The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

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The City-state of Rome became a republic in 509 BC. Rome fought numerous battles to become what it was at its height. It all started with the Punic wars. After they won, there was no stopping them. By the first century BC, Rome controlled most of the known world. (Mahoney, 2001) With Augustus Caesar began the two centuries of the Pax Romana. During this time all of Rome became a collection of states rather than conquered provinces. The only threats that ever came were from the unorganized barbarian tribes who's conquest brought nothing to the Empire. (Mahoney, 2001) The rise of the Roman Empire had many contributors. These factors would include strength in the military, society, leadership, religious, and architectural aspects of the Roman Empire. The Roman army was the largest of the group though. The army was at first only meant to defend the city of Rome but later set out to conquer. The army was first compiled of volunteers, but later as they conquered new lands, the people of those lands were drafted into the army. Not only did they have to defend the land that they had but they also had to protect the newly conquered land from revolt or invasion. (Mahoney, 2001) Roman society was also well organized. The people were split into two classes: slaves and citizens. The citizens had many different ranks, and had special rights that non-citizens didn't. By allowing the citizens to have rights, like voting for instance, they had a sense of belonging, which in turn helped them to stand behind their country. Without the support of the citizens the empire would have never reached the height that it did. (Mahoney, 2001) 1 The second most important factor in the rise of the empire was its leaders. Besides Julius Caesar who... ... middle of paper ... ...ment of roman architecture was the arch. It was originally brought to Rome by the Etruscans. Bridges and many other structures were typically supported by a series of arches. So were the 6 aqueducts that would have many layers. Another architectural achievement by the Romans was the aqueducts which brought water to long distant cities. The water would flow into reservoirs and from there it was transferred through pipes. They had drains and sewers that would carry away waste water. The aqueducts were considered evidence of the empire's greatness. Another structure that involved the use of arches was the amphitheater. It had a flat arena which was surrounded by a tier of seats. It was built during the first centuries of the Common Era. Now the coliseum is a magnificent architectural achievement because it was able to seat fifty thousand people (Staccioli, 2000).

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