Plans, Measurement Systems, and Surveying: The Roman Technology of Pre-Building

John Robert Senseney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Planning with some prescribed graphic methods manifests the architect's vision in accordance with the authority of nature. Once realized on the plane of the drawing surface with the architect's tools and techniques of graphic construction, the surveyor's instruments and procedures project this vision into the final measurements of the monumental building on the plane of the earth. This chapter provides an overview of the Roman architectural process that largely determined form and experience before construction even began. A review of the details of these drawings is necessary to understand the general principles of scale planning, measurement, and commensuration in Greek and Roman architecture.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Roman Architecture
EditorsRoger Bradley Ulrich, Caroline K Quenemoen
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781118325117
ISBN (Print)9781405199643
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameBlackwell companions to the ancient world


  • Architecture, Roman
  • measurement systems
  • modular commensuration
  • Roman architectural process
  • scale planning


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