People - Ancient Greece: Apollodorus of Damascus
Ancient Greek engineer, architect, designer and
Apollodōrus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
A Greek architect of Damascus, who lived for a time at Rome, where, among other things, he built Trajan's Forum and Trajan's Column. He was first banished and then put to death under Hadrian, A.D. 129, having incurred that emperor's anger by the freedom of his criticisms. We have a work by him on engines of war, addressed to Hadrian.
Apollodorus of Damascus in Wikipedia
Apollodorus of Damascus was a Greek engineer, architect, designer and sculptor who flourished during the 2nd century AD, from Damascus, Roman Syria. He was a favourite of Trajan, for whom he constructed Trajan's Bridge over the Danube for the 105-106 campaign in Dacia. He also designed the Forum Trajanum and Trajan's Column within the city of Rome, beside several smaller projects. Apollodorus also designed the triumphal arches of Trajan at Beneventum and Ancona. He is also widely credited as the architect of the Pantheon, and cited as the builder of the Alconétar Bridge in Spain. In 106 he also completed or restored the odeon begun in the Campus Martius under Domitian.
Trajan's Column, in the centre of the Forum, is celebrated as being the first triumphal monument of its kind. On the accession of Hadrian, whom he had offended by ridiculing his performances as architect and artist, Apollodorus was banished and, shortly afterwards, being charged with imaginary crimes, put to death. He also wrote a treatise on Siege Engines (Πολιορκητικά), which was dedicated to Hadrian.
The story about Apollodorus' death demonstrates the persistent hostility felt towards Hadrian in senatorial circles long after his reign, for if Cassius Dio included it in his history, he must have believed it. Many since have taken Dio's anecdote at face value, but there is much in this story that does not add up and many scholars dismiss its historicity altogether.
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