Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ancient Rome (pt. 4)

For their architecture, the Romans took the basic idea of post and lintel and added an arch.  A barrel vault is a series of arches from front to back that form a tunnel.  They used a round arch at the top of two columns that was connected and supported with a keystone (the top stone of the arch).  The arch kept going like a tunnel that you could go through—like so…
The basic architectural style stayed the same (pediment, entablature, columns, and 3-tiered platform), but the Romans added more stairs that only went up to the front of the building, whereas Greek temples had stairs around every side.  Half columns were a new feature, also; these were attached to the solid walls to create a decorative pattern.  Basilicas featured a nave (long, wide, central aisle) and an apse (semicircular area at the end of the nave).  (More on this when we get to the Medieval era…)
Examples of Ancient Roman architecture are: baths, amphitheaters, theaters, triumphal arches and bridges, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon—among many others.  Another huge innovation at this time was the Roman aqueduct, which was a system that carried water from mountain streams into cities by using gravitational flow.

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