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Roman Empire - Essay Example

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ROMAN EMPIRE Lecturer: Rome is undeniably the greatest established empires in the European history and which did influence a number of nations in the world. This path to greatness however, was hurdled by numerous challenges key among them resistance from their neighbors who challenged their territorial expansion and economic domination…
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Download file to see previous pages 136 ) marks a significant episode in Rome’s military history, for they nearly lost the war to Hannibal, a great Carthaginian general. With the defeat of Hannibal at Zama by the Roman general Scipio, and the experience gained during the war, Rome appears to have learnt a lot from it and harbored bitter feelings at least for Carthage for the damages Hannibal caused; ravaging much of their homeland and leaving it in a deplorable state. The effect of this was to be seen in the manner in which Rome later formulated strategies, for tactical reasons, in handling her allies and foes in an attempt to expand and consolidate her empire. Indeed, it is the Punic wars that saw the rise of the Roman Empire and echoed the thud falling of the republic. With the fall of Carthage, The Romans inflicted severe punishment on her, an attempt which was meant to ensure that Carthage remained subservient. In the treaty signed between the two, Carthage agreed to Scipio’s terms which required her to pay Rome an indemnity of 10,000 talents in the subsequent five decades. In addition, Carthage was not to enter into any war without Rome’s consent and was to surrender her navy; all her warships and elephants (Koeller 2005).This defeat, coupled with the unfriendly Scipio’s terms, humbled Carthage and the Romans felt that the punishment rendered her toothless and that she was never to bite again, leave alone bark at Rome. In using this approach, Rome successfully managed to tame and robe Carthage of her political power making her to coil her tail, but not for long. Rome was not done with Carthage just yet. In a move seen as one to expand its empire, Rome turned its rage on the Kingdoms that did offer support to Hannibal during the war. Such were the kingdom of Macedon and some parts of Greece .This also saw the Mediterranean islands and Spain cede to Rome. Another score card at Rome’s disposal that came into effect during this period was the adoption of a rapacious and brutal foreign policy: diplomacy based on trickery rather than on true valor. Lewis and Reinhold 1990 p. 202-203 provides succinctly how Rome, with their act of deceit, hoodwinked king Perseus, tactfully, with a scheme that saw him disadvantaged in a war Rome undeservingly won. Reporting their mission to the senate, notes Reinhold and Lewis, Marcius and Atillus were acknowledged for having shown skillful management in the execution of their mandate and their mission was approved. Though not a unilateral senate decision (with the older senators not amused with this decision terming it contrary to Roman traditions), the cunning diplomacy saw the day. It is in light of the above perhaps, that ruthless oppression became synonymous to Roman rule as seen in the acts of such individuals as Servius Salpicius Galba, the praetor of Farther Spain. Galba, during the war with the Lusitanians, committed a terrible atrocity, one which Reinhold terms as ‘treacherous annihilation of a disarmed populace.’ Disguised as a peace maker and a sympathizer to the Lusitanians, Galba cunningly laid a snare in which his prey unsuspectingly got trapped. Defenseless and disadvantaged as they were, the Lusitanians were easily slewed by the Roman soldiers. This unfriendly Rome’s foreign policy subjected onto uninviting kingdoms appears to have worked in Rome’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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