Principles of Roman Architecture

Principles of Roman Architecture

4.45 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The architects of ancient Rome developed a vibrant and enduring tradition, inspiring those who followed in their profession even to the present day. This original book is the first to explore their approach to design. Mark Wilson Jones draws on both new archaeological discoveries and his own analyzes of the monuments to reveal how Roman architects went about the creative process.
Wilson Jones begins by outlining the state of knowledge regarding Roman architects, Vitruvius in particular, as well as the dynamics of design as illuminated by surviving architectural drawings and models. Then, in a series of thematic chapters dedicated to the plan, the elevation, and the principal distributive element of Roman buildings, the Corinthian column, he focuses on underlying patterns of design that transcend function and typology. The success of Roman architecture is shown to rest on a robust yet subtle synthesis of theory, beauty, content, and practicality. At the same time, it maintains a vital equilibrium between the apparently conflicting goals of rule and variety. The next part of the book focuses on two singularly enigmatic monuments, Trajan's Column and the Pantheon, to illustrate how architects might bend principles to circumstance. The author resolves long-standing controversies over their conception, showing how both structures came to be modified after work on the site had begun. Even the Romans' mighty building machine had to come to terms with the gap between ideals and the physical realities of construction.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 284 pages
  • 216 x 267 x 18.54mm | 1,284g
  • New Haven, CT, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 245 b-w + 39 color illus.
  • 030010202X
  • 9780300102024
  • 469,084

Review quote

"This is by far the best book on ancient architecture written in the last few decades, suitable both for those who think they know the field, and for those who are looking for an introduction to Roman architecture. If I was a dictator this would be a set text for an archaeology or art history course - there are insufficient synonyms of the word 'brilliant' to describe it." Dorothy King, Minerva; "A careful, sensible, and delightful consideration of all aspects of building in ancient Rome that will provide new insights for young and old scholars alike." Carol Richardson, Art Book; "Wilson Jones's excellent work combines the knowledge of a practising architect with that of an architectural historian." Choice; "This is an important work which throws new light on a number of aspects of Roman construction. It is well illustrated by the author's own drawings, by reproductions from classical works on the subject, and by excellent colour photographs." Architectural Science Review
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About Mark Wilson Jones

Mark Wilson Jones is an architect in private practice and an architectural historian.
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Rating details

11 ratings
4.45 out of 5 stars
5 55% (6)
4 36% (4)
3 9% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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