200 BCE-300CE / Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome, ancient China and ancient Mexico are the three of the large empires that dominated the whole world history of the first century in BCE. The three of those cultures are regulated their cities and their buildings according to a grid layout. Despite the fact that Rome is located in a topography with mostly hills, they used a strict grid systems while they are building ther cities and buildings instead of a rational structures. The Romans gave a huge importance to their cities as their religious approaches and the victory of the military was having religious meanings for them.

In the most of the ancient cultures, there were very less examples of high quality buildings that represents religious or political approaches. Nonetheless, some of the cities that were governed with Hellenistic regimes,  had  a lot of highly qualified architectural works. Roman Empire sophisticated itself with a comprehensive approach urban architecture. So that, they gained stunning results of this approach. They built a lot of cities that were well served and furnished with colonnades.

The city of Rome, regarded itself as “caput mundi” namely  “head of the world”. The Roman generals used architectural projects to to dictate the power of the empire. They produce a lot of new colonnaded enclosures with different architectural elements yet, by taking Hellenistic cities as model. All through the Roman Empire age, the designers and architects built up cities of a brand new type. Such as, public space and public architecture provided a formal envelope for daily existance. Roman people  were not cruel people. They tried to serve a good life to inhabitants that lives in the conquered lands by Romans. Romans, served them a equitable system, market places, great infrastructure of roads and aqueducts, public baths and etc. Their most striking fature is the talent of mastering space with using arches, vaults and new the new technology of concrete consturction.

In the first two centuries of Rome, the king  borrowed regulations and religious practices and architecure from Etruscans culture. Because Etruscans were more developed than the Roman culture. The other thing that is good of developing Etruscan culture is that, the Etruscan architects brought technology of arches and vaults that is very usefull for such works such as arched gateways. Most of the Roman temples repeated the Etruscan of frontal orientation.

pompeii ile ilgili görsel sonucu

A city that includes a lot of one of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture, called Pompeii. However, because of the eruption of Vesuvius the city has been destroyed. Unfortunately, the streets and buldings of the city embedded uner the ashes of volcanic eruption. This small city were having the complete urban system that exemplifies the importance of public space to Roman daily life. The pattern of city of Pompeii is a combinated version of different cultural ideas such as Oscan, Etruscan, Greek and Roman. For instance, the blocks that are long and orthogonal are taken reference from both Greeks and typicall Roman square blocks. The public space that is called th Forum of Pompeii showes the Roman preference for axial orientation. Roman cities, like Pompeii, were always having a public space like forums also a temple and a basilica too. The Basilica of Pompeii had a covered hall used for the administirative business. Mostly tha gates of basilicas were put in the long edge of the buildings, however, in the Basilica of the Pompeii the gate was put in the short edge of the bulding. This approach enhances the axiality of the structure from the foru to colonnades toward tribunal. The centeral space is elevated double height and framed by columns. The openings above at the walls were creating a natural light.

basilica of pompeii ile ilgili görsel sonucu

In additional to the temples and tombs that they built for citizens needs, they also produced a lot of secular monuments such as baths and theaters. Greeks ere building their theaters to the contours of sloping sites. However, Romans were building them as freestanding monuments using arches and concrete vaults. Those Roman theaters were usully ncluding a temple. First of the theater in Rome was built for the general Pompey. It had a small tempe which was overlooking to te cavea. Cavea is a sloped seat that is formed as semi-cycle for sitting. Unlike the Greeks, Romans filled the orchestra with patrician seating.

Romans invented a new form of theater called amphitheater. An amphitheater is something that combinatio of two theaters to form an ellipse. They included greate stones and concrete shells. The arenas were important for those amphitheaters too. It was a continuous stone bleacher held behind retaining walls or on an elaborate syste of concrete vaulted substructures.


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