Roman engineering -assn_4_-_individual_project_-_schwappach


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Roman engineering -assn_4_-_individual_project_-_schwappach

  1. 1. Roman Engineering 1Running head: Roman Engineering Roman Engineering Assignment #4, Individual Project #2 TSgt Loren Karl-Robinson Schwappach Colorado Technical University Prepared for Tammy Starzyk HUM140-0804A-08 Art Appreciation 21 October, 2008
  2. 2. Roman Engineering 2 Abstract The Roman’s made many great contributions to the world of art and architecture andthrough the use of arches, columns, vaults, buttresses, and keystones they created many amazingstructures that remain to this day. This paper will describe three such amazing constructs, theRoman Colosseum, Pantheon, and Baths of Trojan.
  3. 3. Roman Engineering 3 Romans like the Greeks before them were tremendous fans of sporting events. Thus, in asuccessful attempt to appease and entertain the masses, the Colosseum was built. The RomanColosseum (see images 1 & 2) located in the center of Rome is a great example of romanarchitecture on a mammoth scale. Construction of the Colosseum, originally called the amphitheatre began in 72 CE duringthe reign of Vespasian, and was dedicated by Titus in 80 CE. The name “Colosseum” wasderived from the Colossus, a larger than life statue of Nero standing next to it. (Stokstad 2007,pg 146) The Colosseum which held around 50,000 spectators around an elliptical arena was anenormous entertainment center, where Romans could watch gladiators fight bloody life anddeath matches against ferocious animals and other gladiators. The Colosseum was even used toreenact historical and/or fictitious epics, including naval battles, through the use of a floodingapparatus. (Stokstad 2007, pg 147) The true power of Rome was through the mobs, and the best way to keep the keep themob appeased was through life and death entertainment. Eighty walls radiate from the arenasupporting vaults for passageways, stairs, and seating. It is thought that 9000 wild animals and2000 gladiators died within the first 100 days of the Colosseum’s opening. (Stokstad 2007, pg147) The Colosseum was built using travertine (for the piers and arcades), tufa blocks(between piers on lower two levels), and concrete (stone rubble in a binder made from volcanicsand and water). Concrete allowed the creation of complex arches, columns, and vaults becauseit could be manipulated easily, dried quickly, and retain toughness. (Roman Colosseum 2008)
  4. 4. Roman Engineering 4 The Colosseum consisted of three levels of arcades (made up of pillars and arches)surmounted by a wall top or attic story. Every arch in the arcades is framed by engagedcolumns, which support friezes that marked division between levels. The ground floor isornamented with columns in the Tuscan order. The iconic order is used in the second levelcolumns and the Corinthian order is used on the third. These orders serve no structuralsignificance and are merely a decorative order. (Stokstad 2007, pg 147) The Pantheon (see image 3 and 4), one of the most spirituala religious temple located inRome, Italy, is a second great example of Roman architecture. Hadrian dedicated the astonishing temple to the Olympian Gods known as the Pantheon(“all the Gods”). It was built between 125 and 128 CE. (Stokstad 2007, pg 151) The Pantheon’s entrance porch was created to resemble the façade of traditional Romantemples and thus was raised on a podium (now mostly buried). Behind this, a giant rotunda(circular room) is surmounted with a huge (143 ft diameter) bowl-shaped dome. (Stokstad 2007,pg 152) The circular walls, or drum, of the rotunda supports the buttresses and is made of brickarches and concrete hidden behind a marble veneer. The oculus (the repetition of a square in acircle) sits at the top of the dome pouring in wells of light from the heavens, allowing theRomans to feel like they could float, join and commune with their Gods. As the sun moves,striking patterns of light illuminate the walls and floors of porphyry, granite and yellow marbles(Pantheon 2008)
  5. 5. Roman Engineering 5 The dome is constructed of stepped rings of solid concrete with less and less density aslighter aggregate (pumice) is used, diminishing in thickness to about 1.2 m (4 feet) at the edge ofthe oculus. The dome rests on a cylinder of masonry walls 6 m (20 feet). Hidden voids and theinterior recesses. (Pantheon 2008) The Pantheon was an amazing religious structure for its time also due to its purpose. Asa religious center intended for the worship of multiple Gods, it helped bring unity to religionsand occupants together. The last great example of roman ingenuity in architecture is the Roman bath houses. The Baths of Trojan built 96 – 118 AD is the final example of complex Romanarchitecture. Like the Colosseum and Pantheon the Baths of Trojan (See image 5 and 6) islocated in the city of Rome. (Roman Baths 2000) The complex was used for much more than keeping up public hygiene. The Baths ofTrojan was a place where Roman citizens could enjoy cheap baths, as well as sporting grounds,massage parlors, restaurants, lecture halls and libraries. (Roman Baths 2000) Roman bath houses used another ingenious Roman invention, aqueducts to supply themassive water demands of the population. The Baths of Trojan made great use of the waterprovided by the aqueducts and featured public latrines that would use the aqueducts ability totake waste away. (Roman Baths 2000) “The universal acceptance of bathing as a central event in daily life belongs to the Romanworld and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that at the height of the empire, the baths embodiedthe ideal Roman way of urban life.” (Roman Baths 2003)
  6. 6. Roman Engineering 6 Roman engineers developed an amazing system of heating the bath houses (thehypocaust). The floor was raised off the ground by pillars and spaces were left inside the wallsso hot air from the furnaces could circulate throughout the open areas. Rooms requiring the mostheat were placed closest to the furnace. Heat could be increased by adding more wood. (RomanBaths 2003) Like the Colosseum, and Pantheon, the Baths of Trojan also took heavy usage of thecolumns and arches seen throughout Roman Architecture. All examples are great examples ofthe architecture by Romans and its influence on society and history.
  7. 7. Roman Engineering 7 AppendixImage 1: Colosseum: Image obtained on 21 October 2008 from website at: 2: Roman Colosseum: Image obtained on 21 October 2008 from websiteat:
  8. 8. Roman Engineering 8 AppendixImage 3: Pantheon: Image obtained on 21 October 2008 from website at: 4: Pantheon: Image obtained on 21 October 2008 from website at:
  9. 9. Roman Engineering 9 AppendixImage 5: The Baths of Trojan: Image obtained on 21 October 2008 from web.ics.purdue.eduwebsite at: 6: The Baths of Trojan: Image obtained on 21 October 2008 from website at:
  10. 10. Roman Engineering 10 ReferencesStokstad, M. (2007). Art: a brief history (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.Roman Colosseum. (2008). Retrieved October 21, 2008, from Great Buildings Online website (2008). Retrieved October 21, 2008, from Great Buildings Online website Baths. (2003). Retrieved October 21, 2008, from website Baths. (2000). Retrieved October 21, 2008, from