A page of History
First part of Roman conquest of Hispania can be dated ca. 218 b.C., the year when Scipiones did arrive to Ampurias. This date can be marked for the beginning of the Ancient History. Roman conquest ended when Emperor August succeded in Cantabrian-astur wars (year 19 b.C.).
Indigenous and old colonists were integrated in Roman world: part of them in a violent way, but many others just attracted by the prestige of a superior civilization.
En el 56 a.C.
Ca. 56 b.C.
Augusto (27 a.C.-14 d.C.)
August (27 b.C.-14 A.D.)
Different Roman territorial administrations for provinces in Peninsula.

After many phases of “Romanization”, Peninsula became one of the most important territories in “Roman world” as can be seen from the origin of many Emperors, like Adrianus and Traianus -both were born in Hispania- and philosophers as Seneca (Cordoba).
Invasions by “barbaric Goths”, at the beginning of 5th Century, point to the end of Roman colonization in Peninsula.
Roman art in Peninsula can be divided in many phases: Republican one (510-30 b.C.), under August Emperor (30 b.C.-14 A.D.) and classic one (from year 14 A.D.).

Roman architecture does declare the functionalism and pragmatism of a spirit that departed from Rome inorder to conquer the whole known world. It is clear that Etruscan and Greek influences were the bases for ths architecture, but it was Roman personality the fact that gave them a different uniformity and monumental meaning.
Columna de orden dórico
Column of Doric order
Columna de orden jónico
Column of Ionic order
Columna de orden corintio
Column of Corinthian order
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The fact is that Greek orders -Ionic, Doric and Corinthian-, were widely used, but not in a uniform way, but usually combined even at the same building. Therefore two new orders will appear: Composed one -with features of Ionic and Corinthian ones- and Toscan, an evolution of Doric order.
Columna de orden toscano
Column of Toscan order
Columna de orden compuesto
Column of Composed order
Los órdenes según Augustin-Charles D'Aviler
A comparison of orders
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Scholars point out to basic axes in Roman architecture:
El Panteon de Roma
Plan of Pantheon at Rome
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  • Systematic use of arch and vault -dome, barrel vault, vault of a quarter of sphere and pointed barrel vault- for structures. Romans did not usually substitute Greek forms, they rather assimilated them. Greeks did know constructions of vaults disposing stones as if they were an edge, but their artistic types never accepted them. Romans did use for the first time this way of building.
  • Proportions are monumental: they express Greatness of Rome.
  • Decorative arts -mosaics and frescoes- is associated to architecture.
  • Constructive materials can be stone -ashlar or masonry-, brick or mortar of concrete. There are many kinds and names for new techniques: opus caementicium, opus incertum, opus latericium, opus quadratum, opus reticulatum, opus signinum and opus vittatum.

The Pantheon of Rome shows the most part of these features. It is one of the most important buildings in History of Western architecture. Its state of preservation is, indeed, very satisfactory: even inner decoration remains. The diameter of its dome is more than 44 ms. -keeping the same highness-: it is the higher and bigger in Ancient World. Inner open space is surprising because of the light that comes through a big circular opening at its top. This construction joins, in a particular way, every craft, technique and aesthetic idea in Roman world. It would be the basis for great Renaissance architecture.

We can set many chapters in order to learn about Roman architecture in Spain:
Sección del Panteón de Roma
Section of Pantheon at Rome

Esquema de un castrum
Scheme of a castrum

Design of Roman castra must also be a subject for scholars. Castra were really movable urban centers. In fact, many cities were created as a result from “castra”, since they were just reduced plans of a town.