Roman history and culture should be studied more often at the university level. Why?
The Roman Empire was the last time that most of Europe was united into a single economic and political entity. This unification has had a lasting impact for the past 2,000 years. Such lasting legacies have left their mark on political systems, religious institutions, concepts such as rule of law and a host of other gifts that have been handed down through the centuries to such far flung places as the Philippines.
Indeed, all Western influences in the Philippines have an essentially Roman basis. Spain and England were part of the Roman world as constituent parts of Empire. Spain was called Hispania while England was referred to as Britannica. These two provinces were a part of the Roman Empire until the very end of its existence. Why would I mention England at all? It is because England had a lasting influence on the United States and was the direct carrier of Roman legacy in American society and culture.
Though Christianity was brought to the Philippines by Spain, it was Rome herself that was responsible for bringing Christianity to the world at large. Roman roads and their efficient construction ensured that ideas such as Christianity spread throughout the Empire. After 310 A.D. the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, ensuring that all areas that would constitute the future states of Europe were influenced by this religion, from France to the Baltics.
The Senate itself was a Roman body; the Latin root for senate means old man. This is the reason why requirements for this body in most systems that have a senate in place is either 35 or 40 for these ages were close to the average life expectancy of a common Roman male. It was designed as a body of wise old men. Further, words such as quorum, ex parte, ex officio, etc. are part of Roman procedure within this governing body.
English and Spanish, though both from different language branches, borrow heavily from Latin, which is itself an extinct language. Indeed, the alphabet itself is a Latin alphabet. Many scientific words have retained their Latin forms as well as quite a number of legal terms. The concept of citizen as we know it today has Roman origins. Citizens were given special privileges that non-citizens did not receive including a right to a jury trial, execution method, immunity from torture, etc. These are the beginnings of what we would term due process and equal protection.
The coinage that the Philippines uses today is Roman in origin. Greek coins that preceded Roman coinage would have the face of a leader on one side. However, it was the Roman Empire that standardized coinage which displayed the ruler’s face, edicts and words from the state along with political propaganda. On Philippine currency, for example, “the Filipino is worth dying for” is a form of propaganda which is an example of Roman influences. Prior to this, coins in the world, even Chinese ones, had abstract symbols or images only.
Lastly, Jesus preached fairness and equality partly because Jesus lived under Roman rule which emphasized the rule of law. Though Jesus was not a Roman citizen, he benefitted from Roman rule, as does any country that has inherited Roman legacy. How do we know that Jesus was not a Roman citizen? Because citizens are never crucified AND given a trial by jury.