Classical antiquity is the era that marks the beginning of Christianity. It covers the period of Christianization in the Roman Empire, and its final emperor, Anthemius, ruled from 467 to 472 AD. At that time, the Roman Empire had reached the end of its dominion over the Mediterranean, and its western frontiers were overrun by Barbarians. The decline of the Roman Empire would send into a long period of cultural stagnation that would become known as the Dark Ages. But there are highlights of this period, including the magnificent Ravenna Mosaics that date from 400. Read on Antichità Milano to learn more about antiquity.
The Greeks worshipped nature and cherished its gods, especially the earth goddess Gaia. This god was considered the mother of all creatures. The Greek gods were also associated with various agricultural tasks. In addition, the Greeks worshiped countless other deities, such as nymphs and dryads.
The Greeks were insatiable in the creation of myths and stories about their gods. Their folk tales inspired poets and artists alike. The Greeks’ religion was a genuine form of polytheism, and different regions had their own gods. However, these religions had a number of common principles.
The Greek religion was characterized by an element of catholicism, a form of totemism that saw animals worshipped as gods. The Greeks also had a cult of the dead, ancestors, and heroes. They believed that the souls of the righteous lived after death.
The Ancient Roman culture of antiquity was based on a patron-client relationship. In the morning, Romans would pay their respects to senators and other elites. This relationship kept the social order stable. However, by the 2nd century, the disparity between the rich and the poor was increasing. These changes weakened the social control of the elite.
While most of the freeborn Romans were involved in agriculture, they were largely barred from engaging in commercial activities. The wealthy, meanwhile, used their war profits to buy out smaller neighboring estates. These senatorial estates were small farms spread across the countryside. The wealthy Romans used their war proceeds to consolidate their estates and hire tenants or import slaves.
The ancient Romans also engaged in recreational activities. Some of them practiced jumping, wrestling, boxing, and other sports. Other activities included swimming, hunting, and fishing. They also played ball games. Some of these games included a version of field hockey, a game similar to baseball, and a similar version of football.
The concept of “Kallos” was a key component of the Ancient Greek ideals of beauty. It was a concept that encompassed both natural beauty and mental virtue. This idea was crystallized in philosophical thought during the Archaic period (the 6th to 5th centuries BC) and continued to evolve during the Hellenistic period (the third to 2nd centuries BC). Ancient Greek sculpture captures this concept through depictions of the human form. Examples of this include the bust of a female figure from Rhodes and the Kore of Chios.
The Greeks and Romans placed a great value on the human body. They were Humanists, and their ideals of beauty were later revived in Renaissance art. The Middle Ages, on the other hand, were marked by the rise of Christianity and the rejection of the ideal body. The Greek ideal of beauty was a more positive one, emphasizing perfect proportions and harmony in the body.
The fragmented nature of the Ancient Greek civilization reduced the scale of warfare. Because city-states were weak and had no professional armies, citizens often fought for their city-states, returning to their professions after the campaign. Battles were often short-lived and often limited to summer months. Casualties were low – rarely more than 5% of the losing side. However, it is important to remember that the most prominent citizens of the Greek cities often died in battle.
Early Greek art often featured bronze or porous limestone. Though this material never completely went out of style, the preferred stone in the later Hellenistic era was marble. The best marble, known as Parian or Naxos marble, is very close-grained and sparkly. Its iron content makes it opaque and honey-colored. Most Greek sculptures were painted or colored.