Introduction to Roman Art, Architecture, & Technology. Roman Architecture. Rome was the capital of the Mediterranean world, and the city all other Roman Towns emulate. Roman Architecture is famous for two major technical advances: The arch as decorative and utilitarian
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Roman Architecture • Rome was the capital of the Mediterranean world, and the city all other Roman Towns emulate. • Roman Architecture is famous for two major technical advances: • The arch as decorative and utilitarian • The use of Opus Caementicum (Concrete) in new methods, especially vaulting (monumental and large scale).
Forum • The Forum (a Latin word meaning open space or market place) was the administrative and corporate heart of Rome. Generally this word referred to the open space in any Roman town where business, judicial, civic, or religious activities were conducted. • A typical forum might be surrounded by temples, shops, and basilicas (large, covered structures used for various meetings). • Imperial Forum: starting with Julius Caesar there was no longer just one forum, each emperor build his own forum with temples dedicated to patron gods.
Amphitheater • Colosseum: probably the best known Roman monument • Primarily for gladiatorial shows, animal shows (sometimes with Christians), and mock water battles. • Circus Maximus: was a large, oval track where chariot races took place. It is an ancient arena and mass entertainment venue located in Rome.
The Arch • The Triumphal arch was the most simple and common form. • The aqueduct was the most spectacular. • Roman civil engineers developed the design and construction of highly refined structures using only simple materials, equipment, and mathematics.
The Architectural RevolutionConcrete & Interior Space • Innovation started in the first century B.C., with the invention of concrete, a stronger and readily available substitute for stone. • Tile-covered concrete quickly supplanted marble as the primary building material and more daring buildings soon followed, with great pillars supporting broad arches and domes rather than dense lines of columns suspending flat architraves. • The freedom of concrete also inspired the colonnade screen, a row of purely decorative columns in front of a load-bearing wall. • In smaller-scale architecture, concrete's strength freed the floor plan from rectangular cells to a more free-flowing environment.
Houses • Four extremes: • Imperial Houses: Elaborate palaces built by the Emperors • Domus Aurea (Golden House) built by Nero • Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli • Domus: the form of house in ancient Rome and all the cities of the Empire that rich patrician families owned. • The domus included multiple rooms, and two courtyards: the atrium, which was the focal point of the domus, off which were cubicula (bedrooms) an altar to one of the household gods, a triclinium where guests could lie on couches and eat dinner while lying down, and a tablinum (Living room, sometimes called the study) and shops on the outside, facing the street. • Roman Villas: which were rather like country houses, though suburban villas on the edge of cities were known, such as the Middle and Late Republican villas that encroached on the Campus Martius, then on the edge of Rome. • Insulae: were large apartment buildings where the lower and middle classes dwelled. The floor at ground level was used for shops and business with living space on the upper floors. Insulae were often built poorly and were prone to fire and collapse. It is because of this that the uppermost floors were the least desirable, and thus the cheapest to rent.
Roman Roads • Via Appia and other Roads • The Romans, for military, commercial and political reasons, became adept at constructing roads, which they called viae (plural of singular via). • The Roman roads were essential for the growth of their empire, by enabling them to move armies speedily and by sustaining land transport for Roman mercantilism. • "all roads lead to Rome"
Roman Walls • Hadrian’s Wall, Antonine Wall, & those walls that protected towns: • Strong defenses were an important part of protecting the immense Roman Empire, many forts and walls were built at strategic locations throughout the countryside from which troops could patrol. • As rebellions were common, all towns were protected by massive walls as well.
Roman Art • Realistic Portraiture & Propaganda art Augustus of Prima Porta, Augustus Portraiture, & Ara Pacis • Narrative Reliefs Arch of Titus, Ara Pacis, Trajan’s Column
Temples & Churches • Pantheon- (Rome) is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the Roman state religion. • Temple of Vesta- (Rome) located at the eastern edge of the Roman Forum, between the Regia and the Palatine Hill. • St. Peter’s Basilica- (Rome) The current location is probably the site of the Circus of Nero, where Saint Peter was buried upon dying on an inverted cross (tradition states Saint Peter was crucified at the site of the Tempietto) in A.D. 64 (the first century). After Emperor Constantine officially recognized Christianity he started construction in 324 of a great basilica in this exact spot, which had previously been a cemetery for pagans as well as Christians • Hagia Sophia- (Constantinople) The Church of the Holy Wisdom, commonly known as Hagia Sophia in English, is a former Greek Orthodox church converted to a mosque, now a museum, in Istanbul (Constantinople). It is universally acknowledged as one of the great buildings of the world. • There are many more!
Literature • Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians • Virgil’sAeneid • Julius Caesar (The Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War)) • Livy (Ab Urbe Condita ("From the Founding of the City")) • Pliny (Epistulae & Eruption of Mt. Vesuvious (79 AD)) • Graffiti on the walls at Pompeii