medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

On Sunday, January 16, 2005, at 12:43 pm, chris crockett wrote:

> From: John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>
> > On Saturday, January 15, 2005, at 10:02 am, chris crockett wrote:
> >> nice example of re-used "spolia" in the form of Roman(?) columns
> and iconic capitals :
> >>
> for some reason that last url doesn't want to open on its own.
> it is a blow-up of the "S. Felice", second row of thumbnails, on
> the left here
> :

The separate URL worked just fine a few minutes ago, so the difficulty
may have been a case of Transient Server Recalcitrance.


> > I assume that the columns _are_ Roman.
> i did, on the basis that they appear to be quite finely executed,
> even though
> the Romans didn't do all that many ironic (or even) iconic capitals
> --not
> their favorite Order, apparently.

Not their favorite order.  But a couple of qualifications could be made

1. Coins and a depiction on a relief show that early in the
Julio-Claudian period the republican Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum
had such capitals; later in the first century these were replaced by
Corinthian ones.  It's possible that there was greater use of Ionic
capitals in the republican period than we now know, thanks to subsequent
rebuildings and replacements.  The two well-known temples in Rome to
have them now are late republican restorations of earlier structures:
the Temple of Saturn and the rectangular temple converted in the ninth
century into Santa Maria Egiziaca (this is variously known as the Temple
of Portunus, of Mater Matuta, or -- less probably -- of Fortuna Virilis).

2. Apart from having had a later start in Rome, Corinthian capitals may
have survived better than did Ionic ones because they were more likely
to have been used in the monumental public structures, esp. temples,
whose remains can still be seen today.  The Ionic order also had a place
in secular structures, e.g. the Basilica at Pompeii:
or the same city's Ionic Propylaeum:
or in Rome's Flavian Amphitheatre (middle storey):

Again, the Ionic columns of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura
and Santa Maria Maggiore
presumably came from older structures not too far away from them.

Best again,
John Dillon

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