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Elements of Roman City Planning

(1) Principia;

(2) Via Praetoria;

(3) Via Principalis;

(4) Porta Principalis Dextra;

(5) Porta Praetoria (main gate);

(6) Porta Principalis Sinistra;

(7) Porta Decumana (back gate).

Castrum

In the Roman Empire, the Latin word castrum was a building, or plot of land, used as a fortified military camp.

Castrum was the term used for different sizes of camps including a large legionary fortress, smaller auxiliary forts, temporary encampments, and "marching" forts. The diminutive form castellum was used for fortlets, typically occupied by a detachment of a cohort or a century.

Basic ideal plan of a Roman castrum. (1) Principia; (2) Via Praetoria; (3) Via Principalis; (4) Porta Principalis Dextra; (5) Porta Praetoria (main gate); (6) Porta Principalis Sinistra; (7) Porta Decumana (back gate).

Basic ideal plan of a Roman castrum. (1) Principia; (2) Via Praetoria; (3) Via Principalis; (4) Porta Principalis Dextra; (5) Porta Praetoria (main gate); (6) Porta Principalis Sinistra; (7) Porta Decumana (back gate).

Decumanus Maximus

In Roman city planning, a decumanus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, castrum (military camp), or colonia. The main decumanus was the Decumanus Maximus, which normally connected the Porta Praetoria (in a military camp, closest to the enemy) to the Porta Decumana (away from the enemy)

The first type of road included public high or main roads, constructed and maintained at the public expense, and with their soil vested in the state. Such roads led either to the sea, or to a town, or to a public river (one with a constant flow), or to another public road. Siculus Flaccus, who lived under Trajan (98-117), calls them viae publicae regalesque, and describes their characteristics as follows:

  1. They are placed under curatores (commissioners), and repaired by redemptores (contractors) at the public expense; a fixed contribution, however, being levied from the neighboring landowners.
  2. These roads bear the names of their constructors (e.g. Via Appia, Cassia, Flaminia).


Principia

Principia (lit. "primary buildings"), the headquarters at the center of Roman forts (castra)

Cardo Maximus

A cardo was the Latin name given to a north-south street in Ancient Roman cities and military camps as an integral component of city planning. The Cardo Maximus was the main or central north–south-oriented street.

Decumanus Maximus (the intersecting axis of Cardo) was the main street in Petra, Jordan with commercial shops on both sides

Decumanus Maximus (the intersecting axis of Cardo) was the main street in Petra, Jordan with commercial shops on both sides

Decumanus Maximus

In Roman city planning, a decumanus was an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city, castrum (military camp), or colonia. The main decumanus was the Decumanus Maximus, which normally connected the Porta Praetoria (in a military camp, closest to the enemy) to the Porta Decumana (away from the enemy).

Decumanus Maximus in Palmyra in Syria

Decumanus Maximus in Palmyra in Syria

Turma

A turma was a cavalry unit in the Roman army of the Republic and Empire. In the Byzantine Empire, it became applied to the larger, regiment-sized military-administrative divisions of a thema. The word is often translated as "squadron" but so is the term ala, a unit that was made up of several turmae.

Tabularium

The Tabularium was the official records office of ancient Rome, and also housed the offices of many city officials. Situated within the Roman Forum

The Tabularium, behind the corner columns of the Temple of Vespasian and Titus.

The Tabularium, behind the corner columns of the Temple of Vespasian and Titus.

Forum Romanum

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum is a rectangular forum(plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome.

Vallum

Vallum is either the whole or a portion of the fortifications of a Roman camp. The vallum usually comprised an earthen or turf rampart (Agger) with a wooden palisade on top, with a deep outer ditch (fossa). The name is derived from vallus (a stake), and properly means the palisade which ran along the outer edge of the top of the agger, but is usually used to refer to the whole fortification.

Valli (Sudes) combined to form a Czech hedgehog

Valli (Sudes) combined to form a Czech hedgehog

Sudis

The sudis is a Latin word meaning stake. It was the name given to stakes carried by Roman legionariesfor employment as a field fortification, sometimes also called vallus. It is frequently, but incorrectly, called a pilum muralemeaning 'wall spear'.

Stoa

A stoa in ancient Greek architecture, is a covered walkway or portico, commonly for public use. Early stoas were open at the entrance with columns, usually of the Doric order, lining the side of the building; they created a safe, enveloping, protective atmosphere.

The restored Stoa of Attalos in Athens

The restored Stoa of Attalos in Athens

Basilica

The basilican architectural style originated in ancient Rome and was originally used for public buildings where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. The basilica was centrally located in every Roman town, usually adjacent to the main forum.

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary

Thermae

In ancient Rome, thermae and balneae (from Greek βαλανεῖον balaneion) were facilities for bathing. Thermae usually refers to the large imperial bath complexes, while balneae were smaller-scale facilities, public or private, that existed in great numbers throughout Rome.

Thermae Maiores, Aquincum, Budapest

Thermae Maiores, Aquincum, Budapest

Siculus Flaccus

Siculus Flaccus was an ancient Roman gromaticus (land surveyor), and writer in Latin on land surveying. His work was included in a collection of gromatic treatises in the 6th century AD.

Siculus Flaccus made the distinction between public roads (viae publicae), local roads (viae vicinales) and private or estate roads (viae privatae) in Roman Italy.

Ancient Roman temples

Ancient Roman temples were among the most important buildings in Roman culture, and some of the richest buildings in Roman architecture, though only a few survive in any sort of complete state. Today they remain "the most obvious symbol of Roman architecture".

References

  1. Christoph F. Konrad (2004). Augusto Augurio: Rerum Humanarum Et Divinarum Commentationes in Honorem Jerzy Linderski. Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-3-515-08578-6.
  2. Jump up^ Alan Kaiser (14 October 2011). Roman Urban Street Networks: Streets and the Organization of Space in Four Cities. Taylor & Francis. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-1-136-76006-8.
  3. See Vegetius, Epitoma rei militaris, 3.8.
  4. Harry B. Evans (1997). Water Distribution in Ancient Rome: The Evidence of Frontinus. University of Michigan Press. pp. 9, 10. ISBN 0-472-08446-1. Archived from the original on 2018-18-06.
  5. Smith 1890
  6. The roads of Roman Italy: mobility and cultural change, by Ray Laurence
  7. https://madainproject.com/decumanus_(petra)
  8. John E. Stambaugh (1 May 1988). The Ancient Roman City. JHU Press. pp. 283–. ISBN 978-0-8018-3692-3.
  9. Christoph F. Konrad (2004). Augusto Augurio: Rerum Humanarum Et Divinarum Commentationes in Honorem Jerzy Linderski. Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-3-515-08578-6.
  10. Alan Kaiser (14 October 2011). Roman Urban Street Networks: Streets and the Organization of Space in Four Cities. Taylor & Francis. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-1-136-76006-8.
  11. Smith, William (1875). "CIVITAS (ROMAN)". A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. London: John Murray. pp. 291–293.
  12. Harry B. Evans (1997). Water Distribution in Ancient Rome: The Evidence of Frontinus. University of Michigan Press. pp. 9, 10. ISBN 0-472-08446-1. Archived from the original on 2018-05-07.
  13. Summerson (1980), 25
  14. Welch, Katherine E. (2007). The Roman amphitheatre: from its origins to the Colosseum. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-521-80944-3.
  15. Humphrey, p. 126.

Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine Hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m (2,037 ft) in length and 118 m (387 ft) in width and could accommodate over 150,000 spectators.

Circus Maximus, Rome, Italy

Circus Maximus, Rome, Italy

Roman amphitheatres are amphitheatres – large, circular or oval open-air venues with raised seating – built by the ancient Romans. They were used for events such as gladiatorcombats, venationes (animal slayings) and executions. About 230 Roman amphitheatres have been found across the area of the Roman Empire. Early amphitheatres date from the republican period

Roman theatres derive from and are part of the overall evolution of earlier Greek theatres. Indeed, much of the architectural influence on the Romans came from the Greeks, and theatre structural design was no different from other buildings. However, Roman theatres have specific differences, such as generally being built upon their own foundations instead of earthen works or a hillside and being completely enclosed on all sides.

Interior view of the Roman theatre of Bosra, Syria: 1) Scaenae frons 2) Porticus post scaenam 3) Pulpitum 4) Proscaenium 5) Orchestra 6) Cavea 7) Aditus maximus 8) Vomitorium

Interior view of the Roman theatre of Bosra, Syria: 1) Scaenae frons 2) Porticus post scaenam 3) Pulpitum 4) Proscaenium 5) Orchestra 6) Cavea 7) Aditus maximus 8) Vomitorium

Civitas

In the history of Rome, the Latin term civitas according to Cicero in the time of the late Roman Republic, was the social body of the cives, or citizens, united by law (concilium coetusque hominum jure sociati). It is the law that binds them together, giving them responsibilities (munera) on the one hand and rights of citizenship on the other. The agreement (concilium) has a life of its own, creating a res publica or "public entity" (synonymous with civitas), into which individuals are born or accepted, and from which they die or are ejected. The civitas is not just the collective body of all the citizens, it is the contract binding them all together, because each of them is a civis.