Innovation Required• The Romans prove themselves to be effective conquerors, more effective than any other culture we have studied thus far.• The Romans will create a unified national identity across many regions, including Egypt, the ancient Near East, and Western Europe. To do this, they build!• Roman dominance will be reflected in the imposing structures engineers build, in the expansive spaces artists create.• But in order to build architecture that reflects a ROMAN worldview, Romans need to invent new materials and new forms that will support the grandeur of the Roman vision.
Concrete• Concrete is a mixture of limestone and small stones.• When dried, it creates a unified form, as seen in the image (in gray). A unified form is more strong than a form made up of many parts (like mortared bricks).• Concrete allows the Romans to build larger structures that can withstand more weight.
Roman Arch• The physics of the rounded arch allow the arch to hold more weight, so structures become larger and taller.• The physics of the arch thrust weight down the jambs, causing a lateral push that could cause the arch to bow out and collapse.• So buttressing is required. The Roman arch requires a lot of support material.
Vaulted Arches• An arch can be extended along a line.• A barrel vault is the space created by an extended arch.• A groin vault is created by two intersecting barrel vaults. They buttress each other, allowing the Roman engineer to take out the bulk of the barrel vault. The groin vault also allows for a clerestory, bringing in light to an otherwise dark channel.
Hemispherical Dome• An arch can also pivot on itself 180 degrees to create a continuous dome.• The hemispherical dome cannot withstand being punctured, so an oculus (an architectural eye) at the top of the dome brings in light.
So Now What?!• Throw together the invention of concrete, the arch and its vaulted spaces, and the dome, and the Romans have the tools (along with past influences) to create structures that reflect their dominance in the ancient world.• These structures dominate nature (unlike Greek structures that tried to be in harmony with the natural landscape).• These structures also create space where no space existed (like the sphere in the Pantheon).• These structures also support a growing population that is subject to a lineage of Emperors.
Aqueduct• Brings water to city centers• Allows city populations to grow• Supports a social network of public baths• A public works project that reflects the Emperors provision for the empire
Public Baths• A location of congregation for both men and women• Many baths also included libraries, concert halls, gymnasiums for training and exercise• Provided the emperor with a reputation for providing for his people
Amphitheater• A public arena used for both civic gathering and Flavian popular athletic events Amphitheatre, Rome, It aly• Provided the emperor another opportunity to gain a reputation for providing for his people• Also important in creating a sense of unified community through entertainment
Triumphal Arch• A public monument displaying the triumph/s of an emperor— military victories, deification• Filled with inscriptions in the attic• Filled with friezes and or medallions in relief (for the illiterate) Constantine’s Triumphal Arch, Rome, Italy