Greek Influence on the Roman Empire

Topics: Ancient Rome, Roman Empire, Ancient Greece Pages: 9 (2941 words) Published: November 2, 2010
Classical Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean region and Europe. Greek culture influenced the development of Roman civilization because at first Rome absorbed ideas from Greek colonists in southern Italy, and they continued to borrow from Greek culture after they conquered Greece. Ancient Greece has had an enormous amount of impact on culture in the western world. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western civilization. Rome conquered the Greek empire and its civilization, but Greek culture conquered imperial Rome. Furthermore, the Romans willingly replaced the relatively primitive Etruscan and Latin cultures with the far more nuanced and rich Greek culture, while keeping some aspects of their civilization present. The Greeks provided architecture, systems of government, and the religion of Rome. The spread of Greek culture from the Romans throughout the extent of the Roman Empire caused the Romans to dominate the primitive Etruscan and Latin cultures with the far more superior and rich Greek culture. With the Greek influence, and the primal Etruscan and Latin influences present in these regions, the Romans became able to dominate the entire Mediterranean area, and develop into the largest empire during that era. Politics

After the Dark Ages, to around 900 BC, the Ancient Greeks had no official laws or punishments. Murders were settled by members of the victim's family, who would then go and kill the murderer. This often began endless blood feuds. It was not until the middle of the seventh century BC that the Greeks first began to establish official laws. Around 620 BC Draco, the lawgiver, wrote the first known written law of Ancient Greece.[1] Draco also created many different classes and types of laws as he was the lawgiver. He created the Tort Laws; consequences for when someone does harm to you or to your property, the Family Laws; laws that regulated the behavior of men and women, the Public Laws; dictated how public services were to be provided and how public functions should be conducted, and the Procedural Laws; guidelines that told judges how to use other laws.1 Some of these major aspects of Greek law are present in the features of Roman law as well. Roman law was only designated for Roman citizens, and was bonded to religion; with attributes of strict formalism, symbolism, and conservatism, similar to the primitive Greek style of law.[2] Roman law has a strict emphasis of religious ritual and worship, giving the sense that Roman law and style of government is rooted in the Etruscan religion, as well as Greek religion, because the Etruscans were strictly religious. Government

The government of Ancient Greece was divided up into various city-states, which caused the Greeks to have many different kinds of governments. For the most part, Greece began by having monarchies, then oligarchies, then tyrannies and then democracies, but at each period there were plenty of city-states using a different system, and there were many which never did become democracies or tyrannies at all. This is similar in Rome because they too started out as monarchies, but the Romans adapted to the size of their empire, and continued to stay as a monarchy in order to govern the vast empire.[3] In Rome, The Roman Emperor was portrayed as a high citizen and the Senate gained legislative power and all legal authority previously held by the popular assemblies. However, the rule of the emperors became increasingly autocratic, and the Senate was reduced to an advisory body appointed by the emperor. The Empire did not inherit a set bureaucracy from the Republic, since the Republic did not have any permanent governmental structures apart from the Senate. The Emperor appointed assistants and advisers, but the state lacked many institutions, such as a...
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