Within that unsurpassed framework Rome built a culture Greek in origin, Roman in application and result. She was too engrossed in government to create as bountifully in the realms of the mind as Greece had done; but she absorbed with appreciation, and preserved with tenacity, the technical, intellectual, and artistic heritage that she had received from Carthage and Egypt, Greece and the East. She made no advance in science, and no mechanical improvements in industry, but she enriched the world with a commerce moving over secure seas, and a network of enduring roads that became the arteries of a lusty life. Along those roads, and over a thousand handsome bridges, there passed to the medieval and modern worlds the ancient techniques of tillage, handicraft, and art, the science of monumental building, the processes of banking and investment, the organization of medicine and military hospitals, the sanitation of cities, and many varieties of fruit and nut trees, of agricultural or ornamental plants, brought from the East to take new root in the West. Even the secret of central heating came from the warm south to the cold north. The south has created the civilizations, the north has conquered and destroyed or borrowed them.

Rome did not invent education, but she developed it on a scale unknown before, gave it state support, and formed the curriculum that persisted till our harassed youth. She did not invent the arch, the vault, or the dome, but she used them with such audacity and magnificence that in some fields her architecture has remained unequaled; and all the elements of the medieval cathedral were prepared in her basilicas. She did not invent the sculptural portrait, but she gave it a realistic power rarely reached by the idealizing Greeks. She did not invent philosophy, but it was in Lucretius and Seneca that Epicureanism and Stoicism found their most finished form. She did not invent the types of literature, not even the satire; but who could adequately record the influence of Cicero on oratory, the essay, and prose style, of Virgil on Dante, Tasso, Milton,…. of Livy and Tacitus on the writing of history, of Horace and Juvenal on Dryden, Swift, and Pope?