A Short Summary of the Ancient Greek and Roman Contributions to Western Society

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This essay will discuss the contributions of the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks to Western society, the focus will be on the political systems, laws and architecture.

In Greece there were many city states, because the terrain favoured such governance, the city states emphasised the knowledge of man in government and deemphasised the role of religious beliefs. Athens was a city state most famous for its implementation of direct democracy. This type of democracy saw the citizens of Athens directly involved in the political process, not just an elected representative. While in ancient Rome they implemented a mixture of democracy and a republic; in the sense that there was a central citizen elected House of Representatives known as the Senate who obeyed the overall rule of the Emperor.

Greek law was refined by Solon the Reformer who is also attributed with making justice more democracy -friendly and making access to the court systems more reachable to the citizens. The leaders of the Roman republic wrote a list of laws which were organised into twelve sections, known as “The Twelve Tables”, these laws were written down and displayed in public places, so that the public was aware of the laws and understood what they entailed.

The Greeks used three main architectural systems, mainly seen in pillars, called orders; each order had a distinct style. The three orders are Doric, a very plain style; Ionic, which was thinner and more elegant; and Corinthian, this style was very elaborate. The Romans bought new ideas to architecture, by using arches, baked bricks and cement or concrete. This aided in the building of Rome’s aqueducts, for example.

Thus in light of the facts given, ancient Rome contributed more too western culture due to the improvements and innovations they made on the Greek traditions.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Perry, M. 2013, Western Civilisation: a Brief History, 10th edition, United States of America, Wadsworth Cengage Learning
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