Roman architecture Term Paper

This essay has a total of 851 words and 4 pages.

roman architecture

The city of Rome has many of the great architectural feats of the ancient world. Many of
these buildings and other assorted structures, although they were built around 2000 years
ago, are still standing and even in use. At the start of Roman history, they imported
their marble from another great ancient city; Greece. However, they did eventually find
quarries in northern Italy that held an abundance of white marble. This marble helped them
become the great architectural city that we see even in present times.

Later on, in the first century AD, the Romans began to use concrete in greater use. The
architects of Rome used this concrete to make many structures including domes, arches, and
vaults. They added bricks to these structures to improve the strength of the building.
After adding the bricks, they put on an extra layer of marble for decoration.

One of the biggest improvements that the Romans made in architecture was the invention of
the arch. These arches added a great amount of weight to the structure. To help support
this weight, the Romans invented a type of building material that is called a keystone
block. The force on top of the arch was directed down to this keystone block. Because of
the shape of the keystone block, this force was then pushed through the voussoir blocks
that formed the top of the arch. The force then went through the impost and the piers,
finally ending up at the foundation. This helped support many of Rome's great structures.

One of the most famous Roman buildings is the Pantheon. The dome of the Pantheon spans 142
feet. The portico of the Pantheon is 46 feet high. It is made of granite, and its pillars
are of the Corinthian style. The entablature of the Pantheon states a famous inscription
stating that the construction was oversaw by Agrippa. The interior of the Pantheon is in
the shape of a cylinder. The diameter at the floor of the cylinder is also 142 feet, which
is equal to the height of the interior of the cylinder. The top of the cylinder has a hole
in the middle, called an oculus. This oculus is 29 feet from one side to the other. The
actual dome is made out of rings of concrete. These rings of concrete have less weight as
the raise in height. They also become much less thick towards the top. While the bottom
rings were 20 feet thick, they become only 4 feet thick at the oculus. In ancient times,
the outside walls had colored marble on them.

The pantheon was originally a Roman temple. The only natural light that enters the
Pantheon goes through the oculus from the top and through the bronze doors at the bottom.
This results in patterns of light that change throughout the day because of the suns
movements. The porch of the Pantheon used to face a temple courtyard. The bronze doors are
the entrance to the interior cylinder.

Another famous Roman building was the Colosseum. The Colosseum was given its name from a
120 foot statue of Nero. Architects were able to build the Colosseum because of the
invention of concrete. The concrete allowed the architects to build tunnels that allowed
an easy way to get in and out of the Colosseum. This idea was so great that it is still
used in many stadiums in present times.
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