[2013] Cara Kuyknes: Roman Architecture

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[2013] Cara Kuyknes: Roman Architecture

Roman Architecture 753 BCE to 476 CE By Cara Kuykens

The Basilica Aemilia was built in 179 BCE by the consuls Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobilor. It was descended from Greek architecture and was used by money lenders and tax colllectors. The floor was made of various colors of marble and there was a bronze-tiled roof. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times after being burned down.

Ancient Rome

Basilica Aemilia 179 BCE

Doric Column

The Maison Carrée was built in 19 BCE commissioned by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. The building was influenced by Greek and Etruscan style architecture and has Corinthian pillars. It is one of the best preserved Roman temples. It has been used as a church, archives, a canon’s house, and a town hall.

Early buildings were made with small stones and bricks. Later, Romans invented concrete and used that to build buildings. They built many public works, especially tall ones, which were impressive because of size and practicality. In the Roman period, the Romans built many temples, arches, domes, and houses. Roman houses were very symmetrical in plan.

Maison Carrée 19 BCE

Temple of Mars Ultor 42 BCE

Roman architecture was very similar to Greek, Etruscan, and Italian architecture. The Romans learned many lessons from the Etruscans and incorporated some of their style into their buildings. Caesar Augustus was the first Roman emperor and ruled from 24 BCE to 14 CE. He made many changes to the architecture and planned out some buildings.

The Temple of Mars Ultor was built in 42 CE to commemorate the Battle of Philippi and the defeat of Julius Caesar's assassin. It had Corinthian columns and various colors of marble for the floor. The temple was used as the meeting place for decisions of war and when young Roman males were given their adult togas.

The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, was built in 70 CE as a gift from the Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty. It was used for public entertainment like gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights for four centuries. Then the arena was neglected and until the 18th century was used as a source of building materials.

Pompeii 79 CE

Colosseum 70 CE

Pompeii has surviving examples of the earliest-known Roman buildings. After the explosion of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, the entire city was covered with a thick carpet of volcanic ash and dust. After being abandaned for about 1700 years, people realized that beneath all that lay buildings, artifacts and skeletons. Many of the buildings were still in very good shape and everything was where it was originally because the ash preserved everything and everyone.

Tuscan Column

The Pantheon was originally built in 27 BCE by Marcus Agrippa. but burned down in 80 CE. Then it was completely reconstructed in 125 CE by Hadrian, a cosmopolitan emperor. It is the best preserved with the biggest brick dome in the history of architecture and was used as a place of worship. The Pantheon was robbed then restored several times.

The main types of columns used in the ancient world were Corinthian, Doric, and Ionic. Roman architecture used these in addition to Tuscan, Doric, and Composite columns that they introduced. These were similar to the first three columns but had a few changes. The Roman Doric column is not the same as the first Doric column.

The Pantheon125 CE

Composite Column


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