Ancient Rome Short Essay Questions

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How did geography influence the origins and expansion of Rome?
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There is access to trade routes because rome is surrounded by water and near by many other powerful civilizations which requires Rome to build a large army in order to take over the other city-states. They were surrounded by many powerful cities including Carthage, Egypt, and Greece. Rome fought three punic wars against Carthage in order to expand. The Roman Empire was built around the Tiber river because the original civilizations like the Latins lived along the Tiber River which eventually grew the Roman Republic.
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How were the Punic Wars responsible for Roman Imperialism?
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The war allowed for expansion, shifted policies and made the gap between rich and poor bigger. (Class was a huge factor in society after the wars.) Imperialism expanded more land and allowed for more people for the population. After Rome conquered Carthage, Rome needed money to support their people and provide them with food and other necessities. In order to receive money, Rome conquered more lands and conquered more people. After conquering those people, they were in need of more money to make the victims happy, so they defeated another land. This began imperialism and a chain of wars. The Punic wars made an unstable environment because of the increasing population, and food was not sustainable. They expanded until they couldn’t expand anymore and became vulnerable.
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How can you trace the Roman decline all the way back to the Punic Wars?
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Led to a period of Imperialism- in order to take care of the people you have and have conquered in the past, you need to expand to get money and conquer new people The expansion will never end and Rome can’t continue to support and provide for all of those people. You last until you get vulnerable to the outside Rome was destined to fall apart The couldn’t continue to provide for the people
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How were Julius Caesar, and other Roman generals, able to become political leaders?
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*Use their soldiers to gain power and popularity Caesar had the armies and the Senate was afraid of him. When the Romans conquered a foreign land they would receive the spoils of war. (Spoils of war are the treasures of the conquered people). When they received the spoils of war they would give their gratitude and loyalty to their commander. Once they gave their gratitude and loyalty to their commander, he (the commander) would gain power, popularity, and the citizen’s trust. (The people loved the commander’s success and therefore gained their popularity) The commander threatened the Senate because he had an army and was very powerful and had the people’s popularity. As a result, the Senate gave Caesar (and other generals like him) power to rule Rome.
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What factors led to the decline of the Roman republic and the rise of the Roman Empire?
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Land Reforms such as Latifundia were a big part of the decline of the empire because they would buy out the small farms and use the farmers as slaves on their estates. The Latifundias became popular because they had lower prices since they did not have to pay for their workers. The farmers would then go to the cities in order to try and find jobs, which they couldn’t find so people got mad and mobs started. Reforms run by lower classes threatened the senate, so they killed few. This caused several civil wars to break out, deciding if either the senate should run or political leaders. From this a leader arose, Caesar, which started a new government. The senate was threatened so they killed him as well, this started several civil wars, which caused a change in government, and started the Roman Empire, now run by Octavian.
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How did Augustus lay the foundation for stable government in the Roman Empire?
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The Roman Empire began to rise when Augustus laid out the foundation for a stable government after Caesar’s death. He left the senate in place and created an efficient civil service to enforce its laws. Additionally, jobs were opened to men based on talent, not class. This new, organized, and well-balanced government started to make the rising empire a success. An organized currency to assist trade, an improved tax system (including a census), and jobs for the unemployed building roads and temples, began to stabilize and unify Rome. He issued a population count, which created equality. Depending on how much money you made, the taxes you owed were either higher for wealthy people, or lower for poorer citizens. Furthermore, Roman law was codified and walls for protection were built. The republic’s old ways were dismissed and new, fruitful ways of living were introduced. His actions unified Rome.
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How did Romans use science and mathematics to improve life in the empire?
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Romans excelled in engineering. They made machines, structures, roads, bridges and harbors. Streets were made with crowns, so water wouldn’t stay on the roads, but drip into the sides. Romans also used math to build with shapes and angles. They also made aqueducts, which was a way to get water down into the towns, without using the dirty rivers. The roans used gravity to push water through the ducts. They put the aqueduct on an angle, which they found out through math. If they didn’t put it on an angle, the water would build up and break the system. The angle also controlled the flow.
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Why did Christianity threaten the Roman Empire and how did Christianity later emerge, and then spread, to become the official religion of the Roman Empire?
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The Christians were unwilling to accept that the roman emperor was god. Early Christians were pacifists, meaning they didn’t believe in fighting, this was a problem for Rome because Christians wouldn’t join their armies, and fighting was a big part of the Empire. This was not good for the security of Rome because as the religion started to spread less people wanted to fight and it took power away form the Empire. Also the emperor could always keep religion as an excuse for acting in a certain manner, because he was considered a god, but when the people start to question him as a god, they start to not listen to him, and his empire started to become less successful. Christianity spread because Jesus welcomed everyone, poor, lowly, or pressed people, so a lot more people decided to convert because they would be treated equally. People also wanted to feel connected to a higher power. Christianity seemed to spread a more ethical message than the Roman beliefs. Jesus promoted life after death, which soldiers liked, they also believed in morality, which is the belief in right from wrong. They wanted Christianity because they wanted peace, there was a stronger appeal to the lower class, which made up majority of the empire. Lastly, the Edict of Milan passed be Constantine gave Romans freedom of religion. By the end of the 4th century, Theodicies named Christianity the official religion of Rome; people saw that if the emperor was a Christian, than it was okay to convert too.
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How did the military, political, social, and economic factors combine to cause the fall of the Western Roman Empire?
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After the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius did the new emperors kept getting overthrown, which caused an unstable government. Mercenaries (Germanic soldiers) were hired instead of citizen soldiers. They needed to pay them, but didn’t have enough money, and caused debt, so they had to raise taxes. The mercenaries only wanted the money, weren’t loyal, and had no patriotism, which made Rome not successful in fighting, which caused a lot of invasions. The western empire also had a bad economy. Most of the farmers had to become servants to the wealthy, and messed up social classes. Inflation occurred, prices raised rapidly. Romans didn’t have a lot of what they needed, for example food, so the cost went up which became unaffordable to a lot of people-supply demand. The government had distributed more money so its value went down. Over time, Western Rome just couldn’t hold itself up and protect itself against enemies. Soon, it was conquered by many groups of people, and Rome was not strong enough to fight back.
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Graffiti In Pompeii (How Did other countries use graffiti and how did it relate to government?)
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-The graffiti was in homes -Graffiti in the US is known as vandalism but in Pompeii it wished the city well, had poems, and love notes-symbols -Rome had very many symbolic pieces- the murals showed important figures-graffiti was symbolic too -Egypt also used graffiti as a protest -Wrote things to protest- archeologists found that people liked Nero on the wall -Gave us trustful information on Rome same with: -Writing virgil-anied- wasn’t trustful (mythology) (graffiti was)

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