Early Roman History

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Early Roman History Journal for Latin 3 3/5/2007

What I Learned

This was a review of early Roman history. It started before the founding of Rome on April 21, 753 BCE. The region became an important port between the Etruscans and the Greeks. According to legend, the brothers Romulus and Remus were raised by a wolf. They fought and Romulus won, becoming the king of the seven hills of Rome. After that there were seven kings.

These kings became increasingly more powerful. The wealthy citizens began to resent that power. They overthrew the government and created a system where power comes from the people. The military united the aristocracy and the wealthy commoners together into a powerful unit.

Throughout the early life of the Roman civilization, the Romans were constantly under attack. The local Latins as well as the far off Gauls all tried to attack Rome. But the army was strong and powerful and eventually shook off all comers.

But the most brutal conflict was with Carthage, its neighbors across the sea. The first Punic War showed the Roman’s strength on land and sea. But in the second war, Hannibal came around Spain with elephants to attack Rome from the north. Finally, the Third Punic War destroyed Carthage.

As the Romans expanded, they took control of more and more colonies. They did not mean to, per say, but after all of their conquests, they had a lot of land. Overtime, however, it became seen as favorable to overwhelm opponents.

Personal Response

I liked the part where the Romans said they never attacked without being provoked. But as their civilization went on, the reasons grew thin. They were on a constant quest to proactively protect their borders. But the rapid expansion, created even more.

Also the beginnings of the term pyrrhic victory comes from. It means: a victory won at such great cost to the victor that it is tantamount to a defeat. It’s an interesting concept that you did so much to win, but you might as well have lost.

Also interesting is that the conquest of the Roman Empire was a byproduct and an afterthought. These stories seem to match greatly to the many “Civilization” similar games with armies, empire building and conquests. When I play them, I always want to expand and take everyone over.

But those games are a very popular, full of history, and semi-realistic. They are a great way to teach what it was like back then. It’s great to see people voluntary engrossed in history.