Greek to Roman

(Image via History On the Net)

(Image via History On the Net)

Jess Winkler, Writer

Greece and Rome have been at each other’s throats for as long as Rome has been Rome. The Roman people were originally known as Etruscans until the Latins kicked them out. Rome has been to war with Greece 7 times before Greece was theirs. Once this happened Rome took a lot of what Greece had and made it their own, including converting most of the Greek gods over to Roman gods, but with different names. Rome was all about cultural diffusion (taking the best of another culture and mixing it with their own), they created roads which connect their empire and allowed for trading to take place between other cities.  This opened up more ways to communicate and spread ideas. This was essentially what Rome did when taking over Greece. They stole the Greek’s architecture, parts of their religion, education, and medicine. However, Greece wasn’t the only one Rome did this to. Most of Rome’s neighboring civilizations like Egypt and Carthage, had their ideas stolen from them like obelisks and weapons. After Rome conquered Greece, they had people teach them about things like education, medicine, and much more. This knowledge carried the Romans a long way. 

Rome was fascinated with the Greeks’ religion, so they decided they wanted to convert their gods over to the Roman religion, but they also changed the name of the gods in the process to prevent people from thinking they were worshiping Greek gods. For example, they changed Zuse to Jupiter, Ares to Mars, and Poseidon to Neptune. As you could probably tell, the planets in our solar system were named after the Roman gods. Rome was known for its war tactics, and they also entwined their gods with this too. The gods in Greek mythology were more about peace than the Romans. As mentioned in ThoughtCo the Roman gods changed to more tactical, and some of the major gods that the Greeks worshipped turned into the least liked Roman gods because of their lack of helpful war abilities. 

While Rome was known for its war defenses, Greek was known for its buildings and architecture. They made some of the greatest sculptures in the world, and some of the most well designed and beautiful buildings of their time as stated in Ancient History. A few of their well-known buildings include temples, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and many more. They have many buildings that survived 2000 years so they can be viewed by people like us today. Rome saw this and decided that they should be the ones with the big, strong buildings. By using these architecture designs Rome was about to become the strongest civilization on the Italian peninsula and eventually in the entire Mediterranean world. 

Greek medicine, also known as “Unani medicine” (Unani meaning Greek) thought out and helped greatly advance the medical field today. According to “Greek Medicine has a lot in common with Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. All these traditional medical systems seek to harmonize the health of the individual with the Universal Life Forces of Nature and the cosmos,” this helped lead us to using herbs and plants to make medicine. Greek doctors used rational thinking to help their patients and fully believed in the “healthy mind, healthy body” prospect. They made the first educational hospital in 700 B.C.E where they take medical students, and place them in the hospital to observe the patients and learn from the doctors. The Greeks were eager to learn and obtain knowledge of the world and everything in it, which includes illness and medicine. The Romans knew that the Greeks were better in the medical and scientific field than them, so they brought their findings back with them to aid their own people. This helped them defend against plagues and illnesses so they could continue to be strong. 

With the Roman empire conquering their surrounding territories, they expanded their knowledge too. They took what other territories knew and combined that with the information that they obtained to advance their empire and continue to progress their research. This made Rome stronger and stronger until Rome controlled the entire Mediterranean world. Without the intelligence they got from other lands, they would not have gotten as far as they did, and our civilization would not have gotten as far as we have without Greece or Rome. We have learned many things from Rome and Greece including war tactics, medicine techniques, architecture designs, and for years we have been entertained by stories of Rome and Greece’s religion.