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Western Civilization: A Very Brief Overview from the Romans to the Counter-Reformation

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Rome’s greatest achievements was to go beyond the limited political process that of the city-states and to develop a world-state with the different nations of the Mediterranean. In the eight century, B.C., peasant communities, along with Etruscan cities south to the Greek cities were absorbed by the Romans. Throughout this century, Roman acquired architectural styles and skills in road construction, sanitation, hydraulic engineering to include underground conduits. By the sixth century, Rome evolved into a republic, landowners, aristocrats and patricians overthrew the Etruscan king and religion governed the people, dictated the laws and legitimized the rule of the patricians. As they evolved the Romans loosened the grip between religion…show more content…
The expansion of Rome occurred on three stages; the unification of the Italian peninsula, the collision with Carthage as Rome emerged as ruler of the western Mediterranean; and the conquest of the Hellenistic states. Rome’s successes of conquests was largely due to the superior military organization, training and iron clad discipline. Rome and the Mediterranean world enjoyed two hundred years of peace known as the “Pax Romana,” the Roman peace. During this period, Rome was enjoying peace and prosperity even after the death of Augustus. The Romans saw the “Pax Romana” as the fulfillment of Rome’s mission; a world-state providing peace, security, ordered civilization and the rule of law, “the time of Happiness.’ During this period, thousands of cities served as the centers of “Greco-Roman civilization. This process of expansion continued through the Hellenistic Age. Conditions for women and slaves improved and because Rome was engaged in fewer wars, the practice of freeing slaves was common. By preserving the Greco-Roman civilization and instituting a rational system of law to use for all humanity helped achieved the trend for universalism and cosmopolitism through the Hellenistic Age. The “Pax Romana” had serious defects, communication was poor and roads were building for military use rather than for commercial purposes. As such, transportation of goods by land was trecherious and the cost of goods increased substantially. The Greco-Roman
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