AAU Roman Art and Architecture in Mausoleum of Hadrian Discussion

I don’t know how to handle this History question and need guidance.

1. Please Find an example of ANCIENT Roman art or architecture (NOT RENAISSANCE!) not shown in the module. Your example should date to ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE.

Then Answer:

2. What Greek elements of art and/or architecture did the Romans incorporate, and what did the Romans innovate?

3. Also describe your example in terms of how it reflects Roman culture (consider ideology of the empire, any major events or rulers that influenced it, imperial cult, or?) in approximately two to three paragraphs. Please see post attachment on cultural context of ancient Rome.

Diagram showing how the Romans morphed the Greek orders.

Topic Ideas

If you aren’t tired of architecture yet after the last discussion, you can practice more and see with a discerning eye.
Some hints for Roman innovation in architecture:

triumphal arches
triumphal columns…
vaulting techniques, concrete, huge domes… Have fun!

AND, you are also welcome to work with non-architectural art like painting at Pompeii!

or sculpture! like realistic portraits.

and a few helpful links


http://www.crystalinks.com/romearchitecture.html and there are thousands more 🙂

 Please cite your sources as always.

– Submit your work to Turnitin.com.

– Please try to use original examples, an avoid repeating topics. If you chose a subject the has already been picked you’ll need to make sure you have new information to share with the class. Thank you.

What is historical and cultural context? Ask yourself – What was going on at the time the artwork was created?

For example: Culturally / Socially/ Geographically or Historically.

Context refers to factors that surround a work of art or literature but may not be stated explicitly. This background information informs our deeper understanding of the work in question and allows us to analyze, rather than summarize, what we are studying. It is important to be aware of what the artist was experiencing in their time and reacting to or reacting against.


What key historical events occurred at the time the work was created?

See timelines attached as post in this discussion

Also here is a detailed timeline: https://www.ancient.eu/timeline/Rome/

  • Class hierarchy, inequities, and distinctions
  • Strong family connections

What scientific discoveries or technological innovations may have influenced the artist?

  • Concrete!
  • The arch, the dome, aqua ducts, etc.

What are the other artistic influences on the work?

  • A great Hellenistic (Greek) influence from both the Classical era and the Hellenistic Era.
  • The wealthy favored Greek art as a status symbol
  • Emperors patronized it, especially Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, to name a few
  • In the Republic, realism revealing wisdom was prominent

What are the philosophical ideas of the time?

What are the cultural influences?

  • Pax Romana (see module on Augustus)
  • Entertainment = games with animals, gladiators, etc.
  • Sports, baths, theatre were very popular
  • Sexually not restrained; varied by emperor (brothels, etc.)

Can also consider:

Who is the intended audience?
Who was the patron if known?
Is the work a tool of propaganda?

What is the original purpose of the work?
Example: Was the piece designed to inform, to educate, to entertain, to propagandize, or to be functional, practical?

What context is NOT:
Lengthy summary of plot details

Irrelevant biographical or background information

Taken from: Valencia Art and Humanities “writing help” on Historical and Cultural Context https://valenciacollege.edu/west/arts-and-humanities/writing/historical-cultural.cfm. Accessed 6 Mar 2018

Adapted for ancient Roman culture by c. barton; July, 2018

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