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Roman Architecture: Engineering an Empire

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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2007, 05:15:56 pm »



Remains of the top floors of an insula near the Capitolium and the Aracoeli in Rome.

Insulae


In Roman architecture, insulae (singular insula) were large apartment buildings where the lower and middle classes of Romans (the plebs) dwelled. The floor at ground level was used for tavernas, shops and businesses with living space on the higher floors.

The urbanization of the larger Roman cities caused a great demand for housing which was within a comparable vicinity of the city center and real estate was therefore at a premium. As such, private houses were a luxury which only the wealthy could afford. This led to a majority of the inhabitants of the inner city living in apartment and tenement housing called insulae.

These houses were often constructed at minimal expenses for speculative purposes. The insulae were therefore of poor construction and prone to fire and collapse, as described by Juvenal. Because of the inherent unsafety and extra flights of stairs, the uppermost floors were the least desirable, and thus the cheapest to rent. The insulae could be up to six or seven stories high (some were even 8 or 9 stories high- these very tall buildings were being built before the height restrictions). A single insula could accommodate over 40 people in only 400 square meters (4305 sq. feet), however the entire structure usually had about 6 to 7 apartments, each had about 200 square meters (2152 sq. feet).

Because of the dangers of fire, and collapse, the height of the insulae were restricted by Emperor Augustus to 70 Roman feet (20.7 m), and again by Emperor Nero down to 60 Roman feet (17.75m) after the Great Fire of Rome. There may have been up to 50,000 insulae, as compared to only 2000 domus in the late 200 A.D, when the city was in decline, and the population was smaller.

Like upperclass homes, many insulae did have running water or sanitation as described by Strabo.

The name of the "insulae" was derived from the Latin for islands. They were called so because of the way they looked from a bird's eye view. It would appear these buildings were spaced out like islands (hence the name), while being surrounded by road.

The Romans were the first civilisation to utilise flats and apartments.


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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2007, 05:18:33 pm »



West side of the Maison Carrée, Nîmes

Maison Carrée

The Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France, is one of the best preserved temples to be found anywhere in the territory of the former Roman Empire.

It was built c. 19–16 BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who was also the original patron of the Pantheon in Rome, and was dedicated to his two sons, Gaius Julius Caesar Vipsanianus and Lucius Caesar, adopted heirs of Augustus who both died young. The original inscription dedicating the temple to Gaius and Lucius was removed in medieval times. However, a local scholar named Jean-François Séguier was able to reconstruct the inscription in 1758 from the order and number of the holes in the portico's facade, to which the bronze letters had been affixed. The text of the dedication read (in translation): "To Gaius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul; to Lucius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul designate; to the princes of youth."

The temple owes its preservation to the fact that it was rededicated as a Christian church in the fourth century, saving it from the widespread destruction of temples that followed the adoption of Christianity as Rome's official state religion. It subsequently became a meeting hall for the city's consuls, a canon's house, a stable during the French Revolution and a storehouse for the city archives. It became a museum after 1823. Its French name derives from the archaic term carré long, literally meaning a "long square", or rectangle - a reference to the building's shape.



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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2007, 05:19:37 pm »



Front view of the Maison Carrée, Nîmes
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« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2007, 05:20:12 pm »

The Maison Carrée is a perfect example of Vitruvian architecture in its most classical mode. Raised on a 2.85 m high podium, the temple dominated the forum of the Roman city, forming a rectangle almost twice as long as it is wide, measuring 26.42 m by 13.54 m. The façade is dominated by a deep portico or pronaos almost a third of the building's length. It is a pseudoperipteral hexastyle design with six Corinthian columns under the Pediment at either end,[1] and twenty engaged columns embedded along the walls of the cella. Above the columns, the architrave is divided by two recessed rows of petrified water drips into three levels with ratios of 1:2:3. Egg-and-dart decoration divides the architrave from the frieze. The frieze is decorated with fine ornamental relief carvings of rosettes and acanthus leaves beneath a row of very fine dentils.

A large door (6.87 m high by 3.27 m wide) leads to the surprisingly small and windowless interior, where the shrine was originally housed. This is now used to house occasional art exhibitions. No ancient decoration remains inside the cella.

The building has undergone extensive restoration over the centuries. Until the 19th century, it formed part of a larger complex of adjoining buildings. These were demolished when the Maison Carrée was turned into a museum, restoring it to the splendid isolation it would have enjoyed in Roman times. The pronaos was restored in the early part of the century when a new ceiling was provided, designed in the Roman style. The present door was made in 1824.

It underwent a further restoration between 1988-1992 during which time it was re-roofed and the square around it was cleared, revealing the outlines of the forum. Sir Norman Foster was commissioned to build a modern art gallery, known as the Carrée d'Art, on the far side of the square. This provides a startling contrast to the Maison Carrée but borrows many of its features, such as the portico and columns (but rendered in steel and glass). The contrast of its modernity is thus muted by the physical resemblance between the two buildings, representing architectural styles 2000 years apart.

The Maison Carrée inspired the neoclassical Église de la Madeleine in Paris and the Virginia State Capitol in the United States
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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2007, 05:22:55 pm »

Roman bridge




1st century Roman bridge in Vaison la Romaine, France

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 its basic structure. Most utilized concrete as well.

Built in 142 BC, the Pons Aemilius, later named Ponte Rotto (broken bridge) is the oldest Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy.

The biggest Roman bridge was Trajan's bridge over the lower Danube, which remained for over a millennium the longest bridge to have been built both in terms of overall and span length.

An example of temporary military bridge construction are the two Caesar's Rhine bridges.
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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2007, 05:26:48 pm »

Roman villa

The Roman Empire contained many kinds of villas. Some were pleasure houses such as those like Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, that were sited in the cool hills within easy reach of Rome or on picturesque sites overlooking the Bay of Naples. Some villas were more like the country houses of Early Modern England, France or Poland, the visible seat of power of a local magnate, such as the famous palace rediscovered at Fishbourne in Sussex. 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 Pompeii. These early suburban villas, such as the one at Rome's Auditorium site[1] or at Grottarossa, demonstrate the antiquity and heritage of the villa suburbana in Central Italy. It is possible that these early, suburban villas were also in fact the seats of power (maybe even palaces) of regional strongmen or heads of important families (gentes). A third type of villa provided the organizational center of the large holdings called latifundia, that produced and exported agricultural produce; such villas might be lacking in luxuries. By the 4th century, villa could simply connote an agricultural holding: Jerome translated the Gospel of Mark (xiv, 32) chorion, describing the olive grove of Gethsemane, with villa, without an inference that there were any dwellings there at all (Catholic Encyclopedia "Gethsemane").

The late Roman Republic witnessed an explosion of villa construction in Italy. In Etruria, the villa at Settefinestre has been interpreted as being one of the latifundia, or large slave-run villas, that were involved in large-scale agricultural production. Other villas in the hinterland of Rome are interpreted in light of the agrarian treatises written by the elder Cato, Columella and Varro, both of whom sought to define the suitable lifestyle of conservative Romans, at least in idealistic terms.

By the first century B.C., the "classic" villa had a widespread architectural form with many examples showing the use of atrium/peristyle architecture. This explosion of construction takes place especially in the years following the dictatorship of Sulla. A villa might be quite palatial, such as the imperial villas built on seaside slopes around the Bay of Naples such as at Baiae; others were preserved at Stabiae and Herculaneum by the ashfall and mudslide from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D., which also preserved the Villa of the Papyri and its libraries. Deeper in the countryside, villas were largely self-supporting with associated farms, olive groves, and vineyards. Large villas dominated the rural economy of the Po valley, Campania, and Sicily, and were also found in Gaul. Villas specializing in the sea-going export of olive oil to Roman legions in Germany were a feature of the southern Iberian province of Hispania Baetica. Some luxurious villas have been excavated in North Africa in the provinces of Africa and Numidia, or at Fishbourne in Britannia.

Certain areas within easy reach of Rome offered cool lodgings in the heat of summer. Maecenas asked what kind of house could possibly be suitable at all seasons. The emperor Hadrian had a villa at Tibur (Tivoli), in an area that was popular with Romans of rank. Hadrian's Villa (123 AD) was more like a palace. Cicero had several villas. Pliny the Younger described his villas in his letters. The Romans invented the seaside villa: a vignette in a frescoed wall at the house of Lucretius Fronto in Pompeii still shows a row of seafront pleasure houses, all with porticos along the front, some rising up in porticoed tiers to an altana at the top that would catch a breeze on the most stifling evenings (Veyne 1987 ill. p 152)

Late Roman owners of villae had luxuries like hypocaust-heated rooms with mosaics (La Olmeda, Spain). As the Roman Empire collapsed in the 4th and 5th centuries, the villas were more and more isolated and came to be protected by walls. Though in England the villas were abandoned, looted, and burned by Anglo-Saxon invaders in the 5th century, other areas had large working villas donated by aristocrats and territorial magnates to individual monks that often became the nucleus of famous monasteries. In this way, the villa system of late Antiquity was preserved into the early Medieval period. Saint Benedict established his influential monastery of Monte Cassino in the ruins of a villa at Subiaco that had belonged to Nero; there are fuller details at the entry for Benedict. Around 590, Saint Eligius was born in a highly-placed Gallo-Roman family at the 'villa' of Chaptelat near Limoges, in Aquitaine (now France). The abbey at Stavelot was founded ca 650 on the domain of a former villa near Liège and the abbey of Vézelay had a similar founding. As late as 698, Willibrord established an abbey at a Roman villa of Echternach, in Luxemburg near Trier, which was presented to him by Irmina, daughter of Dagobert II, king of the Franks.

Some of the known Roman villas are:

Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, Italy
Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex, England
Lullingstone Roman Villa in Kent, England
Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Sicily, Italy
Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire



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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2007, 05:27:50 pm »



Late Roman owners of villae had luxuries like hypocaust-heated rooms with mosaics
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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2007, 05:31:24 pm »

Roman temple



The Temple of Hercules Victor, near the Teatro di Marcello in Rome (a Greek-style Roman temple)
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« Reply #53 on: July 16, 2007, 05:32:57 pm »

Pagan history and architecture

•   Originally in Roman paganism, a templum was a cultic building but any ritually marked observation site for natural phenomena believed to allow predictions, such as the flight of birds (see Augurs). Later the word was mainly used for the equivalent of Greek and other temples.
•   The numbers and architecture of Roman temples reflect the city's receptivity to all the religions of the world. The oldest Roman temples reflect Etruscan temples, like the great temple on the Capitoline Hill, dedicated in 509 BC to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, the Capitoline Triad.
•   Like its Etruscan models the Roman temple was raised on a high podium and could only be approached by steps across the front of the building in contrast to the common arrangement for Greek temples, whose steps run around all four sides. The facade also differed from Greek models -- the columned porch was deeper than those of most Greek temples: 6 columns deep -- and was only on the front of the building. The interior was divided into several large rooms for the cult statues.
•   The most noteworthy temples of Rome were the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, the father of the Roman divinities, and the Pantheon. The Pantheon was built between AD 117 to 128 by Emperor Hadrian and dedicated to all the gods; this building replaced a smaller temple built by the general and statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. The Pantheon became a Christian church in 607 and is now an Italian national monument, the burial place of Raphael and several of the kings of united Italy.
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« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2007, 05:35:40 pm »

Fanum

The Romans used the Latin word fanum meaning "sacred precinct" for other cultic sites that did not contain a temple, such as the early sacred site of the grove of Diana Nemorensis ("Diana of Nemi") and 'temples' of divinities other than those traditionally revered by their native paganism, the state religion.
•   Like the corresponding Latin adjective, fanaticus, the modern word fanatic still reflects the disapproval by pious traditional Romans of various exotic religious practices.
Nevertheless under the empire some of the imported cults, mainly from conquered people, such as the Persian Mithras and Egyptian divinities such as the mother-goddess Isis and Serapis (for his fanum the specific term serapeum was used) would gain great popularity, demonstrated in rich temple cults. The temple of Isis and Serapis in the Campus Martius, built of Egyptian materials and in the Egyptian style to house the Hellenized cult of the Egyptian deity Isis, is typical of the heterogeneity of later Roman religious monuments.
•   The word became part of several Roman place names, notably Fanum Voltumnae (possibly Viterbo or Montefiascone), Fanum Martis Famars or Fanum Fortunae (modern Fano)
•   They would only be virtually wiped out together with the Roman paganism after Christianity was officially adopted by the Roman Empire. The word temple would be transferred to its churches, as well as synagogues; occasionally fanum was also used as such, e.g. Fanum S. Andreae for Santander.

List of Roman Temples
Temples and Locations Within Rome:


•   Temple to All the Gods (Pantheon) - Campus Martinus
•   Temple Antonio and Faustina - Roman Forum
•   Temple of Apollo - Palatine Hill
•   Temple of Apollo Sosianus - Near the Theater of Marcellus
•   Temple of Bellona - Near the Theater of Marcellus
•   Temple of Caesar - Roman Forum
•   Temple of Castor and Pollux - In the Roman Forum
•   Temple of Concord - Roman Forum at the base of the Capitoline
•   Temple of Cybele (Magna Mater) - Palatine Hill
•   Temple of Hadrian - Campus Martius (Built into Chamber of Commerce building)
•   Temple of Hercules Victor
•   Temple of Isis and Serapis - Campus Martius
•   Temple of Juno Moneta - Capitoline Hill
•   Temple of Jupiter (Capitoline Hill) - Capitoline Hill (under Palazzo Conservatori)
•   Temple of Mars Ultor - Forum of Augustus
•   Temple of Minerva - Formerly in the Forum Transitorum
•   Temple of Peace - Forum of Peace (now mostly covered by Via Dei Fori Imperiali)
•   Temple of Portunus - Near Santa Maria in Cosmedan
•   Temple of Romulus - Roman Forum
•   Temple of Saturn - West end of the Roman Forum
•   Temple of Siriaco - Janiculum Hill
•   Temple of Venus and Rome - Northeast corner of the Roman Forum
•   Temple of Venus Genetrix - Forum of Caesar
•   Temple of the Vestals - Roman Forum
•   Temple of Veiovus - Capitoline Hill (Basement of Palazzo Senatorio)

Locations Outside Rome:

•   Maison Carrée - Nimes, Southern France
•   Temple of Rome and Augustus - Pula, Croatia
•   Temple of Bacchus - Baalbek, Lebanon
•   Temple of Vesta - Tivoli
•   Temple of Augusta and Livia - Vienne, France
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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2007, 05:37:32 pm »

Thermae



Roman public baths in Bath, England. The entire structure above the level of the pillar bases is a later reconstruction.

The terms balnea or thermae were the words the ancient Romans used for the buildings housing their public baths.

Most Roman cities had at least one, if not many, such buildings, which were centres of public bathing and socialisation.

Roman bath-houses were also provided for private villas, town houses and forts — these were also called thermae.
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« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2007, 05:39:30 pm »



Remains of the Roman baths of Varna, Bulgaria

The baths often included, aside from the three main rooms listed above, a palaestra, or outdoor gymnasium where men would engage in various ball games and exercises. There, among other things, weights were lifted and the discus thrown. Men would oil themselves (as soap was still a luxury good and thus not widely available), shower,[citation needed] and remove the excess with a strigil (cf. the well known Apoxyomenus of Lysippus from the Vatican Museum). Often wealthy bathers would bring a capsarius, a slave that carried his master's towels, oils, and strigils to the baths and then watched over them once in the baths, as thieves and pickpockets were known to frequent the baths.

The changing room was known as the apodyterium (Greek apodyterion, apo + duo "to take off" here of clothing).
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« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2007, 05:41:59 pm »

Tropaeum Traiani



Tropaeum Traiani 1977 reconstruction
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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2007, 05:43:00 pm »

The Tropaeum Traiani is a tropaeum in Adamclisi, Romania, built in 109 in then Moesia Inferior, to commemorate Roman Emperor Trajan's victory over the Dacians, in 102, in the Battle of Tapae. The monument was erected on the place were legio XXI Rapax was crushed. Before Traian construction, an altar existed, inscribed on the walls were the names of 3000 Legionaries and Auxilia servicemen who died "Fighting for Republic". The Traian monument was inspired from Augustus mausoleum, and dedicated for MARS Ultor in 107/108 BC. On the monument there were 54 metope depicting roman legions against enemies, most of them are preserved in museum. The monument role was to be a warning for extra provinciam tribes.[1] The original monument has long since disintegrated. The present edifice is a reconstruction dating from 1977 of the original monument. A nearby museum contains many archeological objects, including parts of the original Roman monument, from originally 54 metopes, 48 are in the museum and 1 is in Istambul.
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« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2007, 05:43:52 pm »



1896 picture
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