Ancient Greek and Roman similarities.


Greek and Roman similarities.

The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations
of Europe began to progress toward a more civilized order of society. As
there were no previous establishment to base their ideals on, it was understandable
that there were some difficulties in their progression as a society. Although
the ancient Greek and Roman governments fell, both had similar paths of
creation, conquest, and destruction.

Greek society began by the formation of
the city-state. "The city-state, based on tribal allegiances, was generally
the first political association during the early stages of civilization."
( Perry, 45) This was the first step in the progression toward early self-government.

"Greek city-states generally moved through four stages: rule by a king
(monarchy), rule by landowning aristocrats (oligarchy), rule by one man
who seized power (tyranny), and rule by the people (democracy). (Perry,


Roman society began by the influences of
surrounding cultures and quickly grew beyond the confines of a city-state
status economy. "The more advanced civilizations of both Etruscans
and Greeks were gradually absorbed by the Romans. From them, Romans
acquired architectural styles and skills in road construction, sanitation,
hydraulic engineering (including underground conduits), metallurgy, ceramics,
and portrait sculpture." (Perry, 84) Their need for growth led them
to form a republic. "As in the Greek cities, the transition from
theocratic monarchy to republic offered possibilities for political and
legal growth. (Perry 85)

Both Greeks and Romans tried to realize
some form of democracy. "It is to Greece that we ultimately trace
the idea of democracy and all that accompanies it: citizenship, constitutions,
equality before the law, government by law, reasoned debate, respect for
the individual, and confidence in human intelligence." (Perry, 52)

Because Rome tried to maintain a republic
it had different needs compared to the Greeks. "The Romans, unlike
the Greeks, were distinguished by practicality and common sense, not by
a love of abstract thought. In their pragmatic and empirical fashion,
they gradually developed the procedures of public politics and the legal
state." (Perry 88)

The fall of the Greeks was a direct result
of a breakdown of social theories. "When people no longer regarded
the law as an expression of sacred traditions ordained by the gods but
saw it as a merely human contrivance, respect for the law diminished, weakening
the foundations of the society. The results were party conflicts,
politicians who scrambled for personal power, and moral uncertainty." (Perry


The Romans suffered a similar fate as a
result of an unfocused administration. "Instead of developing a professional
civil service to administer the conquered lands, Roman leaders attempted
to govern an empire with city-state institutions, which had evolved for
a different purpose." (Perry 95)

The Greek and Roman cultures truly revolutionized
the art of civilization. They initiated new ideals for the interaction
of people in a society. They both had similar paths of creation, conquest,
and destruction. They shared similar beliefs and as a result shared
similar fates. Future societies can look at the mistakes made in the past
and build from them, but if we are not careful, future mistakes may be
built from past societies.