Roman Colosseum Essay

Submitted By nvega94
Words: 4316
Pages: 18

The world has been host to many great and powerful empires, but perhaps none so great and powerful as Rome. A small village in the Italian peninsula, Rome grew tremendously and conquered vast parts of the world while becoming one of the most dominant military and political forces of all time. The Roman Empire existed for over 2,000 years. It survived countless wars, both internal and external, over the course of its history. Rome emerged from the transition from Republic to Empire stronger than ever, and continued to assert its dominance over everything in its path. At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Spain all the way to what is now known as the Near East. The empire grew so large and encompassed so much space that the Mediterranean Ocean was referred to as a Roman lake. The impact of the Roman Republic and Empire can still be seen all over the world today. The official language of Rome, Latin, is the ancestor of romance languages such as Spanish, French and Portuguese. Evidence of the creative brilliance of Roman architects and stonemasons can be seen all over Europe in the form of roads, bridges, aqueducts, and many other monuments. No monument, however, is more recognizable than the Roman Colosseum. It is arguably the most impressive building from the Classical age. In its heyday, the Colosseum was so much more than just a feat of architecture. It represented the grandeur of the Roman Empire and inspired awe across the world. The Colosseum played a monumental role in Ancient Roman society, as it served as the gathering place for tens of thousands of rich and poor alike and served to keep the peace in a society where there was a stark contrast between the rich and the poor.

The End of the Roman Republic
The assassination of Julius Caesar in the year 44 BCE led to a long period of infighting in the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar was, arguably, the most famous Roman who ever lived. His ambition was limitless, and he sought to be the best at whatever he tried his hand at. When Caesar entered politics, he used his cunning to rise up the political ranks with great speed. By the time he was 43 years old, Caesar was elected Consul. He was known for his ability to give stirring speeches and for his sheer military genius. Julius Caesar was famous among his soldiers for leading them from the front instead shouting orders from the rear.1 However, the more power Caesar took for himself, the more wary other Romans became of him. Some became concerned that he was getting ahead of himself. Caesar was the first living Roman whose face appeared on coinage, an honor that had always been reserved for the Gods.2 Rome was a Republic and it did not like the idea of a king. Although Caesar made a point to loudly and publicly turn down the offer of kingship, he still nonetheless assumed the title of dictator for life.3 This new title made it increasingly clear to some in the Roman Senate that Caesar had to be eliminated. The common fear was that Caesar would use his power to impose tyranny and render the Senate powerless. A group of 60 Senators, who called themselves “the Liberators” hatched a plan to rid Rome of Caesar.4 On March 15th, 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was ambushed and was stabbed 23 times, resulting in his death. Caesar’s assassination has proven to be one of the greatest ironies of all time. Instead of securing the future of the Roman Republic, the death of the supposed tyrant actually accelerated its downfall. Rome used to be divided into two main social classes, plebeians and patricians. The patricians were generally wealthy Romans, and they made up the entire ruling class. Plebeians consisted of virtually everyone else. Patricians alone held political rights.5 In fact, the word “Patrician” has roots in the Latin word meaning “father.” This is because Patricians were considered the fathers of the Roman Senate, as they were its founding members and never allowed non-Patricians to join.6 Plebeians were the lowest class