World History Homework Four Answers - Student Three

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AddisonDM 16:28, 25 February 2009 (EST)

1.Marcus Aurelius. I like how he was called the “Philosopher king.” It kind of fulfills Plato’s vision of a State ruled by philosophers. He was also hardworking and began an effective military campaign against the northern Germanic tribes. Finally, he was not involved in any power grabs or assignation attempts.

Excellent insight. May use as a model.

2.The Roman Republic (509 BC-27 BC) was Rome and its territory under a republican form of government. For most of the Republic's life power was shared largely between three major institutions, the Senate, the Tribunes (generally, the common people), and the Consuls. The Constitution of the Roman Republic had some idea of separation of powers. It was the Roman Republic which developed the successful Roman military and legal system, fought the Punic Wars, and was ruled by Julius Caesar. The Roman Empire began in 27 BC with the reign of Augustus and ended with the deposition of the last emperor in AD 476. The major difference was that power was now primarily not in the hands of the people but in the hands of emperors, who became increasingly egotistical and power-hungry. It the Empire phase of Rome that experienced the Pax Romana.


3.The greatest similarity between the Roman and Byzantine Empires is that they were originally part of the same State. The Byzantine Empire was split off from the Roman Empire by Diocletian in AD 293. Though reunited with the West in 323 by Constantine, the East remained culturally and economically different and superior. There are more differences than similarities. For example, the East spoke Greek while the West spoke Latin. The East, due largely to its economic strength, survived hundreds of years longer than the West.


4.Latin was undoubtedly an influence in the success of the Roman Empire. Aside from its own qualities, such as being able to use few words to express complex or powerful ideas, it also served as a uniting force of Roman culture, and perhaps most importantly, the language of the Law. The fact that Latin remains a prestigious language today is a testament to its linguistic and cultural strength.

Terrific insight about Latin being "the language of the Law." Good use of wikifying also! May use your insight as a model answer.

5.Pax Romana (27 BC-AD 180), Latin for “The Roman Peace,” was a period of (relative) peace and stability for the Roman Empire. There were military conflicts, but no major wars. Pax Romana was also a time of cultural and engineering achievement, such as the improvement of roads and the creation of aqueducts. The “Five Good Emperors” reigned during the Pax Romana as well.


6.Many elements that caused the fall of Rome are, in some way or another, present in our country now. Most notably is economic crisis. Rome’s economic state declined as inflation occurred and money was sent to the East in trade, depleting the West of precious metal coinage. This situation is roughly comparable to a combination of the current economic crisis and the huge amount of trade with China, creating large amounts of debt. Related to this is the rising unemployment rate and the collapse of business. And when more people are out of work, less productive work gets done and the culture begins to devolve. Immoral entertainment, harsh taxes, unrest over foreign invasion, and other sentiments were both a cause and an effect in the decline of Rome, and to a lesser degree these sentiments may lead to decline in our country too. (However, while these similarities undeniably exist, I don’t believe that the United States will actually decline very much. I actually believe it will be greatly improved, see Essay:The Coming Fifth Great Awakening in America)

Fantastic answer, one of the best in the class all year. May use this as a model answer. You're making it difficult for me to choose the best!

7.(a) Almost anything can be interpreted as anything, but let’s take some major events. These can be interpreted as God paving the way for Christ: the rise of Greece, and its enlightening language, logic, and philosophy over the violent, non-individualistic cultures of the East; Alexander the Great’s conquest and spread of Greek culture; the destruction of Carthage, an evil city which performed infant sacrifice, by Rome. These could be interpreted as work against Christ: the warlike nature of Rome and their fierce allegiance to their gods, which paved the way for the persecution of Christians, and the rise of malleable religions and philosophies like Hinduism and Buddhism. Of course, this analysis is biased by our reliance on Western Civilization. To view Eastern religion as the work of the devil may be more cultural than religious. Rather than speculate about the work of God and the devil, I would rather describe those philosophies which are demonstrably harmful to Christianity as having tried but missed the mark.

Terrific analysis, but I think you're overly concerned about potential bias. If you said that 2+2=4, which you qualify that with a caveat of bias?


1.Certainly what sense of truth there was in Rome would not comport with our definition of truth. However, I don’t think they can be described as lacking a sense of truth completely. They had certain principles and practices which could not be broken without disgrace. The greatest example is “Piety”: in Rome, piety meant loyalty to family, country, and the gods. Military and religious obligations were viewed as crucially important, and these principles, whatever their validity, suggest a sense of objective truth to me. However, if Christianity brought “real” truth, then pre-Christian cultures had shadows of truth- a sense, but not a concrete description. I believe this is probably what the Romans had. Finally, Pilate’s views on truth do not seem necessarily indicative of Rome’s views on truth; Pilate was so violent and cruel he was removed from his office by other Romans, so perhaps his remark “What is truth?” was more of a scoff by a man without many principles, than a genuine question.

Good, thorough analysis. Well done.

2.Though the lecture claims that the legions were more influential, I think it was the laws. The Roman Empire could not have formed without the legions, but Rome itself could not have lasted without its laws. Good laws provide stability in a culture, and allow it to prosper further. Thus, the Roman Empire could not really have survived without Roman law, either. The law really holds the State together, while the military provides an important, but less vital function.


6.Attila the Hun was one of those people who, though violent and cruel, was so effective that you almost can’t help but praise him. His ruthless efficiency in war was even greater than that of the Romans. But in the end he got what he probably deserved. I wonder though if he was really persuaded by Pope Leo to leave Rome, or if there was a more pragmatic reason. The Huns appear to be very pragmatic- they did what worked, not what was right.

Superb again.
Terrific answers, may use two as model answers. Congratulations on another perfect score: 100/100.--Andy Schlafly 20:00, 1 March 2009 (EST)