Greek and Roman architecture have long been connected due to the similarities between the temples and other structures that two civilizations created. Roman architecture was highly influenced by Greece but the Romans also diverged to create a separate identity.

Columns

Both cultures used three different columns in temple building. The Doric is thick and with very little decoration. The Ionic is a thinner slightly more ornate column. The Corinthian style is a highly ornate column that is decorated at both the top and bottom with intricate designs and artwork.

Column Preferences

The Greeks tended to favor the less ornate Doric column in many of its temples. The Parthenon dedicated to the Goddess Athena is an example of the Doric columns. Roman architecture preferred the Corinthian column and can be seen in the Pantheon.

Materials

The materials used to construct temples were very different for Greek and Roman architecture. The Greeks used marble and granite to construct its temples. The Romans, who extensively used the arch in design, were able to use lessor materials in building temples. While columns and ornate pieces of a building were in marble, the building itself would be constructed of brick and concrete.

The Arch

Greeks tended to support the roof of their buildings with a post-and-lintel system. Two beams holds up a third, horizontal beam. The Romans perfected the use of the arch, which added decorative effects and was much stronger than the traditional post-and-lintel system. The arch was important to the Roman aqueducts that supplied water to Rome over long distances.