Rome: The Eltmaent Empire Essay, Research Paper
Rome: The Ultimate Empire
Perhaps one of the greatest cities in the world, Rome was arguably the most famous city in history. Rome starts to rise in the year 756BC. In 509BC Rome has a treaty with Carthage, but it was only minor. It takes many years for Rome to conquer anything of great importance, but during these years Rome is building it’s self up.
Coinage was a very important in the rising of Rome. It signified Political leadership, and economics into the city. Rome differed from the Greek Polis, but Rome did use the Greeks for there education. Roman families would send their children to Greek schools, or Romans would buy Greek slaves and use them to teach their children. In Rome the father of the house was the head of the family. The father had the right to over rule decisions of a magistrate, and he had the right to deny life or death of a person in his family. Romans called this power Paterfamilias. Family life revolved around the numen, which was followed very closely.
The Roman virtues were followed more strictly; people were expected to be courage’s, loyal, and disciplined. Rome was sitting in a very good location; it was sandwiched between two nations that weren’t aggressive so it was very lucky. It also was on very ferial ground so it could provide for it’s self. The Romans also had a senate; it was formed to put people in charge of law and order, and people in charge of public morals. The Plebeians were the lower class, but for the formation of the senate they got the right to take part in government. In 287BC the Hortensia Law gave full equality to all lower class citizens.
There was a myth that was told in Rome, of twin brothers who were born to the thrown. The myth says that the twin brother’s uncle tossed them into a river, but they were found by a great she-wolf and she raised and nurtured them and they are the ones that founded Rome.
In Rome there were many great buildings, but the grandest of them all was the Coliseum. The Coliseum was built in 80AD; it was 14 stories high and held 50,000 spectators. It was constructed of concrete beams and arch- ways. The opening lasted 100 days, and 10,000 wild animals were shipped in to be slaughtered. Every morning prisoners were feed to the wild animals and in the afternoon was the main attraction. Gladiators would fight prisoners to the death and when that was done, they would fight each other. 3,000 gladiators fought to the death for the amusement of Rome. Claudius had little tolerance for human error, when they would mess up he would order them to be killed.
The gladiators were popular heroes; they took names based upon sex appeal. One gladiator was named Creskans, he was known as the netter of young girls at night. The gladiators fought to celebrate death; they did this by killing every thing. The battles were meant to remind citizens of Roman conquests, and when the crowed used a thumbs up it signified death. One Roman writer said that
” Romans were only obsessed with two things, food and entertainment.”
One other famous building in Rome was the Pantheon. It was the only building to survive in tact. The Pantheon is the largest building in achent times with a curved ceiling. At the top of the ceiling is a mammoth opening that is 142ft wide. It is said that the opening was to celebrate all the gods in the empire.
Rome was a vast city with many buildings, but many of those buildings were for the public. Public bathrooms were very common it this time period, people from all classes came here to talk. One thing that separated classes in Rome was where you lived. The poorer you were the higher up in a building you lived.
Julius Caesar was called Rome’s greatest mind, he was called this because of all his success. Before he proclaimed himself dictator of Rome, he was a governor in Spain and Gaul. Caesar realized that the only way to achieve power was through military force. So by being governor of Spain and Gaul, he was able to gain control of much of continental Europe and bring it with him when he returned to Rome. In 45BC Caesar declares himself dictator. According to Handout number 3 from class, “As dictator, he set about reorganizing the government both at home and in the provinces. Among his most lasting achievements was the creation of a unified code of civil law. Produced with the help of eminent legal experts, it served as a model for later times. His reformed calendar, based on the research of astronomers at Alexandris, was used in the West until the eighteenth century, and our present one, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, is a modified form of it.
According to handout number 3, Caesar also launched an ambitious and wide-ranging series of reforms. He began programs to help take citizens off the welfare rolls, and to make them less susceptible to violence. He also insured police force and relieved the overpopulation of the capital by sending 80,000 to provinces.
In the 1st century Caesar destroyed the Gaul’s and the people in North Africa. After this he staged a victorious celebration, and one Roman writer states “Rome posses every thing, but they still are not happy.” In 44BC Caesar rule comes to an end. Against advising, Caesar goes to a forum and there he was killed. In revenge for his death, 300 senators were slaughtered, and 13 years of civil war followed.
The next king to rule Rome is Caesar’s adopted son Augustus. During Augustus rule it was very peaceful, he worked on strengthen the Roman state. Augustus had a bureaucracy in his empire. One of Augustus many achievements was building 200 miles have Roads, and 50,000 miles of paved highways. By building these highways and roads, the Roman army could travel faster. The Roman pony express was the fastest mail system in the world, until the Railroad. Also by these roads, Rome’s mission to control world trade expanded.
The Romans heard of the lost city of Petra, and they wanted it. The reason that they wanted it was so they could control the east. A Roman commander named Burquhart when to Petra, disguised so he would not be killed he took it over for Rome. Rome always gave their conquered lands two choices, to cooperate and let then into rule, or resist and be destroyed.
After Rome gained control of Petra, they built many castles in the desert to protect the large number of caravans from robbers. One of these castles was named Beshir. Beshir had many forts around it near by, and the purpose for this was so they could warn soldiers of incoming robbers. This is how Rome protected its good from the east.
The backbone of Rome’s rule was it’s military. Each Roman solider had to carry a pack that weigh 60lbs and were expected to march 24 miles every 5 hours. Even with the roads, Rome’s empire was so large that it took 5 months to get to the British Isles.
Hadrior’s wall was the greatest military barrier of western world. It was 73 miles long and it went from the Tine estuary to the Irish Sea. There were a string of forts along the wall, where soldiers and their wives and children lived. One of these forts was Fort Vindilorda. Here Archeologist found a mailbox with letters to ordinary people. These letters were of encouragement from Rome and of proved military justice.
In Pompei a city 20,000 Romans live here. These citizens here were rich and lived in homes of 50 rooms. On August 24,79AD a violent volcano erupted. The name of this volcano was Mt. Vesulius, it erupted 17 miles high and at twice the speed of sound. Everyone died with in minutes of the eruption. An archeologist named Fiorelli excavated here and found victims bodies preserved and buried under ash. In one room he found writing on the wall that said, ” Nothing can endure forever”
Romans were very hard working people, so they did not eat much during the day. At night however the eat lavishly at bars, which were open all night. At bars it was legal for men to visit the houses of prostitution, but women could be exiled for this. One woman who did do this was the wife of Claudius. She would sneak out in the evening and go to her room. How we know this is because there are pictures above the doors of the women’s rooms. It is said that she greatly enjoyed her work and would stay after hours.
In the 3rd century AD there was much corruption in Rome, this lead to Rome’s down fall. In the east the Persians broke Rome’s empire, and in the north they’re many attacks from different cultures. Eventually the barbarians took over Rome. This was cause by letting all of the mix cultures into Rome’s government.
Rome influenced many cultures in Europe and can still be found today in our society. We find Roman culture in our laws, art, architecture, and can see how Rome still shapes our world today. This is why we call Rome the Ultimate Empire