Life in the Early Roman World
In the early Roman world, slavery was an ever-present feature of the society. Slaves provided services in families, agricultural lands, mines, the military, production workshops, construction industries, and other services in the city. The increased number of slaves in the Roman empire enhanced the basis for forced labor, which became a common norm in the entire construction of the Roman state and society. In the Roman empire, complete mastery form of slavery where an individual practiced dominion over another person was so entrenched that slaves became very invisible. Leaders never realized such form of injustice to others.
In the early Roman empire, disparity in power, liberty, and the control of resources was accepted as part of life. Therefore, the element of privilege was not a general right but a choice benefit of the few. Moreover, in the early Roman empire, it was assumed that the freedom of some individuals was only possible as a result of others being incarcerated. Therefore, slavery was not supposed to be evil but rather a necessity by Roman citizens. Since slaves were recruited from battle losers as well as their ensuing offspring, this notion was also significant in mitigating and validating Roman, cultural supposed dominance and divine right to rule over other nations and kingdoms besides exploiting other people for any purpose.
Apart from the large population of slaves who were recruited as war captives, for instance, from the First Punic War, other slaves were also recruited through piracy, trade, and the children that were born to slave parents, particularly mothers. The children born to slave parents inevitably became slaves regardless of their fathers’ identity. Therefore, as the need for many slaves increased in the early Roman empire, slave trade markets flourished. In most instances, slave markets were present in large metropolises. In such towns, salves were paraded in the public square with signs around their necks. Such displays were mainly used as a way of advertising the virtues and capabilities of slaves to the likely buyers.
Generally, the entire early and later Roman state and cultural construction was built as a result of the exploitation of the slaves’ population. This was significant for the Roman empire since salves provided cheap and necessary services to their masters. Considered as objects or commodities, no slave received better treatment. Any fair treatment on the part of slaves was mainly as a way of preserving their value as workers or as assets that were being considered for future sale. Thus, some slave owners were generous while others were harsh. Therefore, slavery in the Roman world was important to the Roman masters and the empire at large since the labor was used to build the empire, which became one of the notable places around the world.
Gaius Julius Caesar was undeniably a man of unlimited achievement. Despite the fact that he was assassinated before he could finish his work, all that he attained crowned him among the great leaders in the Roman Empire. His name was adopted by other rulers, for instance, Kaiser and Tsar despite the fact that he was not an emperor. Generally, Caesar was always driven by an ambition. As a result of his character, he was made a general by Alexander the great. As a general, he became the greatest leader that Rome had. In the military battles, Caesar conquered several new territories, which were later controlled by Rome. Among the greatest wars that Caesar won was the Battle of Alesia in 52BC, which was an overbearing battle. His many conquests amplified his military competence. Caesar is considered as one of the remarkable General in military as a result of his achievements. However, one thing to note about him is that is his achievements were driven by his motivation. His military capability enabled him to garner admiration of the populations and the devotion of his armies. Politically, Caesar was also acknowledged for his great creativity. The leader had the utmost natural talent for political eloquence. He nurtured this talent determinedly, which became a powerful aspect in his subsequent control of Rome. Furthermore, Cesar also practiced law that made him a great and bright admiration as a result of his articulateness as an advocate.
Augustus was a ruler in the Roman empire from 23 September 63 BC to 19 August 14 AD. He was the creator of the Roman Empire and its former Emperor. Augustus was born as Gaius Octavius and later changed his name to Augustus. He was also Julius Caesar’s niece. In 43 BC, the great Julius Caesar was murdered. According to his will, his nephew, Octavius, referred to as Octavian, was declared his heir. In his initial mission, he fought to retaliate the death of his uncle Caesar hence defeating Antony and Cleopatra in the Actium battle. He then undisputedly became the ruler of Rome.
Instead of following Caesar’s footsteps by declaring himself a dictator, Octavian created a principate. This was a system of kingdom that was ruled by an emperor who was at the whelm of power forever. This was the time when he adopted the name Augustus, which implied the proud. Augustus gained the eventual control of all facets of the Roman state, mainly making the army under his direct command.
Later on, Augustus was acknowledged for his greatness by introducing a new program of re-establishment and social reform. The program triggered the construction of some spectacular and remarkable new buildings in the empire. Moreover, Augustus was also a patron to Virgil, Horace, and Propertius, who were the main poets in the Roman Empire. Generally, while in power, Augustus introduced a period of comparative peace referred to as Pax Romana, or Roman peace. Regardless of the unceasing warfare and the one year-long civil war due to the imperial succession, the Mediterranean region experienced total peace for more than two centuries as a result of Augustus reign. Moreover, Augustus is acknowledged for enlarging the empire intensely through occupying Egypt, Pannonia, and Raetia, and enlarging possessions in Africa.
Augustus is also acknowledged for establishing the transformed Roman system of taxation, advancing road networks with an approved courier system, and forming a reputable and standing military. Moreover, many of the metropolises in Rome were rebuilt under his reign besides recording his own endeavors in the Res Gestae Divi Augusti. Nonetheless, as a result of the military disaster, the death of Augustus’ grandsons and distress in his last years clouded his attainments. This made him to become more autocratic, for example, he exiled the famous poet Ovid who ridiculed his moral reorganizations. Augustus later died on 19 August 14 AD.
Christianity and the Roman Empire
The history and spread of the early Christiaan church was a significant mileage in the religious world. In the Roman Empire, the spread of early Christianity was made more easy because of the formation of the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, Christianity encountered several challenges because some of its philosophies were occasionally misinterpreted hence affiliation to the sect could be treacherous.
Despite the fact that Jesus had died, his message was still strong. The word and his teachings had spread all through the Jewish communities in the entire Roman Empire. This was made effective through vibrant apostles, for instance, Paul and the utilization of the modern communications tools that were present in the Roman Empire.
Several reasons are attributed to the collapse of the Roman Empire. The rise of Christianity contributed, but not insignificant, to the decline of the Roman empire because it resulted in the erosion of the traditional Roman beliefs and values. This caused conflicts between Christians and individuals who retained the ancient pagan ideologies. As a result of these conflicts, several Christians were persecuted until a time when the first Christian Emperor of Rome, Constantine, prohibited the persecution. Christianity alone did not lead to the collapse of the Roman Empire. In the political downfall of the empire, several factors contributed, for instance, political corruption, economic problems, and many leaders who were after their own personal gain instead of the general welfare of the common populations.
The people of 300s to the 500s AD were willing to shed their long-lasting religion for a new one that was significant. This was important because they were ready to incorporate a more unperturbed approach to ancient Jewish laws that were entrenched to the Jewish tradition hence leading to the swift spread of Christianity. As many people started adopting the new form of religion, they moved away from the austere Jewish rules.
In the middle Ages, the Christian church and faith continued to grow into a more controlled system, which later was accepted in the empire and became the official religion across the entire Roman Empire.