The Romans were able to define a new frontier of architectural precedence, with structures literally taking on new heights with the use of concrete and the voussoir arch. Many of these structures were dedicated by rulers in attempts to win favor with the public.
In the early eras of Roman art, emperors wished to employ the grandeur of Grecian works into their own. Tastes swing back-and-forth, from the elegant refinement of the Classical period to the veristic realism of the Hellenistic era.
As political turmoil began to uproot the empire, rulers began to have an increasingly difficult time of holding onto power. Therefore, the works produced in these times take on a considerably more propagandistic quality—with figures appearing less “beautiful” but more easily recognizable, with squatter forms and harsher features.