The Roman aqueducts played a vital role in the empire. They supplied fresh water for Romes citizens. while some eighteen aqueducts brought fresh water to Romes major cities. The aqueducts, some of which delivered well over forty million gallons of water per day to a single site, (Fiero, 73). The aqueducts not only brought water, they were technological wonders. The city of Nimes in France had a twenty-five mile long aqueduct. The aqueducts were made possible by the use of arches. The Romans employed the structural advantages of the arch (the knowledge of which they inherited from the Etruscans) to enclose greater volumes of uninterrupted space than any previously known, ( 73). This made long distance aqueducts possible, thus making a constantly watered and clean empire.
The Colosseum was one Romes greatest architectural achievement in its history. The Colossuem brought entertainment through violence to the populace. What made it an architectural achievement was the fact such a massive building was built and well maintained over centuries of abuse. What made this durability and endurance was the invention of concrete. Roman building techniques reveal a combination of practicality and innovation: The Romans were the first to use concrete (an aggregate of sand, lime, brick-and-stone rubble, and water), a medium that made possible cheap large scale construction, (74).
Concretes combination of durability and economics made building a structure of that size (holding up to 50,000 spectators) possible. Not only was it the structures size that made it an architectural achievement was that it was well decorated and designed. The ingenious combination of arch and post-and-lintel structural elements in the design of the Colosseum would be widely imitated for centuries, and especially in the Italian Renaissance, (75). The Colosseum itself was decorated with bronze, plaster, marble, and tile, making the Colloseum not only a well-built structure but an aesthetically presentable one. Thus making the Colloseum an architectural icon and crowning landmark in Rome for many years to come.
The landmarks in Rome not only show the power and glory of Rome, but pave the way into the future of architecture. Concrete and arches set forth the building block of massive structures that could last for thousands of years. The Colloseum and the aqueducts are not only marvels of engineering, but icons that signify that Rome was once a great empire.
Fiero, Gloria K. Landmarks in Humanities 3rd Ed, Boston;
McGraw Hill, 2012. Print