The Architecture of Ancient Rome

Server Costs Fundraiser 2024

Help our mission to provide free history education to the world! Please donate and contribute to covering our server costs in 2024. With your support, millions of people learn about history entirely for free every month.
$2042 / $18000


Mark Cartwright
published on 16 May 2019

Roman architecture was nothing if not eclectic. From ingenious underfloor heating to gravity-defying arches, the Romans added to the Classical repertoire such grandiose structures as the triumphal arch, basilica, amphitheatre, and city tower block. The combination of brick, arch, and concrete allowed greater distances to be spanned than ever before so that interiors became bigger and ceilings higher. The Roman world encompassed countless peoples and cultures, but architecture helped stamp both Roman authority and culture on major cities from Cadiz to Constantinople. Still today, many of the finest ancient monuments seen across Europe, Asia, and North Africa are the works of Roman architects which have stood the test of time, warfare, and earthquake.

In this collection, we examine the particular and unique features of Roman architecture in general, look at some of the quintessential structures such as Roman baths and fortification walls, and study in depth a selection of outstanding Roman buildings such as the Colosseum and Pantheon.

Bedrooms and libraries should face east since their function requires morning light, and again, so that the books in libraries will not rot. (Vitruvius, On Architecture, Bk. 6, Ch. 4.1)



3D Images

Questions & Answers

What type of architecture was Rome known for?

The type of architecture Rome was known for includes the use of brick, marble, and concrete and the use of arches and domes to create amphitheatres, basilicas, triumphal arches, and apartment blocks.

What were the main features of ancient Roman architecture?

The main features of ancient Roman architecture include well-built, attractive, and practically useful structures. Roman buildings were often as decorative inside as they were outside.

What are 3 examples of ancient Roman architecture?

3 examples of Roman architecture are the Colosseum in Rome, the Pantheon in Rome, and the Pont du Gard aqueduct in southern France.
Subscribe to this author

About the Author

Mark Cartwright
Mark is a full-time writer, researcher, historian, and editor. Special interests include art, architecture, and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the WHE Publishing Director.

Free for the World, Supported by You

World History Encyclopedia is a non-profit organization. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide.

Become a Member