Ancient Civis an Examination of

Ancient Greek urban planning dates its glory to Pericles. Temple architecture sourced in a precedent civilization, the Minoan of Crete, is actually reflective of palace architecture from that societys maritime city-state, Knossos (de la Croix, H. And Tansey).

The Greek civis was largely informed by astronomy; influencing everything from temple design to the order of the public City-State. Archaeoastronomical patterns beginning with the Geometric through the final Hellenistic period in Greece reveal sophistication in calculation synonymous to solar alignment. This perspective fits with what is known about the star gazing cult practices found in the archaeological record (Belmonte). Sacred objects further this theory, and there remain a significant number of votive statuary stored at temple sites. Votive offerings were left by devotees of that particular cult, including weapons, helmets, and even statues. The interior of the temple, known as the cella, was often decorated with columns and most used for further storage and as a strong room.


Etruscan civilization marks the first instance of city formation in the Italian peninsula. By the 8th century BC, the Etruscans had established themselves in a confederacy of twelve city-states mirroring those seen in Mesopotamia. Much of our knowledge of the Etruscans is based on their tombs and their contents. The Cerverteri site allows a glimpse into the everyday afterlife planned for the citizens of Etruria (de la Croix and Tansey). Stone construction was common foundation to stucco covered environments fit for fresco adhesion of painting and sculptural embed of objects. The interior of Etruscan tombs tell us much about the everyday life in the region that was about to become Imperial Rome.

Replete with domestic references, Etrurian couples seem to have been buried together; remaining in life as in death. In a mummy case, a couple reclines on top of the terra cotta sarcophagi; portraying the archaic smiles of eternity. Most of the Etruscan temples have disappeared since they were built of wood. Only the stone foundations of these temples have survived. The Sanctuaries resemble those of the Greek temples, and retention of elements in the Etruscan temples is later used by the Romans with whom they had contact.

Ancient Greece is well-known for its civic construction, and the influence of Greek technologies in column and pediment construction carried over to the Roman Empire through seafaring colonization of the region immediately prior to Romes ascension to imperial power. Ancient Greek innovations in public architecture were further enhanced by Romans whom sought acoustic mastery in their theater environments. Mathematical knowledge of sound fields instigated evolution in the transition from Greek to Roman theater design.

For orators of the philosophical and political sort, this was of course a huge invention. As Western Civilization moved toward a Republican model of rule, the voice of leadership served as a catalyst to consensus building and participatory citizenship. Military advancement of Romes imperialist motives promoted Empires expansionist activities. When Caesar extended Roman citizenship to the inhabitants of Cisalpine Gaul a formative shift in the concept of the State was constituted within the social precepts of governance and law. With every counter campaign all victory was Romes. Conquer of the Carthaginians was concurrent with the conquest of Greece in 148-63 B.C., and subsequent acquisition of North Africa in 146-30 B.C., Egypt in 30 B.C. By 43 a.D. Britain was Rome, and so too West Asia by 133A.D. — 199A.D. (Maddison). The final chapter in the Roman Empire saw a general shift from the high realism of Republican Rome, to inquietude however, and public dialogue was replaced with the leadership of Christ through reflective inner life. Exalted Roman rule under Christ culminated with Justinians dominion in Constantinople. Cathedral architecture and interior design moved to abstract aesthetic composition which influenced the forthcoming Islamic period.

Works Cited

Belmonte, Juan Antonio. From the Atlas to the Caucasus: The Other Side of the Mediterranean Before Islam. Archaeoastronomy 15.(2000): 78.

de la Croix, H. And Tansey, R.G. Gardners: Art Through the Ages. New York, NY: Harcourt and Brace, 1980.

Dimock, Wai Chee. The Egyptian Pronoun: Lyric, Novel, the Book of the Dead. New Literary History 39.3 (2008): 619-643.

Maddison, Angus. The Contours of World Development. The World Economy, OECD, 2010.. Web.

Penrose, F.C. The Orientation of Geek Temples. Nature, 48.1228, 1893. Print.

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