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Roman Architecture - Essay Example

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The essay describes the peculiarities of Roman architecture. To be precise, the innovative ideals of Roman architects and engineers in their use of the arch are demonstrated. The masters created the extraordinary architecture of their time, some of which we may still see today.


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Roman Architecture
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"Roman Architecture"

Download file to see previous pages It could hold 45-50,000 spectators who would queue for tickets

days in advance. There would have been a wooden floor covered in sand to soak up

the blood (Augent 25).




The underground corridors of the Colosseum

The arena floor measured 228 feet by 177 feet (crystalinks 3). A wooden construction

had existed from the year 29 BC but it was burnt down in the fire of 64 AD (Caggia

1). Nero had not been interested in listening to the demands of his people and

following the fire he built a huge palatial palace, known as the Golden House (Domus

Aurea), on large expanses of Roman land. After Nero's death Vespasian wanted to

offer the Roman people a gesture and set about draining a large lake near the site of

Nero's palace and knocking down the great Golden House for its rich source of

materials for the amphitheater (Caggia 1). It is understood by historians that the name

Colosseum actually referred to the 'collosus', (crystalinks 2) due to a huge statue of

Nero that once stood nearby which was 130 foot high (crystalinks 2).



A Spectators view of the arena

The class system was used to determine the seating arrangements of the audience. The

'first level, called the podium, was for the Roman senators' (crystalinks 3) and the

seating would have been quite lavish with cushions and marble coverings. Above this

on the 'maenianum primum' (crystalinks 3) there would have been Roman aristocracy

and then above them the 'maenianum secundum' (crystalinks 3) was split into two

separate areas; the wealthy people in the lower section and the poor citizens on the

upper section. Domitian had a further wooden section added at the highest position

for the very poor and lower class women (crystalinks 3). The entrance would have

been on the...
Exterior walls of the Colosseum showing the many arches within the Construction Concrete were a good material to use, as it is stronger in resisting compressive stresses whereas it is very weak when dealing with tensile stress. Spanning an open space or doorway, where forces on the arch are not vertical would provide the most suitable circumstance to use an arch, as it would be at its strongest. The correct formwork had to be used to ensure that the structure would remain intact. Wood was
built in a frame to support the underside of the arch and form its basic structure. The Romans used a ‘Voussoirs’ technique, which involved the placing of a stone at the uppermost point of the center of the arch. It was understood that they learnt this technique from the Etruscans; however, they were the first to adopt the structures for above ground use as previously they had been used for drainage systems and vaults underground. The technique was not the strongest of the arch types, however, it was simple for them to build. There were eighty arches on every floor of the building; each of the arches was numbered and divided by half columns of a different style on each floor. There was a Doric style on the ground floor where the arches measured 13’9’’ in width and 23’1’’ in height, followed by Ionic on the second and Corinthian in the third where the arches were lower at 21’2’’ in height. The upper wooden floor had windows with panels separated by Corinthian style columns at every second panel. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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