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What if the Roman Empire had never existed?

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Susan Bitter

on 11 June 2014

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Transcript of What if the Roman Empire had never existed?

What if the Roman Empire had never existed?
beginning of the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation
foundations of exploration, absolutism, Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment

Expansion: We believe Germanic tribes would expand and conquer in the place of the Romans. The Celts and Franks would stay mainly along the coast and the British Iles, where the larger Germanic groups like the Ostrogoths and the Goths would take over central and eastern Europe. There would be some expected hostility from the Huns. Over all, our cultures, languages, religions and governments would be vastly different today.
What did Rome do?
government belongs to the people and their representatives
modern republics: France, Italy, United States, Portugal, Ireland, Russia
basis for legislative assemblies and representative bodies
modern senates: Spain, Czech Republic, France, United States, Poland
checks and balances
countries with: United Kingdom, France, United States, India
Laws of the Twelve Tables
established the foundation of Roman law
One of history’s most advanced militaries
Tactics invented for specific battle situations
From Celts to Arabs different strategies were utilized. Some strategies are utilized today such as the phalanx or tortoise.
Their modern day uses are charges with bayonets or riot situations
Army leaders had some influence within the government; an example is the rule of Caesar
Our military has the joint chiefs of staff.
Conquered most of Western Europe, parts of North Africa, and the Middle East

basis for Justinian's Code and the Napoleonic Code
basis for modern civil law, used in all of modern Europe except the United Kingdom
innocent until proven guilty
Eī incumbit probātiō quī dicit, nōn quī negāt: "Proof falls upon he who affirms, not he who denies." The accuser, not the defendant, was assumed guilty from the start.
modern use in: Spain, France, Italy, Poland, United States
Latin alphabet
contains all letters of our modern alphabet except W, J, and U
used in countries on all seven continents
Romance languages
languages based off Latin: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Sardinian, and Romanian
Julian Calendar, almost identical to modern Gregorian Calendar, used until 1582
month names derived from Latin numbers and gods
• Persecution and expulsion of Christians and Jews
• Initial spread of Christianity due to established roads
• Centralization among governments leads to eventual promotion of religions
• Crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans

Roman art forms range from frescos and mosaics to paintings and sculptures

• Neoclassicism is the recreation of Roman art and architecture
• Influenced artists of the Renaissance

centralized and connected the empire
Roman aqueducts are still in use in Italy, France, and Spain
source of cleaner, drinkable water (no sewage mixed in, but lead instead)
first bridges to cross valleys
like aqueducts, utilized arches for structural stability
Roman viaducts still standing, mainly in France, are used for railroads
centralized and connected the empire
provided basis for modern roads in Spain, France, and Great Britain
city planning
modern cities are based off the template of Rome
many cities are built upon the ruins of Roman settlements, such as Paris (Lutetia)
centralized governments in most of Europe: France, England, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland
decay of feudalism
increasing population
Commercial Revolution
strong bonds between religion and the state
England would be ruled by the Celtic or Pict people. Their language would be of Gaelic roots. The religion would be predominantly composed of pagan and animism components. Their government was loosely held together by a central rule of a cheiftin. Premogenture was not directly used and a clan could change leadership rapidly. Therefore, centralized England or Scotland would not exist; the differing Celtic tribes would never be able to unite without the Roman invasion.
The renowned culture of France would likely be traded for bloody conflict and miscommunication among scattered Gallic, Frankish, and Germanic states lacking common language, tradition, and religion.

Druidic religion
Germanic language
Limited technologies
Severe political divisions
The Iberians of pre-Roman Spain were already on their way towards civilization. Without the interference of the Romans, their only major enemies were the Carthaginians of North Africa, the Vandals, and the Visigoths. They would likely be the strongest non-Germanic state in Europe.

Unique Iberian/Phoenician language
Spread of Iberian culture in Europe and Africa
Divide between Iberian and Visigothic Spain
The various Germanic peoples were actually strengthened by the Roman empire. Their deliberate separation helped each sect develop their own culture. Uncontrolled, these groups would be just as powerful but more divided. Moots and comitatus controlled the people of each clan. Languages with Germanic roots were most common. Over time, some Arian tribes actually adopted Christianity.
The Germanic tribes of Eastern Europe were without competition, aside from the nomadic Huns, the scattered Slavs, and the Middle Eastern Parthian Empire. Their dominance was secured, though the divisions between and among the different branches of Goths would have led to multiple, perhaps warring, Germanic states in Eastern Europe.

Germanic language - extinction of Slavic and Greek tongues
Persian influence in Greece and south-eastern Europe from the Parthian Empire
Broader amount of land unified by German background
Germanic language
Spread of Christianity
Loose organization of central Europe
Tribal rule through parts of central an Eastern Europe
Italy would be drastically different with the absence of the impressive cultural aspects created by the Roman Empire. Italy would most likely be influenced by the Ostrogoths, who were the original rulers of the area around Italy. If the Ostrogoths were never contested by the Romans their culture would only grow further. They wrote in Latin and Greek. There was also strong tolerance of Catholicism during their time.
Mix of Greek and Latin
Spread of Catholicism
Lack of architectural and technological advancements
Full transcript