Constructing the Ancient World: Architectural Techniques of the Greeks and Romans

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"A fascinating and accessible overview of the engineering innovations that macie possible the great architectural monuments of Grece-Roman antiquity" "Architectural Remains are among the most important archaeological evidence we have from Greco-Roman antiquity, helping us to understand the values and the technology of the societies that created them. In this richly illustrated book, Carmelo G. Malacrino relies on architectural remains as well as on ancient literary and historical sources to present a wide-ranging overview of the materials and techniques used by ancient Greek and Roman builders from the third century B.C. to the fifth century A.D." "The author begins by examining the variety of materials used in ancient buildings and discussing how these materials varied across time and geographical location, often giving a regional look to architecture. From the Greeks' early employment of wood, plant materials, and clay to their adoption of stone as the principal building material in the seventh century B.C. Malacrino traces the development of increasingly sophisticated technologies to quarry and prepare stones for shipment to their building sites." "The theme of construction technology occupies the central part of the book, with a discussion of the Greeks' mastery of the process of working with white marbles, the material preferred by the leading architects of antiquity. The Greeks devised several ingenious methods for transporting materials from quarries to building sites, including inclined roads that were specially paved to act as slipways and underwater suspension systems set between two ships. They also invented hoisting systems for raising and positioning monumental elements. The Romans not only expanded on the engineering experiments of the Greeks but also developed their own methods and materials, such as their version of concrete (opus caementicium), which was used to make the vaulted roof of the Pantheon, an advance unequaled for many centuries" "Malacrino devotes the final chapters to construction methods for hydraulic systems, roads, and bridges necessary to support growing urban centers. The Greeks' early efforts in transporting water and in building roads were surpassed by the Romans' vast network of thoroughfares and elevated aqueducts, the infrastructure needed to bind together a far-flung empire. With their invention of a system for heating their baths, the Romans paved the way for the cultural phenomenon of communal bathing as a central event in daily urban life." Using straightforward language and clear descriptions of construction processes, accompanied by detailed drawings of the technologies discussed. Malacrino reveals how the ancient Greeks and Romans were able to produce such technically sophisticated and monumental projects, and how modern architectural engineers are indebted to their ancient counterparts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

 “This book contains some amazingly clear shots of ruins and surprisingly clear illustrations of construction techniques and building materials.  History reconstituted.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A masterly and generously illustrated summary of the architectural techniques of the Greeks and Romans.”—Anglo-Hellenic Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606060162
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 538,461
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Carmelo G. Malacrino is an architect specializing in ancient architecture at the Italian Archaeological School in Athens and director of the study mission for publications on the monuments in ancient Kos in the Greek Islands. He is a contributor to Architetti, architettura e citta nel Mediterraneo antico (Mondadori, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Natural Building Materials: Stone and Marble 7

Clay and Terracotta 41

Lime, Mortar, and Plaster 61

Construction Techniques in the Greek World 77

Construction Techniques in the Roman World 111

Engineering and Techniques at the Work Site 139

Ancient Hydraulics: Between Technology and Engineering 155

Heating Systems and Baths 175

Roads, Bridges, and Tunnels 187

Glossary 208

Bibliography 210

Index 213

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....! 

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....! 

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