Roman and Ancient Greece Arts and Architecture

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Art design

Document 1

C, courtesy of Remus and Romulus. Romulus built the city of Rome after killing his twin brother Remus. The civilization of ancient Greece and Rome were superior at their time and ended up producing classical pieces arts. Since ancient Greece civilization preceded the Roman Empire civilization it heavily borrowed from the earlier established ancient Greece civilization especially after Greece became part of the Roman Empire. The aim of this paper is to explore how Roman works of art and architecture compare and contrast with those of ancient Greece. The ancient Greece developed as a result of prosperity in trade while Rome’s glory was as a result of military conquest thus resulting to the idealistic differences between the two cultures which were directly manifested in the arts and architectures thus pointing to their differences. The Greeks shared the belief that art was a medium of expressing perfection, they, therefore, sort to express perfect forms of nature into arts. The Greeks’ works of arts were a mere reflection of the gods; they believed that the goods were perfect human beings (Marconi, 2014). The Romans, on the other hand, believed in a more practical approach to life, their arts were, therefore, was aimed at decorating and ornamentation their works were based on reality, the arts seek to beautify the houses. Sculptures of people especially the wealthy class were curved and put in houses for beautification and to show status. The arts contained real issues like conquerors of war, unlike the Greeks who majorly portrayed the Greek mythologies.

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It is important to note that after the Greeks were conquered by the Romans their pieces of arts were seized and could be seen in houses of wealthy Romans (Strong, 2015). According to Platner (2015), Both the ancient Greece arts and Roman arts were products of imitation, the ancient Greece work was categorized into periods namely; Mycenaean, archaic, geometric and finally Hellenistic periods, it is observed that even during the final phase the Hellenistic period there was demand for the works of earlier stages thus indicating that they also imitated that the previous works. The Roman arts also copied the works of ancient Greece. In a nutshell, both the Greece Hellenistic period arts and the Roman arts were influenced by the pieces of arts they followed. According to Freeman (2014), Greek architecture possessed a greater influence over other architectures across the globe; the significant idea introduced by the Greeks is that of the use of columns in buildings.

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The Greeks ensured that the columns were beautiful carvings that portrayed a deity or even a mythology. They created the first three architectural orders in classical architecture; Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic, as later named by the Romans. The Romans further added the Tuscan order into the classical order of architecture. Even though the Greek architecture majorly influenced the Roman architecture, the two architectures still bear significant differences. According to Marconi (2015), both architectures preferred the erection of an arch in the building which supported the roofs, the Greeks’ arch was in form of two beams holding up a third horizontal beam to form the Post and lintel system. The Romans, on the other hand, used the arch for the decorative purpose since their structures were already strong because of the use of concretes.

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Arch in the Roman architecture also acted as water supply channels, aqueducts. The sculpture of both ancient Greece and Roman were both of human body and contained a lot of detailed information on the person they depicted. The two sculptures were both made of white stones. It is important to note that the Romans introduced and popularized portrait paintings. Freeman (2014), indicates that another well-established art among the Greeks was a literature which included; comedy, poetry, tragedy, and philosophy. Their literature was dominated by the themes of wars and heroes of wars like the Trojan wars and Achilles respectively. The Romans heavily borrowed from the Greek literature but avoided tragedies which formed a major part of Greek literature. Ideological differences also dominated the literature of these two great civilizations, the Greeks put more emphasis on nature, gods, and mythologies, unlike Roman literature which focused majorly on reality and had a lot of human characters, unlike the Greek literature which was dominated by supernatural character (Kampen, 2015).

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All these point to the facts that the Romans did just copy the works of the Greeks but used their intellectual capabilities to produce finer pieces of art and architecture. References Freeman, C. Egypt, Greece, and Rome: Civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean. Oxford University Press. Kampen, N. B. A topographical dictionary of ancient Rome. Cambridge University Press. Strong, E. Roman Sculpture.

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