Ancient Roman architecture has left unforgettable footprints in the world history. Its ideas and style have been the choice of a numerous number of architects for centuries. It is evident that the humanity and its architectural choices were under the influence of ancient Roman architecture. The Roman architectural masterpieces have been the subject of inspiration for many centuries. They still inspire architects to build new masterpieces. However, they achieve a modern quality due to the access to modern techniques and new technologies.
The Rebirth of New Ideas
From the Middle Ages, architects have found out that their attention was captured by the Roman Pantheon. The studies have shown that the interest of people to ancient Roman architecture was rebirthed in the Middle Ages and was continued tremendously during the Renaissance (Murphy & Matthews, 2010, p. 32). The end of the Middle Ages and the epoch of the Renaissance was the time of the revival of cultural life in Europe. The Renaissance empowered architects, writers, painters, and other artistic individuals to wake up and watch the beauty of the world. The Roman Pantheon was the main concern of people's attention. During the era of the Renaissance, many artists and architects have started to create new masterpieces. It was the revival of beauty, harmony, and new ideas. The main reason of this behavior was education that empowers people with new knowledge and power.
By improving their knowledge, architects were inspired to rebirth ancient ideas and techniques that were used in Ancient Roman architecture. The main purpose of traveling to Rome and Greece during that period was to study ancient manuscripts. Malacrino (2010, p. 64) assumed that the Pope Nicholas V considerably increased the Vatican Library under the influence of new interest to the Roman Pantheon. Architects of different historical periods tend to improve their knowledge about Ancient Roman architecture. The latter was of great concern among engineers of the Middle Ages who glorified its power and style. Ancient Roman architectural techniques were carried out many years later after building the Roman masterpieces.
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The need of constructing new roads, buildings, and bridges empowered architects of different historical periods to study the Ancient Roman techniques in architecture, building and engineering. The growth of cities led to the reproduction of the Ancient Roman achievements. Though not all attempts were successful, many of them resembled the Ancient Roman masterpieces. Those who studied the Ancient Roman architecture tried to reproduce its style in modern Italy, the Middle East, and North Africa (Ulrich & Quenemoen, 2013, p. 12). The Mediterranean world tried to bring its culture and architecture that had no analogs back to life. Thus, the rebirth of people's interest in architecture, music, culture, and arts was the main cause that led to the advancement.
The Revival of the Ancient Roman Techniques in Architecture
The advancement of people's concern in the Ancient Roman architecture empowered them to reproduce its masterpieces. The architects tried to create new monuments and buildings that could resemble the ancient ones. The new materials and modern engineering were used in their work. Malacrino (2010, p. 41) assumed that the Roman Pantheon empowered the world masters to review the Ancient Roman techniques in architecture. Many schools that have studied the techniques of the Ancient Roman architects were opened in many European countries. The research asserts, however, that reproducing the ancient techniques was not an easy task (Murphy & Matthews, 2010, p. 123).
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Not all the attempts to rebirth ancient techniques were successful because the knowledge of the Ancient Romans and Greeks was often hard to rediscover. A new approach to the old practices and experiences helped to reproduce more specific details in the modern architecture. People of the Renaissance had a great desire to improve their knowledge in Ancient Roman architecture that had no analogs in history. Murphy and Matthews (2010, p. 120) argue that Romans used its architectural techniques as an essential tool to improve their power and superiority.
Years later, people wanted to rebirth this architectural style in order to express their power too. Many forms of buildings are associated with the authorities, as it used to be in the Ancient Rome. The design and construction of many buildings were very similar to the Roman Pantheon. However, all of them are only copies of the Ancient Roman masterpieces that are very hard to reproduce. Many historians consider that the materials used by the Ancient Romans are impossible to find (Murphy & Matthews, 2010, p. 56). Thus, architectural techniques that were rediscovered and used in engineering nowadays are the evidence of the revival of ancient Roman techniques in architecture.
The Evolution of the Roman Style
The evolution of the advancement of the Roman period has been continuing until nowadays. New archeological discoveries empowered architects to improve their architectural skills and use improved techniques in their work. Historians continue to rediscover the Ancient Roman secrets. New technology gives an opportunity to build modern buildings, bridges and aqueducts in different parts of the world. Over the past years, experts have been trying to understand the form of Rome's production and implement it in the new vision of modern life. Numerous studies have shown that modern technological tools provide a new trend in architecture as a rebirth of the Roman style (Ulrich & Quenemoen, 2013, p. 119).
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Nowadays, the ancient Roman techniques that they used in road building have received a new vision and design. Modern masters, who are well-educated and equipped, try to rediscover the techniques of long durable bridges and tunneling through the rocks. Contemporary architectural buildings in America have a flavor of Ancient Rome, though they were built from modern stone and glass. The Ancient Roman architectural approach is especially popular among neo-modernist architects. The recent revival of classical traditions of architecture is observed in many American and Europeans cities. Ancient Roman architecture inspires modern masters to create and design new buildings that could stand as long as the Roman Pantheon.
The world-famous Colosseum, the Trajan Bridge over the river Danube, aqueducts, amphitheaters arches and columns attract people and inspire architects from all over the world. Ulrich's and Quenemoen (2013, p. 123) argued that Roman architecture has shaped the modern one in many ways throughout the world. Evolution of the advancement is in progress now. Many historians came to the conclusion that the Ancient Roman techniques should provide guidance for modern architects of different trends and schools. Nowadays, many architects and artists try to understand the factors that led the Ancient Romans to create their masterpieces. Thus, they study the Ancient Roman history, aesthetic, politics and culture. All these dimensions are of the great concern not only for architects, but also for students, scholars, and ordinary people all over the world.
Forces Shaping the Role of the Ancient Roman Architecture
Modern architects realize that the Romans created their masterpieces in a unique way. Through the long history after ancient Roman architecture, the scholars and experts came to the conclusion that the methods incorporated by the Romans were unique. Ancient Roman architecture did not die through the centuries. Moreover, it was advanced by many followers the years later. In spite of numerous destructions, the ideas and techniques of Roman architecture expanded throughout the history. Nowadays, the images of tunnels, bridges, and skyscrapers reveal a Roman style. Ancient Roman architecture is a phenomenon that is constant and not variable.
The Romans' ideas in architecture are used by the modern architects all over the world. Many authors claim that use of different elements in architecture and building, such as the arch, dome and vault can be observed in different parts of the world (Malacrino, 2010, p. 234). The beauty of the Roman architectural masterpieces unsurpassed during the history. The durability of its buildings, arches, domes, and others has ensured that no other culture or historical period could overcome them in superiority. Their durability has inspired architects the years later to replicate their masterpieces. Their appeal to the modern architects is the evidence of the ancient Roman architectural efficiency.
The efficiency and durability of ancient Roman architecture was evidenced through the centuries. Modern architects follow ancient Roman traditions. Till now, the Roman Pantheon inspires architects to build new masterpieces. Achieve a modern quality due to the access to modern techniques and new technology, ancient Roman architecture can be now seen all over the world. Ancient Roman architecture empowers architects for many centuries, though their designs and tasted have changed. Most of them tried to find new trends in architecture but most of them admitted that nothing is superior to the Roman Pantheon. Nowadays, people come to Rome to learn the mystery of the ancient architects from ancient manuscripts and architectural monuments.
- Malacrino, C. G. (2010). Constructing the Ancient world: Architectural techniques of the Greeks and Romans. Los Angeles, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum.
- Murphy, L., & Matthews, R. (2010). Art and culture of the Renaissance world. New York, NY: Rosen Central.
- Ulrich, B., & Quenemoen, C. (2013). A companion to Roman architecture. Oxford, UK: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.