An 8 page discussion outlining the connection between Roman art and politics in the Fourth Century AD. Describes the intense control of art sought by Rome and the final triumph of Christians which resulted in their art in moving from the hidden recesses of ancient catacombs into a position of control in Roman culture. Emphasizes, however, that the Church was just like Rome in that it was very aware of the power of the visual image in swaying public thought and opinion and that they used this power to its utmost, converting and condemning all the way. Concludes that the evolution of art and architecture was really just beginning in Rome and elsewhere around the world. What was consistent, however, was the underlying theme of the influence of politics on art and the corresponding influence of art on politics. Bibliography lists 10 sources.
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Rome during the Fourth Century AD was not unlike the rest of Europe in that it was undergoing a period of tremendous change. Change was occurring
in the population, demography, economics, politics, and military structure and alliances as well as in the prevailing religion. All of these changes interblended into a sometime complex political environment
which would have many implications to society in general. This period is perhaps one of the most interesting periods in all of world history in terms of the affect
of politics on art. Politics and religion in particular essentially went hand in hand during this period in Roman history. Roman politics would shape both its art and
architecture out of concern for religions impact on the people. In turn politics would be shaped by art. Romes reputation as a
world power is indisputable. Rome would gain a particularly ominous reputation in terms of warfare conquering one people after another. Rome even entered into extensive warfare with the
Germans, capturing and enslaving many of the German people. Rome was unsuccessful in the complete domination of the northernmost Germanic peoples, however. Never-the-less there was a definite blending
of German and Roman culture just as there had been a blending of Roman cultures with the other cultures which she engaged in warfare with. This blending would ultimately
become an important part of Western Civilization in terms of the type and volume of art and architecture which would be produced at various periods.
Romes interaction with German culture was really only one of her many cultural interactions, interaction which complicate generalities in regard to the impact of politics on