"Building Roman Greece"
"Innovation in vaulted construction in the Peloponnese"
Είναι ο τίτλος του βιβλίου του Paolo Vitti, που θα παρουσιαστεί τη Δευτέρα 13 Μαρτίου 2017, ώρα 18.00, στην Ιταλική Αρχαιολογική Σχολή της Αθήνας (Παρθενώνος 14, Αθήνα).
Janet DeLaine, Καθηγήτρια στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης.
Μανόλης Κορρές, Καθηγητής στο Εθνικό Μετσόβιο Πολυτεχνείο της Αθήνας.
Claudio Varagnoli, Καθηγητής στο Πανεπιστήμιο Chieti.
Συντονίζει ο Δρ. David Scahil, Αμερικανική Σχολή Κλασικών Σπουδών της Αθήνας.
About the book
This book discusses a selection of 29 vaulted Roman buildings in the Peloponnese dating from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD. The research was carried out over a period of ten years through the summer of 2013. It was awarded the "Grand Prix" of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/ Europa Nostra Award in May 2014.
This work fills a gap in the study of Roman construction, which has generally failed to seek innovation in building techniques outside of Central Italy. The research has revealed the importance of Roman architecture in the Peloponnese and its
contribution to the development of construction techniques. The significance of these structures had been hitherto only partially recognised and understood, because the few publications to have dealt in any depth with Roman architecture in the Peloponnese
were conditioned by an excessive focus on the city of Rome, attributing only relative importance to the specific nature of local building traditions.
For the first time, a study systematically and analytically evaluates Roman construction in Greece. Most of the buildings included in the study had not been previously analysed nor were they even known to specialists. In earlier discussions of Roman architecture in Greece, the construction aspects had been treated cursorily. Scholars were basically focused on comparisons with Rome, thus failing to understand the peculiarities of the construction process. This study offers a detailed layout of the ways in which solid-brick vaulting and concrete vaulting were employed, showing that local workmen were experienced and expert enough to use inventiveness in dealing with technical and structural problems, thus creating a construction tradition distinct from the one in use in Rome. The author analyses on one hand the Italic construction tradition and on the other, the development of a local construction techniques, which were also influenced by eastern vaulting tradition imported from Parthia.
The new methodological approach of the research is based on on-site study, with sketches, drawings and descriptions, through which it was possible to recognise and understand the construction solutions adopted in each building. The first-hand observations and technical drawings and/or descriptions of the construction characteristics eventually made it possible to identify and understand a building style based on the widespread use of brick for walls and vaults that was to become particularly influential in the late antique period, when Eastern building techniques became more markedly different from the ones adopted in the Western part of the Empire.
This methodology becomes a reference point for future research on similar regional contexts and historical periods that share the same construction principles, rooted in the use of mortar as a bonding material.
About the author
Paolo Vitti is an architect and historian. He has been studying and working on Cultural Heritage Restoration since 1984, and particularly on archaeological monuments in Italy, Greece, and Turkey as well as on medieval monuments in Italy and Cyprus. He is interested in both the theoretical and professional aspects of architectural and archaeological restoration. As a practising architect, he has designed many restoration projects on archaeological and medieval sites located in Italy, Greece and Cyprus.