Controlling the majority of Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa, the Empire governed 65 million people at its height. After Rome’s fall in 450, no city managed to surpass her population until 1500 years later during the Industrial Revolution.
The term metropolis is Ancient Greek (μητρόπολις) and means the “mother city” of a colony … This was later generalized to a city regarded as a center of a specified activity, or any large, important city in a nation.
For anyone interested in anthropology, the milestone begs age-old questions. How did Rome succeed? How different would the world be if not for the Roman Empire? And, for the U.S. specifically, would there be such a thing as the American Dream?
While we can never fully answer these questions, and countless books have been written in the attempt, we can acknowledge Rome’s significant achievements and later influence on our country’s creation.
NOT SO HUMBLE ROOTS
Dedicated students of history, the founding fathers carefully examined preceding societies to evaluate their cause of death. Their ingenious inoculation? A preventative political structure. They credit the political architecture of the U.S. republic to Greco-Roman civic philosophy and structure. It was within the reign of the Roman empire that the notion of divided government branches was conceived, where the world’s first elected officials ruled, and where the equality of all citizens before the law was first established.
All our Founding Fathers believed that history was a precursor of the future. In the annals of history—particularly that of the Greek and Roman republics of antiquity—they believed they could find the key to inoculating America against the diseases that infected and destroyed past societies. —Dr. Joe Wolverton II
When faced with the task of creating their own republic, the founding fathers drew upon millennia of vicarious experience gained from their studies of history and literature. At the time, colleges required, among other challenging feats, that incoming freshmen read, translate, and expound upon original classical Greco-Roman works in the original Latin and Greek. Twenty-seven of the 39 signers of the Constitution were college graduates; nearly all were classically educated. Considered provocative and new, Carl J. Richard’s book, Why We’re All Romans, “wouldn’t have been a surprise to those educated in colonial colleges.”*
Through our founding fathers, our “uniquely American” values of autonomy and democracy, checks and balances, religious liberty, and impartiality before the law were transferred to a new world—values nurtured thousands of years before among the seven Roman hills, demonstrating that even today, all roads lead to Rome.