Was Rome obliged to expand its territory whether it wanted to or not?

Was Rome obliged to expand its territory whether it wanted to or not?

If we assume that the trend to empire existed for generations before Julius Caesar was assassinated:

Was the very expansion that eventually doomed the Roman Republic/Empire economically or culturally pre-ordained?

For the purpose of this question, let us assume thatobligedis meant in the Hobbesian self-preservation and standard-of-living sense of the word; instead of a more pure free-will or pacifist sense. As in a pure pacifist sense Rome of course wasn't obliged to do anything; including survive, retain autonomy or feed its citizens.

That was true in the "early days" (basically the days of the Roman Republic). At that time, "Rome," (basically central Italy), was beset by Greek outposts (of so-called Magna Graecia) in southern Italy (as far north as modern Naples, at one time), Tarentum, and the Italian "boot." Also Carthaginian outposts in Lilybaem (Sicily), Caralis (Sardinia). And Carthage and its allies in North Africa weren't that far away. During the time of the Carthagian threat, a Roman Senator, Cato the Elder repeatedly exhorted his country to destroy Carthage: Carthago delenda est

By the end of the Second Punic War, Rome had neutralized the Carthaginian and Magna Graecia threats. They still had to worry about the balance of power in Greece itself, and whether the Macedonians, the Selucids, or the two in combination might threaten Italy from across the Adriatic. But four successful Macedonian wars (and one against the Selucids) took care of that threat.

Maybe there was a further threat from the Celts (Rome's ancient enemy) in Milan, and in Gaul. But Caesar's conquest of Gaul, and the earlier conquest of Spain and Milan had neutralized that threat.

By the time of the Caesars, Julius and Augustus, Rome had neutralized the immediate threats. It had no real need to expand further into Britain, Germany, or much beyond the shores of the eastern Mediterranean.

Good question; have little time now for more than a couple of thoughts:

  1. In the ancient world almost all states were, so to say, opportunistically expansionist. That is to say, almost no ruler or state ever passed an opportunity to take over the lands of a weak neighbour, either by direct force or by some form of intimidation. In that sense, Rome was not exceptionally aggressive - it was just the most successful.

  2. Having said that, I must point out that the Empire did not embark upon new conquests after Augustus, with a few important but singular exceptions (Britain, Dacia, and the repeated attempts to quash Parthia). Under the Antonines a very self-conscious Roman Peace held which meant a purely defensive grand strategy.

  3. In view of (2) I don't quite see how the conquests "doomed" Rome. (Though there is a point to be made here about Roman incursions being the consolidating factor for tribal confederations - a big complex issue).

  4. There is at least one modern historian (V.N.Parfenov) who wrote an interesting monograph claiming that Augustus was indeed planning world conquest but backed out of it after the Teutoburg debacle. Of course this planning was predicated on a very faulty knowledge of geography, if it took place at all.

Manifest Destiny

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Manifest Destiny, in U.S. history, the supposed inevitability of the continued territorial expansion of the boundaries of the United States westward to the Pacific and beyond. Before the American Civil War (1861–65), the idea of Manifest Destiny was used to validate continental acquisitions in the Oregon Country, Texas, New Mexico, and California. The purchase of Alaska after the Civil War briefly revived the concept of Manifest Destiny, but it most evidently became a renewed force in U.S. foreign policy in the 1890s, when the country went to war with Spain, annexed Hawaii, and laid plans for an isthmian canal across Central America.

What was Manifest Destiny?

Propounded during the second half of the 19th century, the concept of Manifest Destiny held that it was the divinely ordained right of the United States to expand its borders to the Pacific Ocean and beyond. Before the American Civil War the idea of Manifest Destiny was used to validate continental acquisitions in the Oregon Country, Texas, New Mexico, and California. Later it was used to justify the purchase of Alaska and annexation of Hawaii.

When was the term Manifest Destiny coined?

The term Manifest Destiny was coined in the July–August 1845 issue of The United States Magazine, and Democratic Review by its editor, John L. O’Sullivan. He expanded the idea in the New York Morning News in December, invoking “the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.”

How did Manifest Destiny lead to the growth of the West?

The idea of Manifest Destiny arose in response to the prospect of U.S. annexation of Texas and to a dispute with Britain over the Oregon Country, which became part of the union. With its triumph in the Mexican-American War, the United States seemingly realized its Manifest Destiny by gaining an immense domain (more than 525,000 square miles [1,360,000 square km] of land), including present-day Arizona, California, western Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.

Ancient Rome lasted for nearly 1,500 years

Most historians generally agree that the Roman Empire began in 27 BCE. According to History, that's when Octavian, who had previously defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra in 31 BCE, became Emperor Augustus. Though one might argue that his predecessor, Julius Caesar, ruled quite like a singularly powerful emperor, it was Augustus who took the official title and heralded the transition of the Republic into an Empire.

The matter of when Rome ended, however, is a bit trickier. Some might argue that the end of the empire proper came during the reign of Diocletian in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries CE, when he split the unwieldy empire into western and eastern halves. Each half was governed by two rulers.

While Western Rome fell in 476 CE, says How Stuff Works, the eastern half did quite a bit better. It eventually morphed into the Byzantine Empire, which then lasted until the Ottomans took over Constantinople in 1453 CE. Going by that metric, the Roman Empire was around in one form or another for well over a millennium. And, while it didn't have the landmass of the British Empire at its height or the relative population of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Imperial Rome was generally longer-lasting and more stable than practically any other historic empire. When it comes to power, permanence and stability — especially when they last for centuries at a time — count for quite a lot in the empire game.

Ancient Rome vs. Ancient China

In a previously post (Ancient Greece vs. Ancient China), I compared Ancient Greece, the first civilization in Europe, with Ancient China. Now, let's compare Ancient Rome, the second civilization in Europe, with Ancient China.

The image below highlights Ancient Rome and Ancient China in timelines.

Let's focus on four aspects:

2. Roman Republic

The Roman Republic is the first republic (i.e. non-monarchy) in human history, and remained so until 1789, when America was founded as the second [significant] republic in human history. More on this in Section 7 .

The Roman Republic lasted for about 500 years until 27BC, when it officially became the Roman Empire, with Augustus being the first Emperor.

3. China's First Emperor

China's First Emperor achieved far more than anyone else in his era, including all the Greeks and the Romans, such as Alexander the Great, Augustus, Augustus' maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar, and even Constantine de Great.

One key achievement: one "official" written language throughout China! For more on the implication of this significant achievement, read Section 6. For more on China's First Emperor, read: Ancient Greece vs. Ancient China.

4. The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was a dramatic fusion of imperial power and religion (e.g. Christianity in its later years). The [Western] Roman Empire ended in 476AD. Since then, there has never been an Emperor based in Rome.

The most important figure throughout the history of the Roman Empire is unquestionably Constantine the Great, who did everything possible to pursue the illusive Roman dream of "one state, one society, and one ideology". Three examples:

  1. He inherited a divided Roman Empire with four Emperors and re-united it, with himself being the sole Emperor!
  2. He conspicuously converted to Christianity, which eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
  3. He even moved his imperial capital from Rome to a small Greek city, and renamed it from "Byzantium" to "New Rome" (i.e. today's Istanbul after being called "Constantinople" for quite a few hundred years). While this move proved to be the beginning of the end of the [Western] Roman Empire, it was the early beginning of the great Eastern [Roman] Empire.

Unfortunately, with many different languages (e.g. Latin in the West and Greek mostly in the East) and cultures, the unified empire, even with the zealous spread of Christianity (shown below) as the ideology, was never truly unified, as it was in China .

5. China's Han Dynasty

Although the Qin dynasty ended within five years after the death of the First Emperor, the foundation he laid made it possible for the Han dynasty to become the dynasty to decisively define China, even to this date. Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Han dynasty:

Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history.[4] To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to itself as the "Han people" and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters".[5]

Unfortunately, the Han dynasty, like all other dynasties, did not last forever. It was succeeded by the era of the Three Kingdoms.

6. Discussion

The Roman Empire ended in 476AD, but it left two huge footprints behind:

  1. The Eastern [Roman] Empire (aka Byzantine Empire) lasted for another 1,000 years.
  2. The Roman Catholic Church. As a result, the old adage "all roads lead to Rome" is still true today, literally, as the Vatican is located inside the city of Rome.

The Chinese Empire lasted for some 2,000 years after the death of the First Emperor, substantially outlasting the Roman Empire, even if the Eastern [Roman] Empire is counted. Two main reasons for China's long-lasting civilization:

  1. The solid foundation laid by the First Emperor.
  2. The incredible development and consolidation of the 400-year-long Han dynasty.

Both empires were great empires. However, in comparison, although far better than Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome still pales when compared with Ancient China. The image below highlights the comparison, with their implications to this date .

What is the key difference between the Roman Empire and the Chinese Empire?

The Romans constantly fought to conquer, control, and assimilate different people. Specifically, while the Romans were obviously impressed by the Greek civilization, they regarded most of the other conquered people as "barbarians". Most of the conquered people spoke different languages and had different cultures - too much diversity! When that diversity proved to be impossibly difficult for Rome to govern, the Romans very likely invented Christianity, as we know it today, as the tool for control. For more, read: Did the Romans Create both Christianity and Islam?

In contrast, the Chinese built the Great Wall to fend off the "barbarians". As a result, they merely fought among themselves, as they all shared the same [written] language and culture, thanks to the unification by the First Emperor and the subsequent 400 years of consolidation throughout the Han dynasty!

To complete the comparison, let me highlight two points:

  1. Rome (as well as its predecessor Greece) was far more advanced than China in building with stones, from the great sculptures to the magnificent buildings decorated with sculptures. This advancement had huge implications later for the Renaissance, which I will touch upon in my next article of the series.
  2. Many signs indicate that the Chinese had better weapons than the Romans. For more, watch the video below.

7. History repeats itself

  1. America, at its birth, was literally a copy of the Roman Republic! For more, read: America: What Did Our Founding Fathers Do, Actually (Version 3)?
  2. The current world resembles China's era of the Three Kingdoms. For more, read: Three New Kingdoms.
  3. America has evolved itself into a de factor empire, just like Rome did. Furthermore, like the Roman Empire, the American Empire must be held together via a common ideology. However, unlike the Romans who were creative to (create and) use something new called Christianity, Americans have been using "democracy", which is not only more than 2,000 years old, but also a proven failure throughout human history without a single example of lasting success. For more, read: Is America the New Rome and Greece?
  4. President Trump is uniquely challenged. For more, read: President Trump in the Real World of Three New Kingdoms.

Once again, the main purpose of comparing China with the West historically is to help my fellow Americans better understand China. With Ancient Greece first, and Ancient Rome second, do you have an improved understand of China now? Stay tuned for more comparisons from the Roman Empire on .

Rome’s Vengeance on the Gauls

Near the end of the 4th century BC, scenes of demons and monsters of the underworld replaced Etruscan tomb frescos once radiant with depictions of joyous banquets, dancers and musicians. For the Etruscans the writing was literally on the wall. Their once thriving civilization was caught between the burgeoning Roman republic of peninsular Italy and the violent inroads of Celtic Gauls into the northern Italian plain.

In 390 BC the barbaric Gauls had appeared from the north to crush the legions and put the torch to Rome itself. It was the dies ater, the “black day” of Roman history. In 284 BC a foray by the Senones put Etruscan Arretium under siege, wiped out a Roman relief force and killed its praetor (army commander). In reprisal the Romans struck into the invaders’ homeland. The Senones were expelled from their land, which was so thoroughly scorched that it remained a wasteland for 50 years thereafter.

But another Gallic tribe, the Boii, watched the Roman actions with smoldering hatred, while beyond the Alps there awaited other ferocious Celts hungry for war and loot. Even the mystic Etruscan seers could not predict whether the ultimate masters of northern Italy would be Romans or Gauls.

Fruitless invasions by the Boii in the early 3rd century BC had led to a prolonged peace with Rome. Nearly 50 years later, however, a new generation of Gallic warriors had grown up, “full of unreflecting passion and absolutely without experience of suffering and peril,” as the Greek historian Polybius put it. Their chiefs invited tribesmen from Gallia Transalpina (Gaul beyond the Alps) to aid in a new assault on Rome. A Roman army was hastily sent to intercept them, but the invasion proved to be a false alarm. Quarrels between the suspicious Boii and the newcomers boiled over into a pitched battle in which the Transalpine kings Atis and Galatus were killed.

Nevertheless, the Boii refused to let the matter rest. At the heart of the problem was Roman expansion into the former Senones territory. To begin with, the Roman colony of Sena Gallacia had been founded along the coastal strip. And now the hinterland, which had finally recovered from the Roman ravages, was given to Roman citizens. The settling of such colonies was done in a military manner. Enlisted in Rome, the colonists marched beneath a vexillum, or standard, to their new home. A ritual bronze plow was used to delineate the colony borders, one of many Roman customs adopted from the Etruscans.

Justly anxious that the Romans would not stop until all Gallia Cisalpina (Gaul south of the Alps) was theirs, the Boii joined with the equally powerful Insubres, who shared the Boii’s concerns. To recruit yet more allies, the two tribes sent messengers across the mountains to the Gaesatae, a renowned mercenary tribe that lived near the Rhône River and the Alps. One can imagine how the Boii and Insubres ambassadors stood in the midst of the seated circle of the Gaesatae kings Concolitanus and Aneroestes, their champions and druid advisers at their side. The ambassadors offered them a large sum of gold, a small sample of what could be looted from the rich and prosperous lands of the Romans. The Boii, Insubres and Gaesatae, as proud allies, would honor the deeds of their ancestors who had crushed the legions at the Allia River and made themselves masters of Rome for seven months. Such heroic tales roused the Gaesataes’ lust for war. “On no occasion has that district of Gaul sent out so large a force or one composed of men so distinguished or so warlike,” wrote Polybius.

In 225 BC the Gaesatae descended into the plain of the Po River. The Boii and Insubres stayed loyal to their goals, but as usual there was dissension among the Gauls. More allies were found in the Taurisci, living on the Alps’ southern slopes, but two Gallia Cisalpina tribes, the Veneti and Cenomani, wanted nothing to do with the coming war. They even sent embassies of friendship to Rome. With those pro-Roman tribes threatening their borders, the Boii and Insubres were obliged to leave a sizable part of their army at home. Even then, the Gallic coalition that poured into peninsular Italy was the largest Gallic invasion to date, boasting 20,000 cavalry and chariots, and 50,000 foot soldiers.

Unlike nearly two centuries earlier, Rome was no longer merely a powerful city-state. Victorious in numerous wars, the republic had laid the foundation of an empire. Rome had consolidated its hold over Etruria, resubdued the neighboring Latin tribes of central Italy and conquered the southern tribes, most notably the Samnites. In 276 Rome defeated King Pyrrhus of Epirus, the leading Greek warrior of his day, who championed the Greek cities of southern Italy. By 264, through alliances, conquest, colonization and the granting of citizenship, Rome had extended its sway over all peninsular Italy.

Roman interest in Sicily had dragged Rome into the First Punic War (264-241) against the rival Carthaginian empire of North Africa and southern Spain. Rome again was victorious, and Sicily and the Carthaginian domains of Sardinia and Corsica passed under its control. Rome further extended its maritime presence by sending a military expedition against the Illyrian pirate queen Teuta.

In the wake of the dies ater, the Roman army abandoned the unwieldy hoplite phalanx in favor of the flexible maniple, a formation 60-120 men strong adopted the Samnite scutum, a large semicylindrical four-cornered shield and hurled volleys of javelins before engaging in man-to-man combat using the short sword. These reforms were tempered in battle with myriad nations on land and sea, in sieges and on the open field, through defeats and victories. The Roman army grew bigger and better. At the end of the 4th century it had grown from a single legion to four legions, whose symbols were the wolf, the boar, the horse and the Minotaur. By 225, there were at least 10 legions.

Having just secured relations with Carthage through a treaty, Rome was free to direct its whole martial might and that of its allies against the Gallic menace. Terrified of the Gallic invaders, all peninsular Italy heeded Rome’s call to arms. Legions and allies were mustered, and large supplies of grain were collected. Joining Rome’s legions were tens of thousands of allied infantry and cavalry of Sabines, Samnites, Lucanians, Marsi and a host of others, until more than 150,000 men stood ready to fight under the Roman banner. This armed might was stationed in three armies: one in Etruria another to the east, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea (Mare Hadriaticum) and the third on Sardinia. In addition, an army of Veneti and Cenomani assembled to invade the territory of the Boii.

Seemingly oblivious to what awaited them, the Gauls crossed unopposed into Etruria through an unguarded pass in the western Apennines. They plundered at will and struck straight for the heart of their enemy. It seemed as if history would repeat itself and that soon Rome would once again fall to the barbarians. The Gauls advanced all the way to Clusium, the Etruscan city over which Romans and Gauls had first gone to war nearly 200 years before. The invaders were only three days’ march from Rome when the news came: A large Roman force, the army stationed in Etruria that they had slipped past, was at their heels. The Gauls had little choice but to turn and confront the Romans or risk being caught between the legions and the walls of Rome. One evening both armies laagered for the night within sight of each other’s campfires.

The Roman army must have been large, for the Gauls decided to avoid open battle and turned instead to a clever ploy. The cavalry remained beside its campfires, while under cover of darkness the infantry secretly retreated near the town of Faesulae. At daybreak, thinking that the Gallic infantry had taken flight, the Romans advanced toward the Gallic cavalry. In a feigned retreat, the Gallic horsemen took off toward Faesulae, the Romans in hot pursuit. Polybius’ account is unclear, but it seems the Gallic foot soldiers charged out of the town, possibly ambushing the Roman columns. At that point, the Gallic cavalrymen would have turned and fallen on their pursuers.

Caught between the Gallic cavalry and infantry, the Romans were desperate—had they still relied on the bulky phalanx formation, they probably would have met their doom then and there. By that time, however, the internal cohesion of their maniples was so ingrained in the legionaries that they quickly gathered around their straw bundle field ensign, the manipulis, to regain some order. Though the battle went against them, and more than 6,000 Romans were slain, the remainder withdrew to an easily defendable nearby hill. On came the Gauls, but the exertion of their night’s march, compounded by the battle and now a fight up the slope, was beginning to show. The Romans stood their ground and chopped down many enemies before the Gauls wisely decided to retire and get some rest, stationing cavalry around the hill to keep guard.

Time was not on the Gauls’ side. Consul Lucius Aemilius Papus, commander of the Roman army on the Adriatic, had gotten word of the Gallic inroads and their proximity to Rome. Force marching his men, he arrived on the scene and camped near the Gauls. His campfires sparkled in the night, a welcome beacon to the besieged Romans on the hill. Under cover of darkness and a nearby wood, one of them made his way through the Gallic lines and informed Lucius of the plight of his countrymen on the hill.

The fires of the new Roman arrivals did not go unnoticed by the Gauls. A council was held at which King Aneroestes argued that they should retreat with their booty, including an enormous amount of slaves, cattle and other spoils, and avoid battle for now. Once the loot was safely back in their homelands, they could always return to deal with the Romans later. Aneroestes’ prudent advice was accepted, and that night the Gauls again gave the Romans the slip.

At dawn Papus’ tribunes marshaled the infantry while he himself rode with the cavalry to the hill. Although the Gauls were gone, the tracks of thousands of soldiers and horses could not be concealed. The combined Roman armies followed in the Gauls’ wake north along the coast of Etruria.

Near Cape Telamon, Gauls foraging ahead of the main army suddenly stumbled upon Roman soldiers coming the other way. Both sides were almost certainly mounted, but it was the Gauls who yielded in the encounter and were taken prisoner. Together they rode back to the Romans’ camp. To the captured Gauls’ horror, they saw that their captors’ camp lay not behind them but ahead of them. They had been captured by the advance guard of the third Roman army from Sardinia, which had landed at Pisa (Pisae) to the north and was on its way to Rome.

The prisoners were brought before Consul Gaius Atilius Regulus and described all that had occurred, including the position of their army. Regulus gloated, assuming that the Gauls would be squeezed and annihilated between his and Papus’ army. He ordered his tribunes to march in fighting order as far as the terrain permitted.

Ahead of his army, Regulus noticed Aquilone Hill beside the road on which the Gauls were coming to meet his forces. Eager to gain the hill before the Gauls and to initiate a battle that would surely be a Roman victory, he bolted toward the hill with his cavalry. When the Gauls saw Roman cavalry gallop up to a hill in front of them, they understandably assumed that it was Papus’ cavalry, which had somehow outflanked them at night. The Gallic cavalry and light skirmishers rode out to contest the hill, taking some prisoners who told them of Regulus’ approaching legions.

For the Gauls, the situation looked grim. This time there was no escape from the Roman vise. They were in for the fight of their lives, and the Boii and Taurisci formed up to meet Regulus. Behind them the Gaesatae and Insubres faced in the opposite direction to engage Aemilius Papus. The Gauls stationed their chariots and wagons on their flanks, while a body of guards stood watch over the booty in the neighboring hills.

Both Roman and Gallic infantry watched the cavalry melee on the hill. Regulus fought alongside his men until a Gallic blade beheaded him. The Gauls carried their grim trophy back to their leaders, but fortune turned against them when Papus’ army arrived. Though he knew of Regulus’ landing at Pisae, Papus had not imagined that Regulus was so near. Drawing up his legions to advance on the Gauls, he sent his cavalry to aid in the hill battle. The Gallic horse at last were bested, and the Romans seized the hill.

Now it was time for the infantry. Though encouraged by having trapped their foe, the Romans were intimidated by the barbarian horde. As Polybius relates: “They were terrified by the fine order of the Celtic host and the dreadful din, for there were innumerable horn-blowers and trumpeters, and, as the whole army were shouting their war-cries at the same time, there was such a tumult of sound that it seemed that not only the trumpets and the soldiers but all the country round had got a voice and caught up the cry.”

The tall Gallic warriors, though outnumbered and surrounded, showed not a trace of fear. They wore bronze helmets—some adorned with horns, plumes or the Celtic symbol of war, the wheel. Fantastic curvilinear patterns graced their oval shields, which, with a helmet, made up the sole protection for the rank and file. Only a few of the chiefs and their champions had corselets of mail. Most wore multicolored checkered trousers and cloaks. This was not the case for the Gaesatae, who in accordance with their reverence for nature went into battle stark naked. Some Gauls wore torques, armlets and bracelets of bronze, electrum or gold. They gestured with long spears, javelins, slings and great iron swords. The latter were nearly a yard long, rounded at the end and meant for slashing. A few were so poorly forged that they bent after the first stroke, but other weapons approached the quality of steel.

The Romans precipitated the infantry clash with thousands of light troops who streamed through the gaps between the maniples. Skins of wolf, badger and other beasts adorned their helmets. Inside their round shields they carried handfuls of javelins, which they rained in volley after volley upon the Gallic front ranks. Though the Gauls’ oblong, oval or hexagonal body shields offered some protection, many Roman javelins found their mark. The Gauls, however, lacked sufficient missile weapons of equal range to harm their foes.

The naked Gaesatae who formed the front ranks of the Gauls facing Papus suffered most of all. The bravest Gaesatae stormed forward and were impaled by javelins before they could close with the enemy. Others pressed backward, throwing their own ranks into disorder.

Trumpets blared and standards rose above the ocean of bronze Roman helmets as the maniples advanced upon the Gallic horde. The first maniple line, the hastati, let loose another javelin barrage upon the Gauls. When the heavy pilum they used struck an enemy’s shield, the barbed iron head bent and remained embedded in it, making the shield cumbersome to use.

Roman short swords slid from thousands of scabbards. With a yell the hastati charged the Gauls. As long as the Romans held their shield wall, the tactical advantage was theirs. Swinging his long sword in great arcs, the Gallic warrior found it vexingly difficult to avoid the short Roman thrusting blades or to bypass the Roman guard and inflict a decisive blow. Unlike a Gaul’s shield, the oblong Roman scutum, a wooden shield, bent backward to enclose part of the bearer’s body. Above the upper shield rim, all a Gaul could see was the slits of his foe’s eyes beneath a bronze helmet. Even below the shield, the front of the Roman’s leg was protected by a bronze greave. And when, in the heat of battle, the Roman let down his guard, pectoral armor further protected the hastatus, while the second and third Roman lines, the principes and triarri, wore mail hauberks.

The Gallic warrior made up for those disadvantages with skill, brute force and raw courage. His mighty sword could splinter a Roman shield and bite through the bronze of the Roman helmet. The Gauls fought on, and for a time it looked like the battle could go either way. But by then the Gallic cavalry had fled the field. The Roman horsemen rode down the hill to attack the Gallic flank, their spears striking into the panicky mob.

The unexpected cavalry charge broke the spirit of the Gauls, who were cut to pieces. When the battle was over, 40,000 of them lay dead, including King Concolitanus, and another 10,000 marched into captivity and slavery. King Aneroestes escaped the slaughter with a few of his followers but, overcome by grief over the disaster, took his own life.

Papus collected the Gallic booty and sent it to Rome, whence it was returned to its owners. Determined to exact vengeance, he pushed his legions on to the lands of the Boii, where his men raped and plundered at will. After a few days, he entered Rome with his loot and captives in a triumphal march through streets adorned with Gallic standards and torques of precious metal.

The Battle of Telamon marked the decline of Gallic fortunes in northern Italy. Henceforth it was the Romans who retained the advantage. In the following three years, a series of Roman campaigns broke the back of Gallic independence in the Po Valley of northern Italy. The last of these, at Clastidium in 222 BC, saw the personal duel between the Roman general M. Claudius Marcellus and Virdomarus, the Insubres chieftain, in front of the assembled Gallic and Roman armies.

Virdomarus bellowed that he had been born from the waters of the Rhine and would make quick work of the Roman invader. Both leaders hurled their spears, and both missed. Blades in hand, they went at each other to the exuberant cheers of their countrymen. Marcellus’ sword slit Virdomarus’ throat, and his golden torque fell to the ground. Without their leader, the Gauls crumbled before the advance of the legions.

Only two years after Clastidium, most of the Gallic tribes of the Po Valley submitted to the Romans, who further solidified their gains with Latin colonies at Placentia and Cremona. The Gauls won a respite through the advent of Hannibal Barca and the Second Punic War, and after that resisted Roman encroachment for 10 more years. The Boii were the last to be defeated, in 191 BC, but they never submitted to the Roman yoke. Instead they drifted east, where they gave their name to Bohemia in the Danube region.

Roman roads and colonies spread across northern Italy. When Polybius wandered across the land nearly half a century later, he remarked that the roadside lands were already Italianized. Like the ancient Etruscan territory, the Gallic realms of Northern Italy had been absorbed into the Roman world.

Ludwig Heinrich Dyck writes from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. For further reading, he recommends Polybius’ The Histories, translated by W.R. Paton, and Barbarians Against Rome, by Peter Wilcox and Rafael Trivino.

Originally published in the October 2006 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.

Why Conquer?

Whether driven by lust for power, riches, or some other force, for centuries, leaders have used their power to overtake an existing society and bend it into something new.

Geography, Human Geography, Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, World History

Roman Soldiers Subjugating Germanic People

Wealth was a motivator for many conquests. The promise of wealth motivated Julius Caesar in his conquest of Gaul.

For centuries, leaders have used their power to overtake other societies. Some have done it to expand the extent of their power, others to increase their riches.

Throughout history, many different kingdoms have risen and fallen. Many empires have been born out of nothing and then collapsed to ruin. Men have used large armies to wrestle power away from mighty emperors and kings. Others have relied on their ability to rally the masses behind their cause, noble or otherwise. What is clear throughout history, from Julius Caesar to Genghis Khan, is that it takes a distinct personality to be a conquerer.

More Territory, Cultural Exchange

Similar motivations connect some of history's greatest conquerors. For example, many wanted more territory so their empires could grow in size as well as develop culturally. From 336&ndash323 B.C.E., Alexander (the Great) of Macedonia not only conquered most of the known world, he also spread Greek culture from Egypt to India. At the same time, he encouraged cultural exchange within his empire, which allowed Greek culture to absorb new influences. During the second century B.C.E., the Roman Empire conquered Macedonia and absorbed both the Macedonian kingdom and Greek culture into its empire. Between 320 and 550 C.E., the Gupta Empire grew from a small portion of northern India to a vast territory that stretched from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. As the empire grew in size, it also developed culturally, and education and art thrived.

Chance To Win Riches

The spoils of war can be a significant motivation for conquest. When Genghis Khan led the Mongols into battle in the 1200s C.E., many of his soldiers were motivated by the chance to win riches. Julius Caesar was motivated by wealth as well. In fact, it was this motivation that led to his conquest of Gaul in 58 B.C.E. Gaul comprised three territories in Europe that spanned parts of modern-day France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and northern Italy.

Control over Trade

Another long-term motivation was the desire for control over trade. For the Mongols, the chance to control the Silk Road was an attractive reason for conquest. The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that stretched across Asia and into Europe. Early on, Mongols targeted states that controlled parts of this network.

Alexander, Julius Caesar, and William the Conqueror are three legendary conquerors. All three created and then expanded their empires because of a desire for both power and riches. This ambition pushed them to continue to enlarge the areas under their control. Larger empires meant more land, more people, and, by way of taxes and tribute, more wealth.

Alexander became king of Macedonia at just 20 years old. He was an ironfisted ruler who crushed rebellions and killed his enemies before they could become a threat. Alexander led his conquests with unmatched military skill. Julius Caesar first consolidated his own power within Rome. Then, he expanded Rome's influence and wealth through military conquest. William established the power of the state of Normandy and drastically changed English society through his conquest. As king of England, he redistributed the state's wealth, transferring power to his people, the Normans.

Charisma Protected their Positions as Rulers

Each of these leaders had a great deal of charisma. Their magnetic, inspiring personalities earned the devotion of their militaries. This support was crucial to their conquests and protected their positions as rulers.

Beyond the desire to rule, the perceived right to rule also motivated history's ancient conquests. Alexander believed himself to be half-god &mdash the son of Zeus. He was convinced that he deserved success. William led the Norman Conquest in 1066 because he believed himself to be the rightful heir to the English throne. King Edward had promised that William would be his heir. However, Edward had also made this promise to others, causing several battles for the crown after his death. William eventually prevailed, and claimed what he perceived as his rightful place on the throne. Some historians theorize that Genghis Khan also felt he was destined to rule.

The desire for power is clearly very strong in history's leaders. Conquerors faced overwhelming dangers for a chance to rule but, to them, the rewards outweighed the risks.

The American Republic & the Long Shadow of Rome

The figure of Brutus—the assassin of the tyrant—has cast a long shadow over American history. The American Founders looked to the Roman Empire embodied by Caesar as an example of how their own republic too could be undone by the ambition of one man.

“Beware the Ides of March!” Thus the soothsayer warned Emperor Julius Caesar on the 15th of March, 44 B.C. On that day, Caesar, who had overturned the Roman republic and made himself a tyrant, was assassinated by a group of Senators, including his friend, Brutus. In the eponymous play by William Shakespeare, the Senators begin to stab Caesar, who tries to resist the assault until he sees Brutus also wielding a knife against him. “Et tu, Brute?” Caesar utters in disbelief before collapsing.

The figure of Brutus—the assassin of the tyrant—has cast a long shadow over American history. “Brutus” became the pseudonym of one of the most famous Antifederalist authors (probably Robert Yates of New York), who wrote essays in opposition to the proposed Constitution of 1787, which he believed dangerously consolidated power in the central government. In setting up their own republic, the American Founders looked to the Roman Republic as a model for what they should be and to the Roman Empire embodied by Caesar as a portent of what they feared the republic could become. Americans feared that liberty was fragile and that the republic could be undone by the ambition of one man.

The Framers of the American Constitution were indeed wary of the rise of a Caesar —after all, King George III was in their minds—and designed the presidency with great care in an effort to prevent any abuse of executive power. Under the Articles of Confederation, there had been no executive, no judicial branch. The government consisted of a unicameral legislature, which lacked, among other powers, the authority to tax either the people directly or the states. All that the Congress could do was request money from the states. It was the perceived weakness of this government that sparked the call for the Philadelphia convention of 1787.

The debate about the structure of the executive branch was a source of much contention among the delegates at Philadelphia. At least twelve of the fifty-five wanted the executive power diffused among two or more men. Though a strong executive was considered dangerous by many, there was among other delegates a fear of making the executive too weak. As colonies and now young states, Americans had seen that legislatures could act just as tyrannically as executives. And this was true even of their experience with England. Many—perhaps most—of the American colonists’ complaints in the 1760s and 1770s were directed against Parliament, not the king.

James Madison and another dozen or so delegates at the outset favored a strong executive, which would counteract the “powerful tendency in the Legislature to absorb all power into its vortex.” Of course, the idea of a single executive carried the day, and Alexander Hamilton defended the convention’s decision in Federalist No. 70, citing ancient history in support of his argument against a plural executive. “The Roman history,” Hamilton wrote, “records many instances of mischiefs to the republic from the dissensions between the Consuls, and between the military Tribunes, who were at times substituted for the Consuls. But it gives us no specimens of any peculiar advantages derived to the state from the circumstance of the plurality of those magistrates.”

Hamilton contended that weak executive leadership in the Roman republic often necessitated the appointment of one man to rule them all. “Every man the least conversant in Roman story,” Hamilton wrote, “knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in the absolute power of a single man, under the formidable title of Dictator, as well against the intrigues of ambitious individuals who aspired to the tyranny, and the seditions of whole classes of the community whose conduct threatened the existence of all government, as against the invasions of external enemies who menaced the conquest and destruction of Rome.”

Hamilton would go on to argue that a single executive was actually a better safeguard of liberty, for he could be watched more closely by the people and could not pass blame for misdeeds of the executive onto others. History proved, Hamilton averred, that tyranny was most often the result of a combination of men, not the actions of a single man.

The Framers put restraints on the president, of course. A two-thirds vote of the Congress overrides a presidential veto treaties and court appointments require the advice and consent of the Senate the president can be impeached and removed from office for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” To guard against the election of a demagogue, the Electoral College was created, which filtered the “passions” of the people in selecting the chief executive.

Some historians argue that the Philadelphia convention would never have approved the single executive if it were not widely assumed that George Washington would fill that role. Recall that the Constitution at the time did not limit the number of terms that the president could serve, so it was a possibility that Washington might serve for life—such was his popularity. But Washington had already proved that he was no Caesar in laying aside his sword after independence was won and he did this despite having the temptation to become a despot place right in front of him.

In March of 1783, Washington’s army was encamped near Newburgh, New York. The war not yet over, though victory was within reach. Washington’s men became restive, as the Continental Congress had not paid them in months. Washington himself had pleaded with Congress over the course of the war, asking for more food, supplies, and men. He must have shared his men’s frustration when a letter circulated among the officers calling for a meeting to discuss a march on Philadelphia to overthrow the government and institute military rule.

Washington learned of the meeting, planned for March 11, forbade it, and then confronted the some 500 mutinous officers at a meeting he called four days later at the Temple of Virtue, a large meeting hall near his Newburgh headquarters. The date of the new meeting, March 15, was significant, as it was that day—the Ides of March—when Brutus killed the tyrant Caesar and preserved the Roman Republic.

At the Temple of Virtue, Washington told his men that he would do everything in his power to make sure that Congress paid the army, and he urged the officers to exercise patience, and assured them of his support, reminding them of their shared sacrifice. Washington chastised the author of the letter advocating a march on Philadelphia, and by implication, those sympathetic to its mutinous plans. Concluding his speech, Washington took from his pocket a letter from Congressmen Joseph Jones of Virginia, which promised Washington that the men would be fairly compensated. Washington looked at the congressman’s letter, squinted, and then removed a pair of spectacles from his pocket. Only his aides had ever seen him wear these, a sign of unmanliness among soldiers. There was stunned silence in the hall, and Washington paused, looked at his men, and said: “Forgive me, but I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.” The officers began to weep openly—a sign of manliness in the eighteenth century—and the mutiny was ended then and there. Addison might have penned the scene.

In the scene at Newburgh, Washington conveyed a republican idea rooted in the Ancient world – the idea of self-sacrifice for the common good, which was called “virtue.” Virtue—which comes from the Latin vir, meaning “man”—was viewed by the Ancients as “the actuating principle” of republics. Now virtue had other shades of meaning, specifically Christian ones. It also entailed the notions of frugality, honesty, humility. To indulge in luxury and “baubles” was seen to be effeminate, the opposite of being republican. Patriot leader Samuel Adams, the archetypal “old republican” who made it a point to dress simply, pined for the creation of a “Christian Sparta” on the American continent.

While the example of Sparta inspired some of the American Founders, the history of Athens troubled them. Athens was a democracy, the Athenian Assembly being made up of every adult male in the city. But Greek democracy often led to demagoguery. For every virtuous Pericles produced by the Athenian assembly there was a conniving Alcibiades. The problem was so great that the custom of ostracism was invented, in which a man deemed dangerous to the city was sent away in permanent exile. Democratic Athens, Americans knew well, executed Socrates and grew into an empire that tyrannized its neighbors.

Americans were, however, influenced quite a bit by one Romanized Greek thinker. They read the Hellenistic historian Polybius’ description of the ideal government, which was a mixed one, combining elements of the three general types of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy—the rule of the one, the few, and the many. The problem according to Polybius was that these forms inevitably degenerated over time into, respectively, tyranny, oligarchy, and mob rule.

Polybius’ ideas were adapted and expounded upon by Roman thinkers, like Livy, Tacitus, Plutarch, and Cicero. It was primarily these Roman authors that fired the American imagination in the attempt to resurrect republicanism. Thomas Jefferson called Tacitus “the first writer in the world without a single exception. His book is a compound of history and morality of which we have no other example.” John Dickinson owned a copy of Tacitus’ Germania and praised the Roman as “that excellent historian and statesman…whose political reflections are so justly and universally admired.” The challenge for republicanism, according to the Renaissance humanist Niccolo Machiavelli, was to break the cycle of decay that Polybius had identified.

Americans thus turned to the proper structure of society and government as the solution to republican longevity. Republics—whether of the Ancient Greek, Renaissance Italian, or early Roman variety—had traditionally been small in size. It was an axiom that republicanism, if it could work at all, could only work in a relatively small area, where the customs, manners, and habits of the people were uniform. After all, these things are what unites people. James Madison famously addressed this concern in Federalist 10. Madison acknowledged that “faction,” defined as a group—whether in the minority or majority—that seeks to oppress the rest of the citizenry for its own benefit, would inevitably arise in republics. The cure, Madison said, was not to destroy liberty by trying to give all the citizens of a republic “the same opinions, the same passions, the same interests,” but rather “to extend the sphere” of the republic—to expand its geographic borders—so as to encompass so many groups of diverse interests that no one can dominate the others. “Extend the sphere,” Madison wrote, “and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.”

It was this extended republic that was the key to Madison’s “new science of politics.“ By the time of the writing of the Constitution in 1787, many of the American Framers had moved beyond Samuel Adams’ hope for a “Christian Sparta” and had turned against the ancient republican models. Rejecting the ancient idea that virtue was the “actuating principle” of republics, these Framers instead offered a mechanistic approach to the republican conundrum. A proper construction of society and government—and not of the soul itself—would make the American republican experiment a success. Pointing to the “disorders” that infected the ancient Greek and Roman and Renaissance Italian republics, Alexander Hamilton boasted of the new knowledge of Americans:

The efficacy of various principles is now well understood, which were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients. The regular distribution of power into distinct departments the introduction of legislative balances and checks the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election: these are wholly new discoveries, or have made their principal progress towards perfection in modern times. They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided.

“A republic, if you can keep it,” Benjamin Franklin famously told a woman outside the doors of the Pennsylvania state house when she asked what the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had wrought. Madison and Hamilton’s “new science” cast a revolutionary light on the answer to Polybius’ riddle of republican decay, but the question remains as to whether this light can continue to keep at bay the long shadow of Rome’s history.

This essay first appeared here in April 2013.

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics as we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

The featured image, uploaded by Andreas Faessler, is “Brutus entdeckt die Namen seiner Söhne auf der Liste der Verschwörer und verurteilt sie zu Tode, Ölgemälde von Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein im Kunsthaus Zürich.” It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license and appears here courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.


The rivalry between Rome and Carthage was one of the greatest in Antiquity. The Romans' victory in the Third Punic War was total and led to the disappearance of the Carthaginian State. The destruction of Carthage was critical in Rome's rise and helped it become the superpower in the Mediterranean. The destruction of Carthage allowed Rome to become the only significant naval power in the sea, which was essential in the growth and maintenance of its Empire. The control of the Mediterranean allowed the Roman Republic to dominate trade, allowing it to grow rich.

The victory of Scipio Aemilianus also led to the establishment of the province of Africa and eventually led to the colonization of North African territories. The destruction of the great city of Carthage, in 146 BC, marks a new phase in the history of Rome. Without a dangerous rival, the Romans would expand their Empire and dominate Europe, the Near East, and North Africa for centuries.

How England Treated her Colonies

The people in England had seemed to think all along that the colonies in America ought to do all they could to enrich England. Their idea was that the mother country had a right to the earnings of the colonies, so they treated the colonists like little children, not old enough to think or work for themselves.

Among other things, the English made laws about trade and navigation which were very good for England, but very bad for the colonies. For instance, they said that the Americans should not sell their tobacco, rice, sugar, furs, etc., to any country except England. Any colonist having any of these things for sale had to put them on English ships, and pay freight to carry them to England. Then he had to pay duty before his produce could be sold. Some other articles could be sold to other countries, provided they were sent over in English ships. But no vessels from foreign countries were allowed to come into any of the American ports, either to buy or to sell and if a colonist wanted something from France, he had to get it by way of England, although it cost him much more.

As if all this were not bad enough, the English were so anxious to sell the goods they manufactured, that they said the Americans must buy of them, instead of making such articles for sale. Thus, a farmer could hammer out rough tools for his own use from the iron dug up on his land, but he could not make even a hoe for his neighbors in any other colony.

The women, who spun and wove their own flax and wool, cut and made ordinary family garments, and plaited straw, which they sewed together for hats, could not even sell a pair of mittens in the next colony. If the New Englanders wanted to exchange codfish for Virginia tobacco, they either had to send it by way of England, thus paying for its being carried twice across the Atlantic, or else they were obliged to pay heavy duties.

In her fear that the colonies would sell to other countries anything she could use, England even forbade Americans to cut down any very large or straight trees without her permission. She said that all this timber should be kept until she needed it as masts for her vessels.

Of course, the colonies did not like this, but they bore it for a long time as patiently as they could. Other countries did not approve of England's trade and navigation laws, either. Both the French and the Dutch, for instance, wanted to trade with the colonies. As the coast was very long, and there were customhouse officers in only a few of the towns, some foreign vessels managed to slip into small bays unseen, and thus began smuggling goods in and out of the country.

As long as France owned Canada, smuggling could not very well be stopped, for French or Dutch vessels caught along the coast said that they were on their way to or from Canada, and that they had been driven out of their course by contrary winds. But when the last French and Indian War was over, foreign vessels no longer had any excuse for coming near North America. The British, therefore, declared they would now seize any foreign vessel they met, and search any house where they fancied smuggled goods could be found.

Orders to search houses were called search warrants. They gave government officers the right to go over every part of a dwelling, and look into every closet and drawer. But people like to feel that their houses are their own, and that no one can come in unless invited. Knowing that those search warrants would make it easy for any officer who happened to dislike them to annoy them constantly, the Americans naturally objected to them.

The man who first spoke publicly against these search warrants, in the old statehouse in Boston, was James Otis. When he declared that this was not right, he was told it was done in Great Britain as well as in America. Otis then answered that, as the British had a share in making that law, they were, of course, obliged to obey it. But he added that the Americans had no seats in the British Parliament, had had no share in making the law, and were therefore not bound to respect it.

Many of the colonists agreed with Otis, so the British officers did not dare offend them by making frequent visits to their houses but they kept ships along the coast to chase all suspicious vessels and see whether they had any foreign goods on board. This proceeding was almost as disagreeable to the colonists as searching their houses.

One of these boats, the Gaspee , in pursuing a colonial vessel, ran ashore in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, in 1772. Before it could be worked off the shoal,—which is still known as Gaspee Point,—a number of the best citizens of Providence came in disguise and set fire to the ship. But although the British said their flag had been insulted, and tried to find the guilty parties, they never could lay hands upon them.

Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was one of the most successful empire of its time and lasted from about 500 B. Many things the Romans did attributed to the success and longevity of the Roman Empire. The Romans had a new way of governing its citizens and had an extremely strong military. They had many new innovations that made easier to govern, and encouraged recreation. One of the most important reasons for Roman success was, Romans wanted to achieve something called Pax Romana or Roman Peace through out their empire. .
The Roman government was the total opposite of the Greek government. Rome needed more people to live in Rome, and to be in the military so instead of denying the rights of citizenship to outsiders, like the Greeks did, the Romans shared citizenship with its surrounding alliances. By doing this Rome build up much of its manpower and slowly started to grow and expand in Italy. Because these people were citizens they could enjoy all the benefits of being Roman, with the exception of voting and holding office, had to pay taxes and could be called for military duties. Giving citizenship to foreigners helped strengthen Rome by giving it more manpower, more money to build and expand, and more citizens. (McKay, 140).
Another reason Roman was so successful was because of the way they ran their government, sometimes referred to as "the Roman senate and the people". They divided the government into two groups, the aristocracy, or wealthy landowners, and the common people, the merchant, artisans, and landless urban dwellers. Whether they were rich or poor, this type of government helped give and equal opportunity for every one to have a say in the government. They did this so that the common people, even though they really didn't have a say in what was law, they were still able to vote on the officials. The government also consisted of the senate and the consul. The senate was mostly made up of the aristocracy the people serving on the consul were voted by the people annually.

Essays Related to Roman Empire

1. History of the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was an undisputed superpower in Western Civilization. . He transformed the Roman Empire from a republic into a monarchy. . Augustus added more territory, expanding the Roman Empire further than any other Roman. . These rulers presided over the most majestic days of the Roman Empire. . He reunited the Roman Empire and tried to create the impression of order. .

2. Justinian's Flea and the Roman Empire

Justinian's Flea by William Rosen describes the fall of the Roman Empire from the division of the Empire by Diocletian to the start of the rise of the Islamic powers. Rosen's book is one of many that has attempted to make sense of the time of transition between the end of the Roman Empire and what we call Medieval Europe. The Roman Empire was split up by Diocletian into east and west with Rome being the dividing line. . Rosen is clear in stating that the Byzantine Empire is not the Roman Empire but in fact is unique in its culture its laws and its architecture. . Belisarius was t.

3. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The Fall of The Roman Empire The fall of Rome had many aspects that affected it. . The Roman empire had many problems that were not fixed and they became bigger and bigger until it crush the whole empire. . (Document 5) to explain this more the roman empire stopped expanding after they adopted Christianity .Due to the benevolence of the christian god the roman citizens decided to give up Rome's traditional warlike habits because of the god they kind became soft and they were weak. . Due to the falling off within the Roman empire, it was dying from the inside out and they never tried.

4. Fall of the Roman Empire AD 198-476

"The bigger they are, the harder they fall" this can be compared to the Roman Empire's existence. . However, the Roman Empire eventually collapsed after a period of five centuries. . The Romans did not see the point in conquests anymore because the Empire was already hard enough to govern. . Another reason for the fall of the Roman Empire was the rise of Christianity. . However, in 476, Odoacer, a German general in the Roman army, invaded the empire. .

  • Word Count: 1545
  • Approx Pages: 6
  • Has Bibliography
  • Grade Level: High School

5. Christianity in the Roman World

Hersch was saying, Christianity wasn't a threat to the Roman Empire because the Roman Empire tolerated monotheism. Roman Empire was okay with people who believed in one god as long as they don't seemed threatening to the Roman Empire. . The early Christians are responsible too for spreading the messages of the Lord in the Roman Empire. . This illustrates that when the number of Christians doubled, Roman Empire saw this as a threat. The Romans felt that Christians are against the Roman Empire so they killed, tortured and crucified Christians. .

6. The Decline and Transformation of the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire eventually declined for a number of reasons. . (Mehalek, "The Fall of The Roman Empire") The Empire had grown to large for one emperor to successfully and effectively govern the land. . (Forsythe, "From Republic To Empire") The resulting weakened Roman Empire caused the soldiers to have a lack of confidence and spirit. . (Heitman "About the fall of the Roman Empire") All of these things may not have lead to the complete collapse of the Roman Empire if it weren't for the other surrounding circumstances. . Defeats that eventually led to the complete destruction o.

  • Word Count: 1314
  • Approx Pages: 5
  • Has Bibliography
  • Grade Level: High School

7. Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was plagued by tyrannous rulers, whose actions did not favor the people. . And even though the Roman Empire lasted so long, there were times when its longevity was questioned unfortunately those questions were never answered. . The tyrannous rulers are not all to blame for the fall of the Roman Empire. . More bad luck was to be found in the Roman Empire. . The Roman Empire represented lost dreams, lost hope, and doom. .

8. Han and Roman Empire

The Han and Roman Empires The Roman Empire and the Han Empire were similar and different in many ways. . The Roman Empire, government system established by Rome lasted for nearly five centuries. . In comparison with the Roman Empire the Han Empire was also known for its military prowess. . To sum this essay up both the Han Empire and Roman Empire were very similar. . The Han and Roman empires had strong leaders and strong citizens which made them who they were. .

9. What Were The Most Important Reasons For The Decline Of The Roman Empire? Why?

What were the most important reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire? . The seemingly unstoppable Roman Empire was bound to fall after the many aspects that made Rome such a dominant empire started to fade away. . Christianity a new religion appealed to the majority of the people of the Roman Empire. . The Roman government system was designed to control a city-state not a giant empire. . The Roman Empire did not fall in a day but rather fell victim to a gradual decline in the prosperity due to many illogical decisions made by the Romans themselves. .