town, having always been the aristocratic quarter where senators and other dignitaries had houses. It was here that the history of Rome began eight centuries earlier with Romulus' lur- rowed city, and a but was venerated as his. Augustus lived in a modest domus next to it, and his successors until Nero were all involved with building projects in the vi- cinity. The environmental symbolism was irresistible. The hill towers over the Forum like a banner of imperial dominion over re- publican rule. It is separated by a mere gap from the Capitoline, the citadel of state religion. Now under Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81— 96) a formal complex was laid out occupy- ing most of the hilltop. (Fig. 9.26) It had ta- cades toward the Forum, where the main approaches were, and toward the Circus Maximus, to which the emperor would re» pair to attend the maior games lrom his box. The architect was Rabirius. There were two parallel parts to his scheme, both orga- nized along central axes. The Domus Flavia was the official residence, A colonnaded facade on the Forum side gave way to three parallel halls: an apsed and barrel-vaulted basilica where imperial iustice would be Fig. 9.24 Rome, Nero’s Golden House (Domus Aurea), mo. b4—68, Severus and Celer; the oc- tagonal room: (an) exterior of the superstructure; lb) interior. For the plan and section of this re- markable room, see Fig. 11.13. 210 dispensed, a grand throne room on the Central axis, also apsed and with a span of one hundred Roman feet, and a chapel. The next band was mostly taken up by a large perister court with walls of Cappadocian marble and an octagonal, maze fountain in the middle. Further back was the state din~ ing room whose lateral walls were opened up by large windows, beyond which were two small courts with oval fountains. The Domus Augustana was more private. it was arranged on two levels, that of the Domus Flavia, which held two peristyle courts and some summer rooms, and that of the lower 1. Golden House, 2. Co ossaum 5 Baths of Trojan 4. Baths of Titus 5. Ludus Magnum ROME: CAPUT MUNDl Augustana with the living quarters of the imperial family, conceived in playful ge- ometries of form around a small court framed by barrel-vaulted colonnades. The facade on the Circus Maximus side was a two-storey concave exedra, and alongside the Augustana stretched a walled, sunken garden made to look like a stadium. (Fig. 9.27) In the emperors’ projects to house themselves we see the evidence of a major architectural revolution, the maturing of what has been cailed the Roman vaulted style. It combines the most monumental 211 effects of Hellenistic architecture—colum- nar facades, peristyles, terraces through which galleries run—and a rich assortment of vaulted spaces, small ones and large, polygonal, circular or directional, which are grouped for maximum surprise and de- light. Water, brought within the interior spaces, is relied on as a positive design element that animates inert matter and makes connections through sound and movement. Light is used with dramatic and expressive power: single oculi revolv- ing in closed interiors like mysterious searchlights, indirect diffuse light through distant apertures, the dematerializing of whole walls by banks of windows. The key aim in all this was the molding of interior spaces that would be juxtaposed by shape, orchestrated through interpene- tration, dilated by means of columnar screens and through-views. And the me- dium was concrete, capable of being made into artful vaulted ceilings—seamless can- opies that matched the intricacy of the ground plans. Even though Roman con— crete cauld not, in the manner of modern concrete, simply be poured or used inde- pendently of other materials, but had to be applied in layers, it was strong and enor- mously flexible. Through decades of trial and error, builders had mastered its prop- erties and behavior in warehouses and baths, shops and tenements. They could now sing with it. The basic vault forms were played with, pleated, and warped for ef- fect. The best of them swelled effortlessly like wind-puffed sails, their workings ob- scured by illusionist devices. Fig. 9.25 Rome, detail of the plan of the imperial city showing the area initially occupied by Ne- ro’s Golden House. The Colosseum at the ex. treme left was built over an anlficial lake that was part of the palace. Higher up, on the Oppian hill, the suite of rooms which included the octagonal room (Fig. 9.24) was buried under the baths of Trajan, dedicated in A.D. 109. The smaller baths between these and the Colosseum were built by Emperor Titus (mo. 79—81). The complex to the right of the Colosseum, with the small amphi- theater, is the Ludus Magnum, the training quarters for gladiators. House of Augustus Temple of Apollo Basilica Throne Room Chapel Perislyle Dining Room Closed Garden FORUM 7‘ WNQWPSJ‘NT 2M . r MAXlMUS 1 g/ 74 l ,/ / l Ul 1" ¢ ///// AMEN”, ll“! €9§9(/¢(11{H( [04' 'fh‘k. “37 AM“ W W ' // ' " ‘ “m” LLk‘kIH‘l‘lr W"“"""""l:(""rr‘( l (I I? m "z )7 m“ ' v. I! ~. I‘ f H “(Mantrqu (WW ' HIM/ml ’ ll l I: m r: 4 {If i; (j, _ -: XIV/um, . .l m flu” Q,‘\:_ m urn” ‘ In m ' L: I u a ll I (HI/[4 '1 "In '1'! u‘ll‘rftrn'l”'(’c‘(“"5“’l"rf.2‘££;{:'lls. 1225.?!“ H l ({1} fil({//(/i’ “HHUHHUIHHIHHl.. F 0 5O IOO L|_.l_|_|.J— L I M O 25 5O Fig. 9.26 Rome, the imperial palace on the Pala- tine hill, inaugurated in A.D. 92, Rabirius; ground plan. The People’s Palace To imperial patrons and their architects, two distinct languages of form were available by the end of the first century AD. Hellenistic design relying on colonnades, ashlar ma- sonry, and the timber truss still reigned in the Eastern provinces and produced su- perb results in Rome—for example, in the series of imperial forums that began with Julius Caesar and Augustus as an extension of the congested old Forum. (Fig. 9.28) But the passion of the capital was the Roman vaulted style. To be sure, externally as well as within, the newfangled buildings dressed their walls in Hellenistic decor. Facades were not in the least revealing of interior arrangements, and the surprise of entering into the unconventional spaces that lay be- hind these familiar screens was the princi- pal reward. And within, the sheathing of functional piers and walls of concrete with Hellenistic trappings gave the vaulted su- perstructure a feigned advantage of light— ness and magic. Concomitantly buildings in the Hellenistic mode freely admitted curves in their plans and the vaulted shells that responded to them. Still each one of the two design options, the heritage of Greece Fig. 9.27 Rome, the imperial palace on the Pala- tine; the Hippodrome or enclosed garden (no. 8 in Fig. 9.26). ROME: CAPUT MUNDl Fig. 928 Rome in the early fourth century A.D., detail of the center of town: model. (Museo della civilta romana, Rome) The imperial forums stretch from lower left to center; the old Forum contin- ues their line until the Colosseum in the upper right-hand corner. Immediately in front of the Colosseum is the temple of Venus and Rome from the time of Emperor Hadrian (mt). 117—138), which was rebuilt in the early fourth century. and the conceit of Rome, conjured funda- mentally unique environments. The contrast was sharper when the Hel- lenistic courts and timber—roofed halls stood side by side with vaulted buildings of a utilitarian nature that forewent visual luxu- ries in favor of a columnless frame of brick. This is the case with the markets built by Emperor Traian (AD. 95—117) that stand next to his forum complex, the last of the series we mentioned. The structure was extraor— dinary in many ways. (Fig. 9.29) It was a multilevel, intricate commercial facility steeply terraced on the slope of the Qui- rinal hill facing the center of town. Three lower storeys of shops, standard barrel- vaulted tabernae, were fitted into a semi- circular exedra, a concave facade that echoed the curved forms of the forum and basilica of Traian. The shops on the ground level opened directly onto the street; those 213 of the second storey were set behind an annular corridor which offered through arched windows the prospect of forum ac- tivities and the city’s center beyond. The third-storey shops turned in toward a street halfway up the slope, the Via Biberatica, on the other side of which rose the irregular mass of the upper market block with three more storeys of shops and an impressive market hall. This hall, the Aula Traiana, is comprised of a vaulted longitudinal space, something like a rooted street, with tabernae on the two sides arranged in two storeys, the up- per ones behind an open gallery broken up into bays by transverse arches. (Fig. 9.30) The vaulting system is very complex. A Ion- gitudinal barrel vault over the central space is cut into by six transverse barrel vaults that spring a little higher up on the piers than the main barrel. Since the bays of the cen— Fig. 9.29 Rome, the Markets of Trajan, (a. mo. 100-12, Apoliodorus of Damascus. tral space are wider than they are long, semicircular vaults raised over them in two directions would not have risen to the same height. By having the transverse vaults spring further up, the architect could attain a continuous and level crown line. The arches flanking this great vault remove some of its thrust, shifting it to the heavy outer walls of the two storeys of shops. The vaulting of rectangular bays and the reliev- ing arches will become central issues again in later medieval architecture, and we will speak of them there in terms of rib vaults and flying buttresses. This bold architecture of commerce, matched nowhere in the empire, made amends for the demolition of many shops during the necessary land-clearing for Tra- A PLACE ON EARTH jan’s forum, a process that also entailed the leveling of a spur of land between the Cap- itoline and the Quirinal, and the drastic re- duction of the Quirinal. We must remem- ber that the entire spread of the imperial forums, of which Trajan’s was the largest and most resplendent, materialized in the thick of old Rome at the expense of dense neighborhoods. Symbolically the scale and stately order of the redevelopment vividly contrasted an image of imperial magnifi— cence with the congestion and disorder of the Roman Forum and its often squalid en- virons. The visual contrast, by implication, pointed up the determined control of em- pire as against the scattered energies of collective government. Functionally, the forums met the urban needs of a phenom- 214 Fig. 9.30 Rome, Markets of Trajan, main market hall: (a) axonometric view; (b) interior. enal concentration of people in the heart of town whose religious, commercial, ju- diciary, and cultural activities had long out- grown the provisions made for them under the republic. The individual temples that crowned the forums eased the crush on the sacred precinct of the Capitoline. Porti- coes, exedras, the Trajanic basilica, and the great markets absorbed in their noble sym- metry various services untidily packed in the older city core—commerce, banking, gov- ernment business, courts, schools, librar- ies, and public lavatories. But the bulk of the demolition necessary for this expansive program affected resi- dential buildings. Thousands of people had to be displaced, but we have no record of their orderly relocation. The state, as often before in the past, condoned hardship for the sake of what it decided was the com- mon good. Individual needs were sub- sumed under a picture of group affluence: the people were given their own palace, built on an impressive scale and sump- tuously appointed, in return for their ac— quiescence. Whatever else they might pro- fess to be, the forums were boasts of state; they spoke of the might and munificence of rulers whose prerogative it was to rear der and monumentalize urban patterns re- gardless of adversities and inconvenience. The overall plan was not the result of forethought or grand design. Each forum rose next to its predecessors as an act of blatant competition and was informed with propaganda relevant to the particular reign that sponsored it. Except for axial or or- thogonal relationships, the grouping is neither carefully coordinated from within nor thought about in connection to a Further Reading A. Boethius, Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture, 2nd ed., rev. (Harmondsworth and New York: Penguin, 1978). —, The Golden House of Nero (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1960). M. Brion, Pompeii and Herculaneum, trans. J. Rosen- berg [New York: Crown, 1960]. F. Brown, Roman Architecture (New York: Bra- ziller, 1965). ROME: CAPUT MUNDl broader, improved network of circulation and suitable access. Each complex func- tioned as an inward-looking entity. It was designed to be bigger than the rest, or at least to look distinctive. Julius Caesar's which started it all was about 10,000 square meters; the last, the forum of Trajan, mea- sured four times that, excluding the mar— kets. Each honored a deity appropriate to the aims of the regime. In addition, each forum commemorated a military achieve- ment of note. The Temple of Peace to the southeast of the Forum Transitorium was inspired by the crushing of the Jewish re- bellion in A.D. 79 and the transporting to Rome of the holy objects from the temple of Jerusalem. Trajan’s culminating program recalled his triumphs over the Dacians, the campaigns which are depicted on a helical frieze that wraps itself around a triumphal column. (Fig. 10.9) Indeed, the point was made in the accompanying inscriptions that the cost of the forum was defrayed ex manubiis, by the spoils of war. The em- peror fought against the enemies of the Romans and converted his victories into tangible assets for the public good. The cost of such immense projects could be staggering. Cicero, who handled land purchase for the forum of Caesar, paid out 100 million sesterces to claimants, perhaps $20 million or so in today's inflated cur- rency—and that was for the smallest of the forums and for the site alone. The custom T. Kraus and L. van Matt, Pompeii and Hercula— neum, trans. E. Wolf (New York: Abrams, 1973). W. MacDonald, The Architecture of the Roman Em- pire, 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982, 1986). A. (j. McKay, Houses, Villas, and Palaces in the Roman World (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univere sity Press, 1975]. 215 was to insist that the emperor meet out- standing expenses out of his own pocket. In theory the distinction could be made between the personal wealth of an em- peror and the state treasury, but in reality this distinction soon became specious. It was nonetheless of paramount importance to maintain the fiction of personal munifi’ cence and to reinforce it with showy ges- tures. It is likely that the Aula Traiana was the setting for Traian's congiaria, or peri- odic distributions of public largesse; and it was in the forum of Trajan that Hadrian (Ab. 117—133) at his accession had the notes of debtors to the state burned in a calculated act of magnanimity. It is important to review the motivations at work in context as we admire the series of imperial forums at Rome, one of the great creations of antiquity. They broke through the Servian walls to marry the republican city with the entertainment quarter of the Campus Martius. They carved out a spa- cious lung for the choking crowds of the capital. Above all, they developed piece- meal a peerless civic center where, for the resident population, the triumphs of its ar- mies and the genius of its artists could be put on bountiful display; and for the visi- tor from Syria, Cyrenaica, Britain, Spain, or any other of the far-flung provinces, the might, wealth, and culture of an empire shone through and added substance to the boast of Roman citizenship. E. Nash, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome, 2 vols. 2nd ed., rev. (New York: Praeger, 1068i. L. Storoni Mazzolani, The idea of the City in Roman Thought, trans. 5. O’Donnell (Bloomingtun: Indiana University Press. 1970). J. B. Ward-Perkins and A. Claridge, Pompeii M). 79 (New York: Knopf, 1978). Village of Ziou, Burkina F350 {Upper Volta), woman's dwelling unil of the Nankani people; one example of traditional African architecture. it is made of puddled earth clods and painted with an earth pigment of ground laterite. During the reign of Hadrian, the Roman Empire attained the zenith of its material prosperity and the outermost limits of its growth. (Fig. 10.1) The Euphrates formed the natural border in the East beyond which Persia, the long-time adversary of Western ambitions, lived precariously under Par- thian rulers. Along the length of North Africa, the Egyptian desert and its contin- uation determined the width of coastal land subject to Rome, its numerous cities fat‘ tened by maritime trade. Hadrian strength- ened the most unstable boundary for the empire, the northern frontier, with a sys- tem of fortification that included a wall be- tween England and Scotland and strong- holds along the Rhine and Danube. Mounted peoplestarmatians, Alamanni, Visigoths—ranged restlessly across central and eastern Europe harassing settled agrar- ian communities and seeking any advan- tage against their formidable neighbor to the south. Westward the world ended with the Atlantic. It was a time of peace, a happy time. The provinces were contented and, for the most part, quiet. The troublesome spirit of Jew— ish independence flared briefly, but their revolt was crushed in 135. Jerusalem, re- named Aelia Capitolina after Hadrian’s family name, was disciplined architectur- ally with a cross-axial scheme, a proper Ro- man forum, and the usual catalogue of theaters, circuses, and baths. There were buildings under construction in every corner of the empire. Hadrian himself sponsored hundreds of public 10 THE WORLD AT LARGE: ROMAN CONCURRENCES structures, most notably in Athens and Os- tia. (Fig. 10.2) He traveled around, so an ancient source tells us, with a contingent of “geometers, architects, and every sort of expert in construction and decoration . . . whom he enrolled by cohorts and centu- ries, on the model of the legions." An am- ateur architect, he found time to work on his favorite villa at Tibur, the modern Ti- voli, a short way east of Rome, and for the capital he oversaw the design of several monuments—among them a temple to his predecessor Trajan, which completed the cycle of the imperial forums, a temple to Venus and Rome, confronting the Colos- seum on the west, and a unique creation in the heart of the Campus Martius called the Pantheon. (Figs. 9.28, 10.3, 11.2) The Roman Cosmos It is the Pantheon, perhaps, that best stands for the crowning moment of the Roman Empire. It faced north toward the incoming traffic of the coastal highway, the Via Fla- minia. The approach was commonplace: a closed forum, long and narrow, at the south end of which rose a standard temple front, But passing through this porch of smooth monolithic columns of Egyptian granite, one entered a mighty domed rotunda, 150 R0— man feet (43 meters) both in height and diameter, that enclosed a vast, unob- structed, thoroughly ordered space suffused with the even light that shone through an ocutus and the open bronze doors. (Fig. 217 10.4) The hemispherical concrete dome, with five diminishing rows of coffers verg— ing toward the oculus and harboring gilded bronze rosettes like gleaming stars, rested on a multicolored wall arranged in two sto- reys. Niches carved in the thickness of the wall, each screened by two columns of col- ored marble and flanked by pilasters, alter- nated with small tabernacles or “temple fronts,“ which stood in front of the wall plane and were crowned by segmental and triangular pedtments. At the entrance niche and the apse across the way, the screening columns were omitted. The apse semi- dome and the barrel vault over the en- trance lifted their arc into the second sto- rey. This second storey was actually a broad frieze of blind windows and triplets of tall thin panels patterned with colored mar- bles. The floor was paved with disks and squares of granite, marble, and porphyry set in a grid that was aligned with the main north-south direction of the building and reflected the grid armature of the coffering overhead. The easy grace of this superb interior is entirely deceptive. Behind the tapestry of Classical niches and precious stones that wraps around the rotunda is a tremen— dously thick wall, 6 meters or 20 Roman feet across, which is what really supports the approximately 5,000 tons of weight exerted by the dome. The relationship of load and support is not direct. The wall, rather than being solid, has been riddled with stacked chambers. These chambers helped to has- ten the drying process of the concrete, and II’JHSVOI‘SP barrel vaults over '-i()|Tt(‘ among them distributed the Weight of the super~ strut‘ture onto eight points oi the perime- ter, 50 that in otter t the dome is held up by eight thitk piera like HUHH‘ gigantit ( anopy. The (H lagonal hall in Nero‘s Golden Home is the logii'al prototype, but the Pantheon, being, tree oi abutting alruntures, was turced to resolve its statit s wholly within its own hig frame. It then prmeeded In (amow tiage the elahorate prt’~r‘auli<’m:, so that the user might he duly amazed by the uni strained elegante of this Lalmly hillowinpI spare. IaultloHs organization, daring, and a pm- (ligious amount of labor were Lalled tor to achiove lladrian’a design, and the eltort wax. thought iuslitied by the unionimon mes- sage the building was to tnnvey. lho first lhis was, a temple to all the gods, and the appropriate hyllll)()ll§ltt was that ()1 the heavens where they rofiidod. Ibo statues oi the pods, probably including thme of the planetary deities, were arrayed on the edgea oi the great (into, and the eye ol the ram, the central opening in the domo'a «well, Sltfll‘tt‘ upon them one by one during the (nurse at the day, highlighting their prmenee. But the building also had a political (on. lent. lhere were images. (11‘ Auguatux in the entrance vestibule and ot the deified (,‘ae- (at WIthm, and Hadrian held iutlitial tourt in the rotunda, lhe empire, it was being theme \‘Vtt‘a {th (DLII’QP ((Mlnlt. implied, was an analogy tor the roamos, and the Pantheon like the empire, a hlrm'ture ol many th‘lllh but one pervading unity— desrrihed this analogy in Visual terms. the true religion was Romanian], the tone that held the Mediterranear‘i world together in a amoralth and reliath tumtioning order like the harmoniom working-x ol the roles.- lial sphere. tladrian‘>, then, war. an inte|~ lortllal statement at what the stale wax all ahout. It waa his anawer to the applled populism oi the (Ltitoaseum or the bill— board kwagy‘er ml the imperial tnriimx A}. with l’l'l'Ni'pUlIH and other (entral monumenls' oi ompire, the Pantheon was also the pbysital repoxrtory ot universal tribute Itom \LtlJiL'Ll land» It used the granites and pnrphyrles ot ltgypl, the tul- ored marblt". nl Alrita, the while lltdl'ltlt“. oi the Aegean, pavona/lello Irom :ontral /\ |’L/\('E ()N l’ARlll Asia Minnrt What held it all together and gave it the authority at a singleiminded LDtllellt)“ was tho Roman vaulted ster and its versatile medium, (tirit'rete. In the proviner where Ihrs’ terhnology was not emptoyahler the etter‘ts oi the vaulted style ware aped in stone and on a small Scale, Will‘tllt the predominantly late ilelleniatit trame of publit art bite( lure. ln- teriors ol' Pantheon-like grandeur or inter- lorked Configurations (at the playlulnoxs dtqplayed In rooms on the Palatine and in Hadrian's villa at Tivoli were boyoan the range ot tut stone and woody and where these l‘ltll( in}; (ages were modestly and la- borauusly reprodm'od they remained max- uive and eartbbound. tl'ig. IUB) A tech— riique ol mortar‘ed i‘uhhle athieyed aome limited auccess in Asia Minor, and plain britk vault“, were aho experimented with both here and also in Syria and lgypt. But, tor the mUHl part, the strength 0t pru— Vll’t(ldl work drew upon detorativo virtu- osity, notany in the (‘arving oi alone, and thoatrical flare and fiwoop Fig. 10.] Map; The Roman anm- at the time Ul Hadrian M Ii. [177Httt Dotted llltt“: mdnale maior land routea. tta r31 ; tyelllt ll'-- y yaw ntlnl 218 ,. It at A\' a. \ .lrll‘ltl "ant with I b fitmnmn tn . raw-u; ntn " ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2010 for the course ARCH 218 taught by Professor Choi during the Spring '10 term at Cal Poly.

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1A_Kostof - sixth century B.c., this oracle had emerged as...

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