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Ancient Rome - Essay Example

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The paper operates mainly based on research questions which can be stated as follows: Would you agree that Ancient Rome is seen by many to be the highpoint of the ancient world? What were the contributions of Rome to our Western world in politics, society and religion?…
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Ancient Rome
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Ancient Rome

Download file to see previous pages... The paper tells that the wonders of ancient Rome are many. It is easy to understand why historians feel that this society was the highpoint of the ancient world. This opinion is supported by the fact that so much of ancient Rome is still alive today in the cultures of the West. One way that the ancient Romans have affected the world is through the invention of the republican form of government. Their conversion of Greek direct democracy into a system of government that allowed the masses to participate while incorporating checks and balances to protect against corruption is a marvel. Many of the liberal representative democracies in Europe and North America are based in some way on the Roman Republic. Consuls, tribunes and the senate have modern counterparts in the House of Representatives, Senate and President in the United States. This form of government has spread all over the world thanks to the focus on individual and human rights that must be protected in order for this sort of democracy to work. Another way the Romans influenced our current world is through their focus on the rule of law. Roman laws were codified in The Twelve Tables. This became a foundation for all of Roman law that was to be enacted throughout the empire. The Roman emphasis on the rule of law ensured that justice could be guaranteed for all Roman citizens throughout the Roman Empire. This security encouraged trade and travel all over the Empire. Establishing the rule of law helps many Western nations today ensure that all citizens are treated fairly regardless of race or religious affiliation. A final influence that can be seen in America specifically is the connection between religion and politics. It is campaign season in America, and even though the Constitution of the United States declares freedom of religion, the religious and moral beliefs of the candidates is of great importance. It is reported in the news almost daily. Roman politicians were among the first to manipulate the religious beliefs of the population in an effort to win votes. The modern politics of religion have their origins with the orators and politicians of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. In class we talked about the ‘cradles of civilization’ we discussed four major ones, what are the similarities of these areas and are they the only ones? Along with the cradles of civilization what are the general characteristics of ‘complex societies or civilizations’? Physical geography is the major unifying feature of the ‘cradles of civilization’. Civilization started in geographic locations where a food surplus was easy to obtain. All of civilization is founded on the ability to raise more food than each individual farmer needs. This excess food leads to specialization of labor and provides the means for the beginnings of trade. All early civilizations started in places where some outstanding physical feature allowed for the creation of surplus food. In the case of the earliest civilizations, the physical feature was a river valley. The Sumerians in Mesopotamia were supported by the Tigris and Euphrates, the Harappans had the Indus, the Egyptians had the Nile and the Chinese had the Huang He. Rivers provided a source of food through fishing and irrigation for crops. As civilization developed, they also provided a means of transportation. Physical geography also affected later civilizations such as the Greeks and the Romans. Access to fertile, grain producing regions in Sicily and Crimea caused much of the imperial expansion and diplomatic intrigue for both of these civilizations. As each of these river valley civilizations grew, they developed certain characteristics that all complex civilizations seem to share. The first of these is a means of social stratification that is possibly justified or explained through religious beliefs and teachings. This is seen in Egypt through the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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