painting styles show Greek influences, and surviving examples are primarily
frescoes used to adorn the walls and ceilings of country villas, though Roman
literature includes mentions of paintings on wood, ivory, and other materials.
Several examples of Roman painting have been found at Pompeii, and from these
art historians divide the history of Roman painting into four periods. The
first style of Roman painting was practiced from the early 2nd century BCE to
the early- or mid-1st century BCE. It was mainly composed of imitations of
marble and masonry, though sometimes including depictions of mythological
second style of Roman painting began during the early 1st century BCE, and
attempted to depict realistically three-dimensional architectural features and
landscapes. The third style occurred during the reign of Augustus (27 BCE – 14
CE), and rejected the realism of the second style in favor of simple
ornamentation. A small architectural scene, landscape, or abstract design was
placed in the center with a monochrome background. The fourth style, which
began in the 1st century CE, depicted scenes from mythology, while retaining
architectural details and abstract patterns.
Portrait sculpture during the period 1st century BCE utilized
youthful and classical proportions, evolving later into a mixture of realism
and idealism. During the Antonine and Severan periods, ornate hair and
bearding, with deep cutting and drilling, became popular. Advancements were
also made in relief sculptures, usually depicting Roman victories.
graffiti, brothels, paintings, and sculptures found in Pompeii and Herculaneum
suggest that the Romans had a sex-saturated culture.
Latin literature was, from its start, influenced heavily by
Greek authors. Some of the earliest extant works are of historical epics
telling the early military history of Rome. As the Republic expanded, authors
began to produce poetry, comedy, history, and tragedy.
music was largely based on Greek music, and played an important part in many
aspects of Roman life. In the Roman military, musical instruments such as the tuba
(a long trumpet) or the cornu (similar to a French horn) were used to
give various commands, while the bucina (possibly a trumpet or horn) and
the lituus (probably an elongated J-shaped instrument), were used in
ceremonial capacities. Music was used in the amphitheaters between fights and
in the odea, and in these settings is known to have featured the cornu
and the hydraulis (a type of water organ).
Most religious rituals featured musical performances, with tibiae
(double pipes) at sacrifices, cymbals and Tambourines at orgiastic cults, and
rattles and hymns across the spectrum. Some music historians believe that music
was used at almost all public ceremonies. Music historians are not certain if
Roman musicians made a significant contribution to the theory or practice of