Rome Essay, Research Paper
There are many ways in which Rome was a sophisticated society. Many civilizations and even today we use the Roman Government as a benchmark for our society.
The Romans were a very clean people; they had Thermae or the public baths, as we know them. They went to the baths for entertainment, healing in the case of some baths, or just to get clean. There were 170 baths in Rome during the reign of Augustus and by 300 A.D that number had increased to over 900 baths.
The baths were huge buildings built at public expense or by rich emperors who wished to impress their subjects. Sometimes rich Romans who were trying to gain popularity paid entry for a whole day for anyone wishing to visit the baths. Most of the Roman baths were free but those baths that had a nominal fee had the fee to keep out the slaves and the poor who could not afford it. Springs supplied the public baths. Doors opened around 10.30 am and closed in the late afternoon, just before dinnertime. Men and women bathed separately. Women either bathed early in the mornings, at their own baths or at home in their villas.
Some of the bathing habits of the richer part of the Roman civilizations were very lavish. Roman men would bathe in wine and the women sometimes in milk. The wife of Emperor Nero had 500 Asses to supply the milk for her baths.
The baths were very luxurious. The average bathhouse would have mirrors covering the walls, ceilings were buried in glass and the pools were lined with rich marble and complicated mosaics covered the floors. A Roman wishing to enter the baths would do so through the front porch whose roof was supported by Roman pliers. He would enter into the main hall were he would pay his fee; from there he would go to the changing rooms called apodyterium. In here he would leave his clothes with his slave to guard.
The Romans also achieved great military feats. When they were on campaigns the army was accompanied by a number of specialists. One was the camp commandant, who was responsible for the organization of the camp. The Romans were very careful about their camps – no Roman army halted for a single night without digging a trenches and fortifying its camp. Each soldier took his share in establishing the camp and striking the camp the next day. Another specialist was the quaestor, whose duty was to look after all the money matter. Then there were the engineers and all kinds of craftsmen and artisans. They were responsible for siege operations and for the rather primitive Roman”artillery”, which consisted of big catapults and complicated machines a little like crossbows. These were mainly used for hurling big rocks and stones at the walls of a defense place. The engineers also had to build the moveable towers that were used in sieges – the Roman soldiers went up inside these towers so that they could see over the walls of a fortified place and shoot their stones and arrows into it. The engineers also made the scaling ladders that were used for getting over walls.
As you can see the Romans had a very complex and big army. They expanded all their territory by using their talents in warfare. They had a great army and they used it to their advantage. They would have not been the great empire they were if they did not use their army.
Now we will get into there great but complex government. In its beginning ancient Rome was ruled by a series of kings. The kings were advised by a senate, which was made up of the wealthiest families in Rome. Citizens made up assemblies and voted on the decisions made by the senate and the king.
The Roman Republic was established in 509 B.C., after Roman nobles kicked out the king. It was like the old Rome in that it had a senate, and it had assemblies who voted on the decisions made by the senate. The biggest change was that in place of the kings there were two consuls who shared the power. Both had equal power, but if one didn’t like the other’s decision, he could veto it.
As you can see the Roman Government had many barriers that could get rid of a law just as we do in our government.
In this essay I have proved that the Romans were very ahead of their time. They were sophisticated in many ways and were skilled in their government, army and hygiene purposes. They are certainly a benchmark for all the civilizations after them.