Thursday, January 8, 2009

Roman Arches

Did you know that the Romans were the first to build arches in their architecture even though the Greeks and Egyptians were familiar with the architectural techniques. Today, this was part of our history discussion (TOG year 1, unit 28), how an arch is different from a post and lintel design.

Youngest son demonstrates with legos how the weight of an arch is supported mostly by the blocks at the top, where they come together. The Romans also were able to develop higher grades of concrete that made it all hold together better.

The Romans built triumphal arches, which were built to honor emperors or major military victories by generals. In a few weeks, our studies will take us to many prisoners of war that were forced to march through these arches and into the city of Rome. At one time, there was thirty-six triumphal arches scattered throughout Rome. Only three of those are still standing today.

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