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Roman Arches

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Romanarches
An illustration of two Roman Arches[1]
Mgt10196Added by Mgt10196

The Roman Arch is a slightly hemispherical architectural structure that can support weight while covering a certain distance. To build an arch, there must be two stacks of bricks at two different locations, connected by wedge-shaped bricks that begin to form a circle when put together.[2]

Arches were used in the construction of the Parthenon during the Classical Period in Greece, and later on were used as a basis for Roman architecture and construction. The Romans observed the arch, and used its structure and concept to build tunnels, or vaults, and domes.[3]

One of the most spectacular displays of Roman engineering genius is found in one of their most renowned creations: the aqueduct. Aqueducts were gigantic manmade waterways that traveled for several miles, transporting water from rivers to villages and cities that could not access it. The Roman Arch was essential to the aqeuduct's construction.[4]


The Roman Arches of Columbia UniversityEdit

IMG 3590
3 Roman Arches supporting the Avery Building, Columbia University
Mgt10196Added by Mgt10196
IMG 3591
The Avery Building, Columbia University
Mgt10196Added by Mgt10196
The Roman Arches found at Columbia University were supporting the front of the Avery building. Though they are most likely decorative due to the fact that they are between large Ionic Columns which probably provide the most support, the structure that all Roman arches posses is present.

These are definitely Roman Arches because the top half of each structure is a hemisphere, and the inside of the structure spans a certain distance thanks to two points where the arch originates from. These Roman Arches may not support the building in reality howerver, because there are already Ionic Columns, as seen in the bottommost photograph on the right, and there are no marks on the arch to signify separations between bricks and wedges. Though these are definitely arches, they may just be on the Avery Building for decoration.



Roman Arches in AqueductsEdit

Aqueduct PontDuGard Nimes-1-
Pont du Gard Aqueduct, Nimes, France[5]
Mgt10196Added by Mgt10196
Roman Arches were the basis for one of the largest, most marvelous creations in Roman history: the aqueduct. There were multiple aqueducts traveling across the Roman empire to provide different cities with water. This water could have been used for bathwater, drinking water, and sewage water. The aqueduct in the photograph on the right is the Pont du Gard aqueduct, which is part of a 25-mile-long aqueduct that brought water to Nines, a city in modern-day France.[6]

There are three layers of arches that composed an aqueduct: the bottommost level supported the bridge in the second level, which supported the actual waterway on the top level.[7]

Aqueducts are most likely the foundation for modern-day water systems like giant underground pipelines, as some still use gravity to transport water, although most pipes use water pressure to propel water forward. Though these water transporters were a highly ingenious idea, more efficient ways of transporting water have been developed over the years, thanks to the aqueduct.


CitationsEdit

  1. "Roman Arches," JPG, http://www.hadrians.com/rome/romans/sources/roman_arches.html.
  2. Gloria Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition(New York: McGraw Hill, 2011), 152-153.
  3. Gloria Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition(New York: McGraw Hill, 2011), 152-153.
  4. Gloria Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition(New York: McGraw Hill, 2011), 152-153.
  5. "Point DuGard," JPG, http://www.studiolo.org/pix/info006/Aqueduct_PontDuGard_Nime[1].jpg
  6. Gloria Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition(New York: McGraw Hill, 2011), 152-153.
  7. Gloria Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition(New York: McGraw Hill, 2011), 152-153.
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