What Ancient Civilization Did Rome Emulate?

Rome is often regarded as one of the most influential empires in history. Its architecture, literature, engineering, and military strategies have had a lasting impact on the world.

However, Rome did not develop in isolation. In fact, it emulated many aspects of ancient civilizations that preceded it. Let’s take a closer look at some of these civilizations.

The Greeks

The Greeks were a major influence on Rome. Rome borrowed heavily from Greek art and architecture.

The Romans admired the Greeks’ emphasis on harmony, proportion, and balance in their artwork. They also incorporated Greek ideas into their philosophy and literature.

One example of this is the Roman poet Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid.” The poem is about the Trojan prince Aeneas who travels to Italy to found Rome. The poem draws heavily from Greek mythology and epic poetry.

The Etruscans

The Etruscans were an ancient civilization that lived in central Italy before the rise of Rome. They had a significant impact on Roman culture, especially in terms of religion and art.

The Romans adopted many Etruscan religious practices such as divination through the examination of animal entrails and haruspicy (the practice of interpreting omens). They also adopted some Etruscan gods such as Juno (goddess of marriage) and Minerva (goddess of wisdom).

Rome also borrowed from Etruscan art styles such as terra cotta figurines and bronze sculptures.

The Phoenicians

The Phoenicians were an ancient civilization that lived along the Mediterranean coast in what is now Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. They were known for their seafaring abilities and their trade network.

Rome emulated the Phoenician emphasis on trade by establishing a vast trading network throughout the Mediterranean world. The Romans also adopted many Phoenician architectural features such as the use of columns and arches.

The Egyptians

The Egyptians were another civilization that had a significant impact on Rome. The Romans admired Egyptian art and architecture and incorporated many Egyptian motifs into their own artwork.

One example of this is the use of the sphinx in Roman art. The sphinx was a popular motif in Egyptian art and the Romans adopted it into their own artwork.


In conclusion, Rome emulated many ancient civilizations in its development. The Greeks, Etruscans, Phoenicians, and Egyptians all had an impact on Roman culture and society. By borrowing from these civilizations, Rome was able to create a unique culture that has had a lasting impact on the world.