Roman Greece

Topics: Roman Empire, Greeks, Byzantine Empire Pages: 3 (1004 words) Published: June 30, 2013
Roman Greece is the period of Greek history (of Greece proper; as opposed to the other centers of Hellenism in the Roman world) following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by the Emperor Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire (as Nova Roma, laterConstantinople) in 330 AD. The Greek peninsula came under Roman rule in 146 BC, Macedonia being a Roman province, while southern Greece came under the surveillance of Macedonia's praefect. However, some Greekpoleis managed to maintain a partial independence and avoid taxation. The Aegean islands were added to this territory in 133 BC. Athens and other Greek cities revolted in 88 BC, and the peninsula was crushed by the Roman general Sulla. The Roman civil wars devastated the land even further, until Augustus organized the peninsula as the province of Achaea in 27 BC. Greece was the key eastern province of the Roman Empire, as the Roman culture had long been in fact Greco-Roman. The Greek language served as a lingua franca in the East and in Italy, and many Greek intellectuals such as Galen would perform most of their work in Rome. Several emperors contributed new buildings to Greek cities, especially in the Athenian agora, where the Agrippeia of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the Library of Titus Flavius Pantaenus, and theTower of the Winds, among others, were built. Life in Greece continued under the Roman Empire much the same as it had previously. Roman culture was highly influenced by the Greeks; asHorace said, Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit. (Translation: Captive Greece captured her rude conqueror.) The epics of Homer inspired the Aeneid of Virgil, and authors such as Seneca the younger wrote using Greek styles. The Roman nobles who regarded the Greeks as backwards and petty, were the main political opponents of Roman heroes such as Scipio Africanus, who tended to study philosophy and regard...


References: 1. ^ a b c Rothaus, p. 10. "The question of the continuity of civic institutions and the nature of the polis in the late antique and early Byzantine world have become a vexed question, for a variety of reasons. Students of this subject continue to contend with scholars of earlier periods who adhere to a much-outdated vision of late antiquity as a decadent decline into impoverished fragmentation. The cities of late-antique Greece displayed a marked degree of continuity. Scenarios of barbarian destruction, civic decay, and manorialization simply do not fit. In fact, the city as an institution appears to have prospered in Greece during this period. It was not until the end of the 6th century (and maybe not even then) that the dissolution of the city became a problem in Greece. If the early sixth century Syndekmos of Hierokles is taken at face value, late-antique Greece was highly urbanized and contained approximately eighty cities. This extreme prosperity is born out by recent archaeological surveys in the Aegean. For late-antique Greece, a paradigm of prosperity and transformation is more accurate and useful than a paradigm of decline and fall."
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