Monday, October 1, 2012

Copycat Romana

It seems like Rome is just the youngest sibling who has all these great relatives to look up to and he/she tries so hard to be like them but they won't accept his/her imitation as flattery. Of course Rome is not just a hand-me-down nation, and it has had various successes and periods of prosperity, but it keeps taking elements from other cultures. So far the major one we talked about is the Roman copying of Greece. I believe Mr. Williams said that Latin was basically Greek, but they "took out the awesomeness." There was also the Aenead which borrows many elements from its epic poetry predecessors such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. And now I am reading about how rome "absorbed" much of the Etruscan culture and many arts and ideas from the "entire Mediterranean world", they are like a huge super-being that feeds of the powers and successes of other cultures to create one great nation. Im sure there is more evidence of mimicry but I'll let you guys have a chance to post some in the comments.

5 comments:

Madeline Davis said...

I thought it was interesting (and offensive) how Romans thought that in creating their own culture and identity, they were not only absorbing, but improving the mistakes of the Greeks. While the Greeks were interested in philosophy and art and perfect forms, Romans were focused on science ad precision and practicality. Just reading the Arts and Ideas pages, I thought it was funny how the Romans assumed their artwork and sculptures were so much better than the Greeks', yet their art was much less detailed and there was less focus on the cultural values of art. Continuing Mitchell's comparison, I'd say the Romans were the obnoxious, cocky younger siblings who steal their older siblings clothes and think they look better in them.

(Okay, the comparison might be a stretch, but I'm sticking with it.)

Grant Reggio said...

I came to this general conclusion as well, really the Romans have ripped off most of what is their own culture from other more sophisticated ones. You could take the Roman forum for example and compare it easily to the Athenian Acropolis. Both are centers of commerce and daily social interaction. Another example might be the Roman's view on woman's rights, which was more lenient in some cases, due to the fact that their former oppressors, the Etruscans allowed women full rights. Of course, like you said, we shouldn't let these copy and paste acts tarnish the Roman legacy.

Grant Reggio said...

Personal experience with the clothes, Madeline?

Grant Reggio said...

Personal experience with the clothes, Madeline?

Austin Falk said...

Octavian's goal was to make Rome a place that everyone looked up to. People at the time did not respect Latin or the Romans as intellectual people. All of the intellectual respect went to the Greeks. Octavian realized that there was no better way for Rome to gain respect then to flat out copy off the Greeks. Through literature, art, and many other ideas, Greek influence can be seen in Roman work. Rome simply wanted to be the best which meant they wanted to outperform Greece too. This lead to their arrogant attitude. They did not want to admit that they simply copied off the Greeks, so they claimed that they were improving it instead.