Greek and Roman Social comparison essay

Since the dawn of humanity, man has always tried to live in groups, which were initially known as tribes and as the no. of people increased, the tribe transformed into civilization. Each civilization had its own culture, own social status, own architecture. The differences of these civilizations made them so unique. Two of the most famous civilization of the olden era is the Greek civilization and the Roman civilization. Both these cultures had things associated with them that could be considered highly similar and highly contrasting.

The Greek civilization cannot be categorized as Greeks existed long before Greece ever did. Also the fact that the Greek language was spoken by not only the people living in Aegean coast but also around leaves an impression that the Greek civilization was adapted by as a better culture than the rest. The roman culture on the other hand revolves around a legend about twin boys being bought up by a wolf are told to build cities by the god of war and eventually they have war against each other. The winner of the war was Romulus, on which Rome is suppose to be built and was considered to be a pioneer of the civilization.

Comparison between Greek and Roman social status The Greek and roman cultures and social status had lot of similarities. Firstly both were very proud cultures, which glorified victories beyond heights. When we compare both the civilizations, it can be seen that both worked on lines of hierarchy and the society was divided into people who had trades or were soldiers. Though females were respected in both the civilizations, the concept of using them as sexual entities was rampant of both the cultures.

Conquests and war were also a common factor between the two civilizations and many legends have been there whose war stories and ploys are still notable in the history books. Alexander the Great was one such Greek king that went on a rampage conquest of the world and nearly captured all of it. The Greeks and Romans had a huge cue with beauty and leisure. Being not beautiful was not accepted and there was always pressure for men to look handsome and muscular while females were expected to look beautiful. Contrasts between Greek and Roman social status

The cultures as much had its similarities had a lot of things that were very distinct from each other. Clothing was an important factor for the Romans, while the Greeks believed a lot in open clothing or nudity. The Greek civilization’s fascination for less clothing can be assessed by the following: ‘Male nudes are the norm in Greek art, even though historians have stated that ancient Greeks kept their clothes on for the most part. New research suggests that art might have been imitating life more closely than previously thought.

Greeks did walk around in the buff in some situations. Men strode about free of their togas in the bedroom and at parties called symposia, where they would eat, drink and carouse. Nudity was also common on the athletic fields and at the Olympic Games’. (Courtesy: Corey Binns, “Why Ancient Greeks are Always Nude”, February 2nd 2007. Retrieved on May 6, 2008 from site http://www. livescience. com/history/070202_greek_nudity. html) Romans had a fascination with their clothing and even used different clothing to show prejudice and class.

The following will hard line the fact of the important of clothing in the roman social system: ‘Ancient Rome was very much a “face-to-face” society (actually more of an “in-your-face” society), and public display and recognition of status were an essential part of having status. Much of Roman clothing was designed to reveal the social status of its wearer, particularly for freeborn men. In typical Roman fashion, the more distinguished the wearer, the more his dress was distinctively marked, while the dress of the lowest classes was often not marked at all. Typically, Roman garments were made of wool.

In the early Republic, women spun the fleece into thread and wove the cloth in the home, and doubtless many women of the less wealthy classes continued this practice throughout the history of Rome’. (Courtesy: Barbara F. McManus, “Roman clothing”. August 2003. Retrieved on May 6, 2008 from site http://www. vroma. org/~bmcmanus/clothing. html) The Romans had a lot of Greek influence in their architecture, and even though their architecture had its own unique design, it still had a hint of Greek’s building style in it . However the Greeks used more of wood, unbaked bricks marbles and limestone.

They also used metals like bronze for decorations. The Romans used a lot of concrete and marble, and were more into having pillars and domes formed. Also the colossus still is an architecture marvel. The Greeks had more of social philosophers than the Romans in their civilization. And though there were a lot of games and theatre played in those eras, it was seen that compared to the Roman civilization there was a more demand of theatre and play in the Greek social era. The roman civilization had a fascination of baths, which can be considered into as spas for this era.

Both the civilizations had a lot of positives and negatives, which eventually were passed on to a lot of other cultures and nations surrounding it. The need for leisure was also felt in that era, which can be felt in the modern times too. Also their architecture compared to modern tomes was far more lavish and decorative compared to the space cramped architecture of today.


1) Corey Binns, “Why Ancient Greeks are Always Nude”, February 2nd 2007. http://www. livescience. com/history/070202_greek_nudity. html 2) Barbara F. McManus, “Roman clothing”. August 2003. http://www. vroma. org/~bmcmanus/clothing. html