Essay on A Shift Of Culture During The Roman Empire

Essay on A Shift Of Culture During The Roman Empire

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There is no arguing that there was a shift of culture once the Roman Empire was formed. Before the Roman Empire, there was the Roman Republic, which differed in the fact that it was a different system of government. In the time period of the Roman Republic, there was no individual need to spread the likeness of Roman ideals to those who were not citizens. With the institution of the Roman Empire, citizenship was granted to more and more people, and the emperors took time to spread what they thought was best for the Romans. Much of this cultural transition took place during the Pax Romana, which was a long period of peace in the Roman Empire. Temples, libraries, and other community structures became very prominent in towns and cities where they were not before. Common practices, such as baths, were hit by the cultural ideals as well. Even though baths are often seen as having one purpose for a person, it is evident that the Roman Empire spread ideals that are reflected in the Roman people, as baths eventually developed more than one purpose because of them.
With Roman ideals taking hold in more parts of the empire, urbanization went on the rise. One could say that the time period of peace and rise of citizenship was the cause of this phenomena throughout the empire. “So popular were these baths, that by the fourth century A.D. there were almost 1000 public bath buildings in Rome alone” (311). Noticing the raw number of how many public baths were put into place, it is apparent that urbanization took hold, and more public structures were in demand. A small village likely would not take the time to construct a public bathing area for a small population, nor would the empire want to take time to build one for them, so the larger ci...


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...how, “Each restaurant or snack bar has its own huckster with his own recognizable jingle” (314). A lot of the new structures that were built, like arenas or libraries, were community based, just as the baths were. This community and luxury lifestyle were ideals displayed by the Roman empire that was adopted by many citizens throughout the population.
With the changes that came with the Roman empire, the lifestyles of Romans at the time were affected in many aspects of their lives. The public baths make for good examples of how their ideals were subjected to the general population. The spread of urbanization, idealized Roman art forms, and community oriented public places are all reflected in the usage of public baths in the Roman empire. Without the spread of these ideals, public baths would have either not had the same function, or would have not existed at all.

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