Culture in Ancient Rome


History of Culture in Ancient Rome


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Perspective


The history of culture in ancient Rome was remarkably consistent throughout the 1,200-year history of the Roman Republic and Empire, and throughout the empire’s expanse from Britain to the Euphrates. In fact, Rome was the largest city of its time, with a population of several million. But most Romans lived in the countryside in rural settlements which at least had a forum, temples, and the same sorts of buildings that were found in Rome. Absentee landlords lived in the cities and left their estates, and their legions of slaves, in the care of overseers and farm managers. Homes in Rome ranged from tenement hovels to opulent country estates. The word “palace” come from the elegant Palatine Hill district and its sumptuous imperial residences. But most people lived packed into apartment blocks that were prone to sudden collapse and fire.

The great public baths served as the epicenter of Rome’s social life. Similarly, Trajan’s Forum and the Pantheon became centers for official and political business (usually one and the same). The Colosseum drew packed audiences with brutish combat and racing spectacles, where gladiators disemboweled each other and lions tore Christians and other innocents apart to gratify Rome’s taste for cruelty. While there were several theaters and gymnasia, entertainment was usually more lowbrow; countless taverns and brothels soothed the savage breast of Rome’s overwhelmingly poor and desperate populace.

Upper-crust Romans acquired a taste for Greek culture during the Republic, and this spurred widespread denunciation of its degenerate and effeminate influence. Greek culture was imparted by Greek household slaves who taught the young of affluent and powerful families, and Greek chefs, decorators, secretaries, doctors, and hairdressers all made their way to Rome to practice their trades. Greek sculpture graced landscape gardening on the Palatine, and was imitated widely by Greek slave sculptors.

Against this human landscape, one of history’s most influential civilizations took shape, leaving behind a cultural legacy that wields influence even today. At its height, the Roman Empire had developed the most extensive government and social structure in Western civilization. Its influence on Western civilization was profound in law and governance, the two traits that best defined the Roman character.


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Index

Architecture: Arcuate RevolutionBuilding MaterialsTemples: Examples | Drama: ActingFarceMime | Language | Learning: Curriculum : Childhood EducationPrimary SchoolSecondary SchoolHigher Education | LibrariesLiteracyRomeEmpire | Schools | Scholarship: Empire | Literature: EmpireHistoriographyLesser LightsPoetryProse | Music: InstrumentsMusicians | Painting | Philosophy: CynicismEpicureanismEmpireGreek Culture in Rome | ManichaeismNeo-PlatonismSecond SophisticSkepticismLater Development | Prime Movers: Cassius DioCato the Elder: BackgroundWritingsLegacy | Catullus | Cicero: BackgroundBeliefsWritings | Dio Chrysostom | Ennius | Epictetus | Eusebius | Horace | Julius Caesar | Juvenal | Lactantius | Livy | Lucan | Lucretius: Writings | Martial | Ovid | Panaetius of Rhodes | Petronius | Philo | Plautus | Pliny the Elder | Plotinus | Plutarch | Posidonius | Rufus | Sallust | Seneca the Younger: BeliefsWritings | Statius | Strabo | Tacitus | Terence | Tibullus | Varro | Virgil: Writings | Rhetoric | Sculpture: Empire | Science and Technology: Empire | Medicine: DiseasePhysiciansSurgeryTreatments | Union of Greek and Roman Culture | Decline



history of Rome | architecture

Culture: Architecture

history of Rome | Arcuate Revolution

Architecture: Arcuate Revolution

history of Rome | building materials

Architecture: Building Materials

history of Rome | temples

Architecture: Temples

history of Rome | temples | examples

Temples: Examples

history of Rome | drama

Culture: Drama

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history of Rome | acting

Drama: Acting

history of Rome | farce

Drama: Farce

history of Rome | mime

Drama: Mime

history of Rome | language

Culture: Language

history of Rome | learning

Culture: Learning

culture in Rome | curriculum

Learning: Curriculum

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Rome | childhood education

Learning: Childhood Education

Rome | primary school

Learning: Primary School

Rome | secondary school

Learning: Secondary School

Rome | higher education

Learning: Higher Education

Rome | libraries

Learning: Libraries

Rome | literacy

Learning: Literacy

Up to Index

Rome | learning

Learning: Rome

Roman Empire | learning

Learning: Empire

Rome | schools

Learning: Schools

Rome | scholarship

Learning: Scholarship

Rome | culture | learning | scholarship | Empire

Scholarship: Empire

Rome | literature

Culture: Literature

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Rome | literature of the Empire

Literature: Empire

Rome | histoirography

Literature: Historiography

Rome | culture | literature | lesser lights

Literature: Lesser Lights

Rome | culture | literature | poetry

Literature: Poetry

Rome | literature | prose

Literature: Prose

Rome | music

Culture: Music

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Rome | musical instruments

Music: Instruments

Rome | musicians

Music: Musicians

Rome | painting

Culture: Painting

Rome | philosophy

Culture: Philosophy

Cynicism

Philosophy: Cynicism

Epicureanism

Philosophy: Epicureanism

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philosophy in the Roman Empire

Philosophy: Empire

Greek culture in Rome

Philosophy: Greek Culture in Rome

history of Ancient Rome | culture | philosophy | Manichaeism

Philosophy: Manichaeism

history of Ancient Rome | culture | philosophy | Neo-Platonism

Philosophy: Neo-Platonism

Second Sophistic

Philosophy: Second Sophistic

Skepticism

Philosophy: Skepticism

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | philosophy | later development

Philosophy: Later Development

Cassius Dio

Prime Movers: Cassius Dio

Cato the Elder

Prime Movers: Cato the Elder

Cato the Elder | background

Cato the Elder: Background

Cato the Elder | writings

Cato the Elder: Writings

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Cato the Elder | legacy

Cato the Elder: Legacy

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Catullus

Prime Movers: Catullus

Cicero

Prime Movers: Cicero

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Cicero | background

Cicero: Background

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Cicero | beliefs

Cicero: Beliefs

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Cicero | writings

Cicero: Writings

Dio Chrysostom

Prime Movers: Dio Chrysostom

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Ennius

Prime Movers: Ennius

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Epictetus

Prime Movers: Epictetus

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Eusebius

Prime Movers: Eusebius

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Horace

Prime Movers: Horace

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Julius Caesar

Prime Movers: Julius Caesar

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Juvenal

Prime Movers: Juvenal

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Lactantius

Prime Movers: Lactantius

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Livy

Prime Movers: Livy

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Lucan

Prime Movers: Lucan

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Lucretius

Prime Movers: Lucretius

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Lucretius | writings

Lucretius: Writings

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Martial

Prime Movers: Martial

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Ovid

Prime Movers: Ovid

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Panaetius of Rhodes

Prime Movers: Panaetius of Rhodes

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Petronius

Prime Movers: Petronius

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Philo

Prime Movers: Philo

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Plautus

Prime Movers: Plautus

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Pliny the Elder

Prime Movers: Pliny the Elder

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Plotinus

Prime Movers: Plotinus

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Plutarch

Prime Movers: Plutarch

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Posidonius

Prime Movers: Posidonius

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Rufus

Prime Movers: Rufus

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Sallust

Prime Movers: Sallust

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Seneca the Younger

Prime Movers: Seneca the Younger

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Seneca the Younger | beliefs

Seneca the Younger: Beliefs

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Seneca the Younger | writings

Seneca the Younger: Writings

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Statius

Prime Movers: Statius

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Strabo

Prime Movers: Strabo

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Tacitus

Prime Movers: Tacitus

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Terence

Prime Movers: Terence

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Tibullus

Prime Movers: Tibullus

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Varro

Prime Movers: Varro

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Virgil

Prime Movers: Virgil

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | Virgil | writings

Virgil: Writings

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | rhetoric

Culture: Rhetoric

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | sculpture

Culture: Sculpture

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | sculpture  Empire

Sculpture: Empire

history of Ancient Rome | culture | prime movers | science and technology

Culture: Science and Technology

history of Ancient Rome | culture | science and technology | Empire

Science and Technology: Empire

history of Ancient Rome | culture | science and technology | medicine

Science and Technology: Medicine

history of Ancient Rome | culture | science and technology | medicine | disease

Medicine: Disease

history of Ancient Rome | culture | science and technology | medicine | physicians

Medicine: Physicians

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history of Ancient Rome | culture | science and technology | medicine | surgery

Medicine: Surgery

history of Ancient Rome | culture | science and technology | medicine | medical treatments

Medicine: Treatments

history of Ancient Rome | culture | union of Greek and Roman culture

Union of Greek and Roman Culture

history of Ancient Rome | culture |  decline

Decline

Up to Index

Samples



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