The Greek and Roman Influence over Modern America

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Roman Republic Pages: 4 (1416 words) Published: February 7, 2013
The Greek and Roman Influence over Modern America
The Greeks and the Romans were among the most influential societies in the history of the world. Evidence of Greek or Roman influence can be found in almost every culture or country that has ever existed. Though both cultures were different in practice and incredibly competitive with one another, their politics and their beliefs set the stage for future civilizations, including those of the modern world. In particular, the values and practices of Greek and Roman citizenship and politics, more than any other cultures, influences American policies today in terms of values, government, and self-image.

The Greek civilization was one of the first organized and well-structured societies in history. The Greeks viewed themselves as great and superior to all those that were not of their culture. They thought that most of the outside world consisted of barbarians and, although under the law of Xenia, they were kind and generous to outsiders, they thought of themselves as the more intelligent individuals. Thus, the title and status of being Greek was exceedingly important and those who defied the ways of the Greeks were not considered to be loyal and were often rejected in society. The Athenians, especially, encouraged the involvement of their citizens in political life. In fact, those who refused to participate in political life were labeled as Idiotes, which simply means someone who only pursues one’s own interest and does not contribute to society. These Idiotes were ostracized for their unpatriotic practices, because Greeks wanted their citizens to display a love to their country above all others. Greeks also valued reason and rationality and enjoyed philosophical views, they sought after a definition of everything and believed in the apollonian concept based upon reason, brightness, and intelligence. They even held large assemblies where they held discussions which led to decision making and the passage of laws....
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