Roman Society from Augustus to Titus A description of the main features and functions of art and architecture in Roman society during this period.

Essay by excentriqueHigh School, 12th gradeA, October 2004

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Describe the main features and functions of art and architecture in Roman society during this period:

Roman artistic and architectural design throughout the period ranging from the rise of Augustus (27BCE) to the death of Titus (81 AD) is notably characterized as ornate in nature; featuring immense developments which ultimately formed a completely new style of building and decoration. The innovations of this period including advancements in building materials and engineering techniques, the influence of neighbouring cultures such as the Greeks and the Etruscans, the varying types of buildings and their primary functions within society, the decoration of domestic and public buildings, the numerous art styles as wells as the significance of art and architecture as a means for propaganda; have accredited the Early Roman Empire period as an era of which has held and continues to hold a profound impact upon successive and modern-day artistic and architectural formations.

The period of Roman society from Augustus to Titus saw great progress within the fields of engineering methods and constructive materials.

Prior to the Imperial period, quarried stone, in conjunction with timber and terracotta were the essential building materials; however this method was often unsuitable in covering vast areas with vaults, domes and walls. The most significant of advancements is the invention of concrete (opus caementicum), which was created by mixing pazzolana: a strong volcanic material found in extensive beds at Pozzuoli near Naples, with rubble and a mixture of limestone. This new material supplemented the expensive and often-limited resource of marble as well as the traditional stone post -and-lintel system, providing architects of the time with an opportunity to liberate design from the canonical rectilinear patterns of classical architecture. This innovation paved the way for the construction of the grand amphitheatres and public baths, which adorned the ancient Roman world.