Effects of Roman Architecture

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It was an art of shaping space around ritual, it sought identity and fulfillment in the performance and creation, it was their way of reducing chaos, it was used to show their newly developed building skills, it was to “romanize” their country and set it apart from others. What was the reasoning for making such extraordinary structures? From the beginning of the use of “the arch” to the construction of huge public places such as the Roman arena. There’s a reason why thousands of people visit these places every year, something so amazing that keep’s our attention. It’s the beauty, or the concept of building these, or maybe the idea of designing such complex structures. The detail is tremendously in depth also, they truly cared about what they were doing. We here the quote said by John Heywood when being lectured about hard work, “Rome was not built in a day.”7 And it’s so very true. We today are amazed in how and why they would do it. The effects on today are tremendous. If you were to look down your street you would see so many uses of Roman Architecture. Columns? So simple but still so elegant. Domes? Such an amazing architectural design. Arches? Gave a whole new meaning to an open-looking building. Before Roman style came we had other styles including; Prehistoric which did not inspire much besides stone circles and Ancient Egypt which gave us the beautiful pyramids. Besides that, the Romans were the first to really break through. Which is what they wanted, wanting to be known by all. Roman Architecture effected the future’s idea on structure, design and the ability to obtain power by it’s beauty, it’s structure, and it’s uses. So what was the reasoning of making these structures? To show all the power they had, to show what they could do themselves. The English author Goethe once said, “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.”2 Proving that they were the ones that were smart enough to come up with this. Not only did they make them to show everyone, they used them. They were used daily and stayed intact. They’re still intact today!4 So many designs that helped the future come up with more and more complex ideas. Producing such massive, creative, and beautiful designs made people come and sit in ah. The year is 2009 and guess who is still coming and sitting in ah, we are.

The poet Friedrich von Schelling once said, “Architecture in general is frozen music.”1 And music in general is a beautiful thing. Beauty is a big factor in attracting attention. If something is that beautiful, people will take the effort to take a double look. Romans took this into account and used it to their advantage. Take the Pantheon for example, simply amazing. It’s thought by many to be almost perfect in interior design. The light pours through the aperture in the coffered dome, and creates a mystical atmosphere in the windowless building. From afar you see the massive dome, the octastyle porch and a rectangular feature connecting the two. There are also eight granite columns, six of them being original.4 The two replacement columns were made of a reddish granite, almost identical. The inside is what is really amazing, you first walk up to the porch which is made of all marble and granite. The two stones were arranged in a pattern of circles and rectangles. You then enter the “entranceway” where you see that it is framed by pilasters of white marble. To get into the rotunda you enter through huge doors made of bronze that are connected by wooden planks, attached again by bronze nails.6 When first stepping into the rotunda your eye goes directly to “the eye”. “The eye”, or the all-powerful eye, is a round piece of glass on the direct top of the dome. It gives off a fair amount of light and in the Roman’s perspective, keeps an eye on all visitors.7 Thomas Fuller a British author once said “Light, God's eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.”2 The...
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