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What are the differences between Roman and Greek temples?

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Greek and Roman temples share many architectural similarities due to the influence of the Hellenic world on Roman culture. Greece colonized southern Italy between the 8th and 5th centuries BCE, well before Roman occupation. Consequently, southern Italy was called Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) by most Romans and offered a source of Hellenic influence even before Greece was officially conquered by the Romans in 31 BCE.

One defining feature of Greek temples was their columns, which were split into three major categories during the classical and Hellenistic periods. These three categories were Doric (plain capitals), Ionic (rounded, scroll-like capitals), and Corinthian (decorative capitals), originating in Doris (and the wider Peloponnese), Ionia, and Corinth, respectively.

The main elements of Roman temples that separate them from their Greek counterparts are architectural innovations, like the invention of concrete that allowed for the creations of domes and arches, and their location. While Greek temples were dominantly erected at a holy site considered sacred to the particular deity, Roman temples were often constructed in popular public places like the Roman Forum.

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