Edward Gibbon 's Declaration Of The Reign

Decent Essays
Edward Gibbon’s declaration of the reign of the Five Good Emperors being the “most happy and prosperous” time in the history of the human race bases its claims on what could be viewed as “superficial” aspects of the empire. When studying the Roman Empire, it’s difficult to not admire the stunning works, such as the House of Fawn in Herculaneum or Hadrian’s Villa. The wealth needed to create such places indicates the prosperity within the empire during this time. Gibbons claimed understanding on happiness and prosperity seem to have less to do with the personal lives of the human race and more with what physically surrounded the human race during this period of reign. The claim by Gibbons seems to focus on the benevolent paternalism that…show more content…
If you were a prisoner of war coming to see the Forum in attempts to assimilate into this most happy and prosperous society, you were faced with images of your ancestors as captives. The forum catered to a specific class of Roman citizens and did not act as a place where the average Roman man or woman felt represented. In addition to the works of Trajan, Hadrian’s Wall can also superficially symbolize the happiness and prosperity of the Roman Empire as asserted by Gibbons. The emperor Hadrian built Hadrian’s Wall after returning from his visit to Britain. The construction of the wall was an attempt by Hadrian to set up permanent borders for the Roman Empire and show the strength that the Roman Empire had during the reign of Hadrian by doing so. The construction of the wall, while showing strength and wealth, also can symbolize the empires struggle with its borders, and even more so, citizenship. The wall itself symbolized the Roman Empire’s tensions with the peoples surrounding the empire. The wall showed how the empire needed a structural device to maintain some level of peace within the empire. The idea of the reign of the Five Good Emperors being a time of prosperity can also be understood when looking at the changing roles of women within the empire. Women during this time period were treated differently than the woman before them. While it’s difficult to assert definitively whether or not women were more respected during this
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