As Greece reached the height of its prosperity Rome which lye slightly to the west slowly began its rise as a civilization. The Greeks centered their culture around Art and literature whereas opposed to the Romans who settled their culture upon warfare and leadership. Without planning, would rise very steadily as an empire. Shortly before Christ most of the surrounding cities and nations were at peace under Rome's rule.
Early Romans kept no written records. Their history is so mixed up with fables and myths that historians have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction. Historians only know of two early works of Roman history, the history of Livy and the Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of ...view middle of the document...
Rome was now well launched on its way to world domination. One conquest led to another. Upper Italy, Sicily, Spain, Macedonia, Greece and Asia Minor were subdued and made Roman provinces. Intoxicated with their sudden rise to power, the new generation of statesmen departed from the wise policies of their great predecessors. They fought ruthlessly and ruined the countries they conquered.
Governors administrated most of the conquered lands. Wealth poured into Rome from all over the world, and the ancient simplicity of Roman life gave way to luxury and pomp. Morals were undermined, and vice and corruption flourished. Enriched office holders acquired estates and bought up the little farms of peasants. Soon the peasants were poor and homeless. The streets of the capital were now flooded with hordes of poverty-stricken people, ruined farmers, discharged soldiers and idlers from Italy.
War of class against class was soon to come. The Gracchi brothers came forward as champions of the people. They proposed laws to redistribute the public lands and to limit the powers of the corrupt and selfish senate. Both men fell victims to their foes, Tiberius in 133BC and Gaius 12 years later. The death of Tiberius marked the beginning of a century of revolution and civil war that ended in establishment of the Roman Empire.
The only thing that saved the vast structure of Roman power from crashing to final destruction was the emergence of two brilliant statesmen, Gaius Julius Caesar and his great-nephew Agustus (Octavian).
With the establishment of the Empire, the century of civil strife, which had also seen almost constant warfare abroad, was followed by two centuries of profound peace broken only by frontier warfare. At home literature and civilization flourished, and in the provinces responsible men held power. Roman citizenship was...