Glossary of Roman Terms: Politics, Law, Wars, and Lifestyles

Roman Forum
Roman Forum.

The Ancient Roman Republic lasted from 509 BCE to 27 BCE, and was followed by the Ancient Roman Empire which existed from 27 BCE to 669 CE. While already boasting a lengthy rule, the Romans influence continued to shape all aspects of society for centuries after.

Roman civilization made its mark on Elizabethan literature by inspiring Shakespeare's seminal play, Julius Caesar. The iconic Colosseum in Rome is a staple case study in architecture studies and influenced many similar structures, especially sports stadiums. The Roman Republic, and even the Roman Empire with its Senate legislature, is often referred to as the building blocks of modern democracy. And its ruling over diverse lands and its trade with Asia via the Silk Road inevitably established cross-cultural exchanges that continue to today.

These terms cover a variety of topics, ranging from names of battles to significant architecture, from geographical features to an explanation of cultural rituals. Hopefully, this extensive list will be intriguing for any history buff or Ancient Rome enthusiast. 

Battles and Warfare

Rome was imperialism personified, and the Romans kept blow by blow records of many of the important battles that sealed that definition. Many Roman battles and battle plans are still cited as ideals by recent military tacticians and teachers in military academies.

Politics and Law

Politics played a vital role in Roman society. The passion plays in the Senate and the struggles for power among generals, kings, and emperors provide us a great deal of historical precedent for our society today.


Rome built some of the finest civic architecture, both as public displays but also as functional works, aqueducts and other structures still standing today. 


What do you know of these terms related to social mores and traditions, music, and foods of Roman society?


At its height, the Roman Empire stretched over much of Europe; do you know these points of geographic interest? 


Roman religion changed over the centuries, and it includes Roman gods and goddesses, but also the influence of religion, and religious specialists. 


Do you know who these important persons were to the history of the Roman Empire? 

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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Glossary of Roman Terms: Politics, Law, Wars, and Lifestyles." ThoughtCo, Oct. 9, 2021, Gill, N.S. (2021, October 9). Glossary of Roman Terms: Politics, Law, Wars, and Lifestyles. Retrieved from Gill, N.S. "Glossary of Roman Terms: Politics, Law, Wars, and Lifestyles." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 9, 2023).