The Period of Archaic Rome
I Urban planning:
-Greek and Etruscan influences;
The Roman archaic period knew both the Greek influence and the Etruscan one. The Etruscans executed various bricking masonry works developing a technique which was assimilated and promoted by the Roman architects and builders in the period of the Republic and the Empire. Based on these sources, the Roman civilization produced the so-called Italic synthesis, thus creating the premises of an exceptional development during the Empire.
The immense slave- owning Roman state, the social requirements of which were more complex than those of the ancient Greece or of the lagging oriental empires, used the progress of technique and constructions, as an expression of his political powers.
In the evolution of the architecture and constructions, the Roman contribution is characterized by the following achievements:
-the diversity of types of utilitarian constructions (aqueducts, bridges, thermes, amphitheatres);
- the application of certain constructive structures adequate to the new constructions (mixed masonry, multiple arches, groin vaults, wooden triangular trusses with openings up to 20- 30 meters);
-the use of new technologies, equipments and construction materials (the Roman concrete and cement obtained of lime and volcanic ash);
- the execution of higher constructions and the creation of significant inner dwellings by giving special attention to the spacial composition and natural illumination;
-the development of military constructions by building camps.
The introduction of certain new structures and of the Roman cement gave the Roman builders the possibility to erect buildings with covered surfaces, of large openings which, gradually, lead to the establishment of new spacial constructions.The use of arch, as constructive principle, made of wedge- shaped (arch stones) is presented in the following figure:arch made of arch stones, barrel vault (projected piers),groin vault (Roman vault), cupola.
It is easy to make a cylinder of semicircular wooden piece onto which the arch stones support themselves, starting from both ends ( springings of the arch) and up to key, where the last arch stone is placed and the cylinder might be pulled out. From the structure of arch there derived the barrel vault formed of a continuous series of arches, the groin vault( Roman) resulted from the intersection of two barrel vaults and the cupola obtained by the intersection of a number of arches around a central axis. The Roman vault later used both to the Roman and Gothic constructions had the advantage that it might be supported in four singular points, by means of double arches, so that the walls should be eliminated and replaced by four posts. The Roman builders used a whole range of tools for lifting (pulley blocks) and joinery and carpentry tools, by means of which they made improved joints.
-masonry making by means of brackets;
-masonry making by means of a scaffold supported to the masonry.
The finishing techniques and stucco works were selected according to the nature of the ornament:
-string course laid out by means of a wooden bar;
-stamping of certain decorative motifs by means of a model-matrix;
-the pattern of a profile/bar.
Rome becomes a pre- eminently city : URBIS, the capital of an immense empire which reflected its grandeur in its social and triumphal constructions.
For the Roman empire which made itself known as a world- wide state, there was essential the rapid communication by effective means, which should address both to all the social levels and to all the regions of the empire; these means being the urban planning development, the public and utilitarian architecture, the triumphalist art. All these together finally lead to a general level of welfare and civilization.
Art became an efficient means of visual communication which underlined the authoritative presence of the state and fulfilled the role of indoctrinating agent.
The Roman urban planning, inherited from the Etruscans, is a clear, arranged construction.
The remainders of an Roman circus