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What does Roman architecture owe to the Greeks and how is it different?

The Romans adapted Greek architectural orders in their own way. The Roman orders include composite and tuscan which get a lot of its basic design from the Greek orders. The Romans differed from the greeks in that they devised architecturally advanced aqueducts that employ the use of the arch. The arch is also found in Roman vaults and domes as seen in the Porta Agusta and the Fortuna Primigenia. However, Roman temples are very similar to the of the Greeks in that they adopted the peristyle formation, the use of columns, entablatures, and pediments as well.


Why is Roman architecture of space rather than mass

Roman architecture is very open and spacious due to its prominent use columns, arches, and vaults. There is rarely one mass of closed building. Even in Roman villas, what may appear to look like an enclosed structure may actually have an open courtyard in the center. The Romans appreciated the outside world and nature and built their buildings so that the outside was visible and accessible.


Compare Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia and Athenian Acropolis and Egyptian Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

The Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia is set in rock and composed of hundreds of columns. Additionally, the structure contains five stories, unlike the Acropolis which only has one. The acropolis too is a peristyle building that resembles a basic rectangle. The Sanctuary contains a variety of sized elements. It is similar to the Temple of Hatshepsut in that it is set in rock and does not stand alone like the Acropolis.


Compare Roman sculptures in Republican Period and Greek sculpture

Like Greek sculpture, Republican sculpture is realistic, detailed, and of course covered with fine wet drapery. There is a great deal of emotion found in Republican sculpture, just as in the Hellenistic Greek period. The Romans, however, incorporated more nature in their backgrounds to balance out the forms, for example in the Allegory of Peace, which contains foliage and a deep meaning. The imperial portraiture was used as propaganda and depicts rulers in an ideal forms, as did the Gre


What concerns do Romans show for illusionism and play of light in their still lives?

In Roman still lifes, a strong and clear light source is used to cast defined shadows, pick up highlights, and enhance the illusion of real objects in real space. In the still life of the green fruit, a glass vase is depict. The artists seems to begin to grasp how to paint different surfaces, even those that are transparent.


Compare Ara Pacis Augustae with Altar of Zeuz at Pergamon

The Ara pacis contains unique Roman detailing such as garlands and other floral motifs. The Altar of Zeus utilizes more columns, which the Ara Pacis does not. This altar is more geometric in form yet intricate in detailing.


How does relief on Ara Pacis compare to relief on Parthenon?

The relief sculptures on the Ara Pacis contained a distinct technique that creates a three-dimensional image. Figures that are farther away are shown in very low relief to seem hazy, whereas the figures that are closer are in higher relief and have a defined form. The the figures on the reliefs on the Parthenon were generally of the same dimension.


What happened to the Roman Empire during the Late Empire? How does Roman art change in the Late Empire?

During the Late Empire, the Empire entered a period of political and economic decline. Barbarian groups began moving into the empire. Their sculptures became more chilling, intense, and ruthless-looking. This can be seen in Caracalla. The Battle Between the Romans and the Barbarians, a detail of the Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus, shows a different style. Earlier Roman reliefs were carefully crafted where figures moved in and through naturalistic surroundings, while this detail shows a number of squeezed figures with no naturalistic surrounding.


Why did Diocletian divide the Roman Empire? What is the Tetrarchy and how does the statue of the Four Tetrarchs represent this government? How does this representation of the Augusti differ from previous representations of the emperor and why?

Diocletian divided the Roman Empire to divide up the task of defending and administering the empire and to assure an orderly succession. The Tetrarchy is a “rule of four” where one with the title of “Augustus” would be appointed to each side and each Augustus would choose a subordinate with the title “Caesar”. The state of the Four Tetrarchs represents this with its four figures divided into pairs to signify the two sides. Each pair has a bearded figure (Augustus), leaving the other figure to be the Caesar. They are dressed in military clothes and clasp swords. They also embrace each other to shower imperial unity, proclaiming peace through strength and vigilance. It differs from previous representations of emperor with its simple, geometric form. There is no regard for normal human proportion.


What is the significance of Constantine to the Christian religion?

He ended the persecution of Christians and recognized Christianity as a lawful religion. He also issued the Edict of Milan, which became a model of religious toleration that granted freedom to all religious groups.


The Arch of Constantine uses recycled materials (old medallions, etc) as well as new material such as the frieze shown in the text. How does the new style differ? What is the message?

It has three huge arches that are also three barrel-vaulted passageways that are flanked by columns on high pedestals. The message inscribed on the large attic story reads “To the Emperor Constantine from the Senate and the Roman People. Since through divine inspiration and great wisdom he has delivered the state from the tyrant and his party by his army and noble arms, we dedicate this arch, decorated with triumphal insignia.” There were reused items on this arch which visually transferred the old Roman virtues of strength, courage, and piety. New reliefs made for the arch tell the story of Constantine’s victory and symbolize his power and generosity. The two dimensional, hierarchical approach and abstract art depicted in these new reliefs form a new abstract style.


How does the new style of Constantine foreshadow the art of the Middle Ages?

The new style of Constantine was adopted by churches with its emphasis on authority, ritual, and symbolic meaning. It acts as a bridge between the Classical world and the art of the Middle Ages.


What did the great sculpture of Constantine look like originally and where was it located? How does it compare to earlier representations of an emperor?

The statue was 30ft and located in his new basilica. The head combines traditional Roman portraiture features and abstract qualities like those in the Tetrarchs. It projects imperial power and dignity with no hint of human frailty or imperfection. Most representations of emperor were not as large, and did not seem as commanding.


What is the purpose and what are the basic characteristics of the Roman basilica?

It served as an administrative center and also as a setting for the emperor when he appeared as supreme judge. It is flanked by two apses on its side. The basilica consisted of a large central area flanked by colonnades surrounded by a clerestory.


Be prepared to discuss how Roman Emperors used art to manipulate public opinion. There are numerous examples of this to choose from.

A lot of Roman art was used to proclaim the power and authority of the ruler. It was also used as propaganda to advertise the strong and powerful ruler. An example of this is the Augustus of Primaporta. He is positioned in the orator pose that expresses authority and persuasiveness. The added mythology of the Cupid next to the emperor’s right leg signifies his descent from the goddess Venus. His bare feet suggest his divine state after death. All of these details of the sculpture portray the emperor’s power and authority.


Describe She-Wolf

Bronze, glass-paste eyes
Wolf nourished and saved city's founder, Romulus and Remus


Describe Porta Augusta

Perugia, Italy 3rd-2nd c. CE
-Etruscan monumental architecture.
-tunnel like passageway between 2 huge towers, square frame surmounted by entablature like thing.
-Roundels alternating with pilasters


Describe a typical Etruscan Temple

Built on podium starting from courtyard or open city square, single flight of steps leading to front porch.
-Columns and entablature support projecting portion of roof
-Square ground plan divided equally between porch and interior space.
-Mud brick walls. Wooden columns.


Describe Apollo

Temple of Minerva, 510-500 BCE, Maser sculptor Vulca (?), Painted terracotta
-Part of 4 scene from labor of Hercules.
-Apollo and Hercules fighting for Diana's deer. Striding forward.
-Defies logical relationship of sculpture to architecture as seen in Greek stuff.
-Willing to sacrifice structural logic for lively action


How does Apollo relate to the Greek kouroi?

The Archaic smile. But Apollo is partially clothes, and has vigorous forward moving pose.
-Realistically portrayed energy.


Describe Tomb of the Triclinium

-Stylized treesand birds
-Women are portrayed as active participants


Describe Burial Chamber in Tomb of the Reliefs

Cerveteri, 3rd c. BCE
-Walls were once plastered, painted, and fully furnished
-Made to look like room in house


Describe Sarcophagus from Cerveteri

520BCE, terracotta
-Husband and wife reclining together
-Upper bodies are vertical and square, but hips and legs seem to sink into couch


Describe (Etruscan) Mirror

400-350BCE, engraved bronze
-Winged man Calchas studying liver of sacrificed animal because they could reveal the future.
-Grapevines and jug suggest his death of laughing in his vineyard
-Complex pose, naturalistic suggestions of rocky setting, and pull and twist of drapery emphasize figure's 3-D to convey sense of realism.


Describe Head of a Man (Brutus)

mid-3rd c. BCE, bronze, painted ivory eyes
-Conveys psychological complexity with somewhat world weary man with strong character and great strength of purpose
-Could also be unknown dignitary or imaginary hero.
-Strong broad face with heavy brows, hawk nose, firmly set lips, wide-open eyes


When was the Republic from?



Desribe Aulus Metellus

80BCE, Bronze
-"The Orator" (orator pose)
-man addressing gathering, arm outstretched and slightly raised, pose expressive of authority and persuasiveness.
-wears laced leather boots and folded, draped garment (toga)


Describe Portrait of Pompey

30CE (original 50BCE), marble
-meticulous realism (verism) combines underlying bone structure with surface detail


Describe Denarius with Portrait of Julius Caesar

44BCE, silver
-Propoganda. Julius Carsar's face on coin
-Venus placed on reverse as reference to Julian family's claim that they were descended from Venus


Describe Pont du Gard

Late 1stc. BCE, Nimes, France
-carried water channel of aqueduct across river on bridge of arches
-each arch buttresses its neighbors and huge arcades ends solidly in hillsides
-conveys balance, proportions, and rhythmic harmony that fits naturally into landscape