greco roman art
Based on the above definition, it can be confidently asserted that the “cores” of the Greco-Roman world were the Italian Peninsula, Greece, Cyprus, the Iberian Peninsula, the Anatolian Peninsula (modern-day Turkey), Gaul (modern-day France), the Syrian region (modern-day Levantine countries of Israel, Central and Northern Syria, Lebanon and Palestine), Egypt and Roman Africa (corresponding to modern-day Tunisia, Eastern Algeria and Western Libya). Occupying the periphery of this world were the so-called “Roman Germany” (the modern-day Alpine countries of Austria and Switzerland and the Agri Decumates, the territory between the Main, Rhine and Danube rivers), the Illyricum (corresponding to modern-day Northern Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the coast of Croatia), the Macedonian region, Thrace (corresponding to modern-day Southeastern Bulgaria, Northeastern Greece and the European portion of Turkey), Moesia (roughly corresponding to modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria and Romanian Dobrudja), and Pannonia (corresponding to modern-day Western Hungary, the Austrian Länder of Burgenland, Eastern Slovenia and Northern Serbia).
In the schools of art, philosophy and rhetoric, the foundations of education were transmitted throughout the lands of Greek and Roman rule. Within its educated class spanning all of the “Greco-Roman” eras, the testimony of literary borrowings and influences is overwhelming proof of a mantle of mutual knowledge. For example, several hundred papyrus volumes found in a Roman villa at Herculaneum are in Greek. From the lives of Cicero and Julius Caesar, it is known that Romans frequented the schools in Greece.
Ancient Roman pottery was not a luxury product, but a vast production of “fine wares” in terra sigillata were decorated with reliefs that reflected the latest taste, and provided a large group in society with stylish objects at what was evidently an affordable price. Roman coins were an important means of propaganda, and have survived in enormous numbers.
Pliny complained of the declining state of Roman portrait art, “The painting of portraits which used to transmit through the ages the accurate likenesses of people, has entirely gone out . Indolence has destroyed the arts.”  
The Roman conquest of Greece brought the Romans into a complex relationship with Greek artistic production. The Etruscans, who had dominated central Italy until the expansion of Rome in the fourth century bce, coveted Greek pots and adapted their symposium motifs for funerary contexts. Wives rather than hetairai were now shown reclining next to the men. In the Roman republic the visual vocabulary of the conquered gave Roman generals the material for experimentation with new ways of expressing their masculinity and weighing their worth against that of their peers. Those statues often are considered by modern scholars to be only partly successful in their combination of a recognizably Roman head with a generic Greek torso. However, what works for a model such as the Farnese Hercules sculpture, first conceived by Alexander’s court artist Lysippus (c. 370–310 bce), works differently in a new context. Also, the Lysippan Hercules was made for the Baths of Caracalla and is as Roman as any statue of a general. If they are classified as Greek at all, those bodies were unlikely to have been dismissed as vain appropriations. They underline the fact that style was more than a by-product of an object, serving instead as a powerful vehicle.
Clarke, John R. 1998. Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C.–A.D. 250. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Most freestanding Greek statues were of bronze, but all except a few ancient bronzes were lost or melted down to reuse the valuable metal. However, Roman copies testify to the enduring influence of Greek art and suggest the power of the bronzes they reproduce. Greek bronzes were left their original color – a golden brown that resembled suntanned skin. With inset eyes, silver teeth, copper lips, and colored borders on the drapery, these figures must have seemed astonishingly lifelike as they stood in the powerful Mediterranean light.
By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on Sunday 17th September, 2017
Rouster, L. 1978. The footprints of dragons. Creation Social Science and Humanities Quarterly 1978(Fall):23-28.
Phil Senter. Department of Biological Sciences, Fayetteville State University, 1200 Murchison Road, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28301 USA,