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a flat, rectangular, vertical member projecting from a wall of which it forms a part. It usually has a base and a capital and is often fluted.

Tuscan column

the standard type of Etruscan column. It resembles ancient Greek Doric columns, but is made of wood, is unfluted, and has a base.


a wedge-shaped block used in the construction of a true arch. The central one, which sets the arch, is the keystone.


Greek "double theater." A Roman building type resembling two Greek theaters put together. The Roman version featured a continuous elliptical cavea around a central arena.


elevated to the rank of gods, or the ascent to heaven


a recess, usually semicircular, in the wall of a building, commonly found at the east end of a church.


in a Roman amphitheater, the central area where bloody gladiatorial combats and other boisterous events took place.

atmospheric perspective

a method of presenting an illusion of the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface using a greater diminution of color intensity and the blurring of contours as the intended distance increases.


the central reception room of a Roman house that is partly open to the sky. Also the open, colonnaded court in front of and attached to a Christian basilica.


the uppermost story of a building, triumphal arch, or city gate.

barrel vault

a masonry roof or ceiling constructed on the arch principle. Semicylindrical in cross-section, it is in effect a deep arch or an uninterrupted series of arches.


in Roman architecture, a civic building for legal and other civic proceedings, rectangular in plan with an entrance usually on a long side.


an exterior masonry structure that opposes the lateral thrust of an arch or a vault.


the hot-bath section of a Roman bathing establishment.


a sunken panel, often ornamental, in a vault or a ceiling

composite capital

a capital combining Ionic volutes and Corinthian acanthus leaves, first used by the ancient Romans.


a building material invented by the Romans and consisting of various proportions of lime mortar, volcanic sand, water, and small stones.


a small cubicle or bedroom that opened onto the atrium of a Roman house.


a military leather breastplate.

damnatio memoriae

the Roman decree condemning those who ran afoul of the Senate. Victims had their memorials demolished and their names erased from public inscriptions.


a hemispheric vault; theoretically, an arch rotated on its vertical axis.


having windows.

first style mural

the earliest style of Roman mural painting, also called the masonry style, because the artist imitated, using painted stucco relief, the appearance of costly marble panels.

fourth style mural

this style marks a return to architectural illusionism, but they are irrational fantasies.


the cold-bath section of a Roman bathing establishment.

groin vault

formed at the point at which two barrel vaults intersect at right angles.


in ancient Rome, wax portraits of ancestors.


in a Roman house, the basin located in the atrium that collected rainwater.


wall decoration consisting of bright panels of different colors.

linear perspective

all parallel lines or surface edges converge on one, two, or three vanishing points located with reference to the eye level of the viewer.


Latin, "eye." The round central opening of a dome.


a Roman freeborn landowner.


to give a rustic appearance by roughening the surfaces and beveling the edges of stone blocks to emphasize the joints between them.

second style mural

the style in which the aim was to dissolve the confining walls of a room and replace them with the illusuion of a three-dimensional world constructed in the artist's imagination.


the roughly triangular space enclosed by the curves of adjacent arches and a horizontal member connecting their vertexes. The area between the arch proper and the framing columns and entablature.


the warm-bath section of a Roman bathing establishment.


Greek, "rule by four." A type of Roman government established in the late third century CE by Diocletian in an attempt to establish order by sharing power with potential rivals.

third style mural

the style in which delicate linear fantasies were sketched on predominantly monochromatic backgrounds.

triumphal arch

in Roman architecture, a freestanding arch commemorating an important event, such as a military victory or the opening of a new road.

tunnel vault

a barrel vault.


in a Roman amphitheater, the cloth awning that could be rolled down from the top of the cavea to shield spectators from sun or rain.


true to natural appearance; superrealistic.

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