What were some Roman contributions to Western civilization?


Quick Answer

Contributions of ancient Rome to Western civilization include a republican form of government, the spread of Christianity and basic principles of architecture. In addition, the Latin language has had a far-reaching influence on modern languages, especially on English.

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Full Answer

The founders of the United States in large part designed their new government on the principles espoused in ancient Greece's democracy as well as ancient Rome's republicanism. From the Roman republic came the principle of a republican government which allows citizens to elect their leadership, which is in turn responsible to those citizens.

It was through ancient Rome that Christianity spread throughout all the Western world. Because the spread of the Roman empire was so large, Christianity was able to spread. Once the Roman emperor Constantine made Christianity the official state religion of Rome, the religion was able to flourish even more, ultimately reshaping the history of the West.

Roman architecture introduced elements that continue through history and are still seen in modern architecture, as of 2014. Roman architecture used the arch extensively, making possible architecture that hadn't been seen before. The dome and the flying buttress were other architecture innovations which were carried forward into Western civilization.

Although English is structurally a Germanic language, over 60 percent of the words in English ultimately derive from Latin, the primary language spoken in ancient Rome. All Romance languages also derive directly from Latin.

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