Research Article Open Access

Ancient Roman Civilization and Modern, Industrial Society a Contribution to the Sociological Theory of Long-Term Social Change

Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff1 and Stefan Breuer2
  • 1 Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2 University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 17 No. 1, 2021, 49-66

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2021.49.66

Submitted On: 22 January 2021 Published On: 13 April 2021

How to Cite: Oesterdiekhoff, G. W. & Breuer, S. (2021). Ancient Roman Civilization and Modern, Industrial Society a Contribution to the Sociological Theory of Long-Term Social Change. Journal of Social Sciences, 17(1), 49-66. https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2021.49.66

Abstract

Ancient Roman civilization had many technological, economical and institutional prerequisites to develop the modern, industrial society. However, it did not do so but collapsed instead. For centuries researchers try to find the explanations to the rise of modern, industrial society, to the collapse of the ancient civilization and to the differences between ancient and modern societies. Piagetian psychology can help to find answers to these questions. It is argued that the ancient Romans (ancient humans) were characterized by the preoperational psychological stage and failed to attain the formal operational psychological stage that emerged during the 17th century in Europe, at first in small circles and during the following centuries in the whole people living in modern, industrial societies. Thus, there is a huge psychological gap between ancient and modern peoples. The preoperational stage explains the religion, the magic, the morals and the social life of the ancient Romans, while the formal operational stage explains the decline of these ancient patterns and the rise of new social, political and moral structures during the past centuries, at first in the West and now on a worldwide scale.

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Keywords

  • Ancient Roman Civilization
  • Modern
  • Industrial Society
  • Psychological Stages
  • Piagetian Psychology