Civilization: Roman Republic Essay

Politics: What type of political system did the civilization have?
Rome overthrew the Etruscan monarchy, forming a republican government. Male aged over 15 voted a government. The great families (patricians) dominated the political leadership, while plebeians (remaining citizens) had no political power. The government had three major branches: the Senate, Consuls, and Assemblies. Comitia Centuriata voted two delegates who further represented the executive power for a one-year term. These consuls held the military force, issued laws, and controlled the Senate. The Senators were unpaid, but served as people’s voices, venting male citizens’ opinions to consuls by proposing laws for the Magistrates. Assemblies’ blocks included Concilium Plebis and Comitia Centuriata that approved the Senate’s laws or developments. Later on, the Twelve Tables were approved in appeasing to plebian disquiets.

Economics: How was commerce regulated and goods/services exchanged?
The economy was organized as agrarian as well as slave based economy. The civilization focused on feeding its growing population, thus trade and agriculture was articulately practiced alongside small-scale industrial production. Roman farmers were the foundation of Empire’s economy which allowed to produce and export wines, olive oil, and crops. Roman farmers paid monetary tax using surplus crops. Sea trade and road caravans were dominant trade routes. Vast exchange of goods dominated import trade with Africa, Asia, and Europe. Roman Empire traded with China, Africa, India, Spain, and Britain to import rare materials and products like silk or minerals. Mining industry offered stones for building, and metals used in the making of weapons and tools. Exchange of goods was done using coinage systems.

Religion: What god(s)/religion affected the way the civilization viewed the world?
Roman religion had originally remained polytheist. Romans entertained worship of initial variety of spirits, gods, and foreign cults. The common spirits include Capitoline Triad, and ancestral spirits. The gods entailed Mars (god of war), Quirinus (god of protection), and Jupiter (all supreme god). Other gods includes Janus, Apollo, Minerva, Juno, Pax (god of peace), Furies (vengeance goddess), and cupid (god of love). Greek gods were worshiped in Greek Colonies at lower Peninsula. There were many cults, including Sibly, Bacchus, Sarapis, Cybele, and Isis. Later on, with the growing Christian and Jewish population, the Christianity took over.

Technology: What technologies did the civilization use?
Romans invented diverse engineering and construction technologies, including dams, amphitheatres (open-air theatres), bridges, and aqueducts, roads, and waste disposal systems. Romans invented other various technologies, including mining technology, camel ploughs for farming, portable Abacus for computations, concrete and cement for construction, tread-wheel and cranes, glass blowing, hydraulic mining, weapons, mercury gliding, mills, soap, one-wheeled vehicle, tooth implants, street map, and wood veneer, among others.

Environment/Geography: What type of environment/geography/climate affected the civilization?
Roman Republic was located near Tiber River’ banks as an Italian City, towards the Mediterranean Sea. Notable landmarks entail Tigris river, Nile river, Rhine river, and Danube, Black sea, Euphrates river along the Western area, and Tuscan Plains towards the North. The land experienced various climatic and environmental conditions, including forests, deserts, wetlands, warm summers, temperate weathers, mountains, and fertile, crumby and light soils.

Education: How (if at all) did the civilization train and educate its citizens?
The civilization practiced tuition-based education system is premised on Greek education system. The private tutors in the Roman education system were the Greek freedmen or slaves. The original curriculum and educational methodology was drawn from its provinces. The tiers of schooling include Ludus (state-funded elementary education), moral education (job, home and family training), philosophy (philosophical study for Rome’s elite), Grammaticus (speaking and writing skills) and rhetor (final phase of education mainly for politicians and lawyers).

Philosophy(ies): What philosophies, if any, guided the decisions made by the civilization?
The Roman authors pioneered the adoption of the Greek philosophical dogmas. Romans advanced and adopted Stoicism school of thoughts, originally the Hellenistic Greece philosophical view. Roman’s Stoicism emphasized on virtuous life – roman virtues, and teleological views such as meaningfulness and rational as pioneered by Stoic philosophers, such as Pliny the Elder, Marcus Aurelius, and Plotinus.

Arts & Entertainment: What artistic forms of expression did the civilization use for expression? How did they do for fun, games, and relaxation?
The civilization is recognized for architecture, sculpture, painting, and minor arts. Remarkable paintings include gold glass, still life, triumphal, vistas and landscape, and genre scenes paintings. The sculptures include narrative reliefs, and portraits like old man Veristic portrait, Roman portraiture, the Four Tetrarchs, Commodus, Tomb relief, Augustus of prima Porta, Emperor Claudius Bust, grave reliefs of Aedia, Capitoline Brutus, and Eltruscan sarcophagus. Architecture works include amphitheatre, Colosseum, Pantheon, and the Baths of Caracalla. The minor arts entail mosaic arts, glassworks, metalwork, coins inscriptions and iconography. Romans relaxed enjoying various sports/ events, including venationes, executions, gladiator combats, chariot racing, Roman villas, and Roman baths.

Notable Works: What are major works of literature, philosophy, art, etc. that reflect the civilization?
Roman’s Stoicism philosophy is highly reputed globally. The drama and theater ideals remain notable works. Roman’s writings on law and literature are highly applicable. Notable works of arts include amphitheatres, metalwork (jewelry), coins inscriptions and iconography, portrait sculpture, mosaic arts, and the Pantheon and Colosseum.

Family, Marriage & Sexuality: How did they view sexuality, reproduction, and the family unit?

Romans family structure was nuclear family, with fathers as the head. Sexuality was meant for reproduction, with mothers giving birth to many children. The family also entailed freed slaves, extended family members, elderly, and household slaves. Marriages were arranged, and divorce was caused by negligent of marital duties and adultery. Remarriages were caused by death in wars and mother’s death during childbirth.

Fate of Civilization: What happened to the civilization?
The civilization collapsed from internal power struggle by the Gracchus brothers. The collapses was hallmarked by tensions grew between Caesar and Pompey. The battle for political power and success between barbarian tribes wrecked the civilization following Pompey defeat.

Contributions to Western Civilization: What did the civilization contribute to the development of Western Civilization?
The civilization contributed the Republic form of governance common in the West. Romans three-tier model/form of government (senate, magistrates/consul, and assemblies) adopted by the West. Other forms of contributions include architecture, law (civil rights), language, construction and engineering, sports and entertainment events, Christianity values.

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