Greatest Ancient Roman contribution(s) to the world

What is/are the greatest Roman contribution(s) to the modern world?

  • The Julian Calendar (including current names of the months)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • The Roman alphabet (the world's most widespread writing system)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Latin language and descendants + influence on other European languages

    Votes: 3 100.0%
  • The Roman legal system (basis of many European legal system to this day)

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • The Republic & Senate (inspiration for modern democracies)

    Votes: 3 100.0%
  • Architectural styles (arches & columns, domes, sculptures, frescoes, mosaics...)

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • Aqueducts and viaducts (the world's first bridges to cross valleys)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Concrete/mortar/cement

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Efficient highway system (still followed today by modern roads)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Thermal baths, central heating and floor heating

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mass entertainment : stadiums & amphitheatres (ancestors of modern stadiums)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Festivals (Carnival, Christmas, etc. all have Roman origins)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The 3 course meal (starter, main dish, desert)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wine-making (creating a lasting tradition in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Romania...)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3
Too many to list...when considering how to spend the money from refunds on returned Christmas gifts, (you know...that hideous sweater or tie) I would recommend...The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization-Bryan Ward-Perkins...excellent read, and not too academic.

Aberdeen...is that kind of rudeness really necessary? It was a long time ago, you know...

And you're talking about different levels of civilization...
http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Acy-Romance-rec.jpg
http://vimeo.com/32038695

Then there's literacy, an essential requirement of civilization, and I could go on, but I won't...it's o.k...every group has its time in the sun, and every group gets eclipsed...look what happened to the great British Empire and what is continuing to happen to Britain...it's wise to keep that in mind and take the long view of history...actually, perhaps we should all consider learning Chinese. :)

I don't think modern Italians should feel as if their nationality is being slighted and get all Spanish about it when people criticize the ancient Romans because, culturally, the ancient Romans and modern Italians are completely different people. And comparing someone's imaginary version of imperial Rome and a Celtic village doesn't really tell us much about the level of development of the Latins versus the Celts. If we could compare Rome during the days of the early republic to a Celtic city like Lyon during that same time period, it's the Latins who would appear to be primitive, IMO. And yes, the Roman conquest of western Europe happened a long time ago, but we're still suffering the consequences. For example, the Roman empire made the rise of the christian religion possible, and that's a pretty big negative in my books. But I think we'll have to agree to disagree about this subject. I still believe that the greatest achievement that Romans can legitimately claim as their own is the invention of concrete because everything else they either borrowed from other people or were able to do only because of the wealth that having an empire creates. The Roman Colosseum is the illegitimate stepchild of Greek and Etruscan architecture.
 
This coming from the guy that freaks out at the thought of the northern celts being barbarians lolll. The Gallic cities were like hay-stack villages compared to the grandeur of Rome. The early Romans burnt Jews and Christians alive, what on earth are you talking about Aberdeen? XD and the colosseum was a feat of roman engineering; had nothing to do with Etruscans or Greeks. The colosseum has nothing to do with the Parthenon Aberdeen lol
 
Hiberno-Scottish missions (monastaries/Irish-Scottish monks) were more involved with forced spreading of Christianity than anyone else; Romans/Constantine only declared (Milan Edict) the freedom of all religions including the Christians and granted them privileges no Roman was ever forcibly converted until Theodosius 391AD keeping in mind that Rome wasnt even the capital since 286AD; However no one ever forced the Goths to convert or Clovis to baptize or Charlemagne (with his Scottish/Irish/British monks) to move against the free and pagan Saxons and Frisians;

Italians are Anthropologically the spit image of the Romans and genetically Italians still show a very-strong Neolithic link/continuity (going even beyond the Romans); A Roman was never genetically sequenced but according to Coop & Ralph et al 2013 the Italian genome wasnt greatly altered in the last 2500 years (i.e. 500 BC Roman Republic);
 
Now THAT, is what I call an answer. : )
 
Hiberno-Scottish missions (monastaries/Irish-Scottish monks) were more involved with forced spreading of Christianity than anyone else; Romans/Constantine only declared (Milan Edict) the freedom of all religions including the Christians and granted them privileges no Roman was ever forcibly converted until Theodosius 391AD keeping in mind that Rome wasnt even the capital since 286AD; However no one ever forced the Goths to convert or Clovis to baptize or Charlemagne (with his Scottish/Irish/British monks) to move against the free and pagan Saxons and Frisians;

Italians are Anthropologically the spit image of the Romans and genetically Italians still show a very-strong Neolithic link/continuity (going even beyond the Romans); A Roman was never genetically sequenced but according to Coop & Ralph et al 2013 the Italian genome wasnt greatly altered in the last 2500 years (i.e. 500 BC Roman Republic);

Was there some part of "culturally" that you didn't understand? As for Romans suppressing Paganism and forcing people to convert to christianity, I suggest you consult some history books about the antics of Constantine and other Roman emperors, east and west. As for the glories of Roman architecture, bigger does not necessarily mean better than Greek creations such as the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. Too bad that was destroyed. Rome's most important invention was probably military bureaucracy.
 
"Oh but look the Greeks had this...."; that's just the way it is with Italians, everyone's always looking for a contender to the Prince but there is none !
 
I don't think modern Italians should feel as if their nationality is being slighted and get all Spanish about it when people criticize the ancient Romans because, culturally, the ancient Romans and modern Italians are completely different people. And comparing someone's imaginary version of imperial Rome and a Celtic village doesn't really tell us much about the level of development of the Latins versus the Celts. If we could compare Rome during the days of the early republic to a Celtic city like Lyon during that same time period, it's the Latins who would appear to be primitive, IMO. And yes, the Roman conquest of western Europe happened a long time ago, but we're still suffering the consequences. For example, the Roman empire made the rise of the christian religion possible, and that's a pretty big negative in my books. But I think we'll have to agree to disagree about this subject. I still believe that the greatest achievement that Romans can legitimately claim as their own is the invention of concrete because everything else they either borrowed from other people or were able to do only because of the wealth that having an empire creates. The Roman Colosseum is the illegitimate stepchild of Greek and Etruscan architecture.


Aberdeen...you really know how to hurt a girl's feelings!
disappointed.gif
Plus, I don't think our Spanish members are going to be happy about that comment if they see it. It's as well to only take on one ethnicity at a time. You know, watch your flank!
grin.png


Joking aside, I think your opinions might change if you did some more research on the topic. Even if they don't, more knowledge is always a good thing. The book I recommended, "The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization", by Bryan Ward-Perkins is a really good, short read. Or, if you're interested in that entire period and the interplay between the Greek and Roman civilizations, there's the excellent "The Classical World: An Epic History From Homer to Hadrian" by Robin Lane Fox.

Wait, I have the perfect one...it's a sort of tongue in cheek travelogue to ancient Rome modeled on the old Frommer, Europe on 5 Dollars a Day books. It's very factual and yet very funny. (and short) It's called "Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii A Day". There's a companion one that also might interest you called "Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual".

More precisely on point, perhaps, there's "Why We're All Romans: The Roman contribution to Western Civilization", by Carl J. Richard.

These books aren't written by Italians engaging in some sort of conspiracy, you know. Every one of them is written by Anglo scholars from Oxford, and Cambridge, and Yale, and Vanderbilt, and Trinity College, Dublin.
smile.gif
Of course, if there *are* any Italian readers here, I could also recommend pages of books and articles.

Or, if you prefer, there's this pretty good series on you tube. I've recommended it to a number of people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB732wBSTvw

I think it's important to take the long view of these matters, as I've said. Human beings struggle to create an advanced civilization, then it weakens either because of environmental factors, or internal issues, or both, and it is superseded by a less civilized, ascendent culture. If the ascendent group is wise, as the Romans were, they adopt the civiilization of the prior culture and try to improve it. If they are not wise, and try to burn to the ground that which they don't understand, or they are not sufficiently advanced enough to maintain the achievements of the past, then much is lost which must be painstakingly reacquired over centuries.

As to the relationship between Romans and Italians...it's complicated...and off topic really. As I pointed out before, an appreciation for the achievements of Rome, or Greece, for that matter, is not, in my experience, limited to people of Italian or Greek background. The world of the anthrofora is, of course, the exception to all normal rules.

@Nobody 1, nothing wrong with caves, my friend, human beings have been partial to them throughout most of their history as a species. However, pretty early on, the Liguri built numerous defensive structures throughout the area, and by the time that the Celti-Liguri came into contact with the Romans, they lived in villages much like those I posted from Gaul.
 
Okay, Angela, maybe my comments about the simple lifestyle of the early Latins is off point, and we should look at the Roman empire at its peak. I'll admit that the Romans were very talented at synthesizing the achievements of others. Perhaps their greatest achievement was the creation of an international community in western Europe. However, as someone who's descended from people who lived around the fringes of that empire, I can't help but wonder what different sort of world could have emerged if the Roman empire had never been created. But I can understand that an Italian would see things differently than I do.
 
Must be read fast and all together: he blew an Aber-fart out his Aber-rear; an Aber-ration; Aberdeen!!!
 
I would suggest that Romes greatest contribution to the modern world was the system of government, where not only were the rich and powerful represented in the Senate, but also the poor. Include in this Law, Taxation, infrastructure and military activity.
 
Another great answer.
 
Was there some part of "culturally" that you didn't understand? As for Romans suppressing Paganism and forcing people to convert to christianity, I suggest you consult some history books about the antics of Constantine and other Roman emperors, east and west. As for the glories of Roman architecture, bigger does not necessarily mean better than Greek creations such as the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. Too bad that was destroyed. Rome's most important invention was probably military bureaucracy.

Constantine (early 4th cen) ended the Tetrarchy and Theodosius (late 4th cen) made the ultimate split of West (Honorius) and East (Arcadius); The extreme anti-Pagan laws of Theodosius in 392AD were specifically targeted to the cities of Alexandria and Rome only and the other substantial anti-Pagan law was the banning of Blood-sacrifice in 391AD; These laws were for the Empire and Romans only and since the 212AD Constitutio Antoniniana all peoples of the Roman world (except slaves) were granted Roman Citizenship (thus all Romans); Eugenius (393AD) was the last Pagan hope but failed; Keeping in mind that important Generals of Theodosius were equally Pagan (like Flavius Zeno and Apollonius); Ultimately the West did not make it much long after the split and was a complete farce for all its existence neither Roman nor an Empire with the East becoming heavily and ultimately Hellenic again;
 
@Nobody 1, nothing wrong with caves, my friend, human beings have been partial to them throughout most of their history as a species. However, pretty early on, the Liguri built numerous defensive structures throughout the area, and by the time that the Celti-Liguri came into contact with the Romans, they lived in villages much like those I posted from Gaul.

Of course not;

Diodorus Siculus - V/XXXiX
we shall pass on to the Ligurians. The Ligurians inhabit a land which is stony and altogether wretched, and the life they live is, by reason of the toils and the continuous hardships they endure in their labour, a grievous one and unfortunate. For the land being thickly wooded, some of them fell the wood the whole day long, equipped with efficient and heavy axes, and others, whose task it is to prepare the ground, do in fact for the larger part quarry out rocks by reason of the exceeding stoniness of the land.....Since their labour entails such hardship as this, it is only by perseverance that they surmount Nature and that after many distresses they gather scanty harvests, and no more.....They are continually hunting, whereby they get abundant game and compensate in this way for the lack of the fruits of the field. Consequently, spending their lives as they do on snow-covered mountains.....The nights the Ligurians spend in the fields, rarely in a kind of crude shanty or hut, more often in the hollows of rocks and natural caves which may offer them sufficient protection. In pursuance of these habits they have also other practices wherein they preserve the manner of life which is primitive and lacking in implements. Speaking generally, in these regions the women possess the vigour and might of men, and the men those of wild beasts. Indeed, they say that often times in campaigns the mightiest warrior among the Gauls has been challenged to single combat by a quite slender Ligurian and slain. The weapons of the Ligurians are lighter in their structure than those of the Romans; for their protection is a long shield, worked in the Gallic fashion, and a shirt gathered in with a belt, and about them they throw the skins of wild animals and carry a sword of moderate size; but some of them, now that they have been incorporated in the Roman state, have changed the type of their weapons, adapting themselves to their rulers.

Strabo - IV/VI
This district, but particularly the mountains, is inhabited by Ligurians, principally subsisting on the produce of their herds, and milk, and a drink made of barley. There is plenty of wood here for the construction of ships; the trees grow to a vast size, some of them having been found eight feet in diameter.

Syracuse and Carthage heavily employed the Ligurians as mercenaries and than later recruited by the Romans as Socii and as citizens as Legionaries; And Ligurians heavily inter-mixed with Umbrians/Insubres(IsOmbri) Caturiges/Vagienni;
Only Salyes were considered by later Greeks as Kelto-Ligyes;

Strabo - IV/VI
The ancient Greeks gave to the Salyes the name of Ligyes, and to the country which was in the possession of the Marseillese, that of Ligystica.The later Greeks named them Kelto-Ligyes, and assigned to them the whole of the plains extending as far as Luerion and the Rhone.
 
@Nobody 1, nothing wrong with caves, my friend, human beings have been partial to them throughout most of their history as a species. However, pretty early on, the Liguri built numerous defensive structures throughout the area, and by the time that the Celti-Liguri came into contact with the Romans, they lived in villages much like those I posted from Gaul.
Yes, obviously, and there are too many examples, in Transalpne and Cisalpine Gaul, in the IVth century BC.
Just one example:
https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&rct=...s4RoMz7-2DNWqrZXw&sig2=9r5ioV5Cqu65jbHFt_bNLg
 
Correct...much of north-central Italy was Gallia transpadana/cisalpina...the senones penetrated as far as the Adriatic coast of the Marche region. The R1b frequencies are very iInteresting the north (the % of it that ends up being R-S28) although by the time we reach the south, the Neolithic lineages are by far the dominant element (J2,G,E3b,T).
 
Wine had been produced in ancient Egypt three millennia prior to Greeks or Romans.
Theatrical culture and amphitheatres were well established in ancient Greece. Romans copied that and extended to other forms of entertainment.
Technological discoveries of arch and dome enabled Romans to construct much larger and more complex buildings than had been possible with the simpler Greek trabeated construction system. But still, Romans’ buildings were based on Greeks trabeated construction system. On the other hand, arches and domes are being used to date. In fact, those structural elements had persisted in every single architectural style followed (Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, into Modern).
Capitolium in Washington, Taj Mahal in India or Köln cathedral would not be there today, had Romans not invented domes, arches and vaults.
So my verdict, Romans’ technological discoveries are indisputable.
However, I would like to open up a new topic to discuss ancient Greeks inventions and heritage. Especially military inventions like warships and siege engines catapults both of which were so successfully mastered by Romans.
 
Stadium design, Bases of Western Civilization, and the Italians too.
 
There achievements in battle showed there are ways to fight any battle logistics cunning ruthlessness no matter how big they were those little Romans cut there legs then killed them as they fell great men and women gives people today hope they can conquer any obstacle they contribute motivation for life :)
 

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