Legacy of the Roman Empire

The legacy of the Roman Empire includes sets of cultural values, religious beliefs, technological advances, engineering and language. This legacy survived the demise of the empire itself (5th century AD in the West, and 15th century AD in the East) and went on to shape other civilisations, a process which continues to this day. The city of Rome was the civitas (reflected in the etymology of the word "civilisation") and connected with the actual western civilisation on which subsequent cultures built.

The Latin language of ancient Rome, epitomized by the Classical Latin used in Latin literature, evolved during the Middle Ages and remains in use in the Roman Catholic Church as Ecclesiastical Latin. Vulgar Latin, the common tongue used for regular social interactions, evolved simultaneously into the various Romance languages that exist today (notably Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, etc.). Although the Western Roman Empire fell in the 5th century AD, the Eastern Roman Empire continued until its conquest by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century AD and cemented the Greek language in many parts of the Eastern Mediterranean even after the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century AD. Although there has been a small modern revival of the Hellenistic religion with Hellenism, ancient Roman paganism was largely displaced by Roman Catholic Christianity after the 4th century AD and the Christian conversion of Roman emperor Constantine I (r. 306-337 AD). The Christian faith of the late Roman Empire continued to evolve during the Middle Ages and remains a major facet of the religion and the psyche of the modern Western world.

Ancient Roman architecture, largely indebted to ancient Greek architecture of the Hellenistic period, has made a consistent impact on the architecture of the Western world, particularly during the Italian Renaissance of the 15th century. Roman law and republican politics (from the age of the Roman Republic) have left an enduring legacy, influencing the city-state republics of the Medieval period as well as the early United States and other modern democratic republics. The Julian calendar of ancient Rome formed the basis of the standard modern Gregorian calendar, while Roman inventions and engineering, such as the construction of concrete domes, continued to influence various peoples after the fall of Rome. Roman models of colonialism and of warfare also became influential.

   Official Romance language
  Co-official Romance language
  Unofficial Romance language
  Unofficial regional Romance language
Map-Romance Language World
Global distribution of Romance languages:
BlueFrench; GreenSpanish; OrangePortuguese; YellowItalian; RedRomanian


Latin was the lingua franca of the early Roman Empire and later the Western Roman Empire, while particularly in the East indigenous languages such as Greek and to a lesser degree Egyptian and Aramaic language continued to be in use. Despite the decline of the Western Roman Empire, the Latin language continued to flourish in the very different social and economic environment of the Middle Ages, not least because it became the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. Koine Greek, which served as a lingua franca in the Eastern Empire, is still used today as a sacred language in some Eastern Orthodox churches.

In Western and Central Europe and parts of Africa, Latin retained its elevated status as the main vehicle of communication for the learned classes throughout the Middle Ages; this is especially seen during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Books which had a revolutionary impact on science, such as Nicolaus Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543), were composed in Latin. This language was not supplanted for scientific purposes until the 18th century, and for formal descriptions in zoology, as well as botany - it survived to the later 20th century.[1] The modern international Binomial nomenclature holds to this day: the scientific name of each species is classified by a Latin or Latinized name.

Today the Romance languages, which comprise all languages that descended from Latin, are spoken by more than 920 million people as their mother tongue, and 300 million people as a second language, mainly in the Americas, Europe, and Africa.[2] Romance languages are either official, co-official, or significantly used in 72 countries around the world.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Of the United Nations's six official languages, two, French and Spanish, descend from Latin.

Additionally, Latin had a great influence on both the grammar and the lexicon of West Germanic languages. Romance words make respectively 59%, 20% and 14% of English, German and Dutch vocabularies.[9][10][11] Those figures can rise dramatically when only non-compound and non-derived words are included. Accordingly, Romance words make roughly 35% of the vocabulary of Dutch.[11]


Latin alphabet world distribution
Global distribution of the Latin script.

All three official scripts of the modern European UnionLatin, Greek and Cyrillic—descend from writing systems used in the Roman Empire. Today, the Latin script, the Latin alphabet spread by the Roman Empire to most of Europe, and derived from the Phoenician alphabet through an ancient form of the Greek alphabet adopted and modified by Etruscan, is the most widespread and commonly used script in the world. Spread by various colonies, trade routes, and political powers, the script has continued to grow in influence. The Greek alphabet, which had been popularized throughout the eastern Mediterranean region during the Hellenistic period, remained the primary script of the Eastern Empire through the Byzantine Empire until its demise in the 15th century.

Latin literature

Incunabula distribution by language
15th-century printed books by language.[12] The high prestige of Latin still dominated the European discourse a millennium after the demise of the Western Roman Empire.

The Carolingian Renaissance of the 8th century rescued many works in Latin from oblivion: manuscripts transcribed at that time are our only sources for works that later fell into obscurity once more, only to be recovered during the Renaissance: Tacitus, Lucretius, Propertius and Catullus are examples.[13] Other Latin writers were always read: Virgil was reinterpreted as a prophet of Christianity by the 4th century, and gained the reputation of a sorcerer in the 12th century.

Cicero, in a limited number of his works, remained a model of good style, mined for quotations. Ovid was read with a Christian allegorical interpretation. Seneca was reimagined as the correspondent of Saint Paul. Lucan, Persius, Juvenal, Horace, Terence, and Statius survived in the continuing canon and historians Valerius Maximus and Livy continued to be read for the moral lessons history was expected to impart.

Through the Roman Empire, Greek literature also continued to make an impact in Europe long after the Empire's fall, especially after the recovery of Greek texts from the East during the high Middle Ages and the resurgence of Greek literacy during the Renaissance. Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, for instance, originally written in Greek, was widely read by educated Westerners from the Renaissance up to the 20th century. Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar takes most of its material from Plutarch's biographies of Caesar, Cato, and Brutus, whose exploits were frequently discussed and debated by the literati of the time.


Martianus Capella developed the system of the seven liberal arts that structured medieval education. Although the liberal arts were already known in Ancient Greece, it was only after Martianus that the seven liberal arts took on canonical form. His single encyclopedic work, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii "On the Marriage of Philology and Mercury", laid the standard formula of academic learning from the Christianized Roman Empire of the 5th century until the Renaissance of the 12th century.

The seven liberal arts were formed by the trivium, which included the skills of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, while arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy played part as the quadrivium.

Calendar and measurement

The modern Western calendar is a refinement of the Julian calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar. The calendar of the Roman Empire began with the months Ianuarius (January), Februarius (February), and Martius (March). The common tradition to begin the year on 1 January was a convention established in ancient Rome. Throughout the medieval period, the year began on 25 March, the Catholic Solemnity of the Annunciation.

Roman monk of the 5th-century, Dionysius Exiguus, devised the modern dating system of the Anno Domini (AD) era, which is based on the reckoned year of the birth of Jesus, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the era.

The modern seven-day week follows the Greco-Roman system of planetary hours, in which one of the seven heavenly bodies of the Solar System that were known in ancient times—Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon—is given "rulership" over each day. The Romance languages (with the exception of Portuguese, that assigns an ordinal number to five days of the week, from Monday to Friday, beginning with segunda-feira, and ending with sexta-feira) preserve the original Latin names of each day of the week, except for Sunday, which came to be called dies dominicus (Lord's Day) under Christianity.

This system for the days of the week spread to Celtic and Germanic peoples, as well as the Albanians, before the collapse of the empire, after which the names of comparable gods were substituted for the Roman deities in some languages. In Germanic languages, for instance, Thor stood in for Jupiter (Jove), yielding "Thursday" from the Latin dies Iovis, while in Albanian, native deities En and Prende were assigned to Thursday and Friday respectively.

Day Sunday
Sōl (Sun)
Luna (Moon)
Mars (Mars)
Mercurius (Mercury)
Iuppiter (Jupiter)
Venus (Venus)
Saturnus (Saturn)
Latin dies Sōlis dies Lūnae dies Martis dies Mercuriī dies Iovis dies Veneris dies Saturnī
Italian domenica lunedì martedì mercoledì giovedì venerdì sabato
French dimanche lundi mardi mercredi jeudi vendredi samedi
Spanish domingo lunes martes miércoles jueves viernes sábado
Catalan diumenge dilluns dimarts dimecres dijous divendres dissabte
Romanian duminică luni marți miercuri joi vineri sâmbătă
Albanian te dielën
(diell = "sun")
të hënën
(hënë = "moon")
të martën të mërkurën të enjten të premte të shtunën
Irish An Domhnach
Dé Domhnaigh
An Luan
Dé Luain
An Mháirt
Dé Máirt
An Chéadaoin
Dé Céadaoin
An Déardaoin
An Aoine
Dé hAoine
An Satharn
Dé Sathairn
Welsh dydd Sul dydd Llun dydd Mawrth dydd Mercher dydd Iau dydd Gwener dydd Sadwrn
Breton Disul Dilun Dimeurzh Dimerc’her Diriaou Digwener Disadorn
Old English Sunnandæg Mōnandæg Tīwesdæg Wōdnesdæg Þunresdæg Frīgedæg Sæternesdæg
German Sonntag Montag Dienstag, Ziestag (Swiss German) Mittwoch (older Wutenstag) Donnerstag Freitag Sonnabend, Samstag
Dutch zondag maandag dinsdag woensdag donderdag vrijdag zaterdag
Icelandic sunnudagur mánudagur þriðjudagur miðvikudagur fimmtudagur föstudagur laugardagur
Norwegian Nynorsk sundag/søndag måndag tysdag onsdag torsdag fredag laurdag
Danish søndag mandag tirsdag onsdag torsdag fredag lørdag
Swedish söndag måndag tisdag onsdag torsdag fredag lördag

Hours of the day

The 12-hour clock is a time convention popularized by the Romans in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods. The Romans divided the day into 12 equal hours, A.M. (ante-meridiem, meaning before midday) and P.M. (post-meridiem, meaning past midday). The Romans also started the practice used worldwide today of a new day beginning at midnight.

Numerals and units

A typical clock face with Roman numerals in Bad Salzdetfurth, Germany. The notion of a twelve-hour day dates to the Roman Empire.

Roman numerals continued as the primary way of writing numbers in Europe until the 14th century, when they were largely replaced in common usage by Hindu-Arabic numerals. The Roman numeral system continues to be widely used, however, in certain formal and minor contexts, such as on clock faces, coins, in the year of construction on cornerstone inscriptions, and in generational suffixes (such as Louis XIV or William Howard Taft IV). According to the Royal Spanish Academy, in the Spanish language centuries must be written in Roman numerals, so "21st century" should be written as "Siglo XXI".

The Romans solidified the modern concept of the hour as one-24th part of a day and night. The English measurement system also retains features of the Ancient Roman foot (11.65 modern inches), which was used in England prior to the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain. The inch itself derives from the Roman uncia, meaning one-twelfth part.


Christianity percent population in each nation World Map Christian data by Pew Research
Christianity by percentage of population in each country.

While classical Roman and Hellenistic religion were ultimately superseded by Christianity, many key theological ideas and questions that are characteristic of Western religions originated with pre-Christian theology. The first cause argument for the existence of God, for instance, originates with Plato. Design arguments, which were introduced by Socrates and Aristotle and remain widely discussed to this day, formed an influential component of Stoic theology well into the late Roman period. The problem of evil was widely discussed among ancient philosophers, including the Roman writers such as Cicero and Seneca, and many of the answers they provided were later absorbed into Christian theodicy. In Christian moral theology, moreover, the field of natural law ethics draws heavily on the tradition established by Aristotle, the Stoics, and especially by Cicero's popular Latin work, De Legibus. Cicero's conception of natural law "found its way to later centuries notably through the writings of Saint Isidore of Seville and the Decretum of Gratian"[14] and influenced the discussion of the topic up through the era of the American Revolution.

Christianity itself also spread through the Roman Empire; since emperor Theodosius I (AD 379-395), the official state church of the Roman Empire was Christianity. Subsequently, former Roman territories became Christian states which exported their religion to other parts of the world, through colonization and missionaries.

Christianity also served as a conduit for preserving and transmitting Greco-Roman literary culture. Classical educational tradition in the liberal arts was preserved after the fall of the empire by the medieval Christian university. Education in the Middle Ages relied heavily on Greco-Roman books such as Euclid's Elements and the influential quadrivium textbooks written in Latin by the Roman statesman Boethius (AD 480–524).

Major works of Greek and Latin literature, moreover, were both read and written by Christians during the imperial era. Many of the most influential works of the early Christian tradition were written by Roman and Hellenized theologians who engaged heavily with the literary culture of the empire (see church fathers). St. Augustine's (AD 354-430) City of God, for instance, draws extensively on Virgil, Cicero, Varro, Homer, Plato, and elements of Roman values and identity to criticize paganism and advocate for Christianity amidst a crumbling empire. The engagement of early Christians as both readers and writers of important Roman and Greek literature helped to ensure that the literary culture of Rome would persist after the fall of the empire. For thousands of years to follow, religious scholars in the Latin West from Bede to Thomas Aquinas and later renaissance figures such as Dante, Montaigne and Shakespeare would continue to read, reference and imitate both Christian and pagan literature from the Roman Empire. In the east, the empire's prolific tradition of Greek literature continued uninterrupted after the fall of the west, in part due to the works of the Greek fathers, who were widely read by Christians in medieval Byzantium and continue to influence religious thought to this day (see Byzantine literature).

Science and philosophy

Cellarius Harmonia Macrocosmica - Theoria Lunae
Ptolemy's refined geocentric theory of epicycles was backed up by rigorous mathematics and detailed astronomical observations. It was not overturned until the Copernican Revolution, over a thousand years later.
The Bible as codex. The codex, the book format today in universal use, was invented by the Romans and spread by Roman Christians.[15]

While much of the most influential Greek science and philosophy was developed before the rise of the Empire, major innovations occurred under Roman rule that have had a lasting impact on the intellectual world. The traditions of Greek, Egyptian and Babylonian scholarship continued to flourish at great centers of learning such as Athens, Alexandria, and Pergamon.

Epicurean philosophy reached a literary apex in the long poem by Lucretius, who advocated an atomic theory of matter and revered the older teachings of the Greek Democritus. The works of the philosophers Seneca the Younger, Epictetus and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius were widely read during the revival of Stoic thought in the Renaissance, which synthesized Stoicism and Christianity. Fighter pilot James Stockdale famously credited the philosophy of Epictetus as being a major source of strength when he was shot down and held as prisoner during the Vietnam War. Plato's philosophy continued to be widely studied under the Empire, growing into the sophisticated neoplatonic system through the influence of Plotinus. Platonic philosophy was largely reconciled with Christianity by the Roman theologian Augustine of Hippo, who, while a staunch opponent of Roman paganism, viewed the Platonists as having more in common with Christians than the other pagan schools.[16] To this day, Plato's Republic is considered the foundational work of Western philosophy, and is read by students around the globe.

The widespread Lorem ipsum text, which is widely used as a meaningless placeholder in modern typography and graphic design, is derived from the Latin text of Cicero's philosophical treatise De finibus.

Pagan philosophy was gradually supplanted by Christianity in the later years of the Empire, culminating in the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I. Many Greek-speaking philosophers moved to the east, outside the borders of the Empire. Neoplatonism and Aristotelianism gained a stronghold in Persia, where they were a heavy influence on early Islamic philosophy. Thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age such as Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (Averroës) engaged deeply with Greek philosophy, and played a major role in saving works of Aristotle that had been lost to the Latin West. The influence of Greek philosophy on Islam was dramatically reduced In the 11th century when the views of Avicenna and Avveroes were strongly criticized by Al-Ghazali. His Incoherence of the Philosophers is among the most influential books in Islamic history. In Western Europe, meanwhile, the recovery of Greek texts during the Scholastic period had a profound influence on Latin science and theology from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance.

In science, the theories of the Greco-Roman physician Galen dominated Western medical thought and practice for more than 1,300 years. Ptolemy produced the most thorough and sophisticated astronomical theory of antiquity, documented in the Almagest. The Ptolemaic model of the solar system would remain the dominant approach to astronomy across Europe and the Middle East for more than a thousand years. Forty eight of the 88 constellations the IAU recognizes today were recorded in the seventh and eighth books of Claudius Ptolemy’s Almagest.

At Alexandria, the engineer and experimentalist Hero of Alexandria founded the study of mechanics and pneumatics. In modern geometry, Heron's formula bears his name. Roman Alexandria also saw the seeds of modern algebra arise in the works of Diophantus. Greek algebra continued to be studied in the east well after the fall of the Western Empire, where it matured into modern algebra in the hands of al-Khwārizmī (see the history of algebra). The study of Diophantine Equations and Diophantine Approximations are still important areas of mathematical research today.

All of the planets in the Solar System, excluding Earth and Uranus, are named after Roman deities.

Roman law and politics

Map of the Legal systems of the world (en)
Roman Law in blue tones.
Forms of government
  Presidential republics with a full presidential system.
  Presidential republics with a semi-presidential system.
  Parliamentary republics with an executive president chosen by the parliament
  Parliamentary republics with a ceremonial president, where the prime minister is the executive.
  One-party state considered Republics

Although the law of the Roman Empire is not used today, modern law in many jurisdictions is based on principles of law used and developed during the Roman Empire. Some of the same Latin terminology is still used today. The general structure of jurisprudence used today, in many jurisdictions, is the same (trial with a judge, plaintiff, and defendant) as that established during the Roman Empire.

The modern concept of republican government is directly modeled on the Roman Republic. The republican institutions of Rome survived in many of the Italian city-states of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The United States Congress is inspired by the Roman senate and legislative assemblies, while the president holds a position similar to that of a Roman consul. Many European political thinkers of the Enlightenment were avid consumers of Latin literature. Montesquieu, Edmund Burke, and John Adams were all strongly influenced by Cicero, for instance. Adams recommended Cicero as a model for politicians to imitate, and once remarked that "the sweetness and grandeur of his sounds, and the harmony of his numbers give pleasure enough to reward the reading if one understood none of his meaning."[17]


Gnocchi di ricotta burro e salvia
Gnocchi, a kind of traditional Italian pasta, was introduced to various parts of Europe by the Roman legions during the expansion of the empire.

Many Roman inventions were improved versions of other people's inventions and ranged from military organization, weapon improvements, armour, siege technology, naval innovation, architecture, medical instruments, irrigation, civil planning, construction, agriculture and many more areas of civic, governmental, military and engineering development.

That said, the Romans also developed a huge array of new technologies and innovations. Many came from common themes but were vastly superior to what had come before, whilst others were totally new inventions developed by and for the needs of Empire and the Roman way of life.

Some of the more famous examples are the Roman aqueducts (some of which are still in use today), Roman roads, water powered milling machines, thermal heating systems (as employed in Roman baths, and also used in palaces and wealthy homes) sewage and pipe systems and the invention and widespread use of concrete.

Metallurgy and glass work (including the first widespread use of glass windows) and a wealth of architectural innovations including high rise buildings, dome construction, bridgeworks and floor construction (seen in the functionality of the Colosseum's arena and the underlying rooms/areas beneath it) are other examples of Roman innovation and genius.

Military inventiveness was widespread and ranged from tactical/strategic innovations, new methodologies in training, discipline and field medicine as well as inventions in all aspects of weaponry, from armor and shielding to siege engines and missile technology.

This combination of new methodologies, technical innovation, and creative invention in the military gave Rome the edge against its adversaries for half a millennium, and with it, the ability to create an empire that even today, more than 2000 years later, continues to leave its legacy in many areas of modern life.

Colonies and roads

Rome left a legacy of founding many cities as Colonia. There were more than 500 Roman colonies spread through the Empire, most of them populated by veterans of the Roman legions. Some Roman colonies rose to become influential commercial and trade centers, transportation hubs and capitals of international empires, like Constantinople, London, Paris and Vienna.

All those colonies were connected by another important legacy of the Roman Empire: the Roman roads. Indeed, the empire comprised more than 400,000 kilometres (250,000 mi) of roads, of which over 80,500 kilometres (50,000 mi) were stone-paved.[18] The courses (and sometimes the surfaces) of many Roman roads survived for millennia. Many are overlaid by modern roads, like the Via Emilia in northern Italy. The road networks from the empire's territorial peak in 117CE are closely linked to cities having greater modern-day economic activity, particularly in European areas since they did not abandon wheeled vehicles in the latter half of the first millenium.[19]


In the mid-18th century, Roman architecture inspired neoclassical architecture. Neoclassicalism was an international movement. Though neoclassical architecture employs the same classical vocabulary as late Baroque architecture, it tends to emphasize its planar qualities, rather than sculptural volumes. Projections and recessions and their effects of light and shade are flatter; sculptural bas-reliefs are flatter and tend to be enframed in friezes, tablets or panels. Its clearly articulated individual features are isolated rather than interpenetrating, autonomous and complete in themselves.

International neoclassical architecture was exemplified in Karl Friedrich Schinkel's buildings, especially the Old Museum in Berlin, Sir John Soane's Bank of England in London and the newly built White House and Capitol in Washington, DC in the United States. The Scots architect Charles Cameron created palatial Italianate interiors for the German-born Catherine II the Great in St. Petersburg.

Italy clung to Rococo until the Napoleonic regimes brought the new archaeological classicism, which was embraced as a political statement by young, progressive, urban Italians with republican leanings.

Imperial idea

Byzantine eagle
Coat of arms of the last imperial dynasty of the Eastern Roman Empire.

From a legal point of view the Roman Empire, founded by Augustus in 27 BC and divided into two "parts" after the death of Theodosius I in 395, had survived only in the eastern part which, with the deposition of the last western emperor Romulus Augustulus, in 476, had also obtained the imperial regalia of the western part reuniting from a formal point of view the Roman Empire.

The Roman line continued uninterrupted to rule the Eastern Roman Empire, whose main characteristics were Roman concept of state, medieval Greek culture and language, and Orthodox Christian faith. The Byzantines themselves never ceased to refer to themselves as "Romans" (Rhomaioi) and to their state as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans" (in Greek Βασιλεία των Ῥωμαίων, Basileía ton Rhōmaíōn) or "Romania" (Ῥωμανία, Rhōmanía). Likewise, they were called "Rûm" (Rome) by their eastern enemies to the point that competing neighbours even acquired its name, such as the Sultanate of Rûm.

German - Flask for Priming Power with the Justice of Trajan - Walters 511334
Flask for Priming Power with the Justice of Trajan (mid-16th century), depicting a woman's plea for justice from Trajan, with an imperial pennant of the Habsburgs suggesting that as Holy Roman Emperors they are the political descendants of the ancient Roman emperors (Walters Art Museum)

The designation of the Empire as "Byzantine" is a retrospective idea: it began only in 1557, a century after the fall of Constantinople, when German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of Byzantine sources. The term did not come in general use in the Western world before the 19th century, when modern Greece was born. The end of the continuous tradition of the Roman Empire is open to debate: the final point was the capture of Constantinople in 1453 AD, while some place it at the sack of Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204.

After the fall of Constantinople, Thomas Palaiologos, brother of the last Eastern Roman Emperor, Constantine XI, was elected emperor and tried to organize the remaining forces. His rule came to an end after the fall of the last major Byzantine city, Corinth. He then moved to Italy and continued to be recognized as Eastern emperor by the Christian powers.

His son Andreas Palaiologos continued claims on the Byzantine throne until he sold the title to Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile before his death in 1502.[20] However, there is no evidence that any Spanish monarch used the Byzantine imperial titles, which would have symbolically converted the king of Spain into a legitimate Emperor of Rome.

In Western Europe, the Roman concept of state was continued for almost a millennium by the Holy Roman Empire whose emperors, mostly of German tongue, viewed themselves as the legitimate successors to the ancient imperial tradition (King of the Romans) and Rome as the capital of its Empire. The German title of "Kaiser" is derived from the Latin word for "Caesar". The word Caesar is pronounced /kae:sar/ in Classical Latin.

The coronation of Charlemagne as "Roman" emperor by Pope Leo III in the year 800 was a deprived act of legitimate juridical profile: only the Roman emperor of the East (called "Byzantine" later by the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century) would be crowned a peer of him in the western part, which is why Constantinople was always suspicious of that act.

The emperors of the Holy Roman Empire sought in many ways to make themselves accepted by the Byzantines as their peers: with diplomatic relations, political marriages or threats. Sometimes, however, they did not obtain the expected results, because from Constantinople they were always called "King of the Germans", never "Emperor." The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806 owing to pressure by Napoleon I.

In Eastern Europe, firstly the bulgarian, then the Serbian and ultimately the Russian czars (Czar derived from Caesar) proclaimed being Emperors. In Moscow in Russia adopted the idea of being a Third Rome (with Constantinople being the second). Sentiments of being the heir of the fallen Eastern Roman Empire began during the reign of Ivan III, Grand Duke of Moscow who had married Sophia Paleologue, the niece of Constantine XI (it is important to note that she was not the heiress of the Byzantine throne, her brother Andreas, who in fact was). Being the most powerful Orthodox Christian state, the Tsars were thought of in Russia as succeeding the Eastern Roman Empire as the rightful rulers of the Orthodox Christian world. There were also competing Bulgarian, Wallachian[21][22] and Ottoman claims for legal succession of the Roman Empire, Mehmet II "the Conqueror" claiming the title Kayser-i Rûm, meaning Caesar of Rome.

In the early 20th century, the Italian fascists under their "Duce" Benito Mussolini dreamed of a new Roman Empire as an Italian one, encompassing the Mediterranean basin.

In the mid 20th century, Alexandre Kojève wanted to re-establish the Roman Empire, but this time its real goal would be a multinational soccer team.[23]

See also



  1. ^ See History of Latin.
  2. ^ "Romance languages". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  3. ^ "Language Acquisition in the Romance Speaking World: Peru - Departamento de Educación". Departamento.pucp.edu.pe. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  4. ^ "Manual of Language Acquisition - Google Libros". Books.google.es. 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  5. ^ "Multilingualism, Education and Change - Jean Jacques Weber - Google Libros". Books.google.es. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  6. ^ "Language in the Media: Representations, Identities, Ideologies - Google Libros". Books.google.es. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  7. ^ "I nomi dei fiumi, dei monti, dei siti: strutture linguistiche preistoriche - Claudio Beretta - Google Libros". Books.google.es. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  8. ^ USA (2015-09-28). "Radiation oncology in Latin speaking countries: A link between Europe and Latin America". Rep Pract Oncol Radiother. 19: 227–9. doi:10.1016/j.rpor.2013.06.004. PMC 4104016. PMID 25061515.
  9. ^ Finkenstaedt, Thomas; Dieter Wolff (1973). Ordered Profusion; studies in dictionaries and the English lexicon. C. Winter. ISBN 3-533-02253-6.
  10. ^ Uwe Pörksen, German Academy for Language and Literature’s Jahrbuch [Yearbook] 2007 (Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2008, pp. 121-130)
  11. ^ a b Loanwords in the World's Languages: A Comparative Handbook (PDF). Walter de Gruyter. 2009. p. 370.
  12. ^ "Incunabula Short Title Catalogue". British Library. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  13. ^ Roberto Weiss, The Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity (Oxford: Blackwell) 1969:1.
  14. ^ Corwin, Edward S. (1955). The "Higher Law" Background of American Constitutional Law. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. pp. 17–18.
  15. ^ Roberts & Skeat 1983, pp. 38−67; 75
  16. ^ Agustine, De Civitate Dei, book viii.
  17. ^ Carl J. Richard, Why We're All Romans: The Roman Contribution to the Western World, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010, p. 122.
  18. ^ Gabriel, Richard A. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002. Page 9.
  19. ^ Dalgaard, Carl-Johan and Kaarsen, Nicolai and Olsson, Ola and Selaya, Pablo (2018). "Roman Roads to Prosperity: Persistence and Non-Persistence of Public Goods Provision". Center for Economic and Policy Research.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  20. ^ Norwich, John Julius, Byzantium — The Decline and Fall, p. 446.
  21. ^ Clark, Victoria (2000). "Chapter 5: Romania". Why Angels Fall. New York: St. Martin's Press: Macmillan. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-312-23396-9.
  22. ^ Runciman, Steven (1985). "Chapter 10: The Phanariots". The Great Church in Captivity. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 365. ISBN 978-0-521-31310-0.
  23. ^ Allan Bloom, “Response to Fukuyama,” National Interest, 16, (1989): p 20.


External links

Aromanian language

Aromanian (rrãmãneshti, armãneashti, armãneshce, "Aromanian", or

limba rrãmãniascã/


armãneshce, "Aromanian language"), also known as Macedo-Romanian or Vlach, is an Eastern Romance language, similar to Meglenoromanian, or a dialect of the Romanian language spoken in Southeastern Europe. Its speakers are called Aromanians or Vlachs (a broader term and an exonym in widespread use to define Romance communities in the Balkans).

Aromanian shares many features with modern Romanian, including similar morphology and syntax, as well as a large common vocabulary inherited from Latin. An important source of dissimilarity between Romanian and Aromanian is the adstratum languages (external influences); whereas Romanian has been influenced to a greater extent by the Slavic languages, Aromanian has been more influenced by Greek, with which it has been in close contact throughout its history.

Classical tradition

The Western classical tradition is the reception of classical Greco-Roman antiquity by later cultures, especially the post-classical West, involving texts, imagery, objects, ideas, institutions, monuments, architecture, cultural artifacts, rituals, practices, and sayings. Philosophy, political thought, and mythology are three major examples of how classical culture survives and continues to have influence. The West is one of a number of world cultures regarded as having a classical tradition, including the Indian, Chinese, Judaic, and Islamic traditions.The study of the classical tradition differs from classical philology, which seeks to recover "the meanings that ancient texts had in their original contexts." It examines both later efforts to uncover the realities of the Greco-Roman world and "creative misunderstandings" that reinterpret ancient values, ideas and aesthetic models for contemporary use. The classicist and translator Charles Martindale has defined the reception of classical antiquity as "a two-way process … in which the present and the past are in dialogue with each other."

Cultural area

In anthropology and geography, a cultural region, cultural sphere, cultural area or culture area refers to a geography with one relatively homogeneous human activity or complex of activities (culture). These are often associated with an ethnolinguistic group and the territory it inhabits. Specific cultures often do not limit their geographic coverage to the borders of a nation state, or to smaller subdivisions of a state. Cultural "spheres of influence" may also overlap or form concentric structures of macrocultures encompassing smaller local cultures. Different boundaries may also be drawn depending on the particular aspect of interest, such as religion and folklore vs. dress and architecture vs. language.

Cultural areas are not considered equivalent to Kulturkreis (Culture circles).


The term Daco-Roman describes the Romanized culture of Dacia under the rule of the Roman Empire.

Greco-Roman world

The Greco-Roman world, Greco-Roman culture, or the term Greco-Roman ( or ); spelled Graeco-Roman in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth), when used as an adjective, as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to those geographical regions and countries that culturally (and so historically) were directly, long-term, and intimately influenced by the language, culture, government and religion of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is also better known as the Classical Civilisation. In exact terms the area refers to the "Mediterranean world", the extensive tracts of land centered on the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins, the "swimming-pool and spa" of the Greeks and Romans, i.e. one wherein the cultural perceptions, ideas and sensitivities of these peoples were dominant.

This process was aided by the universal adoption of Greek as the language of intellectual culture and commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and of Latin as the tongue for public management and forensic advocacy, especially in the Western Mediterranean.

Though Greek and Latin never became the native idioms of the rural peasants who composed the great majority of the empire's population, they were the languages of the urbanites and cosmopolitan elites, and the lingua franca, even if only as corrupt or multifarious dialects to those who lived within the large territories and populations outside the Macedonian settlements and the Roman colonies. All Roman citizens of note and accomplishment regardless of their ethnic extractions, spoke and wrote in Greek and/or Latin, such as the Roman jurist and Imperial chancellor Ulpian who was of Phoenician origin, the mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy who was of Greco-Egyptian origin and the famous post-Constantinian thinkers John Chrysostom and Augustine who were of Syrian and Berber origins, respectively, and the historian Josephus Flavius who was of Jewish origin and spoke and wrote in Greek.


Illyro-Roman is a term used in historiography and anthropological studies for the Romanized Illyrians within the ancient Roman provinces of Illyricum, Moesia, Pannonia and Dardania. The term 'Illyro-Roman' can also be used to describe the Roman settlers who colonized Illyricum. The remnants of the Illyro-Romans, called Vlachs in literature, were absorbed by the western South Slavs and Albanians.

Istro-Romanian language

The Istro-Romanian language (Istro-Romanian: Rumârește) is an Eastern Romance language, spoken in a few villages and hamlets in the peninsula of Istria in Croatia, as well as in diaspora, most notably in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Northern and Southern America, and Australia.

While its speakers call themselves Rumeri, Rumeni, they are also known as Vlachs, Rumunski, Ćići and Ćiribiri. The last two, used by ethnic Croats, originated as a disparaging nickname for the language, rather than its speakers.

Due to the fact that its speakers are estimated to be less than 500 (the "smallest ethnic group in Europe"), it is listed among languages that are "seriously endangered" in the UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages.It is also considered by some Romanian scholars as an idiosyncratic offshoot dialect of Romanian.

Italic peoples

In historical studies, Italic peoples may refer to the speakers of languages of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family found in Italy from the 9th century BCE onwards, as attested by inscriptions. The term may also refer to the presumed ancestral migrants who brought Indo-European languages into Italy, presumably in the second millennium BCE.

One of those Italic groups, the Latins, achieved a dominant position in the Italian peninsula in the late 1st millennium BCE. It eventually created the Roman Empire, that spread their civilization and their language — Latin — to much of Europe. All other Italic tribes, together with many European peoples who spoke non-Italic or non-Indo-European languages, were absorbed in a process known as romanization. After the collapse and fragmentation of the Empire, a large part of those Romanized Europeans developed Latin into various Romance languages.

The term "Italic peoples" is also sometimes used, especially in non-specialised literature, as including other groups living in the Italian peninsula in the first millenium BCE, like the Etruscans and the Raetians, who did not speak Indo-European languages.


Italy (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja] (listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna]), is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has historically been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most predominant being the Indo-European Italic peoples who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia of southern Italy, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively. The Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People. The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, and the Republic eventually expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural, political and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy, art and literature flourished. Italy remained the homeland of the Romans and the metropole of the Roman Empire. The legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, law, governments, Christianity and the Latin script.

During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. These mostly independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe; however, part of central Italy was under the control of the theocratic Papal States, while Southern Italy remained largely feudal until the 19th century, partially as a result of a succession of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Angevin, Aragonese and other foreign conquests of the region.The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Galileo and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Nevertheless, Italy's commercial and political power significantly waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, and it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France, Spain and Austria.

By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was almost entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy rapidly industrialised, namely in the north, and acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained largely impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil (e.g. the anni di piombo, the Maxi Trial, and mani pulite) became a highly advanced country.Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve. It has a very high level of human development, and it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs; it is both a regional power and a great power, and is ranked the world's eighth most-powerful military. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more.

Known for its rich cultural history, Italy has been continuously the birthplace of influential and successful artists, writers, philosophers, musicians, film-makers, sportspeople, scientists, engineers, and inventors. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 54 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth-most visited country.

Latin Europe

Latin Europe may refer to:

Romance-speaking Europe, the areas of Europe where Romance languages are spoken

Legacy of the Roman Empire, the cultural and religious legacy of the Roman Empire and its distribution

Western Christianity, areas of Europe where Latin was the liturgical language of the Church during the Middle Ages

Latin alphabet

The Latin or Roman alphabet is the writing system originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin language.

List of cities founded by the Romans

This is a list of cities and towns founded by the Romans. It lists every city established and built by the ancient Romans to have begun as a colony often for the settlement of citizens or veterans of the legions. Many Roman colonies rose to become important commercial and cultural centers, transportation hubs and capitals of global empires.

Megleno-Romanian language

Megleno-Romanian (known as Vlăhește by its speakers, and Megleno-Romanian or Meglenitic and sometimes Moglenitic or Meglinitic by linguists) is an Eastern Romance language, similar to Aromanian or a dialect of the Romanian language. It is spoken by the Megleno-Romanians in a few villages in the Moglena region that spans the border between the Greek region of Macedonia and North Macedonia. It is also spoken by emigrants from these villages and their descendants in Romania and by a small Muslim group in Turkey. It is considered an endangered language.


The Megleno-Romanians (Romanian: Meglenoromâni), Moglenite Vlachs (Greek: Βλαχομογλενίτες, Vlachomoglenítes) or simply Meglenites (Romanian: Megleniţi, Megleno-Romanian: Miglinits) or Vlachs (Megleno-Romanian: Vlaș ; Romanian: Vlaşi. Macedonian: Власи) are a small Eastern Romance people, originally inhabiting seven villages in the Moglena region spanning the Pella and Kilkis regional units of Central Macedonia, Greece, and one village, Huma, across the border in North Macedonia. This people lives in an area of approximately 300 km2 in size. Unlike the Aromanian Vlachs, the other Romance speaking population in the same historic region, the Meglen Vlachs are traditionally sedentary agriculturalists, and not traditionally transhumants.

They speak a Romance language most often called by linguists Megleno-Romanian or Meglenitic in English, and βλαχομογλενίτικα (vlachomoglenítika) or simply μογλενίτικα (moglenítika) in Greek. The people themselves call their language vlahește, but the Megleno-Romanian diaspora in Romania also uses the term meglenoromână.

Unlike the other Eastern Romance populations, over time Megleno-Romanians have laid aside a name for themselves which originates in the Latin Romanus, and instead have adopted the term Vlasi or Vlashi, derived from "Vlachs", a general term by which, in the Middle Ages, non-Romance peoples designated Romance peoples and shepherds. The term Megleno-Romanians was given to them in the 19th century by the scholars who studied their language and customs, based on the region in which they live.

Their number is estimated between 5,213 (P. Atanasov, most recent estimate), and 20,000 (P. Papahagi, c. 1900). There is a larger Megleno-Romanian diaspora in Romania (c. 1,500 people), and a smaller one in Turkey (c. 500 people). Greece does not recognize national minorities, thus this approximately 4,000-strong community does not have any official recognition from Greece. Another 1,000 Megleno-Romanians live in North Macedonia. It is believed, however, that there are up to 20,000 people of Megleno-Romanian descent worldwide (including those assimilated into the basic populations of these countries).

Outline of ancient Rome

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ancient Rome:

Ancient Rome – former civilization that thrived on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world.

Romance-speaking world

The Romance-speaking world, romanophone, neolatin world, or Latin-speaking world, is the part of the world where Romance languages (those derived from Latin) are either official, co-official, or significantly used, comprising Latin America, Latin Europe, Romance-speaking Africa and Romance-speaking Asia.

It includes the Spanish-, Portuguese-, French-, Italian-, Romanian- and Catalan-speaking communities.

Romanian language

Romanian (archaically Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: limba română [ˈlimba roˈmɨnə] (listen), "the Romanian language", or românește, lit. "in Romanian") is an Eastern Romance language spoken by approximately 24–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. It is an official and national language of Romania and Moldova. In addition, it is also one of the official languages of the European Union.

Romanian is a part of the Eastern Romance sub-branch of Romance languages, a linguistic group that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin, which was separated from the Western Romance during the 5th–8th centuries. To distinguish it within that group in comparative linguistics it is called Daco-Romanian as opposed to its closest relatives, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian.

Romanian is also known as Moldovan in Moldova, although the Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled in 2013 that "the official language of the republic is Romanian".Furthermore, numerous immigrant Romanian speakers are also scattered across many other regions and countries worldwide, most notably Italy, the Iberian peninsula (both in Spain and Portugal), the German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the British Isles (both in the United Kingdom as well as in Ireland), Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), North America (most notably in the United States but also in Canada), Oceania (mainly Australia and New Zealand) and South America (mainly Brazil and Argentina).

Third Rome

Third Rome is the hypothetical successor of ancient Rome (the "first Rome"). Second Rome usually refers to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, unofficially called "New Rome", or one of the claimed successors to the Western Roman Empire such as the Papal States and the Holy Roman Empire.

Translatio imperii

Translatio imperii (Latin for "transfer of rule") is a historiographical concept, originating in the Middle Ages, in which history is viewed as a linear succession of transfers of an imperium that invests supreme power in a singular ruler, an "emperor" (or sometimes even several emperors, e.g., the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Holy Roman Empire). The concept is closely linked to translatio studii (the geographic movement of learning). Both terms are thought to have their origins in the second chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible (verses 39–40).

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