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Architec- describes is the only one which would be affected hy also that such works may have occasionally served as
the earliest people for their houses ; indeed, it is pro- retreats for the inhabitants of a Country from the pur-
roof is very generally adopted in the interior of Africa. excavations made in those natural masses of stone; but Tombs of
The inquiry into the nature of the earliest edifices when the seat of the Empire was removed to Memphis, masonry are seems to lead us to the discovery that, before Man had near the Delta, those masses were not so abundant, and it probably provided any thing better than a frail tenement of wood became necessary to erect artificial buildings, containing
to shelter hirn, when living, from the summer's heat and chambers for the same purposes; such masses are the cient than dwellings of
winter's cold, he had bestowed incredible pains in the Pyramids, which still exist in that part of the Country, the same endeavour to form an eternal building of stone which and form a distinguished feature in an Egyptian scene. material, was to receive him when dead.
The three principal Pyramids of Egypt are supposed A pile of stones, or a mound of earth, was certainly to have been erected by Cheops, by his brother Cethe first monument erected to commemorate some phrenes, and his son Mycerinus, who were successively event, to mark the grave of some person who had been Kings of that Country. But so little dependence can be of importance during his life, or to serve as a general placed upon the early History of Egypt that it is imposreceptacle for the bodies of men slain in battle: such sible to say whether we are to refer their reigns to a are the monumental Barrows of earth or stones which period previous or posterior to that of the Trojan war. abound in Europe, from the Steppes of Tartary to the Those Pyramids are situated along the Nile, near Cairo, Highlands of Scotlard, and which have been discovered probably not far from the place where the ancient Memeven in North America. The more artificial Pyramids, phis once stood, and they are built of granite upon a nu. which have been erected in so many different parts of the cleus of natural sandstone. World, are works, in all probability, intended for similar At a short distance Southward from the great purposes, and their construction displays the next step in Pyramids is the town of Saccara, in the neighbourhoort the Art of building.
of which are several Pyramids, some constructed of Origin of
The pyramidal or conical form, which was universally stone, others of brick, and one is described as formed of
given to these monumental masses, is naturally enough heaps of pebble-stones cemented together. The exterior midal form derived from the form which earth assumes when of the latter is composed of six stages, each terminating of tombs.
thrown loosely in a heap, such as that which would at top in a horizontal surface 11 feet broad, and the
because the natural rocks were more abundant in the natural object, or some primitive work.
former district than in the latter ; but M. Caillaud, and Tombs ex. In Countries abounding with mountains and rocks, subsequently Mr. Burckhardt, observed great numbers in cavated in natural excavations would often be found capable of Nubia, at the distance of more than one hundred leagues rocks. serving as receptacles for the dead; and when these beyond the cataracts of the Nile. They are described
were wanting, artificial excavations might be made with as bearing considerable resemblance to those of Egypt,
that which was called the Tower of Jupiter Belus, in Pyramids But though the Pyramids and Catacombs were, gene- the centre of one of the divisions of Babylon, was cerand caverns rally speaking, intended to contain the bodies of the tainly so. According to the description given by Herowere proba- dead, there is sufficient reason to believe that in some dotus, (Clio, sect.181.) the base of this Tower was a square, bly used also tor other
cases they must have been used as Temples, or at least, each side of which was a furlong in extent. The building purposes. that some part of each was appropriated to the pur- consisted of eight different portions in pyramidal forms,
poses of Religion, or to the residence of its Ministers ; one above another; the whole height was one furlong, and the latter destination is inferred from the testimony of as the portions are stated to have been built in regular Herodotus, who on that account was not permitted to succession, perhaps they were all of equal height, viz. see the interior of the Labyrinth in Egypt. It is possible about 80 feet. The ascent from the ground was by an
Architeco inclined plane which passed eight times about the Tower, plex and refined style of building, in later times, pro- Part I.
and formed the divisions just mentioned ; in each of bably caused simple Pyramids to be disregarded, and the divisions were constructed Temples, consisting of such as once existed to be destroyed. apartments whose roofs were supported by pillars, and The pyramidal form of Sepulchral monuments, or Pyramids in the upper Temple was a magnificent couch of gold. Religious edifices, does not appear to have been con- are not conIt is probable also, that this Temple was used as an Ob- fined to the ancient continent; we find the same form fined to the servatory, and that from it the Chaldean Astrono- affected by the inhabitants of parts of the World which mers made the celestial observations, of which a few are separated from it, in opposite directions, by the have been transmitted to our times. Here, then, we Atlantic and Indian Oceans: we allude to the Pyramids have an example of a Pyramid which does not seem to existing in Mexico at the time of the invasion of that have been used as a tomb.
Country by the Spaniards, and in the Islands of the In his account of the Retreat of the Ten thousand South Seas at the time of their discovery, and perhaps Greeks from Persia, Xenophon mentions the arrival of at the present day. On reading the descriptions of his army at an uninhabited city, which he calls Larissa, these works we cannot avoid being struck with their situated on the Tigris; and he says, that close to the resemblance to the Pyramids of the Babylonians and city there stood a Pyramid of stone, 100 feet square and Egyptians. 200 feet high, into which the inhabitants of the neigh- Dr. Robertson states, on the authority of the Spanish bouring villages retired after the defeat of the Persians. writers, in the VIIth Book of his History of America, (Anabasis, book iii.) Bochart supposes this city to that the great Temple of Mexico was a solid mass of
be the Resen stated by Moses (Gen. x. 12.) to hare earth, of a square form, and having part of its super02:21 been built by Ashur; and if so, there is a probability ficies reveted with stone. Each side of the base was
that this Pyramid was one of the most ancient in the 90 feet long, and it diminished gradually upward till it World. Ii seems to have contained chambers, and terminated in a quadrangle 30 feet long each way; on the therefore must have been intended either for a tomb top of this square was a Temple containing two altars, like those of Egypt, or for a place of worship, like the on which the victims were sacrificed. And he thinks Tower of Belas. Its proportions, however, differ consi- it probable that all the other Temples of Mexico resemderably from those of the Egyptian Pyramids, inasmuch bled this exactly. Whether it was intended as a place as its height appears to have been double the length of of burial, or not, does not appear, but the morai which each side of its base, whereas the heights of the latter Captain Cook saw at Tabeite in his first voyage was are scarcely equal to the lengths of their sides.
certainly an elevation for that purpose. He says it Beis of In the earliest times, Barrows of a conical or pyra- consists of an enormous pile of stonework 270 feet
midal form seem to have been commonly raised as long, 90 feet wide, and from 40 to 50 feet high, in the
Building. hipper part having been destroyed, but in the interior there is a chamber, now roofless, about 20 feet long
We may collect from what is said by Vitruvius in Comparison and 17 feet 6 inches wide. On one face of the Pyramid the IJd Chapter of his IVth Book, that, at a period as of an origiis an entrance covered by horizontal courses of stones early as his time, the analysis of the forms of buildings .imber with which project beyond each other till they meet at top, had led to the hypothesis that they are all derived from the form of and form a triangular head. A passage from
this en- some mode of construction employed in the infancy of an ancient trance leads nearly to the opposite face of the PyramidSociety; and consequently that the most superb edifices Temple. and at the extremity on one side has been the doorway are but grand imitations of the system of timbers forming of the apartment.
the framework of a simple cottage. It is indeed easy to It is a remarkable circumstance that Pyramids did conceive that whatever might be the forms of the primitive not, subsequently, become prominent objects in Greece, dwellings of the inhabitants of any Country, that form as they did in Egypt, and perhaps we may consider this would be copied when a more substantial material than as a proof of the independent origin of the Architecture timber was employed, or a more extensive edifice than a of the former Country; the prevalence of a more com- hut was to be constructed. If, then, we admit that the first
2 1 2
Architec- habitations of any people were of timber, and in what- over the face of the architrave, were represented in the Part L. ture. ever Country this material abounds it is probable enough copy by rectangular divisions which, from the manner
that such would be the case, the hypothesis will be jus- of ornamenting them, bear the name of triglyphs. The tified by showing the correspondence between the con- notches cut in the architrave to receive the extremities struction of a timber-hut and the general disposition of of those beams were called by the Greeks ope, and, the members of a stone edifice, which may be supposed hence, the intervals of the beams have the name of to have been crected by the people of such a Country at metopes. The whole space occupied by the triglyphs a time when the Arts and Sciences were extensively and metopes was called, by the same people, zophorus: cultivated among them.
in later times it has been called the frize, because it is This conformity we purpose now to trace, taking for generally ornamented with sculpture. our example a building similar to some of those erected From this description of the timbers above the archiin Greece or Rome at the time of its greatest national trave, it will be immediately perceived that the triglyphs, splendour. Such a comparison will afford an oppor. which represent the extremities of those timbers, should tunity of showing the situations and uses of the principal only appear on two opposite faces of the building ; yet, members which enter into the composition of almost in every ancient example of a rectangular building where every building of importance, whether ancient or mo- triglyphs are employed, they are formed in a similar dern, and, therefore, will facilitate the comprehension of manner on each of the four faces ; unless, therefore, we the more particular descriptions which will be, hereafter, suppose the timbers to be disposed in two directions, at given.
right angles to each other, and to be framed together so It may first, however, be observed that Architecture that the lower and upper surfaces may be in the same was, probably, brought to considerable perfection in plane respectively, this must be considered as a deparedifices of timber before stone was employed ; because ture from strict conformity with the original model; and no traces remain of any buildings, executed in the latter then the triglyphs placed on the two faces which are material, whose forms indicate a series of approximations parallel to the directions of the beams must be supposed to the perfect state of the systems or Orders exhibited in to have been intended, only, to give a certain similarity the most ancient of the existing edifices ; and it cannot of ornament to all the fronts of the edifice. It is not, be said that such examples may have formerly existed however, in every building that a representation is inade but are now destroyed, because it is reasonable to be- of the ends of the beans immediately above the archiJieve that such works, being the oldest and rudest, would trave ; for, in some, the frize is ornamented in a different be constructed in a more substantial manner than the manner, or left quite plain, as if copied from a model others; and, therefore, would be better able to resist the in which the ends of those beams were covered by a ravages of time.
smooth board. The best notion we can form of the construction of Above these transverse beams may be supposed to the hut is, that a number of posts would be placed ver- have been placed other horizontal beams of smaller tically on the ground, so as to enclose an area in the dimensions, closer together, and at right angles to them. form of a square or parallelogram ; along the tops of The extremities of these latter beams, or joists, may exthese would be placed a horizontal beam on each of the tend beyond the face of the architrave and frize and four sides, and over these would be laid other horizontal support the planks or still smaller timbers, which either beams, parallel to one of the sides of the building, in constitute the covering itself of the roof, or serve as a order to support the material which was to serve for the bed for the materials employed for the covering. The roof. But, as the flat covering which we have here reason of extending the joists and covering of the roof supposed, would not, in a Country subject to heavy beyond the face of the architrave, is, that the rain-water rains and snows, afford a sufficient protection to the in- which falls on the roof, may, thereby, be thrown beyond terior, an inclining roof supported by beams placed the posts or columns, or beyond the walls of the buildobliquely above the vertical posts would, very early, being, if, in the intervals of the posts, walls are constructed. substituted for the flat one. Now the Temples of the The projecting parts of the lower joists just mentioned, Greeks and Romans were generally rectangular, accom- being imitated in stone buildings executed according to panied and, often, surrounded by columns, and covered some of the systems or Orders, become what are called by roofs inclining on hoth sides from a ridge over the modillons, and the extremities of the upper course remiddle of the building and parallel to its length. This present, perhaps, what are called dentels. Each of these construction bears, certainly, great resemblance to the species of projections, like the triglyphs, can, properly hut just described; but, in order to get a more com- speaking, only appear on two fronts of any quadrangular plete idea of the correspondence of the copy with its building, unless each course consists of timbers framed supposed original, we must compare them together more at right angles to each other, as above described; but particularly, first exhibiting the principal members and, as this method is not adopted in practice, and as we afterwards, the minor parts in detail.
find that the modillons and dentels are exhibited on The origin The trunks of trees placed vertically in the ground every face of such buildings, we must suppose this to be of the columns and
are supposed to be represented by the columns in the a measure adopted, as before, for the sake of obtaining entablature.
finished building. (Pl. i. fig. 1.) Over the tops of these a similarity of ornament on every side.
Arenitec beams above the columns, comprehending the archi- of some natural objects, or as improvements which Part I.
trave, frize, and cornice, was called by the general name would easily suggest themselves when the members The of epistylium, but in later times, the entablature. were executed in a different material.
When an inclining roof was to be made, (see pl. i. It is supposed that, originally, the trunks of trees, The base »? fig. 2.) beains, called by Vitruvius cantherii, and by the which served as posts, might have been planted imme- a column, present Architects, rafters, were disposed in two planes diately upon the ground; but experience would soon declining each way from the columen, or ridge of the show that the bottoms of the posts were liable to be roof, which ridge extended longitudinally above the destroyed by its humidity, or that the weight of the middie of the area enclosed by the building: the upper edifice would force them into it, and thus endanger the extremities of the rafters were attached to this ridge, safety of the whole. An endeavour would, perhaps, be and the lower extremities rested upon the entablature made to remedy these evils, by placing a tile or flat vertically over the extremities of the horizontal beams stone under the bottom of the post to keep it from the in the frize. Above these rafters were placed small tim- ground, and, by presenting a greater surface underneath, bers, called by Vitruvius templa, by the moderns pur- to prevent it from sinking; from this probably originated lines, in horizontal positions, and parallel to the ridge what has been since called the plinth. The bottom of of the roof; and, over them, a second tier of rafters, the post being liable to split by the weight above it, may smaller than the forıner, and projecting, at their lower be supposed to have been protected by a hoop or cord extremities, beyond the face of the architrave or frize on surrounding it; and, from this, some have derived the the flanks of the building. These last rafters, in some torus and other ornaments placed above the plinth, cases, carry the tiles or other materials which cover the which, with the latter, form the base of the column.
sloping roof; and if we may suppose them to be placed Now it might happen that the tops of the posts were The capital. dia so that oue rafter may be over each triglyph and metope, not exactly situated in a horizontal plane, from the in
the projecting extremities, being imitated in the copy, equality of the ground, or of the lengths of the posts ; will constitute what, in one of the Orders, are called and, in such a case, the architrave which was placed mutules, whose inferior surfaces are in a plane parallel upon them, might not touch every one. In order to to the inclinir.g surface of the roof in which they are remedy this, it may be supposed that flat tiles, or stones, placed. And though these also can only, with propriety, would be placed above the posts, having their thickexist upon the two lateral fronts of any building, yet it nesses so regulated that the under surface of the archihas been, universally, the practice to depart so far from trave, when in a horizontal position, might rest upon the model as to repeat them upon the front and rear each. If this opinion is well founded, one of these faces of a complete edifice. The extremities of the pur- tiles
may be represented by the abacus of the column in lines, appearing in front and rear of a building, may the finished building ; and ropes surrounding the tops have suggested the idea of forming modillons in each of the posts, like those in the base, might have been of the inclining sides of the roof, which in some of the the origin of the echinus, the astragal, and some other Orders is done ; but, in practice, a deviation is made of the ornaments, which constitute what is now called from the character of the model by placing such mo- the capital of the column. The column may, therefore, dillons closer together than the purlines really would be considered as formed of three parts or members, viz. be, and by forming their side faces in vertical planes the base, the body or shaft, and the capital. instead of perpendicular to the directions of the rafters. It must be owned, however, that bases and capitals
The desire of ornamenting the inclining extremities are not, universally, the accompaniments of columns; of the roof in a manner similar to the horizontal cornice in some edifices, we find columns without bases, in has led, in some Orders, to the employment of dentels others, we find them without capitals, and there are also in those situations ; as if the inclining roof had been some columns without either bases or capitals; neither formed by two tiers of purlines, in alternate order with do all capitals of columns resemble ropes or rings, on the rafters, under its external covering.
the contrary we find, in this member, a very great diIn the above developement of the Vitruvian hypothe-versity of form, and the talents of artists have been sis, it is not intended to assert that artists can, in any particularly exerted to give it all the beauty of which it case, bind themselves to produce a perfect correspond- is susceptible. ence of all the members in the buildings they construct, Some columns have their upper extremities adorned with those of any model; but, merely, to exhibit a simple with spiral curves, or volutes, projecting beyond the structure, the parts of which may have served as pro- surface of the shaft, and the opinions concerning the totypes of the members we find occasionally employed origin of these ornaments have been various. Vitruin the most complex edifices.
vius asserts that they are imitations of the curls of hair The roof of a building, when formed by two inclined about a woman's head; but later inquirers think they planes, was, by the Ancients, called by the general name were derived from the curling leaves of plants, or from fastigium. The triangular extremity of such a roof is the horns of animals slain in sacrifice; with which a called a pediment, and the space included within the capricious taste might, on festival days, have decorated horizontal and inclined cornices of the pediment had, the columns of a Temple. It is difficult to say which of and still retains, the name of tympanum.
these ideas is the most just, and, per haps, none of The principal members of a finished edifice have now them deserve much consideration. been compared with those of the simple hut; if we In other columns we find the capitals consist of two descend to the minuter parts and ornaments, we shall or more rows of leaves surrounding the shaft, at its find that many of them may be traced to objects neces- upper extremity, so as to resemble very much the sarily connected with the same prototype, and from foliage of a plant growing round the side of a cylindriwhich it is possible they may have been derived; others, cal or bell-shaped vessel. And, according to Vitruvius, by their nature, are incompatible with such an origin, it was from the casual observation of such an object, and, therefore, must be considered either as imitations near Corinth, that the idea was first taken. This account
Architec- of the origin of that particular species of capital has, grooves, similar to those in the bases of the columns Part 1.
however, been much controverted; and it is alleged that of the Temple at Priene, are found in the hases of
out their length, and this circumstance has been copied,
In concluding the account of the origin of columns, it Origia di The shaft The shaft of the column is frequently furrowed longi- may be proper to observe that, occasionally, artists have plaster,
tudinally in channels, and various opinions have been employed some in the form of square prisms or frusta
blatwe. chisel out the spaces between the angular ridges, per
roof would descend from its projecting extremity, would haps to increase the effect of his work by the play of flow across the entablature, and along the columns, and light and shade it would produce; and, hence, the chan. would appear in drops on the under surfaces of the pronels may have originated. This opinion is rendered jecting members. This has been supposed to be remore probable by the fact that pillars of a prismatic presented by what are called the gutte, or drops, susa form are found in some of the Architectural edifices of pended below the mutules, by the channels cut, as if Egypt and India.
for the passage of water, in the extremities of the beams Another opinion has been started by Mr. Mitford which lie across the architrave, and by the guttæ which (Principles of Design in Architecture, let. 7.) which, are formed below the triglyphs. It is not impossible
, from its singularity, must not be omitted. He supposes also, that the channellings of the columns might have the channellings to have been purposely made to serve been made to represent the courses of rain-water down as rests for the spears of the warriors, who might de- the shaft. On the other hand, some persons consider posit them there previous to their entrance into the the guttæ in the Grecian buildings as imitations of the building; and be founds his opinion upon a passage in heads of nails, which may have been driven to attach the Ist Book of the Odyssey, where it is said that Mi- the members in which they are found to the parts of the nerva placed her spear by the tall column within the edifice above them. spear-holder, in which were many others. This spear- The ornamental members about the columns and en- Foros r holder he supposes to mean, one of the channels of the tablature of a building, which are called by the general probable column; and he observes that, in the columns of one of name of mouldings, project beyond the surface to which the Temples in Ionia, (that of Minerva Polias at Priene,) they are applied, and their exterior surfaces are either moulding bo the upper surface of one of the mouldings of the base curved or plane, but their particular forms and combinahas a horizontal groove surrounding the column, which tions have been made to depend on our perceptions of seems intended to serve as a footing to receive the spears. beauty, and, perhaps, on the fitness of the members for It is urged, however, in opposition to this theory by the purposes to which they are subservient. In plate ii
. Lord Aberdeen, (Principles of Beauty in Grecian Archi- may be seen the forms of the different mouldings which tecture, p. 114.) that the place where the spears were are employed in both the Greek and Roman Architecdeposited was a large receptacle, expressly formed for ture, either to surround the columns, or to extend along the purpose, in or near the columii, or in the wall of the the entablature. building, where they might be more conveniently de- We have said that the principal mouldings about the posited than round the columns; in which situation, his columns, viz. the torus, astragal, and echinus, were, lordship thinks, they must cause an impediment to the probably, derived from the means employed to strengthen passage, and be liable to fall down. Without, however, and secure the shafts. The same reason, however, assenting to the opinion that the channels of columns cannot be given for ail the mouldings which occur were originally made for this purpose, we may observe either in the columns or in the entablature of the that it would be easy to secure the spears in their
places, building; and, in the absence of all positive informaand prevent any impediment to the communication, by tion on this subject, we are reduced to form the best having fillets or cords to surround the column at top conjectures which the doubtful light of ancient practice and bottom; and by placing the spears in an upright will afford. It is probable, then, that it would occur to position in the interval of the cord and the concave sur- the first builders of permanent stone edifices, that some faces of the channels. It may be added that horizontal small projecting member should mark the separation