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Maritime Theatre, Hadrian's Villa

Maritime Theatre, Hadrian's Villa


Tibur (modern day Tivoli) stands on a naturally defensible hilltop in the lush central region of Italy. It is therefore unsurprising that the area is among the oldest sites of human settlement in the Italian peninsula. Activity there dates back to around 1300 B.C.. During Etruscan domination of Italy, Tibur was a Sabine city. It was conquered by Rome in 338 B.C., but Rome did not grant it citizenship until 90 B.C.. It became a popular resort for Rome's elite, a pleasant countryside escape after the stuffy, smelly streets of Rome. It boasted ornate villas belonging to many famous individuals, including Maecenas, Augustus, and the poet Horace.

By far its most famous villa, however, is the stunning residence of Emperor Hadrian. It consists of almost 120 hectares of sprawling building complexes with themes and styles from around the world. Around 128 A.D., Hadrian made the spectacular villa his primary residence. Today, almost forty hectares of Emperor Hadrian's splendid villa is available to visit. It is a testament to the vision of Hadrian, a man enraptured by travel and foreign cultures and fascinated by architecture. For anyone visiting Italy, Hadrian's Villa is a worthy inclusion on an itinerary.


Maritime Theater in Villa Adriana


The preview image of the project of this architecture derives directly from our dwg design and represents exactly the content of the dwg file. To view the image in fullscreen, register and log in. The design is well organized in layers and optimized for 1:100 scale printing.
The .ctb file for printing thicknesses can be downloaded from here.

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You can have the files by clicking on the "Buy now" button, choosing the preferred method of payment and paying the contribution of 14,00 euros. One of the most interesting and complex environments of Villa Adriana is the so-called Maritime Theater, whose name was attributed, as early as the 1700s, to the marine frieze that decorated the entablature of the portico.

The purchasable drawings allow to deepen the dimensional study of the elements, to retrace the secrets of the reciprocal metric relationships. Creativity, inventiveness, originality are the peculiar characteristics of this project from which to learn how the alternation of straight and curved lines can generate particular spatial and scenographic effects. The entire Hadrian's Villa is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Maritime Theater is its heart and its most intimate essence and, at the same time, richer in plastic and spatial values.

As you can see in the plan of the dwg drawing, it is a system with a circular and concentric plan that in the center has an artificial island surrounded by running waters in which the emperor could allow himself to take a few swims.
The outermost band consisted of a portico covered by an annular barrel vault with 40 trabeated Ionic columns which gave access to the islet (45 meters in diameter) with two revolving bridges. In the islet there was a very original single-storey domus, in which the spaces were articulated in concavity and convexity, taking up the theme of the curved surfaces already used for the domus Flavia and the domus Augustana on the Palatine, but in this case the surfaces curves multiplied their effects with the mobility of reflections in the water, generating even more spectacular results.
The construction of the domus, based entirely on spaces with unusual and original shapes, consisted of the traditional scheme with atrium, courtyard, portico, tablinio, cubicle, private baths and, in the resulting rooms, the latrines. In fact, following the path from North to South there was a rectangular pronaos, of which only the bases of the columns remain, one continued through an atrium with rectangular niches on each side and, following the axis, there were the moorings of the two movable jumpers. Continuing there were two side fauces (entrances) with a curved and colonnaded portico that constituted the final and intimate access to the domus, in the center there was a garden and, in line with the atrium, the tablinium with two symmetrical service areas . On the east side there were two cruciform cubicula. To the west there were private spas with the symmetrical tiepidarium and calidarium, with the frigidarium in the center. From the frigidarium, a few steps led to the circular channel (euripus) that surrounded the islet and which was used by the emperor Hadrian as a natatio, a swimming pool.


Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) distinguished two kinds of villas near Rome: the villa urbana, a country seat that could easily be reached from Rome (or another city) for a night or two and the villa rustica, the farmhouse estate permanently occupied by the servants who generally had charge of the estate. The Roman Empire contained many kinds of villas, not all of them lavishly appointed with mosaic floors and frescoes. In the provinces, any country house with some decorative features in the Roman style may be called a "villa" by modern scholars. [1] Some were pleasure houses, like Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, that were sited in the cool hills within easy reach of Rome or, like the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, on picturesque sites overlooking the Bay of Naples. Some villas were more like the country houses of England, the visible seat of power of a local magnate, such as the famous palace rediscovered at Fishbourne in Sussex.

Suburban villas on the edge of cities also occurred, such as the Middle and Late Republican villas that encroached on the Campus Martius, at that time on the edge of Rome, and which can be also seen outside the city walls of Pompeii. These early suburban villas, such as the one at Rome's Parco della Musica [2] or at Grottarossa in Rome, demonstrate the antiquity and heritage of the villa suburbana in Central Italy. [3] It is possible [ original research? ] that these early, suburban villas were also in fact the seats of power of regional strongmen or heads of important families (gentes). A third type of villa provided the organisational centre of the large holdings called latifundia, which produced and exported agricultural produce such villas might lack luxuries. By the 4th century, "villa" could simply connote an agricultural holding: Jerome translated in the Gospel of Mark (xiv, 32) chorion, describing the olive grove of Gethsemane, with villa, without an inference that there were any dwellings there at all. [4]

Under the Empire, a concentration of imperial villas grew up near the Bay of Naples, especially on the isle of Capri, at Monte Circeo on the coast and at Antium (Anzio). [ citation needed ] Wealthy Romans escaped the summer heat in the hills around Rome, especially around Frascati (cf. Hadrian's Villa). Cicero allegedly possessed no fewer than seven villas, the oldest of them, which he inherited, near Arpinum in Latium. Pliny the Younger had three or four, of which the example near Laurentium is the best known from his descriptions.

By the first century BC, the "classic" villa took many architectural forms, with many examples employing atrium or peristyle, for enclosed spaces open to light and air. Upper class, wealthy Roman citizens in the countryside around Rome and throughout the Empire lived in villa complexes, the accommodation for rural farms. The villa-complex consisted of three parts: [5]

  • the pars urbana where the owner and his family lived. This would be similar to the wealthy-person's in the city and would have painted walls. [6]
  • the pars rustica where the chef and slaves of the villa worked and lived. This was also the living quarters for the farm's animals. There would usually be other rooms here that might be used as store rooms, a hospital and even a prison.
  • the villa fructuaria would be the storage rooms. These would be where the products of the farm were stored ready for transport to buyers. Storage rooms here would have been used for oil, wine, grain, grapes and any other produce of the villa. Other rooms in the villa might include an office, a temple for worship, several bedrooms, a dining room and a kitchen.

Villas were often furnished with plumbed bathing facilities and many would have had an under-floor central heating known as the hypocaust. [7]

A villa might be quite palatial, such as the villas of the imperial period, built on seaside slopes overlooking the Gulf of Naples at Baiae others were preserved at Stabiae and Herculaneum by the ashfall and mudslide from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79, which also preserved the Villa of the Papyri and its library. Smaller in the countryside, even non-commercial villas operated as largely self-supporting units, with associated farms, olive groves, and vineyards. Roman writers refer with satisfaction to the self-sufficiency of their villas, where they drank their own wine and pressed their own oil, a commonly used literary topos. An ideal Roman citizen was the independent farmer tilling his own land, and the agricultural writers wanted to give their readers a chance to link themselves with their ancestors through this image of self-sufficient villas. The truth was not too far from the image, either, while even the profit-oriented latifundia, large slave-run villas, probably grew enough of all the basic foodstuffs to provide for their own consumption.

The late Roman Republic witnessed an explosion of villa construction in Italy, especially in the years following the dictatorship of Sulla (81 BC). In Etruria, the villa at Settefinestre was the centre of one of the latifundia that were involved in large-scale agricultural production. [8] At Settefinestre and elsewhere, the central housing of such villas was not richly appointed. Other villas in the hinterland of Rome are interpreted in light of the agrarian treatises written by the elder Cato, Columella and Varro, all of whom sought to define the suitable lifestyle of conservative Romans, at least in idealistic terms.

Large villas dominated the rural economy of the Po Valley, Campania, and Sicily, and also operated in Gaul. Villas were centers of a variety of economic activity such as mining, pottery factories, or horse raising such as those found in northwestern Gaul. [9] Villas specializing in the seagoing export of olive oil to Roman legions in Germany became a feature of the southern Iberian province of Hispania Baetica. [10] Some luxurious villas have been excavated in North Africa in the provinces of Africa and Numidia. [11]

Certain areas within easy reach of Rome offered cool lodgings in the heat of summer. Gaius Maecenas asked what kind of house could possibly be suitable at all seasons. The emperor Hadrian had a villa at Tibur (Tivoli), in an area that was popular with Romans of rank. Hadrian's Villa, dated to 123, was more like a palace, as Nero's palace, the Domus Aurea on the Palatine Hill in Rome, was disposed in groupings in a planned rustic landscape, more like a villa. Cicero had several villas. Pliny the Younger described his villas in his letters. The Romans invented the seaside villa: a vignette in a frescoed wall at the House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto [it] in Pompeii still shows a row of seafront pleasure houses, all with porticos along the front, some rising up in porticoed tiers to an altana at the top that would catch a breeze on the most stifling evenings. [12]

Some late Roman villae had luxuries like hypocaust-heated rooms with mosaic floors mosaics are known even from Roman Britain. As the Roman Empire collapsed, villas in Britain were abandoned. In other areas some at least survived large working villas were donated by aristocrats and territorial magnates to individual monks, often to become the nucleus of famous monasteries. In this way, the villa system of late Antiquity was preserved into the Early Middle Ages. Benedict of Nursia established his influential monastery of Monte Cassino in the ruins of a villa at Subiaco that had belonged to Nero. Around 590, Saint Eligius was born in a highly placed Gallo-Roman family at the 'villa' of Chaptelat near Limoges, in Aquitaine. The abbey at Stavelot was founded ca 650 on the domain of a former villa near Liège and the abbey of Vézelay had a similar founding. As late as 698, Willibrord established an abbey at a Roman villa of Echternach, in Luxembourg near Trier, which Irmina of Oeren, daughter of Dagobert II, king of the Franks, presented to him.

As the empire expanded, villas spread into the Western provinces, including Gaul and Roman Britain. This was despite the fact that writers of the period could never quite decide on what was meant by villa, it is clear from the treatise of Palladius that the villa had an agricultural and political role. In Roman Gaul the term villa was applied to many different buildings. [13] The villas in Roman Gaul were also subject to regional differences, for example in northern and central Gaul colonnaded facades and pavilions were the fashion, whereas Southern Gaul were in peristyle. The villas style, locations, room numbers and proximity to a lake or ocean were manners of displaying the owners wealth. [14]

Villas were also centres of production, and Gallo-Roman villa appear to have been closely associated with vineries and wine production. [15] The owners were probably a combination of local Gallic elites who became quickly romanised after the conquest, as well as Romans and Italians who wished to exploit rich local resources. [16] The villas would have been the centre of complex relationships with the local area. Much work would have been undertaken by slave labour or by local coloni ("tenant farmers"). There would have also have been a steward in addition to the inhabiting family. [17]


Hadrian, Bad Ass Architect

Hadrian, hands down, is my favorite Roman emperor, not only did he build the Pantheon, my favorite ancient monument, but he also contributed to developing roman architecture in a distinct way which was influenced by his travels. Hadrian was a bit of a rule breaker, he always did things his own way and today the Pantheon and hundreds of other buildings stand to show off his bad ass-ness.

Bust of Hadrian from the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Italy

Hadrian actually barely spent any time in Rome which was strange for a Roman emperor during times of peace. Hadrian was a wanderer and it is generally thought that he was actually born in Spain and not in Rome (of Italian descent). He traveled to almost every province in the Roman empire and sought to create Athens as the cultural center of the empire. Hadrian was definitely an interesting character known for many things, he was the first emperor to embrace the Greek tradition of wearing a beard (before Romans were clean shaven and believed that only barbarians wore beards and actually thats where we get the world barbarian from, barba or beard), Hadrian was also notorious for his romantic involvement with a younger boy named Antinous.

A statue of Antinous discovered at Hadrian’s Villa. Statue is now located in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge

Relationships between younger and older males were quite common during this time, however Hadrian was known for his involvement with the young Antinous because of his very strong attachment and love for the boy. When Antinous drowned in the Nile in 130CE it is said that Hadrian “wept for him like a woman”(1) and Hadrian even went so far to deify Antinous which was generally reserved for the imperial family.

One of the greatest buildings ever constructed, the Pantheon

Hadrian however is definitely remembered today for his architectural pursuits. Even if you know nothing about the Romans, most people have heard of the Pantheon and Hadrian’s Wall (that giant wall built in England to keep the uncultured and dangerous Scots out (I am talking about you Corrie, Erika, JJ and Heather).

The Scots and Us (Where is Corrie?) The palatial gardens of Hadrian’s villa, his countryside escape from the chaos of Rome

Perhaps one of Hadrian’s grandest achievements was the construction of his villa just outside Tivoli. Tivoli is located about half an hour away from Rome (by car) and is where Hadrian spent his time if he was needed back in the capital. Because Tivoli is located outside Rome and some distance away (if you were traveling by horseback or foot) the villa is more of a palatial complex with all the public buildings you need to conduct the business of running an empire without actually stepping foot in the capital. The Villa is over 250 acres and includes bath complexes, theaters, temples, libraries and sleeping quarters of everyone employed and living at Hadrian’s Villa, it is HUGE to say the least. I would say to give yourself at least two hours to explore the complex. Hadrian really saw himself as an architect and the complex was really Hadrian’s architectural playground to try out new techniques and styles.

One of many bath complexes at the Villa. Hadrian’s villa was not just a home for him and his family but a city within itself More remains of the villa

Perhaps one of the coolest buildings at the Villa is what archaeologists call the Maritime Theater which is believed to have been used solely by the emperor. Inclosed in the theater is a round island which had a small Roman house with an atrium, a library, a dining room and a small bath complex the island itself is separated from the rest of the theater by a moat.

The moat which separates the Maritime Theater from the rest of the villa. This was a place where Hadrian could truly be alone

It is thought that the island had two small drawbridges attached to it and so here Hadrian could basically escape from being an emperor. All he had to do was raise up the drawbridges and he could find peace on the island away from all the court politics. Today the island is inhabited by a lovely turtle who Alex named George.

The Maritime Theater is an excellent example of Hadrian’s architectural experiments. Grumpy George

Hadrian’s villa also has the Conopus and the Serapeum. This section of his villa is based on the Egyptian city of Canopus where they had a temple for the god Serapis and reflects his travels throughout the empire. The architecture of the Conopus and Serapeum are based on Greek influence however with copies of famous Greek statues and Corinthian columns surrounding the oval pool.

The Conopus at Hadrian’s Vila Greek Caryatids, reminiscent of the Acropolis, line the Conopus at Hadrian’s Villa Greek and Egyptian Elements reflect Hadrian’s travels

The oval pool is capped at the end with a large domed roof that Hadrian is so well known for. You will find domes all over Hadrian’s villa and in most of his architecture throughout Rome, especially the Pantheon and the Temple of Venus and Roma in the Forum. Hadrian’s domes were once famously criticized by the foremost architect in ancient history, Apollodorus. He said to Hadrian “ Go away and draw your pumpkins. You know nothing about these [architectural] matters.” Of course once Hadrian became emperor he had Apollodorus exiled and later put to death. You do not insult Roman Emperors, even ones known for ruling in times of peace.

This dome of one of the bath complexes is a good examples of those “pumpkins”

While most of Hadrian’s villa is in relatively good condition some of the most beautiful statues and marble were unearthed in the 16thC by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este and taken to his nearby Villa d’Este. The Villa d’Este is definitely worth seeing while you are in Tivoli to see not only the beautiful Roman statues from Hadrian’s Villa but also to see the amazing gardens filled with hundreds of fountains. When you see both Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este you can start to see how intricate and detailed these villas were even in the ancient Roman times.

One of the many hundreds of fountains at the Villa d’Este The View of Tivoli from Villa d’Este. You should visit Tivoli just for this view.

(1) Birley, Pg. 144-That’s right there is a footnote here, I am getting all kinds of scholarly fancy.


The Pecile

In it we recognize the Pecile remembered by the sources, inspired to the famous Stoà Poikile in Atene, that received the artistic productions of the greatest Greek painters. It is a monumental four-sided portico, delimiting a garden with big central swimming pool.
The northern part, of which we conserve the whole wall 9 m high and a monumental entrance in the center in order to allow the access to people that came from a northen road, was constituted by a double porch, like is testified by the sottoplinti situated on two sides of the wall, on which rested the columns, today lost and then replaced by box-tree cylindrically pruned.

The colonnade's cover was constituited by a double layer, this fact is manifest observing the big holes present in the wall. Turning seven times around the wall, 2 miles were covered (3 km approximately), the perfect measure of the after lunch walk, according to the roman medicine's orders.
In the XVIII century, really, was found a registration in which you can see the norms for an healthy walk.

In a following moment, that is in the second constructive phase of the villa, were added the rectangular bath-tub 100 m. x 25 long and the other porch's arms of a convex state with a green space.
The area, connected by stairs with the surrounding areas (the Philosophers room and maritime Theatre on one side, the building with three esedre, the Nymphaeum/stadium, the building with fishpond on the other side), was devised like an "isolated" place, ideal for the meditation, becouse the high walls that enclosed it prevented the sight of the rest of the villa and isolated people who lives apart here, looking for solitude.


Abstract

This paper presents the study of various Roman materials used in the construction of the Maritime Theatre, one of the main buildings in the Hadrian’s Villa complex, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Tivoli (Rome, Italy), dating to the first half of the II century A.D. The plaster layers (arriccio and intonachino) and overlying original Roman paintings that form the concave wall of the portico as well as some bedding mortars of the pyramidal stone elements (i.e. cubilia) of the circular masonry have been studied in particular. In addition, the acid volcanic rocks of the cubilia have been investigated, aiming to understand their state of alteration and geological origin.

By mineralogical-petrographic microscopy (OM), diffractometry (XRPD), Raman spectroscopy, Point Load Tests (PLT), helium pycnometry, and particle size analysis, the composition and granulometric distribution of the aggregate, type and characteristics of the binder, and various physical-mechanical properties (density, porosity, water absorption, imbibition and saturation indices, mechanical resistance) of mortars and stones were defined. In addition, through digital image analysis of thin sections, the binder/aggregate ratio and some geometric characteristics of the aggregates (e.g. circularity) were determined.

The research aims to improve the knowledge of the constructive technologies of the Maritime Theatre through the analysis of its materials.


Abstract

This paper presents the study of various Roman materials used in the construction of the Maritime Theatre, one of the main buildings in the Hadrian’s Villa complex, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Tivoli (Rome, Italy), dating to the first half of the II century A.D. The plaster layers (arriccio and intonachino) and overlying original Roman paintings that form the concave wall of the portico as well as some bedding mortars of the pyramidal stone elements (i.e. cubilia) of the circular masonry have been studied in particular. In addition, the acid volcanic rocks of the cubilia have been investigated, aiming to understand their state of alteration and geological origin.

By mineralogical-petrographic microscopy (OM), diffractometry (XRPD), Raman spectroscopy, Point Load Tests (PLT), helium pycnometry, and particle size analysis, the composition and granulometric distribution of the aggregate, type and characteristics of the binder, and various physical-mechanical properties (density, porosity, water absorption, imbibition and saturation indices, mechanical resistance) of mortars and stones were defined. In addition, through digital image analysis of thin sections, the binder/aggregate ratio and some geometric characteristics of the aggregates (e.g. circularity) were determined.

The research aims to improve the knowledge of the constructive technologies of the Maritime Theatre through the analysis of its materials.


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9: The Art of Ancient Rome II

After successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Understand and apply the concepts and terminology of Ancient Roman art
  • Investigate and apply the fundamental questions we ask when looking at art objects from this era
  • Discuss, collaborate, and generate understanding as to the meaning of Ancient Roman art
  • Assess and evaluate the impact of Ancient Roman art on the continued evolution of Western art

In this chapter, we will continue to examine Ancient Roman art. We will look at how this art contributed to the larger development of Western art. It is imperative to understand Ancient Roman art in order to see how it impacted later artistic developments.

  • 9.1: Overview
  • 9.2: Key Learning Items
  • 9.3: Arch of Titus
  • 9.4: Hadrian&rsquos Villa
  • 9.5: Maritime Theater, Hadrian&rsquos Villa Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Bernard Frischer provide a description, historical perspective, and analysis of the Maritime Theatre at Hadrian&rsquos Villa.
  • 9.6: Pair of Centaurs Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker provide a description, historical perspective, and analysis of Pair of Centaurs Fighting Cats of Prey from Hadrian&rsquos Villa.
  • 9.7: Column of Trajan
  • 9.8: Medea Sarcophagus
  • 9.9: Equestrian Sculpture of Marcus Aurelius
  • 9.10: Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus
  • 9.11: Tetrarchs
  • 9.12: Arch of Constantine
  • 9.13: Colossus of Constantine
  • 9.14: External Resources

Thumbnail: The Colossus of Constantine was a colossal acrolithic statue of the late Roman emperor Constantine the Great (c. 280&ndash337) that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius near the Forum Romanum in Rome. (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic photo by Carole Raddato via Wikipedia)


Watch the video: Hadrians Villa. A Virtual Tour (December 2021).