Roman Builders: A Study in Architectural Process

How were the architectural ideas behind great Roman building projects carried out in practice? Roman Builders is the first, general interest book to address this question. Using the Baths of Caracalla, the Pantheon, the Coliseum, and the great temples at Baalbek as physical documents for their own building histories, this book traces the thought processes and logistical considerations - the risks, reversals, compromises, and refinements - that led to ultimate success. Each major phase of the building process is considered: design, groundwork, support structures, complex armatures, such as the superstructures of amphitheaters, vaults, and decorations. New hypotheses are advanced on the raising of monolithic columns, the construction sequence of the Coliseum, and the vaulting of the Pantheon. The illustrations include archival and original photographs, as well as numerous explanatory drawings.

• Comprehensive step-by-step approach to Roman architectural practice • Detailed analytical illustrations • Considers both humanistic and technological issues • New hypothesis about the raising of monolithic columns, the construction sequence of the Coliseum and the vaulting of the Pantheon • Capitalizes on the current popularity of unsolved puzzles of ancient technology


1. Planning and design; 2. Laying the groundwork; 3. Walls, piers, and columns; 4. Complete armatures; 5. Roofing and vaulting; 6. Decoration and finishing.


‘The illustrations are extremely useful. Taylor has borrowed well from other sources, and his photographs are clear and well reproduced. His own line drawings are excellent.’ SPAB News