The Foundations of Classical Architecture Part 1: Roman Classicism - Review Questions

As you watch the video, you can browse by subject using the course outline and timestamps below. As you progress through the units, you can use the below optional (ungraded) questions to help assess your understanding of the material. Please note that these are not the summative assessment questions to be answered at the end of the course. You will also need to complete the summative assessment in order to earn course credit.

0:00: Learning Objectives; Introduction to Program and Classicism

Review: What was considered the ‘key’ to the rekindling of interest in classical architecture during the Renaissance?

1. Interest in the use of architectural fragments from Roman structures in new buildings

Incorrect. The practice of quarrying architectural fragments from ancient structures well predates the Renaissance. While this practice may have inspired interest in Roman architecture, it did not impart an understanding of how to actually achieve classical design principles.

2. The publication of Andrea Palladio’s The Four Books of Architecture

Incorrect. Andrea Palladio is an incredibly influential figure in the development of classical design, and the Four Books of Architecture has remained a critical text from its publication in 1570 to this day. However, Palladio’s work was inspired by an earlier author and was the effect rather than cause of renewed interest in classicism.

3. The discovery of Vitruvius’s The Ten Books on Architecture

Correct! The Ten Books on Architecture were a formative text for Renaissance architects, and remain an important resource to this day. They provided tangible explanations of the concepts of proportion seen in Roman ruins, inspiring Renaissance architects to design informed classical buildings.

19:50: Tuscan Order

Review: What is the shape of a Tuscan bed molding?

1. An ovolo supported by a cavetto.

Correct! The Tuscan order has the simplest bed moldings of any order. The bed moldings are directly below the soffit.

2. A cyma curve.

Incorrect. The S-shaped cyma curve is the shape of the Tuscan crown molding. Recall that the term ‘cymatium’ is also used to refer to a crown molding.

3. A taenia.

Incorrect. Recall that the taenia is a narrow, projecting band found outside of the cornice – it separates the frieze from the architrave.

28:56: Doric Order

Review: Does the Doric order feature a base?

1. Yes, the Doric order always features a base.

Incorrect. Remember that the ancient Greeks and Romans considered the Doric to be a ‘masculine’ order that therefore did not require a base.

2. No, the Doric order never features a base.

Incorrect. It is true that the Greek Doric order never features a base. What about Roman and later versions of the Doric?

3. It depends on the precedent.

Correct! The Greek Doric order never has a base. However, the Roman Doric does sometimes feature a base, and the Renaissance and later treatises almost always use a base.

34:06: Ionic Order

Review: What is considered the Ionic order’s defining feature?

1. Scrolled modillions.

Incorrect. Modillions are not always featured as part of the Ionic order – sometimes dentils are used in their place – and furthermore are not always scrolled. You can learn more about modillions in the third video of this series.

2. Volutes.

Correct! Volutes (from Latin volute, ‘scroll’) are considered the basis of the Ionic order. However, it should be noted that volutes are also featured on the Composite order, and can be featured on the Corinthian order.

3. A taenia.

Incorrect. Recall that the taenia is a narrow, projecting band found outside of the cornice – it separates the frieze from the architrave.

42:59: Corinthian Order

Review: Which of these is a defining feature of the Corinthian order type found at the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli?

1. An oversized fleuron on each size of the abacus.

Correct! The large fleuron, or flower, likely represents a hibiscus blossom. This version of the order is occasionally replicated in later design, such as the Haier Building in New York City.

2. Stems called caulicoli in the main body of the capital

Incorrect. The caulicoli are a common feature of the Corinthian order, and are not specific to the type found at the Temple of Vesta.

3. Intertwined central stems.

Incorrect. This motif is a defining feature of another important example of the Roman Corinthian order, but is not featured at the Temple of Vesta.

53:39: Composite Order

Review: How commonly used was the Composite order in the Roman world?

1. The Composite order was the order most commonly used by the Romans.

Incorrect. The Corinthian order is the order that was most favored by the Romans; consider the differences between the Corinthian and the Composite, and how this would impact their use.

2. The Composite order was infrequently used by the Romans.

Correct! The Composite order was used by the Romans for highly important structures. However, it is worth noting that the term ‘Composite order’ was not used until the Renaissance.

3. The Composite order was not used by the Romans at all.

Incorrect. The Composite order was first created by the Romans.