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Malacrino, Carmelo G
Ingegneria dei Greci e dei Romani. English
Constructing the Ancient world : architectural techniques of the Greeks and Romans / Carmelo G. Malacrino ; translated by Jay Hyams
Los Angeles, Calif. : J. Paul Getty Museum, c2010
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 4th Floor  TH16 .M3513 2010    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Building -- Greece -- History
Architecture, Greek
Building -- Rome
Architecture, Roman
Physical Description 216 p. : col. ill., col. maps ; 27 cm
Contents Natural building materials: stone and marble -- Clay and terracotta -- Lime, mortar, and plaster -- Construction techniques in the Greek world -- Construction techniques in the Roman world -- Engineering and techniques at the work site -- Ancient hydraulics: between technology and engineering -- Heating systems and baths -- Roads, bridges, and tunnels
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 210-212) and index
First published in Italy in 2009 by Arsenale-Editrice, Verona
Translated from the Italian
Summary 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. --Book Jacket

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