Last edited 27 Nov 2020

Antiquities and architecture

The term ‘antiquities’ refers to artefacts from ancient history or ‘antiquity’, i.e. the civilisations of Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and other Eastern cultures.

In terms of architecture, antiquities can be said to be the styles of classical architecture that stemmed from those ancient civilisations and those dating later that were influenced by them. Although there are a wide range of classical architectural styles - and some such as the Gothic style, which are sometimes classed as classical and sometimes not – they all conform to common ‘vocabulary’ of decorative and constructive elements.

The Carolingian Renaissance of the late-8th and 9th centuries is regarded as the starting point for the reintroduction of the forms of classical antiquity into Western architecture.

Classical architecture styles would dominate the built environment from the Italian Renaissance, which saw the demise of the Gothic style. During this period, architects drew renewed inspiration from studying ancient Roman buildings and from Vitruvius’ treatise ‘De Architectura’; and in so doing, revived the architectural language of antiquity which would dominate until the 20th-century and the era of Modernism.

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