How did imperialism and contact with Hellenistic culture affect the core values of Roman society, its economy, and its political system? What role did slavery play in this civilization?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main change that occurred in the Roman political system due to imperialism was the shift from a Republican to an imperial system of rule. Although in theory it would have been possible for a reorganized Republic to rule an empire, in actually practice, the Roman Republic struggled to administer larger territories. 

Foreign conquests also brought several other changes to the Roman economic and political system. The first was an influx of foreign slaves won in its conquests. Especially educated Greek slaves brought with them a literary, artistic and rhetorical culture far more sophisticated than the Latin one, transforming most Roman cultural productions into imitations or translations of Greek originals, such as Roman comedy which evolved from pantomime to translation of Greek New Comedy.

The influx of slaves also helped the growth of a system of latifundia, large estates with a  single owner worked by slaves. As a result of its conquests, Rome also became increasingly dependent on imports, especially of Egyptian grain. 

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