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Roman Art and Architecture Roman art and architecture was the art and architecture of Rome and its empire which in its golden era extended from the British Isles to the Caspian Sea Roman Encarta 96 The earliest Roman art and architecture is generally associated with the overthrow of the Etruscan kings and the establishment of the Republic in 509 BCRoman The end of Roman art and architecture and the beginning of medieval art is usually said to occur with the conversion of the emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity and the transfer of the capital of the empire from Rome to Constantinople in AD 330Roman Roman art and architecture had a profound impact on the world we live in today by influencing modern city planing architecture and art The typical Roman city of the later Republic and empire had a rectangular plan and resembled a Roman military camp with two main streets the main north-south thoroughfare was called the cardo and the east-west thoroughfare the decumanus Adam 54 A grid of smaller streets dividing the town into blocks and a wall circuit with gates Recreational buildings and shops were dispersed throughout the Roman cityRoman Encarta96 The shops were usually one-room units opening onto the sidewalks Large cities and small towns alike also had public baths under the Republic they were generally made up of a suite of dressing rooms and bathing chambers with hot- warm- and cold-water baths alongside an exercise area the palaestraRome also incorporated libraries lecture halls and vast vaulted public spaces elaborately decorated with statues mosaics paintings and stuccos Roman In the second century AD Rome had nearly a million inhabitants Adam 58 The rich dwellings of the aristocracy and the emperors palaces stood close to the communal apartment houses that were several stories high which Trajan limited to 60 feet The apartment houses were hastily built by the thousands supported only by beams as long and thin as flutes
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