Roman Architecture

This essay Roman Architecture has a total of 1596 words and 6 pages.

Roman Architecture



The architectural style of Rome was firmly rooted in the Hellenistic traditions. However, Roman culture is probably more accurately reflected in the development of new engineering skills and secular monuments. The style and construction progress of Roman architecture was different from other styles, even though the origin of their ideas came from the Greek architecture. The Romans were first to use math seriously for the arches, bridges, aqueducts, roof, and mainly the dome. The Romans took the ideas of architecture from other countries and adjusted it, so there were no support beams needed and the buildings were able to stand for thousands of years without really needing restoring. The modern nineteenth century buildings were not able to last for even 100 years without being restored, unlike the Roman\'s architecture which stood for thousands of years afterwards. The arched structure is one reason that the Roman\'s bridges were advanced for their time.
The Romans were advanced in their ways of making a permanent bridge. First, they made a boat bridge which consisted of boats lain side by side. From the boat bridge, work began on the permanent bridge. It was to be made of wood and supported on stone towers called piers which were to stand in the river. A Cofferdam was a double skinned box made of planks with the space between the inner and outer planks being filled with clay. This box was floated into position and then weighted down until it sank. The water was pumped out with buckets or a device called an Archimedean screw or tympanum The Cofferdams were built, so the laborers could erect the piers without going under water. First the piles of the Cofferdam, a piece of wood sharpened like a pencil, were driven into the riverbed, then pumped. When the pumping was finished, each pier stood on a foundation of tar covered piles and was constructed of carefully cut stones on the inside. The mortar used between the stones contained pozzolana, a volcanic ash. When the piers reached a height of 30 feet above the river, wooden arches were hoisted into its place between them. A wooden road was nailed to the arches and covered with a layer of earth. The finished road stood over sixty feet above the river. For major or busy bridges sometimes stone went in place of wood. The semicircular arch was usually used for bridges. Aqueducts were like a bridge but built over land and carried pipes of water instead of a roadbed.
Rome alone needed 340 million gallons of water per day to supply its great arched baths and other needs. Surveyors made an imaginary line with measuring sticks and a chorobate, a leveling instrument like the level used today, to make a straight line for a profile map. The surveyors designed a plan to keep the water from rushing too fast. They made a system of a fall of six inches for every one hundred feet and often added long detours to avoid a too sudden descent. Due to the materials and construction methods, many of the aqueducts survived and are still used today. Sometimes a route of an aqueduct required that a short tunnel be dug through a hill. Every twenty yards vertical shafts were sunk from the surface of the hill to the level of the proposed aqueduct. The depths of the shafts were measured from the profile map. The engineers used the profile map to construct foundations up to the imaginary line, then built the piers for fifty feet, then put the stone arches in. The reason the arches were built high over the ground was to prevent people from stealing or poisoning the water. The pipes were made with the inner surfaces lined with hard cement to prevent leaks, then a rectangular pipe was built to cover the water pipes. When the aqueduct hit a hill underground pipes were built, the profile maps measured the depths of the new pipes to be placed. When the shafts were dug a pulley was put over the opening of the shaft to lower men, tools, and materials needed down the shafts. When the tunnel was dug and connected with the other shafts, masons lined it with cement and stone, closed the shaft with dirt, then moved on to

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Topics Related to Roman Architecture

Architectural styles, Arch, Ancient Roman architecture, Triumphal arch, Vault, Dome, Bridge, Romanesque architecture, Roman aqueduct, Aqueduct, Roman bridge, Bridge near Limyra

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