List of ancient Greek and Roman roofs

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The truss roof of the 4th-century church Old St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. The triangular frame of beams of the main nave is largely self-supporting, since the forces are carried along the beams rather than acting vertically on them.

The list of ancient roofs comprises roof constructions from Greek and Roman architecture ordered by clear span. Most buildings in classical Greece were covered by traditional prop-and-lintel constructions, which often needed to include interior colonnades. In Sicily truss roofs presumably appeared as early as 550 BC.[1] Their potential was fully realized in the Roman period which saw over 30 m wide trussed roofs spanning the rectangular spaces of monumental public buildings such as temples, basilicas, and later churches. Such spans were thrice as large as the widest prop-and-lintel roofs and only superseded by the largest Roman domes.[2]

Greek roofing[edit]

This list is sorted by the largest clear span (in m).

Image Monument Location Region Date Type of roof Width between cella walls Clear span between colonnades Largest clear span
Agrigent Model Zeus-Tempel.jpg Temple of Olympian Zeus
(or Olympeion)
Agrigento Sicily Truss [3] 12.85 1 12.85 [4]
Agrigente 2008 IMG 1937.JPG Temple of Heracles Agrigento Sicily 5th century BC, early Truss [3] 11.84 1 11.84 [4]
Selinunte.jpg Temple E Selinunte Sicily 480/70 BC Truss [3] 11.70 1 11.70 [4]
GR-acropolis-parthenon.jpg Parthenon Athens Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 19.20 11.05 11.05 [4]
Serradifalco-Akragas-Tempio-di-Cerere.png S. Biagio Agrigento Sicily Truss [3] 10.35 1 10.35 [4]
Athene Syracuse Sicily Truss [3] 19.82 1 19.82 [4]
Erchtheum from western-north.jpg Erechtheion Athens Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 19.80 1 19.80 [4]
Treasury of Gela Olympia Greece Truss [1] 19.68 1 19.68 [4]
Temple of Athena Alea Tegea Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 18.94 1 18.94 [4]
Olympia-ZeusTempelRestoration.jpg Temple of Zeus Olympia Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 13.26 18.52 18.52 [4]
Selinunte-TempleC-Plan-bjs.png Temple C Selinunte Sicily 550 BC Truss [3] 18.50 1 18.50 [4]
Megaron Gaggera Sicily Truss [3] 18.47 1 18.47 [4]
Athenians Delos Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 18.34 1 18.34 [4]
Koldewey-Sicilien-vol2-table13.png Temple D Selinunte Sicily 540 BC Truss [3] 18.20 1 18.20 [4]
Agrigento, Italy. Temple of Hera 01.jpg Temple of Hera Agrigento Sicily Truss [3] 17.68 1 17.68 [4]
Agrigent BW 2012-10-07 13-09-13.jpg Temple of Concordia Agrigento Sicily Prop-and-lintel [5] 17.55 1 17.55 [4]
Koldewey-Sicilien-vol2-table15.png Temple A Selinunte Sicily Truss [3] 17.50 1 17.50 [4]
721-Grece.jpg 4th century, Apollo Delphi Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 10.72 17.32 17.32 [4]
Selinunte-TempleG-Plan-bjs.png Temple G Selinunte Sicily Truss [3] 17.93 17.15 17.15 [4]
Selinunte-Temple F 01.JPG Temple F Selinunte Sicily 530 BC Truss [3] 17.12 1 17.12 [4]
Poseidon Isthmia Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 11.7 ~7.0 ~7.0 [4]
Poseidon Temple at Sounio 01.jpg Temple of Poseidon Sounion Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 16.53 1 16.53 [4]
ItaliaPaestumHeraionFoceSeleResti.jpg Heraion At the mouth of the Sele River near Paestum Italy, Lower Prop-and-lintel [3] 16.14 1 16.14 [4]
Artemis Kalydon Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 16.14 1? 16.14 [4]
Kardaki Corcyra Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] ~6.0 1 ~6.0 [4]
Paestum BW 2013-05-17 15-01-57.jpg Temple of Hera/Neptune Paestum Italy, Lower 480/70 BC Prop-and-lintel [3] 10.85 15.9 15.9 [4]
Paestum BW 2013-05-17 12-26-42.jpg Temple of Athena/Ceres Paestum Italy, Lower Prop-and-lintel [3] 15.70 1 15.70 [4]
Apollo Delos Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 15.70 1 15.70 [4]
Temple of Hera (c).jpg Basilica Paestum Italy, Lower 550–10 BC Prop-and-lintel [3] 11.44 15.6 15.6 [4]
Metapontum 2013.JPG Tavole Palatine Metapontum Italy, Lower 15.60 1 15.60 [4]
Olympia - Council house Bouleuterion.jpg Bouleuterion (S) Olympia Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 11.07 15.53 15.53 [4]
Bouleuterion (N) Olympia Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 10.80 15.40 15.40 [4]
Bassai Temple Of Apollo Detail straight.JPG Temple of Apollo Bassae Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 16.81 15.23 15.23 [4]
Rhamnous-2.jpg Rhamnous Attica Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 15.17 1 15.17 [4]
Metroon Olympia Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 15.08 1 15.08 [4]
Olympia - Hera Temple.jpg Temple of Hera Olympia Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 18.37 14.84 14.84 [4]
Temple of Hephaestus.jpg Temple of Hephaestus
(or Theseion)
Athens Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 16.24 14.74 14.74 [4]
Artemis Corcyra Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 17.37 14.1 14.1 [4]
Asclepios Epidauros Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 13.95 1 13.95 [4]
Model temple of Aphaia Glyptothek Munich.jpg Temple of Aphaia Aegina Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 16.28 13.85 13.85 [4]
Apollo Syracuse Sicily Truss [3] 19.70 13.6 13.6 [4]
Temple of Apollo Ancient Corinth.jpg Apollo Corinth Greece Prop-and-lintel [3] 18.47 13.45 13.45 [4]

Roman roofing[edit]

This list is sorted by clear span (in m).

Image Monument Location Region Date Type of roof Clear span
Throne room of the Flavian Palace Rome Italy, Central 192 AD Truss [6] 31.67 [6]
Odeum Aosta Italy, Upper Augustan Truss [6] 30.49 [6]
Diribitorium Rome Italy, Central 117 BC Truss [6] 29.60? [6]
Coenatio Iovis Rome Italy, Central 192 AD Truss [6] 29.30 [6]
Trier Konstantinbasilika BW 4.JPG Constantine's Basilica Trier Germany 300 AD Truss [6] 26.05 [6]
Theatrum Tectum
(Odeum)
Pompeii Italy, Lower 180 BC Truss [6] 25.75 [6]
OdeonofagrippaAthensSitePlan.png Odeon of Agrippa Athens Greece 115 BC Truss [6] 25.75 [6]
Templo de venus e roma2.jpg Temple of Venus and Roma Rome Italy, Central 135 AD Truss [6] 25.75 [6]
Basilica Ulpia J Guadet 1867.jpg Basilica Ulpia Rome Italy, Central 113 AD Truss [6] 25.16 [6]
SaintPaul on the inside.jpg Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls Rome Italy, Central 385 AD Truss [6] 24.27 [6]
Affresco dell'aspetto antico della basilica costantiniana di san pietro nel IV secolo.jpg Old St. Peter's Basilica Rome Italy, Central 330 AD Truss [6] 23.68 [6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hodge 1960, p. 41
  2. ^ Ulrich 2007, pp. 148f.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am Conjectured by Hodge 1960, pp. 38–44
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap Hodge 1960, p. 39 (table)
  5. ^ Hodge 1960, p. 43
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Ulrich 2007, p. 149

Sources[edit]

  • Hodge, A. Trevor (1960), The Woodwork of Greek Roofs, Cambridge University Press, pp. 38–44 
  • Ulrich, Roger B. (2007), Roman Woodworking, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-10341-7 

Further reading[edit]

  • Klein, Nancy L. (1998), "Evidence for West Greek Influence on Mainland Greek Roof Construction and the Creation of the Truss in the Archaic Period", Hesperia 67 (4): 335–374, doi:10.2307/148449, JSTOR 148449 

External links[edit]

  • Traianus – Technical investigation of Roman public works