History as an academic subject can simply be defined as the study of past events in a chronological order. History is very wide and it only deals with things that happened in the past. Those who study history is referred to as Historians. This paper tackles a few historical questions.
What is meant by the term ‘Romanization’? Was military force the primary means of achieving the ‘pax Romana’?
The term Romanization can be defined as a process through which those who were conquered by the Romans were made or were assimilated to become like Rome. It was used by the Roman Empire to spread their influence to other populations. The Romanization was made possible through processes such as the spread of the romans Latin language, the adoption of the roman style of building and the adoptions of administrative and legal processes.
Many claim that the military force in Rome was the primary means of achieving Pax Romana. During pax Romana, the Roman Empire is said to have maintained a particular level of peace and stability within Rome. It was unknown to people living during this time. Because of the romans enlightened ruling system, legions and freedom of religion, many considered themselves part of the Roman Empire and therefore it was well held. For this reason, in the modern context there is the Pax Britannica and Pax American.
Pax Romana was largely based on the political nature of the Roman Empire. Rome had authority and power over the land resources surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. However, the peace in Rome was due to its Hegemonic Empire. The Roman Empire participated in trade of both goods and culture with other independent nations which surrounded it. The Roman Empire used to send lavish gifts to the rulers of nations, they traded with so as to maintain some sort of control over them. This made the rulers of these client states to do everything possible in their power to prevent any antagonism with Rome. They also acted as buffers to the Roman Empire (Petit, 52).
Some of the client states of Rome were barbarians who did not agree or support Romanization. This is probably because they were uncivilized nomads or semi-nomads. They were only impressed by the wealth of Rome, but they did not want anything to do with its culture (Hickman, 84). The barbarians were not the only enemies as in the East Rome had other enmities’ problems in the Iranian empires. This includes the Arsacid Parthia and Sassanid Persia of the Iranian empires. The conflicts between the two empires were, however minimized by Armenia acting as a buffer kingdom in which the Persians chose who would be king of Armenia but the king had to be approved by the Roman emperor.
The fact is that many accomplishments and advances occurred during the pax Roman period. Rome advanced economically and achieved economic prosperity. It also advanced greatly in engineering and arts. Good networks were built which facilitated the movements of military troops and improved communication. These military troops ensured that peace prevailed throughout the Roman Empire. The role of military troops in pax Romania can therefore not be underestimated. The pax Romana period, however, ended when plagues swept ROM end china during the third century (Hickman, 79).
What does the Epic of Gilgamesh tell us about the morality, value systems and religion of the early state societies in Mesopotamia?
The epic of Gilgamesh teaches us a lot about morality, values and religion of the early state societies in Mesopotamia. Firstly, love is portrayed as a motivating factor. Love is what fueled the change in Gilgamesh. Enkidu transforms into a noble man from wild man while his friendship with Gilgamesh transforms Gilgamesh from a tyrant and a bully into a hero and an exemplary king. The connection between them makes Gilgamesh realize his people’s interest. The friendship and love Gilgamesh and Enkidu have for each other makes Gilgamesh change into a better man. Gilgamesh grief’s the death of his friend Enkidu and this terror and grief makes him to start a quest for immortality (Kovacs, 91). Love is therefore undoubtedly a motivating factor of change in Mesopotamia society.
Another thing that comes out of this epic is the inevitability of death. Even in the epic in Mesopotamia death is inescapable to humans and only the gods live forever. Gilgamesh is bitter about this in the epic and hey says much when he is warned by Enkidu about their fight with Humbaba. When Enkidu is cursed of death and dies a painful death, Gilgamesh becomes terrified of meeting his own death and therefore begins a quest for immortality (Kovacs, 91). This quest, however is futile. Even though immortality is proven inevitable, Gilgamesh learns from his quest that humans may die, but the humanity continues to live. This epic confirms to us that the inevitability of death goes way back and it has always been the case ever since the creation of man.
Another aspect that comes out from the epic is the fact that gods are dangerous. In the epic, Enkidu and Gilgamesh bring out this aspect way too well. It is shown that the gods have their own laws, but they are often displayed as irrational and emotional. Just like in our modern Christianity teachings, gods are to be heard and obeyed. Even during those days gods imposed punishments to people when they were angered. Despite this the gods were also helpful just like in the modern society (Kovacs, 41).
Seduction is another aspect which comes out strongly in the epic of Gilgamesh. It speaks volumes in terms of the early society morals and values (Kovacs, 43). When the temple prostitute seduces Enkidu, he acquires his humanity and self-consciousness, but loses the animal tributes to him. Unlike the modern society, Mesopotamians’ believed sexual acts connected people to the goddess. Gilgamesh brings disaster upon himself and Enkidu when he spurns Ishtar, while he tries to seduce him. He spurns life while when he does that. This shows us how the early society viewed sex. They did not believe in honoring their bodies like the modern Christian societies believe.
The Neolithic revolution and the origins of agriculture caused a move from hunting/gathering to a farming economy. Discuss the social disadvantages of this transition. In what ways did it promote social inequality?
Neolithic revolution and the origin of agriculture refers to a time when there was advanced from simple hunting and gathering to a highly developed farming economy. Despite the many benefits that resulted from the evolution, there are also a number of social disadvantages that emerged. One is the increase in population pressure (Cole, 64). The rate at which people gave birth increased at a very high rate. This was as a result of increase in food production. People gave birth to too many children because they knew there was enough food to feed their children. Another issue of social inequality came up as a result of giving birth to too many children at short intervals. Women's health was affected which in turn affected their way of life. Men, however were not affected by this issue as they do not carry a child in their womb or give birth.
Another disadvantage of Neolithic transition is an increase in warfare. Warfare increased in different parts of the world as people started grabbing land so as to utilize it in farming (Cole, 64). This created enmity between different groups of people, thus affecting social relationships. Some people became greedy and selfish which fueled more hatred among our societies and the gap is still felt up to today. This was followed by the increase in the spread of disease as a result of the use of agrichemicals in farming and discovery of new plants. Communicable diseases emerged and spread widely. Some of these diseases include smallpox and measles. This in turn increased the rate of mortality thus affecting people socially.
Another social limitation that occurred was the rise of division of classes between people. This is an example of social inequality. People with more land were ranked high in the hierarchy while those with small or no land were at the bottom. This resulted in development of slave labor as the poor peasants were forced to work for the rich who had more land to cultivate so that they can be given food in return (Cole, 52). This widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Another issue that followed is the increase in leisure time for the rich since they obtained cheap labor from the poor in exchange for food. Loyalty also increased to leadership as a result of increased feasting.
Another social inequality problem that came up is the issue of gender inequality. Transformation from hunting and gathering to a farming economy resulted in an increase in reliance female labor. Female were forced to stay at home and cultivate and till the land for farming while men excluded themselves from cultivating duties. They viewed cultivating activities as the work of women, thus leading to gender inequality in our society. This belief is still widespread in many modern societies even today (Cole, 85).
Cole, Sonia M. The Neolithic Revolution. London: British Museum (Natural History, 2002. Print.
Hickman, Jonathan. Pax Romana. Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, 2009. Print.
Kovacs, Maureen G. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2001. Print.
Petit, Paul. Pax Romana. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Print.