Architectural Studies

Roman Cities & Fora

Most of the large cities we will visit on our trip, such as Barcelona, Florence, London and Paris, began as (or were converted into) fortified Roman settlements. And these Roman beginnings are often still evident in modern street systems. In Paris, for example, our accommodations at the Hôtel des Arènes, are adjacent to the ancient Roman amphitheater.

Roman Forts & Cities (Castra & urbis)

Roman Urban Planning (12 mins.):


Aquae Sulis (9 mins.):


Roman Fora

Roman Forum (Open University, 2011, 15 mins.):

Forum of Trajan (Diana Kleiner, Yale University, 2009, excerpt, 32 mins.):


Different mosaic processes have been utilized by many different early societies—including Mesopotamian clay-cone mosaics and early Greek pebble mosaics. But perhaps no civilizations created more or more grandiose mosaics than the Romans and the Byzantines. The Romans used mosaics primarily for utilitarian flooring, and therefore generally limited themselves to hard stone tesserae. But the Byzantines created ornate wall mosaics that made use of semi-precious stones, glass, and other more delicate materials.

“Ancient and Byzantine Mosaic Materials” (Art Institute of Chicago, 2012, 3 mins.):


“Making Ancient and Byzantine Mosaics” (Art Institute of Chicago, 2012, 4 mins.):


The one Roman Architecture quiz is found at the end of the next post with Roman material.


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