Speltz, Alexander / Styles of ornament: exhibited in designs, and arranged in historical order, with descriptive text.
The Roman ornament, pp. -90
THE ROMAN ORNAMENT. ith their art the Greeks conquered the world, the Romans with their politics and their legions. The whole civilized world at the present day is striving to emulate the works of art of the former, the laws of the latter are considered throughout the world as the foundation upon which all laws must be established. In these facts lie the difference in character between the two peoples. Those Romans who lived at the beginning of Roman history were unable to develop an independent art of their own, for all their endeavours were directed to amassing wealth, and increasing their lands. They were obliged therefore to take the motifs for their art from Etruria and continued to do so until Grecian art became predominant. Becoming more accustomed to luxury from the conquests which they made, the Romans began gradually to form a national art of their own under the guidance of Greek teachers. The practical spirit of the Rornans and their taste for monumental work are naturally to be seen best exemplified in their architecture, a science in which they have performed most magnificent work especially in connection with the monumental development of profane buildings, basiicas, Thermes, etc. The Romans furthermore took up and accomplished the task of combining numerous ruins to a homogenous whole, and of developing them further by using, together with the doublesystem of construction, the Grecian columns, the flat-ceiling construction at the vault, and the restoration of remains of old walls. In this latter art they became the teachers of future generations. The Romans adopted the three-column order of the Greeks keeping with it however at the same time the Etruscan column. To these four orders they added the Composite order.
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