Posted on

Romes Cultural Heritage

It’s hard to deny that the Roman Empire still dominates us with it’s cultural prowess.

We express ourselves in roman letters, our languages still consists of integrated or adapted latin words. If a person wants to express their intellectual superiority they use latin words instead of their native counterparts. Our legal systems are heavily based on or intentionally designed after the roman legal system. In many countries law or medicine terminology is in latin or at least consists of many latin words. Most governments, regional or national are designed by the roman example. Wikipedia lists 54 countries which have a senate as the highest institution of their governments. In Germany all (three) city states and additionally the former members of the Hanse have a senate as city government, too.

The architecture not only in Europe is heavily influenced by the style of the Roman Empire. You can still see elements or whole buildings designed in the image of the roman archetype. Nowadays this is mostly displayed in old municipal buildings, museums, former royal buildings and universities. Those are often marked with the year of completion in roman numbers, like MDCCXVIII (1718). You still can visit the remains of former roman architecture, to name a few examples; the Colosseum in Rome and aqueducts throughout Europe. A few former aqueducts are used as bridges in mountain regions or in rare cases even still carrying water. Most European cities, especially the former roman settlements, have a least one triumphal arch and sculptures in the roman archetype.

Several former roman settlements are now major metropolitan areas and mostly large cities which heavily contribute to their region, their country and often to the world with their cultural influences. Augsburg, Cologne, Lebda (Libya), London, Paris and York are a few examples, while some of them are of undeniable world renown, not only nowadays but through the course of history since their founding.

Our daily lives are so heavily influenced by modern technologies which are based on original roman technologies or technologies the romans improved.

Let me blow your mind with just a few examples:

Canalisation, brick, bridges, concrete, dams, forum (markets, malls), fountains, julian calendar, roads, sewer systems and theatres.

Even the members of our militaries are learning from tactical and strategic maneuvers of Roman generals. Our armies use adaptations of Roman troop formations. Compared to the logistical and technological prowess of the Roman army our armies still look like the boy scouts. The total army strength of the Roman Empire consisted of between 125,000 and 250,000 men. Which is an incredibly high number even for modern times. But the Roman legions weren’t only combat units, they were also peacekeeping units and performed the construction of basic infrastructures. Those infrastructures of course were usually used for fortification (fortresses), logistics (bridges, roads) and very often to secure strategic positions, but they laid the groundwork for everything to come.

Conquered countries were quickly integrated into the fold, the Romans brought everything they had to offer to the new members of their empire. The Romans constructed vast networks of aqueducts, bridges, roads and sewer systems. They extended marketplaces by building forums and established their legal system for business matters and disputes alike. They built temples for their gods while still respecting the religion of the population in return.

At some point in history the Romans even transitioned their fate from multiple deities to one deity and are a major factor of spreading christianity throughout their known world.

We should be humbled by the heritage of Ancient Rome, our societies are by far not as superior as we think they are.

How will we be remembered?