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Government and Society: Greek vs. Roman

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Government and Society: Greek vs. Roman

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  • June 2008
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Greek vs. Roman Government

The Ancient Greeks and Romans are two of the most influential civilizations in history. Their contributions in art, architecture, philosophy, and, warfare are still a major part of today’s society. Perhaps the most important part of these great civilizations’ history is their unique forms of government. The Roman Republic, as well as, the infamous Greek Democracy are both similar and different in a number of ways. They are alike in the way that they managed the people and their citizens had many of the same civil rights. However, the two civilizations had different was of sharing power among their leaders. Greece was a direct democracy in which almost all citizens took part in, while Rome was a republic. The styles of governing these two empires utilized and built continue to have an affect on our world today.

The Roman Republic was a form of government that included two major players. The Senate and the Assembly made up the backbone this type of rule. The Roman Senate was a group of people, often of noble birth, very similar to our present day Congress. This governing body helped to form many of the Roman laws and elected representatives to preside over different areas or tasks. Under the watchful eye of the emperor, these men essentially controlled everything that went on in Rome and its empire. The second part of the Republic was a pretty much all-inclusive group simply called the people. This group consisted of all free men who were citizens of Rome. The People group was made up of the Assembly, which had a hand in the making of laws and election of magistrates. The Assembly had great judicial power. It was somewhat like our court system today with judges and even a jury. Although there are many similarities between our present day government and the Roman Republic it lacked the efficiency of the Greek Democracy. Rome was still ruled by a monarchy and the nobles, which ultimately makes it the inferior form.

The Greeks were...