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Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek

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1 Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
c. AD 150 Workbook p.80 - E Paul Artus p. 91 A Paul Artus p.

2 > fill in your workbooks p. 80
Location & background to the area: The temple is next to a sacred sanctuary for Jupiter Heliopolitanus (Helipolis ‘sun city’ was the Greek name for Baalbek). It is located, the town called Baalbek (modern day Lebanon). Meaning of name: Temple dedicated to the god, Bacchus/Dionysus. This can be seen through the decorations surrounding the entrance which shows scenes of the god’s birth and life. For the cult of Bacchus. Architectural type: Religious Architecture Purpose: Temple for Bacchus. The size of the temple and the nearby complex, is designed to give the Semetic (Lebanese & Middle Eastern) citizens of this Roman province of Syria, the feeling of the grandeur of Rome and o the emperor and pride in their own province. Dates of construction: Began in 150AD and finished in 250AD Dimensions: The temple is of a great size, an eastern feature, 66m long, 35m wide and 31m high. The temple stands on a high podium 5m tall – larger than that of the Maison Caree. The cella door is 6.3m wide and 12.6 m tall, with its interior width equal to its interior height.

3 Plan of the temple of Bacchus
d a P.79 in your workbooks Write in the code below the diagram a= peripteral colonnade b= prostyle porch c= doors to cella d= cella e= cult statue

4 Side walls of the cella project out to form ‘antae’ in the front and there is a deep ‘prostyle’ porch where the porch columns are in front of the projecting ends of the cella. Unfluted Corinthian columns are used for the colonnade and the front row of the porch, while the interior columns of the porch are fluted and smaller than the exterior columns.

5 It has a colonnade on all 4 sides (peripteral)
It has a colonnade on all 4 sides (peripteral). This is made up of 8 free-standing, columns (octastyle) at the front & back 15 on each long side. The statue was not in the cella like most temples, but within another structure called an adyton (an eastern feature), a very elaborate canopy in marble.

6 Sculptural features Has a vaulted ceiling & 2 towers with steps (an Eastern feature) on either side of the doorway The western end opposite the doorway had a stairway of 9 nine steps, the full width of the cella. The Inner raised podium had a central set of steps flanked by piers with 2 engaged corinthian columns. This central set of 6 steps lead to another podium where the statue of the god was in its shrine. On the exterior, Surrounding entrance to the cella is 2 bands of elaborate pattering – a vine motif (grape or ivy) represents Dionysus. - Acanthus leaves that sprout ears of wheat representing fertility and rebirth

7 Decorative features The portico ceiling is elaborately carved with busts of Mars, Ceres, Vulcan, Ganymede and the doorway is surrounded by elaborate carving.

8 Engaged Corinthian columns and their pilasters divide the two interior side walls vertically, and these walls are also divided horizontally with a bottom row of arched niches carried on pilasters and an upper row of pedimented niches, which once held statues. Interior: The projecting engaged columns and the spaces between, on the interior, give a feeling of movement. The elaborate and deeply carved decoration produces the effects of light and shade, reminiscent of Antonine Baroque sculpture. Decorative features


10 Comparing two temples, Maison Caree and Temple of Bacchus
Similarities between Bacchus & Maison Carree Differences between Bacchus & Maison Caree Both have a rectangular shape Both had frontal aspect Both have a podium Both are in a sanctuary Both have corinthian capitals Both have engaged columns Both use local limestone as building material Height of podium is bigger on Bacchus (5m) 3 flights of steps, not one Free-standing exterior columns, not engaged, 2 interior towers, interior raised podium, & adyton, baroque style & interior decoration

11 Influences present in the temple of bacchus
Greek Semetic Roman Decoration from life of Bacchus Freestanding Peripteral colonnade Corinthian capitals Fluted columns Busts of Ganymede on ceiling of portico On a large scale inner shrine inside cella (adyton) for statue Use of local stone The two towers A high podium A deep entrance porch – (prostyle) A frontal aspect

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