Ancient Roman architecture developed different aspects of Ancient Greek architecture and newer technologies such as the arch and the dome to make a new architectural style. Roman architecture flourished throughout the Empire during the Pax Romana. Its use of new materials, particularly concrete, was a very important feature.
Roman Architecture covers the period from the establishment of the Roman Republic in 509 BC to about the 4th century AD, after which it becomes reclassified as Late Antique or Byzantine architecture. Most of the many surviving examples are from the later period. Roman architectural style continued to influence building in the former empire for many centuries, and the ...view middle of the document...
Roman bricks are often stamped with the mark of the legion that supervised their production. The use of bricks in southern and western Germany, for example, can be traced back to traditions already described by the Roman architect Vitruvius.
Roman brick was almost invariably of a lesser height than modern brick, but was made in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Shapes included square, rectangular, triangular and round, and the largest bricks found have measured over three feet in length. Ancient Roman bricks had a general size of 1½ Roman feet by 1 Roman foot, but common variations up to 15 inches existed. Other brick sizes in Ancient Rome included 24" x 12" x 4", and 15" x 8" x 10". Ancient Roman bricks found in France measured 8" x 8" x 3". The Constantine Basilica in Trier is constructed from Roman bricks 15" square by 1½" thick. There is often little obvious difference (particularly when only fragments survive) between Roman bricks used for walls on the one hand, and tiles used for roofing or flooring on the other, so archaeologists sometimes prefer to employ the generic term ceramic building material (or CBM).
The Romans perfected brick-making during the first century of their empire and used it ubiquitously, in public and private construction alike. The Romans took their brickmaking skills everywhere they went, introducing the craft to the local populations. In the British Isles, the introduction of Roman brick by the ancient Romans was followed by a 600–700 year gap in major brick production.
Main article: Roman concrete
Although concrete had been used on a minor scale in Mesopotamia, Roman architects perfected Roman concrete and used it in buildings where it could stand on its own and support a great deal of weight. The first use of concrete by the Romans was in the town of Cosa sometime after 273 BC. Ancient Roman concrete was a mixture of lime mortar, aggregate, pozzolana, water, and stones, and was stronger than previously-used concrete. The ancient builders placed these ingredients in wooden frames where they hardened and bonded to a facing of stones or (more frequently) bricks.
When the framework was removed, the new wall was very strong, with a rough surface of bricks or stones. This surface could be smoothed and faced with an attractive stucco or thin panels of marble or other coloured stones called revetment. Concrete construction proved to be more flexible and less costly than building solid stone buildings. The materials were readily available and not difficult to transport. The wooden frames could be used more than once, allowing builders to work quickly and efficiently.
Though most would consider concrete the Roman contribution most relevant to the modern world, the Empire's style of architecture can still be seen throughout Europe and North America in the arches and domes of many governmental and religious buildings
Greek architects provided some of the finest and most...