Difference Between Romans and Greeks

The people dwelling in the early civilizations of Rome and Greece were referred to as Romans and Greeks respectively. Though Rome and Greece are often confused for one another, its inhabitants have obvious differences in timeline, language, architectural abilities, social values, and much more.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Romans and Greeks were ancient civilizations that greatly influenced Western culture, with the Greeks being known for their contributions to philosophy, arts, and sciences.
  2. The Roman Empire, which succeeded the Greek civilization, is known for its military might, legal system, and architectural innovations like the Roman arch.
  3. While Greek culture heavily influenced Romans, they developed distinct political and architectural styles.

Romans vs Greeks

The difference between Romans and Greeks is that the Romans existed hundreds of years after the Greeks did. After the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods, Neolithic Greece came into existence in 7000 BC.

This was when the farming societies of Greece were established.

Romans vs Greeks

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Meanwhile, the Ancient Roman civilization appeared in 753 BC and lasted till 476 BC, after which the Roman province of Transalpine was created. According to historians, the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD and the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453, bringing an end to the civilizations of Rome.


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRomansGreeks
TimelineThrived from 753 BC to 1453Existed from 7000 BC (Neolithic Greece) to 146 BC
ArtImitated the art of Greeks, but used a more naturalistic approach portraying physical quirks and nuances in expressions of ordinary peopleSculptures of statesmen and generals were physically idealized, like those of Gods
LanguageThe Romans spoke in Latin.The language spoken in Greece was Greek.
ArchitectureArchitects focused on actual building design and techniques. Romans used some Greek materials but introduced Concrete.Architects created statuesque figures in buildings using plaster, wood, marbles, and metals.
ReligionThe Romans imitated the Greek religion but gave the Gods Latin names. (Zeus became Jupiter, Hades became Pluto, Poseidon became Neptune)The Greeks believed in Pagan God’s – Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, etc.
Political SetupFluctuated between a democratic set up with a ruler and Monarchy.Democracy, as people were independent in nature.
Nature of PeopleIntellectuals obsessed with ideals of truth, justice, mathematical theorems, epistemology, philosophy, etc.Thinkers, philosophers, theologians, authors, poets, political ideologists, political thinkers
Life After DeathBelieved that leading an ideal, model life would make then Gods in the afterlife.Believed that on death, they will begin a journey to the underworld.


Who were Romans?

The Romans came into existence in 753 BC and lasted till 1453. In early times, the Romans used Latin as their language, but later on, Greek, Oscan, and Etruscan were spoken in the Roman Empire as well. A lot of information can be deduced based on the artifacts that these people left behind.

The social hierarchy of the Roman Empire had 5 categories – Senators (Political class), Equestrians (Economic class), Commons (Freeborn Roman Citizens), Freed People (Slaves who had bought their freedom), and Slaves (People born or sold into slavery).

Senators and equestrians were considered to be upper class as they were rich, while the rest were deemed as a lower class because of poverty.

Contrary to popular belief, the Romans had a lot of diversity in people and culture. Women were considered to be citizens if they were not born into slavery, but were not allowed to hold power in politics or vote.

The Roman Empire was predatory in nature, meaning that it believed in military-based practices and growth through conquering


Who were Greeks?

Greek farming societies were established in 7000 BC (Neolithic Greece) while Ancient Greece only came into existence in 2800 BC. The inhabitants of Greece spoke Greek and believed in Pagan Gods like Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, etc.

An interesting fact is that theatres were invented by the Greeks.

The people of Greece were divided and listed under 5 categories – Slaves, Freedmen, Metics (foreigners living in ancient Greece), Citizens, and Women. Females were at the lowest tier of the hierarchy, even below the slaves.

The Greeks lived in mainland Greece and some Greek Islands. Further down the years, they could even be found in Turkey, Italy, Sicily, North Africa, France, and the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Greek civilizations were divided into city-states, each having a tradition, culture, and currency of its own.

The Romans conquered the last city of the Greeks in 146 BC, bringing the Greek civilization to an end. However, people still spoke Greek in small parts of the Roman Empire.


Main Differences Between Romans and Greeks

  1. Romans appeared in history from 753 BC to 1453 while the Greeks thrived from 7000 BC (Neolithic Greeks) to 146 BC.
  2. Romans used Latin as their official language while the people of Greece spoke Greek.
  3. The Greeks made sculptures of ordinary people whose bodies were idealized like those of Gods. Although Romans imitated the Greeks, their art was far more naturalistic.
  4. Greeks used sculptures of the human form in their architecture while Romans focused more on the design and technique of the building.
  5. Greeks believed in Pagan Gods. Romans imitated the mythological and religious ideologies of Greeks but translated them into a Roman setup.
  6. Romans were intellectuals who were obsessed with concepts such as mathematics and epistemology while Greeks were thinkers and philosophers.
  7. Romans believed that leading an ideal life and being a model citizen will make them gods in the afterlife while Greeks believed that on death, a journey to the underworld begins.
  8. The Romans lived in a political setup that fluctuated between a democracy with a ruler and Monarchy while Greeks were independent in nature and believed in a complete democracy.
Difference Between Romans and Greeks
  1. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7257/338557bcb493ddad42ebfa066a22e8ad9b57.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=t1IR4WtFjGUC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=+Romans+and+Greeks&ots=2IzpVwLeBG&sig=T53KgsD6nkagz2IxIfc_cxIhQU4
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