Wan't to know why the Romans built one of the greatest and most enduring empires in human history? Because they were such clear thinkers. Seriously. They just had this ability to look at the world and see it through practical eyes, both the good and the bad (most people just see one or the other...).
This led to an excellent (by pagan standards) code of ethics and values. This is probably the major reason, in my own personal opinion, why God chose the Roman Empire to be the Empire Christ allowed Himself to live under.