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The Struggle For Peace In Early Rome

1743 words - 7 pages

Every great city has its center. New York has Times Square. Boston has its Fanueil Hall marketplace, and London has its Piccadilly Circus. And Ancient Rome had its Forum Romanum. The Forum, which is the Latin word for "open space," was the administrative and corporate heart of Rome. Generally this word referred to the open space in any Roman town where business, judicial, civic, or religious activities were conducted. A typical forum might be surrounded by temples, shops, and basilicas. The Roman Forum, though, was designed by the architect Vitruvius. He felt that the proportions needed to be 3:2, the length being the 3. (Kent School District) For centuries, the Roman Forum was the site of ...view middle of the document...

In the first Punic war against Carthage between 264 and 241 BC Rome had acquired dominance over Sicily from Carthage, and had maintained its superiority to Carthage in the Second Punic War against Hannibal. (Camden) We also begin finally to see the change of the Roman republic to a state controlled more by the people and less by the aristocrats. We can also see this transition evident in the forum: in a time of the democrat. Having been mindleesly fueled by the legislation brought by Cato the Elder, a censor of Rome, in 145 BC to be precise, Gaius Licinius Crassus changed the place of legislative assembly from the Comitium to the Forum. Here the common people could witness the process of Roman lawmaking and thus make the people more invovled. (Cunningham) Bickering between the patricians and the aristocrats and common men, however, continued for a long time. Many a political and social debate took place on the Rostra by the orators of the day. It was not long however, that the security of the Roman state was ripped apart by the tragic civil wars that were to follow Rome until it had become an empire, starting with the terrible fighting between Marius and Sulla. (Kent School District) It was in 107 BC that a new era began for the Roman Republic, the brewing of civil war, for it was in 107 BC that Gaius Marius was elected to be consul. Marius was disliked by much of the old aristocracy of Rome, as he was a self-made man who became a patrician by working his way up the political ladder from plebeian. He had a very productive consulship: in 105 he captured Jugurtha, ending the war in Africa, and was elected consul again and again until the turn of the century, defeating the Teutones in Gaul and the Cimbri in Italy. On Marius' staff, however, was one crafty young man named Lucius Cornelius Sulla. (Camden) The Italian tribes, having been denied Roman citizenship for a long while, finally revolted until those south of the Po River were granted citizenship. A year after this Social War ended, Mithridates, king of Pontus, a nearby country, invaded the province of Asia and brutally killed over 80,000 Romans. Sulla, then consul, was made commander of the army. But when it was suggested that Marius should take over, Sulla occupied Rome, forcing Marius to flee to a safer place, Africa. A list of proscriptions then forced many of Sulla's political opponents to be slaughtered. Yet when Sulla left for Greece to defeat Mithridates, Marius returned and took Rome again by force, again slaughtering many of his own countrymen. When Sulla returned again to Rome in 83 BC, he established himself as dictator and yet again a great number of people were executed. (Camden) Due to such social upheaval in Rome, one would think that construction in the forum was halted. Quite the contrary happened, though. The forum changed as rapidly as the political leaders of the time did. In 83 BC, when the Capitol, also known as the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline, outside the Forum,...

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