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Ancient Civilizations

By alexanax Jul 31, 2013 1382 Words
Ancient Civilizations sculpted the way that countries live and function currently. Without their drudgery to make discoveries about life, who knows what kind of system we would be living in today. Interestingly, all civilizations had differences of culture and way of life, just like today. Let's explore India and Rome in the time of their ancient civilization, ranging from 350 BC to AD 600.  There's several variations of art, food and clothing between the two during that time, but also certain instances where similarities occur. This paper will include an exploration of the arts, food, religion, clothing and discuss where there are differences and similarities.

If you think about it, there was a lack of communication/influence from other parts of the world, therefore the ancient arts were strong and one of a kind. The Romans were known for having a beautiful, intricate style of their own. Statues and Architecture were wildly appreciated, even today the perplexing detail is highly admired. Graffiti was also a common form of art, usually carved into stone, and can usually still be uncovered all over Rome today. Graffiti however wasn't a scandal, or even considered vandalism in its time. it was another form of art to them used to express love and hatred. (Explore Italian Culture) Often, the art was of words, as opposed to images. Ancient India also had a very unique and personal form of artistic style with a robust tribal influence. The environment, and their religion took a big standing in the the basis of their art. The most common practiced forms they indulged in included sculpting, henna, paintings and engravements. Artifacts have been discovered by archeologist as well as historians that tell a lot about the lifestyle. Their art can tell a lot about them. A notable form of Art that still exists in India today is in the wall paintings of Ajanta and Bagh (I Love India; Ancient Indian Art).

Another form of art that Romans explored, was music. Music was an important part of the ancient Roman's life. Their main influence was from greek music, however, not religious like most greek music is. It is said that the romans were not particularly creative or original when it came to things such as music. Despite, it was well enjoyed. (Roman Colosseum; Roman Music). India however, on the other spectrum seemed to have a very unique music style. They used musical instruments, for example the seven-holed flute as well as various stringed instruments. Some of them have been recovered by archeologists. Hindu mythology states that every god and goddess has it's own instrument that it's associated to (Headline India; Ancient Indian Music).

Ancient eating habits seem to be comparable to what we deem as a healthy life-style today (i.e. no processing or additives, food from the earth). That being said, Romans had very different eating habits than what we've acquired today in the way of meal organization. Breakfast was called jentaculum, and took place in the master's bedroom. Jentaculum usually consisted of a slice of bread or wheat pancake, usually consumed with honey or dates along with wine. Lunch was called Prandium. This was eaten at about 11 am and was a very small meal that was usually cheese, bread and possibly meat. However, like today, the main meal of the day was Cena. Romans ate this in the early evening or late afternoon. Without guests, cena would last around an hour, however with guests it could take up to four hours. Un-named, the romans usually ate a light meal right before bed, usually containing bread and fruit. They typically ate very healthful, from what nature made readily available, usually consisting of wheat and fruit. Meat, for them, was an occasional dish. (Listverse; Fascinating Facts #5; Frater) In India, they ate healthful foods found in their surroundings. Chickpeas, lentils, and breads were standard. Many spices that we use and love today have been cultivated from ancient India, because they were creative in the way of cuisine to enhance the flavors of their meals. (Unexplainable; Ancient Inidian Facts: Food; Williams). Meat was used occasionally and when served, would typically be sheep, cow or chicken. A very common dish was soup or flatbread names chapatis (I Love India; Ancient Indian Food). 



Religious aspect of ancient life, I would say that they are the most influential and prominent understand of the time period. Romans are pretty universally known for having a very interesting and different religion that seems to be very free and open-minded. Romans have 'gods' as opposed to a single 'God' and romans can choose which gods to praise for different reasons. (Ancient East; Religion in Ancient Rome) Despite, there was an official state god names Sol Invictus which means, 'the unconquered sun'. Sol Invictus was created by the emperor Aurelian in 274 AD. There was a festival on December 25th to celebrate "the birthday of the unconquered sun.” The date was chosen because it was the date after the winter solstice. (Listverse Fascinating Facts #10; Frater) In contrast, India has a very religon-based, strict culture. and are very well known for it's spiritually and being a heavily religious part of the world. They have one 'God' that they worship in the religion called 'Hinduism' (although many religions practiced in India such as Buddhism, Jainism, etc.). Religion in India tends to be more of a life-style as opposed to just a set of rules to follow (History For Kids; Indian Religion).

Education systems also had their differences. Education was a big part of typical Romans life, and was taken seriously. The rich put even more faith into education, white the poor did not receive formal education but still was given the knowledge of how to read and write. Rich had private tutors or what today we would recognize as school, an education facility usually located as an extension of a shop. However these 'schools' were for boys only. Boys were scolded and beaten at any disruption of offense. They believed that would help the boy learn more efficiently if he feared being beaten. In certain schools, boys who were constantly causing trouble, were forced down by two slaves while his tutor would beat him with a leather whip. (History learning site; Roman Education) In India, there were a few different types of learning systems. Generally, school was more about learning things such as self-control, development of character, social skills, personality development, propagation of purity, and preservation of culture as well as knowledge. Education was also free at this time. I found no evidence that suggests women could not participate (Indian Net Zone; Education in Ancient India)

Conclusively, you can see that the ancient years were a very different time, from now and varying between countries, like India and Rome. I found the most valuable concept to be how they used what they had from the earth for their survival. Countries have grown from attributes anciently discovered to the civilizations that exist today. With communication, travel, and discovery, Rome and India are probably more alike today in the basics of life. However, it all started from their roots, progression with time will never take that away.

Bibliography:

"Ancient India Art." - Art in Ancient India, Ancient Art Form of India, Indian Ancient Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. .

"Ancient Indian Food." I Love India. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2012. .

"Ancient Roman Daily Life :Ten Ancient Rome Facts, Figures and Featuresyou Never Knew You Needed to Know." Ancient Roman Daily Life : Facts, Figures and Features. Explore Italian Culture, n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. .

Frater, Jamie. "Top 10 Fascinating Facts About The Romans." Listverse. Listverse, 16 Oct. 2009. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. .

Trueman, Chris. "Roman Education." Roman Education. History Learning Site, n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. .

Williama, Yonna. "Ancient Indian Facts: Food." Ancient Indian Facts: Food. Unexplainable Enterprises, 19 June 2008. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. .

"Indian Religion." Indian Religion. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. .

"Ancient Indian Music." Ancient Indian Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. .

"Religion in Ancient Rome." Religion in Ancient Rome. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. .

"Roman Music." Roman Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. .

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