Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Rome Colosseum - Ancient Rome Colosseum

In the last post I had made about Roman architecture and history I mention the Roman Colosseum.
I said few facts about it but I did not say the whole storie.
There is much more to be said.

The Roman Colosseum is the most famous monument to have survived from the classical world. It was built nearly two thousand years ago for the purpose of hosting violent gladiator games. Thousands of men and animals fought for their lives in the sandy arena. A few gladiators and warriors found glory there. Some even found fame and riches but many more died an anonymous death, providing entertainment for eager Roman spectators.

The powerful associations and images evoked by the Roman Colosseum express both the majesty and might of the Roman empire. It dominates the space it occupies, towering above the surrounding Roman streets and buildings. It is a symbol of the imperial might and architectural ingenuity of the Roman empire that dominated the ancient Mediterranean world for centuries. The story of the amphitheater and its gladiator games from their origins through the zenith of their development and into the decline and eventual fall provides a unique insight into the evolution and fall of the Roman empire itself.

                   Roman Colosseum

The Romans made it with idea to show the world how strong and important they are!

History of Colosseum:

The suicide of emperor Nero, in 68, was followed by eighteen months of civil war, the first Roman civil war since Mark Antony’s death in 30 BC. During this period, Rome witnessed the successive rise and fall of three emperors until the final accession of Vespasian, first ruler of the Flavian Dynasty.
The first task of the new Emperor Vespasian was to rebuild Rome after the civil war, to stamp his own identity on the city and to wipe away the memory of Nero. He rebuilt the Temple of Jupiter and constructed a vast new Temple of Peace. The Roman Colosseum was to become the showpiece of the new Flavian dynasty of Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian. The location chosen for the new amphitheater was most significant. It was built on the site of the infamous Golden House of Nero. This grandiose palace, complete with its own lake and parkland setting, had been built in the very heart of Rome. The lake was filled in and the land reused as the location for the new Flavian Amphitheatre.
Vespasian’s decision to build the Colosseum on the site of Nero’s lake can be seen as a gesture of returning a part of the city to the people which emperor Nero had appropriated for his own use. Ironically, the modern name for Vespasian’s great amphitheater is one that makes it more of a memorial to Nero than to the dynasty that replaced him. The word Colosseum is derived from the colossal statue of Nero (the Colossus) that stood nearby, commissioned by him for his Golden House.
Vespasian did not live to see his amphitheater completed. After he died in 79, his oldest son Titus continued construction on the Colosseum. Titus opened it to the public in AD 80. During the dedication of the Flavian Amphitheater 9,000 animals and hundreds of gladiators were participating in a hundred days of games on an unparalleled scale. After Titus’s untimely death the following year, Domitian, Vespasian’s youngest son and Titus’s young brother, built the underground caverns and finished the decorative work.

The Colosseum remained in service for 450 years. Major repairs were carried out after 217 AD, when the amphitheater was hit by lighting and a fire broke out. For five years the gladiator games had to be held at the circus and the Colosseum was not fully repaired until about 240. Repairs were also carried out after several earthquakes, most notable in 443 and 484.
Gladiatorial games began to disappear from public life during the 3rd century, due to economic pressure and opposition by the increasingly predominant new religion of Christianity. Gladiatorial fights are last mentioned around 435 while animal hunts continued a century longer. Romans start taking the iron clamps that held blocks together and looting stone from the Colosseum. Pope Alexander VI even leased it out as a quarry, collecting one-third of the profits.
It was not until 1749 that Pope Benedict XIV forbade the removal of stone from the structure, consecrating the arena to the Christian martyrs who died there and erecting a cross in the center. Later popes initiated various restoration projects, reinforcing the façade and removing the extensive vegetation which had overgrown the structure and threatened to damage it further.
Today the Colosseum is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attraction attracting millions of visitors every year.

The Colosseum was built of blocks of travertine stone extracted from the quarries of Albulae near Tivoli and brought to Rome by a wide road specially constructed for the purpose. The amphitheater forms an oval 527 meters ( 1,729) in circumference with diameters of 189 and 156 meters (615 and 510 ft). The height of the four-storied wall is 48 meters (157 ft).
The Colosseum contained 45,000 sitting places and 5,000 standing places. The broad paved circular piazza that surrounded the amphitheater allowed easy access to every part of the façade. There were 80 entrance arches, of these the four at the extremities of the major and minor axes were forbidden to the public and not numbered. The major axis entrances gave direct unrestricted access to the arena itself. In contrast both of the minor axis entrances gave direct access to special reserved boxes.

                    Roman Colosseum Plan

Under the arena was the hypogeum ( literally underground), a vast network of tunnels and passages as well as chambers for the gladiators, animals, slaves. It contained lifts operated by ropes and pulleys which led directly to the arena through the trap doors.

This was pretty much all that was to be said about its history and architecture!

Roman Architecture - Ancient Roman Architecture

When it comes to Roman architecture there is A LOT to be said. First of all let me tell you something about their history. Roman, or Rome people inhabited almost everything from other cultures, from Greeks, their ancestors Etruscan and from others. Rome had a capitol in city 'Rome'. They were the strongest and the biggest empire in their time. Their empire lasted for over 1000 years. They had magnificent buildings.
Roman people inhabited arc and the idea of aqueduct from Etruscan people.

The Rome country was made by the two people (as legend says).
The legend goes that two brothers (one was named Rome) were adopted by the wolf. And that one day they made a city Rome.

Now about their architecture.
First of all I have to say that they found much new building materials like concrete and brick.
Their brick was not sun-dried but was burned in high temperature ovens. They had a fabric which was massivly producing brick. That is the origin of the word "Fabric" because this is how they called it and it is the first fabric on the world.
Theirs concrete was made out of volcanic ash and other things, it was lite concrete.
They had a lot of engineers and architects so calculating and measuring was not a problem.

They were able to dry an entire lake like they did when they build a colosseum.
The colosseum was built on a place where was lake. That was the only suitable place where it could be built so they decided to dry the lake. They did it by guiding the water almost 100km using canals in a much more bigger lake.
The colosseum was built using brick and concrete and stone.
The Colosseum has three rings. First one is from stone, second from brick and the third is from concrete. This is because of the weight. Roman architect calculated that if the whole colosseum was made from stone it would crack and demolish it self from huge weight. The Colosseum was built mostly from arches on
pillars. It has 76 arches in every level of colloseum.
The colloseum was used for games, music, as theater.. and much more.
This was the most magnificent building of its time.

                                                 The Colosseum in Rome, in Italy

Roman people Housing
Their houses for general population were modest. Rich people lived a perfect life, they had it all.
In rich people houses were bathrooms. The roman people guided the water from mountains into and through their bathrooms. They had a toilets! And they also had public bath. There were pools with hot and warm and cold water. Public baths were aveable to everyone.
Poor people lived in "Insula" those were buildings on couple of floors. And those buildings were aranged in blocks. The darkest and the cheapest rooms were at bottom, and more lighter and cleaner rooms were at the top but cost more.
The windows were protected by metal bars. Life in insulas was difficult. Fire was the biggest problem.
In those tight rooms and tight building blocks when the fire appear it would burn the entire building block.
                                                  Roman Insula

The use of arch and cupola (duomo)
Like I said the Romans used arches in their many structures like Colosseum or aqueducts.
But what they were really were famous for are their domes. Since they were building with small pieces of material like bricks they were able to build such a structures.
Dome its self is beautiful when looked from beneath.


Their "Basilicas" were built with a dome. Basilicas were something like court houses. This is where they had trials going.

This was intro into Roman architecture and their history!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Greek Architecture - Greece Architecture

Greek or Greece Architecture

Greek people and their art are "origin" for the most of the today's art and for the art during the last 1000 years. It all started from them and others copied and added little details.

Greek people were building Palaces, Temples, Stadiums, Theaters.

Greek people belived in many gods and for each one they had a temple built. They thought that the temple which was made for a specific god was his house. And in every temple they had a enormus stone statue of that god. They worshiped that statue and they thought that that statue is the gods link with the earth and that they can speak to a god by speaking with the statue.
Some of the most famous temples:
Old Temple
Temple of Apollo

Greek Theater
The Greek Theater was a central place of formal gatherings in ancient greece. Not only did the structure serve as the stage for Tragedies and Comedies, but it also provided a forum for poetry and musical events.
This was a place where they "hanged out". Only for rich people.

Greek Stadiums
Athletic events provided the opportunity for all the city-states of Greece to gather and to strengthen their common bonds through competition. Athletic events were a great spectacle in antiquity and for many a peasant the only form of grand entertainment. The Olympic games were born in these stadiums, while wars and disputes among countries were put aside while the games were on. Rome people stole their idea.

Most known to us are the palaces of Minoan Crete, the Mycenaean palaces of Peloponnese, and the Macedonian Palaces of northern Greece. As Greek society developed to be democratic during Classical times, there was no need to build palaces for the leaders.

This was a sneak peek in a Greek architecture. More posts will be made on the subject!

History of ARC

Arc - The construction element.
It has been known of for more than 1000 years. The whole point in it is its structure. An arc is suported by the two walls or pillars and the weight which lays upon it is given to its supporters.
Arc was used for the first time as we know (as we have records) in Persia around 3rd century. Many other nations copied it. In Roman style during 11-13 century arc had a great servise in churches.

This is one way of constructing arc.
(see picture)