The Roman Empire and Its Influence on Western Civilization
Rome's vast empire lasted for an amazing one thousand-year reign. Half of it referred to as the republic, and the other as the empire. However, after its fall in 5oo-a.d. Rome has still remained in existence through its strong culture, architecture, literature, and even religion (Spielvogel 175). Even after its disappearance as a nation Rome left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. Its ideals and traditions have been immolated, and adopted for over two thousand years. Whether, it is through its language of Latin, its influence of religion, or its amazing architectural ability Rome has influenced almost every culture following its demise. The heritage of Rome has been passed down through three different channels; one is through the eastern Roman Empire; through the Roman Catholic Church, and consciously by any and every one who has been in touch with Roman Culture (Hadas 157).
The first to try to reconstruct Rome was the emperor Constantine. In his capital of Constantinople, Constantine wanted to reconstruct the city to be an exact replication of Rome. In doing so he reconstructed some of the buildings as almost exact duplicates of the originals of early Roman architecture. Or Constantine's drive to reenact Rome's republic, and turn it back to a government ran by the senators for the people. In fact he was quite successful until it was finally demolished. However, Constantine did further the beliefs of Roman Catholic Christianity, which with its advancement of the army, Rome's religion reached many new lands.
Secondly, Rome's legacy was spread by the advancement of the church. As the Catholic Church continued to flourish into the middle ages the church capital remained in Rome (Hadas 159). This allowed the spreading of Roman culture to continue. Not only did the church keep the capital in Rome, but also it continued to teach the Roman language of Latin, and kept the writings of Roman literature on record for many years. This aided to the study and adoption of Roman culture throughout the parallels of time.
The third and most important way that Roman culture and ideals were spread throughout western civilization is through mere contact. Whether this is through physical influence, or the study of Roman relics, Rome's ideas spread like wild fire. An important figure who is responsible for this spread is the great leader Charlemange. He was the first to physically reunite a large majority of Roman land and re-institute Roman ways. His goal was to once again have Rome rule. Even after his death, his followers devoted their rule to keeping this dream of Rome alive, and successfully did so until 1806 (160).
Not only was Rome highly influential back in its prime, but many of its ideals are still remaining strong in some form or another. A perfect example of this is the United States. Even in the "Pledge of Allegiance" there are traces of Rome....