7 Reasons Why The Roman Empire Never Fell: It Lives Inside All of Us
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Politics and Activism

7 Reasons Why The Roman Empire Never Fell: It Lives Inside All of Us

Not only are the Roman aqueducts, roads, and church still in use today, but Roman concepts and the Roman way of life lives in all of us to this day.

7 Reasons Why The Roman Empire Never Fell: It Lives Inside All of Us

We are taught in school that the Roman empire fell in 472 when Germanic tribes sacked the city of Rome and the great Roman empire which lasted hundreds of years ended. If your history teacher asks you this on a multiple-choice test this is the right answer, but in a larger sense Rome never fell. Putting aside the fact that the Roman language is the root of most languages spoken in the world here are six ways our minds and lifestyles are inherently Roman.

1.      Religion

File:Jean-Léon Gérôme - The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer ...commons.wikimedia.org

Even though Christianity and the Roman Republic had a rocky start, crucifixion and being fed to lions anyone?, the Roman Republic eventually became the first Christian nation and expanded the gospel to all corners of the earth.

2.     Concept of fairness

  • Making your handshake work for you in your career (opinion)
  • It may be surprising to some, but our judicial system has its roots in Rome, the concept of fault, responsibility, and justice (at least our versions of it) are Roman. If you have even a basic understanding of law you know most of our legal terms are in Latin: no contest nolo contendere, Nemo debet bis vexari- double jeopardy, ex post facto-after the fact, ect
  • Rome was one of the first nations to enact basic rules of fairness as we know them today, one citizen was no better than another. Before Rome aristocrats were immune to laws and could act with impunity to commoners, in Rome no one was above the law, not man nor woman, emperor or commoner.

3. What it means to be a good person

File:Scales Of Justice.svg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org

This one is sort of complex and intertwined with religion. In pre-Roman society there was nothing wrong with not practicing what your preached, hypocrisy is a Greek term the Romans adopted. The concept of being a servant leader instead of ruling through birthright or through might is inherently Roman. Although every other culture had some form of this our concepts of kindness, mercy and justice all originated in Rome

4. Government

File:Pantheon (Rome) 20150812-2.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
  • Does anyone ever wonder why we have a senate? Multiple branches of government and practice parliamentary procedures in congress? You guessed it Rome, the Romans were the first to have a senate and institute three branches of government (triumvirate) to keep a balance on each other.
They were also the first to have a constitution that was not based on religion and could be changed by the people, and they also enacted the concept of democracy borrowed from the Greeks.

5. Military

Roman Holiday Birthplace Of Rome - Free photo on Pixabaypixabay.com

Yes, even hundreds of years after Rome fell to the Germanic tribes their military still forms the basis of every developed nation. Their rank structure and training were so good that it is still used today. Instead of drafting peasants during times of war they developed a professional army that would train round the clock. Ruck marches and boot camp were also their idea.

6. Citizenship

Passports (On Hold) – Cleveland Public Library

This is one of the lesser-known ones but the concept of citizenship as we know it is Roman. In every nation before Rome citizenship was exclusively hereditary, if you were not born a Persian you could never become one, in Rome citizenship could be earned. The Roman Republic was so large that it was the first multiracial republic which incorporated Europeans, Arabs, and black Africans which all enjoyed the full rights of citizenship.

7. Limited government

Christopher Gadsden - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org

I know my conservative leaning friends will love this one: religious tolerance had its birth in the Roman empire. So long as you gave to "Cesar what is Cesar's" you were free to be a Jew, a Zoroastianist, or an atheist. Unfortunately for those same friends' taxes still existed in Rome.

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