Social Studies - 2019-20

3.3 - Contributions of Ancient Greece and Rome

The student will explain how the contributions of ancient Greece and Rome have influenced the present world in terms of architecture, government (direct and representative democracy), and sports.

Adopted: 2015


  • So that I know ancient people made contributions that affect the present world.
  • So that I know ideas, games, architecture, customs, languages, foods, etc. have spread from place to place throughout history. There are many different ways that these things have traveled – trade, war, and the migration of people are a few.
  • So that I know history is a record of mankind’s past that includes how people lived and important events
  • So that I know history began long, long ago
  • So that I can learn about how people lived and what they thought was important by studying their art and architecture
  • So that I know democracy began in ancient Greece and has grown, changed, and traveled to other countries – including the United States


The ancient Greeks and Romans were two groups of people who made significant contributions to society in terms of architecture, government, and sports.

The ancient Greeks and Romans have influenced the lives of people today.


Terms to know

  • direct democracy: A government in which people vote to make their own rules and laws
  • representative democracy: A government in which the people vote for (elect) a smaller group of citizens to make the rules and laws for everyone


The architects of ancient Greece and Rome used columns and arches in the construction of their buildings. Ancient examples still exist today.

  • Greece: The Parthenon (columns)
  • Rome: The Colosseum and aqueducts (arches)

The arts

Mosaics, sculpture, and paintings are displayed on buildings in ancient Greece and Rome.

  • Greece: Pottery
  • Rome: Mosaics


The government of the United States is based on ideas developed in ancient Greece and Rome.

  • Greece: Birthplace of democracy (government by the people); a direct democracy
  • Rome: Republican (representative) form of government; a representative democracy


Olympic games of today are modeled after the games of ancient Greece.


Updated: Jul 24, 2019