Architecture

In the initial stages, the ancient Roman architecture reflected elements of architectural styles of the Etruscans and the Greeks. Over a period of time, the style was modified in tune with their urban requirements, and the civil engineering and building construction technology became developed and refined. The Roman concrete has remained a riddle, and even after more than two thousand years some of ancient Roman structures still stand magnificently, like the Pantheon (with one of the largest single span domes in the world) located in the business district of todays Rome. The architectural style of the capital city of ancient Rome was emulated by other urban centers under Roman control and influence, like the Verona Arena, Verona, Italy; Arch of Hadrian, Athens, Greece; Temple of Hadrian, Ephesos, Turkey; a Theatre at Orange, France; and at several other locations, for example, Lepcis Magna, located in Libya. Roman cities were well planned, efficiently managed and neatly maintained. Palaces, private dwellings and villas, were elaborately designed and town planning was comprehensive with provisions for different activities by the urban resident population, and for countless migratory population of travelers, traders and visitors passing through their cities. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, a 1st-century BCE Roman architects treatise De architectura, with various sections, dealing with urban planning, building materials, temple construction, public and private buildings, and hydraulics, remained a classic text until the Renaissance. The Renaissance (UK /rne?s?ns/, US /?r?n?sns/, French pronunciation: ?[n?s?s], French: Renaissance, Original Italian: Rinascimento, from rinascere "to be reborn") was a cultural movement that s

anned the period roughly from the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. Though availability of paper and the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe. As a cultural movement, it encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch, the development of linear perspective and other techniques of rendering a more natural reality in painting, and gradual but widespread educational reform. In politics the Renaissance contributed the development of the conventions of diplomacy, and in science an increased reliance on observation. Historians often argue this intellectual transformation was a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man". There is a consensus that the Renaissance began in Florence, Italy, in the 14th century. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time; its political structure; the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici; and the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.