Cultural Studies: Comparison between Greek and Roman Cultures

Cultural Studies: Comparison between Greek and Roman Cultures

Similarities

  1. Both enjoy recreation
  2. Both watch chariot races as a form of entertainment
  3. Their arts are largely similar in nature
  4. Socially, both believe in Hierarchy
  5. Their mythology stories are similar in nature, save for a few minor differences
  6. In both cultures, women had the responsibility of taking care of the home and household chores.
  7. Both gladiatorial and classical games of the Greek and Roman cultures took place in either an arena or a dome.
  8. Both had at least some degree of discrimination against women, though the extent of freedom granted does differ.
  9. At one time, both cultures adopted the Toga dressing style, especially when the Romans copied it from the Greek.
  10. The economy of both cultures was heavily based on agriculture (Roman & Roman, 2010).

Differences

  1. Greek sculptors produced ideal artistic forms, while Romans produced realistic portraits used in decorations.
  2. The main art associated with Roman culture is the mosaic painting known as Fresco, while for Greek it is the Venus de Milo.
  3.  The Greek did not like barbaric fighting, since they were more aristocratic than the Romans, who loved gladiator’s fights.
  4. Romans had festivals that were dedicated to the ruler or king, but the Greek loved sport festivals done in honor of gods.
  5. The two cultures speak different languages, i.e. Latin and Greek.
  6. In the Greek, women were treated as lesser individuals, while this did not strongly manifest in the Roman culture. However in the latter, women were not allowed to hold political offices or even cast votes.
  7. The Greek culture existed long before the Roman one. The intermixing between the two made each borrow from each other.
  8. The Greek social systems were divided into freedmen, slaves, citizens, metrics, and women, while that of Rome was organized into freedmen, plebeians, slaves, and patricians.
  9. In mythology stories, the Greeks focused on their lives, while the Romans focused on their afterlife.
  10. The Greek have a popular dressing style known as the Toga, while the Romans have shifted between Stola and Tunic (Roman & Roman, 2010).

 

B: How did the Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenaean cultures contribute to Greeks’ sense of themselves?

The Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenaean civilizations have various impacts on the self-identification of the Greek culture. For instance, the Cycladic civilization had most notable statuettes which were carved from the Cycladic figurines. These artworks exemplified the idealistic form of the ancient Greek sculptures. The Minoan civilization improved the great bank of artillery as well as their knowhow regarding the manipulation of metals. The Mycenaean civilization, on the other hand, brought a new sense of inheritance where the Greek did value gold jewelries and independent city-states enclosed within strong walls (Wilson, 2006).

 

B: What is a polis and how did polies shape Greek culture   

“Polis” literally means city in Greek language. This was a term used to refer to the ancient Greek city-states, which were primary developed during the Mycenaean civilization. The polis was very significant in Greek culture as it introduced a new system of governance, where each city-state was being ruled by an independent king. The development of great walls and which exemplified the meaning of “body of citizens” (Wilson, 2006).

 

C: What was imperial Rome? 

This was the empire that succeeded the Roman Republican when Augustus was ruling between 27 B.C to 14 A.D. Its territories covered from Britain and Germany as well as the Persian Gulf and North America. Later it split into Western Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire (Roman, & Roman, 2010).

 

D: What values were retained from the Etruscans and Roman republic roots?

  • Engineering skills
  • Slavery
  • Mining
  • Treatment of women as non-citizen

References

Roman, L., & Roman, M. (2010). Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology. New York: Facts On File.

Wilson, Nigel Guy (2006), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, p. 627

 

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