Throughout the ages of mankind’s settlement on the Earth, there have been many legendary civilizations which have massively impacted the Earth’s history. These civilizations have all contributed to the developments of mankind’s modern culture, each leaving behind a legacy which has been studied over for generations. Among these, there exists a civilization which has molded and advanced multiple key points of our modern culture the greatest; tremendously improving various aspects of civilisation, including government, law, literature, and architecture. This civilisation, Rome, is among the greatest, if not the greatest, civilisations to have graced the Earth, and has contributed greatly to modern culture, passing on it’s effective justice system, alphabet and architecture.
Arguably founded in 753 BC by a king named Romulus, and ended at the death of the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus in AD 476; Rome is believed to have lasted for an impressive 1229 years (Time). During this time, Rome had turned from a small town, into a vast empire, inventing a logical justice system, with a multitude of laws that are still in effect today (Roman Achievements). In 451 BC, the Romans wrote down basic laws onto twelve bronze plates, which were named, the “Twelve Tables” and became known as one of the first instances of written laws in history. Later on, these tables would be utilized by Justinian, an emperor of Constantinople, who gathered and refined laws, many from the Twelve Tables, into one composition, called the “Justinian’s Code”. His work was completed in AD 529 and many of the laws in the Justinian’s Code would be used to form the foundations of countless justice systems used in the western world today.
In addition to this, the Romans had created an efficient and effective alphabet, which used by great quantities of other languages. The Roman alphabet is relied on by roughly one-hundred languages, and is considered to be the most popular script in the world (Nordquist). Its origins date back to 1600 BC and 1000 BC, to the inventions of languages and alphabets, by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. The Romans had adapted the alphabet of the Greeks, which was already based on that of the Phoenicians, to create their own alphabet, which spread to England via the Irish, during the age of “Old English”. If the Romans had not developed this alphabet, innumerable languages that we know today could possibly be non-existent.
Thirdly, the Romans are renowned for their outstanding architecture. The Romans had used their architecture to better themselves in many ways, sometimes to solve problems, while others to enhance aspects of society. An example of how the Romans had used architecture to solve problems, was their creation of aqueducts, to solve the problem of water transportation (Ten). Through the building of bridge-like waterways and tunnels, also known as aqueducts, the Romans were able to convey water from reservoirs, to faraway towns and cities, which consumed more water than their surroundings could provide. This innovation allowed for the flourishment of various activities, such as mining, processing, manufacturing and agriculture (Ancient). The aqueducts are also related to the way the Romans used architecture to enhance aspects of their society. During the time of the Roman Empire, plenty of significant infrastructures and amenities were constructed to please and tend to the public. An example of these was the public bath, a place where the citizens could tend to their personal hygiene at a low cost, simply by visiting a local bath. As a result, most people went to public baths to wash themselves, giving public baths a very useful social function, as a place where people could meet, keep up with the latest news and stay clean in the meantime (Roman Baths).
All in all, the Roman Empire was the most influential civilisation in history, due to its justice system, alphabet and architecture. Had the Romans not existed, a major portion of history would disappear, societies would have strange and incomplete sets of laws, countless languages would not have a written form, and the buildings of today would simply appear primitive.