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Roman Culture The Past And Present History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The ancient Roman culture had several traits that made it a thriving and interesting culture. It is known as one of the most productive and sophisticated cultures of all time. We see some of the same traits in today’s American society, which makes the Roman culture intriguing for modern Americans to observe. The traits of the ancient Roman culture played a big role on ancient literature and the same roles have been adopted into today’s American society.

Ancient Roman culture played a pretty significant role in ancient literature. First, with the Roman culture, we see a culture that is very open and accepting to different thoughts or beliefs. History reveals to us that when the Romans conquered a nation, they would allow the people of that nation to keep their own beliefs and culture. In Petronius’ The Satyricon, we see an example of this in how easily a man, enslaved by the Romans, could become a free and a wealthy man in the Roman society without ever forfeiting his beliefs or customs. Trimalchio became a slave in the Roman Empire and then was freed when he inherited his master’s wealth. This shows liberality because in most societies in ancient history, a person who is a slave would not see freedom or gain much wealth during his or her lifetime. Secondly, the ancient Roman culture took a lot from what a different culture had started and added just a little bit to it and called it Roman culture. For example, the Romans used Ancient Greece’s practices of the god’s, but they changed the Greek god Apollo to their own god Jupiter. We also see a lot of Greek Literature come up in Roman Literature. The Greeks allegedly came up with the idea of satire in writing but, Roman Literature changed it just a little bit and is now well known for it. We see an extreme diversity in people in the Roman Empire. We see people from different ethnicities, race, and religion. This, in most part, is due to the acceptance or tolerance the Roman Empire had toward everyone regardless of their religion, ethnics or values. Finally, we see religion starting to play a big role towards the end of the Roman Empire. St. Augustine can be credited for establishing Christianity as the belief of Rome right before the Empire fell. St. Augustine establishes the church as the head of the Roman Empire in his autobiography Confessions. He confesses all of his prior sins that he could bring to mind in order to set an example on how Christians should live and confess their sins. The Ancient Roman Culture had several intriguing traits that played not only a significant role in ancient literature but also a big role in the world and in cultures soon to come.

The ancient Roman culture has reoccurred several times in the modern American culture. First, we see the copy cat mentality, which the Romans had, here in America today. For example, look at the governments. We took the ancient Roman Government and mixed it with the British’s and a few others and call it the American Government. This is very Romanesque because they had a mixture of governing plans and ideas that came together to make their own style. Another example is the car industry. Parts made in Japan are sent to Canada and assembled there and then the final touch ups occur in Detroit yet we still label the vehicle as an American made car. The Romans did the same thing with Literature. The Greeks would do most of the work and then the Romans would come in and make a few changes and then call it Roman Literature. This is most evident when you look at ancient Greek satire and Roman satire. They are practically the same. We also see the ancient Roman culture show up in our society through the diversity of races and interests. In the town of Beebe, Arkansas alone, many different races or ethnic groups live. You see Caucasians, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans and more. In Rome there were the Middle Eastern people, the Romans, the former Greeks and more. Finally, we unfortunately see the same openness towards different thoughts or people as the Romans did back in the Ancient World. Today in America, we see a new openness or tolerance towards touchy subjects such as homosexuality, divorce and abortion. Though I am firmly against those subjects, as a nation we have slowly became more tolerant as the Romans were. Our Nation has started to adapt a tolerance for religions or beliefs that differ from those of our fathers and mothers. This is one trait I believe America never should have acquired from the Romans because now we cannot speak about our faith in public because it may offend people of a different religion. The very situations we are allowing to reoccur in today’s society are many of the same things that led to the downfall of the ancient Roman Empire. Because the Romans allowed an openness, they set themselves up for the very groups they were being tolerant of to destroy them. America has picked up several traits from the Ancient Roman culture. Some of these traits aren’t too bad, but some I believe could very well lead to the downfall of our nation.

Traits found in the ancient Roman Empire made the culture compelling for the most part, but many of these traits actually led to its own destruction. We see the things that caused the Roman Empire to thrive and we see some of the traits in our own society today. American society would have never been the same without the Roman influence. We learned a great deal about forming our government and how to create a diverse nation from them. America needs to use the proficient aspects of the Roman culture, but learn from the mistakes they made, or it will suffer the downfall that the Romans experienced in the ancient world.


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