Roma

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Roma

Post by Doyler on Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:25 pm

Life in the Roman Republic revolved around the city of Rome, and its famed seven hills. The city also had several theatres. gymnasiums, and many taverns, baths and brothels. Throughout the territory under Rome's control, residential architecture ranged from very modest houses to country villas, and in the capitol city of Rome, to the residences on the elegant Palatine Hill, from which the word "palace" is derived. The vast majority of the population lived in the city center, packed into apartment blocks.
Most Roman towns and cities had a forum and temples, as did the city of Rome itself. Aqueducts were built to bring water to urban centers and wine and Cooking oil were imported from abroad. Landlords generally resided in cities and their estates were left in the care of farm managers. To stimulate a higher labour productivity, many landlords freed a large numbers of slaves.
Beginning in the middle of the second century BC, Greek culture was increasingly ascendant, in spite of tirades against the "softening" effects of Hellenised culture. By the time of Augustus, cultured Greek household slaves taught the Roman young (sometimes even the girls). Greek sculptures adorned Hellenistic landscape gardening on the Palatine or in the villas, and much Roman cuisine was essentially Greek. Roman writers disdained Latin for a cultured Greek style.

Education and Language
Following various military conquests in the Greek East, Romans adapted a number of Greek educational precepts to their own fledgling system. Physical training to prepare the boys to grow as Roman citizens and for eventual recruitment into the army. Conforming to discipline was a point of great emphasis. Girls generally received instruction from their mothers in the art of spinning, weaving, and sewing. Schooling in a more formal sense was begun around 200 BC. Education began at the age of around six, and in the next six to seven years, boys and girls were expected to learn the basics of reading, writing and counting. By the age of twelve, they would be learning Latin, Greek, grammar and literature, followed by training for public speaking. Oratory was an art to be practiced and learnt, and good orators commanded respect.

The language of Rome has had a profound impact on later cultures, as demonstrated by this manuscript from the Middle Ages.
The native language of the Romans was Latin. Although surviving Latin literature consists almost entirely of Classical Latin, an artificial and highly stylised and polished literary language from the 1st century BC, the actual spoken language was Vulgar Latin, which significantly differed from Classical Latin in grammar, vocabulary, and eventually pronunciation. Rome's expansion spread Latin throughout Europe, and over time Vulgar Latin evolved and dialectised in different locations, gradually shifting into a number of distinct Romance languages. Many of these languages, including French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish, flourished, the differences between them growing greater over time. Although English is Germanic rather than Romanic in origin, English borrows heavily from Latin and Latin-derived words.

The Arts
Roman literature was from its very inception influenced heavily by Greek authors. Some of the earliest works we possess are of historical epics telling the early military history of Rome. As the republic expanded, authors began to produce poetry, comedy, history, and tragedy. Virgil represents the pinnacle of Roman epic poetry. His Aeneid tells the story of flight of Aeneas from Troy and his settlement of the city that would become Rome. Lucretius, in his On the Nature of Things, attempted to explicate science in an epic poem. The genre of satire was common in Rome, and satires were written by, among others, Juvenal and Persius. The rhetorical works of Cicero are considered to be some of the best bodies of correspondence recorded in antiquity.
In the 3rd century BC, Greek art taken as booty from wars became popular, and many Roman homes were decorated with landscapes by Greek artists. Portrait sculpture during the period utilised youthful and classical proportions, evolving later into a mixture of realism and idealism. Advancements were also made in relief sculptures, often depicting Roman victories.
Music was a major part of everyday life. The word itself derives from Greek μουσική (mousike), "(art) of the Muses".
Many private and public events were accompanied by music, ranging from nightly dining to military parades and manoeuvres. In a discussion of any ancient music, however, non-specialists and even many musicians have to be reminded that much of what makes our modern music familiar to us is the result of developments only within the last 1,000 years; thus, our ideas of melody, scales, harmony, and even the instruments we use would not be familiar to Romans who made and listened to music many centuries earlier.
Over time, Roman architecture was modified as their urban requirements changed, and the civil engineering and building construction technology became developed and refined. The Roman concrete has remained a riddle, and even after more than 2,000 years some Roman structures still stand magnificently. The architectural style of the capitol city was emulated by other urban centers under Roman control and influence. Roman cities were well planned, efficiently managed and neatly maintained.

Sports and Entertainment
The city of Rome had a place called the Campus Martius ("Field of Mars"), which was a sort of drill ground for Roman soldiers. Later, the Campus became Rome's track and field playground. In the campus, the youth assembled to play and exercise, which included jumping, wrestling, boxing and racing. Equestrian sports, throwing, and swimming were also preferred physical activities. In the countryside, pastime included fishing and hunting. Board games played in Rome included dice (Tesserae or Tali), Roman Chess (Latrunculi), Roman Checkers (Calculi), Tic-tac-toe (Terni Lapilli), and Ludus duodecim scriptorum and Tabula, predecessors of backgammon. There were several other activities to keep people engaged like chariot races, musical and theatrical performances,
Religion
Roman religious beliefs date back to the founding of Rome, around 800 BC. However, the Roman religion commonly associated with the republic and early empire did not begin until around 500 BC, when Romans came in contact with Greek culture, and adopted many of the Greek religious beliefs. Private and personal worship was an important aspect of religious practices. In a sense, each household was a temple to the gods. Each household had an altar (lararium), at which the family members would offer prayers, perform rites, and interact with the household gods. Many of the gods that Romans worshiped came from the Proto-Indo-European pantheon, others were based on Greek gods. The two most famous deities were Jupiter (the king God) and Mars (the god of war). With its cultural influence spreading over most of the Mediterranean, Romans began accepting foreign gods into their own culture, as well as other philosophical traditions such as Cynicism and Stoicism.

Military
Manipular legion (c. 315–107 BC)
During this period, an army formation of around 5,000 men (of both heavy and light infantry) was known as a legion. The manipular army was based upon social class, age and military experience. Maniples were units of 120 men each drawn from a single infantry class. The maniples were typically deployed into three discrete lines based on the three heavy infantry types.
Each first line maniple were leather-armoured infantry soldiers who wore a bronze breastplate and a bronze helmet adorned with 3 feathers approximately 30 cm (12 in) in height and carried an iron-clad wooden shield. They were armed with a sword and two throwing spears. The second infantry line was armed and armoured in the same manner as was the first infantry line. The second infantry line, however, wore a lighter coat of mail rather than a solid brass breastplate. The third infantry line was the last remnant of the hoplite-style (the Greek-style formation used occasionally during the early republic) troops in the Roman army. They were armed and armoured in the same manner as were the soldiers in the second line, with the exception that they carried a lighter spear.
The three infantry classes may have retained some slight parallel to social divisions within Roman society, but at least officially the three lines were based upon age and experience rather than social class. Young, unproven men would serve in the first line, older men with some military experience would serve in the second line, and veteran troops of advanced age and experience would serve in the third line.
The heavy infantry of the maniples were supported by a number of light infantry and cavalry troops, typically 300 horsemen per manipular legion. The cavalry was drawn primarily from the richest class of equestrians. There was an additional class of troops who followed the army without specific martial roles and were deployed to the rear of the third line. Their role in accompanying the army was primarily to supply any vacancies that might occur in the maniples. The light infantry consisted of 1,200 unarmoured skirmishing troops drawn from the youngest and lower social classes. They were armed with a sword and a small shield, as well as several light javelins.
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Re: Roma

Post by Jakev2 on Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:57 pm

There are a few inaccuracies in there. The class system was more or less as follows:

Patricians: The old, wealthy families who held most positions of power in politics. Earned money usually through property.

Equites: Essentially richer (though usually not as rich as Patricians) versions of Plebs, the Equited gained money through the use of business and trade (and sometimes property). Some members of the senate were Equites, and these were the people with the money to buy horses, making up the cavalry of the Roman army (from which the word equestrian comes).

Plebians (Plebs): The Roman poor, these generally lived in the city itself and had basic jobs, like running market stalls or manual labour. They were the lowest rung of society which still had the right to vote. Few senators/magistrates were Plebs, though certain offices were specifically designed for Plebs only (to give the people a "fair" representation).

Non-Roman Italians: Could not vote, generally enjoyed only a few of the rights afforded to those lucky enough to have been born in Rome and the surrounding area.

Conquered peoples/provincials: Little to say, treated more or less the same as conquered people in any nation of the time. Provincials (those in places like Sicily and Carthage when they were finlly taken) were usually farmers who worked to feed the city of Rome.

Slaves: Some slaves were treated like dirt, but this was generally not the case. All patricians and most equites would have had many slaves, and even some plebs had one or two (particularly farmers). They were more like members of the family (except they did all the hard work) and often slaves and their masters would be linked for generations. Many would be freed, only to stay on and work with their former masters because of a mutual friendship. Greek slaves (few in this time period) were often used as scribes, or for people to dictate letters to.

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Re: Roma

Post by Doyler on Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:16 pm

Derp. Yeah, you know stuff; telling me what I know only serves to make me look stupid

Therefore; :/
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Re: Roma

Post by Jakev2 on Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:21 pm

The highest position in the Roman Republic was consul. There were two at any given time, (so that no one man held too much power) and new consuls were elected each year. They functioned similar to any head of state in a democracy (though in reality Rome was a oligarchy), in that they held a lot of power but the senate or another assembly usually had the final say, depending on the matter at hand.

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Re: Roma

Post by Priscilla on Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:23 pm

damn old fruit you know a lot, but what about emperor? or did he come later?
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Re: Roma

Post by Jakev2 on Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:30 pm

The Roman Empire didn't come into existence until about 45-44 BC (not exactly sure) when Julius Caesar beat Pompey in the civil war and established himself as dictator. He was murdered a couple of years later, then there was a period of trouble before his adopted son, Octavian, took over, becoming emperor Caesar Augustus.

Yeah, I'm doing Classical Civilizations A-level, so I'm learning lots about Rome at the moment, after January we're mving on to Greece.

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