Comparison and Contrast of Egyptian’s and Greece’s Ancient Ideologies as Represented in Iconography of Their Art and Architectural Style
The ancient Greek and Egyptian civilizations are known as the world’s oldest civilizations in history. The onset of Greek civilization is said to have been 1100 BC, while that of Egypt was 3150 BC. Many differences and similarities existed between the two ancient civilizations most probably due to their varying geographical locations. Their geographical differences subjected them to diverse forms of exposure including that of contact with other existing cultural inheritance and civilizations. As regards to the arts and architectural concerns, Egyptians were mainly involved in creation of great gaudy and monumental structures, whereas the Greeks aimed at creation of smaller and more literal artistic designs.
The biggest reason for the two civilization’s varied artistic and architectural designs was their varied geographical settings. For instance, Egyptian geographical location allowed for proximity to the large stones that were used for erecting huge monumental structures. It is thus believed by various scholars that the Egyptian power structure as well as the desire of huge buildings gave them an urge of developing a class system so as to enable them to gather a large number of laborers. It may also be ascribed to their strong bureaucracy and strict centralized system of governance. On the other hand, the ultimate differences between the two civilizations can be attributed to their varying religious believes. In this case, Egyptians had a stern belief in life after death and hence ended up building large structures and pyramids so as to assist their dead in finding better eternal lives. Conversely, the Greeks did not have such kinds of beliefs, hence forming a strong basis for their differences with regards to their esteemed social structures.
Most of the Egyptian’s architectures, such as their houses and pyramids were constructed on the basis of strict mathematical and geographical rules. Mathematics was utilized in establishment of symmetrical designs. The research has shown that symmetrical dwellings played a significant role of creating a structural harmony. It also allowed residents to live in harmony with each other. Another common element in the residential structure of the two ancient civilizations was the utilization of landscaping. It was deemed very integral to establish beautiful gardens beside the residential structures. Egyptians planted beautiful gardens within their walled enclosures that surround their homesteads. The use of gardens and plants gave a very natural feel to the houses, hence allowing residents to have a peace of mind. This is also evident in today's designs and architecture whereby gardens, porches, lawns, and yards tends to allow for more aesthetical pleasing feelings and looks to their houses. It not only assisted in house beautification, but also assisted residents in finding their calmness. This enabled them to coexist in harmony with each other and the entire nature.
Similarly, the people of ancient Greece were inclined to such ideologies that uphold harmony. They also incorporated them in their vast architectural designs as well. Similar to the Egyptians, Greeks considered their people’s psychological well-being and aimed towards provision of serene residential units designed to offer peace and harmony. This is also in accordance to the Greek religion whereby gardens and trees were considered as places that were often visited by the divines. It is hence the reason most of the Greek quarters in Athens were endowed with gardens and courtyards enclosed by walls. Other structural designs that were established on the Athens’ hill sides comprised of the terraced gardens. The wealthy Greeks had lavish and extensive gardens that were considered as pleasure grounds. In Greek, beauty was considered as a very significant element of harmony hence setting basis for their attention on ensuring their abodes looked as beautiful as possible. The entire thing was often done by the act of landscaping and inclusion of gardens and courtyards in their houses. Most houses in Athens were thus composed of running fountains with delightful gardens. This is consistent with their religion and the manner in which fountains and gardens in various residential areas worked towards creating harmony for the entire residents.
Religious undertones amongst the two civilizations also became apparent when it came to the temples’ architectural designs. For Egyptians, pyramids and many other temples including the Ramesseum formed great religious connotations for Egyptians. Similarly the ancient Greek had what was termed as the great Acropolis. The Egyptian temple, Ramesseum, was a sophisticated temple constructed by Ramesses II between the desert and Qurna. Most historians refer this great temple as the most marvelous and gigantic temple to have ever been established in Egypt. It consisted of several courts, large statues, pylons, as well as carvings depicting various war scenes. Generally, it was a lavish and extremely large architectural work that showed the great pharaoh’s grandeur. Although Pericles was not the one who actually constructed the Acropolis, he made a great move of conducting major architectural reforms during his tenure as a leader. He established several new and huge temples. In addition, it was in the course of Pericles’s tenure that Acropolis attained its ultimate shape. Pericles also went to the extent of commissioning the construction of Parthenon within Acropolis.
The most evident aspects as regards to the two civilizations that tend to distinguish them at a glimpse are their varying artistic works. The ancient Egypt saw the utilization of various forms of art, such as sculpturing, painting, crafts, and practical architecture. Much of their artistic and architectural works were redirected by a greater sense of symbolism. The act of entrenched symbolism was mostly applied on their monuments and tombs. In most of the Egyptian arts and designs; animals are the most represented, and several colors were used to perfect their paintings. Most utilized colors were very captivating and expressive due to their natural and implied sense. For instance; yellow and red colors used on individuals’ skin implied the old and the youthful age respectively. Ancient Egyptians utilized several art forms whereby they portrayed the human nature in details. Most of their paintings were particularly meant to offer compassion to the dead persons thriving in their eternal lives. Most of the ancient Egyptian’s paintings were made on papyrus. Papyrus was a form of paper made out of the papyrus plant that was found at the banks of River Nile. They also designed various types of potteries all through their ages including the vases, amulets, soapstone, as well as the images depicting their goddesses and gods. Moreover, sculpture also remained as a prominent form of art in the ancient Egypt. The Egyptians went to the extent of making huge sculptures portraying their gods, kings, Pharaohs, and queens.
In relation to the Egyptian’s artistic works, ancient Greek’s art and design was also significant since it appears in most historic sites and also works towards paving way for various Westernized artistic frameworks. Ancient Greeks established all forms of arts, including the paintings, pottery, and sculpture, among others. In this case; pottery was utilized for various purposes, for instance, the use as wine decanters, their use in daily chores, as well as their use as trophies for those who emerge as winners in most organized games. The other situations that saw the use of pottery included the drinking vessels comprised of hydria and kraters. On the other hand, miniature pottery was made so as to emulate various goddesses and gods. Here, many outstanding colors were utilized in honor of these gods. Ancient Greeks also diversified their artistic works on metals with the aim of creating many artistic pieces such as ornaments and vases. They also made various terracotta and clay figures, statuettes, and idols. The establishment of various monumental sculptures also remained as a significant element of the ancient Greek art. During this era, various huge marbled sculptures, metals, and stones were made. In line with this, the Greeks also came up with the ideology of making coins with various designs and patterns. This kind of practice is followed up to date by the entire countries across the globe. Greeks also came up with panel painting art whereby the artists sketched various scenes on diverse panels that depicted a wide range of stories. The entire artistic works were done on walls and pillars. They often enlightened people on the epic tales of gods and heroes deemed to have existed.
From this comparison and contrast of Egypt’s and Greece’s ancient Ideologies as represented in iconography of their art and architectural style, it can be ascertained that both civilizations had diverse and unique artistic works that enhanced the in depth symbolism. The formulation of such great artistic designs brought law and order as well as harmony in the two ancient civilizations. They are also deemed to have shaped the world order since most of their artistic architectural designs and beliefs were adopted and advanced by most nations across the entire globe.