General Question

flutherother's avatar

What similarities and what differences are there between us and the Romans?

Asked by flutherother (21385 points ) July 7th, 2012

Rome flourished 2,000 years ago in a quite different world from ours. What do you think are the main differences between Roman civilization and ours and what are the similarities?

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10 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

The similarities are:
– corrupt political system
– military overspending and over expansion
– reliance on quasi-slave labour

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Similarity: focusing on all types of pleasure, carnal, food etc.

LostInParadise's avatar

On the positive side, both Romans and Americans share a pragmatic view of life. Unlike the ancient Greeks, the Romans did not make many contributions to philosophy or the arts. They were expert engineers. They built roads to unite the empire and many Roman aqueducts are still standing. Roman contributions to law are still on the books. The Roman Republic, while it lasted, was the first example of large scale representative government.

Americans also are highly pragmatic. Until recently, we have not made many contributions to science. Americans were great inventors, exemplified by Edison and Bell. The great American contribution to philosophy is the pragmatism of Pierce, James and Dewey.

ragingloli's avatar

funny, because Edison and Bell stole their “inventions” from others

dabbler's avatar

%50 percent of the people you see on the street are slaves, name that century.
Does anyone you know have debts amounting to years and years of income?

flutherother's avatar

Our political system, our legal system, the layout of our cities, and to some extent our literature and language is based on that of the Romans.

But in many ways they were different from us. They enjoyed seeing gladiators and wild animals fight to the death and they kept slaves. They had an obsession with public bathing and lived very male dominated macho lives. I suppose they never thought their empire would come to an end and yet it has.

ragingloli's avatar

@flutherother
“They enjoyed seeing gladiators and wild animals fight to the death and they kept slaves.”
Wrestling, Handegg, Boxing and China and Mexicans.
“very male dominated macho lives.” Check
“suppose they never thought their empire would come to an end” Check again.

flutherother's avatar

@ragingloli What took place in the Roman amphitheatres was a lot more violent than wrestling and boxing and their culture was even more macho than ours. Their slaves however usually lived with a Roman family and were often granted or bought their freedom.

dabbler's avatar

@flutherother “slaves however usually lived with a Roman family and were often granted or bought their freedom.” like student loans just more personal !

LostInParadise's avatar

@ragingloli , Thanks for pointing that out about Bell and Edison. I did some checking on the Web and found affirmation of what you said. The telephone was invented by an Italian immigrant, not a Scottish one. As for Edison, his reputation has been overblown, but he was good at making inventions workable and affordable. I found this article talking about Edison compared to Tesla.

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