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Continuity in Late Antique Vaulted Architecture

Karydis, Nikolaos (2023) Continuity in Late Antique Vaulted Architecture. Late Antique Archaeology, . (In press) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:101330)

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This paper examines two little-known elements of continuity in the transition from Late Roman to Early Byzantine vaulted architecture. The first of these elements is the use of vaults made of arched brick courses. Known from the dome of the Mausoleum of Diocletian in Spalato, this technique has been in use from the Roman to the Early Byzantine period. Re-examining the dome at Spalato and comparing it with examples from Asia Minor and Greece, this paper provides new insights into the slow evolution of this method and its influence on late antique vaulted construction. The second element of continuity concerns the use of architectural models in Imperial architectural programmes. To shed light on this, the paper investigates the possible role of the first vaulted church of St. John at Ephesos as the model of Justinian’s Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople. Comparing these two monuments helps to understand the flexible way in which Early Byzantine architects used architectural prototypes. By analysing an influential architectural model and a durable method of vaulting this article contextualises our understanding of two of the masterpieces of late antique Imperial architecture and invites us to view them within a broader architectural tradition that developed from the 2nd to the 6th c.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Late Antiquity, Vaulting, Byzantine Architecture, Centering, Spalato, Split
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
N Visual Arts > N Visual arts (General). For photography, see TR
N Visual Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TT Handicrafts. Arts and crafts
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Nikolaos Karydis
Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 20:16 UTC
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 08:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Karydis, Nikolaos:
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