Samuel R. Krupski / World History CP with Mr. Masterson / Period #7 - Q2 / January, 2010

Rome and the Roots of Western Civilization

Key Vocabulary/Words:
  • Pompeii - a city that in 79 A.D. a mountain called Mount Vesuvious erupted covering it in burning, thick layers of ash and killing 2,000 civilians.
  • Aqueduct(s) - designed by Roman engineers to bring water into cities and towns.
  • Greco-Roman culture - The mixing of elements of Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman culture; the cultural combination at that time.


Key People:
  • Virgil - a popular poet back then.
  • Tacitus - a Roman historian.


The Legacy of Greco-Roman Civilization

- In the second century, Rome conquered Greece and picked up ideas from the thought-provoking Greeks and also admiring their structures.
- Educated (and usually wealthier) people learned and practiced the Greek language, then.
- Referred to as a “classical civilization.”


Roman Fine Arts

- Romans obtained the skillful art of sculpture from the Greek people.
- Roman sculptures often conveyed stories of love, war, etc.
- The Romans also created brilliant mosaic patterns by using hundreds of colored tiles molded together to create a picture or scene.
- Romans also had massive, bright structures called frescoes.
- Numerous famous and/or well-known artwork was found all over Pompeii.


Learning and Literature

- Stoicism, which was adopted by the famous mathematician Zeno, was quite popular.
- Stoicism encouraged morals, virtue, duty, moderation, and even edurance.
- Roman writers promoted these themes and ideas in their own interpretation.
- Virgil spent an entire ten years writing Aenid.
- Tacitus was also very notorious because he presented factual information that was correct. He felt that the Romans had lacked these qualities.


The Legacy of Rome

The Latin Language

- Latin was developed into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian.
- Surprisingly, more than ½ of the English language has Latin roots and derivatives.


Master Buildings

- Many features went into building the miraculous Colosseum; like the arch, the dome, and the curved concrete fixtures that make this building so famous.
- Along with the Colosseum, arches also provided for the aqueducts at that time.


Roman System of Laws

- The most crucial points of the Roman laws were as follows:
  • 1. All persons had the right to equal treatment under the law.
  • 2. A person was considered innocent until proven guilty.
  • 3. The burden of proof rested with the accuser rather than the accused.
  • 4. A person should be punished only for actions, not thoughts.
  • 5. Any law that seemed unreasonable or grossly unfair could be set aside.