I’m working on a art discussion question and need a sample draft to help me learn.
1- The quest for territory and cultural superiority manifested itself with the architecture and the artwork. There was a concrete revolution. By using concrete, they were able to make big changes in Roman architecture. The concrete was inexpensive and strong which means that it would last for a long time. Though the Greeks had a great influence, the Romans soon started to push through with their impressive sculptures and statues. The free-standing sculptures gave Roman art a one-up on the Greeks. Aesthetically, Roman artists had more flexibility with the materials they used and were focusing on making the sculptures more realistic in human features. Greek art was trying to portray an endless youth in the faces of their rulers or emperors, but Roman artists really embraced all the details and the body parts of each and every human sculpture they made, from the hair to the facial features, all the way to the genitalia. Roman artists depicted the emperor exactly as they were.
2- The quest for territory and cultural superiority of the Romans was scaled very differently than that of the Greeks. For the Greeks, cultural superiority could be a thing fought for city state by city state; we see the varied versions of cultural “superiority” play out when looking at, for example, Athens and Sparta, which each had radically different ideas of what superior meant to them. The Romans were a culture of absorption and collaboration, much like parts of huge colonial empires today/within the last few hundred years (think of things like Chicken Tikka in England, or Red-Sauce Italian-American food, for instance) and they did not completely wipe out the aesthetics of the places they were conquering, though they did forcibly place their culture at the forefront (much like many, but not all, huge colonial empires within the last few hundred years.) To me it seems like the Romans were superior, both in terms of landmass and cultural exchange/growth/creole-ing.