Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Classical Greek and Roman Architecture

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Art and Art History

DESCRIPTION The study-unit will trace the evolution of architecture as it evolved in the Bronze Age periods to the Archaic, and later Classical Greek and Hellenistic period. It would consider the genesis and evolution of the classical orders and seminal building typologies primarily the temple as sanctuary of the gods and also buildings that constitute an integral part of the Greek city. The study-unit will also analyse the evolution of art and architectural within the context of the emerging polis or city state. The establishment of colonial cities in Southern Italy, Sicily, the North African littoral, the Greek islands and Asia Minor will be considered in detail.

The second part of the study-unit will consider Etruscan and Roman architecture and urbanism. Major buildings monuments such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Baths of Caracalla will be studied as feats of engineering and as icons within the city. The urban morphology of Rome in imperial times and other cities established throughout the Roman Empire would be analysed in relations to both monumental and residential architectural, always seeking to place buildings and spaces in a socio-political context.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit is designed to provide a broad overview of Greek and Roman Architecture within the context of the cultural history of architecture in Europe and specifically the Mediterranean.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Differentiate the architecture of different historical epochs ranging from Minoan, Mycenean, Archaic, Classical Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods;
- Develop a comprehensive knowledge of architecture during the Classical Greek and Roman times;
- Understanding of the built environment in response to evolving socio-political AND economic times during the Classical period.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Comprehend the evolution of architectural movements in diverse cultural contexts with the Mediterranean region;
- Have a good basis of architecture in the Classical period that would serve as a foundation for the study of architecture in later periods particularly the Renaissance and Neo-Classical periods.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:


- John Boardman, 'Greek Art', Thames & Hudson, fourth edition, 1996.
- John Camp, Elizabeth Fischer, 'Exploring the World of The Ancient Greeks', Thames & Hudson, 2010.
- A.W. Lawrence, 'Greek Architecture', Yale University Press, fifth edition, 1996.
- John Pedley, 'Sanctuaries and the Sacred in the Ancient Greek World', Cambridge University Press, 2005.


- M. Henig (ed.), 'A Handbook of Roman Art', Oxford, 1983.
- W.L. MacDonald, 'The Architecture of the Roman Empire', (2 volumes), Yale University Press, revised edition, 1986.
- W. L. MacDonald and John Pinto, 'The Pantheon: Design, Meaning and Progeny', 2nd edition, 2002.
- R. Mortimer Wheeler, 'Roman Art and Architecture', Thames & Hudson, London, latest edition, 1985.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Seminar Paper SEM2 No 30%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Conrad Thake

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.