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Roman Architecture: Engineering an Empire

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Author Topic: Roman Architecture: Engineering an Empire  (Read 4418 times)
Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #45 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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