Ancient Near East
Images & Art
Maps & Geography
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Timelines & Charts
- The Romans were probably the greatest architects of the ancient world.- They borrowed almost all their architectural forms and building techniques from earlier civilizations but had so changed and modified them that by the 1st cent. AD they had created a unique style that would greatly influence the western world.
- The style was based on the arch, the vault, and the dome.
- All made possible by a Roman invention, concrete, that did not buckle under
the stresses of the huge structures.
- Civil engineering was another highly developed skill.
- City planners laid out towns supplied with elaborate systems of aqueducts and sewers.
- Cities were connected by vast networks of solidly constructed roads.
- By the middle of the first century AD, the concrete and brick arch had become not only the means for erecting larger buildings but also an expression of sheer architectural beauty.
- A temple built in honor of all the gods of the universe in 125 AD at the request of the emperor Hadrian.
- It is the masterpiece of Roman architecture both aesthetically and structurally.
- It is not known exactly how the building was erected but like most Roman buildings its basic ingredients are brick and concrete.
- Hidden within the walls is a framework of brick arches to support the weight of the dome.
- There is no windows except one opening in the center through which light and air enters.
- To provide fresh water for the many public baths and private consumers, aqueducts were constructed to conduct water from the hills down into the city.
- Most of the aqueducts had underground conduits, or pipes,
- A few were bridges with open concrete canals such as the three tiered Pont du Gard in Nimes, France.
- The arch enabled them to span any river or gorge.
- The bridges and aqueducts they built were meant to be functional, but they are also among the most beautiful ever built.
- The most imposing structure built in Rome was the Colosseum.
- This huge amphitheater (double theater) with seating all around
- The arena is also known as the Flavian amphitheater because it was built during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian (69-79 AD).
- The murderous battles of man-and-man and man-and-animal were staged in the Colosseum.
- The oval arena (287 x 180 feet) was surrounded by a 15 foot wall and had deep cells and cellars below.
- It had three tiers of arches, plus a top story with superimposed Doric, ionic, and Corinthian half-columns.
- The 45,000 spectators were protected from rain or fierce sun by huge canvas awnings fixed to masts secured to the topmost rim.
- After nearly two thousand years of pillage by other builders who used it as a quarry for building churches, palaces, and houses, the Colosseum still remains a lasting monument to the indestructible solidity of Roman architecture.
Pleasures of the Arena
- By the beginning of the 2nd cent. AD, the Romans seemed to care about little except food and circuses.
- Food was a necessity, but circuses became an addiction of every class in the empire.
- The mania for chariot racing knew no geographical limits.
- Thousands of spectators in every part of the empire attended the races to cheer on the drivers.
- Drivers rode under certain colors.
- Only the wealthiest citizens could afford to keep stables of horses with attendants, trainers, grooms, and chariot makers to produce winners.
- The opportunity to bet on the races added to their popularity.
- Adding to the excitement was the virtual certainty that, on any given day, at least one charioteer strapped to his reins would mess up on a turn, and either be dragged to his death, or cause a spectacular chain reaction of accidents.
- Only the desire to watch gladiators die, equaled the chariot races in attracting spectators.
- Roman emperors devoted many days to these events because of the popularity of the arena.
- Eventually, many citizens were spending as many as 150 of the year in
stadiums or amphi-theaters watching charioteers race, animals being tortured and
butchered, and desperate men kill each other.
- The usual program for a day at the Colosseum would begin with the "venatio," (an event that featured wild animals).- The animals might be pitted against each other, or sent into the arena to mangle defenseless humans, but the typical display was a simulated hunt during which animals were stalked by "bestiarii"
-specialists armed with spears, bows and arrows, and other weapons. (always lots of blood)
- As many as 5000 animals may have died during one day of major festivals such as the inauguration of the Colosseum in 80 AD.
- To keep amphitheaters supplied, a great trade in wild beasts developed.
- Many species virtually disappeared from their home regions of North Africa and the Middle East.
- The animal displays were merely used to wet the audience's appetite for the main attraction-the gladiatorial bouts.
- Roman gladiators were specially trained performers, mostly captured war prisoners, who fought to stay alive a little longer.
- The gladiators specialized in peculiar forms of fighting:
"I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant - Jesus should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations." - Napoleon I Bonaparte (1809)
The Birth of John the Baptist
The History of the Birth of Jesus
NazarethGabriel Announces to Mary (Lk 1:26-38).
BethlehemThe Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ (Lk 2:1-7). The Second Visitors - Magi (Mat 2:1-12).
JerusalemJesus is Circumcised and Presented in the Temple (Lk 2:21-38).
EgyptOut of Egypt (Mat 2:13-23).
Jesus' Early YearsJerusalem
The JordanJesus is Baptized in the Jordan (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-23).
The WildernessThe Temptation in the Wilderness (Mat 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13). The Testimony of John (Jn 1:19-34).
The First PassoverJerusalem A House of Merchandise (Jn 2:13-25). Jesus Baptizes (Jn 3:22, with 4:2).
GalileeHe Departed Again to Galilee (Mat 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:1-3).
SamariaThe Woman at the Well (Jn 4:4-42). Physician, Heal Yourself! (Mat 4:13-16; Lk 4:16-31).
Sea of GalileePeter, Andrew, James, and John (Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11).
GalileeAnd Jesus Went About All Galilee . . Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44). Then a Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12- 16).
JerusalemHealing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-47). And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12) The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49). My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).
CapernaumThe Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50). The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20). Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54). Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9). Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).
Sea of GalileeJesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25). The Herd of Many Swine (Mat 8:28-33; Mk 5:1-21; Lk 8:26-40).
NazarethHe Came Again to His Own City (Mat 9:1; Mk 5:21 Lk 8:40). Jairus' Daughter and the Woman With the Flow of Blood (Mat 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56). A Prophet is Not Without Honor Except in His Own Country (Mat 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6). Sent His Disciples Out With Power and Authority (Mat 10; Mk 6:6-13, Lk 9:1-6).
MachaerusJohn the Baptist is Beheaded (Mat 14:1, 2, 6-12, Mk 6:14-16, 21-29; Lk 9:7-9).
Near BethsaidaThe Disciples Return, Feeding Five Thousand (Mat 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14).
Sea of GalileeThey Saw Him Walking on the Sea (Mat 14:22-36; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21).
Do you also want to go away? (Jn 6:66-71). A Woman of Canaan (Mat 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30). Feeding Four Thousand (Mat 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9). And He Was Transfigured (Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36). Speaks Again of His Death (Mat 17:22, 23; Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45).
CapernaumMiracle of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Mat 17:24-27). He Who is Not Against Us is On Our Side (Mk 9:38, 39; Lk 9:49, 50).
The Feast of TabernaclesJerusalem The Lord Appointed Seventy Others (Lk 10:1-16). Teaches in the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:14-53; 8:1-59). The Report of the Seventy (Lk 10:17-24).
BethanyThe House of Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).
JerusalemI Was Blind, Now I See (Jn 9:1-41). They Picked Up Stones To Stone Him (Jn 10:22-39).
BethabaraBeyond the Jordan (Jn 10:40-42; 11:3-16).
BethanyJesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (Jn 11:1-46).
EphraimThe Declaration of Caiaphas (Jn 11:47-54).
JudeaThe Woman Who Was Bent Over (Mat 19:1, 2; Mk 10:1; Lk 13:10-35). Count the Cost (Lk 14:25-35). Exposes the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Lk 16:14-18). Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:1-10). Marriage and Divorce (Mat 19:3-12; Mk 10:2-12). Rich Young Ruler (Mat 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-24). Again Foretelling His Death (Mat 20:17-19; Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector (Lk 19:1-10). Jesus Enters the Temple (Mat 21:12, Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45). The Blind and Lame Came to Him (Mat 21:14). The Withered Fig Tree (Mat 21:17-22; Mk 11:12-14, 20-22). The Parable of the Vinedressers (Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19); The Parable of the Great Supper (Mat 22:1-14; Lk 14:16-24). Tested By the Sadducees (Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40); Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Mat 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47). The Prophecy of Isaiah About their Blindness (Jn 12:37-50). He Saw the City and Wept Over It (Mat 23:37; Lk 19:41-44). The Sheep and the Goats (Mat 25:31-46).
JerusalemThe Last Passover (Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20). The Hand of My Betrayer is With Me (Mat 26:23; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:18). What You Do . . Do Quickly (Mat 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23; Jn 13:21-30). Jesus' Intercession (Jn 17). Betrayed and Taken (Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12). He Sent Him to Herod (Lk 23:6-12).
CrucifixionJoseph of Arimathea (Mat 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:31-42).
The ResurrectionHas Appeared to Simon (Lk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5).
Road to EmmausAppears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12, 13: Lk 24:13-35).
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