A Synopsis of Architecture

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It has occurred to the author of the following pages, that however diffuse and satisfactory the information respecting the science of Architecture may be, as rendered through the medium of extensive cyclopaedias, and other costly publications, it still remained a desideratum to provide, in one small volume, an explanation of all those portions and terms of the Art, the familiarity with which, would be found generally useful both to the incipient student and amateur.

In this view, the author has, with considerable care and scrupulosity, collected materials for a comprehensive summary of the Art, studiously avoiding all questions of mere theory and opinion, and confining himself to a description and elucidation of those matters connected with his subject, such as ancient works and technical terms, which from their celebrity or daily use, are indispensable to be clearly understood.

Architecture is considered as an art, or science, and hence is termed theoretical and practical; it is likewise divided into three distinct branches, civil or domestic, military, and naval. The theory or science consists in the knowledge of the elementary principles of mathematics, and their proper application in the completion of a design for any structure. The practice or art is more intimately connected with the faculties of taste and innovation. By this the practitioner is enabled to present to the eye beautiful forms, and to lay hold of the imagination, by administering to it, ideas of vastness or grandeur. In order to acquire this power, the student should become acquainted with all the various styles that have successively flourished in his own country and others, with the proper modes of arrangement, symmetry, and decoration; and should cultivate a familiarity with the ancient terms and modern appellations of all the component parts in every description of edifice.

The mechanical and operative part in the construction of buildings, may be more properly termed the Art of Building.

It is, therefore, proposed to divide the subject into six distinct sections, the first of which will, in order to clear the way for more important branches, present a summary of the several eras of the Art, as defined by sundry intelligent professors; in the next place, the author will point out some of the most memorable states and cities of remote ages, situate on the continents of Asia and Africa; mentioning certain remarkable works of art contained therein; and dwelling more especially on the leading peculiarities in the stupendous works of ancient Egypt. Thirdly, he will conduct the reader to the more classical countries of Greece and Rome, with their immediate dependencies; noticing in due succession the structures most celebrated for beauty and utility, describing some of the famous usages connected with these structures, such as the Olympic games, etc.; giving a list of the most celebrated architects and sculptors; and then proceeding to the consideration of the five orders of Architecture, and other particulars comprehended in the ancient edifices. Fourthly, he will advert to the subject of fortifications, and state the usual methods observed in designing them, both in former ages and at the present time giving a catalogue of the technical expressions. Fifthly, he will proceed to the consideration, in chronological order, of the Gothic style of Architecture, in all its varieties, from the rude prefigurations of the Saxon, to the splendid completions of the Florid; adding a list of the appellations peculiar to the branch of art under review: and lastly, a definition will be subjoined of all those terms most generally used in the several departments of the Architecture, both public and domestic, of the present age.


The Division of the Eras

Principle Antiquities in Asia and Africa
Asia Minor
Wonders of the World

Principle Works in Ancient Greece
In the Peloponnesus
in Græcia Propria
In Ægina and Sicily
Grecian Architects and Sculptors
Principle Works in Ancient Italy
Laurentium, Tiber, Tusculum
Baiæ, Verona, Pæstum
Remains in France, Spain, &c.
Roman Architects, and the Ten Modern Masters
Orders of Architecture
Orders of Ancient Temples
Methods of Constructing Wall Among the Ancients

Terms applied to Ancient Buildings
Terms connected with Ancient Rites and Entertainments

Of Fortifications

Styles of Gothic Architecture
Religious Buildings in the Gothic Style
Divisions of Gothic Churches

Gothic Terms

Modern general Terms
Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Ancient Buildings
Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Fortification
Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Gothic Buildings
Supplementary Vocabulary of Terms applied to Modern Edifices




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