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Classical Societies Claudia Bailey Hum/205 November 5, 2011 Jay Gitomer

Classical Societies A great deal of wonderful art has come from ancient cultures and periods such as Classical Greece, Hellenistic Greece, Etruscan civilization, Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. Each period and its culture expressed its views, beliefs, and feelings in their own way through various forms of art. Each culture used art forms such as architecture, sculpture, music, and literature. It is important to try and understand how each piece of art affected the culture of its period and what the piece of artwork is trying to say.

Classical Greece

A wonderful piece of art work from the Classical Greece period is the Parthenon; it was built with money that was to be used for the defense of Athens by Perikles. The Parthenon is considered the ultimate example of ancient Greek architecture (ReboldBenton & DiYanni, 2008, pp. 69-70). The Parthenon shows how the people of this period felt towards the goddess Athena; the structure also reveals the importance of Platos feelings about the cosmos. The citizens of the Classical Greece period could relate to the Parthenon because it encompassed a variety of the things they worshipped and believed in. The Parthenon influenced the people by reinforcing their current beliefs and the people influenced the art because it was based off of their culture.

Hellenistic Greece

Hellenistic Greece was ruled by Alexander the Great and the culture revolved around him and the Gods. A piece of artwork from this civilization that I feel expresses the culture is the Battle of the Gods and the Giants; it is a sculpture that was set at the Altar of Zeus. The artwork depicts Athena grabbing the hair of a winged monster who cries out in agony, while the monsters mother rises up to help her child, (Rebold-Benton & DiYanni, 2008). The artwork expresses revolt against the giants by the gods which seemed to be popular amongst Hellenistic artists. The culture of the Hellenistic Greece civilization was based on their beliefs in Gods and this was portrayed in almost all of

their artwork. The artwork influenced the civilization by giving them hope and reason to believe in their gods and goddess.

Etruscan Civilization

The Etruscan Civilization made works out art out of the tombs that the people were buried in. There was a tomb or a Sarcophagus made for a husband and wife; the tomb has a sculpture on it that shows a husband and wife alive, healthy and enjoying life. This piece of artwork shows how the deceased people placed inside of them want to be remembered. The culture of the civilization and the art work are very closely related because it shows how a deceased person lived in their life. This piece of artwork was influenced by the civilization greatly; it showed how the people actually lived and that men and women were considered equals. The art influenced the culture by promoting the beliefs that they felt were important.

Roman Republic

The Roman Republic seemed to favor architecture made out of stone or concrete. Temple of Vesta is a well known piece of architecture that seems to display what the Roman Republic period was like. The Temple of Vesta was a circular temple in honor of Vesta; Vesta was the goddess of hearth and fire. The temple displayed to architecture style of the period and was influenced greatly by the civilization; by keeping with the people thought was important. The Temple of Vesta influenced the civilization by giving them a place to worship Athena. The Roman Republic and the Temple of Versa related to each other through the homage paid to Athena.

Roman Empire The Roman Empire used sculpture to pay tribute to realistic people in the civilization. The statue of Augustus of Primaporta is a slightly over-lifesize marble figure that was intended to glorify the emperor and Roman peace under his rule (ReboldBenton & DiYanni, , p. 109). The Statue of Augustus of Primaporta gave the public a message that their leader was a man of servitude to his people. The Roman Empire civilization and the statue were in close relation because the statue is that of the ruler from the period. The culture influenced the statue greatly; most of Augustuss features were realistic, it shows him barefoot which is accurate of that period, and it showed Augustuss true kind spirit. The statue influenced the culture by reminding them that even a man of power can be loving and humble; something that they should instill in themselves and children.

References:
Rebold-Benton, J., & DiYanni, R. (). Arts and Culture An Introduction to the Humanities (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education.