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in April 2017
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My Notes on Massive Open Online Course:
Roman Architecture
I began watching videos for this class in January 2014 when it started because I was going to be in Rome for 5 days at the end of March. Professor Klein's academic background of Roman architecture gave me a much deeper understanding of the individual monuments that I visited when in Rome, as well as gave me a good understanding of architectural terms in general such as spandrel, spolia, loggia, entablature, dentil, cella, etc. The lectures are not just based on architecture in Rome but around Rome as well as topics such as where Augustus got the marble for his works, and many lectures on Pompei and surrounded towns and areas. For me these lectures were also a way to learn quite a bit of Roman history such as which emperor lived when, how Roman citizens lived, what was important to them, and in general much more about Rome as a ancient city. In terms of professionalism, organization, and thoroughness, professor Klein is one of the best professors I've ever listened to. I can highly recommend this course.
Notes on 23 Lectures I Watched in This Course:
Romulus Founds Rome
The Temple of Jupiter OMC
The Servian Wall of Rome
Temple of Portunus in Rome and Temple of Hercules in Cori
The Increasing Greekification of Roman Temple Building
Opus Caementicum and Opus Incertum
Porticus Aemilia
Temple of Jupiter Anxur at Terracina
Tabularium and Theater of Marcellus
Bathing, Entertainment, and Housing in Roman Cities
Roman Tombs, Aqueducts and the Lasting Impact of Roman Architecture
Julius Caesar's Vision to Make Rome the Architectural Equal of Alexandria
Augustus and Luna Marble
The Forum of Augustus and the Temple of Mars
Ara Pacis Augustae
The Meier Museum and the Jewel of the Lungotevere
Tiberius' Villa Jovis on Capri
Caligula, Lighter Concrete, and the Underground Basilica
The Significance of Nero's Octagonal Room on Roman Architecture
Hadrian's Pantheon
The Flavian Amphitheater a.k.a. the Roman Colosseum
The Temple of Venus and Roma
The Arch of Titus
13 People I Have Learned About in this Course:
Antinous (111-130 AD)
A Bithynian Greek youth and a favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian
  • when Antinous died, the grief of the emperor Hadrian knew no bounds, causing the most extravagant veneration to be paid to Antinous' memory
  • cities were founded in his name
  • medals struck with his likeness
  • cities throughout the east commissioned godlike images of the dead youth for their shrines and sanctuaries
Caracalla (188-217 AD)
Roman emperor whose reign was notable for the Constitutio Antoniniana granting Roman citizenship to all freemen throughout the Roman Empire
  • of Punic and Syrian descent who ruled from 198 to 217
  • eldest son of Septimius Severus
  • reigned jointly with his father from 198 until Severus' death in 211
  • commissioned a large public bath-house (thermae) in Rome
Diocletian (245-311 AD)
Roman emperor whose reign stabilized the empire and marked the end of the Crisis of the Third Century
  • emperor from 284-305
  • rose through military ranks
  • his reforms fundamentally changed the structure of Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling the empire to remain essentially intact for another hundred years despite being near the brink of collapse in his youth
Caligula (12-41 AD)
Roman emperor mostly known for his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and intense sexual perversity, an insane tyrant
  • third in the Julio-Claudian dynasty (the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero)
  • unscathed by the deadly intrigues, he was sole male survivor in family (feud with Tiberius)
Brutus (85-42 BC)
Politician of the late Roman Republic who had leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar
  • Brutus was persuaded into joining the conspiracy against Caesar by the other senators and decided to move against Caesar after Caesar's king-like behavior prompted him to take action
  • although Cassius was the moving spirit in the plot against Caesar, Brutus became the leader
Cleopatra (69-30 BC)
Last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and lover of both Caesar and Mark Anthony
  • a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek origin that ruled Ptolemaic Egypt after Alexander the Great's death
  • spoke Greek, refused to speak Egyptian
  • one reason why Greek was used on the Rosetta Stone
  • Cleopatra did speak Egyptian, represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis
  • after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony, had twins with him
Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)
Roman general, statesman, Consul, and author of Latin prose who played critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic
  • played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire
Marcus Crassus (115-53 BC)
Roman general and politician, wealthiest man in Roman history
  • played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire
  • one of the richest men in all history
Mark Antony (83-30 BC)
Roman politician and general and member of the Second Triumvirate with Octavian and Lepidus
  • important supporter and loyal friend of his mother's cousin Julius Caesar
  • after Caesar's assassination, Antony formed an official political alliance with Octavian and Lepidus
Pompey the Great (106-48 BC)
Military and political leader of the late Roman Republic, member of First Triumvirate with Crassus and Caesar
  • his immense success as a general while still very young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office
Richard Meier (1934-)
American architect who built Meier Museum in Rome
  • 1957: Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University
  • after graduation, he traveled to Israel, Greece, Germany, France, Denmark, Finland and Italy, among other places, to network with architects
  • abstract artist and architect whose geometric designs make prominent use of the color white
  • Meier Museum in Rome, described as a "modernist eyesore"
Pythagoras (570-495 BC)
Greek mathematician, known for the Pythagorean theorem
  • philosopher and founder of the religious movement Pythagoreanism
  • first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom
  • Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato
Apollodorus (70-120 AD)
Greek architect in Rome, designed Trajan's Forum and Column
  • from Damascus, Roman Syria
  • favorite of Trajan
  • also engineer, designer and sculptor
  • on the accession of Hadrian, whom he had offended by ridiculing his performances as architect and artist, Apollodorus was banished and, shortly afterwards, being charged with imaginary crimes, put to death
56 Vocabulary Words I Learned in this Course:
Consul, n. the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire  "Julius Caesar was elected Consul in 59 BC."
acanthus, n. [ah-CANTH-is] one of the commonest plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration, in Ancient Greek and Roman architecture acanthus ornamentation appears extensively in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders, and applied to friezes, dentils, and other decorated areas  "Acanthus leaves are among the most common plants to be used as ornamental elements in architecture and interior design."
alcove, n. a recessed portion of a room, or a small room opening into a larger one, such as a lateral recess in a library  "Nero's Octogonal Room has a series of radiating alcoves, but much larger than the ones we saw in the frigidaria at Pompeii or in the thermal bath at Baia."
annular, adj. shaped like or forming a ring  "an annular vault is sometimes called a ring vault"
appurtenance, n. [ah-PER-ten-ants] something added to another, more important thing  "spandrals and other necessary appurtenances of the arcade can be seen"
apse, n. in Romanesque and Byzantine cathedral and church architecture, a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the main building at the liturgical east end, where the altar is  "At the end, to give some emphasis to one short side of the space, an apse."
architrave, n. lowermost part of an entablature in classical architecture that rests directly on top of a column  "They represent the original wooden end-beams, which rest on the plain architrave that occupies the lower half of the entablature."
axonometric, adj. axonometric means "to measure along axes", e.g. axonometric projection shows an image of an object as viewed from a skew direction in order to reveal more than one side in the same picture  "The axonometric view shows you that the inner precinct had a series of square panels."
basalt, n. hard, dense, dark volcanic rock often having a glassy appearance  "At the base of dome in the Pantheon they mixed into the concrete a thick, heavy basalt, but as they moved toward the top, they mixed in a porous pumous which was much lighter."
bucranium (pl. bucrania), n. the skull of an ox as an ornament often sculptured, frequently with adornment of wreaths or other decoration, on the frieze of the entablature in the Roman Ionic and Corinthian orders of architecture  "On the second side we see the victim, a running goat, and on the third side the symbol of sacrifice, the bucranium."
calcareous, adj. [kal-KAIR-ee-us] resembling or containing calcium carbonate or limestone, chalky  "a calcareous deposit near a hot spring"
candelabrum, n. [can-del-LAB-brum] large decorative candlestick having several arms or branches  "You can see here the famous seven-branched candelabrum that the Roman soldiers carried back as a trophy of the war in Jerusalem."
capital, n. in architecture, the top part of a pillar or column  "The capitals are done in travertine."
cavort, v. to have lively or boisterous fun; romp  "Caligula became a despot and spent most of his time cavorting with this three sisters, Agrippina, Julia, and Drusilla."
cella, n. an inner room or sanctuary of an ancient Greek or Roman temple, in which the statue of the god was situated  "It was designed around a series of courtyards leading to a cella."
cistern, n. a receptacle for holding water or other liquid, especially a tank for catching and storing rainwater  "Once in the city, the water was stored in three open reservoirs and over a hundred underground cisterns."
coffer, n. [KAH-fer] in architecture, a decorative sunken panel in a ceiling, dome, soffit, or vault  "When you ate in the dining room of Nero's Golden Palace, the coffered ceilings would drop fragrances and flower petals onto you as you dined."
columnar, adj. having the shape of a column  "Basalt is used in making cobblestones from columnar basalt and in making statues."
cornice, n. horizontal molded projection that crowns or completes a building or wall  "Domestic buildings are often surmounted by a cornice."
corroborate, v. strengthen or support with other evidence; make more certain  "That the upper part of the Arch of Titus also served as his tomb seems to be corroborated by the fact that inside the attic of the arch is a staircase as well as a chamber."
cryptoporticus, n. underground passageway, e.g. under a Roman temple  "There are many archaeological structures which date back to the Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, such as its well-preserved aqueduct and cryptoporticus."
dentil, n. in classical architecture a dentil (Latin for "tooth") is a small block used as a repeating ornament in the bedmold, or molding under the projecting part of a cornice.  "It has a a cornice built up with dentils (like the closely spaced ends of joists) and a corona molding to support the projecting roof."
domical, adj. shaped like a dome  "domical ceilings"
entablature, n. the upper section of a classical building, resting on the columns and constituting the cornice, frieze, and architrave  "Each style has distinctive capitals and entablatures."
expropriate, v. to transfer another's property to oneself, and thereby depriving them of possession of it  "After the smoke of the 64 AD fire of Rome died down, Nero expropriated 300 acres of prime downtown property for his own use, for a private palace, the so-called Golden House."
fasces, n. [FAS-eez] a bundle of rods bound together around an ax with the blade projecting, carried before ancient Roman magistrates as an emblem of authority, also used by Mussolini as a symbol of fascism  "In the seal of the United States Senate, the red liberty cap above the shield and crossed fasces below the shield represent freedom and authority, respectively."
frigidarium, n. a large cold pool in Roman baths which would be entered after the caldarium and the tepidarium, which were used to open the pores of the skin, whereas the cold water of the frigidarium would close the pores  "Each building had an entry into the massage hall, a gymnasium, changing room, the bathing space which included the frigidarium (cold baths), tepidarium (warm baths) and caldarium (hot baths), and a communal latrine."
funicular, n. a rail transit system which ascends a steep urban or mountain incline with the cars linked by a cable and an arrangement of pulleys such that the descending car assists in the hoisting of the ascending car, i.e. the two cars serve as counterweights for each other  "Cable cars are distinct from funiculars, where the cars are permanently attached to the cable, and cable railways, which are similar to funiculars, but where the rail vehicles are attached and detached manually."
groin vault, n. a vault with unique angles formed by the intersection of two barrel vaults  "On the second floor of the Colosseum we see a new kind of vault never seen before this time, called the groin vault."
hegemonic, adj. leading, controlling, ruling, predominant  "Keeping other rulers' children hostage in his palace with him and training them in the ways of the Roman empire and then sending them back as adults to their provinces in order for them to rule according to Roman customs, was Augustus' way of maintaining a hegemonic empire."
hemicycle, n. a semicircular, or horseshoe shaped, debating chamber where deputies sit to discuss and pass legislation  "The only major change from Augustus' Forum from Julius Caesar's Forum was the addition of two hemicycles, one on either side of the forum."
himation, n. a rectangular woolen or linen cloak worn by men and women in ancient Greece  "Although Hadrian wore a toga in public, he was known for wearing the Greek himation in private."
hydrofoil, n. a speedboat that is equipped with winglike structures that lift it so that it skims the water at high speeds  "To get to the island of Capri, you can take a hydrofoil from Naples."
hypocaust, n. a space under the floor of an ancient Roman building where heat from a furnace was accumulated to heat a room or a bath  "The building was heated by a hypocaust, its water being provided by a dedicated aqueduct."
lateral, adj. of, at, toward, or from the side or sides  "a lateral recess in a library"
libation, n. a drink poured out as an offering to a deity  "libation dishes"
lictor, n. a Roman functionary who carried a fasces when attending a magistrate in public appearances and was responsible for punishing criminals  "Each consul was accompanied in every public appearance by twelve lictors, who displayed the magnificence of the office and served as his bodyguards."
loggia, n. [LAH-gee-ah] roofed open gallery. It differs from a veranda in being more architectural, and in forming more decidedly a part of the main edifice to which it is attached; from a porch, in being intended not for entrance but for an out-of-door sitting-room  "There were a series of rooms for the emperor himself, including an imperial loggia where he could walk out and get some attractive panoramas privately on his own."
paramour, n. [PAIR-ah-moor] a lover, especially an illicit lover, either male or female  "Mark Antony takes up with Cleopatra and joins her in Egypt where he spends a good deal of his time in the eastern part of the empire with his paramour."
pediment, n. a classical architectural element consisting of a triangular section or gable found above the horizontal superstructure which lies immediately upon the columns  "The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment."
philhellene, n. [FIL-hel-layn] one who admires Greece or the Greeks  "Hadrian was also a great philhellene."
pilaster, n. [PIL-is-ter] an architectural element in classical architecture used to give the appearance of a supporting column and to articulate an extent of wall, with only an ornamental function  "There are pilasters flanking the doorway."
pompadour, n. [POMP-ah-dor] a man's hairstyle with the hair brushed up from the forehead  "Pompey the Great wore his hair pushed up in the center in a kind of pompadour which is a reference to the same kind of upsweep that was worn by Alexander the Great."
promontory, n. a high ridge of land or rock jutting out into a body of water; a headland  "There we see a mountain remaining as a promontory that marks the southwestern limit of the region."
pumice, n. [PUH-mis, not POO-mis] a light, porous, glassy lava, resembling cork, used in solid form as an abrasive and in powdered form as a polish and an abrasive  "Instead of mixing the concrete with stone rubble, they began to mix it with a porous yellow tufa and pumice."
rosette, n. any structure having a flower-like form  "Above the central bay of the arch you see on the interior of the vault coffers and rosettes in the center."
scallop, v. to edge with a series of curved projections  "The internal cella walls of the Temple to Venus and Roma were scalloped in this plan."
soffit, n. the visible underside of an arch, balcony, beam, cornice, staircase, vault or any other architectural element  "The soffit of the axial archway is deeply coffered with a relief of the apotheosis of Titus at the center."
spandrel, n. the space between an arch and its rectangular enclosure  "Between the spandrels is the keystone, on which there stands a female on the East side and a male on the West side."
spolia, n. The re-use of earlier building material or decorative sculpture on new monuments. Although spolia usually refers to ancient and medieval examples, the practice is common and there is probably no period of art history in which evidence for spoliation could not be found. Spolia generally occurs as either ideological or pragmatic. Ideological examples include re-use of art and architectural elements from former empires or dynasties as triumphant, i.e. to display the spoils or booty of the conquered, whereas pragmatic examples involve the utility of re-used materials: if there is a good supply of old marble columns available, for example, there is no need to produce new ones.  "The book offers a range of views on spolia and appropriation in art and architecture from fourth-century Rome to the late twentieth century."
swag, n. an ornamental drapery or curtain draped in a curve between two points  "Also depicted in carrara marble, you have these large, garlanded swags that you see hanging from pilasters"
thermopolium (pl. thermopolia), n. in the ancient Greco-Roman world, a "cook-shop" or "a place where something hot is sold", a commercial establishment where it was possible to purchase ready-to-eat food  "A typical thermopolium had little L-shaped counters in which large storage vessels were sunk, which would contain either hot or cold food."
travertine, n. [TRAV-er-teen] a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs, exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties  "This stone, called travertine or tufa, is a product of permanent natural activities created by natural dissolution and sedimentation of calcium."
triclinium, n. a couch facing three sides of a rectangular table, used by the ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans for reclining at meals  "Immediately to the west of the triclinium was the main living room."
tufa, n. the calcareous deposit of lime found near hot springs  "Instead of mixing the concrete with stone rubble, they began to mix it with a porous yellow tufa and pumice."
zoomorphic, adj. representative of animals, or of their characteristic forms, as a work of art, especially representing or symbolizing the conception of a god under the form of an animal whose characteristic traits or habits suggest the idea attached to the god  "Containers for water to wash with often took fantastic zoomorphic forms, surviving examples are mostly in brass."
12 Flashcards I Recorded in this Course:
pronounce Ara Pacis Agustae
[AHR-ah PAHK-is ah-GOO-stigh]
where did Augustus get his marble to turn Rome into a "city of marble"
Luna, present day Carrara
protected the concrete with small stones
Opus incertum [in-KAIR-tum]
the use of concrete in Roman architecture
Opus Caementicum
a volcanic substance used in architecture
pozzolana
street in Rome from Colosseum to Piazza Venezia where marathon starts, built by of Mussolini from 1924-1932
Via dei Fori Imperiali
who made up the Capitoline Triad
Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva
difference between Parthenon and Pantheon
Parthenon: Greek temple on Athenian Acropolis dedicated to Athena, Pantheon: temple in Rome commissioned by marcus Agrippa during reign of Agustus as temple to all gods of ancient rome, rebuilt by Hadrian, 126 AD
in what town south of Rome was there a former temple on a hill overlooking seas
Temple of Jupiter Anxur at Terracina
what is the process of making walls out of concrete then attaching stones to the outside
Opus Incertum [in-KAIR-tum]
where is there a Temple of Hercules east of Rome?
in Tivoli
what were the four Greek tribes
Ionians, Dorians, Aeolians, Achaeans