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Greek and Roman Art and Architecture

Nevertheless, this "public art" reflected the interests, desires, and whims of a small percentage of the population namely, the ruling elite. In the style of the gladiatorial circuses, this elite believed that it could keep the population content and interested by providing large artistic projects which could be viewed by the common citizen (Brilliant 11-18).

In contrast to the funding of public projects, the emergence of a larger class of wealthy citizens encouraged the development of personal and private art. Much of this art was commissioned by the rich, often in the form of personal sculpture which served an artistic as well as egoistic expression. One should remember though, that similar personal and private artistic and architectural projects were also part of the Greek, Hellenistic culture, although not to the same degree.

One of the primary differences between Greek and Roman architecture is the manner in which the Romans valued the creation of large open spaces within their structures (Brilliant 11-18). The Greeks, in contrast, valued form. Within this context, the Parthenon is frequently used as the leading example of Greek architecture. Standing on a hill overlooking Athens, the Parthenon is relatively small even by ancient standards one hundred by two hundred feet (Greer 68). Placed in such a high area, the Parthenon could be seen by most of th


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