Encyclopedia Ichnographica

porticus

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porticus


List of Porticus in the Ichnographia
with the 'Catalogo' references

Hecatostylon «Marzial. nel lib. 2 epig. 14, lib. 3, epig. 19, Euseb. nella Cronac. Appian. nel lib. 2 della guerra civil. il frammento di marmo dell'antica pianta di Roma.» see chapter 4, article 11.

Porticus A S.P.Q.R. Amoenitati Dicata (Portichi fatti per l'amenita) - Tacitus, Annals 15:40.

Porticus AD Nationes

Porticus Alexandri Severi «Lamprid. in Aless. Severo

Porticus Boni Eventus «Ammian. Marcellin. lib 19, in fin. P. Vittore nella Reg. IX di Roma»

Porticus Caij et Lucij near the Basilica of Caij et Lucii

Porticus Constantini «Sesto Rufo, e P. Vittore nella Reg. VII di Roma»

Porticus Corinthia cn. Octavij «Plin., nel lib. 2, 34, al cap. 3, Paterc. nel lib. 2, cap. 1. Festo lib. 16, il compendio delle gesta d'Augusto, o siano le lapidi Arcirane presso il Busbeq. sesto Rufo, e P. Vittore nella Reg. IX di Roma»

Porticus Europae «Marzial, nel lib. 2, epigr. 15, nel lib. 3, epig. 20, nel lib. 7, epig. 53.» Si referisce nel cap. 5, art. 14.

Porticus Gratiani Valentiniani et Theodosius near the Arch of Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius

Porticus Hadriani

Porticus Hadriani

Porticus Metello Macedonico «Vitruv. nel lib. 1, al cap 1, Paterc. nel lib. 34, al cap. 4.» see chapter 4, article 5,6.

Porticus Milliarienses ab Aureliano Ornatae (Portico Milliariense negli orti Salustiani) «Vopisc. in Aurel.»

Porticus Minutia Frumentaria «Appulej. de mund. P. Vittore nella Reg. IX di Roma.»

Porticus Munitia Vetus «Paterc. nel lib. 2, al cap. 8, Lampridio in Commodo, Sesto Rufo, e P. Vittore nella Reg. IX.» see chapter 4, article 8.

Porticus Neptuni (Portico di Nettuno, o sia degli Argonauti) «Dione nel lib. 53, Marzial. nel lib. 2, epog. 14, Sparzian. in Adriano.» see chapter 5, article 8.

Porticus Neronianae (Portichi Neroniani nei colli degli orti) «Tacit. nel lib. 5 degli Ann.»

Porticus Neronianae

Porticus Octaviae (Portico d'Ottavia Sorella d'Augusto) «Plin. nel.lib. 36, al cap. 5., Sueton. in Augusto, Dion. nel lib. 55, Ovid, dell'Art, d'am, Appian. ed altri, il frammento di marmo dell'antica pianta di Roma alla Tav. 2, col num. 12, nella 3 e suo indice col num. 59.» Si dimostrano in prospettiva nella Tav. XXX e si riferiscono nel cap. 5, art. 2.

Porticus Philippi (Portico di Filippo) «Ovid. nel lib. 5, epig. 50, Sesto Rufo, e P. Vittore nella Reg. IX di Roma.»Ve ne rimangono le rovine, che si dinotano nella Tavola 2, col num. 5, e nella 3 e suo indice col num. 60, e si dimostrano in prospettiva nella Tav. XXIV. see chapter 5, article 14.

Porticus Polae (Portico Pola) «Dione. nel lib. 55.» see chapter 5, article 11.

Porticus Pompejanae (Portico Pompeo.) «Vitruv. nel lib. 5, al cap. 9, Appian. della guerra civile.» near the Theater of Pompey

Porticus praebentes umbraculum diei ab aesti

Porticus Quirini «Marzial. nel lib. II, epig I.»

Porticus Septorum Juliorum

Porticus Trajani

Porticus Vipsania (Portico Vispania?) «Tacit. nel lib. 3 delle stor. Plutarc. in Galba.» near the Portico di Nettuno.




Porticus General Information
Platner

The level plain of the campus Martius was particularly well adapted to this characteristic form of Roman architecture, -- the porticus, -- which conformed to a general model, while varying in proportions and details. The porticus consisted of a covered colonnade, formed by two or more rows of columns, or a wall on one side and columns on the other. Its chief purpose was to provide a place for walking and lounging which should be sheltered from storm and sun, and for this reason the intercolumnar spaces were sometimes filled with glass or hedges of box. Within the porticoes or in apartments connected closely with them, were collections of statuary, paintings, and works of art of all kinds, as well as shops and bazaars. In some cases the porticus took its name from some famous statue or painting, as the portions Argonautarum.

While the erection of the first porticus in the campus Martius dates from the early part of the second century BC, the period of rapid development in their numbers and use did not begin until the Augustan era. The earliest of these structures seem to have been devoted exclusively to business purposes. By the time of the Antonines, there were upwards of a dozen in region IX, some of them of great size, and it was possible to walk from the forum of Trajan to the pons Aelius under a continuous shelter. They were usually magnificently decorated and embellished, and provided with beautiful gardens. Lanciani estimates the total area covered by porticoes and gardens in the campus Martius at about 100,000 square meters. The modern continuation of the porticus idea may be seen in some European cities, especially Bologna, Munich, and in the Rue de Rivoli in Paris.




Porticus General Information
Anderson

It is significant that Vitruvius opens his discussion of public buildings not with a building, in the truest sense of the word, but with a colonnaded open space. Surrounded open spaces were essential and basic to Roman public architecture, indeed to Roman city architecture of every kind. Colonnades, arcades, porticoes, and columnar porches defined space and provided an architectural facade and boundary to these piazzas, and they were regularly used, as the colonnades of the fora of Pompeii and Ostia demonstrate. The provision of a colonnaded appearance around the Forum Romanum seems to have involved a good deal of ingenuity over several centuries. The desire for it probably explains the colonnaded tabernae veteres that fronted the via Sacra and the creation of the arcades in front of the basilicas on both the northeast and southwest sides of the Forum, the Basilica Aemilia and its successors and the Basilica Sempronia and its successors, respectively. But in Imperial times, there was only one true colonnade in the Roman Forum: the colonnade in front of the Senate house that was variously called Atrium Minervae or Chalcidicum. As noted, the basilicas had arcades-not colonnades-along their forum façades; in both buildings the piers between the archways of these arcades were decorated with engaged Tuscan columns and the passageways behind the facades functioned as walkways indistinguishable from those behind colonnades. Interspersed among these arcades and colonnades and shopfronts were the columnar porches of the temples that faced onto the central forum, which would have varied and enlivened the architectural frame, not simply continued it visually

In due course, the four-sided colonnade, which enclosed open space with vistas of columns-the true porticus-became an important factor in Roman architecture of every kind. It was adopted to surround temples (e.g., the Porticus Metelli, Porticus Philippi and their various successors, and the Porticus Liviae, all at Rome, and the colonnaded surround to the precinct of Apollo at Pompeii) and appropriate expansions behind the stage buildings of theaters, which is the context in which Vitruvius discusses them (such as the Porticus Pompeianae in Rome or that behind the Large Theater at Pompeii, the Piazzale delle Corporazioni at Ostia, which in addition surrounded a temple I fig. 5. 1]). In general porticos were used as multipurpose enclosures in all manner of Roman contexts (e.g., the building of Eumachia on the Forum at Pompeii).

A porticus has the effect of turning every architectural context in which it was used into a visual simulacrum of a Roman forum while providing definition to open space as well as shelter for people, works of art, library collections, shrines, meeting places, and so on. The porticos was a basic form in Roman architecture, inspired by and in turn informing the Roman concept of the city center, the forum. What Vitruvius is describing is really the open forum at the center of the city surrounded by its porticus. When he actually introduces the porticus into his fifth book, he does so in the context of theater porticoes. but goes on to cite examples of all the different kinds, and to discuss their wide-ranging importance to architecture.

Porticus General Information
Lanciani (p. 444-446)

If we take into consideration the object of some of the buildings mentioned above, instead of the name and epoch of those who raised them, and the age to which they belong, we can make up a last and most important group, the group of the Porticoes, under the shelter of which it was possible to cross the plain from one end to the other.

Under the Republic they were comparatively rare, and the few that existed at that time were built not as places of pleasant resort, but with a definite and more practical aim. The Minucia served for the distribution of grain; the Aemilia for the storage of merchandise brought by river and by sea; those of the Forum Holitorium as a vegetable market; the Portions Pompeianae as a place of refuge in case of rain. Augustus made porticoes popular; under his rule the whole campus was covered with colonnades. He himself built that of Octavia, and a second called Ad Nationes on account of some colossal statues, representing the nations of the world, and rebuilt a third, named Corinthian from the capitals of its columns, cast in (gilt) Corinthian brass. Balbus added a crypta to his theatre; Marcius Philippus surrounded with a portico the Templum Herculis Musarum. To Agrippa the Romans owed the Porticus Vipsania, the Saepta, used for electoral meetings under shelter, the Villa Publica, the Porticus Argonautarum, the Porticus Eventus Boni (and the Porticus Europae?). The example set by Augustus and his courtiers found imitators down to the very fall of the Empire, and even after it, as shown by the Horti Largiani, the Portico of Constantine, the Porticus Maximae of Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius, and lastly by those which led from the Aelian bridge to S. Peter's, from the Porta Ostiensis to S. Paul's (and from the Porta Tiburtina to S. Lorenzo).

No attention has been paid by topographers to the special nature of these structures; they have been studied individually, as simple enclosures of temples, annexes to theatres, picture galleries, museums of statuary, and places of meeting and resort ; but if we consider them as successive manifestations of the same original plan, and part of a whole system, their importance increases tenfold. They were designed so that the citizens could walk in every season and at any hour under shelter from wind, rain, cold, and the heat of the sun. Needless to say this happened after the taste for luxury and comfort had superseded the previous austerity of Roman life. Whenever the poets, and Martial especially, speak of the porticoes, they allude to one idea, to the delight of enjoying there the warmth of sunshine in winter while outsiders were shivering from the blasts of the tramontana. The spaces between the colonnades were intersected in graceful designs by the tepida buxeta, walls of boxwood. Towards the end of the Empire it became possible to walk under shelter from the region of the Fora to the church of S. Peter, a distance of nearly two miles ; and the sight would have struck the least enthusiastic person in the world with wonder. The development of the twelve larger colonnades of the Campus Martius amount,.; to 4600 metres; the sheltered surface to 28,000 square metres; the total area, central gardens included, to 100,000; the number of columns was about 2000.

These columns were of the rarest kinds of marble. Their capitals were sometimes of gilt Corinthian metal, and their pavements were inlaid with jasper and porphyry. Each portico contained a museum of sculpture and a gallery of pictures, and the space enclosed by them was laid out in gardens, with thickets of box, myrtle, laurel, arbutus, pine, and plane trees shading lakes, fountains, and waterfalls. Each one offeredt ot he visitor a special attraction. In the Porticus Vipsania the maps of the Roman world surveyed at the time of the birth of our Lord were displayed. The Saepta contained curiosity-shops, where antiquities and manufactures of the Far East, China included, were exhibited. Lastly, in the portico of Philippus ladies could find the latest fashions in wigs and hairdressing that the fancy of Roman coiffeurs could contrive.




hierarchy of plans
1996.07.16

There is the degree of hierarchy of the two three-sided series of sepulchers--Sepulchra adjacent the Porticus Neronianae and Sepulchra Libertorum et Servorum--where one is a more advanced/developed form of the other. These are closely related to the repetition of the Gymnasium but they also introduce a linear motif that has not yet been addressed. The linear repetition motif is also very evident in various porticus plans.




porticus display; typologies
1998.04.12

...porticus... ...are such a distinctly Roman type. ...producing a land-use map.

...the phalic plan formations within the Bustum Augusti are labeled as porticus for the mourning of soldiers...




Equiria
1998.12.01

The three porticus along the Equiria, the Porticus a S.P.Q.R. Amoentitati Dicata, the Porticus Vipsania, and the Porticus Alexandri Severi respectively from south to north, are great linear plans with extensive colonnades opening directly onto the Equiria, and therefore it is easy to imagine how these covered galleries could hold hundreds, if not thousands, of Equiria spectators. Furthermore, the names of the three porticus themselves carry patriotic connotations. Porticus a S.P.Q.R. Amoenitati Dicata literally means a colonnade dedicated to the pleasure of the senate and people of Rome, and is thus a fitting structure for placement alongside the Equiria's starting point. The Porticus Vipsania is one of several porticus built by M. Vipsanius Agrippa, who, as son-in-law of Augustus, was greatly instrumental in the first "building boom" of the Campus Martius. It must be noted, however, that Piranesi dislocates the Porticus Vipsania, like the Equiria, from its presumable site to a more northern position. The Porticus Alexandri Severi, at the northern end of the Equiria, is named for Alexander Severus, the third century emperor who, according to Lampridius, was much beloved by the Roman troops, and, during his military campaigns, "was more concerned for the soldier's welfare than for his own." There was indeed a Porticus Alexandri Severi within the Campus Martius, but again Piranesi dislocates its position to accentuate the specific civic and military parti of his own Equiria design.


left: Porticus a S.P.Q.R. Amoenitati Dicata - 1845 feet long
center: Porticus Vipsania - 1255 feet long
right: Porticus Alexandri Severi - 1821 feet long

Porticus
1998.12.01

a walk covered by a roof supported on columns, a colonnade, piazza, arcade, gallery, porch

The porticus is the most prevalent building typology within the Ichnographia Campus Martius. At least one porticus is found within every quadrant of the large plan, and cumulatively they add up as the most numerous building type within the Campus Martius, a portrayal which is both historically and archeologically sound. That is not to say, however, that each porticus Piranesi delineates has a historical basis. For example, the two Porticus Hadriani, the Porticus Horti Domitiae, at least one of the Porticus Neronianae, the Porticus praebentes umbraculum diei ab aesti, the Porticus Quirini, and the Porticus Trajani have no relationship with historical fact. Furthermore, many of those porticus that hold factual veracity, Piranesi dislocates within the large plan, and, overall, none of the porticus within the Ichnographia, with the exception of the Porticus Septorum Juliorum, express historically correct designs.

Even though Piranesi employs a different imaginative arrangement for each porticus delineated within the Ichnographia, he nonetheless exhibits an overall consistency within a discernible set of design patterns. Each porticus contains a profusion of colonnades. The oldest porticus are simply linear in plan, and those along major axes such as the Via Lati and the Equiria are linear in the extreme. The Porticus Horti Domitiae and the Porticus Europae incorporate circular motifs, and the two Porticus Neronianae are cruciform in plan. Finally, the porticus of Hadrian and the later emperors are very hybrid in that they incorporate any number of colonnade plan motifs, as well as contain an array of enclosed spaces.

The following is a chronological list of porticus within the Ichnographia:

179 BC

Porticus Porticus Corinthia cn. Octavij
built by Cn. Octavius


147 BC

Porticus Metelli
built by Q. Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus


109 BC

Porticus Minucia
built by Minucius Rufus


55 BC
onward

Porticus Pompejanae
built by Pompeius


54 BC
onward

Porticus Septorum Juliorum
begun by Caesar, continued by Lepidus, and finished by Agrippa in 27 BC


29 BC

Porticus Philippi
built by L. Marcius Philippus


Porticus ad Nationes
built by Augustus


Porticus Boni Eventus
built by Agrippa


25 BC

Porticus Argonautarum
built by Agrippa


Hecatostylon


14 BC

Porticus Octaviae
built by Augustus


7 BC

Porticus Polae or Vipsania
built by Agrippa


1st Cent. AD

Porticus Europae


early
4 th C.

Porticus Constantini
built by Constantine


late
4 th C.

Porticus Gratiani Valentiniani et Theodosii
built by Theodosius






It rocked Eisenman on his chair...
2007.11.08 10:40

He says there are no streets there, so he doesn't know how the porticus operated throughout the Campus Martius.




It rocked Eisenman on his chair...
2007.11.11 17:08

"Equally, the Campo Marzio would not function as an urban entity. There are no streets as such; rather, the ground is filled with what can be called interstitial figures."
Peter Eisenman, "Notations of Affect. An Architecture of Memory" in Pathos, Affect, Gefühl (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2004), pp.504-11.

"The level plain of the campus Martius was particularly well adapted to this characteristic form of Roman architecture--the porticus--which conformed to a general model, while varying in proportions and details. The porticus consisted of a covered colonnade, formed by two or more rows of columns, or a wall on one side and columns on the other. lts chief purpose was to provide a place for walking and lounging which should be sheltered from storm and sun, and for this reason the intercolumnar spaces were sometimes filled with glass or hedges of box. Within the porticoes or in apartments connected closely with them, were collections of statuary, paintings, and works of art of all kinds, as well as shops and bazaars. In some cases the porticus took its name from some famous statue or painting, as the porticus Argonautarum.

While the erection of the first porticus in the campus Martius dates from the early part of the second century B.C., the period of rapid development in their numbers and use did not begin until the Augustan era. The earliest of these structures seem to have been devoted exclusively to business purposes. By the time of the Antonines, there were upwards of a dozen in region IX, some of them of great size, and it was possible to walk from the forum of Trajan to the pons Aelius under a continuous shelter. They were usually magnificently decorated and embellished, and provided with beautiful gardens.
Samuel Ball Platner, The Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (1904).

Although written over 140 years after the Ichnographia Campus Martius, Platner's text nonetheless describes perfectly Piranesi's delineation, particulary between the forum of Trajan and the pons Aelius. Indeed, the porticus is the most abundant building type throughout the Ichnographia Campus Martius.





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