Innovative Vaulting in the Architecture of the Roman Empire: by Lynne C. Lancaster

By Lynne C. Lancaster

This ebook experiences six vaulting strategies hired in structure outdoors of Rome and asks why they have been invented the place they have been and the way they have been disseminated. many of the options contain terracotta parts in a variety of kinds, reminiscent of ordinary flat bricks, hole voussoirs, vaulting tubes, and armchair voussoirs. every one is traced geographically through GIS mapping, the result of that are analysed relating to chronology, geography, and old context. the most typical construction kind within which the concepts look is the bathtub, demonstrating its significance as a catalyst for technological innovation. This publication additionally explores exchange networks, the pottery undefined, and army events in terms of construction building, revealing how architectural innovation used to be prompted through broad ranging cultural components, lots of which stemmed from neighborhood impacts instead of imperial intervention. extra assets together with huge searchable databases with bibliographical info and colour illustrations to be had at

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A dome built of voussoirs 5. A: Drawing of dome built of radial voussoirs. B: Diagram showing stress patterns in an uncracked hemispherical dome. is essentially like a series of self-supporting horizontal rings stacked one on top of the other (Fig. 5A). One can think of each course in the dome as two horizontal arches placed end to end to form a circle. In the same way that the keystone locks the voussoirs of an arch together, the final stone in each horizontal course of a dome locks the blocks of that course into place; the converging joints form horizontal rings in compression, each of which supports itself.

Similar types of contracts governing lease and hire existed under Greek law, called μίσθωσις (misthosis), which included building contracts. Whether local law or Roman law prevailed in the provinces was not strictly defined. Generally the “personality principle” was used whereby disputes between two non-Roman citizens would be settled using local law and those between two Roman citizens using Roman law. 42 Once Roman citizenship was extended throughout the empire under Caracalla, these distinctions theoretically would be mute.

4 The establishment of the Roman Empire dramatically increased the technological choices available to patrons, architects, and builders, so when we see a particular vaulting technique, its use usually represents only one of many options. The technology shelf reminds us that technological determinism rarely explains the whole picture; human choice was also at work. Choice was affected by a myriad of factors (personal alliances, economic constraints, and social pressures) that may not have even been clear to the person making the choice, much less to the present-day archaeologist trying to interpret the fragmentary evidence.

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