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The Failed Objective – An Evaluation Of Imperialism In Greco Roman Civilization

1418 words - 6 pages

Whether militaristic, economic or political motives – there has always been an objective and goal motivating imperialism. In Macedonia, Alexander went on his conquest of the east; this is a prime example of the previous notions. Another example would be that the Romans brought Europe under one hegemonic power. This essay, will evaluate Greco-Roman civilizations, and the impact they had on the ancient and classic age. The essay will begin by providing a brief history on Greece and Rome, thus highlighting their imperialistic achievements through excerpts from the “World History” CD-ROM and the text “The Human Venture” written by Anthony Esler. These primary sources are ...view middle of the document...

It is unlikely that any state wants to be controlled, and because of this, imperialistic nations have usually encountered rebellion from the lands they wish to acquire. Within this document, one of the weaknesses however, is that it does not elaborate on the perspective of the Athenian people. Athens at one time was the most powerful state in Greece, now Macedon is conquering them. This primary source would be strengthened if the commoners’ perspective was elaborated on.Demosthenes was however correct to warn of the Macedonians. In 340 B.C.E; Alexander “The Great” began a twelve-year campaign eastward through Eurasia until he reached Northern India (Esler 85). During this conquest, Alexander spread Greek influence throughout the continent (Esler 85). This is shown by his strategy of marrying off his Macedonian officers to thousands of Persian women, he founded twenty-five Greek city-states, and also married a Persian princess, declaring himself king and god (Esler 85).At the time, one would say that the Greeks conquered more than anyone could imagine. Their lasting influence and power however could not match the empire that would emerge a century later. The Roman Empire during the last three centuries B.C.E would flourish to become the political centre of the Mediterranean world (Esler 159). In an attempt to exemplify the magnificence of this Empire, “The Glory of The City”, written by Strabo was documented to illustrate the advantages of Roman city life.[The Romans] paved the roads, cut through hills, and filled up valleys, so that merchandise may be conveyed by carriage from the ports… [T]he supply of water from the aqueducts… and almost every house [was] finished with water pipes and copious fountains (Davis 146).This document is beneficial in that it illustrates what life was like in Rome during the height of the Empire. The people seemed very prosperous; this could be due to the wealth brought from external territories. Within this document, the weakness however is that it does not illustrate what life was like for the poor – these people rarely seen such prosperity. What we can formulate from this statement is that the class differences from the wealthy and poor grew significantly in Rome.The poor however were needed in the Roman Empire; they were on the front lines of the military. Roman imperialism was swift. By 200 B.C.E, Carthage was defeated and in the second century, Greece was conquered. During the first century, western Persia, Ptolemaic and Egypt also fell to the Romans (Esler 159). Nations are always the strongest before their collapse; this was certainly the case for the Roman Empire. After centuries of prosperity, they finally fell in the fifth century C.E (Esler 165). Leading the rebellion were the Germanic people living under Roman rule: the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals and the Franks. After invading, these Germanic tribes established their own kingdoms all across the western half of...

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