Academic Master

History, Innovation

Innovations in Roman Architecture

The art of architecture took root in the second century in Rome with the help of readily available Roman concrete, which was later substituted by stone and bricks. As time rolled, more strong arches and domes made from great pillars were witnessed. Romans built different types of buildings using a variety of materials, techniques, and elements which spread across the world. The essay explores Insula and temples as the two types of Roman buildings.

The insula is a type of Roman building that was built using insulae blocks to serve residential purposes. They made utilized iron bars to make small windows that were usually facing the main roads. The cost of the residential rooms varied depending on the floor; the top apartment rooms were the cheapest since they were vulnerable to fire breakout. The external and interior walls were both plastered and painted. Moreover, the bright paintings in the interior were used as a technique to light dark rooms. Also, the word Insula means apartment building according to historians of ancient Roman culture, which were designed such the rooms below the stair were used for storage purposes while the ground floor was for shops (DeLaine, 1990).

The Roman culture considers temples as royal and the most important buildings. The ancient Roman religion had a duty of constructing and maintaining at least one temple and shrine in every economic city. It was designed in such a way that the main room was used to house the religious images, and a small altar was used to perform libations. Moreover, there was a room behind the main room that was also designed to serve the congregation with the storage of materials and equipment. Most of the Roman temples were constructed using stone and walled columns, which were raised higher, unlike Greek temples (Boëthius, Ling & Rasmussen, 1978).

In summary, the Romans were very innovative in the field of architecture, and they built different styles of buildings, using a variety of materials and techniques to serve political, religious, and social issues. High population densities and resources were also some reasons that compelled them to come up with brand architectural designs.


Boëthius, A., Ling, R., & Rasmussen, T. (1978). Etruscan and early Roman architecture. Yale University Press.

DeLaine, J. (1990). Structural experimentation: The lintel arch, corbel, and tie in western Roman architecture. World Archaeology21(3), 407-424.



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