Influence of Greek and Roman Temples

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Greek and Roman temples are the most influential temples of all times. It is argued that the Greek influenced the Romans and this may be the reason why their temples are so alike. The Parthenon and the Pantheon are the most popular temples of both eras. However, the Pantheon does not look like other roman temples would to Greek temples – and this is because it has interior space and thus has a completely different composition. Despite their quite similar looks, Roman and Greek temples have unique differences in material, method, purpose, and others.

The Parthenon, with no doubt, is one of the best well-known Greek temples of all times. It is also the dominant temple on the Akropolis. Its construction began in 447 BC and ended in 438 BC; however, it was partly destroyed on September 16, 1687. This massive building measures 13.72 m (45.0 ft.) in height and 69.5 by 30.9 m (228 by 101 ft.) long and was built with white marble. According to Greek historians two architects, Iktinos and Kallikrates, oversaw the construction. This temple was built for and dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. It served as a gathering place, as well as a location for political debates; but its current tenant serves as a tourist destination. The Parthenon featured an octastyle, which was an eight-column arrangement at its end. Although the Parthenon gives the impression that it can be approached from all angles, it can only be accessed by two entrances.

It is interesting how the Greeks added optical illusions and visual perceptions in their architecture. For example, the columns of the Parthenon are not vertical, but lean inwards to the cella (the corner columns). The space between the corner columns and the ones on its side is slightly smaller th...

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...ns all around their temples. Greek temples could have double rows of columns and the Romans only had a single row across the front of the building. The structure could also be considered; Greeks usually built their temples on a base with no more than 3 steps high and the Roman temples where high elevated with high staircases. Also, Greek temples had all sides exposed to air and the Roman temples are somewhat enclosed.

The rectangular-shaped temples of the Greeks and the Romans appear to be quite similar; however, they have their differences in material, method, and purpose among others. As you can observe, the Pantheon is quite different from the traditional Roman temples; so it is easy to say that the Parthenon and the Pantheon are not alike at all. But the truth is that the Pantheon was renovated and so many features changed from the familiar Roman temples.
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