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Roman Building Types II

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on 31 March 2016

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Transcript of Roman Building Types II

Roman Building Types II
The Forum
corresponded with the Agora in a Greek
city, and was
an open space used as a meeting place and market
, or a rendezvous for political demonstrators. It was the
center of the Roman city
began as a market place
then it rapidly became the
commercial, political and ceremonial center of the civilization
In the process it
developed into an elaborate architectural space that became a part of all roman cities
of the forum is
more formal than the Greek agora
, which is informal in plan.
surrounding it are normally
large and dominate the space
All Roman cities had forums
, which usually were surrounded by porticos, colonnades and public buildings, such as
temples, basilicas, senate house
, and
, and was adorned with
of victory and
memorial statues
of great men.
Aqueducts were used to
supply water to Roman cities.
The Romans were acquainted with the
simple hydraulic law
that water will rise to its own level in pipes, and the upper rooms of their houses were supplied by "rising mains" in the same way as modern buildings.
Owing, however, to the fact that pipes had then to be made of weak and costly lead or bronze, it was found to be
more economical by the use of slave labor to construct aqueducts of stone, or concrete faced with brick
Having almost level water channels,
above or below ground
on immense arches above ground,
a system, which even in
modern times
has been followed in the Croton Aqueduct, which supplies New York City.
The principle of all the examples is similar. A
smooth channel (specus) lined with a hard cement, is carried on arches
, often in
several tiers and sometimes of immense height,

conveying the water from the high ground, across valleys, to the city reservoirs
Many of them follow an
indirect course in order to prevent the slope
of the channel being too steep when the source of the water was high above the required level of distribution in Rome.
By the 3rd century AD
, there were
11 of these aqueducts
supplying Rome with water.
The Aqua Claudia is also another example of Roman aqueduct, it was one of the aqueducts that supplied Rome with water over a distance of 66 kilometers
Week 13
& 14

The Roman Forum, Rome.
The Roman Forum is also called the
Republican Forum
. It was
drained in the 7th century BC
with the building of the
Cloaca Maxima
, as more people began to settle
between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill
It was the
oldest and most important forum
in the city, which also became an
important market place
By the 5th Century B.C
., the various functions associated with the forum began to
assume their architectural shape
The Forum Romanum was in
early times
also used as a
hippodrome and for contests
, which in after years during the imperial period took place in the amphitheaters.
Additions, modification and growth
by successive republicans and emperors led to its development
By AD 400
, the forum had accumulated not less than
10 temples, 4 basilicas, 4 triumphal arches
and many other monuments and shrines. All of these were
arranged with no preordained order
The buildings therefore loosely define the space of the forum
During the reign of Julius Caesa
r, he attempted to reorganize the Republican forum but realized that it had become
too congested for rational order
He therefore decided to build a
new forum adjacent
to but outside the republican forum
This idea was
picked by successive emperors
, who added to it to create the imperial forum
The imperial forum is
not one forum, but five forums
with each supporting the other. And although they vary from each other, they displayed rational order in their organization
Each of the forums
consisted of colonnaded atrium with a temple at its head
Of the five forums, that of
Trojan was most majestic
, with the
basilica Ulpia sitting across it
and two libraries on either side of the central court
The Imperial Fora, Rome.
The ancient Romans also contributed to the development of several architectural elements. The
most prominent of them is the triumphal arch
A triumphal arch is a
structure in the shape of a monumental gate
, usually built to
celebrate a victory in war
and they are usually
built in the Form, framing the paths that people follow
triumphal arches are made of
stone and intended to be permanent
. While
temporary triumphal arches
were also constructed for use for celebratory
parades or ceremony and later dismantled
Roman Triumph was a civil ceremony and religious rite
held to publicly
honor the military commander
of a notably successful foreign war
Only men of senatorial or consular rank could perform a triumph celebration
and be a triumphator as the victorious generals are known
The ceremony consisted of a
spectacular parade
, opened by the chiefs of conquered peoples who are afterward executed
triumphator rode on a biga
, a chariot pulled by two white horses, and the
parade followed a precise route
in the streets of Rome
It traveled
along the Forum until it reached the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
, where the laurels of victory were offered to the god.
consisted either of a single arch or of a central arch with a smaller one on either side
. These rest on an impost, and have
Corinthian or Composite columns on either side
, and were adorned with architectural enrichment, statuary, and bas-reliefs relating to campaigns.
attic or surmounting mass of stonework was placed above, having a dedicatory inscription.
Arch of Constantine, Rome.
AD 315
It was built in
honor of Constantine's victory over Maxentius
, and is one of the
best-proportioned examples
It has
detached Corinthian columns supporting an entablature
, which returns round each column, and
above the attic were originally a quadriga, horses, and statues
It has
three arched openings, a larger one in the center flanked by two smaller ones, and marked with 4 free standing columns in front framing the arched openings
It is also abundantly decorated, depicting the
victory in relief sculpture
Arch of Titus, Rome.
AD 81
The arch was built in
A.D. 81
and dedicated to the emperor
Titus to commemorate the capture of Jerusalem in AD 70
The arch has a
15.4 meters
, a
width of 13.5 meters
and was constructed of
It has a
single opening flanked on each side by attached columns of the Composite order
The Composite order has a capital that joins the acanthus leaves of the Corinthian order with the volutes of the Ionic order
On each side of the arch are semi-engaged columns of the Composite order, being the earliest known examples, and three-quarter columns occur at the angles.
archway has its soffit ornamented with deep coffers
, in the center of which is a
relief of the apotheosis of Titus
The inner jambs have reliefs of the emperor in a triumphal car, being crowned by victory, on the one side, and the spoils taken from the Temple at Jerusalem on the other.
face of the arch
is decorated with sculptural relief depicting the
destruction of the temple in Jerusalem
central keystones project considerably in order to support the main architrave
, and are
richly carved
Roman Triumphal Pillars or Columns were either
monolithic pillars or composed of column drums
In the case of drums, they
were often hollowed out to accommodate a spiral staircase
leading up to the platform on top.
Trajan's Column, was erected in connection with his
Basilica Ulpia
, and stood in an open court with galleries around at different levels, from which the
bas-reliefs on its shaft could be viewed.
The column, of the Roman
Doric order is 35 meters high
including its pedestal. The pedestal is ornamented with
sculptured trophies on three sides
, and having a
on the fourth.
The column is
3.7 meters in diameter
at the base and is provided with an
internal spiral staircase of marble
, lighted by small openings.
The sculptures, numbering over
2,500 human figures
, besides
, and carved on a spiral band were probably intended to represent the
unwinding of a scroll
of parchment illustrating incidents of
Trajan's war with the Dacians
There is a full-sized cast in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Trajan's Column, Rome.
AD 113
Rostral Columns
Rostral columns, a type of memorial, which in the time of the emperors was numerous, were
erected to celebrate naval victories.
Rostra, or prows of ships captured after a naval victory
, were used in their ornamentation, and a
recital of the deeds
, which led to their erection, was
carved upon them.
Reconstruction of the Rostral Column of Gaius Duilius
(ca. 260 BC) at Museo della Civiltà Romana, Roma.
Rostral columns in Saint Petersburg, ca. 1800's
Pont du Gard, Nime.
It was constructed
to supply water to the city of Nimes, France,
and considered to be the
existing example.
It forms
part of an aqueduct 50 kilometers long
, bringing water from the neighborhood of Uzes.
bridge is about 275 meters long
, and is
formed of three tiers of arches crossing a valley
, and about
48.8 meters above the River Gard
On the
two lower tiers
, the
central arch is the widest
, and the others vary in width.
On the uppermost tier there are 35 arches having 4.2 meters span
supporting the water-channel
masonry is laid dry without mortar
and, some of the arch voussoirs of the intermediate tier projected to carry the temporary centering.
ca. AD 50
The chief
of Roman bridges were
, with a view to their withstanding the ravages of time and the elements. The
roadway was generally kept level throughout
Ponte di Tiberio, Rimini.
The Bridge of Tiberius or
Bridge of Augustus
is one of the
best preserved
in Italy and has
semicircular five arches
. It is
62.6 meters long
8.6 meters wide
. The a
verage span
length is around
8 meters
Construction work started during Augustus' reign and was finished under his successor Tiberius in 20 AD.
bridge is still open to pedestrian
and light traffic.
ca. AD 20
Ponte d' Augusto, Narni.
ca. 27 BC
The bridge, which crosses over the
river Nera
, is one of the
largest bridges
built by the Romans.
It has
four arches
with total
length of 160 meters
, and
height of 30 meters
Only one out of the four arches remains standing.
Etruscan columbarium at Cava Buia, Blera, Italy.
Reconstruction of the Mausoleum Augusti by H. von Hesberg. Reproduced after H. von Hesberg and S. Panciera, Das Mausoleum des Augustus: Der Bau und seine Inschriften, Munich: Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1994, Fig. 59.

Mausoleum of Augustus, Rome. 28 BC
Mausoleum of Hadrian, Rome. AD 135
Pyramid of Cestius. Rome. 12 BC
Tomb of the Valerii, Rome. 2nd Century AD
The Romans either
buried or cremated
their dead, both
being sometimes found in the
same tomb chamber
The bodies of the emperors during the
first three centuries
were usually burnt on magnificent pyres, from which an
eagle was set free
, symbolizing the
escaping soul of the dead
In the
second century A.D,
the practice of cremation became
less usual
; the
richer classes embalmed their dead
and placed them in massive and costly sarcophagi instead of the smaller receptacle for ashes.
These were placed in
subterranean vaults
or caves, which are now known as
They have
rows of niches in the walls resembling pigeonholes
hence the name (dovecotes). Each niche was
reserved for a vase
containing the ashes of the deceased, with the name inscribed thereon.
Sarcophagi were also placed in these tomb-chambers
, some of which in addition had "loculi" or recesses for corpses.
Consisted of
tower-shaped blocks
square or circular
resting on a quadrangular structure
crowned with a pyramidal roof
. These may be survivals of the
prehistoric tumulus
of earth with its base strengthened by a ring of stones.
Probably due to the i
ntroduction of Egyptian ideas,
were also adopted, as in the Pyramid of Cestius (B.C. 62-12), which is formed of
concrete faced with white marble
, and has an
internal tomb-chamber
, the
vault and walls being decorated with figure paintings
Pyramid Tombs
Smaller tombs, as
isolated monuments,
were often erected
along the sides of roads leading from cities
, as at Rome and in the Street of Tombs, Pompeii
These often have
subterranean tomb-chambers for sarcophagi
with niches for cinerary urns, and the
walls and vaults were ornamented with colored reliefs
in stucco, as in the Tomb of the Pancratii.
Above the ground, the tomb resembled a small temple
, often with a
prostyle portico
, and the upper chamber contained portraits or statues of deities and served as mortuary chapels, as in the tombe of Valerii.
Small Tombs
Tomb of the Pancratii, Rome. 2nd Century AD
Tomb of the Pancratii, Rome. 2nd Century AD
Monument of St. Remy
, also known as
Mausoleum of the Julii, or the Mausoleum of Glanum
located in Provence (first century BC), consists of a
high pedestal
ornamented with bas-reliefs and supporting a story of
engaged Corinthian angle columns
with arched openings between. Above is a circular story with fluted Corinth
Eastern Tombs
Mausoleum of Julii. St. Remy. 1st Century BC
Mausoleum of Julii. St. Remy. 1st Century BC
Roman cities had a range of
various types of private dwellings
and they were
evolved from Greek
domestic architecture
There were three types of houses: (a.)
The domus, or private house; (b.) The villa, or country house; and (c.) The insula, or many-storied tenement.
They each possessed an
atrium (for light and air)
forming the more public
portion of the building, and a
forming the center of the family apartments
. It had
few or no window
openings to the outside.
The private dwellings
reflected the rank and wealth
of the inhabitants while, the
lowest level are the multi-story tenements
where a large proportion of the population stayed
They consisted of
shops on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors
The domus was essentially a courtyard house, and were reserved for the more well off members of the Roman society.
Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli. 2nd Century AD.
resembled a palace
in its extent, occupying an area of about
1 x 2 Km,
and consists of
over 30 buildings
Besides the
imperial apartments
, it was
surrounded by terraces
peristyles halls, theaters, a gymnasium, fountains, dining halls, dormitories, baths, libraries and other facilities.
Built on a large country estate spread on a vast terrain, Hadrian villa displays an
example of the level of wealth
displayed in buildings
The most characteristics feature of the villa is
the play of curves and curved form
which is
most evident
in the
Canopus is an elongated pool surrounded by a colonnade
colonnade is topped by alternating straight entablature and segmental arch sections
framing statuary
House of Pansa. Pompeii. 140-120 BC
The House of Pansa may be taken as a
good type of domus or ordinary private house.
It was
surrounded by streets on three sides,
garden occupying the fourth
, and, besides the house proper,
consisted of shops, bakeries, and three smaller houses.
prothyrum, or entrance passage, led direct from the street entrance to the atrium
, which served as the
public waiting room
for retainers and clients, and from which the more private portions of the house were shut off.
The atrium was open to the sky in the center, with a "lean-to" or sloping roof supported by brackets round all four sides.
The impluvium, or "water cistern / Skylight"
for receiving the
from these roofs,
was sunk in the center
of the pavement, while round were grouped the front rooms, probably
used by servants or guests, or as semi-public rooms
, e.g.)
, each receiving sufficient light through the door openings.
An o
pen saloon, or tablinum, with "fauces," or narrow passages, led to the peristyle
, or inner court, often the garden of the house; and
around were grouped the cubicula or bedrooms
, the
triclinium, or dining-room
(summer and winter), with different aspects, the
oacus, or reception room, and the alae, or recesses, for conversation
The dining rooms were fitted with three couches each for three people to recline upon, as 9 was the recognized number for a Roman feast.
peristyle was the center of the private part
of the house, and it usually had a small shrine or altar.
walls and floors were richly decorated with mosaics and paintings.
kitchen and pantry are in the side of the peristyle, furthest from the entrance.
Gladiator's Arena
. B. Piazza d'Oro.
Maritime Theater.
Republican Villa.
Imperial Palace.
Maritime Theater, a circular portico around a broad moat and a circular island containing marble pillars and remains of bedrooms and baths.
Ruins of the so-called Piazza d'Oro (Golden Plaza, Golden Square, Golden Court)

Looking across the Canopus
The Maritime Theatre
The Maritime Theatre
Palace of Diocletian. Spalato/Split. AD 305
The Palace of Diocletian, Spalato, in Croatia (A.D. 305),
formed the greater part of the medieval town of Spalato
, and has thus been called
a city in a house.
It may be described as a
royal country house
, or better, perhaps, as a chateau by the sea.
The original plan of the palace was
approximately a rectangle
, occupying an area of
9.5 acres
. There was a
square tower at each angle
In the center of each of the north
east and west sides was a gateway
flanked by
octagonal towers
, between which and those at the angles were subsidiary towers.
These gateways formed
entrances to porticoed avenues 11 meter wide
, which, meeting in the center, gave the palace the
character of a Roman camp
On each of the facades, between the towers, were
rich entrance gateways
; the
"golden" on the north
, the
"iron" on the west
, and the
"brazen" on the east
, ending these main avenues, which divided the enclosed area into four parts, each assigned to a particular purpose.
two northern portions
were probably for the
guests and principal officers
of the household; while the whole of the
southern portion was devoted to the palace
, including a temple of Jupiter, the baths, and Mausoleum.
Lining the inclosing walls
of the whole area, on three sides,
, were the
cells that lodged the slaves and soldiers
of the imperial entourage.
The octagonal temple
, and the more lofty halls of the palace proper, being
visible above
the inclosing walls in distant views by land and sea, were impressive features of the group.
The architectural character is somewhat debased in style, broken and curved pediments with decadent detail being employed.
The palace has a value
, however, as a transitional example, for the
of the peristyle is
formed as an arch
, thus losing its constructive significance, and in the
northern gateway arches rest directly on capitals without the intervention of an entablature
, being an early example of a principle carried to its logical
in the
Romanesque and Gothic styles
View of the peristyle (the central square of the Palace) towards the entrance of Diocletian's quarters.
View of the North Gate (Golden gate) or Porta aurea
Monumental Tombs
Romans created what can be referred to as a
structural revolution
. This revolution centers on their
and use of the
arches, vaults,
and the invention of groin vaults.
Because of this structural revolution, they were able to
construct buildings with large interior spaces, and span large openings in buildings
and other structures with economy and strength.
These new techniques and inventions allowed them to
construct large engineering structures
such as bridges to connect all parts of their empire, and aqueduct to supply water to their cities
The arch was
not a new architectural element
, as it had been known by other civilizations including the Egyptians and the Greeks but the Romans used it to its fullest potential
The arch is an organic structure with the elements of the arch
(voussoirs) resting on each other
transferring load to the column
It was particularly
useful over doors and openings
and sometimes, they are built over a lintel to deflect the load to the surrounding walls.
With an arch, there are
no tensile stresses as all the forces are in compression,
and stone building has enormous compressive strength
Up to a certain point also, the more an arch is loaded the stronger it becomes
Vaults are
used to cover an area as a roof
of the vaults is
the Barrel Vault
, which is just made up of an
arch extended over a certain distance.
It can be adapted to suit different types of plans by making simple modifications to it
of the vault is that
it exerts a continuous load
and therefore
needs some form of continuous support
. It is also
difficult to light the space under a vault
except from the ends. However, the Romans invented unique ways of overcoming these difficulties
The Cross Vault also known as
Groin Vault
was created from the
intersection of two barrel vaults
to overcome some of the problems of the ordinary vault
The weight of the groin vault is
concentrated at the corners eliminating
the need for
continuous support
The opening of the space in 4 directions means that ample light can be provided to the area below it
major limitation
of the groin vault is that it is
limited to a square plan
The Romans were the
first to develop concrete
which is different from modern concrete and is made up of lime, sand and water
Around the
2nd century BC
Pozzolana or volcanic ash was also added
Concrete reduced the need for stone quarries, shaping and transportation of stone for high skilled labor for stone masonry
Concrete has the
that it can be
cast in any shape
and in far

than the megalithic blocks of stone used in buildings
With concrete
, it was possible to
construct monolithic vaults and arches
Concrete buildings were normally f
aced with other materials to hide the ugly look of the concrete.
Fired brick
used as formwork was the
most popular covering material
opus testaceum
opus reticulatum
opus incertum
Maged Elsamny, PhD
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