This week you will do a short research and writing assignment, to practice for the final research project due at the end of Week 15.
From the references in this module, choose a specific work of Romanesque Architecture – a Monastery, Castle or Pilgrimage Church. Describe how your example drew inspiration from ancient Roman architecture, but put it to a new use. Use the prompt below to get you started. Include links to your academic sources and an image of the architecture you have chosen. Your text should be between 250 – 300 words and should:
Romanesque architecture is more than just a copy of the architecture of the Roman Empire. It was a response to the massive reorganization of society after the fall of the Roman Empire. As Europe emerged from the economic and social contraction that followed the fall of Rome, confidence, productivity and communication networks grew. State power became concentrated in the Church of Rome, and its network of monasteries, in partnership with the secular and military power of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (encompassing most of Western Europe). A unified society in an ordered world under a single religious model again seemed attainable.
Romanesque architecture involved the rediscovery of ancient building techniques. Ancient Roman buildings throughout Europe provided a model for what was technologically possible. But, while the monumental arch and vault, the massive stone walls, and the scale of construction were eventually matched by medieval builders, the purpose to which they were put was quite different:
How much does Romanesque Architecture really owe to its ancient Roman precedents?
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