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Art And Architecture Steering An Ancient Society

1563 words - 6 pages

The architecture of the Pantheon, remodeled by Hadrain, “provides ample proof of Roman mastery of new building techniques, especially the use of brick and concrete, and of their new concepts of architectural design”(Scarre 64). Architectural design referring to the Imperial style, however this building is unique in that it blends together other aspects of design. The Pantheon is a sacred space for everybody, and its size and scale has made it one of the most influential structures left from ancient Rome. Theories say that this structures purpose intended to be a temple to all the gods. The circular nature is like that of the Knights of the Round Table to illustrate the balance of power that structural organization conveys. The building, especially the dome is architecturally revolutionary in regard to the time period. The fact that is still standing shows the romans skill and expertise in designing by creating an atmosphere that couldn’t possibly be constructed. MacDonald claims that, “few masonry buildings are more structurally ingenious than the pantheon. Solving the engineering problems inherent in its basic design carried Hadrian’s architect and engineers well beyond anything previous examples and experiences could teach them”. This work of art is an indication for the type of culture and control that was taking place during the ages of the Roman Empire. However, “Rome remained the heart of the Empire, and continued to receive much attention in terms of public buildings and monuments to Imperial glory. Victories abroad were marked by the construction of triumphal arches or commemorative columns” (Scarre 70). The romans appreciate what the Empire has doing for its state. They recognize the cultural and societal value of conquering other regions. When these ideas become applied to the physical architecture of the community it progresses the culture. Society benefits because the designs and inset sculptures evoke the feelings of triumph and success that the Romans have acquired.
The pantheon includes the brick-faced wall construction which appears to be the same as that employed at the markets and bath complexes of Trajan. Imperial architecture has a clear influence over how society was cultivated and functioned. According to MacDonald, the pantheon has an atmosphere and a visual climate of its own which is seen in the play of light passing down through the void of the dome. He claims that the, “The pantheon was made for light, it captures light and even conquers it, and the natural light is not a static thing. The architect shaped his building to form and manipulate a great shaft of illumination, a visible, almost tangible rod of solar effusion” (MacDonald 112). This characteristic of the structure relates to the power and importance that the gods have in society. Their authority and influence in the roman culture is projected through a hole in a major Imperial hall. The architecture constructed by Hadrain, emphasizes the natural light, which...

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