Essay on ancient Roman and Greek architecture comparison

roman / greek / architecture / ancient greece / ancient rome / temple / construction / Colosseum / pantheon / building

Ancient Greek architecture is featured by two main orders, namely the Doric and the Ionic. Greeks effectively applied these architectural styles in constructing buildings, theatres and temples. The Doric style was predominantly applied in mainland Greece with a further spread to the Greek settlements in Italy. The Ionic style was applied in Ionia and the Aegean islands. At that, the Doric style was more austere and formal, whereas the Ionic was more decorative and relaxed.

The styles are mostly reflected in the three orders of column capitals, bearing different decoration and design features. The examples of the Doric order are the Temple of Hephaestus and Parthenon Athens. In turn, the Iconic masterpieces include the temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis and the Erechtheum. The Ionic order gained dominance during the Hellenistic period, however was prone to a great deal of resistance by many Greek States.

Compared to Romans, in their architectural constructions and designs the ancient Greeks applied wood for roof beams, plaster for bathtubs, brick for walls, marble and limestone for walls, columns, and upper portions of public buildings and temples, terracotta for ornaments and roof tiles, and metals for decorative details to construct civic, religious, domestic, recreational, and funerary buildings.

The commonest form of Greek public architecture was temple, with altar standing under the open sky in the sacred or temenos fane before the temple. Temples were closely associated with the cult of the god. Palaestra (gymnasiums) served as the social centre for males, namely physical exercises and athletic contests.

Council chambers in Greek cities served the functions of a meeting place for the town council and court houses. In contrast to ancient Romans, Greeks did not apply domes and arches, and therefore could not build constructions with huge interior spaces. Theaters were the specific spots in al ancient Greek towns used either for public meetings or dramatic performances. The theatres were constructed in the form of semi-circle extending round the central performance area.

Ancient Romans, on the other hand, developed their architecture on the basis of the standards of the classical Greek architecture. Arch and Dome are regarded as the distinctive features of the ancient Roman architecture. Roman buildings significantly differed from those of Greek and so the new architectural style was created. Mainly because of high population densities and wealth in the cities, the ancient Romans discovered their own architectural solutions.

In particular, they applied arches and vaults as well as building materials enabling them to attain the unprecedented progress in the construction of public structures. The Colosseum, the basilicas, the Baths of Caracalla and the baths of Diocletian, the aqueducts of Rome, the Pantheon, are all relevant proofs of genuinely Roman architectural innovations.

These impressive buildings all served important public functions, In contrast to Greek aesthetic axioms; these objectives were attained with a wide scope of public effect.

As well as this, Roman architecture was determined depending on the Roman religion. The Pantheon, for example, is an amazing engineering construction created to serve purely religious purposes and religious services


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