Results for decumanus:
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: decumanus maximus
DEFINITION: East-west street of a Roman camp or town. The square grid layout of the two was basically identical and the decumanus usually ran from the gate in the middle of one wall to the gate opposite. The decumanus maximus was the main east-west street. The main transverse street was known as the cardo; the administrative block or forum was at the intersection of the two. Other decumani parallel to the decumanus maximus cross the transverse cardines to divide the area into insulae.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. cardines
DEFINITION: The term for the second major road of a Roman town, fort, or camp -- the main north-south axis. The term seems to originate with Roman agricultural surveying practice, where cardo denotes the principal north-south axis of the site, about which other measurements 'hinge'. When a site is divided, the cardo is used with the other principal axis, the decumanus (east-west) to sectioned into squares. From the 4th century BC, this system was adopted for the Roman grid system used for army camps and new towns. The technique was taken from the Etruscans and the Greeks, both of whom used grid town-planning. The cardo maximus was the main north-south road.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. fora
DEFINITION: The administrative center and marketplace of a Roman town, usually placed at the intersection of the main streets, the decumanus and cardo. The square served as a meeting- and/or market-place; it answered the Greek agora. Public notices were displayed on the basilica. Inside the basilica, the court of law would meet, functions of the town hall carried out, and businessmen would discuss deals. The forum was the main shopping center, with rows of shops having colonnades in front, most having open fronts to the forum. The main baths and temples were adjacent to the forum. The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was important from the time of the republic onwards and various emperors built fora of their own: Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian, Nerva, and Trajan. Most include a temple (sometimes the capitolium), peristyle courtyard, basilica, comitium, and curia.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. insulae
DEFINITION: In Roman antiquity, a block within the grid pattern of a Roman city; a block of buildings in a Roman camp or town planned on the grid principle. The term refers to an area of a town, typically enclosed by four streets, and probably corresponding to a smaller subdivision on the familiar cardo/decumanus grid -- or a large tenement-type house or apartment block, as seen at Roman Ostia.
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