Rome: Engineering an Empire

Please read the all of the instruction.
This assignment will explore Roman Imperial architecture and draw on both your assigned reading and Rome: Engineering an Empire, hosted on both Alexander Street Video and Films on Demand. I’ve embedded the ASV video player as the digital quality seems a little better but you can also view the video through Films on Demand below.

To view the video sections and/or the transcripts through the Films on Demand site, click on this web link: Links to an external site.

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While you can just select, Play all, there are specific sections that you will need to view to be able to answer the questions below. You must watch these segments: 3 – 8 (Rome: Center for an Exchange of Ideas through Claudius) and then 10 – 14 (Vespasian through Trajan’s Forum) and and 16 on the Pantheon. All segments together (3-8, 10-14, and 16) are approx. 55mins. in length.

Once you have finished viewing the segments on Ancient Roman architecture, please respond to the questions listed below:

1. The film argues that Roman technology, engineering and construction methods were an essential component of their expansionist aims and that Rome’s ability to build new urban environments even in remote territories laid the groundwork for successful assimilation and incorporation of new peoples and places within Rome’s expanding boundaries.

Explain. What types of new technologies do the Romans employ? What innovations do they provide for both their military forces (legions) and the people of newly conquered territories? Use specific examples from the film to support your answer.

2. Why do historians emphasize the importance of Roman construction methods? What is so interesting and important about the arch? The barrel vault? Pozzolana concrete?

Explain why these techniques are a fundamental part of Roman construction and what they allow Romans to do better and more efficiently than any other ancient society to date.

3. Even as Rome transforms from a republic to an empire, most successful Roman emperors recognized the importance of public building programs. Amphitheaters, forums and temples were expressions of Imperial power yet acknowledged and served the needs and interests of Rome’s citizens.

Explain. Choose one example from the film: the Colosseum, Trajan’s Forum or the Pantheon and analyze the connections between form and content. How does the form/design, (including materials and location) relate to function? How is form (what the building looks like) related to its function? How can formal analysis help us to better understand what these buildings symbolized to Ancient Romans?

Submit a response to the questions posed above; the completed assignment should be at least 350-650 words total. To receive full credit, you must answer all 3 multi-part questions in a complete and thorough manner.

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