Art of Europe: Ancient Rome (preview)

A preview of Rick Steves Art of Europe: Stone Age to Ancient Greece. Watch the full episode at, or check your local public television listings.

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Rick Steves, America’s most respected authority on European travel, writes European travel guidebooks, and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio.


Foreign [Music] Lasted a thousand years from 500 BC to 500 A.D it grew for 500 years peaked for 200 and fell for 300 years actually it's A bit more complicated than that but Ancient Romans with their vast Empire Gave Europe its first taste of a common Culture and left an enduring Legacy of Great art We'll start with Rome's legendary Beginnings And then see how it Rose to conquer its Neighbors and win them over with Engineering smarter and mightier than The world had ever seen At its peak Rome enjoyed unprecedented Luxury huge arenas for entertaining the Masses Monument to egotistical emperors [Music] And temples with glorious domes All with a fine eye for beauty We'll see how the pragmatic Romans came To embrace both Greek gods and the Christian one Finally we'll watch as the Glorious Empire fell leaving a foundation for the Rise of today's Europe [Music] The Romans realized you can't build Really big with Greek style marbles Columns and beams so they invented or Perfected the round Arch domes and the

Use of concrete brick and mortar and They put it all together with brilliant Engineering A fine example of that is the Magnificent Pantheon the best preserved Building surviving from ancient Rome The particle with its stately pediment Shows their greek-inspired Sophistication but behind that is more No-nonsense Roman engineering The Columns are one single piece of granite Quarried in Egypt and shipped to Rome They're massive it takes four tourists To hug one Stepping inside you enjoy the finest Look anywhere at the artistic Splendor Of ancient Rome [Music] Colored marble the mathematical Perfection Its dimensions are classic Based On A Perfect Circle as wide as it is tall 142 feet just add incense and togas and You're there The Dome the biggest ever built until Then is made of poured concrete it gets Thinner and lighter with height the Highest part is actually made with Pumice and hairy volcanic Stone Pantheon it means all gods with 12 Altars it was where the many gods of the Empire were worshiped And the Oculus along with the door the Temple's only source of light still

See also  Rick Steves Rome: Eternally Engaging

Seems to connect us Mortals with the Heavens The pantheon which survived so well Because it's been in continuous use for Nearly 2 000 Years first as a pagan Temple and then as a Christian church Has inspired Architects to this day