Caitlín Eilís Barrett
This review article addresses current controversies and opportunities in research on the roles, uses, and meanings of “Egypt” in ancient Roman visual and material culture. Accordingly, the article investigates problems of definition and interpretation; provides a critical review of current scholarly approaches; and analyzes the field’s intersections with current intellectual developments in the broader fields of archaeology and art history. It is argued that research on Roman Aegyptiaca can gain much from, and is poised to contribute substantially to, (1) 21st-century archaeology’s “material turn”; (2) the construction of new interpretive frameworks for cross-cultural interactions and “hybridization”; and (3) increased attention to the relationships among artifacts, contexts, and assemblages. Roman visual representations of Egypt provide a rich testing ground for research on intercultural exchange, the lived experience of empire, and the complex entanglement of people, things, and images.
Frederick A. Cooper
This article provides information on domestic and utilitarian architecture. The organization of this article intentionally follows the section topics typical of a modern engineering and construction book. It rests on the proposition that construction theory, especially the mechanics of building materials and aseismic design constituted the starting point for Greek architectural design. The aim is to show the existence of an ancient scientific approach through juxtaposition of the evidence for Greek practice with pertinent excerpts from contemporary engineering construction handbooks. The Greek architectural design, business, art, and the profession of Greek architecture are described. The Greek architect's treatment of peristyle and cella as two separate entities follows a logic consistent with the overall aseismic design of a building. The building materials in Greek engineering include lime-based substances, baked clay architectural units, iron, lead, bronze, stone, and wood. Furthermore, the article discusses the fire protection engineering in Greek architecture.
This article concentrates on the roads and bridges of the Italian peninsula. The Via Appia represented the affirmation of a rational design. Its design can be compared to that of modern Italian autostradas. The major Roman roads in Italy and their design and layout are discussed. Also, the construction and paving of Via Ostiense, Via Salaria, Via Domitiana, and gravel roads are reported. It is noted that a real technical revolution started with the construction of bridges in mixed materials, beginning with Domitian's bridge over the Volturno, which inaugurated the use of arcades with brick arches. Out of the many routes that made up the Roman road system, three can be pointed out as well-known, diverse examples of the technology: the Via Domitia in Gaul, the Via Egnatia that crosses the Balkans, and the caravan road from Aleppo to the Euphrates.
This article attempts to define comprehensively the technical framework and the principle configurations of land transport across the Greco-Roman world. The capacities that animals offer with respect to carrying and dragging burdens were considerable and were well known from the Neolithic era onward. General categories of portage and harnessed transport are described. The capability for transport is in practice more a capacity for organizing means of transport than of technological limitations. In the Greco-Roman world transport in all its forms took part in all the surrounding economic systems, satisfying the demands made of it without any particular handicap. The Greek and Roman cultures had at their disposal a technical capacity for land transport that was real and varied, even innovative, inscribing its own rhythms and inflections on the long-term patterns of preindustrial societies.
That the idea of the polis came to stand as a reference point for Hellenic cultural ideals is not, as one might have thought, purely the result of later memory, or memorialization of the political structures that obtained during a rich and productive era in Greek cultural history. This happened, of course; but it built on a conscious attempt by its inhabitants to promote the polis as a centre for cultural identity. This article looks at how the city developed and how it was developed physically to reflect an ideal, ‘common’ identity, both cultural and political.