Calder Classics

Ancient Paestum: The Grandeur of the Gods

Pompeii 2014Calder ClassicsComment

By Aulden Foltz, Pompeii '14

The best way to capture this moment is with a selfie.

The best way to capture this moment is with a selfie.

Unlike Pompeii or Herculaneum, Paestum did not give me a sense of how the Greeks or Romans lived day-to-day, but rather gave me a sense of the grandeur. Here were beautiful Greek temples and a relatively small Greek town. Next to these temples was a Roman forum, built almost as a complement to the temples. We might not have seen the layout of the typical Greek agora or the format of a Greek household, and the Roman forum might not have been as well preserved as those in Herculaneum or Pompeii, but we saw both cultures together. We saw, in a sense, the transition. We saw one of those situations in which the Romans came across Greek culture and were so amazed that they decided to re-purpose the Greek temples (and with it the Greek gods, architecture, etc.) in a way that would “Romanize” these traditional Greek features. When I visited, I was not only amazed at the same Greek temples that amazed the Romans, but got to see what the Romans did with their amazement! 

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