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TMA 03 Art History, Literature and Philosophy

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TMA 03 Art History, Literature and Philosophy Part 1: Short Answer Colosseum is an example of a building in which its form and function are inextricably linked. To prove this, let us take a look at some of the orders, the wall-like structure and the vaults of the Colosseum as part of its form and functions. With reference to the Illustration Book Colour Plate 19,28,72,75,76 and 78, and Block 2 The Colosseum Figure 6.1 and 6.2, the Colosseum evidently uses five orders: 'Doric', 'Tuscan', 'Ionic', 'Corinthian' and 'Composite'. The function of these orders is to provide a framework for the divisions of the whole building. A different order is used for different levels, portraying the subtlety of the building. Both 'Doric' and 'Tuscan' orders give an appearance of sturdiness to a building while 'Ionic', 'Corinthian' and 'Composite' orders tend to make a building appear rich and elegant. In studying the ground plans on Plate 56(a), we can see that the Colosseum stands up by it wall-like structures, consisting of walls and pillars arranged in a pattern that spreads out from the centre of the arena. As shown on Plate 29, these walls were made thick enough to serve its function, which is to support the many tons of concrete used in the structure and also accommodate the weight of fifty thousand spectators of the Colosseum. ...read more.


Another reason as to why the Romans did not see what went on the amphitheatre as something wicked is that they perceive the gladiatorial shows as a way of restoring social order. The Romans thrive to find a balance between crimes and punishment in the legal system and have hence used public executions in the form of gladiatorial games as the deserving punishment. Martial again justifies these games and through his believes that the game is an effective way of communicating to the people on the deserving punishments committed, be it by criminals or animals. This is evidenced through the following: '... a treacherous lion had harmed his master with his ingrate mouth... but he paid a fitting for such a crime.' Wiedemann supports the same view when he added in C11 Emperors, gladiators and Christians: 'Rebels deserved execution...' and in C13 (a) Emperors and Gladiators: '...burning alive of an adult convicted of setting fire to a temple...' Such examples strongly support the argument that the Romans did not see it as something wicked but, rather, a deserved and appropriate penalty or punishment to such criminals. C16 K.M Coleman, Fatal charades provides evidences that in the process of punishing the criminals, the Romans include mythology role-play by the criminals to spice up the show. ...read more.


To kill wild beasts means to protect mankind by enabling the people to cultivate the rich land without fear of beast attacks. Hence this is something a good ruler would be proud of since it is perceived as performing the services for humanity. It provides new ground for civilization and agriculture and direct or indirectly, contributes to the new industries and improved economy. Since it provides revenues and the development of science and arts to the country, it blinds the Roman from seeing it as wicked. Yet another reason why the Romans did not view the shows as something wicked is the link that these shows have with bravery. The Romans respected and upheld bravery as one of the most important virtue of man. For someone who had committed crime, there is no other way of coming out of crime except proving in the arena that he is brave. This virtue was so significant that a criminal gladiator may be granted his life back and may receive a crown if he ever comes back alive and victorious, regardless of what crime he had committed. Statius is another writer who admires the bravery, majesty and strength of a dying animal more than having any compassion towards it at all and Hopkins finds that bravery and victory of the aggressor matters more to the Romans than suffering of the vanquished. ...read more.

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