World History Homework Four Answers - Student One

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Joseph M.

World History Homework Four

Instructor: Andy Schlafly

Read the lecture.

You can substitute in a question from honors into your regular assignment, if you are not in honors. You can also substitute in a question raised from class or the lecture.

1. Who is your favorite Roman emperor, and why? My favorite Emperor was Constantine I, the first Christian Emperor of Rome (ruled 306 to 337AD). His conversion was a big turning point for Christianity because because he not only reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, but issued the Edict of Milan, which allowed Christianity to spread throughout the Roman Empire. Constantine also made other big changes to the Roman Empire. He established Byzantium as the new imperial residence “Constantinople”, and also fortified many cities in the Empire, and suppressed many civil wars.

Excellent. Terrific choice!

2. Describe what the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire were, including approximate dates. The Roman Republic was when the senate had more power and there was no emperor. But the Roman Empire was started after the assassination of Caesar (in 44 B.C). and the civil war, when Octavian made a deal with the senate that made Octavian an emperor, and started the Roman Empire. Roman Republic: 509-27 B.C. Roman Empire: 27 B.C. – A.D. 476


3. Compare and contrast the Roman Empire in the West with the Byzantine Empire. First of all the Byzantine Empire was more powerful. It also managed to last much longer than the Western Roman Empire, for almost another millennium. They were both sacked by Attila but the western was eventually destroyed while the Byzantine Empire first paid him tribute, and then hired his soldiers as mercenaries after Attila’s death. Byzantium was also still the birthplace of many powerful rulers and generals, General Aetius, known as, “The last True Roman” was one of the many people that rose out of the Byzantine empire, whereas the western empire was in decline and depended on the Eastern Empire to help salvage any power.

Superb, may use as a model!

4. Comment on the significance of the Roman language, Latin. Latin was a very important language and was, in some ways, the most advanced language yet. Also, it was easier to learn than Greek, and the speaker can express concepts more efficiently with Latin. When the Romans invaded other lands they brought Latin with them, and as a result of that Latin became more widespread and this is also why so many languages in Europe have Latin roots.


5. Explain what Pax Romana was. Pax romana 27 B.C.-180 A.D. was a time period of growth and peace for the Roman Empire; its name means “time of peace” in Latin. It was a time of economic, military, and intellectual growth. Many new plays were written and many aqueducts were built, the Aeneid was written. It was also a time of peace, which gave the Roman military time to increase their power. It was a time of unity, since there were no major civil wars, and all of Rome was united under one set of laws.


6. Current events question: What about the decline of the Roman Empire reminds you of the United States today? (Possibilities could be: in-fighting for government positions like the Illinois Senate seat, moral decay, economic decline, weakness to attack by foreign enemies, etc.) I think that what most reminds me of ancient Rome is the fighting insurgents in other countries. Although the Romans conquered Germany, they had to continue to fight the insurgent Germans, and we continue to have to fight the Iraqis. The situation is very similar. Also, as America has achieved preeminence in the world, Americans have gotten used to an easy life with little self denial. This parallels what happened in Rome.

Good, particularly about the lack of self-denial. I'm not sure the expense of the Iraq War has been particularly large compared with other expenses.

7. Challenging question There should be an entire course taught about how Christianity overcame the anti-Christian Roman empire. I think there should be a course taught about it because it was a very important time period for Christianity and it illustrates great heroism and martyrdom. Also, it illustrates the struggle of a religion and its success, and should be taught because this knowledge, in my opinion, is good for any future theologian. Even if you are not a future theologian it is still a very interesting and important part of world history.

Excellent ... and you can teach this, right???

Honors Questions (answer any 3 in addition to the above questions)

2. Which was more influential, the Roman law or the Roman legions? I think that the Roman legions were more influential because the Roman law would not have been as widespread if it were not for the power of the legions. Also, the legions made and broke many countries and kingdoms, such as Carthage, Britain, and Gaul, and what they did not conquer they changed for hundreds of years.


4. Julius Caesar: a hero or a villain? It depends on your perspective, plus we only have the accounts of historians and Shakespeare, and Caesar’s “Gallic Wars”. I am sure that if I were a senator and I saw Caesar deliberately breaking the law I would be outraged and I would be afraid that he was breaking the law. Also although Caesar did win a lot of battles, we have to ask ourselves, is that why he is called a hero? And if that is the reason he is called a hero. We should ask ourselves, was it his strategic and tactical prowess that won those battles? Or the Roman military? If we answer the second for that question then we see that what Caesar did was to deliberately disobey senate rule and break the law, and then try to claim rule of Rome for himself.

Excellent points.

6. Attila the Hun: discuss this remarkable person. Attila the Hun was an extremely amazing military general. Whereas other Hun leaders were satisfied with the tribute that Rome gave them, Attila was not, and kept asking for more, until the Romans could not give anymore, whereupon Attila invaded Rome. He ransacked Rome and only one general could really stand up to him (General Aetius). And he was killed by the hordes of Hun cavalry men. Attila was very big on discipline; he ordered all Hun children to have their cheeks slashed open when they were young, to boost endurance. His cavalry men were also well trained. They could go for days on horseback; the horsemen would drink the blood of their horses out of the horse’s neck when the Huns were riding to war. Attila kept conquering and would not stop. He was never satisfied no matter how much gold the Romans gave him. The only reason that Attila did not destroy Rome was because the Pope talked to him. No one knows what he said, but it persuaded Attila.

Superb analysis about Attila, may use as model.
Perfect score again! 100/100! Congratulations!