Greek – Roman Architecture + Art Research ProjectBy Ashlyn Tolbert My paper will not only focus on the great achievements the Romans made by advancing their architecture, it will also cover their belief systems in regards to their gods and goddesses.

In particular I will be discussing the Colosseum and the God Poseidon, who is also known as Neptune.  The Colosseum was located in Rome, so obviously it is a roman creation. Poseidon was a little bit more versatile he was accepted in both of the cultures.First I will cover the colosseum and how it was used. The Colosseum was used for many things: gladiator fights, christian executions, plays, wild animal hunts, horse races, and other physical games. Addition to the the Circus Maximus the Colosseum served as one of the main forms of entertainment in ancient Rome.The construction of this great monument started in 72 BC and finished in 80 BC, so it took 8 years.

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The emperor Vespasian was the one who ordered the building of the Colosseum. The Romans actually used pretty advanced technology to build the walls. They used stone arches to minimize the weight of the walls and create a stable structure. They were obviously successful because most of it is still standing! The four layers of the Colosseum organized the people because they were seated by their class. The best seat was considered to be the emperor’s box.

The colosseum has seventy six entrances and exits to accommodate the tens of thousands of people that had to be seated there. It was also able to sit this great amount of people because it was so large. The colosseum takes up almost 6 acres of Rome and took about millions of  tons of material to build.This section of the Paper will cover Poseidon and Neptune.

I will start by explaining the difference in between these two version of the god of the sea. In the early years of Rome, Neptune was the god of springs and lakes. He was celebrated in a festival held in July, it was known as Neptunalia, it honored the waters and springs, it was meant to ward off droughts in the summer months. Besides becoming the god of the sea and ocean waters at a later stage than Poseidon their powers were similar.

They both controlled earthquakes and horses, thus Neptune became an essential part of chariot racing, which they didn’t have in greece. Racing was a large part of the Roman culture because it was the main form of entertainment and a common place for gamblers. This was very common in the Roman culture.Some of Poseidon’s symbols were the trident, the dolphin, the  horse, the bull, and the fish. His parents were Cronus and Rhea.

His children were Orion, Triton, Theseus, and Polyphemus. His wife was Amphitrite but the children listed above were not all hers. The ancient people relied on Poseidon for many things pertaining to his talents or gifts. For example, Sailors relied upon Poseidon for safe passage since he was protector of the waters. Poseidon first claimed his domain after the fall of the Titans, because of his influence on the waters, he was worshipped for transpiration and navigation. His name is Greek for “husband” which was weird since he was not faithful to his wife.

He was always shown with his trident when reflected in art. When he struck the ground with his trident it produced an earthquake. That is why he was sometimes called the “Earthshaker.” Here is a myth about Poseidon.

In Ancient Greece a long time ago, when the first king of Athens, had to find a patron god for the citystate of Athens, he went to the gods to see if any of the olympians were interested. There were only two Olympian gods who were excited by the offer they were Poseidon, the god of the sea and Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill. They presented themselves in front of Cecrops (the king) and he asked from them to offer a gift to determine the parton.

Poseidon went before Athena: he created a well using his trident. Immediately, it filled with water; however, the water was very salty which was not very useful for the population of Athens. Next, came the turn of Athena.  She struck her spear into the ground and then planted an olive branch in the hole her spear had made in the ground. She created an olive tree. Cecrops was incredibly impressed by Athena’s gift. So he chose Athena as the patron of the city.

This of course mad Poseidon very angry; he then cursed the city of Athens so that they would never have enough water. After that, there were major problem of water shortage in Athens. This myth explains why Athen’s culture revolves around intelligence and why they struggle with droughts.

In conclusion the Colosseum was a very important to the society of ancient Rome. Also Poseidon is a very important god to both the Roman and Greek society. They explained earthquakes and drought through him. They also give him power over horses, the sea, fish, and even bulls. The reason I chose to focus on these particular things because they interested me. I also think they both were essential for the cultures which we have been studying.