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Rome

In: Historical Events

Submitted By emac413
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1) In Lewis "Megalopolis into Necropolis" he is critical of Rome's, "limited principles of limitation, restraint, and orderly arrangement, and balance to its own urban and imperial existence, and it failed dismally to lay the foundations for the stable economy and equitable political system, with every group effectively represented, that would have made a better life for the great city possible. It's best efforts to establish a universal commonwealth succeeded only in achieving a balance of privileges and corruptions." He spoke about the distinction from the container and the contents where on the exterior Rome is depicted as a "marvel of formal dignity and masterful composure", and within, a city that promotes the devaluing of human life and filled with injustice. Rome in essence with it's feelings of grandeur was too big for it's britches. As Virgil expressed in the Aeneid "To Romans I set no boundary in space or time. I have granted them dominion and it has no end." With it's insatiable desire to conquest they failed to take into account the potential consequences of growth or plan how to adjust their own political and economic system to account for that growth. The more expansive they became, they found that it was also more difficult to rule over such a vast territory, and found itself faced with constant societal upheavals. The more control they gained, the more control they lost.

2) Although both the Roman forum and the Greek agora serve as public gathering places, they are used in different contexts. The forum acts as a center for political as well as religious worship, and includes offices of important persons and temples. Here political debates, and meeting would take place. The Agora on the other hand is purely used for commercial purposes, acting as a marketplace for trade. It is also a place where subjects would gather to hear the statements from political figures. The forum was not used for commercial purposes. Instead, commercial establishments would be located adjacent to the forum, not part of it.

3) The Pantheon (118-128 ce) located in Rome, Italy, one of the greatest spiritual buildings in the world, is also considered the most prominent Roman architectural achievement exploiting concrete building technology. The building is a cylindrical room with a hemispherical dome with an oculus at the center of the dome, with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule connects the porch to a rotunda. The oclulus and dome are the only sources of light into the interior and throughout the day light moves through the oculus providing a reverse sundial effect. The height to the oculus equals the diameter of it's opening showing how geometry was taken into account.

The Roman Colosseum (70-82 ce) or Flavian Amphitheater is located in Rome, consisted of Classical, Doric, and Ionic columns is the first permanent amphitheater to be built in Rome. It is an ellipse with tiers for seating 50,000 spectators around a central arena. Below a wooden floor, there was a set of rooms and passageways for wild beasts and other provisions. At the out edges circumferential arcades link each level and stairways between levels. Construction utilized concrete for foundations, travertine for piers and arcades, tufa infill between piers for the walls and lower 2 levels, and brick faced concrete for upper levels and most vaults.

The Domus Aurea (64-68 ce) also in Romes was an elaborate evocation of an ex urban villa, or retreat to the countryside built by Emperor Nero as a palace. A series of pavilions and long wing living and reception rooms it was set in a landscaped park with an artificial lake in the center where the coliseum stands now. Although most has disappeared, the main interest lies in the wing known as the Esquiline wing. Building this showed a new appreciation for landscape for the Romans.

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