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Virtues Of Rome Essay

863 words - 4 pages

The Virtues of Rome

The disgrace of a man's wife is the driving force behind a revolution. In today's world that may seem like a massive overreaction, but in the early Republic of Rome it perfectly describes the virtues that they held sacred for both the men, women and the Republic itself. Livy's The Rape of Lucretia and the Origins of the Republic tells the story of how the honor of a young wife is forcibly taken away from her by the son of the tyrannical king, and with this atrocity spurring the revolution that would take Rome away from kings and into the hand of the people.

The virtues of a Roman man were most visibly presented in what they would look for in their wives. They ...view middle of the document...

This is important because it shows that she is not afraid of death, but rather is afraid of dishonoring her family and husband. It shows that women in Roman society valued their worth to their men. It was the own women's chaste and honor that they saw as being valuable. So much so that Lucretia says, “The traces of another man are on your bed, Collatinus. But the body only has been violated, the mind is guiltless; death shall be my witness.” She valued her honor so much that she thought that she was no longer worthy of living.

As it has been shown, both the men and women embodied what the Roman empire stood for. They saw themselves as noble and just, while anyone who was not Roman was considered a foreigner and barbarian. On page 137 of The West: a Narrative History it is stated that “Stories circulated in the Greek and Latin worlds about the luxury and permissiveness of Etruscan society. Romans, who saw themselves as hard and meager works were appalled that the Etruscans would “feast” twice a day. Also it did not help the Romans opinion when they saw the Etruscan kings as being tyrants. All they needed was a tiny spark to ignite the fiery hatred they had for them to start a revolution, and that spark would show itself to be the rape of Lucretia. It was Lucius Junius Brutus who after seeing...

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