Rome vs. Greece Which of the city-states do you think was the better civilization? There are many difference and similarities between these city-states. Both are the most honorable ancient cultures in Western culture. Greece and Rome had fought many battles, but those battles only made them stronger. Both had their own ways of life and political views as a civilization, and these ways varied incomparably. While Greece had many artistic achievements, Rome focused on creating and improving a unified empire. Therefore, both have different ways of making their civilization remembered by the people of today.
The first difference in Roman and Greek civilization is their geographical features. Rome had a better chance to unify its people because of its location. Rome is located at the center of the Italian peninsula. It was easier for Rome to keep control of its neighboring areas. Rome gained control over the areas surrounding the Italian peninsula by conquest and by providing Roman citizenship for the conquered people. The residents of the Italian peninsula classified themselves as Romans during the Punic Wars, and then it led to the creation of the unified Roman Empire.
On the other hand, Greece’s mountainous terrain separated several Greek city-states from one another. The expansion of the Greek civilization all over the Mediterranean basin was just an increase of detached Greek city-states. The detachment of the Greek city-states prevented Greece from creating its own empire. The Athenians’ plan of creating an empire by the domination of the Delian League backfired, by leading to the Peloponnesian Wars. The Romans adopted many characteristics of the Greeks to its culture. However, there are still many differences between their cultures.
The Romans translated the names of the great gods of the Greeks into its language, so it will be more Roman-like. For example, the Roman name of the Greek god Poseidon is Neptune. The Romans’ religion is more solemn than the Greeks. The Romans believed that good or bad luck came from the gods, depending on what the gods were feeling. If they were happy it means good, however, if they were unhappy then bad luck would come to the Romans. The Romans worshipped Jupiter Optimus Maximus. They got the idea of wearing togas from the Greeks too.
During the Roman Republic, the citizens started wearing togas. Another difference is the Romans’ art. Their artworks are more realistic than the Greeks. The Romans’ human sculptures look like real people. They used marbles to sculpt public officials’ portraits. Their arts are usually use for political propaganda. The Romans treated women way better than the Greeks. Women had a little freedom during the Roman Republic. They could leave the house, go shopping or visit a temple, and talk to their neighbors without the need of their husbands’ permission.
As time went on during the Roman Empire, the women were allowed to own property, run business, inherit wills, and more. However, the Greeks are very different from the Romans. In Greek mythology; there are 12 main gods. Some of the gods that belong to the 12 Olympians are Zeus, Poseidon, and Hera. In Greek mythology there are a lot of monsters. Minotaurs, centaurs, and chimera (a hybrid animal) are significant Greek monsters. There are two types of hybrid monsters, a hybrid of animals and a hybrid of people. Greek arts are idealistic, whereas the Romans are realistic.
Greek arts are usually about the exploration of nature and philosophy. They portray the human bodies. They are perfectionists. Their architectural buildings are measured mathematically. Examples of the architectural building that used mathematical methods are the Parthenon and the Temple of Hera. Women in Greece, excluding Sparta, had no rights. They were treated as their husbands’ property Their husbands need to be aware of where they are and what they are doing. In order for the women to go out or talk to their visitors, they need their husbands’ consent. This treatment of women did not change as time went on.
Other differences between the Greeks and the Romans are their advancements in science and technology. Romans were great engineers and builders. They built many bridges, roads, and other structures. Their engineering is influenced by the Etruscans. To maintain their bridges solid and long-lasting, they used Etruscans’ keystone arch. It was hard for them to keep their bridges stable, so they focused on improving the creation of cement. They use pozzolana concrete for the bridges’ piers, so the sand that is brought by the river currents will not ruin the base of the bridges.
They were the first people who used concrete for building structures. Roads built by the Romans also helped them to unify their empire. All of the roads that they built lead to Rome. The creation of the aqueducts was one of the best inventions of the Romans. The aqueducts carry and distribute the water throughout the city of Rome. Aside from Roman technologies, the Romans also had advancements in science. Galen, who wrote a medical textbook during the Roman Empire, was the fist in identifying many symptoms and treatments for an illness.
His books were used as a guide in medicine for at least a thousand year. On the other hand, some of Greece’s invention those were reinvented until the 20th century includes analog computers, vending machines, and showers. The analog computer was invented in 150 B. C. , but it was only use as a calculator, calendar, and as a GPS for navigation. The vending machine was used for holy water refill by inserting a coin. In 400 B. C. , the Greeks invented indoor showers. It was used in the gymnasium at Pergamum for female and male athletes to use.
The Greeks also have science advancements. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, opened The Lyceum. The Lyceum is a school where he observed how things come to live. He came up a procedure for debating according to rules of logic. The scientific method we use today is based on Aristotle’s works and discoveries. Another person that contributed in Greek’s science is Hippocrates. Hippocrates is a Greek physician. He also described disease symptoms like Galen of Rome. He examined the human body to find out more about the illness the body consist.
Hippocrates is well-known as “the father of modern medicine. ” He also built a medical school on the island of Cos, Greece, where he was born. After his books about his medical teachings were published for Alexandria library, the people stopped believing that diseases and illnesses came from the gods as punishments; they learned that illness had a physical and rational explanation. His Hippocratic Oath had a great influence on the doctors today; they promise to be honest, to preserve life, and to keep information about their patients private.
When choosing a civilization, it is hard because all of the civilizations does not have everything you want especially during this time period. The Romans and the Greeks are both great civilizations that have been growing over time. Both civilizations have success and failures of their own. The Romans had their outstanding legionary armies that helped them conquer many lands and put their civilizations to its height, but they also had a downfall when the generals decided to be greedy and fought each other for the thrown.
Greece was also successful during the Athenian democracy because it brought many male citizens together, and they fought to protect their government. However, the opposing city-sate, which is Sparta, agreed changing their government to traditional dictatorship. Then it led to battle, but Athenians couldn’t defeat the Spartans, so it led to the fall of the Greek democracy. On the bright side, both civilizations found ways to resolve their problems. Rome and Greece are well-known because of their great achievements, and both are great influence on the lives of the people today.
Standard: 9SS3: Students examine the antecedents, origins, development and achievements of the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome from 2000 B. C. E. to 500 C. E. 9Ec. 5: Compare works that express a universal theme and provide evidence to support the views expressed in each work. 9E2a. 5: Use writing to formulate clear research questions and to compile information from primary and secondary print or Internet sources. 9E2a. 6: Develop the main ideas within the body of the composition through supporting evidence, commonly held beliefs, hypotheses, and definitions.