The Roman Empire Essay Example



The Roman Empire was the epitome of cause and effect, proving time and time again that even the littlest change could create a massive domino effect. Most prominent in economics, status, and population, much of their problems had been rooted in their own pride -  one of its core issues being the main goal of expansion and creating as much of a name for themselves as possible, benefiting off of systems such as the Silk Road and their own fighting strategies to grow. Even with all of their previous success, the fight for more had always been prevalent in their mentality - most reflected in their ‘need’ for expansion, as some of the most prominent aspects building their reputation had been the land they conquered. For example - As the Roman Empire fought for more territory, popularity and population surged as well. With this, along with the overall political and social distress of the second century and prior, changes within the mentality of the Roman social structure began to switch and differ to their original mindset, for better and for worse. Essentially, as the classes of soldiers and farmers became more necessary, those at the very bottom of the hierarchy had faced more oppression than before - all of which stemming from the effects of Rome’s pride, causing more division then ever before.

As said, the Roman leaders and officials prided themselves on expansion and their own war-based successes, celebrating these victories as they continued to pile, with examples such as their own civil wars and the capture of Gaul. As with every battle, when the Roman soldiers had been victorious, it was not uncommon to see that despite the land, they would bring back other trophies, such as slaves or things of importance; take for example during the capture of Epirus in which the Romans had reportedly brought back about 150,000 slaves, as well as payment of anywhere from 400 to 200 denarii, the local currency of the time (History of Rome, Livy). With a large number of victories under their belts, the Roman Empire had found itself with success in population as more and more prisoners of war would pile over - however, one of the biggest and most impactful attacks on the Roman Empire had been due to a progressive division of freedom, even for the standards set in place. These attacks would be dubbed the Slave Wars of Sicily and became the biggest shock to the empire for its time. As brutal as the revolt had been, as thousands of slaves began to kill off their owners, the Slave Wars were not just mindless fighting or a spur of the moment, but rather a reflection on how the lower classes were treated. Much like the Yellow Turban revolution of the Han Dynasty, those fighting against the system had been placed into an oppressive society in which they had been disadvantaged by taxes and poverty - as well as the fact that due to the large number of people coming into the empire, competition was even more difficult to climb any higher. Ultimately, the slaves revolted because of high competition and unfair oppression placed onto them, and even after defeat from consul Repilius, the message still stands that with the expansion of the empire came more and more disadvantages toward the lower classes, ultimately resulting in disorder within the social groups.