Differences Between The Ideas Of Roman And Greek

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Differences between the Ideas of Roman and Greek

Differences between the Ideas of Roman and Greek

Rome, for about five hundred years, was a republic, while Greece was a limited democracy. The difference is that the Roman government was representative and provincial, while Greek government was direct and local. Therefore, Roman citizens (citizenship was not only broader in Rome, but also guaranteed more rights) elected officials who would then represent them among other officials, and Greek citizens would all serve in government as single voters. Later, Rome adopted the "office" of emperor ("imperator", or general) (Finer, 2002).

The Greeks only ever had kings, and were for the most part divided into separate city-states. That is, until Alexander the Great father Phillip conquered and united the peninsula. They were both militaristic in general, but Rome made this into a virtue (derived from "vir," the Latin word for man). Whereas a Greek citizen-soldier supplied himself in times of war, a Roman citizen was supplied by the state. Service in the Roman army also guaranteed citizenship and a reward of land to farm on. Greece was also much more naval-oriented, given the geography. Rome, in contrast, was much more concerned with land.

The ways they attack were really different. A traditional Greek structure was the phalanx, a block of heavily armored men carrying long spears and interlocking shields. In comparison, Roman troops simply carried a short sword, two spears and a long shield. On the other hand, the Roman army had the benefit of the large, well trained cavalry that the mountainous Greek landscape prohibits (Jahnige, 2002).

Culture is something of an oddity. Rome annexed Greece, and in doing so adopted many Greek traditions and ideas. But the differences do come through. The origin of democracy can be traced ...
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