Ancient Rome

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Ancient Rome came to dominate the entire Mediterranean Sea, starting with its capital in Rome today its dominions and conquests ranged from Portugal to the Euphrates and from Egypt to England.

Source of Rome, its founding

Tradition says that the twins Romulus and Remus founded Rome in 753 BC near the river Tiber and 28 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea. The legend also counts as Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf and Romulus killed Remus. The reality was that Rome emerged as the union of Latin tribes villages, Sabine and Etruscan in a strategic ford the river Tiber.

  • During the eighth century B.C. Rome was just a village of shepherds.
  • During the seventh century B.C. It was dominated by the Etruscans, but increases their wealth and even immures.
  • During the sixth century B.C. achieved independence from the Etruscans and was organized as an oligarchy in which power was in the hands of the patricians, who are supposed were the last descendants of the first settlers.
  • It was not until the third century B.C. when Republic was established as a government system, matching rights of the citizens of Rome.


The expansion of Rome, the conquest of the Mediterranean

Roman Empire at its greatest extent

Rome always tried to dominate the entire known world came to dominate the entire Mediterranean:

  • During the VI and V centuries B.C. Rome gains control of the Italian peninsula.
  • During the third century B.C. the Punic Wars against Carthage fought for control of the Western Mediterranean.
  • During the second and first centuries B.C. expansion focuses on the Western Mediterranean.
  • In the first century Rome conquered Britain.
  • During the second century came to conquer Dacia and ephemeral Mesopotamia

The behavior of Rome conquered lands and peoples was brutal. Plunder of property, slavery and exploitation was the fate of the newly conquered.

The Roman Republic

The Republic was organized around three political powers:

  • 'The elections Centuriados or assemblies of the people, they declared war and made peace. Elected the magistrates, they passed laws and dispensed justice.
  • 'The judges who were elected to perform specific functions: consuls, censors, quaestors, praetors and tribunes.
  • 'The Senate' 'was formed initially by the patricians, but was expanded to other citizens. Was the real power of Rome, negotiating with other states, he advised the magistrates and ratified the agreement in Centuriados Elections.


The Roman Empire = = Julius Caesar Rome imagined an organization other than the Republic. He sought to centralize political power in the highest representative of the army. Supporters of the Republic killed him to prevent his goal.
The Roman imperial system was created by Augustus Caesar's nephew and first emperor of Rome. He made the dream of his uncle Caesar and ended the civil wars that followed one another to control the power in Rome. The emperor took almost all the power and made profound changes in the organization of the Empire.

  • The army became professional, no matter if its components were Romans or provincials.

Aqueducts, bridges, temples, forums and Roman roads * construction and public works greatly enhanced.

  • Empire officials in charge of collecting taxes and duties were made.


The City of Rome

Today you can still see many buildings and remains for observing the grandeur of Rome:

  • The triumphal arches of Constantine or Tito.
  • The Column of Trajan.
  • The Roman Forum, with several temples: Pollux, Castor, Saturn.
  • The Coliseum.
  • The Pantheon.
  • The Castel Sant'Angelo.
  • The Baths of Caracalla.
  • Etc...

The difference between East and West Roman

One feature that should not go unnoticed within the Roman Empire is the great difference between the territories located in the western part of which were located in the east.
In western society Empire the Romans found was much more backward and lacked large cities, so were easily romanizables territories embraced Roman culture.
Instead the eastern territories had their own culture, there remained big cities and their cultural identity. In fact the Greek culture was greatly influenced Latin. Rome embraced the Greek language, literature, identified the Roman gods with their Greek gods about art and took the ideal of Greek aesthetics.

The fall of the Roman Empire

Rome began to show signs of weakness during the third century. Many factors and widely discussed that brought down the Roman Empire. One can speak of the following reasons:

  • Pressure on the northern border of the Germanic peoples.
  • A few in number and insufficient to protect the Empire army.
  • Lack of booty and slaves because of the lack of new conquests.
  • High inflation.
  • High public spending.
  • High taxes.
  • Internal struggles for power with frequent civil wars that caused serious trade problems.

The Roman Empire passed to pose offensive wars of conquest to be forced to defend its borders barely. Rome was forced to compromise with various Germanic peoples defense agreements that allowed these people established within the borders of the empire. Theodosius divided the empire into two, with its capital in East Constantinople and the West with its capital in Rome. The Western Roman Empire was doomed to extinction. The emperors had fewer political and military power. Ended power rests with the Germanic peoples who crossed the borders until in 476 Odoacer deposed the last Roman emperor of the West, Romulus Augustus. The Eastern Roman Empire survived until 1453, we know the name of Byzantine Empire.
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