The Eternal City

There is an old saying that ‘all roads lead to Rome’. The idea behind the saying is that the Romans were such prodigious builders of roads that if you were on a road anywhere in the old Roman Empire, chances were that it would connect you to the city of Rome itself somehow. But the Romans weren’t content to just build roads they made baths, temples, burial tunnels, libraries, and whole cities; The Romans seem to have loved building so much that they even built structures whose sole purpose seems to have been to memorialize how great they were at building stuff.

This frenzy for building was by no means limited to the city of Rome or even to the Italian peninsula. Every place the Roman Empire spread the builders arrived on the heels of the soldiers remaking whole landscapes in the image of Rome. Romans borrowed a lot of architectural ideas from the Greeks and Etruscans and others, but they also added their own contributions in the form of technique, materials, and the Roman knack for making things last. We might be tempted to find it amusing that the Romans, convinced that it would last forever, called their capital ‘the Eternal City’, but its worth remembering that while the Empire may be gone the influence of Rome (architecturally and in many other ways) continues. Not only has the city of Rome endured the rise and fall of many empires, but the cities (and countryside) all over the former Roman Empire still bear the marks of imperial builders, artists, and architects.  To this day the effects of Rome’s building mania can still be felt world wide. Actual buildings and monuments dating all the way back to the time of the Republic can be found on three continents.

Your task is to find these ancient Roman structures. You’ll need to find at least 10 specific examples of surviving Roman structures. You need to give me links to websites for each one and a brief (1-2 sentence) description of each including what it was used for and what city/country it is in. The limit is two sites per city and three per country.

You may post your links and descriptions as a reply to this blog or write them out and give me a hard copy. Either way, make sure to include your name. 

If you are going to post a reply write it in MSWord first so you can save a copy. After you’re done paste the text into a comment for the blog. 

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