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Word Count: 488
The Pont du Gard a Roman aqueduct close to the city of Nmes France It was built in the late 1st century BC or the early 1st century AD to channel water from a spring from Nmes It was constructed of beautifully sized and precisely cut stones without the use of mortar and consists of three tiers of arches It exemplifies the simplest use of the arch as a structural element The arches of the thick base arcade spring from huge stone piers and support a roadbed The arches of the second arcade span the same distance as those of the base but it is much narrower than the first and set on one side of the roadbed The third arcade the narrowest and shortest of the three supports the water trough It has three arches for every one of the second arcade Since it was a purely utilitarian structure the aqueduct was not decorated and the projecting blocks inserted to support scaffolding during construction were left to provide easy access for repairs The Pont du Gard conveys a sense of balance proportion rhythmic harmony and integration into its natural setting The Romans carried on the Greek and Hellenistic tradition of building large outdoor theaters using suitable hillsides for the purpose of creating freestanding structures on level terrain The Roman theater in Orange France is a good example As in Greek theaters the seating is arranged in a semicircular cone shape The orchestra was reduced to a semicircle and made part of the audience in contrast to the circular orchestra in Greek theaters that was part of the performance A raised stage with an elaborate enclosing wall faces the audience The theatre held as many as 7000 people and its plain masonry wall was disguised with columns and pediments and presided over by a statue of the emperor in a central niche Unlike Greek-style theaters in which the surrounding environment is part of the performance
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