ATHENS, ACROPOLIS & PARTHENON Golden Age of Greece - 480 to 399bce - Trading brought prosperity. Slave culture (persians who were prisoners of war, non-citizens brought time to think, philosophize, create, & play. Temples, statuary, art, plays, etc. GREECE
Plan of the Acropolis There was a new idea of man, his image and his place in life. He could create his own destiny. Man became the measure of all things, including the divinae, and this new ideal unleashed enormous creative energies. THE ACROPOLIS BUILDING’S - 450 BC
427 - 424bce Famous Ionic temple. Frieze show”s battles of Greeks with the Persians. TEMPLE OF ATHENA NIKE
PLATO: 427 – 347bce PHI = 1 TO 1.618 THE GOLDEN MEAN (SECTION) Mathematical Harmony used in the proportions of the façade of the Parthenon (5th c. bce) on the Acropolis in Athens. The height is to the width as 1 is to 1.618. Approximately the ratio of 5:8. Plato regarded this proportion as the key to understanding the cosmos. 13th C. Leonardo Bonacci (Fibonacci) discovered this ratio as part of an infinite sequence (1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,etc.). In this sequence, the ratio becomes closer to 1.618 as the numbers increase! GOLDEN MEAN (SECTION) SHELLS
THE GOLDEN MEAN (SECTION) Central to numerological philosophy of Plato and Pythagoras. Used for Egyptian & Greek temples. Known as the “Divine Proportion”. PINECONE CAULIFLOWER
PARTHENON: 447-438 bce PINECONE Used for the proportion of the facade THE GOLDEN MEAN (SECTION)
DORIC IONIC CORINTHIAN COLUMN ORDERS (PILLARS) Doric - earliest, plain, fatter & shorter, no decoration, upper frieze (Parthenon) Ionic - middle, longer, more slenderer, no frieze, volutes (temple of Athena) Corinthian - flowery capital, latest, used much by the Romans! (not so much by the Greeks), Ostentatious
Post & Lintel construction fundamental to all Greek architecture. Left: Corner of the Basilica, Paestum, Italy 550bce. Columns placed close together, because if they span too great a distance, they will crack and collapse. The influence can be seen in the columns at Houryuuji (607ce) Asuka period by Empress Suiko & Regent Prince Shoutoku. Paestum, Italy 550bce Houryuuji (607ce) POST / LINTEL, ENTASIS & THE SILK ROAD
BASILICA - HERA I 530 B.C. Greece was a City State Rather then Kingdom Between the 8th and 6th century. The Greece’s developed Philosophy & Skepticism (Epics Of Homer), history, Drama, epic literature, Democracy, Athletic Games, and Science. Greece was the last of the Megalithic Architects. They Built with Limestone & Marble
Temple from the middle classical period of Greek art and architecture, built on the Acropolis of Athens between 421 and 405BC. The Erechtheum contained sanctuaries to Athena Polias, Poseidon, and Erechtheus. The requirements of the several shrines and the location upon a sloping site produced an unusual plan. From the body of the building porticoes project on east, north, and south sides. The eastern portico, hexastyle Ionic, gave access to the shrine of Athena, which was separated by a partition from the western cella. THE ERECHTHEUMA Erechtheum - Caryatid Porch
Black-figure hydria by the Lysippides Painter (?), Hercules, his club resting on his shoulder, rides in Athena's chariot. Ca. 525 BCE. Tetradrachm, silver - 460-450 BCE, Obv. Head Athena R., Rev. Owl Stg. R. Olive sprig, AOE. Statue of the Goddess Athena by Phidias GREEK ART AND COINS
The Goddess Athena in Homer's Odyssey Athena is Ulysses' special patron. The bond between them arises from the similarities of their natures; as the Goddess herself puts it in Book 13: We both know tricks, since you are by far the best among all men in counsel and tales, but I among all the Gods have renown for wit (metis) and tricks. The Goddess Athena in Plato Plato (bottom left) and Athena (top right) GREEK BOOKS - HOMER AND PLATO
CUNEIFORM & PHOENICIAN TO GREEK & LATIN Pictographs: ox and house Phoenician Alphabet: Aleph (ox) and beth (house) Greek Alphabet: alpha and beta Roman Alphabet: dropped Greek names of letters, A and B Archaic Greek votive wheel - 525bce - dedication to Apollo on a metal wheel, used for worship. Phoenician alphabet, Greek alphabet with names and Roman alphabet
The Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet and changed 5 consonants to vowels (a, e, I, o, u) to match sounds in their language. Greek regions had their own versions of scripts until around 400 bc, when Athens adopted a version that became standard throughout Greece. 700 b.c. was a period that was considered the cultural renaissance for Greece, in this time Homer wrote the Odyssey and the Illiad, stone architecture was used, human figures were applied to pottery, government was developed, the alphabet is used a lot! The Greeks gave more structure to the rough Phoenician letterforms (see previous slide for comparison). The Greek writing has order and balance. All the letterforms sit on a baseline (ask Bill what a baseline is). The letters and the strokes are standardized. When the letters were inscribed (see image to the right) they were very symmetrical and geometric. The 24 character is still used today in Greece. Greeks adopted Phoenician style of writing from right to left. Later they developed Boustrophedon , which has been compared to plowing a field with an ox, every other line reads in the opposite direction, which makes for unbroken reading. Finally they adopted the left to right reading movement which is used today in Western cultures. GREEK ALPHABET Votive Stela with 4 figures, 5th century b.c. Example of Greek inscription, the designer showed creativity by using a 3 sided form with a dot to represent the E and a v-shaped form to cross the A, as well as a decorative element.
“ The Persians” by Timotheus, papyrus manuscript , 4th century b.c. This is a good example of Greek letterforms, they are symmetrical and create a beautiful texture and rhythm. The Greek alphabet is the foundation of later developments in writing.
The Greeks eventually develop a writing style called Uncials these letterforms were rounded and quicker and easier to write. This style was used on manuscripts as well as on wood, wax and other soft surfaces. The alphabet played a very important role in Greek civilization, it allowed for the use of a lottery system for public service, secret voting ballots for jurors, authorization and endorsement of documents and the use of signature seals by wealthy Greek citizens (these are very similar to cylinder seals from the last class, they were very elaborately designs engraved on flat pieces of colored quartz). GREEK ALPHABET: UNCIALS Greek wooden tablet with Uncials , 326 a.d. this style of writing allowed the letter A to be made with 2 strokes instead of 3 and the letter E to be made with 3 strokes instead of 4 Greek jury ballots, 4th century b.c. A juror voted guilty by using a hollow center and not-guilty by using a solid centered ballot hollow solid
Greek signature seals, 5th century b.c.
Greek lottery token, 4th century b.c. These tokens were used in elections for public officials
Around 750 b.c., Rome was a small village on the Tiber river located in central Italy which grew into a great empire. In the 1st century a.d., the Roman Empire spanned North and South from England to Egypt, and West and East from Spain to Mesopotamia. In the 2nd century b.c., Rome conquered Greece, taking Grecian scholars and libraries to Rome. The Romans adopted Greek literature, art and religion but changed it to fit Roman needs. The Latin alphabet came to Rome from Greece through the Etruscan civilization (see slide about Etruscans). The Latin alphabet originally had 21 letters, after Rome conquered Greece they added Y and Z to their alphabet because Romans began to use Greek words. 3 more letter were added to the Latin alphabet during the Middle Ages giving us the 26 letter alphabet used today in the English alphabet. Romans used the alphabet to proudly inscribe architectural monuments to celebrate people and events. The simple geometric lines of the “capitalis monumentalis” (monumental capitals which is the foundation of the typeface Trajan) had thick and thin strokes with straight and curved lines. Special care was given to the negative space inside and around the letterforms. There are theories about the addition of serifs and how they came to be a design element, one is that they were made by the stone mason’s chisel and another is that a signwriter first drew on the stone with a flat brush and the serif was caused by a short gesture made before lifting the brush. The stone masons condensed and extended the letterforms to fit the space showing aristic judgement. LATIN ALPHABET Carved inscription from the base of Trajan’s column, 114 a.d. Detail of inscription from tomb
Roman written hand had several styles: Most important was “capitalis quadrata” (square capitals) This writing style was used in 2nd century a.d. until 5th century a.d. Capitalis quadrata was written with a flat pen, space between the letters (tracking) and the lines (leading) was very big but there were no spaces between the words, letters were written between 2 horizontal baselines. LATIN ALPHABET: CAPITALIS QUADRATA
“ capitalis rustica” This writing style was used during the same time as capitalis quadrata Capitalis rustica was extremely condensed, written quickly and used to save space. Writing materials such as papyrus and parchment were very expensive so this typeface saved space which meant saving money. Interesting design element: no horizontal stroke on the letter A. LATIN ALPHABET: CAPITALIS RUSTICA
Roman brushwriters used typography for: Political campaign and advertising on exterior walls using capitalis quadrata and capitalis rustica Posters painted on reusable panels Signboards were made by professional letterers Trademarks were designed and used to mark handcrafted items to show who made them or where they came from Romans wrote on wood, clay, flat pieces of metal and wax tablets in wooden frames, as well as papyrus from Egypt. In 190 b.c., papyrus was no longer available and they began to use parchment which was made form animal skins. Vellum, which was the finest of parchments was made form the skin of a newborn calf. LATIN ALPHABET Pompeii wall writing, 1st century a.d., More than 1600 messages were found under 3.6 meters of volcanic ash, these messages included passages from literature to obscenities
It is difficult to be sure of where the Etruscans came. The Etruscan civilization began sometime between the 10th and 7th century b.c. Iron working had begun in 1000 b.c. and the Etruscans were able to develop it further, taking advantage of the iron deposits found in their surroundings and creating iron weapons. It is believed that the Etruscan civilization was made up of several tribes each with their own king, this would explain why in Etruscan art there is a variety of styles. The Etruscans were a literate (please look up the definition of this word if it is unfamiliar to you) people using a writing system based on the Greek alphabet. In the 6th century b.c., the Etruscans settled on the South bank of the Tiber river, which is the site of Rome. At the time, Rome was one of many small cities called the Latins. By the end of the 6th century b.c., the Etruscan civilization had weakened from fighting with their Greek neighbors and Rome and the Latins broke free from Etruscan domination. Although Rome grew and went on to become a great empire it still kept many elements from their Etruscan past. ETRUSCAN CIVILIZATION Etruscan Bucchero vase 7th or 6th century b.c. Educational toy, this rooster shaped toy is inscribed with the Etruscan alphabet, notice its similarity to the Greek alphabet Gold Etruscan piece with inscription
Etruscan jewelry early 5th century b.c., late Archaic, gold, glass, rock crystal, agate, carnelian; some of the jems are carved
Kantharos, 6th century b.c. Bowl used for drinking wine Etruscan mirror
THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Romulus and Remus Legend says Rome was founded by Romulus in 735 b.c. The legend says that Romulus and Remus were the twin sons of Vesta, a priestess and Mars, the God of war. Their grandfather was dethroned by his brother and when they were born, their father’s brother threw them into the River Tiber for fear of them taking his throne, they washed up ashore and were found by a she-wolf who cared for them. This she-wolf became their foster mother and fed them with her milk and Romulus and Remus were brought food by a woodpecker who was also sacred to Mars as was the wolf. This legend is one of many things that the romans kept from their Etruscan roots. Other Etruscan influences were, the organizing of people into “centuries” for military purposes, gladiator games and the reading of entrails from sacrifices to learn about the future. Sculpture of Romulus and Remus suckling from their foster mother she-wolf.
LE PONT DU GARD AQUEDUCT The aqueduct was built to bring spring water from Eure to the water tower (Castellum) in Nîmes. This 50 km aqueduct was constructed in the middle of the 1st century a.d., it took 15 years to construct. Le Pont du Gard Aqueduct crossed scrubland, hills and valleys, bringing water from the Eure near Uzès into Nîmes. Nîmes was a large city in Gaul before becoming a Roman colony in 45 b.c.
Development of the arch: The Romans perfected, not invented, the arch. 100ce or so. It allowed them to make much larger spans than the old post & lintel construction (pillar & beam). Wedge-shaped stones (voussoirs) made semicircular form, completed by the top keystone. Equal pressure. Durable & Massive. The path the water needed to travel from beginning to end had a height difference of 12m so the engineers had to figure out a path that used gravity to move the water. The waterway is mostly underground, the path is a stone lined, earth covered, vaulted ditch. The stones were covered with mortar and lime to keep water from seeping through the rocks and to prevent parasites and roots. CONCRETE - stone & cement mixture, cheaper, lighter, strong. 3 parts sand, 1 part lime, water, broken stones. Plus the secret ingredient: potsolana a reddish volcanic sand that dried slowly, was stronger, and could be used in wet conditions.
BARREL VAULTED & GROIN ARCH Coliseum (Flavian Amphitheatre) late 1st c. ce, Rome Basilica of Constantine - 310-320ce, rome Barrel or Tunnel Vault (a line of stacked arches) enabled the creation of large, uninterrupted spaces.
COLOSSEUM Colosseum from overhead, Colosseum, view of arches and vaulting
50,000 spectators could be safely seated in the structure. Exiting of the structure was also quick. The colosseum is an example of an amphitheater (double theatre). This type of structure was invented by the Romans. It uses both barrel and groined vaults. This was possible due to the invention of concrete. Add volcanic aggregate (near Naples or Pompeii) concrete mixture to set it faster and make it stronger! Colosseum is constructed of concrete blocks and metal cramps dowels. Covered with cut stone and elaborate stucco decorations. The top also was equipped with an awning from the sun and rain. The three tiers of arcades are faced by three-quarter columns, Doric columns in the first story, Ionic in the second, and Corinthian in the third.
PANTHEON 118 - 125 CE Pagan Temple -means every god. Romans were the 1st to perfect the dome, hemisphere shape, a continuous arch rotating 360 degrees on its axis. A temple to celebrate the gods, it consists of a 142-foot high dome set on a cylindrical wall 140 feet in diameter. Dimensions appear equal and proportionate. Concrete, poured in sections. Springing- the dome thins as it rises. 20 feet thick at the walls, 6 feet at the circular opening, called oculus (Latin for eye). This is the building’s only illumination source. To make contact with the heavens. Sunshine casts a spotlight moving throughout the day and the seasons.
Pantheon close view of portico
Pantheon interior, oculus
Roman ribbed bowl, gold earrings and silver spoon
EMPEROR CONSTANTINE & CHRISTIANITY Christianity adopted as state religion of Rome in 325ce by emperor Constantine. He establised new capital in Byzantium and renamed it constantinople (for himself).
Weekly Questions: 1. Name three buildings on the Acropolis. 2. Describe the Greek culture. 3. What was The Golden Mean (Section)? 4. What were the 3 Greek classical column orders? 5. Who was Homer and Plato? 6. What is Boustrophedon? 7. What are the differences between the Phoenician alphabet and writing style and the Greek Alphabet and writing style? 8. What are capitalis monumentalis, capitalis quadrata and capitalis rustica? 9. Describe the Pantheon. 10. What was Roman concrete?