The purpose of this research is to discuss Greek and Roman houses according to their individual components and the artistic vision they reflect and to compare the two. Since architecture is not an art which arises from a vacuum but generally reflects the needs and philosophic level of its time, mention will be made of the social, political, economic and philosophical aspects of the architecture in question.
The foundation of the classical Greek building, whether
temple, amphitheater or house rested on the foundations, grounded
in the Greek system of thought, of order, proportion and space.
In determining the order of Greek architecture, we may refer to its congruity with the Greek city-state and the needs of its citizens. In Greek urban life, Greek architecture was: "first and foremost, the expression of a community and, more, especially in its early stages, of the basic ties assuring unity." Thus, Greek architecture of the fifth' and sixth centuries B.C. was primarily reflective of the group life of the polis, rather than individual needs. Administrative buildings devoted to government and commercial needs, including agoras, defensive walls, markets and porticoes, predominate as do religious edifices. Housing of this time, even for the prosperous and prominent citizens of the polis, is simple, even austere, and not the subject of artistic emphasis.
With the rise of imperialism in the Greek city-stat r, in the third and fourth centuries B.C., the fundamental of Greek life changed. The formerly democratic institutions and open immigration policies began to rigidify into quasi-imperial institutions. Personal and corporate wealth increased as did contacts with foreign countries, and these factors were reflected in the increasing preoccupation with private architecture, including houses and funerary needs. These centuries, while witnessing the development of prestigious architectural developments in areas coloni...