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Art History Midterm 3: Roman Empire - High Gothic

Key Concepts:

Terms in this set (135)

Meaning and use:

Triumphal arch:
Monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be mounted or which bears commemorative inscriptions. The main structure is often decorated with carvings, sculpted reliefs, and dedications. More elaborate triumphal arches may have multiple archways.
Triumphal arches are one of the most influential and distinctive types of architecture associated with ancient Rome. Thought to have been invented by the Romans, the triumphal arch was used to commemorate victorious generals or significant public events such as the founding of new colonies, the construction of a road or bridge, the death of a member of the imperial family or the accession of a new emperor.

Triumphal columns:
A victory column—or monumental column or triumphal column—is a monument in the form of a column, erected in memory of a victorious battle, war, or revolution. The column typically stands on a base and is crowned with a victory symbol, such as a statue.
The earliest triumphal column was Trajan's Column which, dedicated in 113 AD, defined its architectural form and established its symbolic value as a political monument alongside the older Roman triumphal arches, providing a lingering model for its successors to this day.

WHY?
The Triumph was a riotous military ritual celebrated by the Romans over the course of centuries—whenever their commander had won a spectacular victory. On the appointed day (or days) the city would be overflowing with crowds, pageantry, spoils, prisoners, depictions and souvenirs of foreign lands—but then, just as quickly as it began, the glorious tumult was over. The spectacles and the echoes of glory entrusted to the memory of those who had witnessed the event. Was the parade and its giant city-wide party enough to commemorate the glorious deeds of Rome's armies? Or should a more permanent form of commemoration be adopted? Being pragmatists, the Romans enlisted both means of commemoration—the ephemeral and the permanent. The Column of Trajan (dedicated in May of 113 C.E.) might be the crowning example of the inborn need to commemorate—in more permanent form—historical deeds that dominate the psyche of Roman art and artists.

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