User Rating: 3 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Ancient Rome and its literature have left an imprint on the modern world. Although it has been quite some time since the Roman Empire prospered, we can still see many traces in our everyday aspects.  

Most of the literature of ancient times and the modern world has had a significant influence from the literature of the ancient Romans. The Roman Era was known as the Golden Age of Roman Poetry with the masterpieces from renowned poets Horace, Virgil, and Ovid.

Ovid's Metamorphoses influenced authors including Chaucer, Milton, Dante, and Shakespeare. The ancient Romans intrigued Shakespeare, who inspired some of his plays, notably Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.

The Romans also inspired the world with the greatest invention of the first-ever newspaper, Acta Diurna. Since then, the other world has also been coming up with various news articles and information.

Rome's rich culture and history are continually being recycled through western civilization. Several great plays like 'Julius Caesar' and 'Antony and Cleopatra, which are now embedded in novels and chapters in History and English Literature textbooks, are all borrowed from Roman History.  

While Roman literature had a significant impact on the rest of the globe, the effect of the Roman language on the Western world should not be overlooked. The Romans spoke Latin, which expanded over the world as Roman political authority grew.

Latin served as the foundation for a collection of languages known as the "Romance languages." French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Catalan are among them. Many English terms are built on the foundation of Latin root words. 

The Latin alphabet is the basis for the English alphabet. In addition, a significant amount of Latin is still employed in today's legal system.

While there were many great poets in Rome, there were also many great prose writers. The orators took control of the stage in the Roman Forum and addressed the crowds. It also served as a platform for lawyers to advocate for their clients. Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) was a great statesman and author and an orator who, in addition to his 911 letters, wrote on topics ranging from art to education. 

He sent a series of caustic letters in response to the corrupt ex-governor of Sicily, Verres, who had forced him into retirement, albeit the ex-governor would eventually be released free by Caesar. 

He published five Latin books on ancient philosophy - De Finibus bonorum et Malorum - and political articles such as De re Publica (On the State) and De legibus (On the Laws). His Epistulae ad Familiares (Letters to Family and Friends) serve as vivid historical and cultural documents of the time, providing insight into the late Republic's inner workings.

Roman Literature and its influence in parts of the world

The literature and the literary interaction of one nation or the languages influence the other language or the part of the world. 

For instance, an Italian writer, D'Annunzio 1889, is seen adapting half a sentence from a French statement : La gente volgare non immagina quali profondi e nuovi godimenti l'aureola della gloria, anche pallida o falsa, porti all'amore." The statement meant that the common people do not get to imagine how deep of a pleasure tha halo of glory, even false or pale, brings to love.

The education system led to numerous movements during the 19th and the 20th Century worldwide. The most famous movement was the Chautauqua movement of the U.S based on the adult education that began from the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, located in Western New York. 

The movement began with the program for the Sunday-school teachers and the church workers. However, the program got bigger and expanded to the general education, popular entertainment, recreation, and founding of many chautauquas all over the U.S.

The movement became the first educational assembly with a significant outcome that inspired and impacted various people to listen to explorers, preachers, educators, politicians, bands, and scientists.

Likewise, Roman literature has also inspired and influenced numerous particular sectors, including Music, technology, law, science, and playwrights. 


A part of the music genre has also been highly influenced by Roman literature. Young artists in the billboard chart list have made their renditions of music relating to Roman literature and poem copyrights. Major hits from the album 'Romeo and Juliet' by Dire Straits is another example of such heavily influenced music, which is still sung and enjoyed by young artists and music followers. 

Similarly, young artists have also composed songs titled poems and play accepted by many young and old groups. 

Technology and Science 

Ancient Romans have mastered improvements in Science and Technology, developing equipment and procedures that have molded how the world performs in certain things.
Among the Romans, there were exceedingly skilled engineers and were able to create improved techniques to help water flow as they were well versed in the laws of physics. 
They used water as a source of energy to power mines and mills. 

They also had their hands on the construction of road networks which was then considered a considerable achievement. They built roads by gravel-laying techniques and paving rock slabs. The Roman road system became so popular and prominent, and it became a thing "all roads lead to Rome."

Along with such engineering endeavors, the Romans also developed agricultural tools and practices. The Romans were also inherited with abundant knowledge of climate, soil, and other planting-related matters.

They pioneered or improved methods for planting crops, irrigation, and drain fields. Their techniques are highly influenced and utilized by modern farmers. The Romans also used mills to process food grains, which increased efficiency and gave employment to many people. 


The ancient Romans influenced the Western court system in many ways than merely the usage of Latin terms. Although the Roman justice system was notorious for its harsh punishments, it did provide a general framework of how court procedures are conducted today.

In contrast, there was a preliminary hearing, similar to what we have now, where the magistrate decided whether or not there was a case.

If there were grounds for a case, it would be tried by a famous Roman citizen, with witnesses and evidence provided. Many countries' legal systems, including the United States and much of Europe, are based on Roman laws and court systems.

Many characteristics of the present world may be traced back to the ancient Romans. It's no wonder that a once-thriving empire was able to have such an impact on the world and leave such a lasting legacy.

Comic Playwrights 

Rome became involved in the Macedonian Wars during this time, eventually acquiring the Greek city-states. With the appearance of comedy playwrights such as Plautus, Terence, and Ennius near the close of the third century BCE, Roman writing began. 

Their plays were frequently staged at one of the city's many festivals, where the audience was predominantly male.

Plautus (254-184 BCE) was the first of the three. Only 20 of his more than 130 plays, Amphitryon, Bacchides, Pseudolus, Persa, and Mercator, have survived in their entirety. 

Plautus' contemporaries were Publius Terentius Afer, Terence (195-159 BCE), and Ennius (239-169 BCE). Terence came to Rome as a slave from North Africa and finally gained his freedom and education.

Many of his plays, such as the comedy Eunuchus (The Eunuch), did not appeal to most Romans, and he was accused of "cannibalism" by his contemporaries. On the other hand, Ennius was more highly regarded than Plautius or Terence and is known as the "Father of Latin Poetry." He was born in Calabria (Magna Graecia) in southern Italy and served in the Roman army in Sardinia before coming to Rome with fellow writer Cato the Elder around 204 BCE and acquiring the much-desired Roman citizenship.

Only portions of his compositions have remained, despite his claims to be the reincarnation of Homer. According to Rodgers, he illustrated how Latin poetry could be outstanding while yet copying Greek forms. His Annals chronicled Rome's history from the mythical Trojan hero Aeneas to his own time. Regrettably, he died pennilessly.