ARCH 221 Assignment 8


This week I am going to examine the chapter 11 and 12 from Koskof’s book History of Architecture.Setting and Rituals.

The 11th chapter name is : The Triumph Of Christ and the 12th chapter name is : The Mediterranean Early Middle Ages.

In this post  I am going to examine the 12th chapter.

In 5th B.c Roman and Greek cultures have been already spreading trough the Mediterranean and around that time the new spreading thing was occurs which called Islamic culture . Islamic culture starts to spread from arabic land to mediterranean which is entirely different approach with already spread  culture from europe to mediterranean.

5-6 century was dark times for western civilization. The german emperors and the islamic culture has been effecting their life and in some way refunction their cities. The decline of western cities would probably have come about even without the agency of barbarian. As we can understand from the example of east shows that under Byzantine rule the great cities lost their independence and civic excellence.

As far as what was being built-in the West between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Charlemagne,we should not expect to see the same contained scale or the same mechanized efficiency and production that governed Roman building operations. State brick kilns, the transport of foreign marbles, inexhaustible slave army labor were things of the past. Patron age now developed on the Chuch but ne exclusively. The religious approach was all over issue in that time while we are seeking the architecture history we should examine this time as a light of that. The buildings in the west part of mediterranean, now on primary religious. the focal point of cities  was now cathedral complex. Thus, when  we examine that time architecture,we mostly seen  basilicas, cathedral,churches and etc.

The church were rectangular halls with or without apse and transepts. As we notice the wooden architecture was more prevalent now and frame construction common to both churches and palaces as well. No matter the wooden architecture step out in that time, stone architecture and its techniques not forgotten. old columns, capitals and stone blocks were regularly reused in new contexts and these suggestive spoils must have been seen as a sign of an unremitting if hard-pressed tradition.

The abstraction of substance is all too easily credited to barbarian taste.On the other hand, the roman approach the structure contains the art and in some level ornament( higher than human scale ).so after the barbarian arrived this roman cities the approach to structure turned to small-scale ornament and treatment of barbarian include human scale logic and tendency to abstraction.As we can exempli the San Pedro Dela nave church, the transition from ornament to abstraction did not happen right away.

The record of the so-called Dark Ages should modify our view of the Carolingian episode in Europe without diminishing its great importance.As we notice in the  architecture of Carolingian, patrons of buildings shared aesthetic and functional aims to create broadly consistent shapes and scales of churches, monastic complexes,palaces and etc. For example, like in the basilicas of Carolingian architecture, structures had; monumental western entrances, towers, and interiors decorated with marbles, carved capitals, and standardized interior arrangements provided a new and often-consistent frame that encouraged standardized liturgies inside.For examplifying the Carolingian architecture Kostof gives the example of church, basilicas and etc. for make us understanding both interior and exterior organization and differences with Roman constructions.


While he ending this chapter, he examine the islamic culture and muslim buildings. Islamic culture is influenced from arabic culture and while it spreads trough the lands,  the signs and traditions of arabic culture is also spreads with it. for example,  the linear characteristics market place called bazaars. Muslims mostly adopted their religious to the land and non-muslim buildings. To illustrate; te rectangular shell of pagan temple precinct with corner towers governed the shape of the great mosque of Damascus.

As we can understand all Koskof explaining about both islamic and christian structures, architecture is developed around the religious and gain a function with it.In some period and region with adopting , other  time and region with changing, destroying or covering.  But I can clearly understand after this examples and the information given with this chapter the real thing behind that the history of architecture should examine in its own period.


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