THE GLORY OF ROME IS NOT FORGOTTEN
In its time the Roman Empire was the greatest the world has ever seen. From 27C.E. to 476C.E. the Roman Empire has grown and prospered, this historic empire was the greatest the world had ever seen. At its height, around 117C.E, the Roman Empire had covered vast land “from northern Africa to The Scottish border, from Spain to Syria”. But eventually this became too much to handle and by the year 500, the western have of the empire had fallen.
There are many reasons to why this side of the Roman Empire had morosely collapsed: political instability, economic problems, and weakening frontiers. But its memory is still with us everywhere we go we can see subtle influences of the Romans: art, architecture, engineering, writing, philosophy, law, citizenship, and even language. After all “All roads lead to Rome”. What caused the fall of the omnipotent city of Rome and its empire? Some may say it was only one reason but the truth is there was never just one.
In fact, historians point to many different predicaments that lead to Rome’s “passing” the number one problem, political instability. Rome never knew how to handle transfer of political power once a king passed. As a result when an emperor had died anxious adversaries were ready with their own individual armies, and they fought for that crown. Even after this period of random violence the Romans still didn’t learn. There was never a good system to choose the next emperor or transfer the power. Sometimes the Praetorian Guard (the private army belonging to the emperor) got to choose the next ruler but they only chose a ruler that would benefit and reward them thus that new ruler normally made bad decisions. Other than political problems the Romans suffered many economical disturbances and it all started with the notorious Roman army. In order to keep Rome protected and the army “happy” the citizens had to pay heavy taxes, this problem drove many people into poverty. As a result many people were unemployed but there weren’t enough jobs for everyone. Famous emperors like Nero and Caligula made matters even worse by wasting lavish amount of money on festivals and parties. These money deficiencies lead to a great rise in the numbers of crimes in the empire, which made the cities and streets a dangerous place. The problem that really drove Rome under was the weakening frontiers because the huge size of the empire made it hard to defend. Due to this problem it sometimes took a while for the emperor to communicate with the army generals so when one army went to help one another the king was unaware of it until probably a few weeks later.
And enemy tribes had time to sneak in before the king could do anything about it, that how the western empire had fallen. Before anyone was notified Germanic tribes were invading and in 410C.E. one of these tribes had taken over Rome itself, then 66 years later the last emperor of Rome was thrown from his throne and the western half of Rome had begun to dissolve. The Roman Empire fell more than 1,500 years ago, but it left a lasting mark on western civilization. We can still see Rome’s influences today in our art, architecture, engineering, writing, philosophy, law, citizenship, and even our own language, these are the legacies of the Roman empire. Roman art took the aspects of other cultures, mixed them with theirs and made them their own. This was how Roman art worked. They gained ideas from others but they were mainly influenced by the art of the Greeks, the mix of Roman and Greek art is called “Greco-Roman” art, this form of art greatly influenced western art. The Romans imitated these cultures but they added their own talents. The Romans greatly appreciated art and wealthy families usually had homes filled with statues, murals mosaics and frescos. The Romans also had a knack for style they would turn a bottle of wine into the shape of a grape cluster. They also developed the arts of cameo, gem-cutting, and metalworking. They wore these cameos as jewelry or to decorate vases. Many of these art forms still exist today along with other influences of Roman art. The Romans were very skilled and clever builders. Like their art they imitated other people but added their own talents and improved them, creating ideas that later architects would copy. For example, the widely copied triumphal arch, a huge monument built to commemorate great victories or achievements. The Romans weren’t just inventors they learned how to use the arch, vault, and dome in the end these 3 factors would come together to form huge structures. In fact the Pantheon located in Rome is famous for its giant dome. The most notorious Roman structure is the stadium they created called the Colosseum. This open structure seated thousands of people and the tunnels made it easy for the spectators to reach their seats, modern football stadiums still use this feature. The Romans greatly affected engineering as well as architecture.
They were the greatest builders of roads, bridges, and aqueducts in the entire ancient world. More than 50,000 miles of road connected the Roman Empire! They built their roads with stone, sand and gravel this set the bar for road building at the time. They also excelled in their aqueducts by creating a whole system of them that brought water about 60 miles away to the home of the rich, as well as public baths, and fountains. This doesn’t that big of an effect on us today but language does. The most important legacy of the Romans that still affects us today was the Roman language Latin. Latin was the main language of the Roman Empire, but particularly in the east languages such as Greek and Aramaic were still in use. Even though the decline of the Western Roman Empire had all ready happened, the Latin language continued to flourish in the very different social and economic environment of the Middle Ages, not in the least because it became the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. The vocabulary of Germanic languages like German or English contains a large percentage of Latin words. In the case of English, the proportion of words with a Latin origin is estimated to be over 50% of the words. Today we still use Roman numerals but mainly for decoration unlike the laws, citizenship and philosophy of Rome. One philosophy in Rome was Stoicism is a school of philosophy founded in Athens by the Greeks in the early 3rd century BC. The Stoics believed that a godly intelligence ruled over nature. Due to this they were concerned with having a good character and having certain virtues. Roman stoics were famous for bearing pain bravely and quietly, even today we still call some people stoic.
Roman law covered marriages, inheritances, contracts and many other things in the daily life of ancient Romans. Ancient Roman laws have influenced the modern legal codes in many European countries like France and Italy. The Romans laws believed that everyone had rights so someone who was poor got treat the same way a rich person did as far as the law goes. But they did not follow that ideas and in most cases this did not happen. Despite this the Roman influence still lives on like citizenship. The Romans gave us the idea that anyone could become a citizen. This idea is both a privilege and a responsibility that has been greatly influenced by our Roman ancestors. But even if you become a citizen your must follow every law of the U.S.A. as if it was your home country.
The Romans have many lasting achievements that affect us today in the modern world. These effects help us live easier and fairer lives and make us different from the humans of earlier times. One of these achievements is The Network of Concrete Roads. Roman roads were an important part of the development of the Roman Empire because there were many Roman roads, “more than 400,000 km of roads, including over 80,500 km of paved roads”. The Romans became the best at constructing roads because they had tricks up their sleeves. To make the roads the Romans used stones, broken stones mixed with cement and sand, cement mixed with broken tiles, curving stones, and on the top they used tightly packed paving stones. The Roman road networks were important in trying to maintaining empire and for its expansion of trade which both lead to its demise. This achievement affects us today because we still use roads to gets places and also some Roman roads are still in use they are just repaved. The most important achievement of all is the…Latin Language. Latin was the main language of the Roman Empire and you can see the influence of it in many modern languages like Italian, Spanish, and French. Even though the collapse of the Western Roman Empire had all ready happened, the Latin language continued to flourish in the environment of the Middle Ages; in fact it became the official language of the Roman Catholic Church.
The vocabulary of Germanic languages like German or English contains a large percentage of Latin words. In the case of English, the proportion of words with a Latin origin is estimated to be over 50%. This achievement affects us today because these are some of the most spoken languages. The achievement that affected Romans the greatest was…The Development of The Aqueduct. The Romans constructed aqueducts to bring a constant flow of water from distant sources into cities and towns, supplying public baths, fountains and private household. Some aqueducts also served water for mining, processing, manufacturing, and agriculture. Aqueducts moved water along a slight downward slope within the confines of stone, brick or concrete. Most aqueducts were buried beneath the ground. The water from the aqueducts was carried on bridgework, or it fed into high-pressure lead, ceramic or stone pipes located across the empire. This affects us today because some of these aqueducts are still in use. These achievements affected Rome greatly and now they affect modern society too.
The Roman Empire was a strong and fierce empire in its time. At its height, around 117C.E, the Roman Empire had covered vast land “from northern Africa to The Scottish border, from Spain to Syria”. The Empire of Rome was the greatest empire to ever rule such a vast area and it had fallen. Their many faults in politics, economics, leadership and control contributed to their fall. The Roman Empire fell more than 1,500 years ago, but it left a lasting mark on western civilization. From Rome’s art to its language to its diversity they have all found a way to effect modern day societies. So the question remains where would we be without the Roman Empire, to which we now say solemnly…..farewell
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