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Romans vs. Greeks: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 25, 2023
Romans were the citizens of ancient Rome, known for their empire and legal system, while Greeks were the people of ancient Greece, known for their philosophy, democracy, and art.

Key Differences

The Romans were known for building a vast empire that spread across Europe, Africa, and Asia, while the Greeks are celebrated for their city-states like Athens and Sparta, each with its unique government and culture.
Roman architecture and engineering, exemplified by the Colosseum and aqueducts, emphasized grandeur and utility, whereas Greek architecture, like the Parthenon, emphasized harmony and proportion.
The Romans made significant contributions to law and governance, with systems that influence modern legal frameworks, while the Greeks contributed immensely to the fields of philosophy, with thinkers like Plato and Aristotle.
In literature, Roman works often borrowed from Greek themes but added a pragmatic and organizational aspect, as seen in Virgil’s Aeneid, compared to the Greek’s more theoretical and abstract works like Homer’s Odyssey.
The Romans were practical in their religious and cultural practices, often assimilating gods from conquered peoples, while the Greeks had a rich mythology that deeply influenced their art and literature.

Comparison Chart


Republic, then Empire with centralized power.
City-states with various forms of government, including democracy.


Grand, utilitarian structures.
Emphasis on symmetry and proportion.

Philosophy and Literature

Practical, legalistic, and military writings.
Abstract philosophy, epic poetry, and dramas.


Realistic, focused on emperors and gods.
Idealistic, focusing on the human form and mythology.

Science and Technology

Engineering feats like roads and aqueducts.
Mathematical and scientific advancements, like geometry and astronomy.

Romans and Greeks Definitions


Builders of monumental architecture.
The Romans constructed the Colosseum, a marvel of ancient engineering.


People of ancient Greece, known for their philosophy and art.
The Greeks developed the concepts of democracy and philosophy.


Known for their legal and political systems.
The legal principles established by the Romans influence modern law.


Builders of iconic temples and sculptures.
The Greeks created the Parthenon, symbolizing their architectural genius.


Conquerors who expanded their empire extensively.
The Romans conquered territories from Britain to North Africa.


Originators of Western literature, drama, and history.
The Greeks wrote epic poems like the Iliad and the Odyssey.


Assimilators of various cultural elements from conquered lands.
The Romans adopted gods and rituals from different cultures.


Developers of foundational concepts in mathematics and science.
Ancient Greeks like Euclid and Archimedes laid the groundwork for geometry and physics.


Citizens of the ancient Roman Empire.
The Romans built a vast network of roads across Europe.


Participants in a culture rich with mythology and Olympic games.
The Greeks celebrated their gods through myths and the Olympic games.


A narrative poem or a prose tale in medieval French literature.


The Indo-European language of the Greeks.


A novel.


Greek language and literature from the middle of the eighth century BC to the end of the third century AD, especially the Attic Greek of the fifth and fourth centuries BC.


A native, inhabitant, or citizen of ancient or modern Rome.


A native or inhabitant of Greece.


The Italian language as spoken in Rome.


A person of Greek ancestry.


One belonging to the Roman Catholic Church.


(Informal) A member of a fraternity or sorority that has its name composed of Greek letters.


Roman Roman print or typestyle.


(Informal) Something that is unintelligible
Quantum mechanics is Greek to me.


Romans (used with a sing. verb) See Table at Bible.


Of or relating to Greece or its people, language, or culture.


Of or relating to ancient or modern Rome or its people or culture.


Plural of greek


Of or relating to the Roman Empire.


Of, relating to, or composed in the Latin language.


Of or using the Latin alphabet.


Of or relating to the Roman Catholic Church.


Of or being an architectural style developed by the ancient Romans and characterized by the round arch as chief structural element, the vault, concrete masonry construction, and classical ornamentation.


Roman Of or being a typestyle characterized by upright letters having serifs and vertical lines thicker than horizontal lines.


A New Testament book containing an exposition of the doctrines of Saint Paul; written in AD 58


What was the Roman approach to religion?

Romans practiced a polytheistic religion and often incorporated gods from other cultures.

What is Greek mythology?

Greek mythology is a collection of myths and legends about gods, heroes, and rituals.

What is the Greek city-state concept?

Greek city-states, like Athens and Sparta, were independent cities with their own governments.

Did Romans and Greeks interact historically?

Yes, Romans were greatly influenced by Greek culture, especially after conquering Greece.

Did Greeks contribute to medicine?

Yes, figures like Hippocrates laid foundations for Western medicine.

What are some famous Roman literary works?

Notable works include Virgil’s Aeneid and the writings of Cicero.

What sports were popular in ancient Greece?

Sports like wrestling and chariot racing were popular, especially in the Olympic Games.

When did the Roman Empire exist?

The Roman Empire lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD.

What were Roman roads used for?

Roman roads facilitated military movement, trade, and communication across the empire.

How did Romans contribute to engineering?

Romans excelled in engineering, constructing roads, bridges, and buildings.

What languages did the Romans and Greeks speak?

Romans spoke Latin, while Greeks spoke Greek.

How did Greek science influence the world?

Greek contributions in astronomy, mathematics, and physics were foundational.

How did Roman law impact the world?

Roman law influenced legal systems in Europe and the Western world.

What is a Roman aqueduct?

Aqueducts were engineering marvels used to transport water over long distances.

Did the Romans have a significant military?

Yes, the Roman military was instrumental in expanding and protecting the empire.

What is the legacy of Greek philosophy?

Greek philosophy, with thinkers like Plato and Aristotle, deeply influenced Western thought.

What was the Greek approach to art?

Greek art focused on idealized human forms and depicted scenes from mythology.

What are Roman mosaics?

Roman mosaics were intricate artworks made from small pieces of colored stone or glass.

What role did Greek city-states play in politics?

Each city-state had its own political system, often experimenting with forms of governance.

What was Greek theater like?

Greek theater included tragedies and comedies, often performed in outdoor amphitheaters.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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