Sunday, December 26, 2010

Roman Civilization

According to legend, Rome was a resolution of a mixture of native Latins and the survivors of the Trojan War who were brought to Italy in the 12th century. On a date corresponding to April 21, 753BC, the city of Rome was founded at the place where it stands today. Since then Rome underwent some drastic changes and the whole Roman civilization kept evolving with the changing times.

Romans were very creative and aesthetic which is evident from their exotic architectural designs. They appreciated beauty but at the same time took interest in some of the ugliest bloody fights in the name of entertainment.

This write-up talks about some of the events that were the major highlight of the Roman Empire.

Roman Architecture

Roman architecture is still known for it's unique and novel designs and arches. It has given birth to several new designs that are a part of architecture even today. Roman architecture, sculpture and literature were strongly influenced by Greek models. However, the Roman buildings were large and ornate with an exclusive touch of their own. Another thing that separated Roman architecture from Greek architecture was the use of the semi-circular arches to form vaults and domes.

Aqueducts were the main advantage of these arches. They helped Romans to channel the water from the hillside to a container. They contained pipes lined with cement, on the top of the arches, which carried the water. Smaller architectural works included triumphal arches, pillars of victory and fountains. Arches and pillars were built to pay tribute to the great achievements of emperors and generals.

The Romans built hundreds of public and private fountains in their cities. Running water was one of the exotic trademark of the Romans and they simply loved it. These fountains were also built in memory of some of the distinguished people.

Roman Army

Roman army is still remembered for the adroitness of its members and their civilized way of achieving victory.

There were three main reasons for this:

Discipline, hard and efficient training, and speed at which they learnt new tactics.

The Gladiator Culture.

The gladiators were armed with daggers, swords, forks and nets and they fought with slaves and criminals who were often not armed, or armed only with the net. The fight would go on and on endlessly unless one participant lost his life. If a man was wounded, he would throw down his shield, and raise the index finger of his left hand. This was a plea for mercy, from the crowd. The crowd would then decide whether he should live or die.

The Famous Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was probably the most popular figure in the whole Roman Empire. His determination and strong will power was envied by many people and that kept him out of consulship. He finally became consul in 59 BC. At the time of his birth, Rome was still a republic and was gradually taking shape of an empire. The senators who ruled were motivated by the greed of power in the hope of becoming either a consul or a praetor, the two senior posts which carried imperium, the legal right to command an army!

Roman Art

Roman Art is a style of artistic expression that flourished in Italy from about 200 B.C into the 4th century A.D. Quality wise it is considered a step lower than the Greek Art but was more diversified and progressive.

The influence of Greece on Roman Art was imminent because thousands of plundered statutes and paintings were shipped to Italy after the conquest of Greece. The beauty of the Greek painting provided inspiration to the budding Roman artists and finally they etched out pieces of art that although had a striking resemblance to Greek art were unique in its subject and outlook.

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