History of Innovations in Ancient Roman and Greek Empires

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Ancient leaders built powerful empires through innovation. The Greek Empire gave way to the beginnings of representative government, constructed new weaponry, and formed independent city-states. Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great of the Achaemenid Empire gained the respect and loyalty of conquered populations as well as made improvements to the infrastructures of the cities, the local governments, and the overall economy.

Emperor Augustus and several following emperors of the Roman Empire improved upon and reformed financial and bureaucratic systems, created new structural innovations, and created inventions that would improve societies and nations to come. An empire and the leader/ leaders must constantly innovate in order to progress by integrating with new members of said empire and by improving the overall quality of life for the populations.

The Greek Empire predominantly did not have a sole leader. The Greek nobility, soldiers, and people of high prominence would hold councils in their individual city-states leading to modern day representative government. These Greek city-states were also able to have different societies, laws, and customs. Being able to have multiple cultures diminished the likelihood of civil war and unrest among the colonies. Trade and industry also helped the Greek economy. Merchants grew in number, trading products such as crops, olive oil, wine, and pottery. This increase in marketplaces and merchants made the Greek Empire wealthier. Tyrants eventually arose improving cities by building these markets, temples, and waterways.

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The Greek Empire also had innovations in weaponry. The Greeks often used phalanx and infantry in battle unlike empires that used cavalry or chariots. The dory was a Greek innovation used by the phalanx which revolutionized the way the Greeks performed warfare. The use of the dory allowed soldiers and the phalanx to be nine feet away from oncoming foes giving the Greek soldiers the upper hand.

The Achaemenid Empire displays the benefits of integration and innovation in building a powerful and lasting empire. Cyrus the Great allowed the existing local government officials to stay in their designated positions while also repairing preexisting cities and constructing new ones. Cyrus the Great also allowed people to maintain their cultural and religious beliefs, not forcing them to assimilate to a decided culture or religion. Performing these actions, Cyrus greatly reduced the likelihood of retaliation and conversely gained unity and strength in the Achaemenid Empire. The empire was infamously wealthy due to numerous innovations.

Darius the Great, introduced a standardized currency which was used to collect taxes and pay wages. Private banks stemmed from this coin-based currency where loans could be made and a variety of like actions could occur. Darius also created a system of weights and measures for traders to use. The Persians created road systems throughout the empire which allowed for easier trade and military use, boosting the economy even further.

The Roman Empire was first governed by Emperor Augustus in 27 BCE. Augustus better improved the empire’s laws, secured the borders, and created many new buildings. Some of these buildings included the Theatre of Marcellus, the Pantheon, and the Senate house in Rome. Emperor Augustus used concrete and marble for a large portion of the buildings he constructed, showing the enormous wealth of the Roman Empire. Emperor Augustus also held censuses for tax purposes and instituted poll and land taxes. Augustus was able to connect all the treasuries throughout the empire through a central treasury. The emperor put separate government agencies into place which better regulated bureaucratic affairs.

All of these innovations led to a better functioning empire and created a sense of nationalism throughout Rome. A multitude of inventions and innovations were founded by the Roman Empire as well. The newspaper, bound books, plumbing, sanitary management, using arches for structural support, and aqueducts are just a few of the creations of the Roman Empire. These inventions made life far better for the all citizens of the empire. The first surgical tools, such as tourniquets and surgical clamps, and battlefield surgery were done by the Romans. The Roman soldiers were more likely to live long lives due to the advanced medicine and treatments performed by trained medical units.

Innovation is the most essential aspect of a powerful and lasting empire. Leaders of the most successful ancient empires showed improvements in inventions, economic and government infrastructures, and the foundations of the cities. Innovation creates more fulfilled lives for the citizens and leads to a more functioning empire. This is evident in the Greek, Achaemenid, and Roman Empires for they all show grand strides in technological, societal, and governmental advancements. The key to a powerful empire is innovation in all forms to ensure the empire can withstand the passing of time.

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History of Innovations in Ancient Roman and Greek Empires. (2021, February 22). WritingBros. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/history-of-innovations-in-ancient-roman-and-greek-empires/
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