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Ancient Roman Civilization: Architecture and Engineering

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Title: Ancient Roman Civilization: Architecture and Engineering


1
Ancient Roman Civilization Architecture and
Engineering
  • City of Rome

2
Architecture and Engineering
  • What type of innovations came from the Ancient
    Roman Civilization?
  • What influences can we see in our society today?
  • Can you give two examples?

3
Roman Cities
  • The typical Roman city of the later Republic and
    empire had a rectangular plan and resembled a
    Roman military camp with two main streetsthe
    cardo (north-south) and the decumanus
    (east-west)a grid of smaller streets dividing
    the town into blocks, and a wall circuit with
    gates.
  • Older cities, such as Rome itself, founded before
    the adoption of regularized city planning, could,
    however, consist of a maze of crooked streets.
    The focal point of the city was its forum,
    usually situated at the center of the city at the
    intersection of the cardo and the decumanus.

4
Plan of the City of Rome
By the time of Augustus, Rome had grown from a
tiny settlement on the Tiber River to a
metropolis at the center of an expanding empire.
Under the republic Rome became the political
capital of the Mediterranean and a symbol of
Roman power and wealth.
5
All Roads Lead to Rome
Why do you think a system of roads was important
to the survival of the Empire?
6
Appian Way
An expanding network of roads helped to link
Rome's distant territories. One of the most
important paved military roads was the Appian
Way, commissioned by the Roman official Appius
Claudius Caecus. It became the major route from
Rome to Greece. Although these large lava blocks
may not be the original material, the route
itself has remained unchanged and in use since it
was first paved more than 2200 years ago.
7
Forums
  • The forum, an open area bordered by colonnades
    with shops, functioned as the chief meeting place
    of the town. It was also the site of the city's
    primary religious and civic buildings, among them
    the Senate house, records office, and basilica.

8
When archaeologists began excavating the city of
Pompeii, which had been covered with ash and mud
by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ad 79, they
found the remains of people, ancient buildings,
and other artifacts preserved amid the volcanic
debris. Among the structures uncovered was The
Forum of Pompeii, pictured, a group of temples,
courts, and palaces that served as the citys
legislative center.
9
Basilica
  • The basilica was a roofed hall with a wide
    central areathe naveflanked by side aisles, and
    it often had two or more stories. In Roman times
    basilicas were the site of business transactions
    and legal proceedings, but the building type was
    adapted in Christian times as the standard form
    of the Western church with an apse and altar at
    the end of the long nave. The first basilicas
    were put up in the early 2nd century b.c. in
    Rome's own Forum, but the earliest well-preserved
    example of the basilicas (circa 120 b.c.) is
    found at Pompeii.

10
This Roman basilica was begun by the emperor
Maxentius between 307 and 310 and completed by
Constantine the Great after 312. Although it was
one of the most important monuments in classical
antiquity, almost all that remains of the
building are these three huge, barrel-vaulted bays
11
Roman Temples
  • The chief temple of a Roman city, the capitolium,
    was generally located at one end of the forum.
    The standard Roman temple was a blend of Etruscan
    and Greek elements rectangular in plan, it had a
    gabled roof, a deep porch with freestanding
    columns, and a frontal staircase giving access to
    its high plinth, or platform.

12
By the 1st century b.c, the extensive conquests
of the Romans led them to regard the
Mediterranean as mare nostrum (our sea). Roman
influence went far beyond politics. Roman art,
architecture, and language were among the
cultural traits that slowly took hold in many of
Rome's conquered territories. Ruins of ancient
temples in Baalbek, Lebanon, include the Temple
of Jupiter, built by the Romans after they took
control of the territory that included what is
now Lebanon in 64 b.c.
13
Pantheon
  • Roman temples were erected not only in the forum,
    but throughout the city and in the countryside as
    well many other types are known. One of the most
    influential in later times was the type used for
    the Pantheon (ad 118-28) in Rome, consisting of a
    standard gable-roofed columnar porch with a domed
    cylindrical drum behind it replacing the
    traditional rectangular main room, or cella.

14
The Pantheon in Rome is one of the most famous
buildings in the world. It was commissioned by
Hadrian in 118 and completed in 128. At one time
it had a colonnaded court leading to the portico.
The dome of the rotunda behind the portico is
43.2 m (142 ft) in diameter. The oculus (a round
opening) at the top is 8.5 m (28 ft) in diameter
and provides the only source of light for the
interior.
15
Roman engineers completed the Pantheon, a temple
to all the gods, in ad 128. Its interior was
conceived as a single immense space illuminated
by a single round opening, called an oculus, at
the highest point in the dome. The interior is
decorated with colored marble, and lined with
pairs of columns and carved figures set into
niches in the wall.
16
Roman Theaters
  • Roman theaters first appeared in the late
    Republic. They were semicircular in plan and
    consisted of a tall stage building abutting a
    semicircular orchestra and tiered seating area
    (cavea). Unlike Greek theaters, which were
    situated on natural slopes, Roman theaters were
    supported by their own framework of piers and
    vaults and thus could be constructed in the
    hearts of cities.

17
The Roman emperor Augustus founded the city of
Aosta during the 1st century b.c near the
junction of natural transportation routes from
Italy through the mountains to France and
Switzerland. The city has many remnants of Roman
architecture, including wall segments from this
theater.
18
Amphitheater
  • Amphitheaters (literally, double theaters) were
    elliptical in plan with a central arena, where
    gladiatorial and animal combats took place, and a
    surrounding seating area built on the pattern of
    Roman theaters. The earliest known amphitheater
    (75 bc) is at Pompeii, and the grandest, Rome's
    Colosseum (ad70-80), held approximately 50,000
    spectators, roughly the capacity of today's large
    sports stadiums.

19
The Colosseum in Rome (70-82) is best known for
its multilevel system of vaults made of concrete.
It is called the Colosseum for a colossal statue
of Nero that once stood nearby, but its real name
is the Flavian Amphitheater. It was used for
staged battles between lions and Christians,
among other spectacles, and is one of the most
famous pieces of architecture in the world.
20
Aqueduct
  • Among the other great public building projects of
    the Romans, the most noteworthy are the network
    of bridges and roads that facilitated travel
    throughout the empire, and the aqueducts that
    brought water to the towns from mountain sources
    (Pont du Gard, late 1st century bc or early 1st
    century ad, near Nimes).

21
The Roman aqueduct at Pont du Gard near Nîmes,
France, was built between the late 1st century bc
and the early 1st century ad. The Romans built
extensive systems of aqueducts to carry water to
their residential areas from distant sources.
22
Summary
  • A clear picture of Roman architecture can be
    drawn from the impressive remains of ancient
    Roman public and private buildings.
  • Many of our modern government institutions are
    modeled after the Roman system, as is much of our
    public architecture.

23
Builders laid the cornerstone for the United
States Capitol in 1793, and the building has been
the seat of the countrys Senate and the House of
Representatives since 1800. The Rotunda stands 66
m (180 ft) high and is the symbolic center of
both Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C.
24
Lincoln Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
25
Review
  • What type of innovations came from the Ancient
    Roman Civilization?
  • What influences can we see in our society today?
  • Can you give two examples?

26
Vocabulary1
  • Amphitheater circular building, a round or oval
    building without a roof that has a central open
    space surrounded by tiers of seats, especially
    one used by the ancient Romans for public
    entertainment
  • Aqueduct A complex system of channels built to
    carry water from one place to another.
  • Basilica a type of ancient Roman building that
    had a central nave with an aisle on each side
    formed by two rows of columns, and typically a
    terminal semicircular apse. It was used as a
    court of justice, an assembly hall, or an
    exchange.

27
Vocabulary 2
  • Forum a public square or marketplace in ancient
    Roman cities where business was conducted and the
    law courts were situated
  • Oculus an architectural feature that is round
    or eye-shaped, for example, a round window, a
    round opening at the top of a dome, or the
    central boss of a volute.

28
Homework
  • Complete Lesson Handout

29
Where to Get More Information
  • Ancient RomeWhat Life Was Like When Rome Ruled
    the World The Roman Empire 100 bc to ad
    200. Time-Life, 1997. 
  • Adkins, Lesley, and Roy A. Adkins. Handbook to
    Life in Ancient Rome. Facts on File, Reprint,
    Oxford University Press, 1997. 1998. A
    comprehensive reference covering more than 1,200
    years of the Roman Empire includes 150
    illustrations.
  • Amery, Heather, and Patricia Vanags. Rome and
    Romans. Educational Development Center, 1998. A
    volume in the popular Time-Traveler series.
  • Connolly, Peter, and Hazel Dodge. The Ancient
    City Life in Classical Athens and Rome. Oxford
    University Press, 1998. Details what it was like
    to live in the capital cities of the classical
    world.
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