Whenever I see pictures like this, it always reminds me of the Jewish festival of Sukkot–which is presently being observed. It is a holiday that combines a harvest festival typical of many cultures with a commemoration of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. The booths–“sukkot”–were the temporary huts in which the Israelites dwelled during both.
Ritually speaking, the sukkah is supposed to be relatively flimsy–with a thatched roof that cannot block more than 50% of the sky. One of the themes is that, whatever our human accomplishments may be, we should never forget we rely on God and nature–and what havoc can occur to our vaunted establishments.
In that context, to see what has become of the extraordinary structures of ancient Rome can be humbling. They, too, thought they were invincible and that their security was inviolable–until they weren’t.