ANCIENT ROMAN ARCHITECTURE adopted the external language of classical Greek architecture for the purposes of the ancient Romans , but differed from Greek buildings, becoming a new architectural style. The two styles are often considered one body of classical architecture . Roman architecture flourished in the Roman Republic and even more so under the Empire , when the great majority of surviving buildings were constructed. It used new materials, particularly concrete, and newer technologies such as the arch and the dome to make buildings that were typically strong and well-engineered. Large numbers remain in some form across the empire, sometimes complete and still in use.
The Romans only began to achieve significant originality in architecture around the beginning of the Imperial period , after they had combined aspects of their original Etruscan architecture with others taken from Greece, including most elements of the style we now call classical architecture. They moved from trabeated construction mostly based on columns and lintels to one based on massive walls, punctuated by arches , and later domes , both of which greatly developed under the Romans. The classical orders now became largely decorative rather than structural, except in colonnades . Stylistic developments included the Tuscan and Composite orders ; the first being a shortened, simplified variant on the Doric order and the Composite being a tall order with the floral decoration of the Corinthian and the scrolls of the Ionic . The period from roughly 40 BC to about 230 AD saw most of the greatest achievements, before the Crisis of the Third Century and later troubles reduced the wealth and organizing power of the central government.
The Romans produced massive public buildings and works of civil
engineering , and were responsible for significant developments in
housing and public hygiene, for example their public and private baths
and latrines, under-floor heating in the form of the hypocaust , mica
glazing (examples in
* 1 Overview
* 2 Influence on later architecture
* 3 Materials
* 4 City design
* 5 Building types
* 6 Decorative structures
* 7 Infrastructure
* 7.1 Roads * 7.2 Aqueduct * 7.3 Bridges * 7.4 Canals * 7.5 Cisterns * 7.6 Dams * 7.7 Defensive walls
* 8 Architectural features
* 8.1 Mosaics * 8.2 Hypocaust * 8.3 Roman roofs * 8.4 Spiral stairs
* 9 Significant buildings and areas
* 9.1 Public buildings * 9.2 Private architecture * 9.3 Civil engineering * 9.4 Military engineering
* 10 See also
* 11 References
* 11.1 Footnotes * 11.2 Works cited
* 12 Further reading * 13 External links
Despite the technical developments of the Romans, which took their buildings far away from the basic Greek conception where columns were needed to support heavy beams and roofs, they were very reluctant to abandon the classical orders in formal public buildings, even though these had become essentially decorative. However, they did not feel entirely restricted by Greek aesthetic concerns, and treated the orders with considerable freedom.
Innovation started in the 3rd or 2nd century BC with the development
Factors such as wealth and high population densities in cities forced
the ancient Romans to discover new architectural solutions of their
own. The use of vaults and arches , together with a sound knowledge of
building materials, enabled them to achieve unprecedented successes in
the construction of imposing infrastructure for public use. Examples
include the aqueducts of
Especially under the empire, architecture often served a political
function, demonstrating the power of the Roman state in general, and
of specific individuals responsible for building. Roman architecture
perhaps reached its peak in the reign of
While borrowing much from the preceding Etruscan architecture, such
as the use of hydraulics and the construction of arches, Roman
prestige architecture remained firmly under the spell of Ancient Greek
architecture and the classical orders . This came initially from
ROMAN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION
The Roman Pantheon was the largest dome in the world for more than a millennium. It is the largest unreinforced solid concrete dome to this day
The Roman Architectural Revolution , also known as the Concrete Revolution, was the widespread use in Roman architecture of the previously little-used architectural forms of the arch , vault , and dome . For the first time in history, their potential was fully exploited in the construction of a wide range of civil engineering structures, public buildings, and military facilities. These included amphitheatres , aqueducts , baths , bridges , circuses , dams , domes , harbours , and temples .
A crucial factor in this development, which saw a trend toward
monumental architecture , was the invention of
These enabled the building of the many aqueducts throughout the
empire , such as the
Aqueduct of Segovia , the
Pont du Gard
The dome permitted construction of vaulted ceilings without crossbeams and made possible large covered public space such as public baths and basilicas , such as Hadrian's Pantheon , the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla , all in Rome.
The Romans first adopted the arch from the Etruscans, and implemented it in their own building. The use of arches that spring directly from the tops of columns was a Roman development, seen from the 1st century AD, that was very widely adopted in medieval Western, Byzantine and Islamic architecture .
The Romans were the first builders in the history of architecture to realize the potential of domes for the creation of large and well-defined interior spaces. Domes were introduced in a number of Roman building types such as temples , thermae , palaces , mausolea and later also churches . Half-domes also became a favoured architectural element and were adopted as apses in Christian sacred architecture .
Monumental domes began to appear in the 1st century BC in
INFLUENCE ON LATER ARCHITECTURE
Roman architecture supplied the basic vocabulary of Pre-Romanesque
Romanesque architecture , and spread across Christian Europe well
beyond the old frontiers of the empire, to
In Europe the Italian Renaissance saw a conscious revival of correct classical styles, initially purely based on Roman examples. Vitruvius was respectfully reinterpreted by a series of architectural writers, and the Tuscan and Composite orders formalized for the first time, to give five rather than three orders. After the flamboyance of Baroque architecture , the Neoclassical architecture of the 18th century revived purer versions of classical style, and for the first time added direct influence from the Greek world.
Numerous local classical styles developed, such as Palladian architecture , Georgian architecture and Regency architecture in the English-speaking world, Federal architecture in the United States, and later Stripped Classicism and PWA Moderne .
Roman influences may be found around us today, in banks , government
buildings, great houses, and even small houses, perhaps in the form of
a porch with Doric columns and a pediment or in a fireplace or a
mosaic shower floor derived from a Roman original, often from Pompeii
In Britain, a similar enthusiasm has seen the construction of
thousands of neo-Classical buildings over the last five centuries,
both civic and domestic, and many of the grandest country houses and
mansions are purely Classical in style, an obvious example being
Frigidarium of Baths of Diocletian , today Santa Maria degli Angeli
The Romans were extremely fond of luxury imported coloured marbles with fancy veining, and the interiors of the most important buildings were very often faced with slabs of these, which have usually now been removed even where the building survives. Imports from Greece for this purpose began in the 2nd century BC.
The Romans made fired clay bricks from about the beginning of the
Empire, replacing earlier sun-dried mud-brick.
The Romans perfected brick-making during the first century of their
empire and used it ubiquitously, in public and private construction
alike. The Romans took their brickmaking skills everywhere they went,
introducing the craft to the local populations. The Roman legions ,
which operated their own kilns , introduced bricks to many parts of
the empire; bricks are often stamped with the mark of the legion that
supervised their production. The use of bricks in southern and western
Although concrete had been used on a minor scale in Mesopotamia,
Roman architects perfected
When the framework was removed, the new wall was very strong, with a
rough surface of bricks or stones. This surface could be smoothed and
faced with an attractive stucco or thin panels of marble or other
coloured stones called revetment.
Temple of Claudius to the south (left) of the Colosseum
(model of Imperial
The ancient Romans employed regular orthogonal structures on which they molded their colonies. They probably were inspired by Greek and Hellenic examples, as well as by regularly planned cities that were built by the Etruscans in Italy. (see Marzabotto )
The Romans used a consolidated scheme for city planning, developed for military defense and civil convenience. The basic plan consisted of a central forum with city services, surrounded by a compact, rectilinear grid of streets, and wrapped in a wall for defense. To reduce travel times, two diagonal streets crossed the square grid, passing through the central square. A river usually flowed through the city, providing water, transport, and sewage disposal. Hundreds of towns and cities were built by the Romans throughout their empire. Many European towns, such as Turin , preserve the remains of these schemes, which show the very logical way the Romans designed their cities. They would lay out the streets at right angles, in the form of a square grid. All roads were equal in width and length, except for two, which were slightly wider than the others. One of these ran east–west, the other, north–south, and they intersected in the middle to form the center of the grid. All roads were made of carefully fitted flag stones and filled in with smaller, hard-packed rocks and pebbles. Bridges were constructed where needed. Each square marked off by four roads was called an insula, the Roman equivalent of a modern city block .
Each insula was 80 yards (73 m) square, with the land within it divided. As the city developed, each insula would eventually be filled with buildings of various shapes and sizes and crisscrossed with back roads and alleys. Most insulae were given to the first settlers of a Roman city, but each person had to pay to construct his own house.
The city was surrounded by a wall to protect it from invaders and to mark the city limits. Areas outside city limits were left open as farmland. At the end of each main road was a large gateway with watchtowers. A portcullis covered the opening when the city was under siege, and additional watchtowers were constructed along the city walls. An aqueduct was built outside the city walls.
The development of Greek and Roman urbanization is relatively well-known, as there are relatively many written sources, and there has been much attention to the subject, since the Romans and Greeks are generally regarded as the main ancestors of modern Western culture. It should not be forgotten, though, that the Etruscans had many considerable towns and there were also other cultures with more or less urban settlements in Europe, primarily of Celtic origin.
Main article: Roman amphitheatre Further information: List of Roman amphitheatres
The amphitheatre was, with the triumphal arch and basilica, the only
major new type of building developed by the Romans. Some of the most
impressive secular buildings are the amphitheatres, over 200 being
known and many of which are well preserved, such as that at
Arles , as
well as its progenitor, the
The earliest Roman amphitheatres date from the middle of the first century BC, but most were built under Imperial rule, from the Augustan period (27 BC–14 AD) onwards. Imperial amphitheatres were built throughout the Roman empire; the largest could accommodate 40,000–60,000 spectators, and the most elaborate featured multi-storeyed, arcaded façades and were elaborately decorated with marble , stucco and statuary. After the end of gladiatorial games in the 5th century and of animal killings in the 6th, most amphitheatres fell into disrepair, and their materials were mined or recycled. Some were razed, and others converted into fortifications. A few continued as convenient open meeting places; in some of these, churches were sited.
Architecturally, they are typically an example of the Roman use of the classical orders to decorate large concrete walls pierced at intervals, where the columns have nothing to support. Aesthetically, however, the formula is successful.
Northern aisle of the
The Roman basilica was a large public building where business or
legal matters could be transacted. They were normally where the
magistrates held court, and used for other official ceremonies, having
many of the functions of the modern town hall . The first basilicas
had no religious function at all. As early as the time of
The oldest known basilica, the
The Roman circus was a large open-air venue used for public events in
The performance space of the Roman circus was normally, despite its name, an oblong rectangle of two linear sections of race track , separated by a median strip running along the length of about two thirds the track, joined at one end with a semicircular section and at the other end with an undivided section of track closed (in most cases) by a distinctive starting gate known as the carceres , thereby creating a circuit for the races.
A forum was a central public open space in a Roman municipium , or any civitas , primarily used as a marketplace, along with the buildings used for shops and the stoas used for open stalls. Other large public buildings were often sited at the edges or close by. Many forums were constructed at remote locations along a road by the magistrate responsible for the road, in which case the forum was the only settlement at the site and had its own name, such as Forum Popili or Forum Livi .
During the years of the Republic,
Every city had at least one forum of varying size. In addition to its standard function as a marketplace, a forum was a gathering place of great social significance, and often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions and debates, rendezvous, meetings, etc. Much the best known example is the Roman Forum , the earliest of several in Rome.
In new Roman towns the forum was usually located at, or just off, the
intersection of the main north-south and east-west streets (the cardo
and decumanus ). All forums would have a Temple of Jupiter at the
north end, and would also contain other temples, as well as the
basilica ; a public weights and measures table, so customers at the
market could ensure they were not being sold short measures; and would
often have the baths nearby. A panoramic view of the Forum
Trajanum , with the Trajan\'s
A horreum was a type of public warehouse used during the ancient
Roman period. Although the
Latin term is often used to refer to
granaries , Roman horrea were used to store many other types of
consumables; the giant
Horrea Galbae in
The first horrea were built in
The word itself is thought to have linguist roots tied to the word hordeum which in Latin means 'barley'. In the John's Hopkin's University Press, The Classical Weekly states that "Pliny the Elder does indeed make a distinction between the two words6. He describes the horreum as a structure made of brick, the walls of which were not less than three feet thick; it had no windows or openings for ventilation". Furthermore, the storehouses would also host oil and wine and also utilize large jars that could serve as cache's for large amounts of products.These storehouses were also used to house keep large sums of money and were used much like personal storage units today are. Romans were "These horrea were divided and subdivided, so that one could hire only so much space as one wanted, a whole room (cella), a closet (armarium), or only a chest or strong box (arca, arcula, locus, loculus)."
Multi-story apartment blocks called insulae catered to a range of residential needs. The cheapest rooms were at the top owing to the inability to escape in the event of a fire and the lack of piped water. Windows were mostly small, facing the street, with iron security bars. Insulae were often dangerous, unhealthy, and prone to fires because of overcrowding and haphazard cooking arrangements. There are examples in the Roman port town of Ostia , that date back to the reign of Trajan , but they seem to have been found only in Rome and a few other places. Elsewhere writers report them as something remarkable, but Livy and Vituvius refer to them in Rome. External walls were in "Opus Reticulatum" and interiors in "Opus Incertum", which would then be plastered and sometimes painted.
To lighten up the small dark rooms, tenants able to afford a degree of painted colourful murals on the walls. Examples have been found of jungle scenes with wild animals and exotic plants. Imitation windows (trompe l\'oeil ) were sometimes painted to make the rooms seem less confined.
Insulae have been the subject of great debate for historians of Roman culture, defining the various meanings of the word. Insula was a word used to describe apartment buildings, or the apartments themselves, meaning apartment, or inhabitable room, demonstrating just how small apartments for Plebes were. Urban divisions were originally street blocks, and later began to divide into smaller divisions, the word insula referring to both blocks and smaller divisions. The insula contained cenacula, tabernae , storage rooms under the stairs, and lower floor shops. Another type of housing unit for Plebes was a cenaculum, an apartment, divided into three individual rooms: cubiculum, exedra, and medianum. Common Roman apartments were mainly masses of smaller and larger structures, many with narrow balconies that present mysteries as to their use, having no doors to access them, and they lacked the excessive decoration and display of wealth that aristocrats’ houses contained. Luxury in houses was not common, as the life of the average person did not consist of being in their houses, as they instead would go to public baths, and engage in other communal activities.
Many lighthouses were built around the Mediterranean and the coasts
of the empire, including the
Tower of Hercules at
Main article: Thermae Further information: List of Roman public baths
All Roman cities had at least one Thermae , a popular facility for public bathing, exercising and socializing. Exercise might include wrestling and weight-lifting, as well as swimming. Bathing was an important part of the Roman day, where some hours might be spent, at a very low cost subsidized by the government. Wealthier Romans were often accompanied by one or more slaves, who performed any required tasks such as fetching refreshment, guarding valuables, providing towels, and at the end of the session, applying olive oil to their masters' bodies which was then scraped off with a strigil , a scraper made of wood or bone. Romans did not wash with soap and water as we do now.
Roman bath-houses were also provided for private villas , town houses and forts . They were normally supplied with water from an adjacent river or stream, or by aqueduct . The design of thermae is discussed by Vitruvius in De Architectura .
Roman temples were among the most important and richest buildings in Roman culture, though only a few survive in any sort of complete state. Their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion , and all towns of any importance had at least one main temple, as well as smaller shrines. The main room (cella) housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated , and often a small altar for incense or libations . Behind the cella was a room or rooms used by temple attendants for storage of equipment and offerings.
Some remains of many Roman temples survive, above all in
The form of the
The Greek classical orders in all their details were closely followed
in the façades of temples, as in other prestigious buildings. However
the idealized proportions between the different elements set out by
the only significant Roman writer on architecture to survive,
Vitruvius , and subsequent
Italian Renaissance writers, do not reflect
actual Roman practice, which could be very variable, though always
aiming at balance and harmony. Following a
There was considerable local variation in style, as Roman architects
often tried to incorporate elements the population expected in its
sacred architecture . This was especially the case in
Roman theatre of Aspendos,
Roman theatres were built in all areas of the empire from Spain, to the Middle East. Because of the Romans' ability to influence local architecture, we see numerous theatres around the world with uniquely Roman attributes.
These buildings were semi-circular and possessed certain inherent
architectural structures, with minor differences depending on the
region in which they were constructed. The scaenae frons was a high
back wall of the stage floor, supported by columns. The proscaenium
was a wall that supported the front edge of the stage with ornately
decorated niches off to the sides. The
Roman villa was a country house built for the upper class, while a
domus was a wealthy family's house in a town. The Empire contained
many kinds of villas, not all of them lavishly appointed with mosaic
floors and frescoes . In the provinces, any country house with some
decorative features in the Roman style may be called a "villa" by
modern scholars. Some were pleasure palaces such as those— like
Hadrian\'s Villa at Tivoli — that were situated in the cool hills
within easy reach of
Suburban villas on the edge of cities were also known, such as the
Middle and Late Republican villas that encroached on the Campus
Martius , at that time on the edge of Rome, and which can be also seen
outside the city walls of
A third type of villa provided the organizational center of the large
farming estates called latifundia ; such villas might be lacking in
luxuries. By the 4th century, villa could simply mean an agricultural
estate or holding:
With the colossal Diocletian\'s
Further information: List of ancient watermills
The initial invention of the watermill appears to have occurred in
the hellenized eastern Mediterranean in the wake of the conquests of
Alexander the Great and the rise of
Further information: List of ancient Greek and Roman monoliths
In architecture, a monolith is a structure which has been excavated as a unit from a surrounding matrix or outcropping of rock. Monoliths are found in all types of Roman buildings. They were either: quarried without being moved; or quarried and moved; or quarried, moved and lifted clear off the ground into their position (e.g. architraves ); or quarried, moved and erected in an upright position (e.g. columns ).
Transporting was done by land or water (or a combination of both), in
the later case often by special-built ships such as obelisk carriers .
For lifting operations, ancient cranes were employed since ca. 515
BC, such as in the construction of Trajan\'s
An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top. These were originally called "tekhenu" by the builders, the ancient Egyptians. The Greeks who saw them used the Greek 'obeliskos' to describe them, and this word passed into Latin and then English. The Romans commissioned obelisks in an ancient Egyptian style. Examples include:
Roman gardens were influenced by Egyptian, Persian , and Greek
gardening techniques. In Ancient
Gardens were not reserved for the extremely wealthy. Excavations in
List of Roman triumphal arches The
A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway
with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road.
The origins of the Roman triumphal arch are unclear. There were
precursors to the triumphal arch within the Roman world; in Italy, the
Etruscans used elaborately decorated single bay arches as gates or
portals to their cities. Surviving examples of Etruscan arches can
still be seen at
The innovation of the Romans was to use these elements in a single free-standing structure. The columns became purely decorative elements on the outer face of arch, while the entablature, liberated from its role as a building support, became the frame for the civic and religious messages that the arch builders wished to convey. Little is known about how the Romans viewed triumphal arches. Pliny the Elder , writing in the first century AD, was the only ancient author to discuss them. He wrote that they were intended to "elevate above the ordinary world" an image of an honoured person usually depicted in the form of a statue with a quadriga .
The first recorded Roman triumphal arches were set up in the time of
Roman Republic . Generals who were granted a triumph were termed
triumphators and would erect fornices or honorific arches bearing
statues to commemorate their victories. Roman triumphal practices
changed significantly at the start of the imperial period when the
Most Roman triumphal arches were built during the imperial period. By
the fourth century AD there were 36 such arches in Rome, of which
three have survived – the
The ornamentation of an arch was intended to serve as a constant visual reminder of the triumph and triumphator. The façade was ornamented with marble columns, and the piers and attics with decorative cornices. Sculpted panels depicted victories and achievements, the deeds of the triumphator, the captured weapons of the enemy or the triumphal procession itself. The spandrels usually depicted flying Victories , while the attic was often inscribed with a dedicatory inscription naming and praising the triumphator. The piers and internal passageways were also decorated with reliefs and free-standing sculptures. The vault was ornamented with coffers . Some triumphal arches were surmounted by a statue or a currus triumphalis, a group of statues depicting the emperor or general in a quadriga .
Inscriptions on Roman triumphal arches were works of art in themselves, with very finely cut, sometimes gilded letters. The form of each letter and the spacing between them was carefully designed for maximum clarity and simplicity, without any decorative flourishes, emphasizing the Roman taste for restraint and order. This conception of what later became the art of typography remains of fundamental importance down to the present day.
Further information: List of Roman victory columns
A Roman street in
Roman roads were vital to the maintenance and development of the
Roman state, and were built from about 500 BC through the expansion
and consolidation of the
Roman Republic and the
The Romans constructed numerous aqueducts in order to bring water from distant sources into their cities and towns, supplying public baths , latrines , fountains and private households. Waste water was removed by complex sewage systems and released into nearby bodies of water, keeping the towns clean and free from effluent. Aqueducts also provided water for mining operations, milling, farms and gardens.
Aqueducts moved water through gravity alone, being constructed along a slight downward gradient within conduits of stone, brick or concrete. Most were buried beneath the ground, and followed its contours; obstructing peaks were circumvented or, less often, tunnelled through. Where valleys or lowlands intervened, the conduit was carried on bridgework, or its contents fed into high-pressure lead, ceramic or stone pipes and siphoned across. Most aqueduct systems included sedimentation tanks, sluices and distribution tanks to regulate the supply at need.
Most Roman aqueducts proved reliable, and durable; some were maintained into the early modern era, and a few are still partly in use. Methods of aqueduct surveying and construction are noted by Vitruvius in his work De Architectura (1st century BC). The general Frontinus gives more detail in his official report on the problems, uses and abuses of Imperial Rome's public water supply. Notable examples of aqueduct architecture include the supporting piers of the Aqueduct of Segovia , and the aqueduct-fed cisterns of Constantinople .
Roman bridges, built by ancient Romans , were the first large and lasting bridges built. Roman bridges were built with stone and had the arch as the basic structure (see arch bridge ). Most utilized concrete as well, which the Romans were the first to use for bridges.
Roman arch bridges were usually semicircular , although a few were
segmental (such as
Alconétar Bridge ). A segmental arch is an arch
that is less than a semicircle. The advantages of the segmental arch
bridge were that it allowed great amounts of flood water to pass under
it, which would prevent the bridge from being swept away during floods
and the bridge itself could be more lightweight. Generally, Roman
bridges featured wedge-shaped primary arch stones (voussoirs ) of the
same in size and shape. The Romans built both single spans and lengthy
multiple arch aqueducts , such as the
Pont du Gard
The Romans also introduced segmental arch bridges into bridge
construction. The 330 m long
Limyra Bridge in southwestern Turkey
features 26 segmental arches with an average span-to-rise ratio of
5.3:1, giving the bridge an unusually flat profile unsurpassed for
more than a millennium. Trajan\'s bridge over the
Further information: List of Roman canals
Roman canals were typically multi-purpose structures, intended for
irrigation , drainage , land reclamation , flood control and
navigation where feasible. Some navigational canals were recorded by
ancient geographers and are still traceable by modern archaeology.
Channels which served the needs of urban water supply are covered at
the List of aqueducts in the
Freshwater reservoirs were commonly set up at the termini of aqueducts and their branch lines, supplying urban households, agricultural estates , imperial palaces, thermae or naval bases of the Roman navy .
Further information: List of Roman dams and reservoirs
Roman dam construction began in earnest in the early imperial period
. For the most part, it concentrated on the semi-arid fringe of the
empire, namely the provinces of North Africa , the
Near East , and
The most frequent dam types were earth- or rock-filled embankment
dams and masonry gravity dams . These served a wide array of
purposes, such as irrigation , flood control , river diversion,
soil-retention, or a combination of these functions. The
impermeability of Roman dams was increased by the introduction of
waterproof hydraulic mortar and especially opus caementicium in the
Roman builders were the first to realize the stabilizing effect of arches and buttresses , which they integrated into their dam designs. Previously unknown dam types introduced by the Romans include arch-gravity dams , arch dams ,; buttress dams , and multiple-arch buttress dams .
Section of the
The Romans generally fortified cities, rather than fortresses, but
there are some fortified camps, such as the
Saxon Shore forts like
The Romans walled major cities and towns in areas they saw as
vulnerable, and parts of many walls remain incorporated in later
defences, as at Córdoba (2nd century BC), Chester (earth and wood in
the 70s AD, stone from c. 100), and York (from 70s AD). Strategic
walls across open country were far rarer, and Hadrian\'s Wall (from
122) and the
On his return from campaigns in Greece, the general Sulla brought back what is probably the most well-known element of the early imperial period , the mosaic , a decoration made of colourful chips of stone inserted into cement. This tiling method took the empire by storm in the late first century and the second century and in the Roman home joined the well known mural in decorating floors, walls, and grottoes with geometric and pictorial designs.
There were two main techniques in Greco-Roman mosaic: opus vermiculatum used tiny tesserae , typically cubes of 4 millimeters or less, and was produced in workshops in relatively small panels which were transported to the site glued to some temporary support. The tiny tesserae allowed very fine detail, and an approach to the illusionism of painting. Often small panels called emblemata were inserted into walls or as the highlights of larger floor-mosaics in coarser work. The normal technique, however, was opus tessellatum , using larger tesserae, which were laid on site. There was a distinct native Italian style using black on a white background, which was no doubt cheaper than fully coloured work.
A specific genre of Roman mosaic obtained the name asaroton (Greek "unswept floor"). It represented an optical illusion of the leftovers from a feast on the floor of reach houses.
A hypocaust was an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating , used to heat houses with hot air. The Roman architect Vitruvius, writing about the end of the 1st century B.C., attributes their invention to Sergius Orata . Many remains of Roman hypocausts have survived throughout Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. The hypocaust was an invention which improved the hygiene and living conditions of citizens, and was a forerunner of modern central heating .
Hypocausts were used for heating hot baths (thermae ), houses and other buildings, whether public or private. The floor was raised above the ground by pillars, called pilae stacks , with a layer of tiles, then a layer of concrete, then another of tiles on top; and spaces were left inside the walls so that hot air and smoke from the furnace would pass through these enclosed areas and out of flues in the roof, thereby heating but not polluting the interior of the room.
Further information: List of ancient Greek and Roman roofs
In Sicily truss roofs presumably appeared as early as 550 BC. Their potential was fully realized in the Roman period, which saw trussed roofs over 30 wide spanning the rectangular spaces of monumental public buildings such as temples , basilicas , and later churches . Such spans were three times as wide as the widest prop-and-lintel roofs and only surpassed by the largest Roman domes .
The largest truss roof by span of ancient
Further information: List of ancient spiral stairs
The spiral stair is a type of stairway which, due to its complex
helical structure, was introduced relatively late into architecture.
Although the oldest example dates back to the 5th century BC, it was
only in the wake of the influential design of Trajan\'s
Apart from the triumphal columns in the imperial cities of
The construction of spiral stairs passed on both to Christian and Islamic architecture .
SIGNIFICANT BUILDINGS AND AREAS
* Baths of
Trajan – these were a massive thermae, a bathing and
leisure complex , built in ancient
Alyscamps – a necropolis in
Arles , France, one of the most
famous necropolises of the ancient world
* Roman engineering – Romans are famous for their advanced engineering accomplishments, although some of their own inventions were improvements on older ideas, concepts and inventions. * Roman watermill
* ^ Henig, 26
* ^ Henig, 27
* ^ "BUILDING BIG: Pantheon".
* Abbott, Frank Frost; Johnson, Allan Chester (1926). Municipal
Administration in the Roman Empire. Princeton: Princeton University
* Arenillas, Miguel; Castillo, Juan C. (2003), "Dams from the Roman
Era in Spain. Analysis of Design Forms (with Appendix)", 1st
International Congress on Construction History , Madrid
* Baker, Rosalie F.; Baker, Charles F. (2001). Ancient Egyptians:
People of the Pyramids. Oxford University Press. ISBN
* Beckmann, Martin (2002), "The 'Columnae Coc(h)lides' of
Marcus Aurelius", Phoenix, 56 (3/4): 348–357,
JSTOR 1192605 , doi
* Benevolo, Leonardo (1993). Die Geschichte der Stadt.
Frankfurt/Main New York: Campus-Verl. ISBN 3-593-34906-X .
* Bunson, Matthew (2009). "Engineering". Encyclopedia of the Roman
Empire. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4381-1027-1 .
* Bomgardner, David Lee (October 2000). The Story of the Roman
Routledge . ISBN 0-415-16593-8 .
* Coulton, J. J. (1974), "Lifting in Early Greek Architecture", The
Journal of Hellenic Studies , 94: 1–19,
JSTOR 630416 , doi
* DeLaine, Janet (1990), "Structural Experimentation: The Lintel
Arch, Corbel and Tie in Western Roman Architecture", World
Archaeology, 21 (3): 407–424 (407), doi
* Donners, K.; Waelkens, M.; Deckers, J. (2002), "Water Mills in the
Area of Sagalassos: A Disappearing Ancient Technology", Anatolian
Studies, 52, pp. 1–17,
JSTOR 3643076 , doi :10.2307/3643076
* Demandt, Alexander (1998). Die Kelten (in German). München: Beck.
ISBN 978-3-406-43301-6 .
* Favro, Diane, et al. "Rome, ancient, Architecture." Grove Art
Oxford Art Online . Oxford University Press, accessed March
26, 2016, subscription required
* Döring, Mathias (2002), "Wasser für den 'Sinus Baianus':
Römische Ingenieur- und Wasserbauten der Phlegraeischen Felder",
Antike Welt, 33 (3), pp. 305–319
* Forbes, Robert James (1993). Studies in ancient technology. 2.
Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-00622-5 .
* Fürst, Ulrich; Grundmann, Stefan (1998). The architecture of
Rome: an architectural history in 400 presentations. Edition Axel
Menges. ISBN 978-3-930698-60-8 .
* Gagarin, Michael; Fantham, Elaine, eds. (2010). "Aqueducts". The
Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Greece and Rome. 1. New York: Oxford
University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-517072-6 .
* Gardner, Helen (2005), Gardner's Art Through The Ages: The Western
Perspective, Wadsworth Publishing, p. 170, ISBN 978-0-495-00479-0
* Harris, W. (1989). "Invisible Cities: the Beginning of Etruscan
Urbanization". Atti del Secondo Congresso Internazionale Etrusco.
Roma, 1989. pp. 375–392.
* Heinle, Erwin; Schlaich, Jörg (1996), Kuppeln aller Zeiten, aller
Kulturen, Stuttgart, ISBN 3-421-03062-6
* Henig, Martin (ed), A Handbook of Roman Art, Chapter 2
"Architecture" by Thomas Blagg, Phaidon, 1983, ISBN 0714822140
* Hermansen, G. (1970). "The Medianum and the Roman Apartment".
Phoenix. 24 (4): 342–347. ISSN 0031-8299 .
JSTOR 1087740 . doi
* Hodge, A. Trevor (1992), Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply, London:
Duckworth, ISBN 0-7156-2194-7
* Hodge, A. Trevor (2000), "Reservoirs and Dams", in Wikander,
Örjan , Handbook of Ancient Water Technology, Technology and Change
in History, 2, Leiden: Brill, pp. 331–339, ISBN 90-04-11123-9
* Honour, Hugh; Fleming, John (2005). A world history of art.
Laurence King Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85669-451-3 .
* James, Patrick; Chanson, Hubert (2002), "Historical Development of
* Adam, Jean-Pierre (2005). Roman Building: Materials and
Techniques. Routledge. ISBN 1-134-61870-0 .
* Fletcher, Banister (1996) . Cruickshank, Dan, ed. Sir Banister
Fletcher\'s a History of
Wikimedia Commons has media related to ANCIENT ROMAN ARCHITECTURE .
Wikibooks has more on the topic of: ANCIENT ROMAN ARCHITECTURE
* Traianus – Technical investigation of