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Paper Topic:

Art and Propaganda in Ancient Rome

Art and Propaganda in Ancient Rome

The Romans used art as propaganda to help distribute a set of common ideals and behavior to all citizens . These citizens were often times far from the physical dimensions of Rome , and thus art (or propaganda masking as art ) allowed even the most uneducated person to understand the political philosophy . The artists in Rome copied , but did not succeed in a complete imitation of the Greek art form that had been deposited at their doorsteps as part of the war plunder . Greeks used art to materialized

myths , nature , and their gods , whereas the Roman artists often used sculpture as propaganda , a tool to promote oneself one 's city , or one 's connection to the Imperial family . It was common to use sculpture and relieves to connect oneself to a deity , both to publicize authority and to cement power or prestige . Roman art .focused on the political and practical arenas of everyday life ( Greco-Roman Influence on Lycian Sculpture , np . Art became a necessary , but easy way for the Emperors to circulate and demonstrate loyalty within the native population and an inducement to the newly conquered colonies (McKinney , np

The Romans began their historical republican period in 509 BCE Upper-class family elders comprised the senatorial assembly . This divide in social class let to internal strife and a struggle for equal distribution of power , including involvement in the government and economic development . These interior issues aside , the Roman 's became a major military contingent and by 270 BCE forcefully controlled the entire Italian peninsula . The Punic Wars and the successive defeat of Carthage allowed untold access to Asia Minor , Egypt , and Greece . From this profitable venture , Rome was able to extract the local wealth of these countries and establish territories in East Africa , Gaul , Sicily and Spain . Exploration uncovered local artwork and this became Roman property and set forth as a desired luxury . Greek art , especially began to influence the tastes of the Romans because it was brought back in such large quantities . The Generals brandished their plunder during triumphal processions through the city and senators and wealthy Romans displayed works of art to show their status and to promote themselves (Smith , np . As a result of the Greek influence , the Romans began to portray their great political or military leaders in a homogeneous fashion . The singular or individual characteristics were abolished in favor of showing the internal personality or soul of the person being honored

As Rome 's external land properties expanded , so did the issues at home The class struggles were exacerbated along with the financial burden of supporting disparate cultures . This created chaos in the aristocratically governed senate and the more powerful generals took advantage of the civil unrest . Julius Caesar was the first general to use the political situation to his advantage . His murder in 44 BCE let to a series of avengers , with Augustus (formerly known as Octavian ) take the seat of power in 27 BCE and remained comfortable in that position...

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