The History of Roman Architecture

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Early Rome was an architecturally diverse place. For the first centuries after its founding all the people of Rome lived in very simple huts devoid of any significant meaning. But during the rule under the Etruscans, they learned how to build more complex structures with specific purposes such as a sacred place where a god can be thought to dwell. Etruscan buildings cannot be seen though without Greek architectures’ indelible mark. Through the Etruscans, Rome learned how to build huge and complex structures where before that knowledge did not exist. This period of Roman architecture can be defined along with Rome’s governmental development. Republican Rome began in 509 B.C. and with it entered the beginning of Rome’s architectural greatness. Since Rome was not restrained because of its conquerors it was free to create whatever they wished, however they wanted. While there was still a heavy Greek influence, a style developed that was distinctly Roman, but as Rome conquered nations across the Mediterranean Sea it absorbed their styles of building and it was shown in the buildings of their capital. Imperial Rome saw the highest and lowest point in Rome’s history. But during this time an enormous number of innovative and massive structures were built that defined Rome as the dominant power in the ancient world. During this time Rome reworked its earlier principles to be used in the government and religious buildings. Cement also played an important role in the ability to construct complex domes and ornate arches. Another major change that occurred was the extensive use of marble in construction, unlike earlier brick buildings. The earliest information we can gather about the beginnings show that most buildings were simple huts and a simple place to give offerings to their gods. But with the Etruscans and the study of Greek techniques, building of stone with
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