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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER IX - Art and Science


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Page 38

With this priority of Greek over Roman arch-building the hypothesis, which has been often and perhaps justly propounded, is quite compatible, that the vaulted roof of the Roman great -cloaca-, and that which was afterwards thrown over the old Capitoline well-house which originally had a pyramidal roof,(34) are the oldest extant structures in which the principle of the arch is applied; for it is more than probable that these arched buildings belong not to the regal but to the republican period,(35) and that in the regal period the Italians were acquainted only with flat or overlapped roofs.(36)

34. Cf. I. XV. Earliest Greek Influences

35. Cf. I. VII. Servian Wall

36. Cf. I. XV. Earliest Greek Influences

But whatever may be thought as to the invention of the arch itself, the application of a principle on a great scale is everywhere, and particularly in architecture, at least as important as its first exposition; and this application belongs indisputably to the Romans. With the fifth century began the building of gates, bridges, and aqueducts based mainly on the arch, which is thenceforth inseparably associated with the Roman name.

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