Images showing how the frameworks of ancient Roman morality were structured and changed over time. The morality of ancient Rome went hand in hand with 1500 years of social development. The Metaethics of Rome can be explained through a clear relationship with divine and social hierarchies. It is hypothesised that the Normative frameworks used by the ancient Romans varied through time. The social experience built up was encoded through myths, stories and cases of ancient Roman law.
The study of ethics, morality in ancient Rome and ancient Roman moral principles, is highly complex. A means of approaching it is through standard frameworks.
Ethics can be broken down into separate areas of study which we can use as lenses with which to consider ancient Roman approach to morality.
Metaethics -where ethics reside and where do they come from?
Normative ethics – what frameworks can we use to decide what is ethically correct at any given time in any given situation?
Applied ethics – given situations and cases where the choice is related to ethics and difficult to discern the right course of action.
It is interesting to hypothesize and consider that whilst the Normative frameworks are merely alternative ways of viewing a given situation, the ones chosen by the Romans may have had particular trends at different stages of ancient Roman social evolution. After all, we are considering ca.1500 years of history during which the individuals, their values, their social and personal needs will have undergone a great deal of change.