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History of Architecture

Roman Architecture
– Historical Background
• Location and period
• Social characteristics and beliefs

– Architecture of the Civilization

• Early Influences- The Etruscans
• Engineering Innovation and achievements
• Roman Buildings

• Roman Buildings

• Other architectural elements

• Roman city Planning and Design
– Architectural Characteristics
• Buildings and other architectural elements
• Building materials, construction and technologies
• Architectural Organizing principles
Historical Background
• The pink area of the Map shows the greatest extent of the Roman
• Rome is today the capital of Italy
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs

•Roman Architecture
– Romans construction material consists of Stone,
principally local travertine (limestone) and timber
– Roman also invented a system of firing brick and
used brick widely in construction
– Romans were also the first people to discover
– Romans made significant improvements to the arch.
Historical Background
Social Characteristics & Beliefs
•Other Achievements
– Other contributions of the Romans include the Roman
alphabets and the Roman numerals
– The Roman also introduced the calendar
Architecture of the Civilization
Roman Architecture
Early Influences- The Etruscans
• Not much has survived of
Etruscan buildings to the
present however.
• The temple shown in the
image is a reconstruction of
a typical Etruscan temple
• The Etruscans introduced
another order of architecture
• This order, known as the
Truscan order became
popular with the Romans
Roman Architecture
Early Influences- The Etruscans
• The Truscan order had a
simpler base and the shaft
was without flutes
• The capital and entablature
were also without decoration
• It is similar to the Doric order
with a column that is 7
diameters high
Engineering Achievement
Structural Innovation- Arches

• Romans used it to its fullest

• The arch is an organic
structure with the elements of
the arch resting on each other
and transferring load to the
• It was particularly useful over
doors and openings
Engineering Achievement
• Vaults are used to cover an area as a
• The simplest of the vaults is the Barrel
vault, which is just made up of an arch
extended over a certain distance
Engineering Achievement
• The cross vault was created
from the barrel vault to
overcome some of the
problems of the ordinary vault
• This is formed by intersecting
two barrel-vaults at right angle
and is called a “groin vault”
• The opening of the space in 4
directions means that ample
light can be provided to the
area below it
Engineering Achievement
•The Romans were the first to develop concrete
•The concrete developed by the Romans is different
from modern concrete and is made up of lime, sand
and water.
Engineering Structures
Road and Bridges
• The Trojan’s Bridge Alexandria is an
example of ancient Roman structural
• It is also amongst the most
impressive of the surviving Roman
• The bridge consist of tall piers and
wide spanning arches
• The central arches are slightly above
27 meters in length
• The roadway is carried 48 meters
above the River
Engineering Structures
• Aqueducts were used to
supply water to Roman cities
• The Pont Du Gard is probably
the most magnificent of the
Roman aqueducts
• The Aqueduct in some places
is almost 50 meters
Aqueducts Structures
The Aqua Claudia is also another
example of Roman aqueduct
•The Aqua Claudia was one of the
eleven aqueducts that supplied Rome
with water
•The aqueduct supplies water to Rome
over a distance of 66 kilometers
Roman Buildings
• The Romans adopted the Greek
theater transforming
• There was an expansion of the
• The Greek Theater was blended
into the landscape
Roman Buildings
• Amphitheatre is a public
building used for spectator
sports, games and displays
• a theatre is that amphitheatre is
round or oval in shape