In Decorum and the Meanings of Materials in Triumphal Architecture of Republican Rome, Maggie L. Popkin argues that the literal and figurative values of materials in republican triumphal architecture stemmed from complex interactions among patron, architect, audience, and sociohistorical context. Several case studies—the Temple of Fortuna Equestris, the Porticus Metelli, the Round Temple on the Tiber, and Temple B in the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina—demonstrate that the juxtaposition of multiple materials, changing historical circumstances, and new groups of viewers resulted in constantly shifting meanings of materials in republican architecture. The Roman notion of decorum helps explain the shifting uses and valuations of materials. Factors such as the monument’s patron, the event that sparked its construction, its location, the monument type, the availability of materials, and the intended audiences affected the choice of materials and their intended and perceived meanings, which had rich conceptual and imaginative potential to evoke Roman conquest, piety, and spectacle.
One of the most fundamental assumptions of modern architectural practice is that all spatial relationships on a building are mathematically definable and can be systematically described by means of two-dimensional representations generated using procedures based on quantification. It is this assumption that makes three-dimensional computer modeling possible. In Leon Battista Alberti, Mental Rotation, and the Origins of Three-Dimensional Computer Modeling, Branko Mitrović analyzes the historical origins of this approach to visual communication about architectural works and its first explicit articulation in the work of Leon Battista Alberti.
The Città Universitaria (or University City), built in Rome in the mid-1930s, used the reception of classical culture as a propaganda tool through its architecture, art, urban layout, and use of epigraphy. As Flavia Marcello and Paul Gwynne demonstrate, these elements communicated the broad sociopolitical construct of militarism and education characteristic of the Italian Fascist period. Building inscriptions using the immortal words of classical authors had both didactic and referential functions: they spoke peremptorily of accepted modes of behavior and highlighted the role of educated youth in the destiny of an (ideal) Fascist society within its teleological project of Romanità as past, current, and future glory. Speaking from the Walls: Militarism, Education, and Romanità in Rome’s Città Universitaria (1932–35) weaves together sociopolitical, cultural, and architectural frameworks through the study of epigraphy as a carefully constructed presence within orchestrated urban and interior space. Epigraphy completed the spatial experience of architecture in its urban context to construct the collective memory and identity of past, present, and future citizens of Italy.
From Jerash to New York: Columns, Archaeology, and Politics at the 1964–65 World’s Fair analyzes the Column of Jerash, presented to New York City by the government of Jordan as a permanent memento of that country’s participation in the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis and Jared Simard offer the first scholarly documentation and assessment of the column, which still stands at the site of the fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York, and confirm that it originated from Jerash, but not from the Temple of Artemis. The gift of the column was part of King Hussein of Jordan’s policy of archaeological diplomacy, which included the donation of artifacts to American cities and universities to strengthen ties between Jordan and the United States. Macaulay-Lewis and Simard explore the competing narratives of biblical and classical history and archaeology in the American-Israel and Jordan Pavilions at the 1964–65 World’s Fair and the controversy that erupted over the inclusion of a mural about Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Pavilion.