Greek culture had a major influence on the development of Roman civilization. The Romans adopted many aspects of Greek culture, including the Greek gods and goddesses, the Greek language, and the Greek alphabet. The Romans also adopted Greek architecture, art, literature, philosophy, and political systems. The Romans adapted many of these elements to fit their own culture, and this adaptation was instrumental in the development of Roman civilization.

Greco-Roman relations in classical antiquity

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greeks had settled in southern italy and Sicilia since 8th century BC. In this way, the Italian tribes came into contact with greek culture very early and were influenced by it. The alphabet, Weights and Measures, mintageseveral gods and cults (I see roman interpretation) as well as the construction of temples were derived from the Greeks.

The romans got in touch with greek culture again during the conquest of great greece, mainland greece and the “Hellenistic countries” (countries that were marked by Greek culture and Tongue) at the 2nd and the 1st centuries BC. The Romans, who had defeated Cartago but they were still a society of peasants, they saw in the Hellenistic cities that daily life could be more comfortable than theirs. Old houses with little ornamentation acquired columns, statues, mosaics on the floors, wall hangings and paintings on the walls. People no longer dined sitting down, but reclining, according to Greek custom.

The Romans gained from Greek influence in other areas: commerce, banking, administration, art, literature, philosophy, and earth sciences. In the last century BC it was mandatory for every rich young man to study in Athens or rhodes and improve your knowledge rhetoric in the great schools of philosophy. It was also mandatory to speak Greek as well as Latin.

There were some who resisted this Greek influence in all aspects of life. For example, Cato the Elder prophesied Pomegranatedecease of; he regarded everything Greek as suspect; he even distrusted the Greek doctors and claimed that they only wanted to poison the Romans.

Indeed, some Greeks may have every reason to hate the Romans, who devastated their home, robbed temples and public buildings, decimated the population, and brought many Greeks to Rome as slaves.
Emilio Paulothe winner of Battle of Pydna in Greece in 168 BC, is said to have sold 150,000 Greeks to Rome as slaves all for himself.

roman culture itself was Greco-Roman from the beginning and they could even match the Greeks in terms of culture and more general civilization, in part because of the Greeks who willingly or unwillingly fought in Rome.

Greek cities like ephesus or Athens flourished during the long era of peace (Pax Romana) more than ever. Although Greek, cities like Ephesus were not explicitly distinct from Roman cities. Because of the general prosperity, there was no revolt against Roman rule, which was even seen as a positive, although Greeks and Romans were friendly due to their common similarities, both like to often differentiate themselves through language, customs and literature. .

late antiquity

However, in late antiquity, both parts of the Roman Empire an accelerated division began mainly due to the new religion of Christianity introduced and its differences between the more weakened and disorderly Latin West versus the more prosperous Greek East which now had Constantinople as its own capital which could rival Rome itself. Already in constantinople you could find Greek-speaking poets and historians referring to Rome as an almost foreign city full of vice, corruption and decay, often bragging about the more recent Constantinople.

the situation of romans and Rome began to change quickly and many places Roman traditions disappeared. It was common to hear barbarian languages ​​in the Italian peninsula and it was common to hear Greek in Rome, largely because the Greeks dominated the economic life of Rome, this dependency was not to the liking of the Romans so that in 440 the western emperor Valentinian III he decided to expel “all the Greek merchants” from the city whose consequence culminated in a total famine for which he was forced to withdraw the edict. Depending only on militias armed by the upper classes, trade routes in the West were almost non-existent due to the insecurity of the routes, this added to several key factors such as the frequent use of barbarians in the Roman army over time would lead to the fall of Rome in 476 after many lootings in Rome itself and on the Italian peninsula.

The effects of Fall of the Western Roman Empire for the Romans who remained in the city or in Italy went from bad to devastating, classical Roman education was all but extinct, the upper classes managed to hold out and hold their ground in the Ostrogothic kingdom which in the end had adopted many of the Roman institutions. Even so, the fate of the common Romans was harsher, many of them were forced to pay taxes and contribute supplies. The most unfortunate were sold as slaves or killed in the frequent sacking of cities or sieges, many Italian-Roman native villages were forced to live alongside many barbarians sharing land with frequent conflicts.

Justinian reconquest

Belisarius mosaic, Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy

after recapturing Pomegranate and parts of Italythe violent gothic wars and the various other sieges across Italy further disregarded the already nearly non-existent native Roman population, the already bad reputation of the Greeks for having abandoned the Romans worsened even more after the violent conflicts that occurred. Roman citizens reached points of conspiracy against Belisarius and his troops, mostly Greek or Greek. for a long time when Belisarius arrived in Italy, the Goths began to propagate anti-Greek propaganda, usually commenting that the only greeks who were in Rome were mimes and thieves who contributed nothing, the propaganda was more successful due to the resentment already born among the Romans towards the Greeks. At the climax of tension and violence, the Romans wrote a letter to the emperor Justinian in which they proclaimed that they would rather be governed by Goths than by Greeks, Roman resentment against the Greeks was not limited to Belisarius’ troops alone, but to all Hellenic influence in general.

Belisariusnoticing the growing distrust of the Romans, he wrote a letter to the emperor Justinian I on his concerns about the Romans’ intentions: “And though for the moment the Romans are well disposed towards us, still, when their troubles linger, they are not likely to hesitate to choose the path that is best for their own interests. […] Furthermore, the Romans will be compelled by starvation to do many things they would rather not do.”

To restore order Justinian and Belisarius began to replace the native and highly official Roman popes who were the ones who commonly plotted against Byzantine troops in Rome or Italy, along with their prestigious and powerful Roman nobles, with Greek speakers from Syria, Antioch, Alexandria and Cilicia that he trusted more. This policy ofhellenization” on the Italian peninsula and in the newly acquired conquest in the western provinces of the empire, each with a Byzantine exarchit was closely followed by Justinian and his successor.

The Exarchate of Ravenna The following is Italian catepanatewere responsible for the strong and continuous Hellenic-Eastern influence in Italy, to the point of being more native, if not all Roman traditions and customs had disappeared due to the lack of a native Roman-Latin population, whose almost non-existent cultural identity had to constantly face wars, famine and, most importantly, their neighbors Hellenic influence resulting in the definitive Roman disappearance. However, in the more prosperous east, their Byzantine their counterparts reflected an overwhelming Hellenizing influence throughout the Mediterranean. Reaching again its second major climax in basil is the second reigned with Hellenic influence having profound effects on their neighboring territories such as the Georgian, Armenian, Balkan and Italian provinces, as well as successfully re-establishing their position and influence on former Hellenic territories such as Syria, Lebanon, much of Palestine and neighboring areas of the holy land where it remains up for debate whether they ever captured Jerusalem.


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