The Legacy of GrecoRoman Civilization
Rome became a legacy
Greek influence
 By the 2nd century,
 Rome conquered Greece and admired the
Greek culture.
 Educated Romans learned the Greek
 The two cultures mixed into what became
known as Greco-Roman culture, also known
as classical civilization.
Roman Art
 Learned the art of sculpture from the Greeks
– Greeks were known for beauty and idealization
of their sculpture
– Romans created realistic portraits in stone
 Roman art was practical
 Intended for public education
 Bas-Relief artwork developed during the
reign of Augustus.
 Artwork that projects images from a flat
background. These images tell stories and
represent crowds of people, soldiers in
battle, and landscapes.
Bas-Relief Roman Art
 Pictures or designs made by small pieces of
stone, glass, or tile onto a surface.
 Most Roman villas, the country houses of
the wealthy, had at least one colored
 Having mosaics demonstrated wealth and
importance, especially mosaics built into the
Roman Mosaic Art
Used scenes of everyday life
 Romans also excelled in paintings.
 Most wealthy Romans had bright, large murals,
called frescoes, painted directly on their walls.
 The best examples are those found in the Roman
city, Pompeii, and date back to the 2nd century.
 Mount Vesuvius erupted, covering Pompeii with a
thick layer of ash and killed 2,000 people.
 This ash preserved the artwork.
Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius Eruption
 Mount Vesuvius is most
known for its eruption in 79
AD, which led to the
destruction of Pompeii and
 The cities were never
 The towns were forgotten
and rediscovered in the
18th century.
 It has erupted at least
50 times since then,
1944 being the last.
 This is a picture of an
American B-25 during
 The crew member is
sweeping the ashes off
its wings.
Ruins of Pompeii
Notice Vesuvius in the background
 Skeleton called the
Ring Lady found in
Back to the artwork!
 Frescoes and murals
 Roman Bath mural
Fresco in Pompeii
 Romans borrowed Stoicism from the
– Stoicism came from the Greek teacher, Zeno.
 Stoicism encouraged virtue, duty,
moderation, and endurance.
 Marcus Aurelius was a noted stoic.
 Writers used Roman
themes and ideas while
following Greek forms and
 The poet, Virgil, spent 10
years writing the most
famous work of Latin
literature, Aeneid, the epic
of legendary Aeneas.
 It was modeled after the
Greek epics of Homer.
 The poet Ovid wrote
light, witty poetry for
 In the Amores, Ovid
relates that he can
only compose when he
is in love.
 Completed a volume history of Rome from
its origins to 9 B.C.
 He used legends and myth more than a
true history.
 Ancient Roman historian
 Notable because he presented the facts
 Showed concern for Rome’s lack of morality.
 In his Annals and Histories, he wrote
about the good and bad of Imperial Rome.
Roman Achievements
 Latin, the Language of Rome
 Architecture, Engineering, and Technology
 Roman System of Law
 Latin remained the language of learning in the
West long after the fall of Rome.
 It was the official language of the Roman Catholic
Church into the 20th century.
 Latin became the foundation for French, Spanish,
Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian.
 These languages are called the Romance
languages because of their ‘Roman’ heritage.
 More than half of the words in the English
language are Latin based.
For example
Baptism - English
Bapteme – French
Bautismo – Spanish
Batismo – Portuguese
Battesimo – Italian
Botez – Romanian
 Debt slip written in
Latin used during the
Greco-Roman times
Roman Architecture
 Arches, domes, and concrete were
combined to build spectacular structures like
the Roman Colosseum.
 Arches also supported bridges and
 Many large public buildings in the US
include Roman architectural features, like
arches and columns.
 Designed by roman engineers to bring water
into cities and towns.
 When the water spanned across a river, the
aqueduct was lifted high up on arches.
 Besides the aqueducts, roads were also
technological marvels.
 The army built a vast network of roads
constructed of stone, concrete, and sand
that connected Rome to all parts of the
 Many lasted into the Middle Ages.
 Some roads are still used.
 Rome’s most lasting and widespread
 Believed that the law should be fair and
apply equally to all people, rich and poor.
Principles of Roman law
 All persons had the right to equal treatment under
the law.
 A person was considered innocent until proven
 The burden of proof rested with the accuser rather
than the accused.
 A person should be punished only for actions, not
 Any law that seemed unreasonable could be set
 These principles formed the basis of legal
systems in many European countries and in
the United States.
 Some people say that Rome is immortal
because Rome lived forever through its
influence in architecture, art, law, literature,
language, and philosophy.
 Almost everywhere we look we can find
something that can be traced back to the
ancient Roman empire.

The Legacy of Greco-Roman Civilization