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HIST 2200 (12)

Roman Empire and Germanic Peoples

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University of Guelph
HIST 2200
Susannah Ferreira

The Roman Empire and Germanic Peoples The Roman Empire -took the learning of the ancient Greeks and transformed it into their own version and then transmitted it to us - took the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, changed it into medicine, law (foundation for French Civil Code), literature of Greece (took them into ideas of Cicero and citizenship terms), EMPIRE - was dominating force until possibly 1806 when Napoleon invaded Italy - developed Latin, language of learned peoples - Success based on army, focused on citizen soldier – everyone should be working to protect the Empire - led great expansion of Empire untilrdBCE, encompassed the Italian Peninsula - 2ndCentury, expansion into the African areas, Carthage - 1sCentury expanded into Greece and Asia Minor, by the end it had expanded to cover the entire Mediterranean Area Description 1st Century CE West/East - West was composed of areas with no previous high culture, everything modern was transported and founded there by Rome, Latin Roman culture was assumed by the peoples, unified language, government centres located here - East was areas older and pre-developed, more urbanized, much history, wealthier and higher population, Greek was main language conveyed by art and literature, many religions which were adopted and transported into the West, commercial centres in this area Pax Romana - Roman Peace, period of no wars or piracy anywhere, roads allowed safe travel - Expanded Northern to Hadrien’s Wall along the Scottish border Cultural Coherence - Bureaucracy controlled everything, intense tolerance of every one and every religion - Common standard of living across the Empire - Common currency, roads enabled trade and people to flow across the Empire along with the transport of soldiers, international trade(ie China, Uganda, Arabia, Ireland, Denmark) - Recognized in 212 CE, majority of subjects in conquered areas were now considered Roman citizens(instead of provincials) Decline 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE Imperial Succession - Role of Emperor was not hereditary or constitutional - Successor was chosen and installed in place before death - Civil war broke out due to rapid succession, increasing civil war meant army was becoming more influential in the decision of the Emperor Frontiers and Army -Every Soldier became a Roman citizen and served the empire for a time, given land, this changed in the 2 ndCentury with no more citizen-soldiers with no more volunteers, recruiting from greater distances but soon provincials refuse, Barbarian mercenaries were hired to protect the Empire -army soon loses loyalty to Rome and focuses on the commanders - Threats and pressure on the Germanic peoples - Civil wars distracted troops from tasks - 260 CE – Persians defeated Roman Army, Emperor Valerian captured and enslaved by Persians - Prestige of the empire lost, 270 CE Germanic invasions of the Italian areas, barely defeated, 1 stime in hundreds of years Rome needed to be walled in for protection, end of Pax Romana Economic Crisis - Recession in Italy, unequal distribution of wealth, period of welfare and circuses(feed and distract the people from rioting) - Slave labour was important, no expansion meant no new slaves - Shortage of gold and silver, trade imbalance with Asia meant a drain of money out of the Empire, led to inflation -Diocletian, ruled 284-305, completely changed the Empire, emphasised the absolute power of the Emperor -first articulation of divinity of the emperor -separated the civil and military authorities -army was made hierarchical, crack mobile troops formed to protect the frontiers -Emperor became the only link between the civil government and the army -new t
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