Chapter 9: rome: caput mundi

The civilisation of Rome is the pioneer of many great things. There is Roman environmental thinking. Pompeii is a developed Roman town. Rome and Pompeii have adopted an orthogonal city planning. The Romans appreciated the geometrical forms as Greeks. They positioned new towns on the meeting cross points of main north-south axis and east-west axis. This crossed points contained the large complex and public structures as forums, basilicas etc. Forums are where the religious, political, economic, social and administrative events took places. The romans preferred to construct their cities as blocks unlike the linear Greek towns. In big as Pompeii, there is theaters, odeons, stadiums and sanatorium. There is city construction which is crucial due to increase Roman civilizing mission and establishing its visibility. Military is an important aspects of them therefore we can see its traces in architecture. Defense of cities also solved by the advance technique of using giant walls. They arranged the structures to have strategical advantage.

The general approach of their architecture is based on enclosed spaces with straight lines. The reinforced walls helped them to overcome and eliminate the usage of external supports. Additionally, the use of arches, vaults and domes is very common. The arches are semicircular. The most used materials are ,according to the existing surrounding materials, linestone, mortar and concrete. This is the characters of their own vernacular architecture.

Since there is a city organisation, the requirements of infrastructures emerged quickly; water systems and drainage system and transportation system. For example, aqueducts were used to overcome the geographic irregularities. They excavated mountains and traverse the valleys by cannel to being water to the cities. Also linking them become a design problems. The paved roads facilitated also both political and communicational control.

We can see the examples of typology of temple, amphitheatre etc. The religious temples were built on a high platform and it is similar to Greek temples: the main is emphasized due to having stairs and cella opening. There is also theatre in Rome but unlike the greek one located on a natural slope of a mountain, it has a straight ground. But the other aspects are mostly resembles.

Roman domus is the typical roman houses consisting of the evolution and the variation of court. It is the housing of the higher middle class. The level of privacy changes from the entrance to the indoor spaces. Vestibulum leads to atrium which is a greeting space on open to the sky. Then, there are private rooms. Peristylium is the backyard of the house consists of nice enclosed garden.

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