Comparing Greek and Roman Architecture

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When comparing Greek and Roman architecture and design we see many similarities as well as differences. Greek culture and society came into fruition roughly 1250 years before the rise of the Roman Empire and Roman artisans were strongly influenced by their Greek predecessors. However, the Greeks were not without their own influences. Egyptian building styles and art were refined by the Greeks as seen in their use of column and lintel construction. It is notable that influence from Persia and the Ancient Near East is also prevalent. Throughout the years Greece had six periods in which distinctions in art and design can be made. In order to compare and contrast the two cultures we must also look at the different geography surrounding them. Both Greek and Romans had access to marble and wood but the Romans eventually discovered volcanic sand, pozzolana. They were able to mix this sand, with an aggregate into a concrete which revolutionized Roman construction, enabling them to build higher and safer. Concrete was used in the construction of one of Romeʼs most incredible building achievements , the Pantheon. This type of large interior dome space was the first of its kind and something the Greeks were never able to accomplish. While the Greeks were more fixed in their ways regarding art and design, the Romans were more adventurous and trendy in their style. This may be due to their access to other civilizations through the growth of the empire and the large amount of imported goods coming in. The Romans could not quite succeed in creating the dynamic and life-like quality in sculpture that the Greeks had mastered. They were known to copy Greek sculpture by measuring them and either making exact copies or slightly modifying it to the taste of the commissioner. Grecian pottery was also prized and respected by the Romans for itʼs unique yet utilitarian beauty. We cannot discuss Greeks and Romans without mentioning the column. First created and used on a wide scale by the the...
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