Roman City Planning Essay

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Roman City Planning The design and structure of a city is as important as the people who dwell within her walls. The placement of streets and the structures built there are carefully plotted for optimal use. Foot and cart traffic, fire hazard, and access to water were all key factors in city planning. Eventually the Romans had fine tuned their design principals in such an advantageous way that they molded all of their city states similarly. Rome developed from the combination of small farming communities around a hilltop fortification. The city, which was founded before regularized city planning, consisted of a confusing maze of crooked and gnarled streets. The focal point of which was the city’s forum, the main meeting…show more content…
(Owens, 154) Towards the city’s heavily trafficked center the Roman Forum was constructed for convenient easy access of all the citizens. The foreground of the forum was occupied by a paved square with monuments to famous citizens. The temple to the Divine Julius, dedicated in 29 BCE to the deified Caesar, built in a Hellenistic style, is located in the background on the left; to the right is the temple of Vesta and the house of the Vestal Virgins, guardians of the everlasting flame; further to the right is the temple of the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux dedicated in 6 CE Here the office of weights and measures was situated. The podiums of the temples of Caesar and the Dioscuri were often used as orators' platforms and it is in this part of the Forum that the meetings of the comitia took place. On the far right is the Basilica Julia built by Caesar. Its long façade occupies the entire south side of the Forum. (Owens, 154) Semi-circular in plan and having consisted of a tall stage building, theaters were a semi-circular orchestra and tiered seating area. Unlike Greek theatres, which were built on natural slopes, they were supported by their own framework of piers and vaults and so could be built anywhere and not where nature dictated. Amphitheatres (literally, ‘double theatres’) were elliptical in plan; with a central areana. (Bowra, 38) The city’s main temple, the capitolium, was built at the end
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