The Colosseum and the Parthenon Essay

Colosseum / Parthenon / art / culture

Essay Topic:

The comparison of two ancient architectural creations of humanity: The Coliseum and the Parthenon.

Essay Questions:

Why are The Coliseum and the Parthenon considered to be the greatest and ancient architectural creations of humanity? Why are the Coliseum and the Parthenon a stone-symbols of their cultures? What culture is more picturesque the Greek or the Roman art?

Thesis Statement:

The Coliseum and the Parthenon are basically the greatest and ancient architectural creations of humanity.


The Colosseum and the Parthenon Essay


Introduction: The Colosseum and the Parthenon are basically the greatest and ancient architectural creations of humanity. In order to understand them better it is necessary to compare and contrast these two buildings. The first one is the Colosseum. The Romans by 80 CE built the Colosseum, which represented the power of the Roman Empire back then and now. The emperor Vespasian started its construction and Titus completed the amphitheatre. It is actually the largest amphitheatre in Rome. The Colosseum was build originally as an amphitheatre but was also used as a place for the combats of gladiators. Fifty thousand spectators could find a place in the Colosseum during a play or a gladiator combat.

The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BC and it was Pericles a famous Athenian politician who carried out the idea of building this temple. Sculptor Phidias converted this idea into reality. This temple of Athena is considered to be the most magnificent achievement of Greek Art as it is an immortal monument to the supreme quality of Greek architecture. The metopes on it are creations of the Severe Style of ancient Greece. Both, the Colosseum and the Parthenon are stone-symbols of their culture. So if the Colosseum is the house of Rome, the Parthenon is the hall of Greece.

The Colosseum was built to manifest growth of morality throughout theatre and art, and the Parthenon throughout democracy and politics. The phrase Quandiu stabit coliseus, stabit et Roma which means: As long as the Colosseum stands, so shall Rome is known all over the world and is the best one to reflect the message of the amphitheatre. It was built in the blossom of the Roman Empire and is also the symbol of its future glory. The Parthenon is a temple with Athenas image inside. It is an altar to Greek gods who made Greece a strong and powerful place. The beautiful ancient Greece, with its faith in gods makes the Parthenon the symbol of ancient majesty. The sizes of both of the architectural creations prove their designation. The Colosseum is 510 feet wide, 615 feet long and 157 feet high and the Parthenon is 228 feel long and 101.4 feet high. The Colosseum also became on of the greatest symbols for humanity the symbol of unity, as almost all modern stadiums have the same shape. The Colosseum is indeed a unity-symbol as back in 80 CE both, the upper and the lower class men and women could enter it to become spectators. Both of the ancient creations have elements of the sculpture style of that time.

Conclusion: The stone of both buildings is stiff and the color is light, which makes a breathtaking impression. To conclude, both buildings reflect two greatest worlds ancient cultures the Roman and the Greek cultures. Colosseum was made for everybody and the Parthenon was made for chosen people. The Parthenon has naturalistic elements, while the Colosseum is rather reserved and blocky.T hey both have similar aspects, but basically they serve for completely different purposes, which makes them absolutely different ancient Greek and Roman architectural creations.


○ Roth, Leland M. (1993). Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History and Meaning, First, Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

○ Cosmopoulos, Michael (editor). The Parthenon and its Sculptures. Cambridge University: 2004


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