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The dome of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence
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Engineering and architectural structures in Ancient Rome

Sober Roman mind was brilliantly reflected in the construction of roads, stone bridges and aqueducts. The Romans were truly great masters of the road case. To roads they encouraged trade and military needs, personal needs. One of the oldest Roman roads, along which Roman legions marched to the conquest of the Mediterranean, was built in 312 BC, is the via Appia (the Appian way). She was covered with a stone pavement and was originally connected Rome with Capua.

All Roman roads were constantly expanded and modernised. In General, the network of roads in Ancient Rome had a length of about 80 thousand kilometers, many of the roads serve people still.

No less great were the advances in the field of erection of stone bridges, and aqueducts – aqueducts, which received water about a hundred towns in the Roman Empire. The pinnacle of Roman bridge construction – the bridge over the Danube with a length of over one kilometer, built by Apollodorus at the beginning of the 2nd century ad when Trajan. In the same century, somewhat later, was built the longest of the Roman aqueducts in Carthage, with a length of 132 kilometres.

Typical Roman invention was the construction of baths –baths. In the Greek cities of Thermae were built and rarely is not so popular. In Rome the baths were one of the most visited places. They had some offices: pair, of warm and cold baths, gyms, recreation rooms and even canteens and libraries. Thus, it was possible to spend time with benefit and pleasure.

To the masterpieces of Roman architecture are the baths of Emperor Caracalla, built in Rome in the early 3rd century BC They were struck by the majestic scale of its rooms, luxury decoration (mosaic floors, wall paintings, sculpture), cleverly planned water supply system (water in all pools changed in a matter of minutes). As with other Roman baths, the Caracalla baths were heated by hot air from furnaces underground: it spread through the pipes laid in the floors, walls and ceilings.

For centuries in the world of architecture has established himself created the Roman-type Basilica. Basilica – a rectangular building divided internally by longitudinal rows of columns into 3 or 5 parts (naves), with independent floors. The Central nave higher than the side: the upper part of the walls, cut Windows, stands above the roofs of the aisles.

In Ancient Rome, the Basilica served as a judicial halls, markets, exchanges, that is, were secular buildings. Later the Basilica became one of the main types of the Christian Church, having received special distribution in the middle Ages.

Appreciated all kinds of spectacles the Romans paid great attention to the construction of theatres and amphitheatres of buildings for gladiatorial contests, naval battles and animal baiting.

The only partially preserved in Rome, the antique theatre is the theatre of Marcellus . built in 13 BC Applied in it architecture the system has been used in all Roman theaters.

Unlike Greek, Roman theaters were located not on the side of a hill, and on flat terrain. Therefore, seats for spectators were arranged on auxiliary constructions. Innovations of Roman theatre was the curtain that was down, hiding in a slot, and awnings made from cloth to protect from the sun (like the Greek theatres, Roman had no roofs). The interior is distinguished by an unprecedented luxury among the Greeks.

Originally associated with funeral rites, Gladiator fights were the favorite entertainment of the Romans. In Italy there were about a hundred amphitheatres. The most famous among them is the Flavian amphitheater, later named the Colosseum 1. It could accommodate about 50,000 spectators. This is an oval four-storey building with a perfectly running system of corridors, stairways and exits: tens of thousands of spectators if necessary to leave the building within 5 minutes.

Seats for spectators in all the Roman amphitheatres were arranged in an ellipse, not in a semicircle, as in the ancient theatre.

1 From the Latin “Colosseum” is enormous.