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The Legacy of Roman Art

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The Legacy of Roman Art

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  • April 2, 2007
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The Legacy of Roman Art

From the beginnings of human existence art has been used to depict, glorify, and eternize the cultures of a society. Though the ages of time none have become more world renown than the workings of the Roman civilization; an art form which incorporated the customs of the Etruscans and Greeks to create an individualistic style that appealed to the cultural aesthetics of the time period. Of the various forms of art used by the Romans, the one which most clearly illustrates this is the Roman's architecture, arguably the most influential and impressive use of artistic ideals. By using innovative new materials, establishing new building methods, and absorbing surrounding and past cultural ideologies the Romans were able to leave a legacy of greatness for generations to come.

Roman architecture was undoubtedly eclectic, using different styles from various cultures across Europe. The earliest buildings focused mainly on the styles of the Etruscans, the people who populated large areas of Italy before the rise of the Roman civilization. These techniques were with the use of simple arches for strength and sparing the amount of stone used during construction. The structures were formed on top of platforms, or podiums, and commonly had deep porches with only one stairway gaining access to the platform. After gaining knowledge from Greek builders, these structures added various styles of columns which created a more aesthetic image of the Roman edifices found in the main city areas. One such structure which clearly depicts the combination of Etruscan and Greek architecture is the Temple of Portunus, which mixes ionic and engaged columns on a building with a deep porch constructed on top of a large podium. Various government and religious buildings in Roman cities were constructed in a similar fashion. Along with the adoption of architectural design from past cultures, the Romans used artistic ideals from civilizations neighboring the...