Roman Architecture

Topics: Ancient Rome, Roman Empire, Rome Pages: 3 (846 words) Published: May 3, 2005
The city of Rome has many of the great architectural feats of the ancient world. Many of these buildings and other assorted structures, although they were built around 2000 years ago, are still standing and even in use. At the start of Roman history, they imported their marble from another great ancient city; Greece. However, they did eventually find quarries in northern Italy that held an abundance of white marble. This marble helped them become the great architectural city that we see even in present times.

Later on, in the first century AD, the Romans began to use concrete in greater use. The architects of Rome used this concrete to make many structures including domes, arches, and vaults. They added bricks to these structures to improve the strength of the building. After adding the bricks, they put on an extra layer of marble for decoration.

One of the biggest improvements that the Romans made in architecture was the invention of the arch. These arches added a great amount of weight to the structure. To help support this weight, the Romans invented a type of building material that is called a keystone block. The force on top of the arch was directed down to this keystone block. Because of the shape of the keystone block, this force was then pushed through the voussoir blocks that formed the top of the arch. The force then went through the impost and the piers, finally ending up at the foundation. This helped support many of Rome's great structures.

One of the most famous Roman buildings is the Pantheon. The dome of the Pantheon spans 142 feet. The portico of the Pantheon is 46 feet high. It is made of granite, and its pillars are of the Corinthian style. The entablature of the Pantheon states a famous inscription stating that the construction was oversaw by Agrippa. The interior of the Pantheon is in the shape of a cylinder. The diameter at the floor of the cylinder is also 142 feet, which is equal to the height of the interior of...
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