Baths of caracalla essay
2019 March 12 Building Background The baths of Caracalla are recognized as one of the most prominent buildings in the history of the Roman Empire. The construction of these buildings lasted for a period of 5 years from AD 211 to AD216. It is known that the buildings were constructed as an original idea of Emperor Septimius Severus and completed after his death under the supervision of his son Caracalla. The Baths of Caracalla were lactated in Regio XII, a settlement to the south of Rome (Marvin, 1993). It is approximated the buildings occupied a total area of 62 acres which was designed in a rectangular shape of 1105. Also, within the compound were a series of gardens located between the outer walls and the central building. The baths’ axis was designed in a northeast to southwest symmetry to facilitate optimum utilization of the sun’s heat.
To the southwest direction was the caldarium while the frigidarium faced the northeast side. As a way of controlling the flow of people in the baths, the dressing room and palestra were designed in a particular line of symmetry. Fig 2. A combination of different materials was used during the construction of Baths of Caracalla. It is documented that workers had to endure materials weighing over 2000 metric tons every day. The nature of this work was so rigorous that many injuries and deaths occurred as a result of accidents. It is also known that most of these materials were locally obtained from mining and excavation duties which were performed by the prisoners of war. Other valuable items and refined marbles were acquired from traders.
Large quantities of tuff were also utilized in the process due to the abundance of these materials as a result of active volcanic activities in the region. For the purposes of holding these materials in an intact position, quick limestone was utilized. The excavators could supply a high volume of limestone for reinforcing walls and supporting columns. Another useful material which was supplied in sufficient quantities is called pozzolana. It is important to note that each of the items was used purposively attain the strength and aesthetic value of the building (Claridge, 1999). Fig 4. 0 showing the plan As has been stated in this paper, the Baths of Caracalla were designed to accommodate 1600 bathers and this number justifies the acreage of space it consumes.
On the North side of the Bath, there was a swimming pool famously referred to as natation, which contained bronze mirrors overhead of it. This was mainly to direct the rays of the sun into the pool. The Bath had been built to a height of twenty feet from the ground in order to allow for storage. In addition, traders and tourists would frequently visit the city hence the Baths of Caracalla would act as their places of convenience. Therefore, the establishment of these bathes was considered as a major milestone during the reign of Caracalla. There was a system of supplying warm water for bathing, but users were also not restricted to use cold water. Fig 5. 0 showing the swimming pool The second purpose of this building was to act as a recreational facility.
Members of the public were allowed to visit here and borrow books on a long-term or short-term basis. The libraries also contained highly classified materials of references which could only be granted limited access. There were benches to be utilized by readers. Clearly, then Baths of Caracalla can be described to have served as a learning center. Fig 6. The 19th century has seen the use of the Baths of Caracalla serve as a cultural venue. In 1960, the Baths of Caracalla acted as the host for the Olympic gymnastics events. This was ideal because the construction of the buildings had a lot of space. This is clearly a cultural event that had taken center stage. In comparison to what the initial uses for this place were, there has been a big difference and transition in the way the Baths of Caracalla are being utilized.
Fig 7. 0 showing the arches The period of ancient Roman architecture was unique due to the application of some unique and symbolic features. As a result, these rapid changes in building and construction became known as the concrete revolution. The most common buildings during this period included; amphitheaters, temples, and baths. Emperors seemed to be interested in the construction of public utilities to improve convenience and outlook of their cities. Buildings during this period could be easily identified through the fired clay bricks. For instance, the Constantine Basilica located in Trier. Ancient Roman architectures used a special type of concrete which became known as the Roman concrete. This was a mixture of stones, lime mortar, water, and pozzolana. Buildings constructed using this concreate are known to have lasted for longer periods.
This was famously known as the post-and-lintel system of construction. This was mainly aimed at making the exterior of a building look attractive. This is the exact technique that constructors of the Baths of Caracalla adhered to. The inside designs were pretty much alike in the sense that they had a limited amount of space in comparison to the exterior. This was due to the amount of support that was required for the heavy material used in building the exterior (Destrée, Pierre, and Penelope Murray, 2015). This was an emulation of the basic elements of ancient Roman architecture. Fig 9. 0 showing the building On the wall of this building were unique mosaics. These provided an aesthetic aspect within the building hence attracting many locals to visit the place.
Due to the extensive coverage of the area, Baths of Caracalla contained the highest number of swimming pools in ancient Rome. Firstly, the design of the structure has been adopted in the constriction of baths and swimming pools. Many commercial buildings have also incorporated the idea of assigning multiple uses for a single structure. That is why it is common to find that buildings have restaurants, offices, and classrooms. A study of the Baths of Caracalla also reveals the significance of aesthetic beauty in buildings. As such, modern structures are being construed using highly valuable items, technology, and unique designs. 0 showing the swimming pool Appendix VI Fig 6. 0 showing area Appendix VII Fig 7. 0 showing the arches Appendix VII Fig 8. 0 showing the roof Appendix IX Fig 9.
0 showing the building Appendix X Fig 10. The modern images of the baths illustrate the remnants of the sculpture that survived for more than three hundred years. The pattern used to distribute the baths of Caracalla was similar to that used in other baths. The baths of Carnalla hosted people who performed different activities. Claridge, Amanda. “J. The construction cost the amount equal to twelve million rations of corn This is considered a large amount since even the richest people during the period of construction could not raise such an amount. The baths survived for long since there were enough funds to cater for construction costs which, followed Roman construction generalities. DeLaine, Janet. “The ‘Cella Solearis’ of the Baths of Caracalla: A Reappraisal.
” Papers of the British School at Rome 55 (1987): 147-56. “Design and construction in Roman imperial architecture: The Baths of Caracalla in Rome. ” PhD diss. This article discusses the design applied during the construction of the Baths of Caracalla, which is classified as Roman Imperial Architecture. It highlighted the relationship between the construction procedure and design of the baths. It also has detailed information about the standing remains, which give architects and constructors organized basics about the reconstruction. Textures used in reconstruction are generic since the complete original structure used extremely different and ancient materials. Taylor, Rabun M. , and Rabun Taylor. “Roman builders: A study in architectural process. ” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. The baths of Caracalla are among the nine baths that were constructed during the Roman Corinth era.
The construction involved application of thermae and typologies of Ancient Rome. The decoration and social aspects of the bath focused on helping people maintain cleanliness and healthy lifestyles. People also visited the bathe to socialize, eat, be groomed, and display their products for the willing buyers. During reconstruction, of the baths of Caracalla, discovered fragmentary lamps used to provide light and beauty to the baths. "Magnificence: On the Appearance of the Baths of Caracalla. " Journal of Architectural Education 71, no. In this source, Moe explains the architectural point of view of the construction of the Baths of Caracalla. The author talks about the appearance of this building in the sense of the kind of input that was invested in it. There are the figures involved in terms of the construction process that saw the completion of the Baths of Caracalla.
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