Roman Culture: Customs And Morality. Essay

4036 words - 16 pages

Relationships of Ancient Rome: Customs and MoralityThe founding of Rome itself was described in a n ancient myth filled with intrigue and danger. According to legend, twins Romulus and Remus, who were fathered by the war god Mars, were born to a Latin princess. The Latin king at the time was afraid the twins might make claim to his throne so he had them put in a basket on the Tiber River. The king assumed they would die, but Romulus and Remus were found by a female wolf who fed them her own milk. Soon after, a shepherd adopted them and raised them as his own. Upon growing up, the boys vowed to build a city where they had been abandoned as babies. Each brother chose a hill and became leader of a new city. Eventually quarrels broke out and Romulus killed Remus, leaving Romulus's hilltop, Palatine, the center of the new city called Rome. Some of the earliest Roman settlements rose from this Palatine Hill.In the first century AD, Rome was the bustling, cosmopolitan center of the empire. It was also a city of great contrasts. Wealthy patrician senators and knights walked with their slaves and dependents; freedmen merchants spread largesse among impoverished free shopkeepers; slaves had the ear of the emperor but scions of the noblest houses fought in the arena to scrape a living." (Goodenough, Citizens of Rome 11)On the Palatine Hill Stood the magnificent palace of the emperor. The Colosseim, the Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, the great public baths, temples, gardens, triumphal arches, tombs, statues, the forums and market places at the heart of the city - these embodied the dignity and grandeus of Tome, at which provincials gazed in wonder. But there were also prostitutes' quarters, the narrow streets of open-fronted shops, the jostling crowds, the perils of the night. The "Eternal City' may sound at times like a marvelous set piece, perfectly proportioned, flawless, unchanging. Underneath the surface, people go about their hectic business: the hammering and shootings of construction work, the whisperings of political and sexual intrigue, riots, fires, thunderstorms, dissatisfaction, famine and flood." (Goodenough, Citizens of Rome 35-36)Ancient Rome has become a legend, the ways of life of the great empire have been fascinating people for hundreds of years. The people and their culture was very interesting, especially for the time. It is described with, "...the Romans ads people were hardly given to lives of seclusion or contemplation. Their disposition was gregarious, their pleasures were urban, and their political and business lives were centered in the open meeting and the market place" (Payne 147).Rome life consisted of much entertainment. With so many people in Rome, and so many being paid for by the government, there were many facilities built to keep these people occupied. Public buildings made sure that the common people would participate in the grandeur of the city. Romans were fascinated with processions: "Citizens could spend long hours in...

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