Rome is Italy's capital, located on the Italian peninsula in southern Europe. The peninsula is right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The Italian peninsula looks like a boot kicking a soccer ball.
Influence of Etruscan Sports
A princess gave birth to twin boys, Romulus and Remus. The princess's uncle was afraid that the boys were eventually going to take over his throne, so he wanted them to drown. Just as the babies were about to drown in a river, a wolf came and rescued them, and took them in. The boys learned how to live and act like animals. They grew up to create a city, but they did not know what to call it. Romulus and Remus got into a fight, and Romulus killed Remus, so the city is called Rome. This is the myth that the Romans thought of how their city was founded.
Influence of Greek Architecture
The Romans got many of their engineering ideas from the Etruscans. One of the things that the Romans used was arches. The arches rested on two pillars, which supported a half-circle of wedge-shaped stones. A keystone in the center held the other stones of the arch tightly in place. The second thing that the Romans used was the cuniculus. It was a long underground trench connected by vertical shafts to the ground above. Etruscans used these trenches to irrigate land, to drain swamps, and to distribute water to all of their cities.
Influence of Greek Writing, Art, and Religion
The Romans adapted two bloody sports from the Etruscans. They were slave fighting and chariot races. Slave fighting occurred at slaves's master's funerals when they died. Two slaves would fight until one of them killed the other with swords and shields. Once the slave that won was awarded his victory, he was executed. During chariot races, men had horses that they raced. Sometimes the other person would cheat and rub their wheel on the other person's wheel. This caused them to flip over and sometimes get trampled by the horses. If this happens, they get seriously injured or maybe even killed.
The Romans borrowed and adapted ideas from the Greeks and the Etruscans. Greek architecture was one of the most important influences on the Romans because they couldn't build their building without it. The Greeks constructed marble temples as homes for their gods. The Romans used Greek designs in their own public buildings. Eventually, they learned to use concrete to create even larger structures, such as the Pantheon in Rome. The Romans also used concrete to build huge stadiums, where gladiators fought.
The Greek alphabet was changed by the Etruscans, but it was changed again by the Romans. Like the Greeks, the Romans wrote in all capital letters. They carved many important things in stones and columns. Some of them were shown in public displays. The Romans also used some of the Greeks art, such as pottery. The potters would often put clay vessels in the pottery, so they put food, water, and wine in them. Wealthy Romans often collected Greek art. More than anything, the Greeks influenced the Romans with their religion more than anybody. The Greeks gave the Romans ideas about the gods that they would worship. When the Romans encountered a similar god from another culture, they blended that god's characteristics with those of their own. The Romans named all of their gods and goddesses after planets.