- How did Greek culture influence Roman beliefs and practices?
The Greeks influenced Romans beliefs in several ways. Regarding religion, the Greeks added to their number of gods the Greek gods. This happened mostly in the Lower Peninsula where Greeks had colonies. Romans had the equivalent of Greek gods who controlled various aspects of life such as farming, security among other things. Much of Roman philosophy has been influenced a lot by Greek philosophers. Their art and architecture have partly borrowed from the Greeks. The Romans followed Greek style of literature, especially in prose and poetry. Stoicism was borrowed from Greek and Hellenistic philosophies. Cultic worship was also influenced a great deal by Greek culture. One such cult was the worship of Dionysus and Apollo, which were brought to Rome from the Greeks. The adoption of foreign gods by the Romans paved a way for the influence of their beliefs by other cultures, and one such culture was Greek culture (Craig et al., 2011).
2. How did the institutions of family and clientage and the establishment of patrician and plebeian classes contribute to the stability of the early Roman Republic? How important was education to the success of the republic?
Under clientage, the poor depended on the rich a situation that created two classes of people, namely the patricians and the plebians. The family was the center of life, and the father was the powerful figure in the family. He had similar powers in the family as those of the Imperium. Women status was protected, and a woman could only be divorced for serious offenses. The establishment of plebians and patricians was based on birth. The plebians were considered of lower class hence constituting of the poor while the patricians were the wealthy and constituted the upper class. The oldest male in each class was the one who was considered the head of the family, known as paterfamilias. The plebians and patricians never socialized at all and it was considered unlawful for a plebian to marry a patrician. It is, therefore, arguable whether this situation created stability or instability. The reason for this is that class division would most probably create conflicts especially when came to differing of the rules governing either class, or those who would feel despised. Maybe the only thing that could bring stability was clearly defined rules that governed how each person should be treated. However, more often than not, whenever discriminative rules apply, they have the ability to create conflict (Craig et al., 2011).
Education was viewed as paramount especially among the rich while the poor did not receive formal education. Therefore, education could have been used as a further means of distinguishing the classes in the Roman Republic (Craig et al, 2011).
3. Discuss Rome’s expansion to 265 B.C.E. How was Rome able to conquer and control Italy? In their relations with Greece and Asia Minor in the second century B.C.E., were the Romans looking for security? Wealth? Power? Fame?
The Romans conducted uninterrupted conquests. The only interruption came with the Gallic invasion, which they later recovered from. They used a strategy of founding colonies to secure a hold on the region. The construction of roads also enabled their armies to move more quickly and easily than their enemies. Another advantage the Romans gained was gaining large tracts of land that helped them feed their citizens. As a result, Rome was able to conquer Italy (Craig et al., 2011). It can be argued that the relations with Greece and Asia Minor were a search for security, wealth and fame and necessarily one of these. For one, Greeks, though admired by Romans and used in their literature came to be disdainful of them in second century BCE. They were also rivals in conquests. Therefore, to establish their authority in the region, their relations must be able to promise these. It is also argued that these relations opened up Rome to a lot of wealth (Craig et al., 2011).
4. Consider three theories that scholars have advanced to explain the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. What are the difficulties involved in explaining the fall? What explanation would you give?
There are three important theories advanced by scholars to explain the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. These include the spread of Christianity in the empire, the dictatorship and subsequent assassination of Julius Caesar and the land reforms that brought serious consequences to the farmers. It is, however, hard to explain the real reason for the fall. So many things were taking place at the same time. It is, therefore, hard to point at one as the cause of the fall. Indeed, some of these happenings could have strengthened the Empire rather than weaken it. However, one would be right to say that these things contributed to the fall in one way or another. The reforms to land had serious ramifications that could have possibly led to the strength of the Roman Empire being weakened. Leadership and influence by other cultures could have made the empire vulnerable and hence the beginning of their declining influence in the region (Craig et al., 2011).