Roman Architecture

By: Kyle Wang

Characteristics of Roman Architecture included:

-The influence of architectural works by the Greeks and the Etruscans

-Grandeur or monumental, because the Roman's goals was to impress by bigness because they though the bigger the building, the more magnificent it was.

-The use of concrete which allowed the Romans to build huge architectural work at a relatively low price.

-Thus they mastered a number of important architectural techniques, including the arch, the dome and the vault, as well as the use of concrete.

There are many famous architectural works throughout the Roman empire. Listed below are some of the most famous:

1. Pont Du Gard Aqueduct, Nimes, France (19 BCE);

2. The Colosseum, Rome (72-80 CE)

3.  Arch of Titus, Rome (81 CE)

4. Aqueduct, Segovia, Spain (100 CE);

5. Hadrian's Wall, Northern England (121 CE)

6. The Pantheon, Rome (128 CE)

       Roman Aqueducts

-An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water.

-The Romans constructed many aqueducts in order to bring water from distant sources into places where they needed it.

-Aqueducts moved water through gravity alone, because they are constructed along a slight downward gradient

-Two notable surviving aqueducts are the Pont du Gard in France and the Aqueduct of Segovia in Spain.

-Springs were the most common sources for aqueduct water.

      Roman bath houses

-In ancient Rome, thermae were facilities for bathing.

-Most Roman cities had at least one bath house because they served both the purpose of bathing and socializing.

-They were supplied with water from an adjacent river or stream, or by an aqueduct.

-These bath houses are so intricately designed that men and women would have different entrances to enter from.

-Some of the key Roman architectural features included: the use of concrete, the Doric columns, and the traditional Roman arches.

-The Doric columns and Roman arches were often seen in many bath houses because they added to the grandeur effect.

       Roman Temples

-Roman temples were usually built to honor the gods or goddesses.

-Public religious ceremonies took place outside of the temple instead of inside the temple ground.

-The main room housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated.

-The Roman temple architecture style was inspired from the Etruscan model.

-An Etruscan temple can usually be distinguished by the: deep front porch, the stylish columns, and the overhanging roof, along with the ornamented facades and arcades on the triangular pediment.

-Roman temples emphasized the front of the building, which consisted of a portico with columns.

-Temples varied in size, shape, and structure depending on which god or goddess they were trying to recognize.

       The Colosseum

-The Colosseum was perhaps the most intriguing Roman architectural work due to its sheer size and its elaborately decorated arcades.

-The Colosseum begun construction in 70AD by Vespasian and was finished in 80AD by Titus.

-The Colosseum has an elliptical floor plan that is 615 feet long, and 540 feet wide.

-It is estimated that the Colosseum could hold up to 75,000 spectators which is equivalent to the modern sports stadium.

-There are three level of arcades that are surmounted by a podium.

-The arcades are described by the half columns of Trojan, Doric, and Corinthian columns.

-The seating in the Colosseum was in a tiered arrangement that reflected the rigidly stratified nature of Roman society.

-Special boxes were provided for the emperor which is the equivalent to the VIP lounges nowadays.

-The arena itself was 83 meters by 48 meters.

-The arena was comprised of a wooden floor covered by sand and a hypogeum.

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