A Handbook of Roman art : a comprehensive survey of all the by Martin Henig

By Martin Henig

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5 metres (15 feet). The relieving arches of tile which are visible from the outside extend through the concrete core, and were primarily necessary to transmit the thrusts during the process ol construction. Very careful attention was paid to the choice of materials for the aggregate of the concrete, in making use of the strength of travertine in the lower part, for example, and of the lightness of tufa and pumice in dome. The interior of the dome probably gilded originally), is lightened b\ deep coffering in five left) plan of the Pantheon.

So far as the Pantheon is concerned, however, it owed much, both in its lavishly decorated interior and in the assurance of its concrete construction, to what Apollodorus himself had previously achieved. The most famous of his buildings in Rome is the Forum of Trajan, which reveals his masterly use of traditional materials for an effect of outstanding grandeur. That he was equally at home with the contemporary architectural idiom is clear from the curvilinear elements and the use of large windows in the Baths of Trajan, which he built between AD 104 and 109.

The point must be made, however, that Roman were conceived as entire and integrated designs. The predominantly black-and-white geometrical patterning of late Republican and early Imperial mosaics provided the counterpart to the rich and dominating colours and mythological imagery of contemporary wall painting. Only a few buildings, such as the Pantheon and a number of houses in the Vesuvius region, including the Samnite House at Herculaneum, allow us to see a Roman interior more or less as it was meant to be seen.

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