Roman Forum And How It Changed Society
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Published: Thu, 27 Apr 2017
The Roman Forum was the birthplace of Rome and the birthplace of growth and expansion. The Roman Forum, founded in 753 B.C.E was centered between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. The Forum had many famous temples, arches, and basilicas that expanded as different leaders progressed through time. Some of the more noted temples of history are the temples of Vesta, Saturn, and Septimus Severus. These monuments are designated toward the leaders of the time such as Romulus, Augustus, and Caesar. The Roman forum is the primary location of society’s thorough growth in Western culture because of the upstanding countenance of what an ideal leader is determined to be, the consistency of evolving change and expansion and the well successful lasting republic that is mirrored in modern day society. The leaders of the Forum made change with their republic system and utilized their resources to become the principle of achievement.
The success of great leadership is how they motivate a diverse community to separate their differences and come together as equals, establishing a respected leader and sustained citizenry. A great leader lives through generations of an evolving and growing people who learn from the last and improve their theories. Great leadership much like the people guided by it, changes through a transition of modification. The start of leadership and the expansion of it started with the Roman Forum and have been utilized in today’s society through leaders such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama.
The founder of Rome lived on to become a great and successful leader. This was Romulus. Legend says that Romulus and his brother Remus had found the starting point of Rome and when Remus was killed by Romulus he took it over. Romulus started his community by bringing in outlaws and criminals into the city. In order to populate it he stole women from the Sabines and Italian tribe. (Heaton 1, 3-5) After his population was flourishing he started developing his country. Romulus slowly begins the creation of the republic through decisive changes. This shows that through his past he becomes a great leader of Rome just like George Washington. Romulus put together the first army. (Plutarch 1, 16). The establishment of a good defense was the first look at how they would quickly turn into a European superpower. Romulus has now created a devoted flourishing and well fortified start of a civilization. This shows that he was a great leader and that he was expanding his area. Romulus was much like George Washington. On April sixth 1789 he was elected president after winning the freedom of the United States from England. He won by using trickery to deceive his opponents and had help of the French to give them a boost (Emma, J. Fontes, R. Fontes 1, 1-21). The way he had managed to rally his forces to fight for what they believed is similar to what Romulus did to start out their system. The following quote from Peacemakers and Breakers: George Washington demonstrates his actions during his presidency, “George Washington tried to be a fair president. He worked with both political parties. George also listened to the people and tried to fix whatever problems arose. Washington supported the Bill of Rights, which made sure the government did not take away America’s freedom.” (Emma, J. Fontes, R. Fontes 1, 18). This reflects the work of the Roman leader, thus showing that the Roman leadership has been used throughout history exemplifying its success.
Another comparison of leaders through Roman history and American history is the comparison between Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln. Both led great wars. Caesar leading the fight against the Gaul’s and coming out victorious and Lincoln ending the civil war. Caesar was popular and became a very powerful consul of both Rome and Gaul or modern day France (Trueman, C. 2000). He had popularity on his side which fed his power. Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves of the southern states and win the civil war (Schoemann, D. 2012).
Another eerily close similarity is the fact that both men were assassinated. Both men were killed because of someone who did not agree with the use of their authority. Caesar was assassinated by Marcus Brutus and co-conspirators on March 15, 44 B.C.E and Lincoln was killed exactly a month later in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. Another interesting point is that they were both killed in highly public places, a theatre and an altar. The connections shown through both the assassinations and the leadership of both people shows how the influence of Rome still continues today, from how to change an unpleasant opinion and leadership methods. From history it can be understood that leaders need to be popular and careful with their authority for the misuse of it will result in their termination. (Trueman, C. 2000), (Schoemann, D. 2012).
Change is the ongoing phenomenon that is the result of the Roman Forum beginning developments in expanding their land, creating effective utilities like a sewage system and sustainable strong architecture. From the start of the Forum the land was constantly increased for security and control while the systems invented by the Romans were created to set the class apart from those before them whom they copied. The Greeks had poor hygiene and is one thing that the Romans effectively modified. The aqueducts or the arch was a Roman innovation and proved to be an effective way of holding up structure. From developing land, to a sewage system and innovative architecture, all of these things have been brought into the modern world and modified so as to fit the needs of our society.
Expanding territory is human nature, to assert control over other nations, to exemplify whose ideals are the best. But the term expansion can be misleading. It does not necessarily mean taking landmass; instead in this reference it refers to expanding horizons and intelligence aswell as establishing a sound system. However it is important to note that expansion has been used in both ways. Seize of another’s land has been in existence alongside the Greeks whom were in a constant state of war. War is the result of expansion. One group wants what another group has and is prepared to take it by force. War has been in existence all throughout history. It cannot be avoided as it is human nature. In Rome they went through many wars, including the Punic Wars all three of which were victories. Their victories have been relayed into lust in modern times which has resulted in many larger scale wars that involved a great many more people including the First World War and the Civil War. All of this is about expansion of territory.
In the second century B.C.E the focus of the Forum was rooted in its expansion. Making it bigger by taking uninhabited land and building upon it. The designs of the buildings were mostly stolen from Greeks and had no original features to them. However some unique qualities of this expansion were up to the leaders who progressed through time. Each leader attempting to usurp the previous one with more expansion and a more memorable feature, or at least an equal monument devoted to them. A major development in the second century was the Tabularium, which posed as a looking post to see the entire Forum. As previously stated each leader laid their line in the sand so to speak. Starting with Julius Caesar who after the Roman Empire started initiating a rigorous construction eliminating the Comitium and replacing it with the Forum Iulium. He also moved the Curia Hostilia, rather the seat of the Roman Senate in a different location and turned the new senate house into an annex called Curia Iulia. He played a great impact on the development by moving the land around in order to please his role there. Therefore each leader would manipulate the land to how they saw fit in order to leave their signature on what had been conquered. The leaders did not necessarily do it for the benefit of the people but to leave a lasting impression. This desire to leave an impression is the trademark of each leader. Every one of them wants the notion that they accomplished something and the visual proof is shown through their ambition (Hartzell, K. 2004).
The desire to change the world by a single man’s hand has been translated into many tragic wars of modern history. Asserting an opinion of another group or race is difficult but it has been attempted countless times in history (Hartzell, K. 2004). This reoccurrence of war that was first shown by the Roman expansion that is still used today shows how much affect on the world the Roman civilizations had. From the first world war where expansion has hit the highest tragedy to the Second World War where a single man nearly succeeds in destroying a beloved race of the world. War is lodged in humanities blood, and this desire to get what is wanted, the lust of power and dominance was first demonstrated by the Romans and this absolute action to destroy the wrong answer is what modern day society is faced with. However learning how to control the desire to fight has become the key to success. Negotiating a problem until a reasonable solution has been made, is a newer advancement that was learnt from past mistakes. The first mistakes stay with the Romans whose expansion without permission caused them to quarrel with each other. Since these incidents are recorded it remains the primary part of our changing history.
However even though the Romans were excelling warriors that are not all they have taught modern society. They improved previous knowledge’s from other younger cultures and translated them into fantastic new features that are used today. They changed the world with their innovativeness. The Romans introduced many great advances that are used in today’s society including the arch and a plumbing system. The invention of the arch was originated as a use for strength and support. The first use for the arch was for Aqueduct which transferred fresh mountain water down into the villages and homes. The arch was also used for the highly sought after design of many Roman buildings and landmarks, Such as the Coliseum, or in Pisa the leaning tower also uses these arches. These arches are also used for bridges that can sustain great amounts of weight due to their balancing action. The invention of the arch goes directly to the Romans; it stands for what they hold dear, strength and sustenance. These qualities have been translated into modern day society by any means of defense, bridge ways or decoration and it will continue to influence our lives forever (Funk, N. 2000).
The roman sewage system was very effective. It brought clean water down from the hill around the forum and it sent the dirty water away from them. Also they separated the waste and clean water so that they would stay clean and dirty and not mix together. The Romans were not imaginers but an innovator because they created a sewer system so effective that it is still used today in their society and has been carried out into the world. The Romans passed on their best qualities unto the rest of the world, cleanliness and strength. These reflected the nature of Rome and because of their effectiveness are used today in all living circumstances (Aicher, J. 2005).
The Roman Forum had many great leaders, each one with a different view of how to run the country and each one slowly defeated. Each of the leaders left their personal signatures on the land by manipulating according to their desires and most importantly reflecting it and the people that lived there into a government system that is exactly parallel to that of modern day America. The republic system introduced in the forum is almost replicated in the United States of America. There are few differences to how society is run today than how it was run back then in its prime development. Their way of ruling went from a Republic to and Empire much like today how the two of those have been combined to create a Democracy.
The Government was run by religion as an inspiration. The Senate meetings were held in religious places and it kept the Senators to be inspired to make decisions and come to conclusions. Specifically the Senate house. In the following quote from David Watkins The Roman Forum it identifies the religious purpose behind the building, “though not a temple in the modern sense was a templum, a space with a special relationship to the gods.” (Watkin, D. 1, 15). This shows that the government was very spiritual and that those people are closest with the gods thus elevating their importance. So in a sense the religion they followed dictated who had more power. Also in this time period the republic was overrun by corruption. This means that those select few who had money would do what they could have to hold onto it, because money was power. The split between the upper class, those who had the money and made the decisions and the lower class, those with no money and even though considered citizens were not permitted any sort of allotment or power towards other citizens, was very large and near impossible to combine. The rich and the poor were always fighting with each other about who should have power and this constant agreement or lack thereof is transparently close to that of modern day. The government in America is separated by the classes, the rich get richer by funding from the poor. This government system has been transferred over into modern day society and in the end will cause a downfall similar to that of Rome. The Roman Republic was the result of many greedy people gathering together to make decisions and the Empire was the result of one greedy person sucking out resources to turn into personal profits. In modern day society these traits have been transferred into Democracy. Many highly paid people gather to discuss the national issues, and one finalizes it. Like in the Roman times the officials are elected with the hopes that those elected will put aside personal greed and seek to aid the people and somehow combine the lower and higher classes. (Watkin, D. 18, 2009).
The Romans always been keen on asserting power over others, particularly the aristocrats over everyone else. This is similar to what the American government does in wars, whenever they fight they make sure to come out on top and broadcast it. The military in both forces are commendable. Each one has become a superpower of their times, the Romans ruling over the Eastern Mediterranean and the USA being the most feared superpower of today’s societies.
Also with regards to technological advancements that the Romans started with, their innovation of the arch and the recreation of art. The States have also become the most advanced country in the world. The USA follows the Roman suit because they were successful; the Romans follow imperialism which means that they will take what they need to maintain power and influence over other areas.
Another interesting point is that the culture that the Romans spread, was into provinces into France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, all of these places were introduced to Roman culture. Much like how English is spoken all around the world because of the American influence. Their culture spreads because they live with the iron fist that the Romans held first. With regards to innovation the Romans had great infrastructure, a term that means that they were civilized with roads and efficiency all throughout the city. This is Just like how the entire United States is covered with skyscrapers and highways.
The similarities between the Roman Empire and American Democracy are very similar that almost the same showing once and for all that Rome holds the highest influence over the entire world because the modern day superpower is constructed in Rome’s shadow. America has modernized Rome and turned it into something better, there are better leaders providing a path to walk on, there are newer technologies for more efficiency and there is a newer system of government that cannot be beaten by any other, this government offers a pricy freedom but one cheaper than ever before. All because of that little stepping stone Rome is the key to Advancements (Evans, J. 2012).
In Conclusion the Roman Forum is not only the starting point of modern society but the standard that is followed in Western culture. The legacy left behind by Rome has infiltrated peoples perspective to be what the ideal leader is required to be, people from Caesar with high popularity, to Washington who used clever tactics to outwit the opponent, the Romans have created a specific fitting suit or armour that is strong, intelligent, thoughtful, brave, risky and innovative. This suit fits only leaders who have descended from Rome. Rome holds the greatest record of expansion, more battles have been created because of seizing land and power, the world wars, civil wars, and all originate from Rome. Aswell the intellectual advancements that we are accustomed to today are from Rome, like plumbing or even irrigation, the movement of clean water because of Rome. Lastly the Roman Government system from an aristocratic republic, to a sole leading Empire, the Roman influence is paralleled in America’s democracy. These unbeatable forces the Romans have created are based on money and power that of which the American government has large quantities of. Therefore the Roman Forum influence on today’s society is: inspiration, innovation and institution. All of which make up society as we know it. Everything we know we learned from the mistakes of the ones who started our advancements in the Roman Forum.
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