Sheramy Bundrick, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Art History, College of Arts and Sciences
Thomas S Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Government and International Affairs Director & University Honors Program Director
Judithanna Scourfield MacLauchlan, Ph.DAssociate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Throughout the ages, cultures have collected and created wonders that draw the eyes and attention of the world and its diverse population. With the accumulation of wealth and power, it seems inevitable that a nation would seek to become the focus of that attention and proudly proclaim itself at the center of a collection of values and traits that we can only refer to as "Civilization." Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is the ancient city of Rome - the home of arguably the most skilled and calculated culture in the arena of politics and power. Through the use of monumental structures, rut and ingenuity, the Romans were able to perfect visual propaganda so that the viewer - regruÂ·dless of which corner of the empire they hailed from - could not mistake the meaning. They accomplished tllis through the skillful use of symbolism that has since become universally synonymous with dominance and the right to rule. For our purposes, I have labeled this medium as political art- an art form geared towards informing the viewer of political goals, aspirations and accomplishments while at the same time inspiring awe and a feeling of formidability. This artistic expression, embedded into the collective memories of millions, is so effective that it comes as no surprise that centuries later, an young but ambitious nation would take the genius of the Romans and make it their own.
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Peters, Evelyn, "Creating National Identity: Art and Power in Ancient Rome and Washington D.C." (2009). USFSP Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate). 14.