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Notes on video lecture:
Caligula, Lighter Concrete, and the Underground Basilica
Notes taken by Edward Tanguay on March 6, 2014 (go to class or lectures)
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
faux, preserved, Pythagorean, mystery, despot, tufa, private, pumice, Golden, army, Nero, rubble, small, Capri, concrete
emperor 12-41 AD
was young, reigned for only three years
he was unbalanced, became a             
mostly occupied with odd projects (e.g. fighting          wars) instead of architecture, but he made some contributions
like Tiberius, more interested in                villas
also finished buildings begun by Tiberius
two new aqueducts and circus near Vatican city area
main interest was villas outside Rome
enjoyed finished villas e.g. on the island of           
Rome was ringed with the villas of Caligula and         
two main architectural contributions of Caligula
1. altered the recipe for Roman                  construction by lightening it up
instead of mixing it with stone             , mixed it with a porous yellow tufa and             
led to lighter domes which were able to span greater spaces
very significant
the              House of Nero would not have been possible without this change in the make up of concrete
2. impace of mystery cults on Roman religion
Rome had a state religion
over time, especially because of their Eastern provinces, other religions came to Rome
through the         
through commerce
initially not accepted by Roman government
Caligula became to show some interest these                religions
although they didn't become accepted during his reign
they continued to meet in secret
underground basilica
used to celebrate the Neo-                       sect
dates to the reign of Claudius, after Caligula, around AD 50
it is miraculously                   , simply because it is underground
very difficult to get permission to go down and see it
cut trenches in the          rock
poured concrete into those trenches to create the walls
once it had dried, they cut it out of the rock
a            structure but light and airy
figures on vault indicate that it was made for the Neo-Pythagorean cult
religious figures floating


cavort, v. to have lively or boisterous fun; romp  "Caligula became a despot and spent most of his time cavorting with this three sisters, Agrippina, Julia, and Drusilla."
tufa, n. the calcareous deposit of lime found near hot springs  "Instead of mixing the concrete with stone rubble, they began to mix it with a porous yellow tufa and pumice."
pumice, n. [PUH-mis, not POO-mis] a light, porous, glassy lava, resembling cork, used in solid form as an abrasive and in powdered form as a polish and an abrasive  "Instead of mixing the concrete with stone rubble, they began to mix it with a porous yellow tufa and pumice."
calcareous, adj. [kal-KAIR-ee-us] resembling or containing calcium carbonate or limestone, chalky  "a calcareous deposit near a hot spring"
apse, n. in Romanesque and Byzantine cathedral and church architecture, a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the main building at the liturgical east end, where the altar is  "At the end, to give some emphasis to one short side of the space, an apse."


######################### (570-495 BC)
Greek mathematician, known for the Pythagorean theorem
  • philosopher and founder of the religious movement Pythagoreanism
  • first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom
  • Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato


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Roman Tombs, Aqueducts and the Lasting Impact of Roman Architecture
Julius Caesar's Vision to Make Rome the Architectural Equal of Alexandria
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Caligula, Lighter Concrete, and the Underground Basilica
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The Flavian Amphitheater a.k.a. the Roman Colosseum
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