Has Greece Conquered her "Rude Conqueror"?


Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire are considered the foundation of  modern western civilization.   The ancient Greeks and Romans established political systems, literature, philosophies, arts and architecture, education, scientific innovation, and a military tradition that continue to be researched and revered.  This Greco-Roman synthesis, the rich combination of cultural elements, has shaped what we call the Western tradition. 


For this essay you will analyze and synthesize everything we have learned about ancient western civilization in Theme I: Who is Western Man? and respond to the assertion by Horace: “Conquered Greece has conquered the brute victor and brought her arts into rustic Latium”. You will decide which great empire actually won the battle of cultural influence. 


Consider the following before you begin writing:

 You will write a response that covers two (2) issues:

  1. You will show the reader that you fully understand why Horace felt the way that he did;

  2. You will defend or disagree with Horace’s proclamation.

Guiding Question:


“Conquered Greece has conquered the brute victor and brought her arts into rustic Latium”

(Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes intulit agresti Latio).

From Horace’s Epistulae (c. 20 BCE).  Alternate translations include: “Greece has conquered her rude conqueror”.



What is the major evidence behind the concept that the Roman poet Horace was proffering, and, ultimately, do you agree with his proclamation?



Your Tasks

ü     Answer the guiding question in a well-developed paper of no more than 3 ½ pages.

ü     Remember that your paper is answering two (2) questions.

ü     Create a clear thesis statement: The thesis statement unifies and focuses an argument.  The thesis statement is not a topic sentence, but rather an assertion about a topic.

ü     Provide ample and specific evidence from documents and notes.

ü     Paper’s body paragraphs are organized around the evidence supporting your thesis.


Sample Outline


Introduction:  Set the stage for the reader.  You will want to remind the reader of the events surrounding the fall of the Greeks and the rise of the Roman Empire.  Your thesis will come at the end of the introductory paragraph.


Body Paragraphs:  Arrange the evidence you have found to support your stance toward the quotation.  You are expected to develop at least two reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the quote.  This means you will have at least two body paragraphs.


Body ¶ 1: This is where you will show that you understand the message and meaning behind the words from the philosopher Horace.  This is where you talk about specific aspects of Ancient Roman culture including art and architecture, literature and mythology, government structure and practices.


      Body ¶ 2: This is where you provide evidence for supporting or refuting Horace’s claim about Roman culture. You will choose a prominent aspect of culture as proof.


      Body ¶ 3: This is where you will provide further evidence from the culture in your support or refutation of Horace’s claim.  You are choosing another aspect of culture for your proof in this paragraph.


Conclusion:   In the conclusion, you will summarize your evidence being sure that the reader can only agree with your analysis.  You may wish to wrap up your paper by making a philosophical statement about empires.










A – A+



ü      Thesis is clearly stated and strongly worded

ü      Evidence is substantial (discussed more than the 2  required reasons)

ü      Information is accurate, relevant and clearly stated

ü      Paper is carefully structured and written; transitions connect back to thesis and introduce paragraph topic

Beyond Mastery




B – A-




ü      Thesis is clearly stated

ü      Information is accurate and clearly stated

ü      Evidence is not as powerfully used as it could be (could have used better or further examples)

ü      Writing could be strengthened

ü      Structure was effective




C – B-




ü      Thesis is apparent

ü      Information is accurate but ambiguously stated

ü      Evidence is adequate but could use development

ü      Effort is apparent in planning and writing

ü      Paper must be revised to reach Mastery


Approaching Mastery


D – C-


ü      Thesis is unclear

ü      Paper was completed and turned in

ü      Minimal evidence of planning and effort

ü      Paper must be revised to reach Mastery





ü      Paper must be revised to reach Mastery

Below Basic