Art and Architecture Steering an Ancient Society

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Through the artistic and architectural styles present throughout Rome and attached provinces, Roman art and design was able to improve both cultural and structural matters in the Roman Society over a progression of time. Architecture, and methods of organizational layout were not just artistically configured, they served a larger purpose to make the Roman society better. Through centuries of Roman history, the administration of the cities used its funds to build infrastructure that would help cultivate the lives of its people. By creating social environments out the natural topography, the structural remnants of the past civilizations display the sense of power that the Romans had over the land. During the 2nd century, the wealth of the Empire prompted Imperial styles of architecture which dictated what was built, where something was built, and why it was built. In the early stages of the Roman Empire, architecture steadily provided society with culture and stability. In the features of the buildings this is very evident. Depictions of gods, mythological creatures, war, sacrifice and the valuable aspects of life appear both in, and on the architectural structures. This essay will examine how architecture and art are expressive instruments that generate space while encouraging interaction and community to coexist within the different classes of people all living together in one society. Architecture is an expression of power and a site of resistance. Through the stages of the Roman Empire uneven change and development occurred due to whom was ruling at the time, the political stability, and the wealth of individuals present in areas of the Empire. By interpreting both history and culture through architecture, we are presented w... ... middle of paper ... in the society together. Rome was able to maintain a sense of order throughout the Empire with its vision to create a distinctive urban form. Bibliography - Pollitt, J. J. 1966. The Art of Rome: c. 753 B.C. – 337 A.D. Sources and Documents. Ch. 2: “The Roman Empire from 27 B.C. to 192 A.D.: The ‘Five Good Emperors’ and Commodus.” pp. 165-186. 94-121. Print. - MacDonald, William L. "Chapter IV: Trajan’s Markets ." The Architecture of the Roman Empire. New Haven: Yale UP, 1982. 94-121. Print. - MacDonald, William L. "Chapter V: The Pantheon." The Architecture of the Roman Empire. New Haven: Yale UP, 1982. 75- 93. Print. - Kleiner, Diane E.E. 1992. Roman Sculpture. “Chapter 4: The Civil War of 68-69, the Flavian Dynasty, and Nerva.” pp. 167-205. - Scarre, Christopher. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome. London: Penguin, 1995. Print.

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