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TEGULA (κέραμος, κεραμίς), a tile, made of baked clay, yellow or red. Under the name of tegulae are included (1) wall-tiles = testae or lateres cocti, so called to distinguish them from the lateres or sun-dried bricks [LATER]; for the manner in which these were used in building, see MURUS pp. 189, 190, and DOMUS Vol. l. p. 684: (2) having tiles either laid simply as. large flat tiles 1 1/2 feet or 2 feet square (tegulae sesquipedales, bipedales, Vitr. 5.10, 2; Pallad. 1.19, 1), or in small pieces (tesserae) to form patterns (see Birch, Ancient Pottery, p. 478; BALNEAE, Vol. I. p. 278; PICTURA p. 397): (3) flue tiles, either tubi or tegulae mammatae [see BALNEAE Vol. I. p. 277]: (4) roofing tiles, which have more particularly to be described in this article. At Rome the houses were (after the period of the ruder thatch) roofed with shingles (scandulae), down to the time of Pyrrhus, when tiles began to supersede the old roofing material (Plin. Nat. 16.36; Niebuhr, Hist. of Rome, vol. iii. p. 559). [For Greek roofs, see DOMUS Vol. I. p. 663.]

Tiles were originally made perfectly flat, or with nothing more than the hook or nozzle underneath the upper border, which fulfilled the purpose of fixing them upon the rafters. They were afterwards formed with a raised flange on each side, as is shown in the annexed woodcut representing the section of four of the tiles remaining at Pompeii.

Section of tiles at Pompeii.

Ornamented fronts of tiles.

Frontons of tiled roof.

In order that the lower edge of any tile might overlap the upper edge of that which came next below it, its two sides were made to converge downwards. This is illustrated in Birch by the annexed flange-tile. See also the next woodcut representing a tiled roof, from a part of which the joint-tiles are removed in order to show the overlapping and the convergence of the sides. It was evidently necessary to cover the lines of junction between the rows of flat tiles, and this [p. 2.764]was done by the use of semicylindrical tiles called imbrices (καλυπτῆρες, Dionys. A. R. 6.92; Poll. x.

Flange tile found in London. (Birch.)

157). The first woodcut on preceding page shows the section of three imbrices found at Pompeii, and indicates their position relatively to the flat tiles. This is also shown in the cut below. The roof, by the exact adaptation of the broad tcgulae and


the narrow imbrices throughout its whole extent, became like one solid and compact framework (Ken. Mem. 3.1.7; confringit tegulas imbricesque, Plaut. Most. 1.2, 28; Plin. Nat. 35.159). The rows of joint-tiles divided the roof into an equal number of channels, down which the water descended into the gutter (canalis) to be discharged through openings made in the lions' heads, the position and appearance of which are shown in the woodcuts. An ornamental arrangement of tiles called pavonaceum is mentioned by Pliny (36.159): probably the tiles were then semicircular and overlapped like the feathers in the tail of a peacock. The rows of flat tiles terminated in a variously ornamented front, which rose immediately above the cornice, and of which four specimens are shown in the first woodcut. The first and fourth patterns are drawn from tiles found at Pompeii, and the two intermediate from tiles preserved in the British Museum and brought thither from Athens. The lions' heads upon the third and fourth are perforated. [ANTEFIXA] The frontons, which were ranged along the cornice at the termination of the rows of joint-tiles, were either painted or moulded in various forms. The first woodcut shows three example of such frontons, which belong to the Elgin Collection in the British Museum. They are drawn on a much larger scale than the other objects in the same woodcut. The invention of these ornaments is ascribed to Butades of Corinth (Plin. Nat. 35.153).

For greater splendour, especially where tiles were to be used in temple-roofs [TEMPLUM], marble slabs cut like tiles were used (marmoreae tegulae, Liv. 42.3; V. Max. 1.2, 20): the invention was ascribed to Byzes of Naxos in the 7th cent. B.C. (Paus. 5.10, 2). We hear also of bronze and bronze-gilt tiles (Plin. Nat. 33.57). For the construction of roofs, see DOMUS Vol. I. pp. 668, 685. (Birch, Ancient Pottery, pp. 469-481; Blümner, Technologie, 2.29 ff.; Marquardt, Privatleben, pp. 636 ff.)

[J.Y] [G.E.M]

hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (7):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.10
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.2
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 5.10
    • Vitruvius, On Architecture, 5.2
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 16.36
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 33.57
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 42, 3
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