Importance Of Architecture In Roman Architecture

1021 Words5 Pages
The Importance of Concrete
And The Arch In Roman Times
Written Assignment

Daniel Chakraborty

University of the People

The arch, as a structure, has been around since the dawn of civilization. In fact, its use by the Ancient Babylonians, Greeks and Egyptians has been documented over time. So, it should be evident that the Romans, who used this structure for a variety of purposes, did not invent but actually borrowed it for their own use.

If that wasn 't enough, and as Stoneman (n.d.A) wrote, not only did the Romans borrow architectural styles from the Greeks but also added one of their own, thanks to the invention of concrete.

In fact, the invention of concrete greatly helped them to realize
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The Use of the Arch (and Concrete)
Roman architecture, at first glance, has an obsession for arches like no other. Of course, it wasn’t just about form but function as well.

In particular, the use of concrete in arches solved one problem that continued to challenge architects prior to the Roman Civilization. This structure enjoys the distinction of being able to support large amounts of weight, thanks to the durability of concrete.

Just solving this problem not only helped them build a variety of structures that would stand the test of time but also incorporate its principles into other structures such as the vault and the dome that can be seen in structures like the Pantheon in modern-day Rome.

As a result, and given the solidity of this structure, there has been a significant amount of cultural borrowing that has passed on from civilization to civilization and has made an indelible mark on the world. Some example of this include the Taj Mahal in Agra, the U.S Capitol in Washington D.C as well as the Gothic Chartres cathedral in
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While each of these structures had a definite purpose such as disposing of waste, carrying water, hosting sporting and entertainment events, the only exception was that of triumphal arches that, according to Cartwright (2012), were built to commemorate “military triumphs and other significant events such as the accession of a new emperor”.

Since there was no practical use of these arches apart from replacing the gates of a city, they usually were decorated with inscriptions. Two prominent arches of this type are the Arch of Constantine and Septimus Severus are still standing.

That said, arches were everywhere and throughout the Roman Empire given their function. What was very clear was how advantageous this architectural structure proved to be since it kept the Roman Empire structurally intact for centuries - an aspect that was not necessarily an advantage that their adversaries had at their disposal.

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