Classical Civilizations of Ancient Greece, Rome, and China

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Throughout history, there have been many civilizations, empires, colonies, and tribes that have impacted the world. The civilizations of Greece, Rome, and China have done this, but what sets them apart from the others is their lasting significance and lasting impact they had on the world. For this reason, they are considered classical civilizations. To describe how Greece, Rome, and Han China are classical, there are three systems that are used; these are Economic, Social, and Political. Out of these three classical civilizations, Greece came first in history.

An important invention of Greece was its plumbing systems. Greece was the first to create plumbing and now it is almost unheard of for a house anywhere on earth to not have a plumbing system. This innovation falls under the economic category. The most important social feature from ancient Greeks would be philosophy. After the Peloponnesian Wars, many people began questioning themselves and their beliefs. During this time, many philosophers were living in Greece. One of the most important was Socrates. He encouraged people to examine their beliefs.

When he was 70, he was taken to trial for “corrupting the youth of Athens” and “neglecting the city’s gods. ” He was put to death by poison. Some historians say that the fall of Athens started with his death. Plato, one of Socrates’ students, wrote a book about Plato’s vision of a perfectly governed society. Plato’s writings dominated philosophic thought in Europe for almost 1,500 years. Then there was Aristotle, a student of Plato’s. Aristotle invented a method of logic which is the foundation for the scientific method of today.

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Even Greece’s philosophy was very influential on future civilizations, democracy is considered Greece’s most important contribution to modern society. Democracy, under the political system, is a government controlled by its citizens, either directly or through representatives. Greece was the first to have this type of government. America, along with many other countries, borrowed this idea from Greece when creating their governments. Next on the timeline is Rome. Ancient Rome, like America, borrowed many ideas from the Greeks to create and advance structural ideas.

In this way, they adapted their plumbing systems, but improved it by inventing public latrines. We might think of this as an advancement, but Rome had areas where pots were placed in a circle to go to the bathroom, and the waste would drop down into a river or stream (the plumbing system). This was a huge improvement in their sanitary conditions. The Romans acquired other ideas from places other than Greece. In the political division, there was the Roman law where its standards were extremely influenced by the teachings of Stoic philosophers.

The principles were based on common sense and practical ideas. Much of modern laws, including the legal systems of many European countries along with the United States, have been influenced by the long lasting Roman law. Again with importance, Rome’s agriculture and trade played a big role in Roman life. Agriculture was the most important industry in the empire and everything else depended on it. Most Romans relied on the food grown in their local area and all other food and luxuries were only for the rich and they got them through trade.

Rome, being along the Mediterranean Sea, had a enormous trading system and also had roads connecting it to far off places such as Persia and southern Russia. And connecting this huge empire was its sole language, the Latin language. Latin, in the social system, had a major influence on some major languages of the world, including French, Italian, Spanish, and English. Along with Rome’s unified currency know as the Denarius, the Latin language helped unify the civilization by linking diverse people and far away areas.

Ancient China’s occurrence overlapped Rome’s, but started afterward, so last would fall China. In comparison with Rome, China had a large trading network. They both built roads to build their networks too. China’s commerce was very important to the Han Empire. When the Empire realized valuable their silk was as an item of trade, they kept their production technique a secret. The demand for silk from China increased. This increase of demand expanded Chinese commerce reaching all the way through Asia and India, all the way to Rome.

As trade would fall in the Economic category, China’s bureaucracy and civil service would fall in the Social category. A bureaucracy is a system of departments and agencies that formed o carry out the work of government and a civil service is when people are paid to work within a civilization/country’s government. The bureaucracy of China included eighteen different ranks of civil service jobs that civilians could obtain by taking examinations. But if someone wanted to take one of these tests, they would have much more of a chance if they went to the school that Wudi set up.

In this school, people studied Confucius’s works. These schools were expensive so only sons of wealthy land owners ever had a chance at a government career. Evidently, you did not have to believe in the Confucianism religion, but those who did were rewarded. Confucianism falls under the social division. These three civilizations were considered classical civilizations because of the impact that Greece, Rome and China had on the modern world’s economic, social and political systems.

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Classical Civilizations of Ancient Greece, Rome, and China. (2018, Aug 07). Retrieved from

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