ROMAN ORDEN, an ordinance of architecture, invented by the Romans from the Ionic and Corinthian orders ; and hence, it has also obtained the name of the COMPOSITE ORDER.
Vitruvius, the most ancient writer on architecture, after describing the three Grecian orders, mentions several fanciful compositions, without giving them any particular denomina tion. The name of Composite order is of modern application, and has been applied in consequence of the numerous examples to be found at Rome, and other parts of the ancient Roman territory, of an order compounded of the Ionic and Corinthian, which is of a very uniform character.
The capital of the Roman order is compounded of the Ionic and Corinthian, the upper part being the Innis, and the lower the Corinthian. The entablature, as timnd in the ancient remains of Roman architecture, is Corinthian, and not one example is to be found in the Roman antiquities as published by Desgodetz, but what have Corinthian .entablatures.
The Composite order, as is to be found in several of the works of the principal Italian architects, has been compounded from the remains of the frontispiece of Nero, which is entirely Corinthian, and from the temple of Concord at Rome : the cornice is imitated from that of the frontispiece of Nero, which is the boldest, and one of the most beautiful remains of Roman grandeur. The upper part of the capital is taken
from the temple of Concord, where the sides, or flanks, are the same as on the fronts, and project at every angle, the thee of the abacus being concave ; and the two lower rows of leaves are what is usually found in any example of the Corinthian order ; but there is some little difference between the eaulleoles, or stalks, that spring up between the leaves, which, though suitable to the composition, are not so elegant as in the Corinthian order.
It does not appear quite satisfactory to us why the examples included under this description, should be especially entitled to the term Roman, for the aorinthian has quite an equal claim ; they both owe their existence to the Romans. Why, indeed, any such marked ,distinction should be set up between the two, is not quite clear, for they are evidently but different modifications of the same idea ; and we think there can be discovered as much diversity in examples included under the term Corinthian, as between them and the We subjoin a list, extracted from one of Mr. Weale's works, showing the proportions of the order in various examples.
The example of the Roman order which we have given, is from that exquisite remain of antiquity, the arch of Titus, at Rome.