Roman architecture was responsible for developing many different building styles and techniques and

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Roman architecture was responsible for developing many different building styles and techniques and the creation of various new ones. Ancient Rome expanded quickly from a small town (founded in 753bc) situated on the Tiber River, to an empire with one fifth of the world’s population under its control. This displayed the strength that they possessed, and the control of many different cultures led to the acquisition of a range of typologies. The result of the architectural influence of other nations (mainly the Greeks and the Etruscans) led to many great masterpieces of art and building design. The Romans took many pre-existing ideals and developed them into new technologies and ways of living; architecture is just one of these developments.…show more content…
The Greeks started building corbelled arches and creating arch shaped voussoirs. These worked well, however, they did not discover the strength or span the distances that the Romans were able to. The widest known Greek archway spans only 7.35m, whereas the Romans built many great triumphal arches to emphasise their power in victory. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio wrote about the qualities a successful arch should entail, these were: “utility, strength and aesthetics” (Vitruvius, M., 1914). He wanted them to be built according to anthropometrics; symmetry and proportions of the human body. The full potential of the arch was reached when the Romans discovered the impressive compressive strength of the arch, meaning that they could span greater distances and create great heights using these new found qualities. Some of the most notable uses of the arch can be seen through Aqueducts, vast interiors and in, potentially, the most famous arched building; the Roman Colosseum.

The Roman Colosseum is a four story tall amphitheatre which was able to seat up to 50,000 spectators. The first three stories contained stone benches and the top gallery was created with wooden bleachers for women, children and people of lower classes. In this instance, the Roman use of the arch was a major transformation from its prior use by the Greeks, allowing them to create visually stunning and solidly constructed masterpieces. This was
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