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The account of people’s dealing with death is the account of religion births. Proofs from archaeological findings and research imply that people, while originally just left their deceased aside, began to assume a more mournful or paternal role, leaving the corpses with various marking and mementos graves. From the flower petals to certain flints, fetal poses to facing east, goat’s horn from bear bones, human began supplementing the fundamental corpse. Conversely, different ancient civilizations had particular beliefs concerning death and afterlife.

In the ancient Egypt for instance, the common belief was that death was just a temporary disruption, instead of a total cessation of a life, because the ancient Egyptians had a sturdy belief in the afterlife. Therefore, they spent their lives in preparation for it. Most significant aspect in their total contribution to the afterlife was the necessity to every individual’s preserved identity. As a result, the corpse had to remain whole, and receive normal offerings of drinks and food. The last step in the change to afterlife was the ruling in the Maat hall by the god of the sky (Horus) and scribe of the death (Thoth) through comparisons of the feather and the conscience. This ritual was referred to as weighing the heart. All heavy hearts were consumed by a Devourer of souls which was a crocodile like creature. On the other hand, the good people were to go to a happy field from where they would then join the god of the underworld, Osiris. The finest tombs were built by the pharaohs, who also collected the most convoluted funeral equipments. They were mummified in expensive manners. Regardless of the wealth of an individual, they had expectations, that the afterlife would be the idealized version of each individual’s earthly existence.

In ancient Rome, the view of life and death promulgated in this era stipulated that the shorter period of life was seen as prison. Life was a symbol that the spirit had to serve prior to the final release to its place in the magnificent Milky Way. An individual’s life was the death’s spirit, its time of cruel servitude before freedom was attained. For instance, it was seen to be bad for any individual to speed up his death. Since, the use of life was to foster the world, whilst cultivating both spiritual and physical plane prior to proceeding to the next stage. Any life spent in good deed, piety and honor and cultivating justice for one’s society was the track to the skies, and an assurance of joy to follow.

For the Polynesians, death only represented a journey which they believed to involve crossing a river. A key expectation and hope was reuniting with friends and family, who had gone before. The path to the next side featured hideous creatures, risky cliffs and fear. However, once a person crossed, the life was said to be comfortable. However, in exceptional situations, the journey was said to be traveled in either ways.

There are several characteristics that these three ancient civilizations have with the current beliefs and customs about death and life. Firstly, in today’s world, committing suicide is seen as morally wrong by most religions and denomination, which was also observed in the ancient Rome. Secondly, life on the earth is seen as hard, but there is a guarantee of a better life in the afterlife. Additionally, punishment is also believed to be there in the after life for all wrong deeds, which was also a common belief in most of the ancient beliefs discussed above.

Classical Humanism

Classical humanism is well-known through the enhancement on philosophy, written conventions of intrinsic worth and principles, and through the establishment of a block of writing and art. It frequently defines an era of heroism. The classical humanism in Greece is evident in the public buildings found in Rome; one example is the Parthenon. Most of the buildings constructed were rectangular in shape built from the limestone, which was readily available in Greece. Marble was also used in constructions, but rarely, because it was quite expensive.

There were two major orders used in Greek architecture, the Ionic and the Doric. According to Greek history, Greeks themselves used these names, and they were believed to have originated from the Dorian and Ionian of the early ages. The Doric style was more common in Greece, and soon spread to some of its colonies like Italy. The Doric order was more official and rigorous, while the Ionic emphasized more on the decorative aspects.

There are several ancient Greek buildings that still stand up-to-date; the Parthenon is being one of them. Most of them were built using the Doric order. However, the Erechtheum, which is adjacent to the Parthenon, was built using the ionic style. The Ionic order turns out to be dominant in the Hellenistic period, since it’s a more decorative style favorable during the period, compared to Doric. The Greeks constructed stone buildings up until the era of Alexander the Great. In these buildings, there were sacred statues of their gods. The Greek temples stood out to be quite better compared to other religious buildings.

Orders of Greek Temples


This style of construction originated from Ionia, a region found on the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea. The Ionic order is less bold and well-designed. A perfect example of the Ionic order is Temple of Hera on Samos, constructed between 570 BC – 560 BC. Different from the Doric style, Ionic columns usually are erected on a base which divides the shaft of the stand from the platform. The most distinguishing feature of the Ionic order is the pair scrolling volutes that are placed on top of the columns. The columns have three parts: a plain architrave, bands, with a fresco mounted on it, and a cornice that consists of dentils. The Ionic order was used for libraries after Renaissance buildings for the erudite and civilized.

Above Ionic order diagram showing its structure.


Doric order is classical architecture adopted in Greece. Among the other orders, this is the oldest of them all. It evolved between 7 and 8 BC. In this order, the columns stood on the stylobate, and had smooth flared concave grooves running through. One of the most distinct features of the Doric is the presence of triglyphs and metopes. Triglyphs are found at the centre of every stand, while the metopes are the spaces between them. The Temple of Hephaestus is a fine example of the Doric order. The temple was built in the Acropolis at around 449 BC. The Parthenon was also built in using the Doric order. It was totally built out of marble and encircled by self-supporting columns and designed by Ictinus and Callcrates. Although the sculptural enhancement was more prominent in the Ionic order, the Greeks were never as inflexible, when it came to the use of Classical methods as Renaissance architects

Image of the Doric order


Another orders architecture used by Greek and Roman is the Corinthian. This order in a way resembles the Ionic order, in that it also has volutes at the corners, although, it’s much slender compared to the Ionic order. The well-known case of the Corinthian order architecture is in the Apollo Epicurius Temple found in Bassae. This order is divided into three equal sections that have a flowing design.

The above image represents a Corinthian order.

Renaissance in Florence

Renaissance is a cultural transition that took place between the 14th and 17th century. Renaissance involved development in art sociological and psychological factors. During this period, Florence became a city that enhanced most of these developments. The city had quite a large number of writers, painters and architects. Florence renaissance was enhanced by its political and economic stability.

Renaissance in Florence vs. Rome

Renaissance paintings clearly illustrated humanistic principles that circulated in Florence during this period. The methods preferential to during the Florentines renaissance were tempera and fresco. When painting tempera a dried up surface was used. Fresco painting involved painting on the wet plaster. Florentines paintings were drawn carefully to create detailed and realistic paintings that reflected the nature. The artists also used shading to enhance the outline of a painting. Painters in Florence basically did not so much focus on small details, such as clothes, whereas in Rome the oil paint was used to bring out these small objects.

In Rome renaissance involved inclusion of a very detailedbackground, whereas in Florence there was no detailed background in paintings. During the Early Italian Renaissance, it did not include the burst and hands, whereas during the high renaissance it included shoulders and hands. During the high renaissance, the artists revived the methods and the capability to use their architectural ideas to build structures.

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