Tabularium - Encyclopedia

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TABULARIUM (tabula, board, picture, also archives, records), the architectural term given to the Record office in ancient Rome, which was built by Q. Lutatius Catulus, the conqueror of the Cimbri. It was situated on the west side of the Forum Romanum, and its great corridor, 220 ft. long, raised 50 ft. above the forum on a massive substructure, is still partly preserved. This corridor was lighted through a series of arches divided by semidetached columns of the Doric order, the earliest example of this class of decoration, which in the Theatre of Marcellus, the Colosseum, and all the great amphitheatres throughout the Roman empire constituted' the decorative treatment of the wall surface and gave scale to the structure. Traces of an upper corridor with semi-detached columns of the Ionic order have been found in the Tabularium, but this structure was much changed in the 13th century, when the Palace of the Senators was built.

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