Introduction• Roman culture is the result of different influences: – Primitive cultures of the area Rome was founded in (they were peasants and warriors) – Etrurian civilization: urban, offering culture to the ancestors – Greek and Hellenistic: this was the model they aimed at imitating.
Introduction• General characteristics of Roman Art – It is practical and utilitarian – Interest in public works and engineering – Large scale – Great technical advances – Colossal to show Roman power – It is commemorative and propagandistic
General Characteristics• Special importance for the internal space• Integral view of the art combining: – Beauty and sumptuosity with – Utility and practical sense• Buildings are integrated in the urban space
General Characteristics• Building systems: – Lintelled: • Copied from the Greeks • Spaces are closed by straight lines – Vaulted • Taken from the Etrurian • Use of arches • Barrel vaults – Use of domes – Strong walls so that they do not use external supports
General Characteristics• Materials: – Limestone – Concrete – Mortar• Arches: – They used half point or semicircular arches – They could use lintels above these arches – Pediments were combined with them
General Characteristics• Walls were made in one of these ways: Ashlar Masonry Brick
General Characteristics• Material combinations in walls:
General Characteristics• Greek shapes assimilation: – Architectonical orders were used more in a decorative than in a practical way – Order superposition – The use of orders linked to the wall created a decorative element – They used the classical orders and two more: • Composite • Tuscan
Roman Town Planning• Cities were the centre of Roman life – Need for infrastructures • Water and sewer system • Transport and defence • Public spaces and markets – Psychological effect: power and control• There was a need of linking them through paved roads
Roman Town Planning• The plan of the city was based on the camp• It had two main axes – Cardus E-W – Decumanus N-S• Where the two converged was the forum• The rest of the space was divided into squares in which insulae or blocks of flats were built
Forums• Forums were cultural centres in cities.• They were often placed at the crossroads of important urban ways: cardo maximus and decumanus.• A great porticated square was the centre of a group of buildings around it.• They were communicated through it.• Temples for Imperial worship, schools, basilicae, markets or even termae had a direct access through forum.• In many cases even buildings for spectacles -circus, theatres and amphitheatres- were communicated so.• Forums were a way in for important persons to tribunals.
Hypothetical reconstruction of Roman Forum in Imperial times. Watercolor (18th century), Giuseppe Becchetti
Roman Roads The Romans built many roads throughout their empire. The roads made it easier to travel and trade with faraway provinces. It also made it easier to collect taxes. Roman roads were straight andfollowed an exact design. The expression, “All Roads Lead to Rome” refers to the fact that Rome was the center of modern civilization. The road system of the Ancient Romans was one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of its time, with over 50,000 miles of paved road radiating from their center at the miliarius aurem in the Forum in the city of Rome.
Ports and Lighthouses • Roman ships and those for commercial trade should travel from port to port with the speed and security adequate to the life of a great Empire. • In these ports every necessity for the execution of the usual works in a port ensemble should be found: – gateways with stores and bureaux, – shipyards for stationing ships, – roads for taking ships to earthly ground, – drinkable water fountains and – machinery for loading and downloading merchandises. • Indeed, a system of indication was necessary in order to mark the right access and exit to the port.
Walls• Defence of cities has been one of the capital problems that civilizations had to solve in order to project the future of their citizens, goods, culture and ways of life.• Romans were the first in the technique of improving different kinds of defence, using walls.
Religious: Temple• It copied the Greek model• It has only one portico and a main façade• It tends to be pseudoperiptero• The cella is totally closed• It is built on a podium• Instead of having stairs all around, it only has them in the main façade
Religious: Temple • There were other kind of temples: • Circular: similar to the Greek tholos • Pantheon: combined squared and circular structures and was in honour of all gods.
The dome meantbigger buildingscould be builtwhich were saferand did not needthick walls orlarge numbers ofpillars to supportthe ceiling.This piece oftechnology will belost to medievalEuropeans.
Spectacles: Theatre• It is similar to the Greek but it is not located in a mountain but it is completely built• It has a semicircular scenery• The doors to facilitate peoples’ movement are called vomitoria• It does not have the orchestra because in Roman plays was not a chorus• The rest of the parts are similar to those of the Greek theatre
Spectacles: Circus• It was a building for horse races and cuadriga competitions.• It has the cavea, the area and a central element to turn around, the spina.
Commemorative monuments: Triumphal Arches• They were usually placed at the main entrance of cities in order to remember travellers and inhabitants the Greatness and strength of Roman world.• At the beginning they were wooden arches where trophies and richness from wars were shown.• This habitude changed: Romans built commemorative arches with inscriptions.• They were a Roman creation and they succeeded: many of them have been constructed until the present days.• Arches were used not only for commemorating Roman victories or military generals: they also marked limits between provincial borders.
Commemorative monuments: Columns • They were columns decorated with relieves • In them some important facts were related • They were built in the honour of a person. • The best instance of these works is the famous Trajan Column at Rome. It is decorated with a spiral of relieves dealing with scenes of his campaigns in Danube and with inscriptions.
Civil Buildings: Baths • There were spaces for public life • They consisted of different rooms: • Changing rooms – Different temperature rooms: • Frigidarium (cold) • Tepidarium (warm) • Caldarium (hot) – Swimming pool – Gymnasium – Library
These were public toiletsand the watercontinually flowedunderneath.The wealthy had toiletsyou could flush by liftinga piece of wood thatblocked the sluice.
Houses: Insulae• There are urban houses• In order to take advantage from the room in cities, buildings up to four floors were constructed.• The ground floor was for shops -tabernae- and the others for apartments of different sizes.• Every room was communicated through a central communitarian patio decorated with flowers or gardens.
Houses: Domus • It was the usual housing for important people in each city. • It was endowed with a structure based on distribution through porticated patios: – the entry -fauces- gives access to – a small corridor -vestibulum-. – It leads to a porticated patio -atrium-. – Its center, the impluvium, is a bank for the water falling from the compluvium. – At both sides -alae- there are many chambers used as rooms for service slaves, kitchens and latrines. – At the bottom, the tablinum or living- room can be found, and close to it, the triclinium or dining-room. – This atrium gave also light enough to next rooms. – At both sides of the tablinum, little corridors led to the noble part of the domus. – Second porticated patio peristylium, was bigger and endowed with a central garden. – It was surrounded by rooms -cubiculum- and marked by an exedra used as a chamber for banquets or social meetings.
Houses: Villa• Houses far from cities, were thought for realizing agricultural exploitations -villae rustica-, or else as places for the rest of important persons -villae urbana-.• Entertaining villa was endowed with every comfortable element in its age as well as gardens and splendid views.• Country villae got stables, cellars, stores and orchards apart from the noble rooms.
Palaces • There were the residence of the emperor • They consisted of a numerous series of rooms • Their plan tended to be regular