Importance of Roman Construction Romans are the most well-known for their advancement in architecture and engineering.
Prior to the Romans, the most commonly and primarily used building style and manner is the post and lintel. Roman Architecture has altered that style and has advanced the approach by introducing new methods in architecture: the columns and the arches. With such methods, they are able to construct and build bigger temples and edifices than ever before (Roman Architecture, 2003-2008). One of the most famous Roman architecture is the Rome Coliseum.
The Coliseum of Rome in Italy is also known as “Amphitheater Flavio” and is erected under the order of the Imperator Vespasiano in honor and respect of the glory of his empire on 72 AD. The name Coliseum has originated from the big bronze statue of approximately 38 meters known as the “Colosso,” which means giant (History of Coliseum, n/d). It is the building where the Romans have played all types of games such as gladiatorial combats and wild beast hunts. This edifice is composed of several entrances, broad corridors, stairways, planned passages of access and six tiers of seats where the audience can watch. Under the Coliseum are huge rooms where they can put all their storage.
Unfortunately, during the 13th and 14th century, it goes down due to the violent earthquakes. The earthquakes have shaken the outer arcade (Lee, Arndt and Goldmacher, n/d ).Figure 1 The Coliseum of Rome The structure is an elliptical building measuring 188 meters by 156 meters and reaching a height of more than 48 meters.
There are four storeys above the ground, the upper storey is for lower classes and women, and the lower storey is reserved for the prominent citizens of the country. There are rooms and cages for wild animals and mechanical devices below the ground (Colosseum, 2009).It can have not been constructed without concrete. There is a complex system of barrel-vaulted corridor which holds up the enormous seating area.
The “skeleton,” which is of concrete material, illustrates itself nowadays to anyone who enters it. Its exterior travertine shell approximately measures 160 feet high. Its decor has nothing to do with its function and purpose. Its facade is cut and divided into four bands with large arched openings pricking the lower three (Gardner, Kleiner and Mamiya, 2005, p.
191-192)Figure 2 The Exterior of the Coliseum of Romethus revealing how pervasive is the influence of Colosseum with regards to the dictation of overall appearance of Roman amphitheater (Sear, 1983, p. 203). There are ornamental Greek orders on its arches arranged in a manner of the standard Roman sequence for multistoried edifice: from its ground up, Tuscan Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian (Gardner, Kleiner and Mamiya, 2005, p. 192). The chosen architecture is used by emperors to entertain the people with free games. The games symbolize prestige and power which augment the popularity of the emperor (Colosseum, 2009).
On the other hand, another Roman construction that is well-known is the Pantheon. It is one of the great spiritual edifices of the world–the Pantheon. It is built and constructed as a Roman temple but later on it is consecrated as a Catholic Church during the 118-35AD.
Its impressive and gigantic porch is originally facing a rectangular colonnade temple. It has great bronze doors that lead to a great circular room. The interior volume shows a cylinder that rises the hemispherical dome (Matthews, 1994-2007).
Its most impressive dome measures more than 43 meters high, making it the largest dome in the world until 1436 when the Florence Cathedral is built. There is a large opening at the top of the dome called as the oculus, the Pantheon;s only source of light (Pantheon, 2009). The portico encompasses three rows of eight columns measuring 14 meters high of Egyptian granite with Corinthian capitals (Matthews, 1994-2007).
Figure 3 The Pantheon The Pantheon houses the tomb of Raphael and of several Italian Kings. Its interior design differs the temple’s structural design; however its marble floor still delineates the original Roman decoration and design. Pantheon’s construction is not that easy, the massive weight of the huge dome becomes the Romans’ most important dilemma. In order to support it without reinforcement, its thickness and type of concrete differs between the top and bottom of the dome.
On the other hand, its columns hold and support a pediment revealing an inscription attributing the edifice itself to Marcus Agrippa even though it is constructed by Hadrian (Pantheon, 2009). The two selected and featured structures embody and illustrate the advancement of Romans with regards to architecture and engineering. It shows the ancient Rome’s dominating power in the world. The revolution in the architecture has demonstrated the independence in customs and tradition. The architectural rebirth is primarily inspired by the Greeks (The Roman Architecture, n/d).Works CitedColosseum. (2009).
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n.d. Ancient Roman Architecture. Retrieved January 17, 2009 from http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Workshop/5220/ancient/roman.htmlList of IllustrationsThe Coliseum of Rome.
n.d. History of Roman Architecture. Retrieved January 17, 2009From http://web.kyoto-inet.
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