Arches and Vaults

The semi-circular stone arch is an architectural and constructional element; it is reputed as representative for the Roman architecture. It is a typical Roman invention.

Originally the arch was used mostly in the engineering structures such as aqueducts and bridges but later the arch was applied in the major public and residential buildings. The typical for the Greeks constructional system of beams and columns was replaced by the Roman system of arches and vaults. A series of arches placed side by side form an arcade.

Most probably, such an arcade shaped the area of the Forum of Philippopolis.

When you bring together a few semi-circular Roman arches and stick them one behind another you get a vault. The semi-cylindrical vault is also a Roman invention. In that manner the entrances of the Ancient Theatre (parodoi) and the passage under the sfendona of the Ancient Stadium are formed.