fire fighting in ancient rome

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Fire fighting in Ancient Rome

It is worth mentioning one of the greatest enemies of the buildings of Rome: Fire. Fires were frequent and given the widespread use of flammable materials were highly destructive. Nero's burning of Rome is a vivid memory of this but many many more fires actually beset the city both before and after Nero.

Because of this a special corps of fire fighters was set up to act as sorts of vigilantes who patrolled their areas, always on the lookout for social unrest or other potential causes of fire and to act to the best of their means to put them out.

The poorer areas of the city were built more or less without planning and streets and alleys were tight, uneven and tortuous - at least before the reconstruction of Rome which followed the great fire of Rome in the time of Emperor Nero. The great fire acted as an impulse for legislation regarding urban planning and building techniques aimed at reducing the risk of fire: streets were made wider, fewer flammable materials were to be used in construction and fire prevention corps were set up all over the city.

Fires also acted as an impulse for ancient Roman architecture as buildings which had been burned down had to be rebuilt, not always exactly the same as the original. Simple examples of this are found in some Roman houses excavated in Rome where the Roman mosaics on the floor are distinctly Republican in style whilst the walls were rebuilt and repainted in "more modern" second and third style Roman painting.

The greatest example of the renewal effects brought by fire in ancient Rome is the architecture of the Pantheon in Rome which not only got rebuilt in largely inflammable materials, including its cement dome, but the architecture of the building itself reached unprecedented results which influenced architects of all ages till the present day.

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Roman Construction and Technology: Building and engineering in Ancient Rome | ancient roman technology | Building methods in Ancient Rome | Building materials in Ancient Rome | Ancient Rome Buildings | bureaucracy of buildings in Ancient Rome | roman architecture | Ancient Roman Bridges | roman aqueducts | roman aqueducts structure | water in Ancient Rome | roman columns | romans road | Arches in Ancient Rome | Foundations and floors in ancient rome | Constructing walls in Ancient Rome | ancient roman inventions | Fire and fire-fighting in ancient rome |

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"fire fighting in ancient rome" was written by Giovanni Milani-Santarpia for www.mariamilani.com - Rome apartments