Comparing and Contrasting Greece and Rome

Monotheism, Deity, Ancient Greece

The Roman and Greek societies were both very influential and innovative. Furthermore, the two civilizations lasted for many centuries and expanded greatly. Thus, the Roman and Greek societies had various differences and similarities along the lines of religion, government and intellectual achievements. Religion-wise, Rome had borrowed Greek’s polytheistic religion, only altering deities’ names. On the government front, Rome combined the governments of several Greek city-states and made a republic. Lastly, Rome achieved many architectural feats, especially its aqueducts, due to Grecian intellectual innovation in development of arches. The Greek & Roman civilizations both had strong roots in religion. Greece, being the predecessor of the Roman society, undoubtedly influenced Roman religion. In fact, the Ancient Roman religion was nearly identical to Greece’s polytheistic religion, except the names of the deities were different. For example, Zeus, the Grecian god of sky and thunder, was the equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter. The Roman Empire’s tireless expansion, however, lead to the introduction of new religions through cultural diffusion. Conquering Judea revealed the religion of Judaism to the Romans, and later, through a chain of events, the religion of Christianity was established within the Empire. Christianity was a monotheistic religion and it challenged Rome’s polytheistic religion and Rome’s government, since numerous deities were symbols of state. It is evident that Rome, in the beginning, used Greece’s religion, but through the passage of time, had three different religions, two of which still prosper today.

In the aspect of government, Rome combined the most relevant features of the monarchy, aristocracy and democracy to form a new form of government: the republic. In Ancient Greece, city-states implemented the aforementioned forms of government, but not at once. For example, Athens was a democracy while Sparta was an oligarchy, and Mycenae...
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