Uploaded by docsuf on Apr 05, 2004
The Roman society, like any other, had its humble beginnings. The history of their architecture runs virtually in step with the history of their empire to an extent. As the Empire expanded so did the architecture, and as Romans became more magnificent their architecture followed. Roman architecture had its humble beginnings as a form of worship. The first Roman architects were the ancient priests and dwellers who made areas of sacrifice and worship for their gods. At first, their homes were simple huts but as they grew smarter and more aware of their surroundings, they erected monumental sites for their gods. ‘“This space shall be for worship and for nothing else; it shall be four-square; … whatever is done or said in this holy space the gods shall be aware of; whatever comes … shall be a sign from the gods.’” (Brown 10) So, like many arts, Roman architecture’s roots are embedded in the worshiping and homage paid in religion. The Romans were, of course, not the first to unveil and practice many of their building philosophies; however, they built like no other society before them. Their methods incorporated efficiency and sophistication to construct a whole new look. So with the rise of the Romans and the everlasting hail of Caesar after Caesar and Emperor after Emperor, Roman architecture expanded and influenced building over the world. Unlike the Empire, though, Roman design did not die at the hands of the Germanics, or rather at the hands of self-destruction; it continued to expand and play a part in every major style throughout history. Today, a look at any bridge, tunnel, skyscraper and most buildings will reveal a Roman influence. Even through its empire’s own tribulations and defeat, architecture has stood as an everlasting symbol of what Rome once was, and what the rest of the world is today. To conclude, Roman architecture cannot be looked at as a mere time period or cultural event, for its ramifications lie beyond cultures and beyond time itself.
Roman architecture is not a variable, it is, and forever will be, a constant. Unlike cultures before them, the Romans were not intimidated by the curve, “Greece, like the Orient, had been shy of the curve.” (Brown 20) It had proven very difficult for predecessors to successfully negotiate an angled surface; it not only took great skill, but the right kind of material and design. The...