Question: Analyze the prophecy from Hades of Roman virtues-to-be near the end of Aeneas' trip to the Underworld; relate these prophesied virtues both to Virgil's project in writing the Aeneid as a support to imperial government and also to what you may know about the values emphasized in traditional elite Roman culture, and why these were important to the Augustan empire. If you want, and have space, top it off with informed speculation about how important these virtues are to American government in the 21st century. At the time of the writing of the Aeneid Augustus had come to power after defeating Anthony and Cleopatra of Egypt and had declared himself emperor of Rome. After a long tradition of constitutional republicanism Rome was now being controlled by one man. Many Roman's, especially in the upper ranks of society, didn't approve of this form of government and Augustus must have been very aware of his fathers murder at the hands of some former friends and senators. The idea of fate was very important to the Romans. Many even considered it divine. In book six of the Aeneid Aeneas learns from his father in the underworld about the glorious future of Rome. The future that is described was the current political reality in Rome. This made the work have the effect of giving legitimacy to Augustus's rule by making the argument that his ascendancy to power was preordained. Through the character of Aeneas Aristotle attempts to support the traditional Roman values of duty, order, and control. Political positions in Rome where unpaid and it was looked upon as the duty of wealthy Roman's to hold these positions. While it was true many misused their power to extort money through extra taxation the idealized Roman gentry was one who was a disinterested politician...
pages: 3 (words: 554)
Alexander The Great is very important because he was made a king at the age of twenty. He was a great leader as well, and had conquered most of the known world in only a thirteen year span. During 355 B.C. to 323 B.C. Alexander lived a good life, he was able to construct great battle plans so he could win a battle even if he was greatly out numbered. Three of his most memorable battles where at Granicus, Issus, and Gaugamela. Alexander's first battle was at Granicus. The Prtsian satrap's, Arsites and Mithridates ignored Memnon's plan and met the Alexander and the Greeks at the Granicus River. The water was deep and the current was fast because it was spring. When they met on other sides of the river Alexander had his troops in a strategic formation. He had the Agrianian assault troops, the Macedonian and the Paeonian cavalry on the right wing which he personally commanded. On the left wing that was commanded by Parmenion. Their was the Thessalian cavalry and the Greek cavalry. He had placed the phalanx and the shield bearers in the middle of both the other wings. By having his troops positioned this way it made his army have a larger front line than the Persians, which has set up there troops with more of their heavier cavalry which where about two thousand heavy armed men that where separated by the different satrapies that where behind them at the time. Stationed on top of a rocky ledge over looking the river was a mixture of Greek mercenaries and hoplites. Alexander wanted to make a diversion to give his troops more time to cross the river. He had his royal cavalry led be Socrates crossing the river and attacking the Persian army. Meanwhile Alexander made...
pages: 6 (words: 1407)
Personally I think that all these reasons are linked and headed by the decline of the Roman emperor. The deficient Emperor role led to the lacking military response to invasions, civil war and peasant uprisings. ROMAN EMPIRE AND ITS EMPEROR Ever since the adoptive system which was installed by Marcus Aurelius was never reinstalled after his death, effective leadership in governing Rome was lacking. It was clearly visible that the Roman Emperor was the backbone of Roman stability and therefore the strength of the Roman army was also crucial in ensuing the empire's stability. But this stability was drastically altered when corruption and "necessary" errors were committed. ECONOMIC, BARBARIAN AND MILITARY PROBLEMS The Roman Empire was plunged into military anarchy and raided by barbarous Germanic tribes causing a major burden from an economic standpoint. Emperors, feeling pressure from all directions, resorted to manners which depleted army and citizen moral. The personal dreams of empirical leaders was never capable of re-stabilizing the Empire after the invasions. For instance, Constantine created a "substantial field force where he recruited many regiments from Germany. He greatly increased the German generals" (1). "Aurelius also introduced the German element into the Empire. He established a precedent for settling Germanic peoples, barbarians to the Romans, in Roman territory to try secure peace"(2). He felt the only way to preserve the Empire was to host all those who wished to live within its territory. These German units under Roman commanders did not easily fall to the traditional Roman discipline and command. The reluctance to submit to Roman rule allowed Rome to lose the tactical superiority that it once had and enjoyed over the German barbarians. This loss of tactical supremacy destroyed the elite, disregarding their once owned power and thus causing change on top of the Roman Empire...
pages: 6 (words: 1607)
The fourth and fifth centuries saw a profound change in the great Roman army. What was once a predominantly Roman institution became increasingly "barbarized", a term used by historians for the Germanization of Roman culture, with more and more northern peoples being used in the army, which, some modern historians claim had a negative impact on the Empire itself. Many modern historians claim that this was a key factor in the decline and fall of Rome itself. But to understand the impact this had on the Empire, one must first look at how and why the army underwent such a change. The army went from using German mercenary units as extra troops to the barbarians becoming the backbone of later armies . Was it just a sign of the times, or was it a forced situation, as some historians have thought? Or was it just a continuation of Roman tradition of synthesis and absorption of outside cultures? Rome has always used troops from other cultures and adopted their tactics if superior to theirs. In my paper I shall try to prove that the "barbarization" of the army was no different than what Rome had done throughout its history, and that the Germanization had little impact upon the empire. First I shall look at modern interpretations of the "barbarization" of the Roman army, then move on to the contemporary sources. From there I shall form the core of my thesis: there was no significant change in the army, and this led to no real impact on the empire. In order to discuss the barbarians and their impact upon the army, we must look first at modern historiography, as it is a more concrete foundation in which I can build my thesis (since modern historians have the ability of hindsight and seeing...
pages: 10 (words: 2553)
Gaius Julius Caesar, a patrician and noble, became one of the most powerful men in Ancient Roman history. Caesar was a populare1, and eventually became the people's hero. His leadership qualities gained him the consulship of 59 B.C., and eventually perpetual dictatorship. Caesar's acquired power soon became immense, and soon the ruling class began to fear his power. This wealth of power brought back images of the ruthless Roman monarchy, abolished centuries before, in 510 B.C. Caesar presided over the military, politics and religion; it allowed him to virtually control Rome. And, it was eventually Caesar's power which led to his demise on the Ides Of March in 44BC. CAESAR'S POWER Caesar gained power in three main areas which dominated Roman life. He acquired power in politics and the government, in religion2, and in the military3. Using his power in these posts, his established a form of rule through which he could control many aspects of Roman life. On July 25th, 46B.C., Julius Caesar secured the office of Dictator4 for ten years. It was here, that Caesar found his power to preside over others, and where he became passionately hated by the Roman ruling class. As dictator, Caesar had secured the power of an absolute ruler. Earlier that year, he had been given Censorial powers, as the 'Director Of Public Morals' (praefectura morum)5. The dictatorship now meant that he had the powers of all the other offices in the Cursus Honorum.6 Caesar wanted to make reforms to improve life in Rome. However, he needed the Senate's help to pass legislation. The Senate had been one of the main problems for Caesar's predecessors. They had obstructed the passage of laws which would have benefited the state. However, Caesar was determined to not be presided over by the Senate. The civil war...
pages: 6 (words: 1552)
One of the reasons for the success of the Roman Empire was that the Romans treated their Empire as the world. This belief formed the social cement, which kept the Empire sustained for as long as it did. The Roman's reign over most of Europe would only be temporary. After all, there were forces outside the Roman Empire, which were eating away at the Empire itself. Regardless of whether we accept the fact that Rome fell as a result of internal pressure or invasions from the outside, or both, but one thing is clear: Rome fell with a loud noise. It would take Western Civilizations nearly ten centuries to fashion a world, which could be the rival of the civilization of Rome. The Romans were men of action. They took the concepts created by the Greeks and made them into the actual thing. The Romans also asked questions about the world, about nature, and about man. They also had the example of the Greeks and their history. They learned from the mistakes of the Greeks to create one of the greatest empires. The result for the Romans was that they managed to create their own world and they called it the Roman Empire. However, their worldview became embodied in a pagan cult that was nothing less than patriotic worship of Rome. If anything sustained the Empire, it was the concept of the "Genius of the Roman People." The Romans were taught to believe that the destiny of Rome was the destiny of the world This idea embraces the genius of the Roman people and thus created a civil religion. This civil religion was a secular, pagan religion, in which all men devoted their energies toward public service to state. These duties consisted of service and responsibilities because only through responsible...
pages: 2 (words: 427)
Etruscan architecture was really the beginning of Roman architecture. For example in Etruscan tombs people would find many types of architectural traits found in many Roman buildings. Like the fact they had vaulted entrances. Some cities had an influence, such as the fortified city of Norba. After this Greece started to gain control in Italy that greatly affected the Roman architecture of this time but not as much as Etruscan does in the future. When the Greeks came in Rome was building their new buildings in the classic Greek vaulted construction with Doric style columns. The start of this was in 179 B.C., it started with the planing of the Temple to Fortuna Virilis. This was completed in approximately 100 B.C. Then shortly after the completion of the Tabularium built in the time of Sulla. In this period under the dictator Sulla, Hellenistic architecture flourished in Rome, with the buildings Lindos, Cos, the acropolis at Pergamon, Fortuna at Praeneste, the sanctuary of Hercules Victor at Tibur, and the temple of Jupiter Anxur at Terracina. Though all these buildings were noticeably Hellenistic, they retained the Roman's own unique architectural style. Such as the cylindrical shape of Forum Boarium, this was an original shape for the Romans along with the roof. Eventually the Hellenistic architecture was being pushed out by Romanization. When Rome gained leadership over neighboring countries and was starting to unite the cities, in about 300 B.C. Rome started to gain it's own unique architectural culture. When Rome was expanding they build grids of roads, and with this advance Rome had a much greater ability to build massive projects. Such as Octavian (Augustus) Caesar's Forum, aqueducts, temples, jetties, safe ports, bridges, marsh drainage and the first truly planned cities. These cities were truly planned to certain specifications and were built...
pages: 3 (words: 762)
Throughout world history, countless civilizations have risen up in attempts to challenge others with world domination as their ultimate goal. One such civilization, the Roman Empire, would rise to greater power than had ever been witnessed in the course of human history. Because it was so glorious, modern cultures have modeled themselves on the Roman Empire, so that the legacy of the Romans pervades even today. Like many ancient civilizations, the origins of the Roman empire remain shrouded in myth. The historian Levi recorded the birth of Rome based on oral traditions passed on from generation to generation. According to Levi, the Romans claimed that their city was built by brothers Romulus and Remus, 800 years before the birth of Christ. In 753 BC, the twins were placed in a wicker basket by their mother and were set afloat on the Tiber River shortly after they were born. The twins' mother had done so to protect them from their uncle, who wanted to kill them. When they were washed ashore, a female wolf adopted and raised the boys in the lush forests of Italy until they were found by a shepherd. As adults, Romulus and Remus returned to their home and defeated their uncle. Then, Romulus and Remus decided to build a town, called Latins, which was fortified by a wall. Soon, however, the brothers quarreled violently about who was to be the leader of the town, and asked the town augers for help. These mystics instructed the brothers to stand atop a hill named Palatine Hill. When birds flew over Romulus, it was taken as a sign and he was chosen to be king. Remus, however, rejected the augury and the two brothers fought. A violent battle ensued and Romulus defeated Remus. Thus town was therefore called Rome (after...
pages: 15 (words: 3987)
The First Triumvirate, consisting of Julius Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey, came to power in 59 BC when Caesar was elected consul. The Triumvirate reform program was enacted and Caesar got himself appointed governor of Illycrium and Gaul. The way to power in Rome was through military conquest; this gave the general a loyal army, wealth (from the conquered), and popularity and prestige at home. So the governorship of Illycrium and Gaul allowed Caesar to become the general and conqueror he so desperately desired to become. Now the Romans really had no reason to conquer northern and central Europe; the people who lived there, the Germans and the Celts, were a tribal, semi-nomadic people. The province of Illycrium provided enough of a territorial buffer to defuse any threat from these people. But Julius embarked on a spectacular war of conquest anyway. In a series of fairly brilliant campaigns, Julius added a considerable amount of territory to the Roman Empire in northern France, Belgium, and even southern Great Britain, subjugating the Celts in all these territories. When he had finished his conquests, however, the Triumvirate had dissolved. Crassus had died in a war against the Parrhians in the Middle East, and Pompey had turned against Julius and had roused the Senate against him. The Senate declared Julius an enemy of the state and demanded that he hand over his generalship and province. Julius, however, decided on a different course of action. His troops were fiercely loyal to him; so in 49 BC, Caesar ordered his troops to cross the Rubicon River, which separated his province from Italy, thus committing a grave crime against the state. The Civil War started the minute the first of his legions had finished crossing the Rubicon. The war was fought between these two great generals, Pompey and...
pages: 3 (words: 577)
He was the ruler of Greece in the fourth century B.C. He was one of the greatest military geniuses of all time. He was born in Macedonia, the son of Phillip II, King of Macedonia. He received his military education from his father and was tutored by Aristotle, the great philosopher, and other great teachers of his time. By the time he was sixteen Alexander was left in charge of the kingdom when his father was away for any extended period of time and once led the army to put down a rebellion in one of the colonies of Macedonia. His father was assassinated when he was twenty and he ascended to the throne. The Macedonian kingdom was in disorder when he came to power and he responded by ruthlessly executing his enemies and crushing rebellions. However, he could never be the dominate force in Asia Minor unless he conquered the Persian empire, which he did after a series of battles, in 332 B.C. In a period five years he had conquered the entire eastern Mediterranean coastline, including Gaza, Egypt, Afganistan, and Western Turkistan due to his brilliance as a military tactician and leader. Part of the greatness of Alexander was that while he started out as an avenging warrior he became a man of vision as well and took as his goal to spread the institution of Greek Democratic thought and ways of life throughout his empire. He founded towns planned on the Greek pattern with market squares, schools, offices, shops, temples, theaters, gymnasiums, and introduced Macedonian methods of farming and military tactics to thenative inhabitants of the conquered regions. He instituted new methods of government, military, and financial administration, and adopted Greek as the universal language throughout the empire which made financial and business transactions possible between countries...
pages: 2 (words: 548)
The way the Romans viewed Christianity is slightly different from the general theory. The Romans did not spend all their time hunting down Christians in order to crucify them or throw them to the lions. When Christianity first started in the Roman Empire, it was viewed as another sect of Judaism. There was no differentiating between the Jews and the Christians in the eyes of the Roman government. The Christians were seen simply as a more radical group of Jews. They were also not completely trusted because of their monotheistic belief and non-acceptance of the Roman gods. Not much was even known about them by the Romans because of their mostly secretive ways. This caused many rumors to circulate. Rumors were also started just because they were disliked. During Marcus Aurelius's reign, his good friend Fronto wrote to him about the Christians, which fueled the rise in arrests and persecution during this time. He set forth accusations in his letter that Christians engaged in heinous practices. Examples he used were initiation rites involving human sacrifice and consumption of infants and religious worship involving incestual orgies. But even with these accusations, persecution was still not as widespread as is commonly believed. The prevailing approach to persecuting the Christians continued to be inconsistency. Generally tolerant of all religions, the Romans only persecuted Christians when it was convenient to do so. Basically the Christians were the Roman scapegoat while Roman government was weak and having problems. One example of this is after the massive burning of Rome during Nero's reign. Nero needed to blame somebody for it and because the Christians were a secretive group, he picked them and executed as many as he could. But according to Kebric, most Romans did not agree with these actions. Persecution of Christians was more of...
pages: 4 (words: 976)
The Roman Empire was strong for a time. It flourished because of social, economic, political, military and religious strengths. However, when the very things that make a civilization flourish start to decline, the civilization will also lead to a downfall. The first reason for the fall was economic decay. The rulers of Rome had expensive lifestyles. To aid their image, they needed money. They gained money through taxation on the poor. In response to the torment of tax collectors, the poor fled to barbaric lands. The poor made up a large percentage of the Roman population. Barbarians disrupted trade on the Mediterranean Sea. Rome's gold and silver were being drained into buying luxuries from China, India, and Arabia. The government decreased the silver content in money. The value of the money also decreased. The emperors felt that the tax issue needed to be addressed. They decided to make the hereditary class of tax collectors pay the difference. This concept wiped out a whole class of moderately wealthy people. Later, slavery split communities. Rome believed the workers of society should not benefit from slavery. Slaves then had to reason to try hard or improve. Eastern slaves started doing technical work. Thus, all technical work was looked down upon. Labor was cheap and worthless. Upper-class Romans were content with what they had become. They felt no need to improve their inventions, they were content with slaves. Another reason for the fall of Rome was political issues. Citizens no longer displayed patriotism for that they were indifferent. Only the rich ran for office and likewise, only the rich could run for office. It had become too expensive to hold office. The officers were forced to pay for public engagements themselves. The wealthy men destroyed Greco-Roman civilization. The loss of Greco-Roman civilization led to...
pages: 3 (words: 560)
The fall of the Roman Empire is generally perceived to have culminated through one single, though profound, event: the sack of the great city of Rome. The event itself, where the glory of Rome and all it represented came crashing down, is often perceived to be the marking stone for the end of Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages. However, the actual "fall" of the empire consists of more than just the invasion of Rome by the Goths, and the causes of this collapse, and what it represented, is highly debated by many modern day historians. Michael Rostovtzeff is such a historian, who feels that the actual destruction of the Western Empire constituted the decay of an ancient civilization the Romans represented. This culture was symbolized by the economical, social, and political manifestations of the Roman Empire as well as the intellectual and spiritual aspects that comprised different facets of actually maintaining and running an empire as large as what western Rome once controlled (Rostovtzeff, 10). Though Rostovtzeff does articulate that the invasion of the Western Roman Empire through the 'barbarians,' i.e. the Germans and Sarmatians, played a part in hastening the decay of the Empire, he stresses that it is the "barbarization from within" which led to the disintegration of the empire (Rostovtzeff, 1). He points out how even before the barbarian invasion, the cities of the Empire were slowly decaying, with the social system following suit, foreshadowing the eventual decay of an ancient civilization. He points out that an aspect of this decay is the tremulous stability the Roman way of life had over the people of the empire. In page two, he clarifies this opinion by stating how the people of the Empire, the 'masses' of the country, could no longer be absorbed by the...
pages: 7 (words: 1877)
Throughout the Roman Republic's early years , three powerful emperors brought changes and improvements that gained them respect and helped propel Rome on its high paced race to greatness. These men ruled differently in the areas of public and foreign policy and social cooperation. But, which one was the most successful? Augustus Octavian took the throne after Caesar's murder. He had been adopted by Caesar and , therefore , was willed the throne. Augustus changed public policy during his reign. He had already learned from Caesar's mistakes and took advantage of his knowledge. First, he knew that all the Senate needed was a sense of importance. He pacified their need by cooperating with them. Augustus also ruined the established governing class and promoted new social elements. Socially , Augustus cooperated with bankers , corrupt paymasters and adventurers to shift convenient alliances. Augustus boasted often that he had "found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble" , and he eventually led the people of Rome and its Senate to believe that he had restored the Roman Republic. He hadn't done anything of the sort. Instead , he had gained sole control of the army and many important provinces, the power to propose and veto legislation , and the power to sit alongside the consuls. Augustus's foreign policies only went as far as turning his army's conquests into provinces. Overall, he calmed Rome's fear of a solitaire, powerful leader by , in essence , pulling the wool over their eyes. And he was successful in doing so. The next great emperor , Claudius , took the throne after Gaius's public assassination. His reign reeked of foreign policy. Acquiring Britain was his one main theme. He succeeded and annexed the island making it the first addition to Rome's...
pages: 3 (words: 719)