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5 Shocking Ancient Roman Practices Still Observed Today

Explore the enduring legacy of ancient Rome through 5 shocking practices that survive in modern society. Discover the profound influence of Roman law, language, architecture, timekeeping, and entertainment in today’s world.

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Introduction to Ancient Rome’s Enduring Legacy

The ancient Romans left an indelible mark on the world that continues to fascinate and influence us today. From the grandiose remnants of architectural marvels to the subtle integration of Roman customs into modern life, the legacy of Rome is both broad and surprisingly intimate. In this verbose examination, we delve into five ancient Roman practices that still capture our imagination and, in some cases, retain their place in contemporary society.

The Enduring Influence of Roman Law

Roman law forms the foundation for the legal systems of numerous countries around the world. Roman statutes, principles, and legal thought have been adapted over the centuries, yet their core elements remain at the heart of judicial practice. Codified laws introduced concepts like ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and detailed property rights, which are staples of present-day legal proceedings.

Lingua Franca: The Latin Language

Though no longer spoken conversationally, Latin endures as the language of the sciences, theology, and legal discourse. Modern Romance languages – such as Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese – are descendants of Latin, and it’s not uncommon to find Latin phrases used in academic circles and mottos. Furthermore, Latin terminology is still critical for those pursuing careers in law, medicine, or theology.

Architectural Triumphs: The Arch and the Dome

Roman architectural innovations, like the arch and the dome, revolutionized the way structures were built. The Aqueduct of Segovia in Spain and the Pantheon in Rome stand as testaments to the mastery of Roman engineers. Today’s architects continue to be inspired by these designs, incorporating them in everything from governmental buildings to sports arenas.

The Calendar: Measuring Time the Roman Way

The Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar, and its successor, the Gregorian calendar, underpin how modern society measures time. Many of the names of months and days have Roman origins and remain in use. This timekeeping has governed agricultural seasons, religious festivities, and the general structuring of life across the globe for centuries.

Leisure and Entertainment: Echoes in Modern Spectacle

Gladiatorial combat and chariot racing enthralled ancient Roman crowds in much the same way our sports events and competitive shows captivate present-day audiences. The concept of providing mass entertainment to appease and engage the populace has transcended time, from amphitheaters to football stadiums and reality TV. Merchandise, like team jerseys or chariot replicas, is modern evidence of this enduring fascination.

Conclusion: Rome’s Unceasing Impact

Rome’s history is more than a series of dates and events; it is a living presence that continues to interact with and impact the world today. The five practices highlighted here are a mere glimpse into the vastness of Rome’s legacy, inviting us to explore further and appreciate the subtle threads connecting us to the grand tapestry of ancient history.

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Avery Ingram

Avery Ingram

Contributor

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