Architectural Structures of the 36000BCE to 1600CE
The early historic time played an important role in the creation and development of the artworks seen in the current era. Many works of art ranging from architecture, sculptures, paintings, and carvings existed during this period. The work came to existence due to the vast knowledge of different artists who lived during this historic time. Every piece of working created in this era had a cultural significance to it. For example, the Romans used their architectural structures as arenas for war and other festivities.
This paper is an analysis of four photographs of architectural structures found in the Roman Empire, Babylon, and Lebanon during early historic period. The paper illustrates each picture based on the architect who made it, its importance, the time it was constructed, and cultural significance. The pictures used are the Coloseum, the Ishtar Gate, the Baalbek, and the Arch of Constantine.
The Coloseum in Rome is one of the historical works of art found in the Roman Empire. The Coloseum structure was built in the 1600BCE in Rome and is a show of the rich knowledge in artwork in the empire during the Roman times. The Coloseum is also known as the arena of death as it was built mainly for fighting gladiator games (Alchin, 2014). The structure housed over 80,000 people who could come to watch other warriors fight one another in preparation for the war ahead. This piece of art is older than great kings like Julius Caesar and many other well-known Roma Royals.
The architect who built the Coloseum copied the design from the gladiator wars structures, which were popular with the Roman aristocrats who lived in the era (Alchin, 2014). They won so many wars using the gladiatorial skills that they decided to build a structure in memory of the knowledge and the war they won. Just like many structures in the Roman Empire, the Coloseum was used as an arena of fighting, or a place where warriors went to practice how to fight in other territories. It has an ancient artwork that depicts the popular Roman knowledge in architectural art. The soldiers who fight in the Coloseum were called gladiators, many of them died during the mock war game. The walls of the structure have openings that were used by people to pass the dead gladiators to their burial sites outside the Coloseum (Alchin, 2014).
The building has golden lining and high walls, a show of how rich the Romans were in gold. A keen look at it shows a cross in one of the pillars, which indicates the deep religious knowledge among the Romans (Alchin, 2014). It is possible to tell that this piece of work stands high among others and shows how knowledgeable Roman artist were. It also shows how the Romans took pride in preserving their historical activities for the generations to come.
Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine is one of the prehistoric architectural works of the Roman Empire. This structure represents a 315AD piece of work found in the Roman Empire during that time. The structure was built in commemoration of Emperor Constantine’s victory over Maxentius. This architectural work signifies the era when Constantine converted to Christianity and supported the catholic movement strongly within Rome (Turopia 2014). Constantine also believed that he had a vision from God revealing to him that he would emerge victorious in the war. This structure has a war shield shaped in the form of a cross, which also gave the warriors hope that they would win their battle (Turopia 2014).
It has a rich architectural background, with clear demarcation of grey and golden pillars that has portraits of warriors standing in higher places. Looking at this architectural piece of art, one can see easily how the Roman Empire had talented architects who knew how to come up with the best works possible in the region (Turopia 2014). It also shows how the Roman Empire held good works of art in high esteem (Turopia.com). The builders of these structures were skilled people who knew exactly what to do to bring out the rich Roman culture in their works of art.
This piece of architecture shows the historical activities of the Romans as skilled architects who also took part in war activities (Turopia.com 2014). The Romans took part in different war activities in Europe in the 1600CE as they aimed at conquering various territories for their prosperity. They later on inscribed their warfare and conquests in different architectural pieces of work and other sculptures. Before they could depart for any attack in different territories, Constantine and his warriors gathered at the arch to practice different tactics and plan on how to go about their conquest.
Historical studies indicate that the Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate of the inside city of Babylon. The structure was built during the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar as one of the entrances that could be used to access the king’s palace. It is royal blue in color, which depicts the Kingship of the palace that it guarded (Reddish & Fant 201). The gate is laced with gold all round it and has some type of silver lining at the top or in between the gold decorations. It is an indication of how the Babylonians were rich in the most expensive metals such as gold and silver.
The city of Babylon mostly housed the king and other royals, therefore, the use of gold, silver, and the royal blue ornaments show how the royal were held in high esteem and is an indication of how much wealth they had in their possession (Reddish & Fant 201). The architect, Nebuchadnezzar the Second, decorated the gate with alternating pictures of lions and dragons that aimed at indicating how protected the palaces in Babylon were. In order to portray the royal nature of the place enclosed by the gate, the constructor decided to make the top of the walls of the gate appear like a crown, an indication that the gate’s main purpose was to protect royals in the palace (Turopia 2014).
Anybody who intended to enter the gate would definitely feel that he or she was entering a royal or holy ground and should have been on his or her best behavior. The dragons and the lions were a symbol of war; therefore, the structure showed that Babylonians were ready for war anytime anybody would attack them (Reddish & Fant 202). The blue glazed bricks that make the gate also have wild cows that show the cultural practices of the Babylonians as they were known for keeping cows that they would use for agriculture and festival seasons. The gate also acted as the processional way for the Babylonians during different festivals such as worship or war (Turopia 2014).
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus is an architectural work shows an old and well-preserved piece of work found in the 15 BC in Baalbek, northeastern Lebanon. The structure forms one of the three complex temples build during the reign of Julius Caesar (Alouf 29). The constructor of the structure had a deep knowledge of architectural art as one of the most commonly practiced works of art in Lebanon. History shows that this structure as built together with two other large roman temples where the Romans used to come and worship their gods. The Lebanese used the temple of Bacchus as a place of worshiping the god of wine and agriculture (Zack 2014).
The Lebanese also used this structure as a place of worship as most of them came to pray at this site regularly. The structure has ancient pillars that resemble the pillars found in many royal residences in Lebanon. The pillars also show the strength with which warriors from this country-resisted attackers from outside. Many warriors from Lebanon and its other cities converged at the Baalbek to prepare for war (Zack 2014). It played host too many different chariots and other war artifacts used by fighters in the country. The structure is one of the oldest and best-preserved works of art to date.
It also acts as a major tourist attraction site for many people from different parts of the world. Apart from being used as a war and prayer site, the Baalbek acted as a tourist site for many people in Lebanon. Current research shows that people come from various parts of the world to visit the structure, as they consider it one of the best historical pieces of artwork in the world (Alouf 29). In the current view of the art, people consider the Baalbek as one of the architectural works that best depicts the rich culture of ancient Lebanon.
Many architectural structures were constructed during the 360000BCE and below and had important significant to the culture and lives of people who lived in the era. A critical study of the temple of Bacchus, the Ishtar Gate, the Coloseum and the Arch of Constantine shows how architects who lived in the 1600CE backwards hard deep knowledge of art work. The structures also illustrate the rich cultures of the people found I these age. Further research studies by Alou, Zack, and Alchin among others show that many architects in the modern days have continued to use these types of work because they are unique and have a cultural presentation in them
Alchin, Linda. History of the Coloseum. 2014. [Web]. http://www.tribunesandtriumphs.org/colosseum/history-of-the-colosseum.htm
Alouf, Michael. History of Baalbek. No Publishers. P29, 1898.
Reddish, Mitchell & Fant, Clyde. Lost treasures of the Bible: understanding the Bible through archaeological artifacts in world museums. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008, p201-202.
Turopia.com. 52 Ancient Roman Monuments. 2014. [Web]. http://www.touropia.com/ancient-roman-monuments
Zack, Lauren. Baalbek: The Unsolved Enigma.2014. [Web]. http://www.exposingtruth.com/baalbek-unsolved-enigma/
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