Notes On T He Roman Republic: City State To World Empire

1154 words - 5 pages

Chapter 6Rome's great political achievement was to transcend the narrow political orientation of the city-state & to create a world state that unified the different nations of the Mediterranean world. Rome overcame the limitations of the city-state mentality & developed an empirewide system of law & citizenship. Their genius found expression in law and government, the practical, not the theoretical.Historians divide Roman history into 2 broad periods: the Republic began in 509 B.C., w/ the overthrow of the Etruscan monarchy; the Empire began in 27 B.C., when Octavian (Augustus) became the 1st Roman emperor, ending 500 years of republican self-government. The Republic initiated ...view middle of the document...

* Public interest, not religious tradition, determined the content of law and was the standard by which all important acts of the city were judged.* The Romans, unlike the Greeks, were distinguished by practicality and common sense, not by a love of abstract thought.* Without civic harmony and stability, Rome could not have achieved expansion.ROMAN EXPANSION TO 146 B.C.:* By 146 B.C., Rome was the dominant state in the Mediterranean world. Roman expansion occurred in three main stages--1.) The uniting of the Italian peninsula, gave Rome the manpower that transformed it from a city-state into a great power.2.) The collision with Carthage, from which Rome emerged as ruler of the western Mediterranean.3.) The subjugation of the Hellenistic states, which brought Romans in close contact with Greek civilization.* During the 1st stage of this expansion, Rome extended its hegemony over Italy, subduing in the process neighboring Latin kinsmen, semicivilized Italian tribes, the once-dominant Etruscans, and Greek city-states in Southern Italy.* Rome's success was due to the character of its people and quality of its statesmanship.* Despite its army's might, Rome could not have mastered Italy w/o the cooperation of other Italian peoples. Like other ancient peoples, Rome plundered, enslaved, & brutalized, through generous treatment, to gain the loyalty of those it had conquered.* By 264 B.C., Rome had achieved two striking successes:1.) First, it had secured social cohesion by redressing the grievances of the plebeians.2.) Second, it had increased its military might by conquering Italy, thus obtaining the human resources with which it would conquer the Mediterranean world.* It is estimated that between 80 & 8 B.C. more than 2 million enslaved aliens were transported to Italy. By the middle of the century, slaves constituted about one-third of Italy's population.* Roman jurists and intellectuals regarded the division of humanity into masters and slaves as a rule of nature viewed the slave as an animate tool, an object the produced commodities.* Masters and Slaves.* Rome generally allowed its subjects a large measure of self-government & did not...

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