By Martin Henig
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Extra resources for A Handbook of Roman art : a comprehensive survey of all the arts of the Roman world
The eaves were decorated with architectural terracottas. 1 "' Terracotta revetments, antefixes and other roof furniture adorned and Roman temples. Among later buildings, the Cosa has produced one of the best series of architectural terracottas; an original scheme of decoration in about 50 BC was followed, over no more than a centur) In three periods of repair and a wholesale redecoration of the facade, each in a slightly different style. This period saw the last major (lowering of the perennial formal designs of lotuses and palmettes, which during the second half ol he first century BC were replaced on revetments In the m\ thological subjects of the Campana reliefs (Chapter 9, p.
3 The earliest datable use of it is in the superstructure of the walls of Cosa, the lower courses of which are of polygonal masonry. The walls were foundation of the colony in 273 BC. Its first seems to be in the large warehouse by the Tiber which, if correctly identified as the Porticus 4 Aemilia, is that which was rebuilt in 74 bc. It consisted of three pairs of barrel vaults on descending levels, carried on walls faced with built shortly after the use in Rome itself, and as a vaulting material, 1 and pierced laterally by arches.
As we see from such buildings as the Porta dei Borsari at Verona, the gate of Hadrian at Athens and the amphitheatre at El Djem (Ills. 19, 40 and 21), this decorative treatment is so commonplace a feature of it now seems almost inevitable. Those who unadorned drabness of concrete office blocks may think that this was no bad thing. If, on the other hand, it is argued that the external appearance of a building should be a logical reflection of its construction, then the Roman convention, which was still only at a formative stage at the time when the Tabularium and the great sanctuaries of Latium were built, must be seen as standing in the wa\ of any serious attempt by Roman architects to come to terms with the latent possibilities of their material, and with the inherent problems which were awaiting solution.
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