World History Homework Four Answers - Student Seven

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Michelle F

1. Who is your favorite Roman emperor, and why?

Hadrian. He was one of the five good emperors, he helped keep the Pax Romana, he built up Rome’s defenses, including the famous Hadrian’s Wall, and made the wise decision to abandon an economically wasteful area of land.

Excellent, good enough for the model answers!

2. Describe what the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire were, including approximate dates.

The Roman Republic existed from 509 B.C.– 46B.C. A mostly reasonable and just system compared to some of the forms of government in history and even compared to dame that are seen today. Not entirely fair, however, as the patricians, who only made up a small portion of the population, occupied most of the government offices. As the Republic continued, though, the plebeians were given more power, and the Republic became more democratic. The government was not always a Republic during this time period, though it is called the Republic. There were a few years of dictatorship. In times of great military struggle a dictator would be appointed for a time, because the Romans recognized the fact that the Senate could be slow and that swift, confident decisions were needed in such times. The Roman Empire was the result of corruption and rivalry in the government. It existed until the fall of the Western Roman Empire, from 27 B.C. until 476 B.C. The Senate was technically still an active part of the ruling of Rome, although in practice, it was more of an advisor to the Emperor. The Emperor was the real ruler. He was the dictator, chief priest and the imperator, a title that meant he was the commander of the armies, sort of a commander in chief, but with even more power.

Fantastic answer: thorough and insightful.

3. Compare and contrast the Roman Empire in the West with the Byzantine Empire.

The West had been war ravaged; the East did not see much conflict after it was conquered by the Romans and became part of the empire. The Eastern side’s military was less important as attackers tended to go for Rome. The East side also was more economically stable, with a tendency to be wealthier. The primary language in the Western side was Latin; in the Byzantine Empire the language of trade was Greek. Also the Eastern Empire continued to expand, while the Western Empire was to busy trying to hold on to the land it had to gather more territory.

Superb again, may use as a model.

4. Comment on the significance of the Roman language, Latin.

Latin became the common language of trade in the Western Roman Empire, while the Eastern side tried to adopt Latin as their trade language, but eventually reverted back to Greek, as the Greek influence in that area was still very strong. Latin was a very precise language that could express ideas very quickly. Later, it became the official language of the Church. Still studied today, Latin became the root for many languages that are still spoken today, including French, Spanish, and Italian.

Good, especially with an explanation of language use in the East.

5. Explain what Pax Romana was.

Pax Romana was a time of peace, prosperity and relatively good rulers, from 27 B.C. until 180 A.D. There were some minor wars, the Jewish rebellion and Diaspora, but all things considered, it was a fairly peaceful time, especially after the dictatorship of Julius Caesar and the bloody Triumvirate.


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.)

Vulnerability to foreign attack. With the laxness of guard on both of America’s borders, we are just as exposed to attacks as the Romans were when they could not defend all of their borders because there were simply too many. If the average Mexican can get in with such ease and in such numbers, why not the intelligent, scheming terrorists, too? They have even more resources to help them, and they are persistent, and won’t give up. I think that the attitude towards the border, especially the southern one, is too laidback. And who is to say that the Mexicans can’t be terrorists too? Who determines that only people from the Middle East are dangerous? The people illegally immigrating could be criminals. Although the barbarians were blatant in their attacks against the Romans, I think it bears much similarity to terrorists today.

Superb analogy between terrorists and barbarians.

7. Challenging question (choose "a" or "b"): (a) All of world history so far in this course can be attributed either to God paving the way for Jesus, or the devil creating obstacles for Him. Discuss.

I think that is entirely possible, but how would you know what events are obstacles, and which pave the way? Was the fall of Rome helpful or hindering to Christianity? And WWI? We don’t know what would have happened if things had occurred differently, we can only guess. Maybe Christianity would have spread to the Middle East faster and been stronger there if Rome had not fallen. But maybe Rome would have become more immoral and would have hindered the spread of Christianity. Some things are easy to tell. I would say that WWII was a hindrance, that communism is a hindrance. But maybe it encourages stronger faith. Maybe there are more Christians than there would be if the government was fair. Studies have shown that Christianity grows faster under persecution. I would say that, yes, everything is either furthering God’s plan or hindering it. But I would also say that it can be hard to differentiate.

You explain your position very well, and point out the difficulties in differentiating between events.

H1. Do you agree that the Romans really lacked any understanding of an objective truth, as reflected by Pilate's response to Jesus at His trial? Please discuss.

No, I think the question was sarcastic, or facetious. Truth is factual. The opposite of truth is a lie. The Romans, being human, would have all lied at some point. When you lie, you are saying something that you know to be false. Something that you know is not the truth. Countries had spies, even back then, for the purpose of learning the truth, so they would not have to simply go with the lies their enemy told them. In court, the truth is required. Under Hammurabi’s Code, you would be punished for bearing false witness, also known as lying. To determine what a lie is, you have to have some understanding of truth. Pilate could have meant that lies were so common it was difficult to tell what truth was. I doubt that it was an actual question of the existence of truth.

You may be right. You certainly explain your position well! I would suggest, however, that this kind of "truth" is more general than

H2. Which was more influential, the Roman law or the Roman legions?

Roman law. Roman legions were very good for their time, but no one in this day and age would use them as their model. Roman law is the model that the U.S. is based off of. The Greek democracy was part of what inspired the U.S. government, but it was mostly the Romans. One of the improvements we made was to divide the legislature into two parts, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Superb point about how the Roman law is still influential, and the Roman government is too. May use as a model.

H4. Julius Caesar: a hero or a villain?

A villain. He was a large part of the reason that Rome ceased to be a Republic and became an Empire. I don’t think his action were so heroic that they could not have been done by another person or general. The Republic had been getting so much more fair, and, except for the bickering amongst politicians, was a model government. He ended all of this by becoming dictator for life. I think that was an extremely selfish, power hungry action, and not one of a hero.

Superb answers! One of the best homework papers in the entire class by anyone. 100/100. Congratulations!--Andy Schlafly 09:02, 3 March 2009 (EST)