Roman History Part One
Roman history begins in a small village in central Italy; this unassuming village would grow into a small metropolis, conquer and control all of Italy, southern Europe, the Middle East, and Egypt, and find itself, by the start of AD time, the most powerful and largest empire in the world. They managed what no other people had managed before the ruled the entire world under a single administration for a considerable amount of time. This imperial rule, which extended from Great Britain to Egypt, from Spain to Mesopotamia, was a period of remarkable peace. The Romans would look to their empire as the instrument that brought law and justice to the rest of the world; in some sense, the relative peace and stability they Brought to the world did support this view.
They were, however, a military state, and they ruled over this vast territory by maintaining a strong military presence in subject countries. An immensely practical people, the Romans devoted much of their brilliance to military strategy and technology, administration, and law, all in support of the vast world government that they built.
Rome, however, was responsible for more than just military and administrative genius. Culturally, the Romans had a slight inferiority complex in regards to the Greeks, who had begun their city-states only a Few centuries before the rise of the Roman republic. The Romans, however, derived much of their culture from the Greeks: art, architecture, philosophy, and even religion. However, the Romans changed much of this culture, adapting it to their own particular worldview and practical needs. It is this changed Greek culture, which we call Graeco-Roman culture, that was handed down to the European civilizations in late antiquity and the Renaissance.
Our journey through this remarkable history begins with the land itself and the various peoples that inhabited it. Unlike most of the regions we've dealt with, Italy was a multicultural landscape that came to be dominated by this small village, Rome.