Sunday, September 19, 2010

Egypt, Greece, and Rome summary

The Egyptians believed in having a permanent structure for their afterlife. The cities themselves were located around the Nile river, on the east are cities of the living in which they normally reside and on the west were the tombs of the dead, just like the sun raises on the east and rests at the west which clearly set the locations of these structures. The importance of their society is how their beliefs influenced how they placed and designed their structures. They believed that the bigger the pyramid the more power that pharaoh had, and since it was made out of limestone it would last for eternity. To the Egyptians everything was to remain static.

The Greeks believed in logic. They strive for perfection, and constantly looked for balance and proportion. To them seeking and having everything in harmony was ideal in their society. They borrowed elements from Egyptian architecture and transformed them to fit into their architecture. One main example is the over sized, over decorated, stylized columns used in the Hypostyle hall taken from the Egyptians and changed into balanced, symmetrical columns in Greek architecture. The Egyptians became the prototype for the Greeks leaving the Greeks to be the archetype.

The Romans, like the Greeks, strive for perfection. However what was different about them is that they were like the hybrid. They took ideas from both the Egyptians and Greeks. They took the concept of having balance, symmetry, and columns from the Greeks and added decorative ornamentation just like what the Egyptians did in their structures. The Romans did not settle for just designing what past societies designed but they pursued for something more and thus the technological breakthrough of the arch. The Romans combined both societies architectural forms and making them their own.

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