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  1. ARCH 354CULTURE OF CITIES LECTURE 4 Classical Greek and Roman Cities 1000 BC to 500 Prof. Dr. NaciyeDoratlI

  2. TO REMEMBER Roman Kingdom753 BC – 509 BCRoman Republic509 BC – 27 BCRoman Empire27 BC – AD 1453 Roman Period

  3. The Roman Empire The Roman Empire as a whole: • The product of a single expanding urban power center (Rome); • A vast city-building enterprise: It left the imprints of Rome on every part of Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor, changing the way of life in old cities and establishing its special kind of order; • There was a loose administrative organization; but still there was law and order prevailed everywhere and citizenship has been given high importance. • Empirical respect for any established order.

  4. Origin of Roman Cities • The foundation of the Roman city lies on two other cultures: • The Etruscan: The religious and superstitious parts of Roman urban development. The Acropolis of the Etruscan city was always situated on the top of the hill (It was there that the sacred auguries (indications) were made, before a city would be founded. • The Hellenic: forum, theater etc.

  5. Roman Cities Unlike the Greek city, where the wall came during later periods, the Roman city began with a wall. The city (partly for religious, partly for utilitarian purposes) took the form of a RECTANGLE. This form was a sort of standard for the Roman legionary camps (Castra). The Roman talent for engineering comes from the Etruscans.

  6. Roman Cities The other important difference of the Roman city form Hellenistic cities: • Layout of two principal streets: • CARDO: Running north and south; • DECUMANNUS: Running east and west.

  7. Roman Cities The main streets were designed to cross in the middle of the city, where the FORUM was located. FORUM was equivalent of acropolis and agora: conceived as one.

  8. Roman Cities By the time of Vitruvius (80–70 BC, - 15 BC), the ideas of comfort and hygiene modified the layout of the Roman city. (In addition to the influence of the religion, consideration of the direction of the wind when opening streets) firmitas, utilitas, venustas — that is, it must be solid, useful.

  9. Roman Cities Container and the Content In most cities the contents were often revolting (content was very bad) Container: Aesthetic (marvel of formal dignity)

  10. Roman Cities • 3 different types of Roman Urban Settlements: • Formally regulated provincial towns. They were built as new towns and have been planned for a limited population ( 50.000). This is the important social achievement that has been introduce by the Roman. • They were relatively small in size, but quality and self sufficiency was outstanding. (They drew food from the surrounding region and maintained an urban-rural balance, that bigger places couldn’t achieve.) • Legionary Camps (fortified temporary centers for military activities) • Large urban settlements with chaotic growth(like ROME).

  11. Roman Cities • As the empire expanded, city life diffused into areas that had not previously experienced urbanization • Most cities were established as military (castra) and trading outposts • Focal points for collection of local agricultural products • Supply centers for the military • Service centers for long-distance trading network • In England, the trail of city building can be found by looking for the suffixes -caster and -chesterindicating cities founded as Roman camps


  13. Roman Public Architecture the SCALE was very important; For collective occasions of life the Roman architects found a mass form: - for the market, - for the amphitheater, - for the bath, - for the race course. Piazza Navona: A former oblong race course with sharp turns.

  14. Rome

  15. Rome Rome with seven hills: • An acropolis town: on every hill there was a temple. • Formed out of a union of its own villages, each originally inhabited by a different tribe.

  16. Rome The PIAZZAS, CAMPOS (Squares) and arcaded streets of the later Italian towns reflect the direct use of Roman planning. However, the medieval market places differed functionally and architecturally from the Roman forum.

  17. Rome It is possible to see the talent for engineering of the Romans throughout city. Rome was supreme in terms of engineering (aqueducts, underground sewer, paved ways), but application was not efficient and spotty. Although there was a high engineering skill and wealth in the city of Rome, municipal hygiene was extremely low. They were never able to meet the needs of the city. (Population was around one million)

  18. Rome - STREETS The high skills of engineering has not been effective on the applications related to street system. Aside from two principal streets, CARDOand DECUMANNUS, the streets system was primitive footways and cart ways (never widened to accommodate wheeled traffic).

  19. Rome - STREETS Over the great part of the metropolis, the streets were just narrow passages, with disorderly contents of the shops and taverns that lined them, Overshadowed by the high tenements on each side. Occasionally there were a temple, a fountain, a portico and a garden.

  20. Rome - FORUM • According to tradition, Rome was constituted by the union of various tribes of the neighboring hills, under the leadership of the Romans. • The symbol of this union was the foundation of the FORUM (THE COMMON MARKET PLACE) (7th century BCE) The Republican and Imperial Forums were the focus of civic life in ancient Rome

  21. Rome - FORUM Structures of Republican Rome are shown in red, those of Imperial Rome in black.

  22. Rome - FORUM • This place has been used for athletic and gladiatorial contests in the early days. • A temple was an essential and original part of the Forum. • The forum was not simply an open square. As it developed in Rome, it was rather a precinct, complex in layout, which included: • Shrines and temples • Halls of justice and council houses • Open spaces framed by stately colonnades.

  23. Rome - FORUM • Transformation of mere open space into the complete enclosure of the Forum began at an early date. • Butcher’s stalls --- to money changing units; • Food market--- more spacious and specialized.

  24. Rome - FORUM ROMANUM The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was the political and economical centre of Rome during the Republic. It emerged as such in the 7th century BCE and maintained this position well into the Imperial period, when it was reduced to a monumental area.

  25. Rome - FORUM ROMANUM It had a monumental scale, because it didn’t serve only the city but the whole Empire. Here the vast crowds came together to watch the passage of their military leaders, in chariots. Forum was combination of acropolis and agora of the Greek polis. What might be different could be a greater concentration of varied activities, a higher degree of formal order. With the axial plan buildings were symmetrically located in relation to the axis at the center.

  26. ROME -BATH From farmer’s necessity of hygiene to ceremonious rituals Most characteristic contribution to both URBAN HYGIENE and URBAN FORM Architecturally they were the supreme achievements of Rome 2ND CENTURY BC, the habit of going to the public baths was established. By 33 BC, public baths became free.

  27. ROME -BATH It consists of: • A monumental hall • Hot baths • Tepid baths • Cold baths • Rooms for massage • Rooms for leisure and eating • Gymnasia and play fields were attached + library

  28. ROME -BATH Baths of Caracalla in ROME

  29. ROME - CIRCUS The existence of a PARASITIC ECONOMY + AN AGGRESIVE POLITICAL SYSTEM (Typical Roman urban institution) A DRAMATIC SETTING: The old practice of the religious blood sacrifice ----NEW SECULAR FORM IN THE ARENA. Roman life centered on the imposing rituals of extermination (görkemliyoketmeayinleri) Gladiatorial demonstrations. Even before Rome had changed from Republic to Empire, the city had become a vast collective torture chamber. Economic basis of this sadistic rituals: Proletariat of the city was supported by a dole (money or other goods given as charity) (200.000 people were given bread) To make attendance at these spectacles easier 159 days were public days and as many as 93 (a quarter of the year) were devoted to the games. By AD 354, total number of public holidays were two hundred days.

  30. ROME - CIRCUS A new urban form A blank enclosure Where tousands of Romans gathered to view the spcetacles. Circus Maximus:(the biggest) for 385 000 people. (255.000 ??, 80.000 ???); chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue.



  33. ROME - COLOSSEUM Due to their different leisure understanding , even the original semi-circled plan of the theater (Hellenic) transformed into a complete circle. Colloseum: with 45.000 seats and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.

  34. ROME - COLOSSEUM All sorts of animals were kept in cages below the Colosseum. Wild cats, buffaloes, bears and elephants would all be kept and then made to fight one another. In some parts of the Roman Empire, certain animals died out because their type was in such demand by those who ran entertainment in Rome itself. It is thought that on the day the Colosseum opened, over 5,000 animals were killed.

  35. ROME - COLOSSEUM Many of the gladiators were slaves or prisoners-of-war. The casualty rate per 'show' was massive - near enough 50% died each show. Those gladiators who had fought well but had not won their fight could be spared by the emperor if he was present at an event - a thumbs up meant life, and a thumbs down meant death. The Roman writer Seneca wrote that for a gladiator "the only exit is death."

  36. ROME - COLOSSEUM These shows were usually free to the public. The emperors believed it was a good way to keep the people of AncientRome happy and content with the way the city was being governed. The government provided free bread and free entertainment - a combination they believed would keep happy the many unemployed people in Rome.

  37. Rome The arena (circus)and bath were the new Roman contribution to the urban setting. They were Collosal Structures of mass entertainment.

  38. Rome - HOUSES Patrons and Clients:Roman society was really a network of personal relationships that obligated people to one another in a legal fashion. The man of superior talent and status was a patron. It was he, who could provide benefits to those people of lower status, who then paid him special attention (A SORT OF PARASITE RELATIONSHIP). Slavery: Slaves were obtained during warfare, a bankrupt citizen could sell himself into slavery. The homes of the rich and were filled with slaves. The more slaves a man owned the greater was his status and prestige in Roman society. Roman slaves served as hairdressers, footmen, messengers, accountants, tutors, secretaries, carpenters, plumbers and librarians. There was a great gap between the patricians (elite-ruling class) and the proletariat (workers/ordinary inhabitants).

  39. Rome - HOUSES • HOUSES OF PATRICIANS • A handful patricians (1800 families) were living in large private mansions, often with ample gardens and houses big enough to contain free servants and slaves. • Spacious, airy, sanitary, equipped with bathrooms and water closets; • Heated in winter with floor heating (a triumph of domestic architecture) • The first floors were joined to the sewer system .

  40. Rome - HOUSES The houses of the rich Roman people (Patricians) are named as "domus". That's a house with a second floor. When you enter, you first come in the "atrium". That's the big room, where they receive guests. In the roof is a small hole, with beneath it a bassin which catches the rainwater. Around the atrium are different small rooms, the bedroom, kitchen, courtyard with a colonnade.

  41. Rome – HOUSES - DOMUS

  42. Rome – HOUSES - DOMUS

  43. Rome - HOUSES For the upper class Romans, the provincial towns did not exist at all. Rome’s prestige was very important for them. The rich has to dwell in Rome in order to live well. Whenever there is a problem, such as plague or tireness of social season, they leave Rome, to stay for some time in country villas.

  44. Rome - HOUSES • Where as the poor: • Lived in 46000 tenement houses, each containing 200 people each (too much crowded) • These buildings was an speculative enterprise ( contractors and landlords made profit) • The tenements were most crowded and insanitary buildings • Unheated, no waste water pipes or water closets • Airless rooms

  45. Rome - HOUSES • Apartments (tenements) called insula (islands), a name originally applied to city blocks. • The poor people tended to use them only for sleeping as they had to work, visit the baths (as their flats had no running water) and they usually ate in local inns as cooking in these flats was not safe.

  46. Rome - HOUSES • The ground-level floor of the insula was used for tabernae, shops and businesses, with the living space upstairs. • Like modern apartment buildings, an insula might have a name, usually referring to the owner of the building.

  47. Rome - HOUSES • These buildings and their people constituted the core of imperial Rome. • This main population lived in cramped, noisy, airless, bad smelling, infected quarters, paying relatively very high rents to landlords.

  48. Rome - OPEN SPACES The parks around the Imperial palaces (originally for private use), count among the earliest open spaces for spontaneous leisure activities within the city. Caesar opened his own gardens to the public (earliest record) No open space in the slum districts.

  49. fortified temporary centers for militaryactivities Legionary Camps