Rabun Taylor, Georgia A. Aristodemou, Theodosios P. Tassios (Edd.): Great Waterworks in Roman Greece. Aqueducts and Monumental Fountain Structures. Function in Context. in:

Gnomon, page 244 - 248

GNO, Volume 93 (2021), Issue 3, ISSN: 0017-1417, ISSN online: 0017-1417,

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Bibliographic information
T. Mühlenbruch: Knapp, Seafaring and Seafarers 244 Zypern betreffend fehlen auch für die Spätbronzezeit regelrechte ‘gebaute Hafenanlagen’ (S. 139f), wohingegen etwa ‘Schiffsgraffiti’ vorliegen (S. 140–144). Die Fundorte der kanaanitischen Amphoren wurden vom Verf. zusammengestellt, u.a. auch die minoischen Transportbügelkannen unter den MTCS behandelt (S. 144–148). Hinsichtlich der auf Zypern gefundenen Steinanker wird zurecht auf den Tempelbezirk von Kition hingewiesen (S. 148–151). Nach der Besprechung anatolischer Häfen (S. 153–157) werden die Schiffswracks von Uluburun und Kap Gelidonya entsprechend ihrer wissenschaftlichen Bedeutung gewürdigt (S. 157–162). Kap. 6 behandelt ‘Seefahrt, Seeleute und Seehandel’ und zerfällt in die Sektionen ‘Ein diachroner Überblick: Frühe – Späte Bronzezeit’, ‘Austauschnetzwerke und -routen’ sowie ‘Seefahrt, Seeleute und bronzezeitliches Staatswesen’. Jede beginnt mit drei Fragestellungen, doch ist der Text selbst stärker an die Gliederung des Buches als an diese Fragen angelehnt. Der in Augen des Rez. wichtige kulturelle Einschnitt um 1200 v. Chr. (z. B. E. H. Cline, ‘1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed’ [Princeton/Oxford 2014]) wird erst auf S. 186 konkreter angesprochen. Ein Fazit beschließt das Buch (Kap. 7), in dem sich Rez. insgesamt eine noch stärkere Berücksichtigung des sozialen Sektors der Seefahrt gewünscht hätte. Selbstverständlich wird vieles zu diesem Aspekt quellenbedingt spekulativ bleiben/müssen, doch wäre es für die Forschung hochinteressant, gerade dazu mehr aus der Feder eines Gelehrten wie Knapp zu erfahren. – Diese, wie die vorangegangenen, Anmerkung/-en des Rez. stellen nicht in Abrede, dass Verf. ein weiteres wichtiges Standardwerk vorgelegt hat, das eindeutig mehr ist als «only … the beginning, not the end of this story» (S. 197). Marburg Tobias Mühlenbruch * Georgia A. Aristodemou, Theodosios P. Tassios (Edd.): Great Waterworks in Roman Greece. Aqueducts and Monumental Fountain Structures. Function in Context. Oxford: Archaeopress 2018. IV, 258 S. zahlr. z.T. farb. Abb. zahlr. Ktn. (Archaeopress Roman Archaeology. 35.). It is high time that a volume surveying the most prominent hydraulic structures of Roman Greece should see the light of day. Readers with a predisposition for this topic will turn to the present book with little prodding; those who study urban monuments will find much of value here as well. However, all its readers, regardless of interest or specialization, will also have to overcome some frustration. The book’s most pronounced deficit is its lack of a text editor. Small errors abound, text flow can be choppy or repetitive in places, and the quality of the English varies considerably. Even the roughest passages can generally be wrestled into some kind of sense; but there are exceptions, especially in technical descriptive passages, which can at times border on the indecipherable. Predictably, the articles by native English speakers are clear sailing; but it seems a disservice to the Greek and Italian authors not to adapt their contributions to a single linguistic standard. A second, lesser fault has to do with variable originality of the contributions. Some articles clearly advance scholarship, others mostly summarize previous work. GNOMON 3/93/2021 R. Taylor: Aristodemou/Tassios (Edd.), Great Waterworks in Roman Greece 245 As most readers of this review will know, however, collections of this sort are common in our field; ultimately such shortcomings will not deter serious readers. In general, the book lacks a strong editorial hand, favoring a ‘taster menu’ or buffet approach to the topic over stylistic or thematic consistency. This has its advantages. The sheer convenience of consulting short, synthetic, up-to-date analyses of many of Greece’s most important Roman-era waterworks, each with good illustrations and fairly comprehensive bibliographies, in a single inexpensive volume ensures its value and utility. Many features familiar only to specialists will now become known to a broader audience. The book is divided into two sections, the first on major urban aqueducts of Roman Greece, the second on monumental aqueduct-fed fountains (nymphaea). Perhaps inevitably, the aqueduct chapters tend to emphasize the descriptive presentation of evidence while several (not all) of the fountain chapters, whose subject matter is better known and more suited to sustained arguments, blend description more readily with interpretation. Part 1. Asimina Kaiafa-Saropoulou begins with an informative typological survey – the only article of its kind in the volume – of the Roman aqueducts serving the Macedonian cities of Amphipolis, Dion, Edessa, Thessaloniki (Kalamaria), and Philippi. Their conduits are distinguished by covers of flat slabs and square inspection shafts. Konstantinos Zachos and Leonidas Leontaris parse the multiple phases of the aqueduct of Actian Nikopolis, persuasively attributing its main (second) construction phase to Hadrian, who celebrated on coinage the city’s spectacular West Gate, yoked by the aqueduct conduit and two facing nymphaea. An outstanding feature of this article (apart from the fine English translation) are Leontaris’ magnificent plans, elevations, and isometric drawings. What’s missing – and needed – is a plan of all the major known hydraulic features in and around Nikopolis and its Proasteion, where the famous games were held. These include two baths, three nymphaea, and remains of two secondary castella. Manolis Manoledakis presents significant new scholarship on the Hortiatis aqueduct of Thessaloniki, dating early brickwork from the qanat at its headwaters and from a prominent bridge nearby to the first century CE, much earlier than its usual Byzantine attribution. Eustathios Chiotis provides an update on the Hadrianic aqueduct of Athens. This fascinating conduit is so unusual – its closest cognate is the Raschpätzer aqueduct in Luxembourg – that inevitably any discussion of it must contend with how it was built, as it ran completely under the water table for much of its length. Chiotis builds on work by earlier scholars (P. Defteraios, S. Leigh, M. Korres, et al.) with new interpretive advances, especially concerning the system’s secondary and tertiary networks in the city. What might seem like two odd digressions toward the end – a loose evolutionary history of hydraulic technology from the Bronze Age to the Roman period, especially in Greece and Jordan, and a section contrasting qanats to the Hadrianic aqueduct – are nevertheless useful for anyone needing a nuanced and up-to-date understanding of different kinds of shaft-and-tunnel aqueducts. His contention that qanat technology may have developed from the exigencies of climate change toward the end of the Bronze Age is intriguing, a reminder that tunneling systems driven into aquifers are best suited to arid environments. GNOMON 3/93/2021 R. Taylor: Aristodemou/Tassios (Edd.), Great Waterworks in Roman Greece 246 Yannis Lolos’ article summarizes his extensive 1990s field survey of the Hadrianic aqueduct of Corinth and supplements it with recent discoveries from 2016. Yannis Kourtzellis, Maria Pappa and George Kakes, in a particularly rough patch of English (such terms as «cast stone», «two-marble arches», and «built masonry technique» are perplexing), offer a brief descriptive tour of the celebrated aqueduct of Mytilene (its famous bridge at Moria is featured on the cover). This is the weakest article in the volume; even discounting the language barrier, its descriptions are often inadequate and its originality questionable. Telauges Dimitriou’s piece on the Roman aqueduct of Samos is a handy summary of his 2003 monograph on the aqueduct—the product of his dogged pursuit of an otherwise unknown system with virtually no prior bibliography. Finally, drawing on the fieldwork and interpretation of N. E. Oikonomakis, Amanda Kelly surveys the water supply system of the highland Cretan city of Lyttos, which included one of at least six known or postulated siphons on Crete. Part 2. The term nymphaeum or nymphaion has fallen somewhat out of fashion recently, due to its variability of meaning across time and context in antiquity. The book’s title avoids it (preferring «monumental fountain structure»), as does (initially) the first contributor to this section, Dylan Rogers; but once he has presented the debate over its use, and launches into a useful state-of-theresearch review, he resorts to the term interchangeably with «fountains» – as seems perfectly reasonable when discussing monumental Roman structures featuring jets or cascades of water. Following threads laid out by his earlier work on urban water displays, Rogers then presents three case studies for future research, or «fountains to reconsider»: a nymphaeum at the Sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas at Epidauros, a pair of symmetrically placed fountains in the forum of Philippi, and – in toto – the waterworks attached to theaters in Roman Greece. Each of these case studies celebrates fountains as cultural agents – lustral, connotative, denotative – in addition to their more straightforward functions as sources of delight and refreshment. Especially intriguing to me is Rogers’ invitation to pay more attention to fountains installed in theaters; for theaters, in Greece as elsewhere, were deep architectural reservoirs of meaning and cultural complexity. Georgia Aristodemou, a co-editor of the volume, presents in English a summary and update of her 2012 monograph in Greek on the sculptural programs of monumental fountains in Greece. Her article is heavily oriented toward categories and typologies, which some readers might find regrettable; but in a sense this no-nonsense approach proves maximally useful as a quick-reference resource for scholars and students seeking to delve more deeply into the topic. The English is serviceable, but in places requires a reader to correct course (as with her term «inland and island Greece», where ‘mainland’ is clearly intended). For the most part, her conclusions are uncontroversial; she follows B. Kapossy, for example, in contending that the higher a god belongs in the pantheon, the less likely his or her statue is to emit water, due to the likelihood of being positioned higher and therefore above the source aqueduct’s water level. Typological and iconographic patterns are recognized, but not necessarily explained; for example, the paucity of figures from the Dionysiac realm in Greek nymphaea despite the GNOMON 3/93/2021 R. Taylor: Aristodemou/Tassios (Edd.), Great Waterworks in Roman Greece 247 robust presence of marine and Aphrodisiac thiasoi is surprising, and invites inquiry. Shawna Leigh investigates the nymphaeum in the Athenian Agora and the particularly challenging problem of its height relative to the supplying aqueduct. Her own work in the 1990s established that the Hadrianic aqueduct could have maintained considerable height in this sector of the city. Yet she is not entirely satisfied with Brenda Longfellow’s suggestion that the fountain’s curved back wall rose to two full stories (as with Regilla’s and Herodes Atticus’ nymphaeum at Olympia) on the basis of the Athenian wall’s unusual thickness (2.6 m). Leigh conjectures that a pier standing behind the nymphaeum supported a secondary castellum, in the Pompeian manner, supplying the nymphaeum with pressurized water which then, as runoff, could continue on to supply the district to the north. A castellum, however, is by definition divisorium; that is, the tank divides the water supply and distributes it; there seems to be no reason why the district to the north could not have been supplied directly from the tank, bypassing the fountain and thereby preserving a higher head of pressure. Whatever the precise scheme, Leigh calculates on the basis of standing remains uphill and a maximum acceptable gradient that the floor of the tank or channel behind the fountain could not have been lower than 13.3 meters, unless some kind of lowering scheme like a dropshaft was employed – as must have been the case behind the Larissa nymphaeum at Argos. Thus she admits that Longfellow’s two-story facade is plausible, if only to screen the line of sight to such a towering hydraulic feature behind it. I would suggest, however, that an Argos-style dropshaft or relieving tank further uphill makes the most sense. This would lower the water to an intermediate height while reducing pressure and making the tank less conspicuous behind the facade. Water arriving at the second story presents an aesthetic problem, and in two ways. First, the Athens nymphaeum’s footprint is compact. A freestanding façade some 14 or 15 m high (recall that Leigh’s 13.3 m represents the floor of the conduit) enclosing a catch basin only 14.2 m in diameter would look excessively tall and boxy by Roman standards; as S. Walker noted in her single-story reconstruction, it would tower over surrounding structures. Moreover, a freefalling cascade from that height into the relatively shallow basin, or even a series of radial jets at a lower height directing the considerable head of pressure horizontally rather than upwards, would create excessive splashing and turbulence. The Argos nymphaeum fountain softened the water’s fall first by reducing its head of pressure uphill and then by introducing a stepped descent down a water stair projecting axially into the upper catch basin. Such a scheme is certainly plausible here. But let me suggest an alternative, which would justify the wall’s inordinate thickness. My model is suitably Hadrianic: the famous grotto of the Serapeum at Tivoli. There the engineers resolved the problem of a high water intake by hollowing out the surrounding wall’s thickness with internal dropshafts by which the water descended to reservoirs at an intermediate level. From there water could emerge by cascading elegantly down radial stairways recessed into the nymphaeum wall. Alternating with these stair-niches, shallower statue niches were fitted with conventional spouts fed by reservoirs behind. At the Athens nymphaeum such a scheme, operating perhaps from an GNOMON 3/93/2021 R. Taylor: Aristodemou/Tassios (Edd.), Great Waterworks in Roman Greece 248 intermediate height corresponding to a small attic story above Walker’s reconstructed Corinthian register, might account for its most salient peculiarity, an unusually thick perimeter wall relative to a small overall diameter. Mario Trabucco’s article on the long-lived Arsinoë fountain at Messene offers a modest reconsideration of existing scholarship, especially the work of C. Reinholt and P. Themelis. Focusing on a restoration in the Neronian era, the article is informative but in places lacks adequate exposition, leaving the reader puzzled about points of chronology and causality. Brenda Longfellow closes the volume with a stimulating reevaluation of the phenomenon of statue reuse in late antiquity as exemplified by the nymphaeum of the so-called Praetorium at Gortyn. Noting that this fountain’s ‘pagan’ program of statuary was retained far into the Christian era, she reviews the many imperial rescripts that seek to preserve such unthreatening statuary as cultural heritage. The article aims to redress a scholarly overemphasis on the behaviors to which these decrees were responding. Probably because of Constantine’s lavish tendency to despoil buildings for reuse on a gigantic scale and remove their sculpture to Constantinople, we tend to presume that this behavior was typical of architectural patrons in late antiquity – when more likely, those who despoiled buildings and statues were in a small minority, and acted more out of greed than iconoclastic fervor. Most patrons, builders, and developers probably followed later emperors’ wishes to preserve and display the material culture of classical antiquity as a matter of civic pride and cultural memory. Austin Rabun Taylor * Paola Porretta: L’invenzione moderna del paesaggio antico della Banditaccia. Raniero Mengarelli a Cerveteri. Rom: Quasar . S. zahlr. Abb. (Al passato e al presente.) €. Das vorliegende Buch stellt mit seiner kritischen Analyse der neuzeitlichen Geschichte der bekanntesten Nekropole des etruskischen Caere/Cerveteri – eben der Banditaccia (Weltkulturerbe der UNESCO seit ) – endlich eine willkommene Ergänzung zu archäologischen Fachpublikationen dar. Die Verfasserin, als Architektin ‘professore associato’ an der Universität Roma Tre, untersucht mit kenntnisreichem und dokumentgestütztem Blick von außen das ‘Wie, Wann und Warum’ des für Besucher hergerichteten Gräberareals. Ihre Annäherung aus einer gänzlich anderen Perspektive ist gerade deshalb so gelungen, weil sie nicht den häufig allzu eindeutigen Narrativen der Fachgeschichte folgt, den fachinternen Sprachduktus verlässt und sich derart mitteilt, dass auch Nicht-Archäologen verstehen, worum es geht. Drei Einleitungen ( – ) resp. von Alfonsina Russo, Ende noch ‘Soprintendente Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per l’Area metropolitana di Roma, la Provincia di Viterbo e l’Etruria meridionale’, Rita Cosentino, Ende ‘Direttore Archeologo’ der o.g. Soprintendenza, und Elisabetta Pallottino, ‘Ordinaria di restauro architettonico, Dipartimento di Architettura dell’Università degli Studi Roma Tre’, gehen dem Text voraus und unterstreichen die im GNOMON 3/93/2021

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