Lasting Accomplishments of the Roman Empire



Many ancient civilizations have made major contributions to the modern-day world.

The Roman Empire was one of the most advanced cultures of its time. The grandeur of Rome has had long-lasting effects on the societies of the entire world. Evidence of the brilliance and creativity of the Romans can be found in many modern countries: remains of roads, walls, baths, basilicas, amphitheaters, and aqueducts. These show the technological advances made by the engineers and architects of the Roman Empire. Many modern civic buildings have been built using the Romanesque styling. Perhaps the most important and far-reaching contributions were their administrative institutions - the legal codes and government systems - that have influenced western political life.


The Mayor of Rome, The Honorable Francesco Rutelli, is hosting a symposium of mayors who will gather in his beautiful and exciting city. He plans to present a short history of Rome, including the lasting contributions of the Ancient Roman Empire and how they have affected worldwide civilizations. Your task, "should you choose to accept it," is to create a short presentation with visuals on the lasting accomplishments of Rome using your area of expertise.

  • What are the major contributions?
  • What makes these achievements so important?
  • Which ones have had the most impact on societies of the world?
  • What evidence of the Roman influence can you find in our society?

You have just received the following memo from the Mayor.

Francesco Rutelli
Mayor of Rome

To: My Fellow Romans
Re: Accomplishments of Rome

In the Fall of 2001, I will be hosting a symposium of mayors from major cities all over the world here in this beautiful city of Rome. Most people never realize how much their everyday lives are influenced by past civilizations. Yet we know that the ancient Roman Empire has had a very great influence on many of today's societies. What a great opportunity to show the world the affect the Roman Empire has had on the world today!

I wish to create a presentation on the lasting accomplishments of the Roman Empire. I need your expertise in accomplishing this task. As experts in the many areas that are still influenced by the ancient Romans, I am asking you to prepare s short presentation with visuals highlighting these contributions.

Since there are many accomplishments in every area, I am asking you to choose the ones from your area of knowledge that have had the most impact on modern-day civilizations. Please be creative in presenting those you choose.

Thank you for your time and effort in assisting me with this task.

Mayor Francesco Rutelli


  • symposium - a group of people gathered together; a large meeting or convention where several speakers discuss a topic
  • accomplishments - a skill or idea that has lasted through time
  • expertise - an area, field or subject in which a person is well-informed and highly skilled


Each group should keep a daily group work journal, describing the group's work, effort and cooperation. Explain difficulties and triumphs, and how you worked out any problems. How well did the group work together? Did everyone doing their assigned task?

  1. You will be working on this project in teams of "experts"-artists, architects, literary experts, lawyers and judges, historians.
  2. Divide the research among the members of the team.
  3. After researching, make a list of accomplishments in your area of expertise.
  4. For each accomplishment, describe how they have had an influence on or changed society.
  5. Decide which of these accomplishments are the most important and/or had the most impact on modern societies.
  6. As a group, decide how you will present this information to the Mayor.
  7. Prepare your presentation.
  8. Present to the Mayor and his advisors.
  9. After the conclusion of the presentation, each student must answer the questions in the Reflection portion of the lesson. Write the answers to each question on notebook paper to turn in.


Be sure to research the accomplishments completely. To determine those that are the most important; you might eliminate those for which you find very little information. Research those that have had the most influence on the world.

Brainstorm, as a group, ideas for your presentation. Use appropriate visuals: pictures, a video, posters, costumes, overhead transparencies, drawings, chart, model, museum display, pamphlet, photos.

Remember that each person must do his/her part of the assignment in order to successfully create the presentation and earn the best possible grade.

Don't forget to follow-up with your report.


The grade earned for the presentation by the group will be the grade given to each individual.

Your grade will be given in three areas:

The Daily Work Journal (should include)

  • entry for each day of the lesson
  • information on how problems were solved
  • comments on the group's performance

Quality of Presentation

  • proper length (5-10 min)
  • all students participated
  • visuals were used
  • information was organized and easy to understand

 Appropriateness of the Visuals

  • do the visuals explain the information
  • are the visuals, clear, neat and well-done


Once your presentation is prepared, discuss what you have learned as a group. Using the information you gathered, write the answer to the following question :

  • What evidence of the Roman accomplishments do you see in U.S. society today?


Looking back over this activity, think about what you had to do to complete this assignment. Please answer the following questions and explain by telling why you gave these answers. Each student must answer these questions on notebook paper to turn in.

  1. What was the best thing about doing this assignment?
  2. What was the hardest thing about doing this assignment?
  3. What was the most important thing you learned about working together?
  4. What would have made this activity easier?
  5. If you had to do this activity over again, what would you do differently?