Scientific projects

The Glossary of Classical Architecture

HRZZ project

The Glossary of Classical Architecture (KLAS) has been approved for financing by the Croatian Science Foundation as part of the “Development of Croatian Special Field Terminology” project. The goal of this project is to create databases of special field terminology (systematized terminological glossaries) for specific fields of study. These databases include scholarly terms and their equivalents in other (primarily English, and if possible, in other European) languages.

The Croatian Glossary of Classical Architecture is a fundamental tool for developing a proper understanding and study of the discipline of architecture as a whole, from its historical periods to the present. Classical architecture consists of Ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The architecture of the Renaissance, the Baroque period, and Classicism, as well as various neo-styles of the Historicist periods, all rely on and creatively build on these ancient traditions. It is clear, therefore, that classical architecture, with its vocabulary, architectural elements, principles, and typologies, played a crucial role in the development and understanding of architecture in general. There are therefore numerous examples of excellent glossaries in various world languages. At the moment, however, Croatian lacks such valuable tools. Imprecision and inconsistency in Croatian terminology are present in numerous areas, and they are apparent even in the very names given to stylistic periods, where terms such as the classical period, classicism, and neoclassicism are frequently mixed up.

On the other hand, the English language has a very precisely-developed terminology for the study of classical architecture, and numerous reference works dealing with this topic. The majority of the scholarly literature has been published in English, which serves as an additional justification for the choice of this language as a reference-point. Yet it is precisely because of its dominance that terminology has frequently been uncritically adopted from English. This terminology is in Croatian scholarly publications used unsystematically, frequently as internationalisms; as a result, the suitability of this terminology is not questioned, nor is its compatibility with the phonological, morphological, and formational principles of the Croatian language. Therefore, the intention and goal of this project is, in collaboration with experts from the Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics, to establish a foundation for the development of an adequate and precise terminology for the field of classical architecture in Croatian. This project emerges out of the belief that it is impossible to create a high-quality glossary of terms without interdisciplinary collaboration, which must include the involvement of expert terminologists.

This will be the first time that such a major glossary has been complied in Croatian, both in the humanities and in engineering. The project team therefore brings together leading experts from the most notable institutions relating to this theme: art and architectural historians from the Institute of Art History, who also lecture at the universities of Split and Zadar; and architectural historians and theorists from the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Architecture. The team also includes a conservator – the Head of the City of Split’s Service for the Historical City Centre, which includes Diocletian’s Palace, a monument of late antiquity, which is a living witness to classical forms in various measures, and which plays an active role in the teaching aspects of the profession at the University of Split. A terminologist from the Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics also forms part of the team. With their skills and the roles they play in the project, such an excellent team allows for the successful and full completion of this project according to the highest of standards.

For more information, please visit the official project website:

Project duration: February 2018 - August 2019

Research group
Ana Šverko, PhD, principal investigator
Institute of Art History – Cvito Fisković Center Split

Joško Belamarić, PhD
Institute of Art History – Cvito Fisković Center Split

Nataša Jakšić, PhD
University of Zagreb, Architectural Faculty

Goran Nikšić, PhD
Service for the Old City Core of Split

Karin Šerman, PhD
University of Zagreb, Architectural Faculty

Danko Zelić, PhD
Institute of Art History Zagreb

Siniša Runjaić
The Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics

PhD student
Iva Raič Stojanović
Institute of Art History Zagreb

Dr Patricia Andrew
The University of Edinburgh, Honorary Fellow, History of Art

Dr Iain Gordon Brown
Honorary Fellow at the National Library of Scotland

Dr Katrina O’Loughlin
Brunel University London

Dr Frances Sands
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

Expert assitants
Ines Kotarac, Lexicography and Terminology

Sarah Ann Rengel, English Translation

The project was funded by the Croatian Science Foundation.