By Martin Henig
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Additional resources for A Handbook of Roman art : a comprehensive survey of all the arts of the Roman world
Private architecture set and maintained the pace. Lucius Crassus, consul in 95 BC, was the first to have columns of foreign marble in his house. M. Aemilius Lepidus, consul in 78 BC, was import the yellow Numidian marble from North Africa, for of its time, was not to be counted among the top hundred Pliny NH, XXXVI. 7, 49, 109). By then Mamurra, who had made a fortune while chief engineer for Julius Caesar in Gaul, had built a house in which the columns were of solid marble throughout, the green-veined Carystian from Euboea and the white Carrara marble of Italy itself.
The interior of the great Audience Hall had a shallow central apse for the Imperial throne, opposite the main entrance in the middle of the Forum facade. The rest of the walls was divided into alternating curved and rectangular bays, with fluted columns of Phrygian marble projecting between them. Set inside the bays were the doorways, and decorative aediculae for statuary. The whole effect was to enliven the surface of the great mass of the walls with reflected light and shadow, in much the same way as the illusions of recesses and projections in the wall paintings of the Pompeian Style II.
The large windows and doorways had come to give the sional brick portico rectangular glazed windows. main visual interest to an exterior, as well as The Ostian much more light to the were very different from the ill-lit inwardfacing atrium house, but they may not have differed quite so much, save for being incomparably more solidly built, from the limber and mudbrick insulae of Republican Rome which, like the later Ostian buildings, may have risen to at least three storeys (Livy, XXI. lxii. 3).
A Handbook of Roman art : a comprehensive survey of all the arts of the Roman world by Martin Henig