Roman Terms: colony cardo decumanus capitolium domus atrium peristyle triclinium insula amphitheater Unlike the city of Rome itself, which was organic and gradual in its development, planned Roman towns were embodiments of Roman military and civic ideals. Roman cities often had their origins in Roman military encampments. Spatially these were organized by two crossing main streets, the cardo and decumanus, and a central forum, all surrounded by city walls. The remnants of Roman planning can be found in towns through out Italy, the Near East, and North Africa. Florence (Italy) ? Roman colony Florentia Timgad (Algeria) The city itself was a hierarchy of spaces just as the house is. We can look to Pompeii and Ostia as examples of Roman cities, because both have preserved their ancient urban fabric. Pompeii Resort-like town near the Bay of Naples, buried in the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE; excavation was begun in 18th century. There were many Roman towns near here that were destroyed and have now been excavated, including Herculaneum, Oplontis, Boscoreale. Pompeii was a large seaside town that had been damaged by an earthquake over ten years earlier, and was still being repaired from that damage. The eruption was sudden and the ash covered the city quickly, preserving the moment in time that the city was destroyed. Pompeii is a large walled town of which about one quarter remains unexcavated. Forum: Capitolium, temple, basilica and public buildings: the hierarchy of public space in covered and exterior rooms. Street: gateway, road, sidewalk/crosswalk, shop front and entry Courtyard House: the Roman house or domus and its rooms fit in the city fabric; the rooms that are open to the sky (atrium, peristyle, garden) and the enclosed rooms are a hierarchical spatial system not unlike the city and its forum. The most public rooms are near the entry: the atrium is the formal entrance courtyard. Interior rooms such as bedrooms and dining rooms face inward toward enclosed courtyard rooms with no roof, such as the atrium and the peristyle. Dining occurs in a triclinium, which usually looks on to a courtyard. The courtyard spaces of the domus were often decorated with fountains, sculpture, mosaic paving and plants: fruit trees, flowers, grapes and other plants that provided shade and food as well as decoration. Palestra = gymnasium Athletic training facility often attached to public baths. The palestra usually has large protected courtyard spaces used for exercise. The palestra in Pompeii included a swimming pool . Amphitheater Ostia Ancient port of Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber. When Rome fell, the river silted up and the city was saved because it became a swamp and as such was uninhabitable. It was nearly deserted for 1600 years and was excavated in the 20th century. Unlike Pompeii, Ostia was a working class town, with warehouses, shipping offices and multifamily housing, as well as upper class domus housing. Forum: the representation of Roman business and citizens, with its Capitolium Warehouse: multistory storage building Insula: the Roman apartment house -- 4-5 story building around a court with shops on the ground floor?a denser and larger multifamily dwelling type. Insula buildings were often built by speculators, sometimes very cheaply. The upper apartments were the cheapest, since they were farthest away from the street and from a water source. The insula is the precursor to the modern city block building. University of Washington Department of Architecture Architecture 150 - Appreciation of Architecture
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