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Scipio Aemilianus: Greek Culture and Urban Life

Scipio, who lived just a bit later than Cato, was an advocate of different views. he received traditional Roman education studying reading, writing, laws, rhetoric and the art of war. Yet he strongly favored Hellenistic influences in philosophy and culture. Greeks had enormous impact on Roman culture. Earlier Roman deities of nature were replaced by personified Greek gods. Earlier attitude to slaves as misfortunate people was replaced with the ideas of “speaking tools”.

Romans got accustomed to such elements of Greek culture as theatre and bath, as well as lavish lifestyle in general. Greek classics were translated in Latin. Hellenism stimulated the development of original Roman art and literature, although with heavy Greek influences. “New Romans” were blamed for their idleness and perversity, yet nothing could be done with the process that has been once initiated. The Late Republic The new imperial status of Rome could no longer be politically supported by the republic.

The empire needed a strong centre to appoint country officials, carry out massive construction works and collect taxes. Massive armies that were no longer armies of Rome, but the armies of the empire were commanded by generals who now claimed not only military, but political weight as well, while conquered peoples of Italy claimed a status of Roman citizens. Unrest in Rome and Italy Economic problems were not less acute. Military campaigns did not make common people rich. Very often Roman veterans returned to their farms to find them ruined or at leas unprofitable.

migration to large cities like Rome could not better their wellbeing, since Roman industry was based on slave labor leaving little poorly paid working places for free men. Resulting social tensions were somehow resolved by many reformers like Gracchi brothers, yet the system crisis was so deep that modification of the entire state was needed. Measures like colonization of Southern Italy by the landless, distribution of grain among the poor and granting Roman citizenship to Italics faced harsh opposition of Roman aristocrats.

Wars against Libya an German tribes made Roman senate to endue military leaders with new powers with Marius and Sulla being the most famous of them. Consulates of generals became a prologue to establishing imperial rule in Rome. The history of the late republic was a story of civil struggles between militant dictators. The army was now the only real power and the army leaders determined the course of Roman history.

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