Military, Political, Social, and Economic Strengths and Weaknesses of Rome by 264BC Essay

Submitted By benfrench
Words: 728
Pages: 3

Discuss the military, political, social and economic strengths and weaknesses of Rome by 264BC.
As tensions built with Carthage prior to the first Punic war in 264BC, Rome was approaching its hegemony over the ancient world. In 272BC, Tarterum surrendered to Rome, resulting in an influx in population, thus influencing changes to the political, social and economic lifestyle that the Romans were accustomed to. As rival neighbours of Rome gained experience and new technology to use in warfare, Rome was faced with harsh challenges, hence resulting in new military habits and discipline.
In 264 BC, the Roman army was a citizen army. Each man who fought in war was expected to provide for their own gear, with Rome’s nobles as cavalry and their poorest as skirmishers. The state however would be at expense for most slaves and farmers to enlist. A major weakness in the Roman army at this time was that there were few full time soldiers; hence they were inexperienced and poorly trained. After experiencing many battles, the Roman’s established the maniple system, which arrayed the legionnaires in a checker board fashion. This system worked well for Rome, however foreign entities such as naval battles and elephants imposed fear on the inexperienced army.
In order to maintain social justice between the patricians and plebeians, Rome established twelve tables. These tables were re-established in 450BC and were detailed written guidelines to help officially state laws and aid the government of society. Social etiquette was also on the rise, highly influenced by the Hellenistic followings from Greece. This had influence on architecture such as the Aqua Appia and entertainment centres like the Circus Maximus. The Hellenistic influences from Greece had a positive effect on Rome, influencing all areas of social life from religion to daily events.
The Roman Republic was formed in 509BC after overthrowing the power surge of the Roman monarchy. This stage of Rome saw laws such as the Lex Hortensia and Ovinian laws being passed to assimilate the patricians and plebeians. This system contained two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and advised by a senate. A complex constitution gradually developed, centred on the principles of a separation of powers and checks and balances which is shown through the law stating that public offices were limited to one year unless in dire emergency. The power distribution was favourable to the plebeians as it allowed their class to be represented, instead of facing pure patrician bias. However, the laws and reforms still could not save the majority of plebeian families whom faced severe poverty. Rome’s foreign policies were strong in forming alliances and treaties with neighbouring states, enabling Rome to focus on one region to expand at a time. At the time of 264BC, civil liberty was at a stable state with no drastic…