The Roman Empire succeeded at a higher level than the Athenian Democracy because of a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, superior technology and infrastructure, and a more centralized military. Most people understand that the Greeks had military strength. However, much of that strength was concentrated in Sparta. The city-state system in Greece at the time meant that there were competing goals for the different parts of the country. The Athenian Democracy did not have an extraordinarily strong military. The Roman Empire, on the other hand, had inarguably the strongest military of its time (Kagan, Ozment, & Turner). Not only was the military large, but they also had significant innovation in terms of processes and organization (Antonio). The Romans were the first to utilize various legions and teams, and they changed the way countries fought during this time. The government was centralized there, while the Athenian government existed in a sort of disorganized state. This made the Athenian government successful at prompting discussion and promoting ideas, but the Roman Empire was better at getting things done.
The ability to build and maintain infrastructure had plenty to do with the success of the Roman Empire in comparison to the Athenian Democracy, as well. In Rome, there were aqueducts that helped the people move water more quickly than their competitors. They had a sophisticated sewage system for that time. This practically gave Rome the ability to avoid disease. Beyond that, the Roman Empire also had advanced roads. They were able to build roads that were safe and effective, allowing for better movement of troops and better trading advantages. In Greece, and particularly in Athens, the ideas were there, but the infrastructure did not support a large, thriving empire. This is one of the primary reasons why the democracy in Athens failed to have the success of the Roman Empire.
- Antonio, R. J. (1979). The contradiction of domination and production in bureaucracy: The contribution of organizational efficiency to the decline of the Roman Empire. American Sociological Review, 895-912.
- Kagan, D., Ozment, S., Turner, F. M. (2009) The Western Heritage: Teaching And Learning Classroom Edition, Combined Volume, 6th Edition. Web. 19 Apr. 2015