"Are We Rome?" Part III: Architecture

Posted by – July 23, 2007

American architecture isn’t even subtle in saying that we’re like Rome.

The White House

The Temple of Hercules Victor in Rome

The Washington Monument in DC (left) and Trajan’s Column in Rome (right)

U.S. Supreme Court Building

Roman Temple of idolatry, built 19-16 BC. Still standing in Southern France.

The Colosseum in Rome

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas

US Capitol building, prior to 1850s expansion

Jefferson Memorial

University of Virginia Rotunda, designed by Thomas Jefferson himself

Antoine Desgodetz’ engraving of the Pantheon in Rome

Roman fasces, symbolizing many rods becoming strong through unity, is the root of the word fascist, and was used heavily by Mussolini.

The fasces on the U.S. mercury dime.

Roman eagle, was Rome’s main symbol and sat atop Imperial flagpoles in battle (left)
U.S. mint silver coin (right)

In the newly renovated West Wing press room, notice the Roman column and eagle atop the flag.

I don’t mean to demonize Rome, the Founding Fathers wanted to reference the ideal Republic, the good side of Rome; Cicero and Archimedes and all that.

But I wonder how much the Founders predicted we, like Rome, would become an Empire?


Me, victorious at new federal courthouse in Montgomery (notice the Roman eagle)


  • Eliyahu

    The fasces and the temple-like building structure of American buildings is quite fascinating ~~ It’s as if we are building shrines to the state. Fascism often equivocates religion and the state ~~ it is basically state worship and blind patriotism—which is scary. Aren’t the youths of America essentially tought to be blindly patriotic? Another thing, is the “Nation Under G-d” thing—which from that—it could easily be suggested the the US is not only “Under G-d,” but is in fact, directed by G-d—which would lead to “state Worship” and Fascism, and a “we can’t be wrong” kind of policy (however, I don’t think that the “Nation Under G-d” is meant to be taken as such ~~ I’m just saying that it could happen).

  • bridgett

    We became an empire before the ink was dry on the Constitution. What else do you call engrossing the so-called Northwest Territory (land that absolutely was occupied by the rightful owners) and moving your armies onto the land to encourage the resettlement of people willing to fight the legitimate owners to the death? By any measure, that’s empire.

    I’m enjoying this series.