Week 29

The most important achievement among all the dozens of great achievements of Rome was the extension of Greek culture into the Roman Empire and the European world that Rome built. If there had been no successor to Greece as there was in her daughter culture of Rome, it is unlikely that the Greek Miracle, the Greek Achievement would never have been as powerful as it was. Rome extended Greece into all of Europe, all the provinces, into barbarian England and savage Belgium and France and North Africa and all the world. Rome worshipped Greece and its cultural achievement and all Roman leaders of Cicero's generation were bilingual: Greek and Latin. They all went to Athens to study Greek the way we go to Paris to learn French. They read all the Greek writers, the philosophers, the historians, all of it. And because of this, the massive Greek achievement in philosophy and science was preserved and extended into Latin books and texts and given a whole new life in the writings of the Christian writers such as Augustine and Ambrose and Jerome. But what about the Greeks who lived in the Roman Empire? Did they continue to read and write Greek and did they have any cultural impact? Yes. There were dozens of Greeks who knew and preserved and continued the great Greek achievement in the arts and sciences and handed such a heritage along to the Romans and to later readers of Latin. We will look at these fascinating Greeks:

  • Polybius
  • Plutarch
  • Strabo
  • Galen
  • Pausanias

All five were Greek-speaking and Greek-born, yet lived within the expanding Roman Empire and thus all were bridges from Greece to Rome and beyond to medieval Europe.


Michael Scott,

From Democrats to Kings,

The Overlook Press; 1 edition (September 16, 2010),

ISBN 1590203917

Edith Hall,

Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life,

Penguin Press,

ISBN 0735220808