The Roman Empire Essay

2391 words - 10 pages

Ancient Rome, the period between the 8th and 1st centuries B.C. in which Rome grew from a little colony to an emerging empire. "Roman imperialism introduced extremes of wealth and poverty that honed social and economic conflict within the Roman state ." The enormous army and their countless loots, as well as their captured slaves, produced many changes along the countryside such as small farms becoming large plantations, and peasants left without lands decided to journey to Rome and other cities. "Immense wealth inflamed the ambitions of Roman nobles who struggled for personal domination rather than collective rule ." This dominant emergence of power and rule thus led to the conquering and control of other societies. The following paragraphs will be divided in order to partition the overall structure of the Roman Empire and the ethics and justifications of their colonial methods.

The Roman Empire's defined arrangement can be classified through the following features: the social hierarchies, governmental establishment, formation of the military, economical base, belief system and the use of technology.

Social Hierarchies:

Rome was an extremely hierarchical society organizes in different classes which had well-defined roles. Through history, all the information was recorded on the elite or wealthy people, and not the poor people. Writers of the day usually ignored the stories of those who made up the lower class. In Rome, senators, equestrians, and assorted others, like actors and astrologers, ready to amaze the emperor and his family, made up the imperial court, which was the center of aristocratic life. "The emperors used ties of patronage, rewarding elites who were loyal with offices and gifts ." Roman elite had riches, official position, and high status. The only work which they had on their hands was to manage their estates. As a result, they often did public service. Aristocrats had it much better than the poor and they also received advantaged treatment from the imperial representatives and the courts. There were also local elites, located in other cities of the Empire, which would execute the duties of managing office, sponsoring games, erecting public buildings, and making charitable contributions. Then came the lower classes which included poor citizens, non-citizens, slaves, and former slaves called freedmen. "The working masses who toiled with their hands in the fields and towns represented the largest segment of the population during the empire, but not all of the lower classes were manual laborers ." Doctors, musicians, actors, teachers, and even philosophers fell into the lower classes, and so did craftspeople. Then finally came the lowest class which was made up of slaves. When the Romans conquered the Mediterranean, they enslaved millions of people and brought them to Italy. These slaves labored on the large plantations or in the houses and workplaces of wealthy citizens. Roman law was inconsistent on slavery....

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