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Some observations and considerations on making and function of the arch element showing Tyche of Salona

Dražen Maršić ; Department of archeology, University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (3 MB) str. 45-57 preuzimanja: 70* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Maršić, D. (2019). Neka zapažanja i razmišljanja o izradi i funkciji elementa luka sa salonitanskom Tihom. Tusculum, 12 (1), 45-57. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Maršić, Dražen. "Neka zapažanja i razmišljanja o izradi i funkciji elementa luka sa salonitanskom Tihom." Tusculum, vol. 12, br. 1, 2019, str. 45-57. Citirano 03.12.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Maršić, Dražen. "Neka zapažanja i razmišljanja o izradi i funkciji elementa luka sa salonitanskom Tihom." Tusculum 12, br. 1 (2019): 45-57.
Maršić, D. (2019). 'Neka zapažanja i razmišljanja o izradi i funkciji elementa luka sa salonitanskom Tihom', Tusculum, 12(1), str. 45-57. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 03.12.2020.)
Maršić D. Neka zapažanja i razmišljanja o izradi i funkciji elementa luka sa salonitanskom Tihom. Tusculum [Internet]. 2019 [pristupljeno 03.12.2020.];12(1):45-57. Dostupno na:
D. Maršić, "Neka zapažanja i razmišljanja o izradi i funkciji elementa luka sa salonitanskom Tihom", Tusculum, vol.12, br. 1, str. 45-57, 2019. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 03.12.2020.]

All Croatian authors who discussed the relief showing Tyche (Fig. 1) - the personification of Salona - have been of the opinion that this makes element of an arch, positioned to the left from its keystone, and that the keystone and the element to the right also contained other figural reliefs (M. Abramić, N. Cambi, J. Jeličić-Radonić). Some foreign researchers,
however, deem this is the arch keystone, presenting different arguments for this (J. J. Wilkes, N. Gauthier). In this paper, the author is pointing out two important details that have not been taken into consideration in this discussion at all: the groove in the upper flat surface of the block (Fig. 2), and the iron ring at the bottom curved surface (Fig. 3). The facts that these two installations are situated in the same vertical axis, that the groove is by its make identical to the groove in the keystone from Aequum showing the bust of Roma (Fig. 5), and that the ring by its position and make is similar to those in the vault of the southern gate of the Diocletian palace (Fig. 6), strengthens the interpretation claiming this to be the keystone. This is supported also by several other details in its make: almost identical height of the side surfaces and their inclination, position of the flag with inscription in the siglas
and formation of the cyma recta profile in the left side of the niche. The asymmetrical design of the element and the specific shape of the niche, previously taken as evidences of the stone being positioned in the left part of the arch, actually result from a change in the project made while the works were under way. The author came to this conclusion when testing and measuring it with a standard 0.5 m long spirit-level with a central and two lateral marks (bubbles). This showed that the flat surface at the right side of the element and the upper three profiles at the left side are at the same level, and by several centimetres higher than the two lower profiles. Between the two lower profiles and the niche remained a narrow vertical frame, also parallel with the right side. The figure of Tyche nowhere exceeds the height of the frame and the niche edge, i.e., its relief does not protrude forward, this clearly showing that the field in which it is situated has been created within the former flat surface. All these details are well noticed when it is watched from the left semi-profile (Fig. 4). The technological details of manufacturing are leading to the conclusion that the niche had initially been designed hexagonal - with a bottom horizontal side, two side perpendicular to this, the inclined sides in their extension, and the flat connecting side at the top - similar to the block from Aequum (Fig. 5). This is the only way possible to explain the remaining inclined side at the right. Resulting from such modification of the initial design or change of the finished one after the niche had been finished, its space is widened to the left by roughly from the flag to the left edge, the new vertical and upper horizontal sides are extended, thus forming the left upper angle, and Tyche is reconstructed to hold the flag in her right hand. This decision implies a number of ad hoc solutions, of which especially standing out is leaving the lower strip required for the flag support. The right hand part was not shaped quadratic for the reasons that cannot be ascertained, but these do not exclude each other (carelessness?, stone crack?). Of particular interest are possible remains of red paint the traces of which can be sensed in total darkness, under the UV light. With it probably was painted the inside of the niche and possibly the right side flat surfaces. Although the images made while searching for the paint have not been filtered through some of the filters intended for this purpose, but watched directly under a low UV light and its reflection, in this paper presented is a photograph made to provide arguments that paint remains actually do exist (Fig. 9). It is not possible to say whether this is the base or the paint undercoat.
With its characteristic format, the keystone with Tyche makes an example of monolith production, the so called triple key (key and two counter-keys). In the arch (archivolt) in which it stood, this was the only segment with a horizontal extrados (Fig. 8, Ri and I). From the curvature angle (Ri) of the bottom surface (intrados), i.e., the former arch inner edge (Fig. 8, Ri and I) and the identical curvature of the fasciae at the left side, especially the top V-shaped one, it can be concluded with certainty that the rest of the arch was made of segments with curved extrados (E). Because of the break in the upper left corner, the height of the extrados can be determined precisely neither on this side, hence also the total height of the arch face (Re). However, they can be determined roughly from the height of the block vertical axis (0.55 m), that is to be decreased by just a few centimetres
(Fig. 8, Re and E). According to this calculation, the arch was around 0.50 m high. We do not know whether other arch segments were fixed to the wall tiers or free from them. The latter solution is, because of its practicality, much more often, and should be considered more likely in this case as well. This type of the key was popular in the earlier period (Fig. 7), and, together with the older groove in the upper surface, shows this is most probably a recycled element.

Ključne riječi
Tyche; arch; keystone; triple key

Hrčak ID: 227011



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