Legacy of the Romans Revision Lesson (Preview)


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What have the Romans ever done for us?

The question ‘what have the Romans ever done for us’ was made famous by the film the Life of Brian. Even though the film was a comedy, the sketch from the film is extremely useful to us. It makes us appreciate how much the Romans did actually do!

Listen to part of the Monty Python Sketch:

Some examples of things that Romans introduced to Britain that are still in use today:

ArchitectureArtLiteratureLanguage
(Latin)
Sanitation
(sewage)
AqueductsEducationIrrigation
( water supply)
The calendarCoinsCement and bricksPublic heated baths
Turnips and carrotsPaved
streets and pavements
Apples, pears and grapesBenefits (free food) for poor citizens
RoadsWineCatsStinging nettles
TownsGlassStreet CleanersShops
LawsTenement BlocksPublic orderFiremen and Police
ParksCabbages & peasPublic librariesPublic notices and advertisements

Literature

Roman authors followed the famous Greek authors, often developing and building upon Greek writing. Most surviving literature is written for or by the rich. Writers were supported by the rich. Many writers have been influenced by the Romans including Shakespeare (Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra), Robert Graves (I Claudius), Milton (Paradise Lost), Dante (Inferno) and James Joyce (Ulysses).

Architecture

Many Roman buildings still stand – just this is evidence of how good Roman architecture was. Roman architecture has many connections with Greek architecture through the use of pillars and arches. Since the Renaissance, this style has been popular around the world.

Art

Roman art has influenced many people. Just as with architecture, the Renaissance saw a rebirth in interest in classical art. The use of pictures of Emperors on coins and sculptures introduced powerful images to society.

Language

English is a mixture of many different languages, but it contains very many references to Latin. Some Latin words are used directly, whereas others have been adapted – yet the influence of the Romans in our language can easily be seen – you can learn more in the quiz.

Take the Roman Quiz!

Test your knowledge of the Romans with this quick quiz.

Back to: The Romans Online Study Course