Roman civilization

   1. The Roman civilization

   The Romans did not create an original civilization but they adopted the Greek culture, adapting it to their particular way.

   But its importance resided in the dissemination of the culture throughout the Empire and it set the foundations for the following European nations.

   2. Language and Law

   The Romans spoke Latin which was used for many centuries after the fall of Rome. In the various provinces, it was modified and Romance languages emerged, such as Spanish, French, Italian, Catalan, Galician, etc.

   Latin remained the educated language in which great works were written in the Middle and early Modern Ages. Currently it is the official language of the Catholic Church and the Roman numerals system survives.

  The law is the most original contribution of the Romans to the universal culture. First they adopted the law of the Twelve Tables of Greek, but they created their own Roman law. Ulpian, Papinianus and Paulus were the most notable jurists. They regulated the relations between family members and the different families. Nowadays, many aspects of Roman law are in force as the concept of parental rights, the property right, the inheritance right and contracts.

   3. Indicate if these sentences refer to the language or to the law:

Latin was spoken in the Empire

It is the most original contribution

The law of the Twelve Tables

Romance languages emerged

The Spanish comes from the Latin

Ulpian was a great jurist

Catalan and Galician are romances languages

Roman numerals is preserved

Social relations were regulated

Parental authority is preserved

   4. The Roman culture

   At the time of the Empire, many philosophers and men of letters of Greece and Eastern countries came to Rome. This stimulated the cultural development.

   - In architecture, they used the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian Greek orders, but they also used the Etruscan, characterized by the use of the arch and the vault. Roman architects stood out in the buildings that were useful in the public service. In the cities, there was a public square or forum, public baths and temples. They also constructed buildings for shows such as theaters, amphitheaters (where they celebrated games and wrestling) and circus for chariot races.

   The Romans made an important road network covering the whole empire. They were called Roman roads. They also built bridges and aqueducts to transport the water to the cities (see the upper picture).

   - The sculptures were distinguished because of the realism, they were true portraits.

   - In painting, there are few remains and some mosaics were found in Pompeii.

   - in oratory, Cicero, Virgil and Horace stood out.

   - The philosophy was cultivated by Seneca who protected the dominion over the passions to obtain the ultimate virtue and happiness.

    5. Indicate if these sentences are true or false:

Philosophers arrived during the Punic Wars

They used the Greek orders

They used the arch and vault

The buildings were useful

The central square called terma

They did chariot races in the amphitheaters

During the Empire philosophers arrived

The hot springs were public baths

The roads were slim but sturdy

The sculptures were abstract

They keep few paintings

Cicero was a great poet

Seneca cultivated the philosophy

   6. Customs and religion

   Most Romans were farmers or smallholders who cultivated the land themselves or with slaves. The Roman family was a very stable core and it was the foundation of the social, political and religious organization. The father was the owner of all goods and had the absolute right of women and children. Each family had their particular gods or manes whom we gave sacrifices in order to get their protection.

  Religion: the Romans adopted the gods of the Greeks (with other names) and of other conquered people. They intended to attract the goodwill of the gods in exchange for sacrifices.

   In the city of Rome, they had the Capitoline Triad formed by Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. They also adored the emperor.

   7. Indicate if these sentences refer to the custom or to the religion:

Some families had slaves

Rome had the Capitoline Triad

The family had a god or mane

The father had many rights

The most of them were farmers

Jupiter, Juno and Minerva

The father was the owner of all goods

They adored the emperor

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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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