Classical Roman Cities

Powerful Essays
Register to read the introduction…As most civilizations, Classical Roman cities’ “defense potential, adequate water supply and economic potential were the most important factors in deciding on the sites” of the cities (Cilliers). At the peak of Rome’s population, over one million in the 5th century BC, Rome adopted a grid system that had divided the town into blocks, with buildings in the center and a wall which had encircled the city (Harl). It was here where there were “aqueducts to supply water, temples, markets, theaters and amphitheaters, public baths, and playing fields” (Macaulay). To the Roman Empire, cities were the building blocks of the empire, the centers of trade and commerce. Rome continued to develop and improve the city’s structures, history begins to see just how the Classical Roman city planning helped contribute to its social and societal structures. The Classical Roman Empire developed from a series of small hilltop villages to the most powerful and…show more content…
The arches and aqueduct was a Roman innovation that proved to be an effective way of holding up the city’s structure. The creation of aqueducts not only placed emphasis on the importance of hygiene to the Romans, but also emphasised the importance and value of the forum (Cilliers). An adequate water supply was essential for the siting and planning of all Roman cities. The development of land, sewage system and innovative architecture were all developed and modified in order to fit the needs of the Roman citizens. Aqueducts were created to rest on a series of arches and used gravity to bring water from mountains to cities. Water was stored in reservoirs before being funneled to the homes of the rich, to the public baths, and to the public fountains (PBS). As the Romans set up their cities around the aqueduct system, it was only convenient to mark the center of the city where people would retrieve their water supply. By placing the commercial center of the city in the same location that water is supplied, a key factor for survival, the administration had brought the people into one location, a location that happened to be where the cities’ administration had also been placed. This was done consciously as the Roman administration gained more control over their citizens and the lives they led by placing their means of survival next to where the administration had the most control. The administration aimed to unify and…show more content…
During his reign, Emperor Hadrian had established a ‘building program,’ this program that imposed taxes on the citizens in order to commission construction within the city (Birley). The citizens of Rome looked highly upon Hadrian due to his military victories and were eager to contribute to his ideas. It was through this program that Emperor Hadrian commissioned the reconstruction of the Pantheon about 126
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