Ancient Roman Civilization

Ancient Roman civilization is one of the most cherished chapters in the book of history. Its depth and vastness is unmatched. Read on to learn more about the ancient Roman society, the culture and way of life.
| Monday, November 08, 2010

The Roman civilization is considered to be the most leading among all due to its wide spread popularity and acceptance around the world. The influence of the Roman Civilization can be felt even in the modern times in the fields of law, art, battles, language and architecture etc.

Features of the Roman Civilization

  • The Italian peninsula was the legendary base where the great civilization rose to power.
  • Rome derived its name from Romulus (who along with his twin brother Remus is regarded as the founder of Rome). Romulus is said to have killed Remus in a fight to construct their cities.
  • Rome was born on the Palatine hill as a small community. Gradually the community began to spread into the nearby hills and gave birth to the city of Rome.
  • Latin language became popular world over in the times of the Roman civilization as the various facts about this culture were discovered in this language.
  • The Romans enriched their culture with that of the Etruscans (people from ancient Tuscany and Umbria) like gladiator wars and chariot races etc.

Roman Civilization - from Monarchy to Oligarchy to Autocracy

It all started as a miniscule community and rose into a large empire. The remarkable civilization of ancient Rome has witnesses the following realms:

  • Monarchy - the kind of government in which all political decisions are made by a single leader.
  • Oligarchy - the kind of government in which the political powers are conferred upon a societal group on the basis of their family status and prosperity.
  • Autocracy - this kind of government is more or less synonymous to monarchy. In this unlimited authorities are bestowed over the ruler.

The massive spread of the civilization was into Europe, Middle East and some parts of Africa. The acceptance of the Roman culture among people was either by force or own will.

Class Discrimination - A Very Distinct Feature of the Roman Civilization

The three classes were as below:

  • Servi - These were the slaves who lived a hard life with laborious jobs. They were the basic economy builders being ruled by the top classes.
  • Liberti - These were slaves who were liberated and given Roman citizenship and were known as freedmen. The freedom was granted to the slave if he was highly educated or had delivered an exceptionally good service for long. The slave could also buy his freedom by paying the desired amount or possessions to the owner.
  • Cives - These were the topmost class who were considered to be free-born. There were divisions within this class as well like the patricians (having one of the 100 patriarchs as their ancestors who founded Rome) and the plebeians (who became politically strong with their wealth).

Ancient Rome - Technologically Advanced

  • The technological mastery can be traced on the basis of the outstandingly constructed structures like monuments, roads, bridges and theatres. The classic artisans secretly guarded their technological discoveries from each other.
  • The transport network was unbeatable during the ancient Roman civilization wherein posts were constructed to provide refreshments to the weary travelers.
  • The agricultural lands, cities and industries were well supplied with water through pipes of excellent architecture.

Historical Personalities of Ancient Rome

  • Julius Caesar
  • Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus
  • Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus
  • Edward Gibbon
  • Barbara M. Levick
  • Barthold Georg Niebuhr
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