The Enduring Contributions of the Greek and Roman Civilisations to the Contemporary World

1. Introduction

The Greek and Roman civilisations were among the most advanced of their time. They made significant contributions to politics, literature, art, architecture and sports which have shaped the modern world. In this essay, the enduring contributions of the Greek and Roman civilisations to the contemporary world will be discussed.

2. The enduring contributions of the Greek and Roman civilisations to the contemporary world

2. 1. Greek civilization

2.1. The concept of the polis

The concept of the polis, or city-state, was developed by the Greeks. The polis was an autonomous unit consisting of a city and its surrounding countryside. Each polis had its own government, laws and customs. The Greek city-states were fiercely independent and often engaged in conflict with each other. The concept of the polis was influential in shaping the development of European cities and democracies.

2. 1.2 Democracy

The Greeks were the first to develop democracy as a form of government. In a democracy, power is vested in the people and decisions are made through majority rule. The Greek city-state of Athens was a pioneer of democracy, with all citizens (excluding women and slaves) having a say in government through participation in assemblies and juries. Although democracy has evolved over time, the core principles established by the Greeks remain relevant today.

2. 1.3 Literature

Greek literature is some of the oldest in existence and had a significant influence on Roman literature. Many famous works from antiquity such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiod’s Works and Days, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Euripides’ Bacchae were written by Greek authors. These works are still studied and enjoyed by people around the world today.

2. 1.4 Art

Greek art is characterized by its realism and idealism. Greek artists strove to depict their subjects as accurately as possible while also conveying their idealized vision of beauty. They achieved this through their mastery of sculpture and architecture. The Parthenon in Athens is a prime example of Greek architectural excellence which has stood the test of time. Greek art was highly influential in shaping the development of Roman art and subsequently European art as a whole.

2. 1,5 Architecture

Greek architecture is characterized by its harmony, proportions and simplicity. Greek architects strived to achieve balance and symmetry in their buildings which were often adorned with intricate sculptures and carvings. The most iconic examples of Greek architecture are the Parthenon in Athens and the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. These structures have served as inspiration for architects throughout history up to the present day.

2. ,2 Roman civilization
2.,2,1 The concept of civitas

The Romans developed the concept of civitas, or citizenship, which granted certain rights and privileges to those who held it. Citizenship was originally only available to freeborn men but was later extended to women, freed slaves and even non-Romans. Civitas became an important source of social cohesion in the Roman Empire. It ensured that people from all walks of life felt a sense of belonging and loyalty to Rome. The concept of civitas has shaped the development of modern citizenship and is an integral part of many contemporary societies.

2. 2.2 Wrestling

Wrestling was a popular sport in ancient Rome. It was often used as a training ground for soldiers as it helped to build strength, stamina and agility. Roman wrestlers were divided into two categories: the heavyweights and the lightweights. The heavyweight category was reserved for those with a muscular build, while the lightweight category was open to all other wrestlers. Roman wrestling was a highly technical and tactical sport, with a wide variety of different moves and holds being used. Many of these are still used in modern wrestling today.

2. 2.3 Long distance races

Long distance running was a popular sport in ancient Rome. The most famous event was the footrace, which was held at the Olympic Games. This race was open to all men aged 20 or over and was run naked. The length of the race varied from 7 to 24 miles (11 to 39 km). Roman runners were also known for their prowess in long-distance races such as the marathon and ultra-marathon. These events are still contested today and the top performers are often compared to their Roman predecessors.

2. 2.4 Long jump

The long jump was another popular sport in ancient Rome. Roman athletes were renowned for their ability to jump great distances, with some records indicating that they could jump over 30 feet (9 m). The long jump is still contested today and remains one of the most popular track and field events. Roman athletes continue to be revered for their achievements in this event, with many modern athletes aspire to emulate their success.

3. , Conclusion

In conclusion, the Greek and Roman civilisations have made enduring contributions to the contemporary world which have shaped our politics, literature, art, architecture and sports. These civilisations were highly advanced for their time and their legacy continues to be felt in the modern day.


Some of the ways in which Greek and Roman civilizations have influenced modern life include democracy, architecture, art, literature, and language.

These civilizations developed over time through a combination of factors such as geography, trade, military conquest, and cultural exchange.

Some of the key features of each civilization include their respective religions (Greek mythology and Roman Catholicism), systems of government (oligarchy and republic), and political structures (the city-state and the empire).

The impact that these civilizations had on each other was significant in shaping the development of Western civilization. For example, the Romans adopted many aspects of Greek culture after they conquered Greece in 146 BC, which helped to spread Hellenistic ideas throughout Europe and Asia Minor.