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Comparing & Contrasting Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome: Education

Roman education is only a reflection of the Greek education system. Rome managed to adopt
many principles of Greek education in the process.
In Greece, higher education was mainly reserved for the elite persons of a community. Training
for these citizens consisted of instruction of reading, writing, arithmetic, music and gymnastics.
It was not until the Hellenistic age that school systems in Greece were founded or maintained
by the city; before that, parents were encouraged to send their students to school, but were
not forced by law. The parents of a student would pay a fee to the teacher in exchange for
tutoring, but the fees were typically very low because most of the teachers were slaves or very
poorly paid.
Unlike the Greeks, Roman education was practically nonexistent before the development of
official school systems in the Roman culture. By law, early Roman education required that the
father be the only schoolmaster of his son. The mother would teach children basic principles
until age seven; afterward, the father was in charge of the upbringing of his child. Aside from
teaching basic reading, writing, and arithmetic, the primary subject of instruction consisted
almost entirely of battle tactics and farming procedures

Roman education topics were similar to those in Greece, yet the approach of education was
very dissimilar. The instructors were generally Greeks that had been enslaved and forced to
teach. This explains the similarities between the subject matter taught in both Roman and
Greek schools.

In Roman society, after the age of eleven the son would be taught additional literary subjects
in Latin and Greek to prepare them for rhetoric. However, the main study of interest was
weapon handling and combat routines Roman curriculum consisted of many of the same
concepts as the Greeks, but was also very different in content. Roman education soon began to
resemble that of the Greeks during the Hellenistic period.

A fundamental difference between these two cultures is the incorporation of foreign


languages. While the Romans primarily spoke Latin, many of the study texts were written in
the Greek language and required translation by the Roman students. Another difference in the
content of Roman studies includes the study of history.

Most Romans that wished to continue their education were sent to Greek academies for
further study. One of the well-known Greek academies that existed around 387 B. C. was
Plato's Academy. Plato was a devoted pupil of Socrates and founded this academy primarily for
the pursuit of knowledge. The instruction included important intellectual aptitude mainly in
the subjects of mathematics and poetry, which were not popular among the Roman pupils.
Shortly after Plato's Academy was founded, Aristotle launched another admired research
establishment, the Aristotle's Lyceum, where dialect and discussion was not made in the
pursuit of knowledge; the study of biology rather than mathematics was encouraged.
Comparing & Contrasting Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome: Art

Greek art is considered superior to the "merely" imitative or decorative Roman art; indeed
much art we think of as Greek is actually a Roman copy of a Greek original.
The goal of the classical Greek sculptors was to produce an ideal art form, whereas the goal of
Roman artists was to produce realistic portraits, often for decoration.

We typically associate sculptures like the Venus de Milo with Greece, and mosaics and frescoes
(wall paintings) with Rome.

Comparing & Contrasting Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome: Economy

The economy of Greece and Rome was based on agriculture. Greeks ideally lived on small self-
sufficient wheat-producing farms, whereas Romans imported wheat. Both of them produced
wine and olive oil.

Both Greece and Rome worked mines.


Greece had slaves but the economy of Rome was dependent on slave labor.
Both cultures had coinage.

Comparing & Contrasting Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome: Social Class

Greece
 Slaves
 Freedmen (former slaves)
 Metics (foreign residents of Athens)
 Citizens
 Women
Rome
 Slaves
 Freedmen
 Plebeians (member of the general citizenry in ancient Rome as opposed to the privileged
patrician class)
 Patricians

Comparing & Contrasting Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome: role of women

In Greece, according to the literature of stereotypes, women were valued for abstaining from
gossip, for managing the household, and, most of all, for producing legitimate children. She
could own, but not sell her property. The Athenian woman was subject to her father, and even
after marriage, he could ask for her return. The Athenian woman was not a citizen.
The Roman woman was legally subject to the paterfamilias (the paterfamilias was the oldest
living male in a household, and exercised autocratic authority over his extended family). She
could own and dispose of property and go about as she wished.
A Roman woman was valued for piety, modesty, maintenance of harmony, and being a one-
man woman. The Roman woman could be a Roman citizen.

Comparing & Contrasting Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome: fatherhood

The father of the family was dominant and could decide whether or not to keep a newborn
child. The paterfamilias was the Roman head of the household. Adult sons with families of their
own were still subject to their own father if he was the paterfamilias.

In the Greek family, or oikos, household, the situation was more what we consider the nuclear
family normal. Sons could legally challenge the competence of their fathers.

Comparing & Contrasting Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome: government

Originally, kings ruled Athens; then an oligarchy (rule by the few), and then democracy (voting
by the citizens).

Kings also originally governed Rome. Then Rome, observing what was happening elsewhere in
the world, eliminated them. It established a mixed Republican form of government, combining
elements of democracy, oligarchy, and monarchy, in what we know as Roman emperors.