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Apollodorus of Damascus


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(fl. ad 98–125 c.). Damascus-born, he became architect to Emperor Trajan (98–117), and is credited with most of the Imperial buildings of the latter's reign, including the thermae and forum of Trajan, the enormous Ulpian basilica, Trajan's column, and the nearby market complex. He seems to have given the Roman thermae their definitive form, was an important influence on the Roman Imperial style, and brought a sound knowledge of advanced constructional techniques to bear on his various projects (not least of which was the huge bridge over the fast-flowing Danube, near Turnu Severin, Romania, constructed in c.104). It would be tempting to connect Apollodorus with the building of the Pantheon and the Villa Adriana at Tivoli, in the reign of Hadrian (117–38), but the evidence is lacking. He was the author of several technical treatises, now lost, and enjoyed a considerable reputation in his lifetime, although his disagreements with Hadrian over the design of the Temple of Venus and Rome may have cost him his life.

W. MacDonald (1965–86);Ward-Perkins (1981, 1986)

Subjects: Architecture.


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