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Pericles and Julius Caesar - Essay Example

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Pericles and Julius Caesar have come to be recognized by historians as two of the seminal figures of antiquity. While it’s clear both individuals share many similar traits, it’s perhaps in the differences that reveal the most about these individuals and the cultures of which they were apart. …
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Pericles and Julius Caesar
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Download file to see previous pages As two of the preeminent civilizations of antiquity, the inclination to compare the cultures of Greece and Rome is inevitable. While both civilizations exhibited tremendous advancements in politics and culture, they also exhibit distinct differences that attest to the varying nature of their worlds. An interesting feature of investigation concerning ancient Greece and ancient Rome concerns the degrees to which their geography is similar, as this feature affects later political and economic development. While both countries are Mediterranean, the relative features of their terrain vary greatly. The Greek cities had the advantage of being separated by large hills, which protected them against invading tribes. They also bordered a relied heavily on their contiguity to the ocean. While Rome was mountainous – it famously was found by settlers who naturally habituated on the city’s largest hills – the hills weren’t as strategically positioned to prevent invading barbarian tribes as their Greek counterparts. This essay considers the lives of two of these two men – Pericles and Julius Caesar -- that greatly shaped Greek and Roman culture through their military conquests and subsequent political rule; it argues that the subtle differences in their lives are a testament to the divergent nature of ancient Greek and Roman cultures....
When considering the development and early lives of both individuals it’s clear they shared a number of similar elements. Both men were descendants of nobility, and while Pericles father had been outcast for a period, it is clear they had significant advantages in youth. In terms of vision Caesar and Pericles demonstrated a number of divergent opinions. While Caesar was a progressive thinker who embraced education and intellectual virtues, historians recognize that Pericles contribution to this field of thought was outstanding as he greatly embraced Greek art and culture. This distinction is highly relevant as it underlines what many believe to be one of the crucial divisive elements in terms of these two countries of antiquity. When considering the differing art of the two cultures, history has been more favorable to the Greek work of antiquity than the Roman. While Roman art tended towards imitation and decoration, Greek art – influenced by the philosophical writings of Plato – attempted to capture ideal artistic forms. Art historians have documented distinct phases of Greek artistry, including the Mycenaean and Hellenistic periods; conversely Roman art of antiquity is generally characterized through generic conventions, notably the fresco and mosaic formats (Canfora 1996). Within this art one may further contend that there are deeper elements or conventions of these rulers and the way these perspectives took hold in the societies they so profoundly impacted. In these regards, it appears that while Greek culture through Pericles embraced the concept of intellectual knowledge and the examined life, the Caesarian vision was one of instinctual and emotional ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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