How did Roman buildings survive in Rome?




The Romans in Southwest Germany

The fall of the Roman Republic and the reign of Emperor Augustus (44 BC - 14 AD)

Roman history at the time of the emperors Domitian, Nerva and Trajan (81-117 AD)

Roman history at the time of the emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius (117-161 AD)

Roman history at the time of the emperors Marc Aurel and Commudus (161-192 AD)

Building the Roman State

The army during the Roman Empire

Roman religion and philosophy

Roman literature

Origin and expansion of Christianity

Development of Christianity from Emperor Constantine I to the fall of the Western Roman Empire (306 - 476)

Roman medicine

Coin system and long-distance trade in the Roman Empire

The survival of Roman culture

Roman law

Roman proverbs and rules of life

The secret of the place Grinario

The Roman fort in Grinario

The village of Grinario

The people in the village of Grinario

Excavations in today's Köngen



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Persistence of Roman culture

  • The Romans certainly intended to spread their culture and civilization in the provinces. In addition to building an administrative structure in the conquered countries, the 'Romanization' was intended to stabilize the rule of Rome. Roman culture and civilization gained a formative influence in all areas of life, from the external appearance in hairstyle and clothing to table manners, names, baths and construction methods to language, school education, theater and religion.

  • The cultural achievements of peace (Pax Romana) and the tolerance practiced by the Romans made the fact of the previous military submission quickly forgotten. The steady process of integration came to an end with the granting of citizenship to all free residents of the empire by Emperor Caracalla in 212. While the administrative system did not survive the storms of the Migration Period, the cultural achievements of the Romans in their former provinces continue to this day.

  • The granting of Roman citizenship to all inhabitants of the Roman Empire ended the legal inequality that had prevailed until then among the free within the Roman state. If before 212 AD only those persons were promoted to the status of Roman citizens who had previously rendered outstanding services to the Roman state, from that time on everyone had the legal prerequisites for thesocial advancement, for example by taking over state offices.

  • The Romans as Mediators of Cultural Progress

  • Model and pattern of occidental poetry.

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  • The establishment of "school" (education) was taken over by the Greeks. It became the basic pattern for all civilized peoples.

The children of middle-class Roman families attended the at the age of seven 'ludus', the private and paid elementary school where the 'magister ludi' taught them to read and write as well as basic arithmetic. Rich Roman parents mostly bought slaves from Greece to introduce their children to the basics of general education. At around eleven, the sons of wealthy Romans were sent to grammar teachers who taught them the subtleties of the Latin and Greek languages. The grammar lessons were followed by the study of rhetoric.

  • Acquisition, further training and passing on of Greek rhetoric. The Christian church, organized according to the Roman model, introduced the laws of Roman rhetoric into the proclamation (structure, word decoration, sentence structure, insertion of examples, gestures). Many politicians also act according to Roman rhetoric.

  • The rhetoric originated in the 5th century BC when, after the elimination of the tyrant rule, first in Syracuse and then in Athens, conflicts of interest in legal, economic and political areas could be publicly discussed. It achieved its first flowering in the sophistic enlightenmentwhich finally freed language from mythological thinking and made human speech a rational and universally usable oneInstrument of social life made.

The rhetoric was necessary in order to survive in the political competition of the republic. Without a convincing appearance in the people's assembly, the electoral offices could not be won.

  • It was one of the foundations of ancient rhetoric that the speaker not only wanted to convince through objective argumentation, but also wanted to move and stir through pathos and ethos. The prerequisite for the famous rhetor and statesman Cicero (106 - 43 BC) was, however, that the speaker himself should feel the effects he wanted to evoke in the listener. Cicero himself was carried away by his own feelings when he put them into words. In addition, Cicero also used stylistic means - such as the "speech jewelry" - to influence his listeners.

  • The Romans as Mediators of Greek Philosophy
  • From the copy and transfer of Greek philosophy, the Romans became aware of their own nature and values. So the question arose as to the importance of the individual person (individual) and their classification in the state and society.

  • The Roman expression of Greek philosophy - especially the teaching of the Stoa - had great aftereffects in Christianity. Paul borrowed the term 'conscience', which is central to Christian ethics, from the Stoa. The freedom to follow one's conscience is part of the stoic system. Our current ideas of natural law, natural religion and human dignity also come from the Stoa.


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  • Role model function for political and social life

  • The rulers of the Middle Ages saw themselves as successors to the Roman emperors. The imperial insignia went back to the Roman official badges. The scepter remained a symbol of power, the tiara and wreath became the crown, and the Roman official chair became the ruler's throne.

  • Continuation of the traditions through the monarchies. Until 1806, the emphasis on continuity could be read from the designation "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation".

  • During the French Revolution (1789), the old Roman Republic was the model for the new form of government. Napoleon was first promoted to 'consul' and then to 'empereur' (emperor).

  • Imperialism corresponds to Roman power thinking: one oriented oneself to the maxim of Roman foreign policy, first to divide peoples and then to rule over them.

  • In some states, especially in the USA, the "Senate" (a decisive authority in the state among the Romans) has almost retained its political character.

  • During the Roman Empire, Greek knowledge was processed and lexically sorted. The medical school in Salerno preserved the ancient research results during the Middle Ages and passed them on to modern times.

The Romans themselves made no noteworthy contributions to the development of medicine, apart from the material collection of the older Pliny and the translation of Celsus. This favored a late bloom of Greek medicine.

  • Galen (131-199 AD) is considered to be the most important Roman doctor. He summarized the entire knowledge of ancient medicine in a logically thought-out system. Throughout the Middle Ages and well into modern times, his teachings had absolute authority.

 Galen also passed down the ancient rule that someone is healthy if the 'cardinal juices' (blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile) are properly mixed and in balance.


  GalenusofPergamon (also Aelius Galenus or Galen), (* 131, † 199), Roman physician

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  • Worldwide communication in medicine, pharmacy and grammar
  • Following ancient practices, Italy became the teacher of monetary and trade in the late Middle Ages.
  • The old abacus was renamed "Computatorium" in the Middle Ages (table for adding up); the modern legacy is the computer.
  • Part of the craft was so well developed that no decisive progress can be determined to this day (examples: glass production, goldsmithing, granulation technology).
  • The decimal system named with a Latin word came from India to Europe via the Arabs; it has been the norm since the French Revolution. The subdivisions of meters and grams (deci, centi, milli) also come from Latin.

  • The Roman EmperorJulius Caesar led in 46 BC A calendar that was later named after his first name 'Julian calendar' was called.

  • The great advantage of the calendar reform under Julius Caesar is that you can move away from the Lunar year separated and relied solely on the Representation of the course of the sun limited. In a solar calendar, a year is traditionally the period after which the seasons repeat, after which the sun returns to the same point on its apparent annual path around the fixed star sky. The time between two equal points in time in the course of the seasons, for example from one spring equinox (beginning of spring) to the next 365.2422 days long.

  • To resolve the difficulties of the Julian calendar was 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. a calendar reform carried out. With the elimination of 10 calendar days in the new era (October 4, 1582 followed October 15, 1582), the beginning of spring was brought back to March 21(Gregorian calendar). At the same time, a new leap year regulation introduced, after which the leap days cease to exist in the years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400 days. This slowed the growth of a calendar error. As in the Julian calendar, the leap day was inserted at the end of February.

  • Urban systems, roads, bridges
  • City facilities were unknown to the Teutons. They only built new cities after they had familiarized themselves with Roman stone construction.


The Roman Empire was an urbanized empire ruled through and in cities. The city was the type of settlement on which the Romans founded their rule. There were more than 2000 cities across the country that were connected by highways.

  • When new cities were founded in Eastern Europe, attention was paid to a system of roads that intersected at right angles - just as Rome had adopted from the Orient. This "Roman" system helped ventilate the cities; in the event of an enemy attack, it provided a better overview.

  • Following the Roman model, a marketplace was created in European cities as a trading center and meeting point for citizens. City gates also corresponded to the Roman model.


The hallmark of the Roman cities was a clear one, according to one uniform pattern applied structure. This is characterized by a strictaximetric road grid with two main axes - "cardo" (north-south axis) and "decumanus" (east-west axis) - from the centrally located main square, the Forum, ran together. Many of these checkerboard grid cities were built from the 4th century BC onwards. Gradually as "coloniae" founded from Rome. Here, far from Rome, were co-created Forum, Curia (Council building), Comitium (Meeting place) and Basilica (as a profane multi-purpose building for jurisdiction, economy and education) those genuinely Roman architectural forms that were imitated from Britain to North Africa in the entire western half of the Roman Empire. These types of buildings - together with the temples for cultivating gods - determined the appearance of a Roman city, to which a number of entertainment, leisure and amusement buildings such as theaters, arenas and thermal baths were added over time.

  • Purpose-built military buildings, canals and locks also go back to Roman inspiration.

  • Road construction in Europe was based on the Roman route. Italian road builders even used the ancient underground for many kilometers.

  • Many bridges over the Rhine and Danube go back to old Roman bridges.

  • Acquisition of building materials and construction techniques.

  • The Roman architect and engineer Marcus Vitruviusius Pollio (* around 80 BC, † around 10 BC) wrote his "Ten books on architecture" ("De Architectura Libri decem") in the form of a report Emperor Augustus. Since this unfolded an extensive building activity, equipped himVitruvius - this is the abbreviation of his name today - in this way with the "personal knowledge of the quality of both buildings that have already been built and those that are still to be built".

  • The "Ten Books on Architecture" by Vitruvius, which as the oldest still existing works on architectureapply up to the Renaissance and the classical period taken to hand and shaped, among other things, the work of Michelangelo and Andrea Palladio. Maybe it was also possible Leonardo da Vinci inspired by Vitruvius. At his today as "Vitruvian Man" In any case, he seems to have followed Vitruvius's anatomical descriptions exactly.

In the first chapter of his third book, Vitruvius described that thehuman body fits geometrically into the shapes of a square and a circle. Also in the architecture tried the engineers and architects of the ancient world correct proportions hold true. Vitruvius wrote about the symmetrical relationships of the Greek temples: "The layout of the temples is based on the symmetrical relationships, the laws of which the architects must carefully observe. These, however, consist of the symmetry (proportions), which the Greeks called 'analogia'. " The ancient ideal "Stability and Aesthetics" is timeless and has survived to this day.

  • About theRoman law we have created our own page. click here!
  • Terms of Latin origin(Foreign and loan words)
  • Preliminary remark: We understand a foreign word to be a word that is still recognized as 'foreign' due to its phonetic form. A loan word is spoken into German and is no longer perceived as a foreign word in the linguistic consciousness. The adoption of foreign and loan words is almost always a sign that a language community has taken a foreign thing, an invention, a term into its cultural life. When we look at the words we adopted from the Romans, we can see how much our ancestors - and indirectly we too - owe to Roman culture.

  • Terms from the building industry: gypsum (gypsum), lime (calx), mass (massa), material (materia), mortar (mortarium), cement (cementum), cathedral (domus), fort (castellum), tower (turris), Villa (villa), window (fenestra), foundation (fundamentum), wall (murus) etc.

The so-calledmortar (mortarium) made of lime and ground tuff (volcanic ash) from Pozzuoli had a hardness and compressive strength (even under water) like never before. If the mixture of lime and volcanic ash came into contact with seawater, this triggered a chemical reaction in which the limestone merges with water and ash cementresponded. With the Mixture of cement and gravel Port fortifications were made that have withstood sea water and waves for more than 2,000 years. The concrete-like building material also formed the prerequisite for the large buildings of the Principate, in particular for the vault technology. Only with the Roman mortar was the construction of the grandiose Cloaca Maxima possible, which still catches large parts of Rome's sewage today. Stone bridges remained stable even in occasional raging rivers. The aqueducts that supplied Rome and other cities with water could not have been built without the mortar.

  • Utensils: cup (bicarium), goblet (calix), lamp (lampas), furniture (mobile), blackboard (tabula), table (discus) etc.

  • Concepts of Christianity: Bible (biblia), ark (arca), angel (angelus), celebration (feriae), festival (dies festus), monastery (claustrum), order (ordo), mass (missa), preaching (praedicare), bless (signare), monk (monachus) etc.

  • State terms: emperor (Caesar), crown (corona), scepter (sceptrum), interest (census) etc.

  • Terms from trade and transport: oak (aequare), buy (cauponari), market (mercatus), mile (milia), lease (pactum), street (strata), coin (moneta), butter (butyrum), cheese (caesus) , Cook (coquus) etc.

  • School system: school (schola), grade (nota), ink (tincta aqua), writing (scribere) etc.

  • In the political sector there is a striking number of terms of Latin origin. Some of these terms - which, however, were not known to the Romans - express basic political attitudes. They are proof of the clarity and accuracy of the Latin language. Examples are: radical, conservative, liberal, social, communism, capitalism.

  • Economic situations are also briefly indicated by Latin, such as the economy, recession, inflation, bankruptcy, competition.

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Status: October 24, 2019 Copyright © 2019 Geschichts- und Kulturverein Köngen e.V. Author: Dieter Griesshaber

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