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Ancient Grome

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Shouldn't it be "Minerva"?
"Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit." note 
Horace describing Rome's mass copypasta of almost everything Greek.

A sister trope to Mayincatec, Spexico, Far East and Scotireland, a tendency for writers to overlap the Greek and Roman civilizations and confuse aspects of the two Classical civilizations, e.g. Roman numerals in an otherwise Greek setting, Greek gods in Rome, and vice versa, et cetera. No relation to Oxbridge; that one is a commonly accepted overlap.

Though this trope is due in large part to research failures, the Romans themselves are not blameless, causing a healthy amount of Truth in Television. They were heavily influenced, and totally transformed, by the Greeks, who they had contact with for centuries before finally conquering Greece fully in 146 BCE. One of the most blatant examples is Classical Mythology, but other examples can be found in politics, science, the hyper-realistic statues, et cetera (in fact, most of the statues of Classical Greece come down to us via Roman copies). Although they did regard some aspects of Greek culture with disapproval,note  Romans generally were quite open about their love and debt to Greek civilization in general, and borrowed their ideas, concepts, and motifs from their neighbors with endless gusto. Many of Rome's greatest historians, including the first one (Polybius), were Greek (e.g. Plutarch, Appian), not to mention all the Greek thinkers and school of thought that spread and evolved in Rome. And of course, Romans thought of Alexander the Great as the ultimate conqueror-civilizator, with many of them devoting their lives and careers to imitate him as much as possible.

Roman authors had a habit of inserting Greek quotations into their works, and even one of the few Romans who made a fuss about Greek culture, Cato the Elder, secretly learnt Greek and sent his children to study it. Greece was regarded as the source of culture, philosophy, science and learning in general, and Greek was seen as a symbol of cultivation and intelligence (and no doubt the Romans also thought it was downright awesome) hence why science, mathematics, philosophy and the like have a massively bad tendency to do this, reinforcing the idea that intellectuals, scientists, mathematicians and such know Latin and/or Greek. Romans of the late Republic and early Imperial era tended to use quite a lot of Greek in their speech (to the point where the letters Y and Z, not ordinarily used in Latin, had to be appended to the alphabet due to their frequent use in Greek loanwords), and Julius Caesar is said to have quoted a play by Menander, a Hellenistic Greek, when crossing the Rubicon.

The Romans would also continue placing plays in Athens or other Greek cities, to avoid slandering the state, but leave everything else Roman-like. The epics of Homer inspired the The Aeneid of Virgil (even though it was actually an attempt to connect Rome's distant past with Greece's enemies, by making Romans the descendants of Trojans), and authors such as Seneca the Younger wrote using Greek styles albeit adding more imitations and innovations (chiefly incredibly graphic descriptions of violence for which he became proverbial). The Roman Emperor Nero visited Greece in 66 AD and performed at the Ancient Olympic Games, despite the rules against non-Greek participation. Also, due to massive Greek colonization (mainly before the rise of Rome), part of southern Italy was known as Magna Græcia (Μεγάλη Ἑλλάς, Megálē Hellás) — "Great Greece."

While Latin was the official language in Rome, Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern half of the Roman Empire, still fresh from Alexander's legacy.note  The vast majority of the New Testament was originally in Greek as a result, as it was written for a audience living in the eastern half. This is also why when the Roman Empire was formally split into the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, the Eastern Roman Empire (what would later come to be known to historians as the Byzantine Empire) had Greek as its official language from 7th century onwards.

It would probably be valuable to note, at this point, that "Ancient Greece" is itself a lesser example of Cultural Blending; see Ancient Greece.

When Ancient Grome meets language, you get Canis Latinicus.

Has nothing to do with Gnomes from ancient civilizations, or with the King of the Earth Elementals in the Elric of Melnibone universe.


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  • Averted by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, a perfectionist who strove to achieve a sense of historical realism, especially with regards to architecture and material goods. This is perhaps demonstrated most clearly in costuming: you won't find togas in Athens here.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's The Incredible Hercules:
    • Two different explanations have been provided in the comics for the use of his Roman name when everything else is drawn from the Greek myths. The first was that Herakles is his real name and Hercules is his "superhero" name, since that name is more familiar to Americans. This was later retconned into his having changed his name to distance himself from his stepmother Hera (since Herakles means "Glory of Hera").
    • The Greek god of death is named Pluto in the Marvel Universe, rather than Hades, presumably because the name "Hades" was already given to Mephisto's realm (which is clearly Fire and Brimstone Hell) at a time when the word "Hell" couldn't be used too freely in Marvel Comics. The name Pluto is reasonably acceptable in that it sounds close to the original Greek "Plouton", another name for Hades that was especially associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.
  • DC's Amazons use a mix, originally this wasn't an issue since the Amazons came to Paradise Island over the centuries to become Amazons.
    • The Golden Age Amazons as created by William Marston had a ton of Roman stuff, including the gods going by their Roman names (Mars, Venus, and Minerva most prominently; hence "Merciful Minerva!").
    • The Post-Crisis rebooted version (Wonder Woman (1987)) stripped out all the Roman stuff (Mars becoming Ares, for example), except for Diana's Latin name, which was justified as her being named after a female pilot named Diana who crashed on Themyscira in the 20th century. This has also been lampshaded on several occasions, such as when a bunch of Neo-Nazis invade Themyscira and comment that some of the statues look vaguely Roman.
    • The Genesis Crisis Crossover involved Zeus, Jupiter, Odin and Highfather doing a Fusion Dance to create the ultimate father-god. In the aftermath of this, Wonder Woman revealed Zeus and Jupiter hadn't seperated, and the resultant entity declared he was the true version of the god known as both Zeus and Jupiter, and wanted all the other Greek and Roman gods to combine likewise.
  • In-Universe example also from DC, Batman: Gotham Adventures #34 features a storyline in which Maxie Zeus kidnaps a team of Hollywood set designers; inspired by an obvious Gladiator Expy film they made, his goal is to have them rebuild Rome.
    Crew Chief: Okay, but why Rome? Aren't you, y'know... a Greek god? I mean, if you were a Roman god, wouldn't you be called Maxie Jupiter?
    Maxie glares directly at him
    Crew Chief: You know what? I'm an idiot. I'm an idiot who doesn't deserve to be in your mighty and, uh, infallible presence so I'm going to leave now.

    Fan Works 
  • Fate/Starry Night: Discussed. Shirou refers to Berserker as "Hercules", but Ritsuka corrects him, as Hercules is a romanization of the original Greek "Heracles".
  • Star Trek: Phoenix: A species of literal Space Romans visited in Season 2 uses primarily Roman-like clothing and architecture, while their artwork and pottery are decidedly Greek in style. This is noticed and discussed by the crew.
  • Vow of Nudity: The Genasi Empire, the main antagonists of the series, is clearly modeled off the Roman Empire, with references to Greco-Roman architecture like marble columns, statues, and arches, and a focus on technological advancements like aqueducts, plumbing, and paved roads.

  • Fantasia: The "Pastoral Symphony" segment includes a lot of gods from classical mythology, and Deems Taylor introduces some with their Greek names (Zeus, Morpheus, Iris) and some with their Roman names (Vulcan, Bacchus, Diana). He also mentions Apollo, who’s the only significant classical deity to not be given a different name by the Romans.

    Film-Live Action 
  • The Matrix: The Oracle has a reference to the Oracle of Delphi (Greek) over her door, but it's written in Latin.
  • The Pokrovsky Gates: Lampshaded by the protagonist. "My name is Konstantin, which is Classical for "steadfast".
  • Clash of the Titans (2010) shows Greek soldiers in Roman armour and wielding gladiuses.
  • In SHAZAM! (2019), the wizard Shazam tells Billy that Zeus, Atlas, Achilles, Hercules, and Mercury are some of the beings providing him power. The first three are Greek figures, while the latter two are Roman figures (their Greek equivalents would be Heracles and Hermes).
  • Bedtime Stories (2008): The setting of one story, supposedly in "Ancient Greece" yet having clear Coliseum and Roman Emperor knockoffs, while his character's name is close to that of Spartacus, the famous gladiator turned slave revolt leader against the Romans.

  • In the Mary Renault trilogy about him, the Alexander the Great is referred to as "Alexander" (his Roman name), even though the rest of the characters are called by their Greek names rather than their Roman ones e.g. Cassander becomes Kassandros, etc. Word of God justified this on the basis that the reader was more familiar with the Roman name, and it helped differentiate Alexander the Great from the two other prominent Alexanders in the novels (who go by "Alexandros"). Occasionally she used a flat English translation, e.g. "Oxhead" for "Bucephalos" (Alexander's horse), whose name meant, well, "ox-head".
  • Ditto many ancient Greek texts. Among scholars of the ancient world, it's more common to hear about "Plato's The Republic" than "Plato's Politeía," and more common to hear about "Aristotle's De Anima" than "Aristotle's Perì Psūchês."
    • It's also more common to hear about Plato than Platon and Aristotle than Aristoteles.
    • "Republic" is a separate issue: it's a word in English, not Latin. It derives from, and sounds a lot like the Latin "Res Publica," two words that idiomatically mean "state" or "commonwealth," but it's really more like calling it Aristotle's Poetics rather than Περὶ ποιητικῆς or its Roman alphabet equivalent. "De Anima" is a more straight example, since the words are actual untranslated Latin.
  • The Roman historian Plutarch wrote in Greek, and his Parallel Lives is a book that specifically compares and contrasts the differences between Noble Greeks and Romans. Plutarch in general, though not overtly, sees the Greeks as too ornery, dissolute, and self-destructive as compared to Romans, who he admits are austere, cool, orderly, if maybe hypocritical and cynical.
  • Star Trek: New Frontier by Peter David lampshades this by saying that the superpowered Beings used to be both Greek and Roman gods... as well as Norse, Hindu, Egyptian... and Santa Claus.
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series: The sequel to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, tends to skirt this by making generally clear distinctions between Greek and Roman mythology.
    • It even subverts the usual convention of having Ancient Greeks as a united front against foreign intrusions, which was actually a characteristic of the Ancient Romans. In the series, it's explained that most Greek demigods don't get to live for quite long after their graduation from Camp Half-Blood, as their solitary nature makes them easy prey for monsters (reflecting the individual city-states of Greece that cooperated mostly under a Teeth-Clenched Teamwork in the time of war). In contrast, the Romans of Camp Jupiter, valuing teamwork and cooperation, are more well-established and has many of their demigods living to their old age; it's the reason why the Roman Empire managed to conquer so large an area in the time of disjointed barbarians, after all.
    • It is played straight, however, when the series falls into the common trap of treating the Roman and Greek gods as being two sides of the same coin. The schism between each god’s Greek and Roman personalities is a major plot point, despite that in real life the Roman gods were conceptualized before Rome had even been founded, and it wasn’t until much later that they were fleshed out by adopting the mythologies of their Greek “counterparts”.
    • The Egyptian sister series of above, The Kane Chronicles, also plays this straight by mostly using the Hellenized spelling of the Egyptian gods instead of the actual (well, approximated, but it's the closest thing we got) Egyptian spellings. "Horus", "Isis", "Osiris, "Anubis", "Nephthys", and "Apophis", for example, would be called "Haru", "Iset, "Ausir", "Anupev", "Nebthet", and "Apep", respectively, in Egyptian. There are exceptions, though, such as "Set" and "Ptah", which are the same in both languages.
  • In The Hunger Games series, the given names for the Capitol residents are mostly in Latin, reflecting the Capitol as a futuristic Ancient Rome. However, there are five characters who have Greek first names: Effie (short for Euphemia), Atala (possibly short for Atalanta), Castor and Pollux (the Greek names actually would be Kastor and Polydeukes, but they are the mythological twin sons of Zeus), and Cressida (from the Shakespeare's play based on the Trojan War).
  • Aleksandr Zarevin's Lonely Gods of the Universe reveals that the Greek and Roman gods were, in fact, inspired by Human Aliens from the planet Oll. The Ollans didn't have any special powers (except immortality and red hair) with the exception of Hera's prototype, who learned advanced hypnosis from Atlantean priests (to the point where she can literally stop someone's heart with a look). There was also Mars Ares, a security guard who brought his gun with him and taught the Atlanteans hand-to-hand combat and military tactics. When Atlantis sunk following a comet strike in the Mediterranean, the survivors fled to the mainland, including what would become Greece and Rome.
  • One Nation, Under Jupiter: Much of Nova Roma's religion, particularly the emphasis on myth, is more Greek than Roman. Justified as Maxentius' campaign of piety changed traditional Roman paganism to be more substantial.
  • The Shahnameh, and much of the Middle Iranian literature from which it derives, casts Alexander the Great as King of "Rúm" (Rome), due to Greece being part of the Roman empire and later the Eastern Roman empire during the period when it was composed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has Greek Gods, Roman Gods, Egyptian Gods and a few more. The only god that isn't included is the Christian/Jewish/Islamic God due to Joss Whedon being a firm atheist. This trope could be justified, seeing as all these various gods seem to exist.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has Greek and Roman themes side by side. For example, there are several gods who are referred to with both Roman and Greek names (Jupiter/Zeus, Mars/Ares).
  • Caprica: The Tauron language is represented as Greek, but Taurons consistently refer to their chief/patron god as "Mars" rather than Ares.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?? had a show where they were playing the game "Questions Only?" set in ancient Rome. Josie Lawrence asks Stephen Fry whether he's going to the Parthenon tonight. He asks Clive Anderson to please tell her the Parthenon is in Athens. Which results in Josie feeling 2 feet tall.
  • In MythBusters, "Episode 153 - Arrow Machine Gun", Adam mistakes a Roman helmet for a Greek Spartan helmet and a Greek hoplite as a Roman legionary.
  • In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, the title character is called by his Roman name, but all the gods except Cupid have Greek names.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • One episode was devoted to Bacchae, and thus featured Bacchus in a major role. As opposed to, say, Dionysus. Dionysus also exists in the setting as a completely different character.
    • The Romans worship the Greek gods well into AD, never renaming them to their Roman equivalents.
    • And let's not forget Xena's enmity with Julius Ceasar (although that may have more to do with Anachronism Stew, seeing as she met up with the biblical Abraham a few seasons earlier).
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch
    • An episode saw Sabrina borrowing ice skates from Mercury, who was on the phone to Minerva. Later on, Zeus shows up. Insert facepalm.
    • Also, a book written from the show featured the Pid family arriving in Westbridge from Greece. The son Quentin is actually Cupid while his parents are Martin (Mars) and Veronica (Venus). And then for some reason Q. Pid said that Valentine's Day cards with Cupid on them are actually reproductions of his baby pictures.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Cor-ai", the Byrsa people from the planet Cartagonote  speak a mixture of Latin and Greek. For instance their name for the stargate is "circacona", from Latin "circ" and Greek "kako", translating to "circle of woes". This confuses Daniel somewhat.
  • This was the motif of the short-lived game show Caesar's Challenge, sensibly since it was filmed on-location at the Caesars Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Phantom Traveler" (S01, Ep04), "Christo" is said to be Latin for "God". It is actually Greek for "The Anointed One" (as in the title "Christ"). Moreover, it should be "Christus" or "Christe".

  • Taken to an extreme in Igor Stravinsky's cantata Oedipus Rex, which is entirely sung in Latin (not counting a small amount of spoken narration) though based on an ancient Greek play and still set in ancient Thebes. The name "Oedipus Rex" is itself a bit Groman, since Rex is a Latin word. The original Greek was "Tyrannos."
  • Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd: The characters featured as soloists are Roman deities Diana (Artemis in Greek mythos) and Pales (no Greek counterpart), and Greek deities Pan (Faunus in Roman mythos) and Endymion (no Roman counterpart, though his mythology was eventually composited into Diana during the Renaissance).

  • William Shakespeare
    • Timon of Athens: This was because not much was known about ancient Greece at the time.
    • Pericles, Prince of Tyre takes place in various locations in Greece but uses only the Roman names for deities; those mentioned during the course of the play include Diana, Priapus and Juno.
  • Thespis, the now lost operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, takes place on Mount Olympus but uses the Roman names for the gods. Made stranger by Gilbert's claim that "The time is the present day, the place is Ancient Greece"
  • The Harburg musical The Happiest Girl in the World is loosely adapted from Lysistrata by Aristophanes and set in ancient Athens, but uses the Roman names for the gods.
  • The Cole Porter musical Out of This World brings the Greek gods down from Mount Olympus into twentieth-century Greece, but gives them their Roman names.
  • In The Frogs, Hades is regularly called and responds to the name "Pluto", which is rather odd considering how the musical is otherwise consistent with using Greek names, including avoiding the common Hercules/Herakles mistake. Since the Underworld is called Hades, it's possible this was done on purpose, to avoid confusion.
  • A number of Carl Orff's later theatrical compositions, including Trionfo di Afrodite and De temporum fine comœdia, are based on classical texts and sung in both Latin and Greek.
  • Jasper in Deadland has most of the classical mythology characters use their Greek names, but Pluto, Jupiter, and Neptune have their Roman pantheon names.

    Video Games 
  • In God of War III
    • The Spartan protagonist faces off most of the gods, heroes and beasts of Greek mythology... and Hercules (rather than Herakles).
    • The standard mooks Kratos fights along the series are the Undead Legionnaires (and their variants). Legionnaires were Roman soldiers, not Greek. The actual basic Greek soldiers were the hoplites (which only appear in the Ghost of Sparta game).
  • City of Heroes allows characters to explore the zone of Cimerora through time travel. It's largely Roman, but there are a few details that are Greek.
  • A few stages of the NES game Day Dreamin' Davey are all revolved around ancient Greece (especially Mt. Olympus), but the game's walkthough and The Angry Video Game Nerd mislabel each of these stages as "Ancient Rome" (though we have to admit, one upgraded bow has the name of the Roman god Mars, rather than the Greek god Ares).
  • Altered Beast has Zeus ordering the protagonist to rescue his daughter Athena, in a landscape resembling Greek temples... and yet the protagonist is described as a Centurion, a rank of the Roman Legion.
  • 8Realms lumps together Greek and Roman elements into one civilization for the Classical age.
  • The realm of Septimus in Hexen II features the names of Greek gods, yet the writing on the signs is in Latin and the numbers are Roman.
  • Smite generally seems to avert this, as the Greek and Roman gods are split in two separate pantheons, with the Roman Pantheon including those deities that were primarily or exclusively worshipped by the Romans. In the lore for the Roman gods, the Roman names will be used (such as Hercules referring Hera, Aphrodite, Ares and Zeus as Juno, Venus, Mars and Jupiter respectively). So it would seem that they think both Pantheons are different... until Hercules' visual update, where he gained a direct taunt referring Zeus as his father. And also, it's confirmed in Cupid's lore that the Greek and Roman gods are the same gods, and that they were just known by different names by the Romans and Greeks. This trope eventually sees a more justified rule when they included the Roman Earth Mother, Terra. She's said to mate with Ouranos, the Greek name for the sky god, although this might have been to prevent dirty jokes). The addition of Discordia finally breaks this rule, as her lore depicts how she changed her name from Eris to Discordia after the Trojan War.
  • The tournament ranking boards in Olympus Coliseum in (at least some of) the Kingdom Hearts games have Roman numerals, despite it being the world based on Hercules. But then, as noted below, the film got that wrong in the first place, so at least they're consistent.
  • The eponymous Fighting Spirits of Persona 3 are mainly based off Greek mythology, containing figures such as Orpheus, Hermes, and Pollux and Castor, yet the Persona of Fuuka Yamagichi is Juno, a Roman goddess and equivalent of the Greek figure Hera, and Akihiko Sanada's is Caesar, the emperor of Rome, especially Julius Caesar. Considering that the game also occasionally uses Christian mythology and even real people as the basis of some Personas, however, it's possibly intentional.
  • Happens in Persona 2, especially in Innocent Sin. We are given Maia, Artemis, Hades, Apollo, Hermes, Chronos, and Vesta, and yet Tatsuya's starting Persona is Vulcanus (Hephaestus) and both of Lisa's Personas are Eros (Cupid) and Venus (Aphrodite).
  • Age of Mythology: The Atlantean civilization introduced in the base game and explored upon in The Titans expansion pack are presented as a mish-mash of Greek, Roman, Byzantian and Mesoamerican culture influences. They worship Greek gods, their infantry units are based on ancient classes of gladiators, while their buildings have pointed roofs and stone construction, and their navy consists of Byzantine fire ships.
  • Gods of Rome, a mobile game, oftentimes seems more based in Greek mythology than Roman. Of the God characters, only Vulcan goes by his Roman name. The majority of Roman characters are the Champion class (consisting mostly of notable opponents or Rome) and a few Demigods. The rest seem to go by their Greek names.
  • The browser game Feudalism and its sequel have the Great Trade Republic, whose Byzantine-inspired cities are named for ones from ancient Greece and Rome.
  • Mostly averted in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey which uses the correct Greek names for the characters and locations though the Eagle Bearer and most of the NPCs use the term "Greece" instead of "Hellas" to describe their homeland not to mention that the word "Greek world" is also used to describe specific colonies of the city-states.
  • One of the first sets of rare cards released in Puzzle & Dragons were the "Greco-Roman Gods" ("Western Gods" in Japanese) Minerva, Neptune, Ceres, Venus, and... Hades. The sequel set of Ares, Hermes, Artemis, Apollo ("Apollon" in Japanese), and Persephone were at least consistently Greek. There's also (multiple versions of) Zeus, Hera, and Athena (who is completely different from Minerva).
  • Wizard101 and Pirate101 both have this in the realm of Aquila.
  • The BioShock duology uses a lot of Greek and Roman-inspired names for locations in Rapture, mostly Greek. Neptune's Bounty, Mercury Suites, and Minerva's Den are named after Roman gods; Hephaestus, Artemis Suites, Hestia Chambers, Dionysus Park, and Persephone are named after Greek ones; Apollo Square is technically both. Then there's Point Prometheus, named after a Greek titan; Olympus Heights, named after a Romanized name for Mount Olympos; the Adonis Luxury Resort, named after a figure the Greeks may have imported from Canaanite mythology; and Siren Alley, named after the Sirens from The Odyssey. Oh, and a mention of a location called Athena's Glory, named after Minerva's own Greek counterpart.
  • Sunny Villa is the first world Spyro explores in Sunrise Spring in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. The world is populated by a race of anthropomorphic lions dressed in togas and wreath-crowns who bred giant chickens before the Sorceress sent her Rhynoc hordes to invade the place. The Rhynoc enemies that populate it are all dressed like gladiators.
  • Secret of Evermore: The Antiqua region is a mash-up of not only Ancient Greek and Ancient Rome, but also of Ancient Egypt with a dash each of pirates, Arabic culture, and Ancient China. Given the region was created from the thoughts of the curator of a history museum, there's a mingling of so many radically different cultures and time periods into one idealized place.

  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. On March 17, 2012, Justin Pierce uploaded the comic "Win, Lose, or DRACHMA." Shortly afterwards, he realized that Greek jokes made no sense in a comic about the Roman city of Pompeii. So, two days later, he replaced it with an edited version of the comic, retitled "POMPEII as You Go."
    Justin Pierce: Generally speaking, most online comics get by with no editorial management, but in this case I made a couple of Greek jokes regarding Pompeii, a Roman city nowhere near Greece. I will leave the comic unchanged for the weekend as a shameful reminder to do better fact-checking, then replace it on Monday with a version that addresses my Carmen Sandiego dilemma.
  • This strip from Sheldon.

    Web Video 
  • An episode of Epic Rap Battles of History involves a battle between Western (Socrates, Nietzsche, and Voltaire) and Eastern Philosophers (Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, and Confucius). When Sun Tzu tells Socrates to apologize to his two students (pointing to Nietzsche and Voltaire), Nietzsche counters that he would not call himself a student of "this plebe", pointing to Socrates. Except "plebs" is a Roman word, referring either to the lower assembly or the lower class in general. Of course, the modern usage of the word implies inferiority, so there could be a double-meaning here.

    Western Animation 
  • Hercules: The Animated Series is set in mythological Greece, but:
    • It mentions gladiators and uses Roman numerals and Roman names.
    • The character's name is "Hercules" which is his Roman name. His Hellenic name is "Herakles"
    • One episode has the founders of Rome calling for gods to sponsor them. They settle on the Greek gods, on the condition that they use the names the Romans picked out for them. They agree, although Hades is vehemently against being called Pluto, a name he wouldn't even give his own dog.
    • A mailman arrives with a package for Herakles, and Herc "corrects" him.
    • They introduce the god of pleasure and call him Bacchus (Herc wants to throw a "Bacchanale") — that's the god's Roman name; his Greek name is Dionysus.
    • The use of Roman numerals is likely due to most people not recognizing Greek numerals, making θʹ-αʹ-αʹ less understandable than IX-I-I.
    • There is also the use of messenger of love, (the little putti with heart-shaped arrows) being called Cupid, which was his Roman name. His Hellenic name is Eros.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: At the end of the episode "Fire from Olympus", Maxie Zeus identifies Two-Face as Janus, a Roman god with no Greek equivalent, despite imagining himself to be a modern incarnation of a Greek god and imagining Joker as Hermes and Poison Ivy as Demeter. Even before that when speaking to "Hades" (actually Batman), he asks if Vulcan is troubling him again (Vulcan being the Roman equivalent of Hephaestus). But then, Maxie is insane, and as alluded to under Comic Books not the sort who'd take well to being told he's wrong.
  • An early episode of Arthur has Francine create a comic depicting the Olympic games... for a school report on Ancient Romans. This, as well as her suggestion that they could be "Roman athletes at the Greek Olympics" causes Brain to ask her, "Didn't you do any research?"
    • Well, the Romans were allowed to compete in the Greek Olympics, but if the report has to be about ancient Rome, that does not help much.
  • The 1960s cartoon The Mighty Hercules was much the same, using Hercules' Roman name in an otherwise Greek(-ish) setting. Of course, they used names oddly in general - for example, Daedalus was used as the name of an evil wizard.
  • Subverted on Phineas and Ferb by way of Brick Joke: the episode "Greece Lightning" has the characters play gladiators and put on a chariot race after learning about them at an ancient Greek exhibit at the museum. Then we go to a commercial, and the next fifteen-minute episode, "Leave the Busting to Us," begins with Ferb stating, out of the blue, that "gladiators were Roman, not Greek."
  • Played with in Total Drama World Tour, when Chris announces that they are going to Rome for their Olympic challenge. When several of the contestants inform him that the Olympics are Greek, he gets annoyed... and then has an intern thrown out of the plane for giving him wrong information.
    • For added points, he then takes them to Athens. No one mentions that Olympia is a different place. (Heck, Owen's guess of "Mt. Olympus" was actually the closest...)
  • The US Acres episode "Hogcules II" from Garfield and Friends implies a Greek setting with Orson as the legendary Greek hero Hogcules, yet Booker is shown in Orson's fantasy as resembling more of a Roman emperor in a toga with laurel wreath around his head.
  • Subverted on an episode of Time Warp Trio that takes place at the ancient Olympics. Fred gets worried that they'll be thrown to the lions; Samantha corrects him, saying the Greeks would probably just throw them off a cliff.
  • Super Little Fanta Heroes has a rare justification in calling Heracles "Hercules" and Odysseus "Ulysses" because Mondo TV, the production company, is Italian in origin.
  • Played with in The Venture Bros. episode Every Which Way But Zeus, where an entity claiming to be the Greek god Zeus abudcts several sidekicks and henchmen to pit against each other in Roman-style gladitorial combat. Shore Leave refers to the guards as centurions and 21 corrects him, as the warriors are actually Greek hoplites.
  • While the Maxie Zeus seen in The Batman doesn't seem to operate under the belief he's actually Zeus like his comics and B: TAS counterparts, the armor he and his men are, as well as the stuff and architecture he uses, are based more on Roman than, as his last name implies, Greek.
  • Zig-Zagged in Class of the Titans: The god Eros is sometimes called Cupid, but only by his wife Psyche as a cutesy nickname. He is not happy when Cronus calls him Cupid.
  • The Storykeepers: A scene in the first episode has Nero shout "For the love of Zeus, would somebody just KILL somebody?!". You have to wonder why he didn't yell "For the love of Jupiter".

    Real Life 
  • The word "Greek" comes from latin ("Graecus"), the "Greeks" called themselves (and still do today) "Hellenes". The mere popularity of the word "Greek" above the more historically correct "Hellen" is an example of this trope. To make matters more confusing, the Greeks from the time of the Byzantine Empire (when Greece really was all that was left of the Roman Empire) to independence in the 1820s called themselves "Romans".
    • The Romans had Latin names for their gods, but several have names which are directly lifted from Greece: Apollo is the first one, the other one is Uranus, whose name replaced the god's original Latin name Caelus. Hence, Uranus can be both the Greek or the Latin name in English. Other languages do not have this ambiguity: in French, the Greek name is transcribed as "Ouranos", which is close but distinct from Latin "Uranus".
    • Emperor Hadrian in particular was a noted Philhellene (lover of Greek culture) and he enthusiastically adopted a range of Greek practices such as growing a beard and taking a male lover. Commodus took all that further and dressed as Heracles.
    • The best application for this is the name of the planets of the Solar System not named Earth. All of them are named after Roman gods, except for Uranus. While some may challenge it by using "Caelus" as an alternative, it's perfectly credible, because the Romans did refer to their sky god as Uranus, in addition to Caelus.
    • It's important to note that Rome eventually conquered Greece and most of the area they were settled in (such as the Levant and much of Italy) which resulted in Greeks becoming well assimilated into the Roman Empire. Greek, not Latin, was the lingua franca for much of the Empire and was the language of the educated classes in Rome proper (just like Latin would be in later eras). Julius Caesar was known to have preferred speaking Greek and of his three most famous sayings, only one of it was muttered originally in Latin ("Veni, vidi, vici" in a letter where he incidentally gloated about the defeat of a Hellenistic King as it happens). The others "Alea iacta est" and "Et tu, Brute?" (which is Shakespearean Latin, and not the real kind), were originally in Greek. And in the case of "Alea iacta est", the Latin transcription conveys a significantly different meaning and intent than the Greek original, and is often invoked as an example of "Blind Idiot" Translationnote 
  • American college fraternities use Greek letters as names, and fraternity culture is called "Greek". A famous part of "Greek" college life is "toga parties", but togas were actually a Roman article of clothing. The Greeks wore chitons, not togas. On the other hand, the bedsheet-togas of "toga parties" is actually nothing like the Roman toga (which was a complexly draped semicircular piece of woolen cloth, typically worn over a tunic, and covering both shoulders anyway, it was the Roman equivalent of a three-piece suit and not good for parties) and a lot like... the Greek chiton (which were made of a rectangular piece of linen, and were often worn as a tunic with other garments like the chlamys—a rectangular woolen cloak—on top, often not covering one shoulder, they were the Greek equivalent of a white T-shirt and quite excellent for parties). Also, unlike at toga parties, women did not usually wear togas or chitons. Instead, they wore dresses or long tunics, and if they were married, they wore a garment called a stola over that.
  • Bayer designation was developed by Johann Bayer in the 17th century to systematically identify stars without common names (such as Sirius or Betelgeuse). It uses a binomial system; the first name is a Greek letter indicating its relative brightness in its constellation ("Alpha" = the brightest star in its constellation, "Beta" = second brightest, and so forth), while the second name is the Latin genitive case (meaning "of the thing") of the constellation name. For example, Gamma Leporis literally translates as "Gamma of Lepus" - i.e., the third brightest star in the constellation Lepus, the Hare). Naturally, since there are only 24 letters in the Greek alphabet, the system has some limitations. Also, it didn't help that Bayer didn't consistently follow his own rules - he didn't distinguish between stars of roughly the same magnitude, sometimes (as in the case of Castor and Pollux), he gave a star that rose first precedence over its later, brighter neighbor, and sometimes he misidentified a non-stellar object as a star.
  • This tattoo. USPPH, UPHDPH, UPHSPH!
  • A frustratingly common mistake in language learning apps like Memrise and Tinycards (where users make the materials) is where Greek words are used in supposedly Latin flash card sets and vice versa.
  • IBM coined "Hexadecimal" from the Greek prefix for six, to avoid "Sexadecimal". However, the term now invites connotations of witchcraft, based on the English "hex" and the German "die Hexe".
  • According to this t-shirt, "polyamory" is wrong because mixing Greek and Latin roots is wrong. (No t-shirt was found with the same position on "hexadecimal".)
  • The Latin Language site on Stack Exchange accepts questions about Ancient Greek as well.

Alternative Title(s): Greek Caesar Salad, Greco Roman