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Hadrianic Architecture and Geometry Author(s): David M. Jacobson Reviewed work(s): Source: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol.

90, No. 1 (Jan., 1986), pp. 69-85 Published by: Archaeological Institute of America Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/505986 . Accessed: 03/12/2012 03:23
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Hadrianic Architectureand Geometry*


DAVID M. JACOBSON
Abstract

worldof All thethreads of evidence pointto theGreek of the "ruler the Hellenistic periodas the fountain-head in thecento design, embodied andcompasses approach" tralized of Hadrian's one buildings reignthatrepresent revof the highwater of the "Roman architectural marks of the plansof six of thesebuildings olution." in Analysis assoRome,Tivoliand Baiae,somehavingan Imperial ciation, revealshow importantgeometrical principles wereto advanced Romanarchitectural design. A number of buildings dated to the reign of Hadrian, including some well known examples at the Emperor'spalatial residencenear Tivoli, are conspicuous among the monumentsof classical antiquity for the ingenious symmetryof their ground plans. These striking curvilinearcompositionsstood unrivalled for 1500 years until Baroque architects,led by Borromini, scaled new peaks in architecturaldesign.' It has been recognized,however, that Borrominihimself repeatedly looked to Hadrian's Villa as a source of inspiration for his own masterpieces.2 The plans of these buildings have been viewed within the perspective of the "Roman architectural revolution,"spanning the century and a half between the death of Julius Caesar and that of Hadrian, which exploited the plastic freedom permitted by concrete.3 It has been pointed out that, already in the time of Augustus, curved forms were assuming a prominent place in the domestic architectureof Campania. By Nero's reign, curvilinear forms were being treated more methodicallyin his Domus Transitoriaand Domus Aurea. A parallel trend has been discernedin the layout of gardens and peristyles. The inner courtyard of Domitian's Domus Augustana, with its symmetrical arrangement of curving platforms and channels, representsan advancedstage of this process.4

It is in the architectureof Hadrian's reign that this developmentreached its apogee,5with a burst of prodigious inventiveness. Besides the distinctive ground plans, the architectureof this period is also noted for what appear to be several important innovations. These includetwo types of segmenteddome,occasionally raised on drums with windows-claimed to be another novel feature-and other experiments in vaulting.6 While the origins of these elements are something of an enigma, the same cannot be said of the sophisticatedcurvilineardesigns. This study attempts to identify and delineate the roots of this type of architecturaldesign in the applied geometryof the Greeks. Drawing on the written testimony of Vitruvius, our principal source on Classical architecture,I shall stress the role played by Euclidean geometry in Roman architectural design. Confirming evidence of the application of geometrical proceduresis furnishedby an analysis of selectedcentrally planned buildings dating from the time of Hadrian, when curvilineardesign was in its heyday.
ORIGINS OF CURVILINEAR DESIGN

Vitruvius informs us that, in his day,' it was the normal practiceto work out the plan of a building in an architectural drawing (ichnographia) using a
straightedge or ruler (euthygrammum, regula) and

compasses (circinus). The scheme would then be staked out on the ground using ropes, or cords, and pegs.8 The applicationof geometricalprinciples to architectural design can be traced back, with reasonable confidence, to the fourth century B.C. architect Pytheos. His Temple of Athena Polias at Priene is the first known Greek temple to have a plan developed systematicallyon a grid of squares, within which all

* I am especially grateful to Dr. Geoffrey Waywell of King's 87-106; F.L. Rakob, Die Piazza d'Oro in der Villa Hadriana bei College, London, for his valuable adviceand encouragement.I also Tivoli (Diss. Technische Hochschule, Karlsruhe 1967) 89-96. wish to thank the respectiveauthors and publishers for permission s J.B. Ward-Perkins, Roman Architecture (New York 1977; to reproduce their plans of buildings discussed in this article and unrev. trans. of Architettura romana, Milan 1974) 174. Brunilde S. Ridgway is thanked for drawing my attention to two 6 See F. Rakob, "LitusbeataeVeneris aureum;Untersuchungen am 'Venustempel' in Baiae," R6mMitt 68 (1961) 138-44; also important bibliographicreferences. I H. KAhler,Hadrian und seine Villa bei Tivoli M.E. Blake and D. Taylor-Bishop, Roman Construction in Italy (Berlin 1950) 143. See, for example, the geometricalbasis of the plan of Borromi- from Nerva through the Antonines (Philadelphia 1973) 247, 302. ni's S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome, describedin H. Sedl7 Vitr. De arch. 1.2.2 and 1.1.4. On the strengthof internal evihas been datedbetween 35 and 22 mayr, "Zum Gestalteten sehen,"Belvedere9-10 (1926) 57-62. dence,Vitruvius'De architectura 2 A. B.C. See C. Fensterbusch, Vitruv, Zehn Biicher iiber Architektur2 Blunt, Borromini (London 1979) 37, 70, 99, 116. 3J.B. Ward-Perkins, Roman Imperial Architecture (London (Darmstadt 1976) 3-6. 1981) 97-120. 8 W.L. MacDonald, The Architecture of the Roman Empire I: 4 See Ward-Perkins (supra n. 3) 101-11; Kahler (supra n. 1) An Introductory Study2 (New Haven and London 1982) 136.

AmericanJournal of Archaeology90 (1986)

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the structural elements are organized.9The appearance of this approach points to the use by Pytheos, perhaps for the first time, of preliminarydrawings.10 On the evidence of Bammer, the dimensions of the later Artemisionat nearby Ephesus, begun in ca. 350 B.C., were formulated in terms of discreet modular proportions.11 About two hundred years later, we find Hermogenes of Alabanda developing and refining this modular system of design in his Temples of Artemis Leukophryene at Magnesia-on-the-Maeander and Dionysos at Teos.12 Hermogenes wrote treatises on these two temples which exerted a strong influence on Vitruvius.13 For his part, Vitruvius recommended modularpronot for the of portions only plans rectangulartemples, like those of Pytheos and Hermogenes,but also for the designs of circular temples.14 Here, too, he may have done no more than reiterate Hellenistic architectural sources: the fact remains that his rules for circular temples constitute a unique documentary source on the subject. By implication, they are also most relevant to our understandingof the developmentof architecturaltheory applied to centrally planned buildings. According to Vitruvius' account, the primary
9 T. Wiegand and H. Schrader, Priene: Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen in den Jahren 1895-1898 (Berlin

geometricalelement in the plan of a circular temple was the circle of its stylobate,in the sense that the diameter acrossthe stylobatecontrolledthe dimensionsof several other elements of the building. Thus, in the scheme presentedby Vitruvius, fractionalor modular divisions of the stylobatediameterdeterminedthe position of the concentriccella wall and, indeed, also the key dimensions in the elevation of the building. Preof the encirsumably, the regular intercolumniations circumferential to a modcling pteron corresponded This idea is also found in a geometrical conule.15 structiondescribedin detail by Vitruvius, namely that of the analemma,a projectionused in the construction of planar sundials.16Like the design of the circular temple, the analemma is developed from the initial circle whose diameter determines the dimensions of all subsequentelementsof the scheme. A clear pattern in Vitruvius' approachto circularbased architecturaldesign emerges after also considering his prescription for the Roman theater." In this case, the circle of the orchestrafulfills the role of the primary circle. The verticesof an inscribeddecagon determine the disposition of the radiating stairways and the scaenaefrons. A length twice the diameter of the orchestrafixes the length of the scaena.
Ozgan, "ZurDatierung des Artemisaltarsin Magnesia am Maeander,"IstMitt 32 (1982) 208-209.

1904) 81-86, pl. 9; and more recently W. Koenigs, "Der Athenatempel von Priene,"IstMitt 33 (1983) 134-75. 70-71. A trend toward greaterorder in architecturaldesign is to be seen as part of a developmentin Hellenic culture that took place in the 5th-4th cs. B.C., where, in the words of Plato (Phlb. 64E),
measure (JeTrpLdrOTq)and commensurability
10 See J.J. Coulton,

Greek Architects at Work (London 1977)

evidencethat circularintercolumniations were part of the modular system of design. This tholos was endowedwith two concentriccolonnades,an outer ring with 26 Doric columnsand an inner circleof
14 Corinthian columns (see G. Roux, L'architecture de l'Argolide aux IVe et IIje sizcles avant J.-C. [Paris 1961] pl. 38). The interco-

14 Vitr. De arch. 4.8.1-3. 15 The tholos at Epidauros(ca. 365-335 B.C.) appearsto provide

be identified with beauty and excellence. Another manifestationof this outlook was the canon of Polykleitos, which stipulated a set of commensurable proportions for the human figure (Galen Placit. Hipp. et Plat. 5 [ed. Miiller 425]). See J.J. Pollitt, The Ancient View of GreekArt (New Haven and London 1974) 14-22, 160-62. Koenigs (supra n. 9) 165-68, has drawn attention to an architectural sketch of a temple pediment scratchedon the surface of an ashlar of the temple of Athena Polias, which he associateswith the constructionof that building. 11A. Bammer, "Zumjiingeren Artemisionvon Ephesos,"OJh 47 (1964/65) 137-39; also Bammer, "Der Altar desjiingeren Artemisions von Ephesos,"AA 1968, 416. 12On the temple of Artemis at Magnesia, see C. Humann, MagderJahre 1891-1893 (Berlin 1904) 39-49, fig. 30. On the temple of Dionysos at Teos, see Society of Dilettanti, Antiquities of Ionia, Part the Fourth (London 1881) 38-39, pl. 22; also Y. Bequignon and A. Laumonier, "Fouilles de Teos (1924)," BCH 49 (1925) 291-98, pl. 8. 13 Vitr. De arch. 7 praef. 12 and 4.3.1. Scholars are dividedover the date of Hermogenes:von Gerkan and Drerup have argued for a floruit in the mid 2nd century B.C. but others, most recentlyOzgan in the context of the altar at Magnesia, are of the opinion that Hermogenes was active towards the end of the previous century. See nesia am Miiander (Berlin 1929) 24-26; H. Drerup, "Zum Artemistempel von Magnesia," MarbWinckProg 1964, 13-14; and R.
respectively A. von Gerkan, Der Altar des Artemistempels in Magnesia am Maeander: Bericht ilber die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen

(ro-vjpTrp'a) came to

lumniation for each ring is about the same, as can be verifiedfrom the measurementsof the respectivediameters,19.288 m. and 10.11 m. (Roux 153). Thus, the averageinter-axial arc length is 2.33 m. [= (wx 19.288)/26 m.] for the outer colonnade and 2.27 m. [= x 10.11)/14 m.] for the inner one. It is to be noted that Pausa(wr nias (2.27.5) attributesthis tholos to one Polykleitos.The possible relationshipbetween this Polykleitosand his namesake,the famous Argive sculptor and author of the canon of human proportions,is explored by D. Arnold, "Die Polykletnachfolge,"JdI-EH 25 (1969) 13-17. 16 Vitr. De arch. 9.7.2-6. On the analemma,see J. Soubiran, Vitruve, De l'Architecture Livre IX (Paris 1969) 71-73; S.L. Gibbs, Greek and Roman Sundials (New Haven and London 1976) 105-107; and T.L. Heath, A History of Greek Mathematics 2 (Ox-

ford 1921) 286-87. The manner in which the analemmadescribed by Vitruvius would have been used is explained by Soubiran (220-40) and also by E. Buchner in "SolariumAugusti und Ara Pacis," RomMitt 83 (1973) 331-35 (in connectionwith Augustus' great sundial in the Campus Martius). "7Vitr. De arch. 5.6.1-6. A recent comparativeevaluationof the plans of Roman theatersby D.B. Small ("Studiesin Roman Theater Design," AJA 87 [1983] 55-68) revealed that only a small minority were designed accordingto the proceduresrecommended by Vitruvius. Most of the others would seem to follow a variant scheme which is, nevertheless, based on similar geometrical principles.

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Other dimensions, including those of the stage elevation, are expressed as fractions of the diameterof the primary circle. Hence, it is possibleto identify as the essential components of the Vitruvian method for designing centrally planned buildings: a) successiveuse of ruler and compasses; b) employmentof modular proportions. An important feature of designs developed by this method is that all the key dimensions are geometrically related to the diameter of the first circle to be drawn, accordingly referred to here as the primary circle. It is to be noted that these ruler and compasses procedures conform to the rules of geometrical construction admitted by the Euclidean school, and they are to be identified with "the geometrical rules and methods"that Vitruvius invokes for solving "difficult problemsof symmetry.'"18 In this context, the considerable space devoted by Vitruvius to the analemma, where we find a detailed descriptionof its geometricalderivation,is revealing: it is commensuratewith the importancehe attachesto geometryin the educationof an architect.As a scheme of some complexity, the analemma tells us something about the extent to which an architect might be expectedto acquire a masteryof Euclideangeometry.At the very least, its inclusion in the de Architecturaassures us that elaborategeometricaldesign was within the competenceof a trained architectin the period of the Principate. As far as surviving buildings are concerned, the round fortress of Herodium in Judaea, constructed sometimearound20 B.C., furnishesone of the earliest illustrations of the use of extensive ruler and comA recently passes proceduresin architecturaldesign.19
'" Vitr. De arch. 1.1.4. Earlier in this passage, Vitruvius explicitly acknowledges the service rendered by Euclidean geometry to
Roman architectural design: Geometria autem plura praesidia praestat architecturae; et primum ex euthygrammis circini tradit usumn,e quo maximefacilius aedificiorum in areis expediuntur descriptiones normarumque et librationum et linearum directiones.

proposed geometrical resolution of its plan takes as the primary circle that describingthe perimeterwall along its inner edge.20 In typical fashion, constituent parts of the plan correlateclosely to modulardivisions of the diameterof this circle. Curiously, the basic layout of the palace containedwithin the round walls is that of a luxurious Roman villa,21 and it thereforehas certain features in commonwith Hadrian's centrally planned island villa at Tivoli, which is examined below. Elementsof circulargeometryare also evidentin the contemporaryenclosures built by Herod around the Tombs of the Patriarchsat Hebron and the Temple of Jerusalem, whose length-to-breadthratios are
both very close to tan-1600:1.22 It may be demon-

strated that the constructionof 600 angles requires a ruler and compassesprocedure,like the one given in Euclid.23 The same proportions seem to have been used in the Delphineion at Miletus, as rebuilt about 334 B.C.24 On a smaller scale are two commemorative monuments in Ionia, both apparentlyof Augustan date:the Harbour Monument at Miletus and the Monument of C. Memmius at Ephesus. Their sides were enlivened by being given a concave shape. Bammer has furnished a geometrical basis for the plans of both structures.His derivationemploys a sequentialdevelopment involving circles of constant radius that accords with the Vitruvian method for designing centrally planned buildings as stated above.25 Bammer further points out that these belong to a line of what he calls "konkavenBauten" which culminate in the third centuryA.C. temple of Venus at Baalbek.26 The prominentrole played by the Ionian architects Pytheos and Hermogenes in formulatingand codifying modularrules of design has been noted. Attention
Greece (J. Tyrwhitt trans. and ed., CambridgeMass. and London
1972; originally published as Raumordnung im griechischen 24 According to C.A. Doxiadis, Architectural Space in Ancient

The equally important role played by geometry in Roman decorative design, applied to mosaics and stonework, is discussed by R.H. Smith, "DecorativeGeometric Designs in Stone," BiblArch 46 (1983) 175-86. Jerusalem, 1981) 79-101; also V. Corbo, "L'Herodiondi Giabal Fureidis,"Liber Annuus SBF 13 (1963) 219-77; 17 (1967) 65-121. 20 D.M. Jacobson, "The Design of the Fortress of Herodium," ZDPV 100 (1984) 127-36. 21 See Netzer (supra n. 19) 109-10 and also F. Rakob, "Der Bau1973) 113-25. 22 On the Tombs of the Patriarchs, see D.M. Jacobson, "The Plan of the Ancient Haram el-Khalil in Hebron,"PEQ 113 (1981) 73-80; on the enclosure of Herod's Temple, see Jacobson, "Ideas Concerningthe Plan of Herod's Temple," PEQ 112 (1980) 33-40.
23 Following Euc. Elem. 1.1. plan einer kaiserlichen Villa," Festschrift Klaus Lankheit (Cologne 19 On Herodium, see E. Netzer, Greater Herodium (Qedem 13,

Stiidtebau,Heidelberg 1937) 55, fig. 24. Many of the geometrical relationshipsproposedby Doxiadis are, however,suspect,not least the simple proportionsascribedto severalGreek temples. Compare Doxiadis Tables 1-3 with Tables 1 and 2 in J.J. Coulton, "Towards Understanding Doric Design: The Stylobate and Intercolumniations,"BSA 69 (1974) 61-86. ment des C. Memmius (Vienna 1971) 74-79. On the Harbour Monument at Miletus, see also A. von Gerkan, Milet. Ergebnisse
25 See A. Bammer in Forschungen in Ephesos, VII: Das Monu-

der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen seit dem Jahre 1899, 1.6: Der Nordmarkt und der Hafen an der Lawenbucht (Berlin and

Leipzig 1922) 55-73. 26 Bammer (supra n. 25) 77-79. This distinctive type of "concave"structurecan be traced back to the early secondcentury B.C. in a pair of tower tombs at Punic Sabratha and Numidian Siga, both showing strong Hellenistic influenceand probablyinspiredby Ptolemaic Alexandria. See F. Rakob, "Numidische K6nigsarchitektur in Nordafrica," Die Numider. Reiter und Kanige nordlich der Sahara (Bonn 1979) 146-54.

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has also been drawn to early instancesof architectural plans utilizing ruler and compassesproceduresidentified in the eastern Mediterranean region, including three found in lonia. Further pointersin this direction are providedby Vitruvius, especially in his two chapters on sundials.27 They are peppered with Greek terms like analemma and manaeus,28 and most of the inventors of the different types of sundial mentioned by Vitruvius were of Hellenic origin. More to the point, no less than half the names quoted can be identified with celebratedgeometerswho hailed from Asia Minor and the eastern Aegean from about the mid fourth to the early first centuryB.C.29 On the strength of these observations,it is suggestedthat the principal source of Roman knowledge of applied geometrywas the East Greek world. While the inspiration for the mathematical ideas came largely from the eastern Aegean, their practical implications were keenly appreciated and exploited by the Romans, whose interest in geometrylay almost exclusively in this direction. Contrasting Greek and Roman attitudes toward mathematicians and their expertise, Cicero had this to say: In summoapud illos [Graecos] honoregeometria illustrius: at nos mefuit, itaquenihil mathematicis tiendiratiocinandique utilitatehuiusartisterminavimusmodum.30 Architectureprovidedthe ideal medium for combining Roman engineering talents with Greek accomplishments in geometry.One of the main catalysts for progress on this front was, quite clearly, the replacement of the time-honored building materials timber and stone by the artificial opus caementiciumor Roman concrete.It is generally appreciatedthat this advance freed architecturefrom the constraintsimposed on design and construction by the traditional materials and set the seal on the "Romanarchitecturalrevolution."The culminationof this momentouschapter may be seen in the adventurous buildings of Hadrian's reign, and in particularin a series of compositions whose chief hallmarks include curvilinear ground plans of unprecedented complexity; six of them are analyzed here.
Vitr. De arch. 9.7-8. See Soubiran (supra n. 16). Vitruvius also uses a Greek term, embates,for module (De arch. 1.2.4 and 4.3.3); see Coulton (supra n. 10) 66 and n. 49.
27

GEOMETRICAL ANALYSIS OF SIX HADRIANIC PLANS

The "Teatro Marittimo" at Hadrian's Villa

Of the centrally planned edifices erected in Hadrian's reign, none perhaps has a plan as complicated geometrically as does the so-called "Teatro Marittimo" on the Imperial estate near Tivoli, which may account for the fact that, while the structure and its plan are well documented,3'no detailed geometrical resolution of the plan has been published hitherto. This ground plan thereforeis treated here in greater detail than the others. The "Teatro Marittimo" has been identifiedas an island villa which Hadrian used as a private retreat within his palatial estate. It belongs to the first phase of constructionon that site by the Emperor,between 118 and 125 A.C. The plan of the island villa is reproducedin ill. 1. The complexoccupies a circulararea almost 43 m. in diameter,boundedby a high concretewall faced with opus reticulatum.The north-south axis (Y-Y') is emphasized in the plan by the entrance vestibule protruding northwards and by a rectangular alcove let into the enclosurewall on the opposite side. Fringing the perimeter wall is a porticus, within which lies a concentricmoat. The island, which occupies the innermostzone, has a diameterof 24.5 m. and contains the remains of a miniature villa. Its main elements include a semicircularvestibule surroundedby a colonnade which faced the main entrance to the enclosure and opened out on to an ornate atrium which marked the center of the entire enclosure.Three living roomstake up the south side, the larger one in the middle being identifiedwith the tablinum. The western segment of the island retreat contains a small bathing suite complete with hypocaust and cold plunge, while the oppositeside is taken up by two cruciform rooms which may have housed small libraries. The general arrangementof the rooms around the central atrium follows that of a conventionalRoman villa, but it departs from the normal scheme in being circular rather than rectangularin shape. Even more exceptionally,most of the internal partitionsecho the main outline by tracing circular arcs. The design is
RE 5A2 (1934) 1930-35, s.v. Theodosios (5) (K. Ziegler). 5) Dionysodorosof Amisus, mathematician, or Dionysodorosof Melos, geographer, (fl. ca. 200 B.C.). See RE 5.1 (1903) 1005-1006, s.v. Dionysodoros (19) and Dionysodoros (20) respectively (F. Hultsch). The inventorsof the sundials and the instrumentscredited to them by Vitruvius are also discussedby Soubiran (supra n. 16) 240-70 and Gibbs (supra n. 16) 59-65. 30 Cicero Tusc. 1.5. 31 Kaihler(supra n. 1) 44-54 and 117-22; Blake and TaylorBishop (supra n. 6) 242-43: and E. Salza Prina Ricotti, "Villa Adriana nei suoi limiti e nella sua funzionalitA," MemPontAcc 14 (1982) 33-35.

28

dos (fl. ca. 370- 350 B.C.). See RE 6.1 (1907) 930-50, s.v. Eudoxos (8) (F. Hultsch); and G. Huxley, "Studiesin the Greek Astronomers,"GRBS 4 (1963) 83-105. 3) Apolloniosof Perge (secondhalf of the 3rd c. B.C.). See RE 2.1 (1895) 151-61, s.v. Apollonios(112) (F. Hultsch); and T.L. Heath, Apollonius of Perga (Cambridge 1896; repr. 1961). 4) Theodosios of Bithynia (ca. 150-70 B.C.). See

Aristarchus of Samos (Oxford 1913; repr. 1959). 2) Eudoxos of Kni-

(1895) 873-76, s.v. Aristarchos(25) (F. Hultsch); and T.L. Heath,

29 1) Aristarchos of Samos (first half of 3rd c. B.C.). See RE 2.1

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undseine Villabei Tivoli, Ill. 1. Hadrian's Villa, "Teatro Marittimo," plan (afterH. Kihler,Hadrian ground pl. 6) with basis proposed geometrical among the most flamboyantin the entire repertoireof along the x-axis, each with radius Rb = 2r. Then Roman architecture. Its architect surely would not draw circle c centered at 0 through the points of have arrived at such an elaborate plan unless he had intersectionof circles b and b'. Its radius Rc ='/3r (ill. 2b). intentionally been engaging in some intricategeometrical construction:such an approach was employed C) Next, draw three circlesof equal radius, Rd = Rb = 2r, about centersat -2r, 0, and +2r along the xmany centuries later by Borromini.32 A geometrical resolution that can account for the axis (XOX'). Let these be called circles d', d, and main features of the plan of Hadrian's island villa is d" respectively.Join the points of intersectionof circles d with d' and d" by a pair of straight lines superimposedon the plan in ill. 1. The probablesteps by which it was reached are shown in ill. 2 and they parallel to the y-axis (YOY').The points of intercan be describedas follows: section of the two parallel lines with the circle c are labelled E1, E2, E3, E4 in ill. 2c. A) Draw circlea of radius Ra centeredat 0. Establish orthogonal axes XOX' and YOY',using the con- D) The lengths E,E2 and E3E4,which are both equal struction of Euclid's Elementa, propositions 1.1 to 2r, define the diameters of two new circles, e and 1.11 (ill. 2a).33 and e' of radius Re = r. Draw another circle B) Divide the principal diameters into six equal through the outer extrema of e and e' from 0, modular lengths, r, such that Ra = 3r. Draw cirwhich we shall denote as circlef; radius Rf = ('I2 cles b and b' centered at points -r and +r from 0 + 1)r, as shown in ill. 2d.
32Sedlmayr (supra n. 1). 33Since the "Teatro Marittimo"is not properly aligned with the points of the compass, it is unlikely that the more elaborate procedure for establishing the axes given in Vitr. De arch. 1.6.6-7, and repeated in 1.6.12-13, was used.

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Ill. 2. Hadrian's Villa, "TeatroMarittimo,"inferredgeometricaldevelopmentof the ground plan

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1986]

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lows from the constructionof the circles b and b', E) Then, draw a small circle g , centered at 0, such that it touches circles e and e'; radius Rg = ('& centeredat Al(-r) and A2(+r) respectively,which 1)r. The annular gap between circlesg and d fixes reproducesthat given in the Elementa, proposithe diameterand the centersof two more circles,h tion 1.1. and h', of radius Rh = /2(3 -/'2)r, which are de- b) B1A1and B10 trisectthe right angle C1B1A2. This scribedsymmetricallyabout the x-axis (ill. 2e). is for the pattern repeated right angles A1B1C2) In relation to the island villa: and A1B2C2. The right angle is one of the C1B2A2 few specific angles that is amenable to ruler and a) circle a correspondsto the inner surfaceof the enclosure wall. compasses trisection:it only succeedswhen, as in circle c to the actual island. this case, the angle of trisection(here 300) can be b) corresponds circle to the outer of the moat. constructed c) edge fcorresponds independently by ruler and h h' circles the basis for several of and The "trisectionof the angle,"together e, e', d) provide compasses. the bowing colonnades on the miniature island, with the "squaring of the circle" and the of the cube,"in the general case, connamely: "duplication the four at the center of the stituted the three celebratedproblems of ancient i) cusped porticoes which coincide with arc sections of Greek mathematics.37 atrium, these circles; c) the radii Ra = 3r, Rc =f3 r, and Re = r are in other are which concentric continuousproportion,i.e. Ra/Rc = Rc/Re =N'/3 ii) curving porticoes, with these circles. Of special note are the pair = 1.732. of crescentsspanning the two cruciformchamIn reality, Dc = 2(Rc) = 24.50 m.38 and Da = bers east of the atrium, based on circle h', and 42.56 m.39 so that Ra/Rc = 1.737. the semicircular portico of the northern vestiGreek mathematiciansmade a clear differentiawith circle concentric tion between the general "discrete"(btyp? e'.34 bule, IrT) ) The remaining details of the plan are accommoproportionalrelationship dated within this geometrical framework and their af b c d a/b = c/d, form would have been determined largely by funcand "continuous" (o-vvEX rvvljtupv7r)proportional needs. As realized, the island villa has a diation,40representedby s, meter of 42.56 m.,35 so that Ra = 3r = 21.28 m. This a/b = b/c. 72 to 1 that The length corresponds special case where c = a + b correspondsto Ro'manfeet, assuming Roman foot = 0.2956 m.,36 whence r = 24 feet. The the "GoldenSection."41 fact that these values are both simple integer multiat Hadrian's Villa ples of 4 Roman feet suggests that Ra, or the equiva- The Pavilion of the "Piazzad'Oro" lent diameter Da, was the key dimension initially set the south side of the Lining large peristyle known the architect which all determined the other measas the "Piazza are d'Oro" the remains of a suite of by urementsof the plan. chambersthat Blake thought to be "the most elegant The plan of the island villa, as interpreted here, rooms of the entire villa."42Their centerpiecewas a possesses some interesting geometrical properties. closed colonnade tracing a sinuous octagon of alterDenoting the points of intersectionof E1E3and E2E4 nating convex and concave segments. This structure with XOX'as A1 and A2, those of circle b with b' as was framed within a square; the spaces between the B1 and B2, and those of circle a with XOX' as C1 and C2, diagonal sections of the colonnadeand the cornersof it is seen with the aid of ill. 3 that: the enclosingsquarewalls formedidenticalniches terand are a) triangles B1A1A2 equilateral, minating in apses. Bowing out southward from this B2A1A2 with each containedangle equal to 60'. This fol- central pavilion was a curvednymphaeum,and to the
34Kahler recognizedthat the colonnadeof the semicircularvestibule and the northern segment of the atrium portico belong to circles which are concentric.See Kihler (supra n. 1) 118 and fig. 24. 35 S. Aurigemma, Villa Adriana (Rome 1961) 68. 36For the length of the pes or Roman foot, see K. de Fine Licht, hagen 1968) 195, n. 29. It appears to have varied within the range 0.2942-0.2958 m. at least. MacDonald (supra n. 8) 140, n. 70, took its value to be 0.295 m., while Rakob has used a foot of 0.2942 m. in his analysis of several Roman buildings (see infra ns. 46, 50). 37 C.B. Boyer, A History of Mathematics (New York 1968) 71; also Heath (supra n. 16) vol. 1, 218-70.
The Rotunda in Rome. A Study of Hadrian's Pantheon (Copen-

38Kahler (supra n. 1) 45. 39See supra n. 35. 40 For a discussionof the distinctionmade between "discrete" and "continuous" proportion by Greek mathematicians, see T.L. Heath, The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements2 2 (Cambridge 1925, repr. New York 1956) 131. 41 Euc. Elem. 6 def. 3. 42Blake and Taylor-Bishop (supra n. 6) 247. On the pavilion of the "Piazza d'Oro,"see, in particular,Rakob (supra n. 4) passim; E. Hansen, "La 'Piazza d'Oro'e la sua cupola,"AnalectaRomana Instituti Danici, Suppl. 1 (1960) 1-78; Kdihler (supra n. 1) 64-73, 132-37.

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DAVID M. JACOBSON

[AJA90

east and west there were a matching pair of internal courts surroundedby vaulted rooms. The pavilion itself appears not to have supporteda roof, accordingto Rakob in recent studies.43We learn from the brick stamps that the "Piazza d'Oro"together with the adjoining structures, including the pavilion, belongs to the second Hadrianic building phase at the villa, which followed the Emperor's return from his first long voyage in A.D. 125. The plan of the pavilion and its proposedgeomet-

rical basis are shown in ill. 4. The present interpretation of the groundplan differsfrom those of Hansen and Rakob.44 In the more recentof these two studies, Rakob treated the existing layout as though it had been faithfully transferredfrom the drawing board. He therefore made little allowance for errors in the translationof the plan to the actual site. Detailed consideration of Rakob's plan and supporting measurements has led me to the opinion that his strict approach is unrealistic.45For example, Rakob draws a

;Y'

E2

~I

Al.

A2

E3j

circle

b/

circle

b'

circle a
d
Ill. 3. Hadrian's Villa, "TeatroMarittimo,"geometricalrelationshipsin the ground plan
43F. Rakob, "Hansen, La Piazza d'Oro e la sua cupola," Gnomon 33 (1961) 243-50; and also Rakob (supra n. 4) 57-74. 44Hansen (supra n. 42) 62, 64-65; Rakob (supra n. 4) 75-88. 45On Rakob's own admission [(supra n. 4) 75-77; (supra n. 6) 132-33; and also Rakob, "Das Quellenheiligtum in Zaghouan und die romische Wasserleitung nach Karthago,"RomMitt 81 (1974) 76] his views on Roman architecturaldesign are coloredby his opposition to the sizable corpus of metrological studies that are di-

circle c ,circle

vorcedfrom their architecturaland historicalcontext and which do not refer to a measurementsystem appropriateto the period of the buildings analyzed. He is undoubtedlycorrectto question the value of such studies, but he overreactsin the sense that he concernshimself exclusively with the practical aspects of design. He thereby overlooksaesthetic and other considerationswhich must have had an importantbearing on the choiceof the elaborategeometriesthat were occasionally used, such as those at the center of the present

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1986]

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?T~:?: ???? '''' ?: :? " .:r "'"`-'~~;~-' ;; ?"' ? :?

;.:.. ~'?' '' '''

?.? ?:?; :. '' ""i~i:


''' ' -???. ??

Da=25ftV'.:"

r ?:%I

I ;'? -??

rlU r/l/ ,, h

I I I I

r U \r

Ia
'? V r \'I ~\

I r i

)I

I \ I ??. \u\ \

I I /

I I \

I I /

I I I?-.

In~

II

I r

;?t ~-....?

I .. ??r:?. t~`"" z r r r z ??.?; :' ???? ?? --?

10

20 m

Ill. 4. Hadrian'sVilla, pavilionof the south side of the "Piazzad'Oro," groundplan (afterF. Rakob,Die Piazza d'Oro in der Villa Hadrianabei Tivoli, fig. 14) with basis proposed geometrical distinction between a dimension of 12 ft. and one of 12?2 ft., although the 5%and 3%spread in the measurements identifiedwith each of these dimensionsresults in some overlap of the two sets of values.46He adds to these two modules a third one of 15 ft.The fundamental simplicity of the plan of the pavilion emerges by relaxing his unduly stringentassumption. Then the circle a of radius 12?2 ft., drawn about the center of the area, emerges as the key piece in the jigsaw and the other elements of the geometricalscheme derive in a straightforwardfashion from this primary circle as shown sequentially in ill. 5. First, the primary circle a, of radius r (ill. 5a) is drawn. A grid of 36 squares, each of side r, is then marked out. The area equal to 6r x 6r establishesthe overall dimensionsof the central pavilion. Using this grid, four identical circles of radius r are describedat
study. See H. Geertman, "AedificiumCeleberrimum:studio sulla geometria del Pantheon,"BABesch 55 (1980) 210: 46 Rakob (supra n. 4) 81, n. 156; 82, n. 157; on p. 5, n. 11, Rakob assumed 1 Roman foot = 0.2942 m. for the hall of the "Piazza d'Oro,"and also for the apodyteriumand the belvedereof the "Accademia"at Hadrian's Villa, which were also analyzed in his dissertation(78-80).

I
I I

'I

\\

Ill. 5. Hadrian's Villa, pavilion of the "Piazza d'Oro," inferredgeometricaldevelopment

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DAVIDM. JACOBSON

[AJA90

points x = +2r, y = +2r (ill. 5b). Then a new circleis drawn to touch each of the four equal circles. Finally, four equivalentsemicirclesof radius r are added,centered on the points of intersectionof the previously drawn circle with the principal axes (ill. 5c). The undulating curve so produceddefines the line of the internal colonnadeof the pavilion. The fit of this geometricalschemeto the actual groundplan is indicated in ill. 4, the value of r having been scaled to 121/2 ft., with 1 ft. = 0.2942 m.47 Accordingly,the radius of ~ ~~d curvature of the twisting colonnade takes this same value, while the pavilion as a whole occupiesa square of 75 x 75 ft.48 The next three ground plans seem to proceedfrom a similar grid of "close-packed" circles. This formula is most obviouslyrealized in the first of these, belonging to a chamberin a bathing establishmentat Baiae, of Venus," the resortwhere Hadrian died. Ill. 6. Baiae,annexof the"Temple ground plan 68 [1961]fig. 9) with proposed RbmMitt (afterF. Rakob, geometrical development The Annex to the "Temple of Venus" at Baiae The so-called Temple of Venus is now known to Hadrian left Italy in A.D. 121.52 As their name indihave formed part of a large bathing complex.49This are not the most spacious of the bathing cates, they building and its annex have been assigneda Hadrian- installations on the Imperial estate but, as Rivoira ic date on stylistic grounds. Certainly, the distinctive points out, they "areremarkablefor the singular deplan of the annex (ill. 6) echoesthat of the pavilion of sign and shape of the rooms."53 Particularlystriking the "Piazzad'Oro,"with which it is seen to share ele- is the ruined apodyterium,which has a plan in the ments of a commongeometricalbasis. Thus, the open- form of a Greek cross with rounded corners. With ing steps in their developmentare recognizedto be the great ingenuity, this chamberwas made to supporta same, although differently scaled (ill. 7a, b; cf. 5a, second type of segmenteddome, having sections that b).50Thereafterthe two designsdiverge,with the sug- were alternatelyflat and concave. A geometricalresolutionis presentedin ill. 9 for the gested continuation for the annex being indicatedin ill. 7c. The design of the upper part of this chamber, ground plan of the apodyteriumwhich differs in imwith its elegant umbrella-shapedcupola, is basedon a portant essentials from the one proposed by Hansomewhat different geometrical diagram which is sen.54 The present scheme,rather,has its roots in the shown in ill. 8.51The square boundingthe nine equal grid of touching circles that also underlies the two circles that provide the geometrical basis of the previous plans, as has been suggested. In this case, ground plan link it with the plan of the upper stage. however,the four secondarycirclesof radiusr drawn This square, of side 45 ft., is indicatedin ills. 6 and 8. symmetricallyabout the origin of the grid are centered at the points x = +2r, y = 0 and x = 0, y = ?2r The Apodyterium of the Small Baths at Hadrian's (ill. 10a, b). These circles would appear to establish Villa the four curvedwalls of the chamber.The positionsof The Small Baths were apparently begun before the alternatingstraight sides are then determinedby

m r. ~sa ss~assa 110

.....

...................

47See supra n. 46. 48 Rakob suggested that the outer dimensions of the building were obtainedusing a module of 15 ft; thus 75 ft = 5 x 15 ft. But then his schemerequiresa separatemoduleof 12?2ft. to accountfor the curvatureof the colonnade. 49For the "Temple of Venus" at Baiae, see Rakob (supra n. 6) 114-49; also Blake and Taylor-Bishop (supra n. 6) 268-69. 50In this case, the diameterof the primary circle takes the value of 15 ft. (1 ft. = 0.2942 m., following Rakob [supra n. 6] 132). 51 Here, I largely concur with Rakob's resolution, (supra n. 6) fig. 13. Whereas I take the idealizedgeometricalschemeas the basis of the plan, since I believe it governedthe original design, Rakob's representationof the scheme accommodatesthe distortions intro-

duced when the building was executed (and also perhaps subsewith his approachto Roman archiquently). This is in accordance tectural design; see supra n. 45. Cf. the resolutionof this plan offered by Bammer(supra n. 25) 79 and fig. 70c. 52For the Small Baths, or "PiccoleTerme," see especially Blake and Taylor-Bishop (supra n. 6) 247-49 and Hansen (supra n. 42) 47-49, 51. On their date, see also A.C.G. Smith, "The Date of the 'GrandiTerme' of Hadrian'sVilla at Tivoli," BSR 46 (1978) 78. and its Principles of Con3 G.T. Rivoira, Roman Architecture struction under the Empire, trans. G. McN. Rushforth (Oxford 1925) 135. 54Cf. Hansen (supra n. 42) 45-47.

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FDa=15 ft// i/

I I'
i

I\

\
I1

\--" \ I tt/ ',,, u --

\t I /

\ \` I, \

a
' lIo

Ill. 8. Baiae, annex of "Templeof Venus,"plan of the upper stage (after F. Rakob,RimMitt 68 [1961] fig. 10) with proposed geometricalbasis I I the points of intersection of each of these circles with lines drawn from their centers to the adjacent circles at points where these are cut by the main axes (ill. 10c). The radius r of the primary circle is, in this case, 16 Roman feet.55 The Belvedere of the "Accademia"at Hadrian's Villa Another structure organized on a central plan on the lines of the apodyterium graced the "Accademia" or "Piccolo Palazzo," a semi-autonomous residential complex situated at the southern end of Hadrian's Villa which, on the evidence of the brick stamps, was built in A.D. 123.56 The ruins occupy land that has long been in private ownership, and have never been methodically excavated. Kahler and Hansen, however, have judiciously pieced together the plan of this remarkable structure from the visible remains and the drawings executed by leading antiquarian scholars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.57 It would appear that the building in question was a sumptuous garden pavilion or belvedere which, like that of the "Piazza d'Oro," had a serpentine colonnade as its cen55Assuming 1 ft.= 0.2942 m., after Rakob (supran. 46). Accordingly, the inner width of the apodyteriumtaken acrossthe straight sides is 35.1 ft. This compareswith the value 35.0 ft. assigned by Rakob (supra n. 4) 78, the differencebetween these figures being well within the limits of precisionof the groundplan. 56 For the belvedereof the "Accademia," see Kahler (supra n. 1) 81-84, 129-32; Hansen (supra n. 42) 50-51; also Blake and Taylor-Bishop (supra n. 6) 252. 57 Kaihler(supra n. 1) 81-84, 129-32; cf. Hansen (supra n. 42) 50-51.

:I

-I (

!i

/C

Ill. 7. Baiae, annex of "Temple of Venus," inferred geometricaldevelopmentof the ground plan

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80

DAVID M. JACOBSON

[AJA 90

HDa=32 ft
I I

~ ~ ~t4... ~ ,,
0

7 -e I

....

~.

. 20

, -

a
I I

Ill. 9. Hadrian's Villa, Small Baths, apodyterium,ground plan (after F. Rakob, Die Piazza d'Oro in der Villa Hadriana bei Tivoli, fig. 15) with proposed geometrical basis terpiece: the enclosed space was almost certainly likewise open to the sky.58 The plan of this belvedere, as reconstructed by Kdihler, and its suggested geometrical basis are shown in ill. 11. The present resolution differs from that of Rakob,59 following instead the development postulated for the apodyterium so that the preliminary stages of the design, represented by ill. 12a and b, repeat ill. 10a and b. The square defined by the four circles of radius r drawn about each of the main axes seems to have determined the subsequent stages, for other geometrical elements in the actual plan that can be readily identified are the circle inscribed in this square (ill. 12c) and another obtained via the circle that circumscribes it (ill. 12d). Here, the radius of the primary circle is scaled to a round value of 25 Roman
feet.60

, ,

,'

The Pantheon in Rome The last of the buildings chosen for consideration is that great masterpiece of Roman architecture, the Pantheon as reconstructed by Hadrian between 118 and 128 A.D. It comprises a rotunda with a cylindrical wall and a hemispherical cupola, onto which is
58 See Rakob in Gnomon (supra n. 43), contra Hansen (supra n. 42). 59For Rakob's resolution, see (supra n. 4) 78-80 and fig. 16. 60 Where 1 ft. = 0.2942 m., following Rakob (supra n. 46).

C'-C
I S

,/

inferred Ill. 10. Hadrian'sVilla, Small Baths, apodyterium, geometricaldevelopmentof the ground plan

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AND GEOMETRY HADRIANIC ARCHITECTURE

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grafted a trabeatedrectangularporch. The organization of the plan is treated in some detail in two recent studies, namely those of de Fine Licht and Geertman.6' Their analyses are conflicting,but both offer illuminating points of contact with the design procedures deduced for the other Hadrianic buildings above. In the resolution of de Fine Licht (ill. 13) the key circle is that enveloping its interior space, which has a radius Ra1 = 74 ft.62 This, the primary circle of his scheme, supports a multitude of architectonic features. Among the more evident ones are the alternating open and closedniches spacedat equal intervalsin
'- .

the circumferential wall: their positions are determined by the regular 16-sided polygon inscribed in the primarycircle and aligned with the principalaxes of the building, which virtually coincidewith the cardinal points. De Fine Licht has highlighted the importanceof the equivalent polygon rotatedby half the base angle of 221/2 (= 11?), so that the vertices of the two interlockingpolygons dividethe circle into 32 equal arcs. Accordingto this scholar the second 16sided figure defines the widths of the eight large recesses opening from the interior of the rotunda. Furthermore,he suggests that the extrapolationof a pair of sides of this polygon in a northward direction (as indicated in ill. 13) determines the depth of the entranceporticoand that of the adjoiningvestibule. In a like manner, de Fine Licht is able to account for the depths of the eight recessesand for the outer radius of the rotunda using geometrical constructions based solely on the two 16-sided polygons.63Remembering that 11o1/4and 221/2 are an eighth and a quarterof a right angle respectively,it can be assumed that these polygonswere obtainedfrom circle aI by repeatedbi' section using compassesand following proceduresset / , down in the Elementa.64 The alternative interpretation of the plan of the Pantheon offered by Geertman relies on a different primary circle and has a more extensive geometrical development. The main features of his scheme are shown in ill. 14. Geertmanobtains his primarycircle a2 from the overall length of the building, from the measureddistancebetween the front of the porch and the center of the rotunda, and from the principal dimensions of the porch itself: all these dimensions he sees as having been geometricallyderived from that circle.6' A second circle of the same radius, Ra2, is o 0 Im drawn about a point on the circumference of the first, where it is cut by the principal axis YOY'.The tangent to this new circle, perpendicularto YOY'at E in ill. 14, correspondsto the front of the porch. More20M over, the three naves of the porch line up with axes Ill. 11. Hadrian'sVilla, "Accademia," belvedere, ground drawn through the points of intersectionof the two Hadrian seine H. Villa und (after plan Kdihler, bei Tivoli, squares inscribed in the primary circle a, and oribasis ented at 45' to one another. These squares appear to pl. 13) withproposed geometrical
j '

'

10

61 On the design of the Pantheon, see de Fine Licht (supra n. 36) 194-98, Geertman (supra n. 45) 203-29, MacDonald (supra n. 8) 94-121 and The Pantheon. Design, Meaning and Progeny (London 1976) 44-75; also Blake and Taylor-Bishop (supra n. 6) 42-48. 62 See de Fine Licht (supra n. 36) 195. This author has suggested that Hadrian's architectschose 148 ft. (where 1 ft. = 0.2958 m.) for the internal diameterof the rotundaof the Pantheon, in preference to the more expected figure of 150 ft., so as to reproducethe length dimension of its predecessor. 63 Thus, circle b, of radius Rb,, correspondingto the extrema of the large recesses, passes through the points of intersectionof the axes of either polygon produced,with the sides of the same polygon,

as shown in ill. 13; i.e. Rb, = Ral/(2 cos 221/2'- 1). The radius drawn fromthe centerof the rotunda,0, to the verticesof a 16-sided polygon circumscribingthe circle b1 in turn, approximatelycoincides with that taken to the outer edge of the rotunda wall. This = Ra /[cos 221/'(2 cos 221/2 radius, labelled Rc,, is given by RcI 1)]. That Rb1and Rc, are directlyproportionalto Ra,, throughthe above trigonometricalexpressions, stems from the fact that these dimensions are totally dictated by the primary circle a,, and the inscribed 16-sided polygons which contributethe factor cos 2212. 64See, for example, Heath (supra n. 40) 111. 6s Geertman (supra n. 45) 205, 210-11.

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82

DAVID M. JACOBSON

[AJA 90

HDa=5OftA
, ,,
I' I I

* b

? I

--'.

/'r %d

re

'

do
\ In

II

f
\

II

CId
I , I

%I

?
Ill. 12. Hadrian's Villa, "Accademia," belvedere,inferredgeometricaldevelopmentof the groundplan

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HADRIANIC ARCHITECTURE AND GEOMETRY

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of circle a2, translated a distance Ra, along one of the principal axes, echoes the design procedure proposed earlier for the "Teatro Marittimo". A major weakness of Geertman's hypothesis, however, is that his primary circle does not correspond with a visible feature of the plan; nor does its radius or diameter assume a neat number of Roman feet."8 By contrast, de Fine Licht's proposal is based on the internal diameter of the rotunda. Being in an almost complete state of preservation,

2 -to
I lo

6o-m
I

!iN

IZ2

10

50M
4r

basis of the ground Ill. 13. Rome,Pantheon, geometrical to K. de Fine Licht.(Afterde Fine Licht, plan according in Rome,fig. 202) TheRotunda fix the positions of the pillars in the main niches, as shown in ill. 14. Geertman'sresolutionis at variancewith that of de Fine Licht on a number of important points. While the geometrical constructions differ in these cases, they do, however, producevalues that closely agree.66 In fact, from the point of view of precisionof fit, there is little to choose between the two schemes. Geertman's scheme commendsitself by being able to provide a more comprehensivegeometricaldescriptionof the plan of the Pantheon. It also offers a closerparallel with the plans of the Hadrianicbuildingsanalyzed above. Thus, the pair of interlockingsquares forming a regularoctagonwithin the primarycirclea2is a geometrical device found also in the designs of the upper stage of the annex at Baiae, as noted by Geertman67 at (cf. ill. 8) and for the belvedereof the "Accademia" Hadrian's Villa (cf. ill. 12). Moreover, the repetition
66 For example, the relative distances from the center of the rotunda to the frontof the porchaccordingto the geometricalschemes of Geertman and de Fine Licht may be shown to be X,/X = = +iITRa,) = 1.006, where Ra, = 24.18 m. and Ra 21.89 m.; 17.1 m. is half the measured width of the porch: see 2Ra2/(17.1 Geertman (supra n. 45) 211. Also, the respectivevalues of the radii

/iN,

2_
,

10

50 m

Ill. 14. Rome, Pantheon, geometricalbasis of the ground plan to H. Geertman.(AfterGeertman,BABesch55 [1980] fig. 4, courtesy author). The dimensions are expressed as factors of the radius Ra, of the primary circle a, of Geertman'sscheme
taken to the outer surface of the rotunda wall are in the ratio Rc,lRc, = [Ra,/(cos2 221/2')]/[Ra,/(cos 221/2(2 cos 221/2' - 1)] = 1.014. 67Geertman (supra n. 45) 205, n. 9. 68 Ra, = 814 Roman feet, denoted by R in Geertman (supra n. 45) 2-11.

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84

DAVID M. JACOBSON TABLE. Diameters of "PrimaryCircles"in Six Hadrianic Ground Plans Building Diameter Da, Romanfoot* 144 25 32 50 15 148t Text Illustration 1, 2 4, 5 9, 10 11, 12 6, 7 13

[AJA90

enclosure Tivoli, "TeatroMarittimo": "Piazzad'Oro": south pavilion Small Baths:apodyterium "Accademia": belvedere Baiae, "Templeof Venus":annex rotunda Rome, Pantheon:

Marittimo" 1 Romanfoot = 0.2956m. forthe "Teatro = 0.2958m. forthe Pantheon (seen. 62) = 0.2942m. forthe otherbuildings (seens. 46, 50)

afterde Fine Licht(seen. 62) about the center of the design, can be readily identified: its radius, or diameter, is the controllingdimension of the entire ground plan. No doubt, for this reason, the diameterwas chosento be an integer multiple of four or five Roman feet.72The Table lists the values of this diameter,Da, appropriateto the six buildings consideredin this study. Not all the geometricalschemes presentedprovide a perfect fit to the actual ground plans. A degree of mismatch is particularlynoticeablein ill. 4, showing the pavilion of the "Piazzad'Oro,"and in ills. 6 and 8, depictingthe two levels of the chamberat Baiae; such deviations are to be expected, bearing in mind the somewhat primitive methods used in Classical antiquity for laying out plans on the ground. In a study of Greek temple design, Coulton has pointedout that the two principal devices available for this purpose, the measuringcordand the measuringrod, were prone to error.73Cord or rope is susceptible to shrinkage or expansion through stretching. On the other hand, a measuring rod, being made of wood, has a more limited length and the Greeks and Romans commonly fixed it for convenienceto a standardof 10 ft.: imprecise calibrationand misalignmentof rods laid end-toend could easily generate substantial errors. Circles and arcs, which would have been markedout on the ground using a cord (or rope) tied at one end to a
architecturalorigins, see K.A.C. Creswell, Early Muslim Architecture 2 1 (Oxford 1969) 65-131, 658-60. 72MacDonald (supra n. 8) 140 furnishes additionalexamples. 73J.J. Coulton, "Towards Understanding Greek Temple DeBSA 70 (1975) 90-91. sign: General Considerations,"

the Pantheon affords a detailed comparison of the ground plan with the elevation. What emerges is a the plan shows a close relationstriking correlation69: ship with the vertical section, the height of the rotunda being equal to its internal diameter. This integrated approach to the design of centrally planned buildings appears to represent standard practice in Roman architectureof the Imperial period, being attested in Vitruvius' descriptionsof the design of round temples and the Roman theater as noted earlier.70A similar synthesis of ground plan and elevation occurs in the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, completedin A.D. 691.71Few today would doubt that, from an architecturalpoint of view, the Dome of the Rock has its roots in the Graeco-Roman building tradition. It is striking that the design of this monument,like that of the Pantheon, can be accountedfor by an elegant geometrical developmentfrom a regular polygon drawn within a circle, in this case an octagon.The dearth of other comparable examples, one suspects, has to do primarily with the rarity of buildings of central symmetry that have survivedintact from Classical times. The above examples serve to demonstratethat sequential ruler and compassesprocedures,on the Euclidean method, were used in the drafting of the respectiveplans. In every case the primarycircle,drawn
69 Comparede Fine Licht (supra n. 36) fig. 201 with fig. 202, and Geertman (supra n. 45) fig. 11 with fig. 4. 70 See supra ns. 14 and 17. 71 See J. Wilkinson, "Architectural Proceduresin ByzantinePalestine,"Levant 13 (1981) 165-70. On the Dome of the Rock and its

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1986]

HADRIANICARCHITECTURE AND GEOMETRY

85

stake, could also become distortedif, for example, the anchoringwas not firm or the cordallowed to slacken. In the case of the building at Baiae, irregularities present in the plan geometry may have an additional cause, namely ground movement.74 The Bay of Naples is notoriousfor seismic disturbance,and we have documentary evidence that the great earthquake of 1538 caused damage to the "Temple of Venus".75
HADRIAN S PERSONAL ROLE

The fact that some of the most accomplishedexamples of Roman architecturaldesign employing curvilinear forms are to be found at Hadrian's Villa indicates that at the least this distinctive type of design enjoyedImperial patronage.On this point we can obtain some useful guidance from the remarks on Hadrian preservedin the ancient texts. Two of our prime sources on the Emperor concur that geometry ranked high among his intellectual accomplishments.76From the passage in Dio Cassius describing the downfall of Trajan's architectApollodorus we also learn of Hadrian's exceptional interest in architecturalmatters.77 Dio appears to equate Hadrian's drawings with architecturalplans since both are mentionedin the Apollodorusepisode. In this passage we are also given to understand that Hadrian was personally involvedin the planning of the temple

of Venus and Rome, one of the majorClassicalmonuments in Rome.78 Whateverthe true extent of Hadrian'scommitment to architecturaldesign, his well attestedpenchant for geometry must surely have some connectionwith the sophisticatedplans that have formedthe focus of this study. It is a striking fact that many of the buildings commissionedby Hadrian emphasize the qualities of geometrical order and refinement, and there can be little doubt that they reflect his personaltaste. Brown has suggestedthat Hadrian was the authorof the segmented domes which feature in buildings dated to his reign, including some of those discussed above.79He identified these distinctive domes with Hadrian's ridiculedby Apollodorus,as we are told by Dio Cassius. Brown venturedas far as to claim that Hadrian was the inventor of these unusual domes, suggesting that he was fascinatedwith undulatingshapes and enjoyed experimenting with convoluted structures. In the absenceof firmerevidence,however,the idea that Hadrian played an active and creative role in architecturemust remain an intriguing riddle.
DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS KING'S COLLEGE LONDON LONDON WC2R 2LS UNITED KINGDOM

drawings of "pumpkins" (KOAOK;v'vra) which were

75 Rakob (supra n. 6) 115.


76

74See supra n. 51.

77 Dio Cass. 69.4.2-3.

S.H.A., Hadr. 14.8; Epit. de Caes. 14.2.

78 On the question of Hadrian's authorship of the design of the temple of Venus and Rome, see MacDonald (supra n. 8) 135-37.

This author also considersthe broaderissue of Hadrian's involvement in architecture,but he does not commenton the possibilityof a link between the Emperor'sarchitecturalinterestsand his learning in geometry.
79 F.E. Brown, "Hadrianic Architecture," Essays in Memory of Karl Lehmann (New York 1964) 55-58.

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