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Ancient Roman Architecture Report History Essay

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Since ancient times there have been many types of architecture and ways of building. One of the most famous and still used types of architecture is ancient Roman. The Romans had a very innovative and unique way of building. The huge forums and the way they got water into the city were never done before their time and started a way of building still used today. The ancient Romans took the ways of the Greeks architecture and made it their own, forming a new way of building. During the Pax Roman, time of peace and prosperity in Rome, the architecture in Rome flourish and the most architectural progress was made. Ancient Rome had one of the most innovating and most amazing types of architecture that have ever been done and used.

The real flourish and most advances in architecture were during the Pax Romania. During this span of about 207 years, from 27 B.C.E. to180 AD, most innovations and ideas came to be and the great roads, bridges, aqueducts, buildings, forums and fountains were designed and built. The Romans took the ideas of the Greeks and their neighbors the Etruscans, to make their own style. The Etruscans supplied them with a knowledge that would be important for certain architecture problems, like hydraulics and the building of arches.

Certain factors would force the Romans to discover new architectural solutions to issues in the cities. Wealth and overpopulation was one of the main factors to the Romans having to find these new solutions and new architectural advances. The use of many things, such as: vaults and arches, with knowledge of building materials would allow the Romans to have successes in the building of public buildings and public areas.

Roman architecture was used for in all the grand public areas in the cities. Aqueducts (derived from the Latin word aqua (water) and ducere (to lead)) were one of these architectural advances that would increase peoples life’s in Rome. These aqueducts were used in public and private sections of Rome. They were mostly used in public baths and fountains. An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel made to convey water. In simpler terms it was a structure that would bring water from a lake or pond to the cities using complex piping and water bridges. The Romans would use this constant flow of water to bring water into cities and towns that would be used at public baths, fountains and private households. Then waste water would be removed by sewage systems and released into nearby bodies of water. This kept the people and the cities and towns clean. For their time aqueducts was a major advancement that no one had ever seen before. They would work on gravity alone, along a slight downward slant. Most of the aqueduct system was underground and would be tunneled through peaks in mountains and hills. At places where there was low land, the water would flow through water bridges or was fed into high pressure lead, ceramic or stone pipes. This was a major engineering and architectural development. The water bridges were not only just a huge engineering breakthrough they were also built to impress, with columns and great stone work. These water bridges are still around to day. They have last thousands of years and will last for thousands of more years. The aqueducts were one of the Romans biggest and most admired architectural accomplishments.

Another public building that had grand architecture was the pantheon. This building was built has a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the roman state religion. The original pantheon was built in 27-25 b.c.e. under the Roman Empire but in 80 AD the pantheon was destroyed by a fire. The pantheon that is still standing today was built around 120 AD. The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite columns under a piedmont opening into a rotunda. The building also has a huge concrete dome with a central opening. Then there is a rectangular structure that links the portico to the rotunda. There are statues of many people lining the walls that lead to grand bronze doors to the cella. At the top of the rotunda there are series of brink arches that are visible from the outside and are built into the buildings massive brick work. What the romans did to keep the dome still standing is still a mystery. Modern day concrete would hardly stand the load of its own weight but the concrete the Romans used is still standing today. This building is one of the Romans best-preserved and oldest important buildings in the world.

Public buildings were what these architectural innovations were most used for and were what had helped force the Romans to discover new ideas and ways of building. The buildings also had to not only build well but because of political propaganda need to be built to impress as well as perform a public function. These public buildings were the heart and soul of the Roman architecture.

The Romans made many innovations in arch work and dome work. The romans would use their arch technology with their improvements in the use of concrete and construction of vaulted ceilings to be able to build huge covered spaces for public baths and basilicas (a large roofed hall erected for transacting business and disposing of legal matters). One type of arch that the Romans made was triumphal arches.

Triumphal arches are one of the most influential and distinctive types or architecture made by the ancient Romans. A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways. The main structure normally was decorated with carvings, sculpted reliefs and dedications. Roman made a great innovation by combining a round arch with a square entablature in single free standing building. There were columns on the outer face of the arches. The columns were purely for decoration. The entablatures part of the structure was used for the structure and for civic and religious messages that the builder wished to convey. This type of arch was one of the most famous types of architecture the romans have left behind,

The have made many architecture innovations. The first major innovation the Romans made was the invention of concrete, a strong and easily made substitute to stone. Soon the most used thing in building was concrete from building walls to floors. This material was cheaper and made building easier and a lot faster. The concrete the romans used was a mixture of mortar, sand, water and stones. The builders would place these materials in wooden frames. Then the concrete would harden and bond to the stones or bricks. When the frame work was removed the result would be very strong and sturdy walls. Then the walls would be smoothed and the faced with an attractive stucco or thin panels of marble or other stones.

The Romans also had also used their innovations of architecture in their famous roads. The roads were made with many layers. The first layer was compacted sand or dry earth then above that was crushed rock. On top of the crushed rock was gravel in cement. Above this layer there were 2 more layers, the sand, gravel and cement layer and the large stone slabs. The stone slabs on top made traveling easy and saved time in traveling. These road systems would connect the whole Roman Empire.

The Romans have influenced modern day a lot with their architectural technology and innovations. To start off countless buildings such as banks, government buildings, houses, business buildings and many other types of buildings use Roman architecture and style. The Roman culture has is shown in modern buildings due to the Romans innovations in arches and domes. Even though domes are not used as often as arches, which are the most commonly used aspect of roman architecture, they are used in many famous building. For example, the capital building in Washington D.C has a roman type of architecture. Roman ideas and types of architecture have been very influence in modern day society.

The Romans had some of the most inventive and still used types of architecture. Their arches and domes are still used today and are most famous part of roman architecture. The romans used the Greeks and Etruscans architecture to improve their own architecture. Romans have one of the most advance and innovative architecture of their time and of our time.


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