IN WHAT WAYS WERE THE ROMANS HEIRS TO GREEK AND HELLENISTIC CIVILIZATION?
The Hellenistic civilization marked an important time in Greek culture. This was the period between 323 and 31 BC, at one point the Greek society changed from being withdrawn and localized to an aggressive multinational, unprotected, and eager culture that infused together southwest Asia and eastern Mediterranean. The Hellenistic world involved many different people but the Greeks’ thinking and way of life influenced most of the matters.1 Every aspect related to culture followed the beliefs of the Greeks and this led to the Greek language becoming established, as the official language of this area. The following arguments are centralized around methods to describing how the Roman emanated as the heirs of the Greek and Hellenistic civilization as presented by different perspectives such as Professor Mathews, Platt, and Noble in the western humanities and Professor Weber presents his research from the point of view of western traditions. Hellenistic civilization had very unique features in that it was made up of large rocky terrain called Peninsula’s, this is apparent off the coast of Turkey and the Islands of Aegean Sea.2 The mountains served as a strong barrier and acted as a determinant from political powers in Greece. Initially, Greece was divided into several self-governing communities that were separated from each other by landscape and this was later developed into city-states and each one had its own system of law and means of governance. The terrain made farming difficult, and therefore, the lucrative job was raising livestock. The people who lived in Greece practiced some trade where they produced pottery, olive oil, and wine that they traded with other people who came from the Mediterranean. The exposure that the Greeks got with other communities, such as the Romans through trade, made them aware of the main advantages to outsider trading. Hellenistic period promoted trade as people moved freely throughout the Hellenistic kingdoms. The Greeks shared a common culture based on religious beliefs, traditions, language, and economic ties.3 For example, they all believed in the same gods and goddesses such as Apollo and Athena, who lived on mount Olympus.4 The majority of the kingdoms spoke the same language and this made it very convenient for trade to flourish. However, people soon felt divided because of the new cultural and political landscape as influenced by other nations with whom they interacted with, especially while trading.5 The Romans at the time were a very different society, they place high value on property, home, marriage, creating wills, and lower class women. The literature and art of Romans during this era were centralized around on the ideal, while Hellenistic art focused on the real. The illustration of man in both literature and art concentrated on the interesting themes of the daily lifestyle and the emotional aspect of human beings, heroes, and gods alike. Roman artist were innovators and borrowers, but not originators.6 Their artistic works were characterized by practicality. Their extent of the Greek influence and language was established through the olden Greek coinage. Portraits became more real and the symbol of a coin was used to exhibit the propaganda image, which was used to honour an event or to show the image of the god that was favored. The literature of the Hellenistic period was stigmatized because the renaissance period was ponderous and imitative, but there was great richness in the writing. There was also a dispute in the philosophy among the educated people and the contributions of the Epicureans and Stoics to the world were countless. Sexism in ancient Greece was in full swing. Women were regarded as lesser by men and they were striped from the public life. Women were subject to their husband’s will and left to manage their homes. Romans had adopted the Greeks’...
Bibliography: Roy, T, F. Matthews, Platt, D. W., and Noble F. X. Thomas. The Western Humanities. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.
Holladay, Carl R. 4. Acts and the Fragmentary Hellenistic Jewish Authors. “Novum Testamentum. “ Jan 2011: 22-51.
Cameron, Averil, and Warden Averil Cameron. The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: AD 395-700. London: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Weber, Eugen. “The Western Tradition.” YouTube Videos. Jan 16, 2012. .
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