Polybius, Caesar, and William Harris accounts on Roman imperialism The history of the world shows that, the Roman Empire is one of the most enduring and successful empires. However, it has experienced many downfalls…
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An empire can thus be defined as ruling people in a wide territory without their consent. On the other hand, imperialism is the attitudes and process that are used to establish and maintain an empire. This is to say that imperialism is a shape shifting process and dynamic; this is because imperialism changes as the society develops. The empire expanded as a result of military expeditions. In this, the essay discusses on Harris view on Roman imperialism and the extent to which Polybius and Caesar narratives support William Harris’s account of the factors driving Roman imperialism. Different historians have different views on Roman Imperialism. Being one of the earliest historians, Polybius clearly gives a well-defined account of Roman imperialism. He comes up with a theory referred to as “Cycle of Political Revolution” to explain the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. In his theory, he brings up the cycle of Roman imperialism how a new system in leadership comes in causing the old one to be replaced by the new one (Polybius 238). His account relates to William Harris account because he states that just as the man evolved from an animal into a civilized human being the governance system evolves in the same way. As stated earlier, William Harris states that imperialism in the ruling system is dynamic. In his theory “Cycle of Political Revolution”, he shows how with the evolution of manpower came in hence the establishment of a monarchy (Polybius 235). In the Monarchy, power is embossed on one individual within the society. To maintain the Monarchies heirs obtained the position of Monarchies from their parents. However, because the system of government evolved as men become more civilized, the heirs rebelled against the existing ruling system and saw the need to implement new ways of ruling the people. As a result of this, Kingship system was established (Polybius 235). In the Kingship system, democracy is practiced and the leader comes down to common person’s level. Because the system is dynamic, the heirs see the need to distinguish himself from the common person. As a result of this the system of governance changes from democracy to aristocracy. In his theory, Polybius blames the heirs for the change in the system of political governance. For instance, he says that heirs take advantage of the people because when they are born they do not face hardship. The heirs only enjoyed luxuries and wealth that they had not labored. The aristocracy was replaced by oligarchy because the heirs enjoyed wealth and luxury life. In oligarchy, people had a say in the governing process. This means that the people worked together for a democratic state. In a democratic state people have a say in the government affairs (Polybius 241). Because of the democracy, there is freedom of speech and expression. As a result of this everyone expresses his opinion on different issues concerning the state and this result in chaos and misunderstanding among the people in the state. Because of the misunderstanding among the members in the state, the strongest and outspoken person takes over as the leader. This resulted in the creation of a Monarchy going back to the first stage of leadership. By this, we see that the system of leadership cycles in one place although the systems take a substantial amount of time to move from one season to another. This clearly shows the application of Polybius theory “Cycle of Political Revolution” in political systems. History defines Julius Caesar as
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This research explores what has changed from the Roman republican era through to the imperial period, what has stayed the same and some possible reasons of this. Looking to Roman history, politics and culture essay explains what was happening to the art and culture of the Romans.
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Only Brutus has a different view.
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