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Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture. Architectural History ACT 322 Doris Kemp. Topics. Prehistory: The Etruscans Roman Characteristics Building Materials Architectural Ideals Structural Revolution Structures Civic Architecture Tombs. Roman Architecture: Prehistory: The Etruscans.

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ancient greek and roman architecture

Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture

Architectural History

ACT 322

Doris Kemp

topics
Topics
  • Prehistory: The Etruscans
  • Roman Characteristics
  • Building Materials
  • Architectural Ideals
  • Structural Revolution
  • Structures
  • Civic Architecture
  • Tombs
roman architecture prehistory the etruscans
Roman Architecture:Prehistory: The Etruscans
  • Etruscan civilization
    • Preceded the Roman Empire in Italy
    • Most of their architecture was destroyed by the Romans
      • Only hidden structures, such as tombs, were spared
    • Much of their architecture was greatly influenced by the Greeks
    • The legacy of Etruscan architecture lives on through its influence in Roman architecture
roman architecture roman characteristics
Roman Architecture:Roman Characteristics
  • April 21, 753 B.C.
    • Pinpointed by the Romans as the day Rome was founded
  • Early Romans were militant and very disciplined
    • Lacking in artistic culture
  • Romans absorbed the Greek culture
    • Literature, philosophy, science, and painting
    • New appreciation of the arts
roman architecture roman characteristics5
Roman Architecture:Roman Characteristics
  • Roman architecture emerged from Hellenistic and Etruscan influences
  • It held many original aspects, however
    • Materials and building techniques
    • Fulfilled practical purposes
      • Served commerce, industry, and shipping
        • Ports
        • Roads
        • Aqueducts
roman architecture building materials
Roman Architecture:Building Materials
  • Building materials were very important to the success of Roman architecture
    • Access to a wide variety of building stone including:
      • Volcanic tufa
      • Limestone
      • Travertine
    • Nearly unlimited quantities of white marble
      • Quarry opened by Augustus north of Pisa
      • Other varieties were imported from the Far East
roman architecture building materials7
Roman Architecture:Building Materials
  • Brick
    • Romans perfected the art of brick-making
  • Concrete
    • Perfected this material
    • Became the most characteristic material in Roman structures
    • Was used to construct massive walls and great vaults
roman architecture architectural ideals
Roman Architecture:Architectural Ideals
  • Space
    • To the Romans, the space inside a structure was just as important as the exterior
    • Interior space was the primary focus of Roman architecture and was shaped by vaults, arches, and walls
  • Romans were fond of extravagance
    • Architecture for the powerful was gaudy and colorful, not like the ruins as seen today
roman architecture structural revolution
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • The combination of arches, vaults, and concrete in architecture are a pure Roman creation
    • The individual elements had been used in earlier civilizations
      • Egyptians and Mesopotamians had used primitive arch forms
      • Greeks had experimented with the arch and concrete with little success
      • Etruscans had constructed vault-like forms
roman architecture structural revolution10
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • Arches
    • More intricate than a simple post-and-lintel system
    • Formed by a multitude of small elements that curve over space by resting against each other in a delicate balance
    • Voussoirs
      • The elements used to create an arch
      • The shape of the structure keeps each voussoir in place
      • Held together by their own force
roman architecture structural revolution12
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • Vault
    • Created by extending an arch along its axis
      • Merely an extended arch
    • Supports and provides a roof for a given area
    • Types of vaults
      • Barrel/Tunnel vault
      • Cross/Groin vault
      • Dome
roman architecture structural revolution13
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • Barrel/Tunnel Vaults
    • The earliest type of vault
    • Appear in limited form in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Hellenistic Greece
    • Has a few limitations
      • Exerts a continuous load, therefore needing constant support
      • Difficult to illuminate
      • Increases in length require thicker vault supports
roman architecture structural revolution15
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • Cross/Groin Vaults
    • Created to overcome the limitations of barrel vaults
    • Employed by the Romans very heavily
    • Formed by intersecting two barrel vaults at right angles
    • Limitations
      • Resistant to square plans
roman architecture structural revolution17
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • Dome
    • The grandest type of vault
    • Types
      • Cloister vault
        • An eight-sided vault, with an octagon-shaped dome
        • Formed by crossing barrel vaults over an octagonal plan
        • Rare in Rome, more prevalent in medieval architecture
      • True dome
        • Perfectly rounded dome, preferred by the Romans
        • Built up in complete rings wherein each ring forms a self-supporting component of the final dome
roman architecture structural revolution20
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • Concrete
    • A mixture of mortar-like cement with an aggregate
    • Many advantages over traditional stone
      • Does not need to be quarried, shaped, or transported
      • Highly skilled labor was not needed to prepare the concrete
      • Can be cast in just about any shape imaginable
      • Arches and vaults could be economically fabricated
roman architecture structural revolution21
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution
  • Concrete
    • Surfaces
      • Romans developed many types of facings that were weather resistant and pleasant to the eye
      • Opus incertum
        • Random shaped stones of concrete
      • Opus testaceum
        • Brick facing; made concrete wall look as if it were constructed from bricks
      • Opus mixtum
        • Decorative patterns of tufa, stone, or brick
roman architecture structural revolution22
Roman Architecture:Structural Revolution

Opus mixtum; Photo: Sullivan

roman architecture roman structures
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Aqueducts
    • Used to supply the civilization with water from afar
    • Utilized an arch to create a continuous line of decent for water
    • Aqua Claudia
      • Brought water over solid masonry some ten miles into Rome
      • Some areas were over 100 ft. in height
roman architecture roman structures25
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Bridges
    • Were generally lower in height and broader than aqueducts
    • Two important Roman Bridges:
      • Pons Fabricus
      • Pons Milvius
roman architecture roman structures27
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Theatres
    • Adopted the Greek theatre and transformed it
    • The Roman theatre was closed, unlike the Greeks who preferred an open, outside theatre
    • Theatre of Marcellus
      • Integrated Roman style with that of the Greeks
      • Provided around 10,000 seats arranged in three tiers
roman architecture roman structures29
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Arenas
    • The Colosseum
      • Built by Flavian emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Doitian
      • Located on the site of an artificial lake that had been part of Nero’s Golden House
      • Extensive system of tunnels, chambers, and mechanical devices below the arena floor
      • Hydraulic provision used to flood the arena for naval displays and mock battles
roman architecture roman structures32
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Circuses
    • Circus Maximus
      • Oldest and largest circus stadium
      • Rebuilt and destroyed from the first through third centuries A.D.
roman architecture roman structures33
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Baths
    • Strenuous daily life prompted the Romans to construct large public baths
    • Wealthy citizens also constructed private baths in their domiciles
    • Featured elaborate heating systems
      • Furnaces beneath floors
      • Heat was transmitted to rooms by tile ducts, warming the floors and the walls
roman architecture roman structures34
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Temples
    • Earliest Roman temples were indistinguishable from those of the Etruscans
      • Axial plan
      • Deep porch
      • Widely spaced columns
      • High podiums
roman architecture roman structures35
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Temples
    • Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus
      • Originally built in the late sixth century B.C.
      • Rebuilt in 69 B.C.

Photo: Sullivan

roman architecture roman structures36
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Temples
    • Pantheon
      • Located in Rome
      • Considered by many to be the greatest structure of antiquity to have survived in a state of near completeness
      • Built by Hadrian between A.D 118 and 128
      • Three notable parts:
        • Immense, domed cella
        • Deep, octastyle Corinthian porch
        • Block-like intermediate structure
roman architecture roman structures39
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Basilicas
    • An important category of Roman architecture
      • Most important Roman source for early Christian architecture
    • Pure Roman style of architecture
    • Basilica
      • Essentially means a roofed hall, rectangular in plan, sometimes with an apse
roman architecture roman structures40
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Basilicas
    • Basilica Ulpia
      • A.D. 98-117
      • Finest example of the columnar basilica
      • Built by Trajan
      • Important model for later ages

Photo: Sullivan

roman architecture roman structures41
Roman Architecture:Roman Structures
  • Roman Basilicas
    • Basilica in Trier, Germany
      • Early fourth century A.D.
      • Built by Constantine
      • The final Roman basilica
      • Served as an important model for the Romanesque period of architecture

Photo: Sullivan

roman architecture civic architecture
Roman Architecture:Civic Architecture
  • Houses and Villas
    • Private domiciles reflected their inhabitants
      • Lower classes lived in meager, cramped apartments located on the upper floors of shops and other buildings
      • Middle classes lived on the lower floors and many homes had balconies, good ventilation, and running water
      • Upper classes usually owned a house, know as a domus.
        • Standalone structures
        • Featured courtyards and gardens
        • Many had running water
roman architecture tombs
Roman Architecture:Tombs
  • Tombs
    • Romans were great builders of tombs
    • Different from the Greeks and Egyptians in scale and religious style
    • Tomb of M. Vergilius Eurysaces
      • Citizen who made a fortune selling bread to Caesar's army
      • Built a tomb in the shape of an oven
roman architecture tombs45
Roman Architecture:Tombs
  • Tombs
    • Roman catacombs
      • Built by the poor as place of burial

Photo: Sullivan

references
References
  • Sullivan, Mary; http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/
  • http://www.brynmawr.edu/Acads/Cities/wld/wdpt1.html
  • Trachtenburg/Hyman; Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity
  • Wodehouse/Moffett; A History of Western Architecture
ancient greek and roman architecture47

Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture

Architectural History

ACT 322

Doris Kemp