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On this page: Archimimus – Architectura



governors of the provinces, but were elected by the people themselves. (Dig. 50. tit. 9. s. 1.) The office appears to have "been more lucrative than that of archiatri sancti palatii, though less honourable. In later times, we find in Cassiodorus (see Meibom. Comment, in Cass. Formul. Arcliiatr. Helmst. 1668) the title " comes archiatrorum," " count of the arch­ iatri," together with an account of his duties, by which it appears that he was the arbiter and judge of all disputes and difficulties, and ranked among the officers of the • empire as a vicarius or dux. (See Le Clerc, and Sprengel, Hist, de la Med. Further information on the subject may be found in several works referred to in the Oxford edition of Theophilus De Corp. Hum. Fair, p. 275 ; and in Goldhorn, De Ai'diiatris Romanis et eorum Ori- c/ine usque ad finem imperil Romani Occidentalis, Lips. 1841.) [W.A.G.]


ARCHITECTURA (apxtTe/croz/m, apxireK- roi/j/d?), in its widest sense, signifies all that we understand by architecture, and by civil and mili­ tary engineering: in its more restricted meaning, it is the science of building according to the laws of proportion and the principles of beauty. In the former sense, it has its foundation in necessity: in the latter, upon art taking occasion from necessity. The hut of a savage is not, properly speaking, a work of architecture; neither, on the other hand, is a building in which different and incongruous 'styles are exhibited side by side. An architectural 'construction, in the artistic sense, must possess not only utility., but beauty, and also unity: it must be suggestive of some idea, and referable to some model.

The architecture of every people is not only a most "interesting branch of its antiquities, but also a most important feature in its history ; as it forms one of the most durable and most intelligible evi­dences/of advancement in civilization. If the Greek and Roman literature and history had been a blank, what ideas of their knowledge, and power, ?ind social condition would their monuments have still suggested to us ! What a store of such ideas is even now being developed from the monuments of Asia, Egypt, and America !

The object of the present article is to give a very compendious account of the history and principles of the art, as practised by the Greeks and Romans. The details of the subject will be, for the most part, referred to their separate and proper heads. The lives of the architects will be found in the Dictionary of Greek- and Roman Mythology and Biography.

It is well observed by Stieglitz that architecture has its origin in nature and religion. The neces­sity for a habitation, and the attempt to adorn those habitations which were intended for the gods, are the two causes from which the art derives its ex­istence. In early times we have no reason to sup­pose that much attention was paid to domestic architecture, but we have much evidence to the contrary. The resources of the art were lavished upon the temples of the gods ; and hence the greater part of the history of Grecian architecture ij3 inseparably connected with that of the temple, and has its proper place under templum, and the subordinate headings, such as columna, under which heads also the different orders are described. But, though the first rise of architecture, as a fine art, is connected with the temple, yet, viewed


as the science of construction, it must have been employed, even earlier, for other purposes, such as the erection of fortifications, palaces, treasuries, and other works of utility. Accordingly, it is the general opinion of antiquaries, that the very earliest edifices, of which we have any remains, are the so-called Cyclopean works, in which we see huge unsquared blocks of stone built together in the best way that their shapes would allow ; although it can be proved, in some instances, that the rudeness of this sort of work is no sufficient proof of its very early date, for that it was adopted, not from want of skill, but on account of the object of the work, and the nature of the materials employed. (Bun-bury, On Cyclopean Remains in Central Italy, in the Classical Museum, vol. ii.) [MuRUS.] The account of the early palaces cannot well be separated from that of domestic architecture in general, and is therefore given under domus ; that of erections in-r tended, or supposed to be intended, for treasuries, will be found under thesaurus.

In addition to these, however, there are other purposes, for which architecture, still using the term in its lower sense, would be required in a very early stage of political society ; such as the general arrangement of cities, the provision of a place for the transaction of public business, with the necessary edifices appertaining to it [agora, forum], and the whole class of works which we embrace under the head of civil en­gineering, such as those for drainage [cloaca, emissarius], for communication [ViA, pons], and for the supply of water [aquaeductus]. The nature of these several works among the Greeks and Romans, and the periods of their development, are described under the several articles. Almost equally necessary are places devoted to public ex­ercise, health, and amusement, gymnasium, sta­dium, hippodromus, circus, balneum, thea-trum, amphitheatrum. Lastly, the skill of the architect has been from the earliest times em­ployed to preserve the memory of departed men and past events ; and hence we have the various works of monumental and triumphal architecture, which are described under the heads funus, arciis, columna.

The materials employed by the architect were marble or stone, wood, and various kinds of earth, possessing the property of being plastic while moist and hardening in drying, with cement and metal clamps for fastenings: the various metals were also extensively used in the way of ornament. The de­tails of this branch of the subject are given in the descriptions of the several kinds of building.

The principles of architectural science are utility, proportion^ and the imitation of nature. The first requisite is that every detail of a building should be subordinate to its general purpose. Next, the form of the whole and of its parts must be derived from simple geometrical figures; namely, the straight line, the plane surface, and regular or symmetrical rectilinear figures, as the equilateral or isosceles triangle, the square or rectangle, and the regular polygons ; symmetrical curves, as the circle and ellipse ; and the solids arising out of these various figures, such as the cube, the pyramid, the cylinder, the cone, the hemisphere, &e. Lastly, the orna­ments, by which these forms are relieved and beautified, must all be founded either on geo­metrical forms or on the imitation of nature.

To this outline of the purposes and principles of

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