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Articles (Architecture)

The Roman state existed in practice for XIII centuries, being the power which was impacting the history. Therefore, I decided that I would tell the history of ancient Rome in the articles below, which will not necessarily cover only the Eternal City.

I encourage you to send articles and point out any corrections or inaccuracies.

Basilicas – first significant churches of ancient Romans

When visiting historic Latin churches from different eras, one can get the impression that they are all similar in some way. Such similarities include the plan of the Latin cross and the division into naves. When we follow the trail of sacral architecture, from today to antiquity, we will notice that the above-mentioned similarities come from early Christian art, and these, in turn, were taken over from pagan times, from civil and not sacral construction. Why, then, do our churches refer to the heritage of the basilica building, and not to Greek, Etruscan and Roman temples modelled on them?

Interior of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

Aurelian Wall – masterpiece of Roman technology and construction engineering

Romans left behind many buildings – amphitheatres, roads, aqueducts, temples and forums. Is that all? It turns out not; the walls, and in particular the Aurelian Wall, is an example of the pragmatism, ingenuity and genius of Roman engineers. About 19 kilometres long, with hundreds of towers, thirteen gates and over a hundred latrines – these are just a few numbers behind which there is an extremely interesting history of the city and the empire.

Aurelian Wall

Optical illusions in the ancient architecture

Great architectural and engineering achievements of ancient Rome, like roads, aqueducts, the use of concrete and the invention of a dome, were preceded by centuries of the architectural development of ancient Greece. The Greek builders implemented numerous innovative solutions, which were then taken over and further developed by the Romans. Many of those were intended for the optical correction of buildings, which would look completely different without the use of these nearly invisible modifications.

First temple of Hera in Paestum (approximately 550 BCE)

Rome – city of circuses

Probably everyone knows or has seen in many films how Rome enjoyed all kinds of shows and performances such as chariot races, gladiator fights, animal fights, and staging of famous battles (especially those where the Romans won). They took place in specially designed buildings called circuses from the Latin circus – circumference or circle.

Reconstruction of Circus Maximus

Philopappos Monument

At first, the Acropolis in Athens is associated mainly with monuments from the times of ancient Greece. But in the Roman period, in the years 114-116 CE, a tombstone monument to Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus was built. The monument with an interesting background, because the inscriptions on it are written in both Greek and Latin. Both have different messages.

The present view of the Tomb and the painting by Giovanni Battista Lusieri from 1805

Torre Annunziata and Villa of Empress

The small village of Torre Annunziata is located near Pompeii. Most tourists who visit the ruins of ancient cities pass this place completely unaware of the treasure hidden there. Meanwhile, it is worth going off the beaten track to enjoy a real jewel of antiquity in peace and quiet, and without the crowds omnipresent in the season, which has survived to this day in a time capsule, which turned out to be volcanic ashes.

Villa in Oplontis

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