Thursday, January 31, 2008

Government of Rome

Rome began by the annihilation of the Etruscans. When Rome began it started as a Republic between 500 B.C. and 1500 A.D the system was unchanged except for some minor changes. The Roman republic was first set up in 500 B.C.

The Roman republic was originally set ip to have two consuls that were in charge of the army and making laws. The consuls were given advice from the Senate which was made up of only rich men. The consuls could veto anything that the Senate said but the two consuls had to both agree on something before it could be passed. In the end the consuls usually listened to what the Senate said. After the two men were consuls they usually end up being part of the senate.

Later in the Republic around 146 B.C. the republic started to fall apart. The Romans realized that they could no longer rely on the senate to run the empire. The Romans looked forward to their next general to see what he could accomplish.

Instead of just one man, three men formed what is called a triumvirate. These three men were Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caeser. Pompey and Crassus fade and Caeser had an affair with Cleopatra. This then leads up to his murder.

After this the second triumvirate came into play. This consisted of Octavian, Caeser's nephew, Ledipus, and Mark Antony. Ledipus was eventually forced out of power and Octavian and Antony got into a civil war. Octavian won and Mark Antony commited suicide. (Hadas 44)(Barnett 14-15)

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: the Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient Peoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Hadas, Moses. Imperial Rome. Time Inc Publishers. Canada 1965

(p.s. Mr. Lockwood, for some reason the titles of my book sources would not underline and the spell check was not working so if i missed some spelling i apologize.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aeneid vs Odyssey

The Greeks and the Romans produced two very well known poets. Virgil was a very famous Roman poet who wrote the Aeneid. The Aeneid is one of the very well known foundational myths of Rome. Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B.C. Homer was a very well known greek poet who is mostly known for his well known epic poems the Iliad and the Odessey. These two epics were to have been taught to children in Greece during the time of Homer and they are still being taught today in America. (Barnett 19)

The Odessey is an Epic poem written by Homer to tell the story of a famous war hero. After the great Trojan War the great war hero Odysseus travels back to his home Island of Ithica to meet his wife Penelope. With a mistake on Odysseus part the god of the sea Poseidon unleashes his fury on Odysseus. The goddess Athena will not allow Poseidon to kill Odysseus, therefore, Odysseus must face terroble trials in order to reach his home land. (Hadas 14)

The Aeneid was written by Virgil around 19 B.C. The story of Aeneas starts off with our main character Aeneas traveling away from his homeland to start a new empire because his homeland was being taken over. The goddess Juno stirs up the seas so that Aeneas looses his men but is then reunited. He and his men end up on the shores of Carthage. There Aeneas meats Queen Dido and fall in love but has to leave her. Carthage soon hate Aeneas for leaving their Queen. Aeneas must go to the underworld and there he meets many that he knows. The Aeneid is basicly showing the seven years Aeneas spend finding his new home after the Trojan War. The gods send him on a wild goose chase to found Rome, his new empire.

The Aeneid and the Odyssey have many things in common and many things that are different. One major sililarity is that both Odesseus and Aeneas both have to leave and go face trials to get to what they want. They both are led by the gods with help and with hatred.

The difference in the two poems is that Aeneas has to leave his home to find another. Odysseus has to leave where he is to get home. Another difference is that the gods in the Odyssey are Greek and the gods in the Aeneid are Roman. These differences make the two stories very different.

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: the Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient Peoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Hadas, Moses. Imperial Rome. Time Inc Publishers. Canada 1965

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Roman Foundation Myths

There are two myths that tell of the foundation of Ancient Rome. These two myths include the myth of Romulus and Remus, the twin boys raised by a wolf, and the myth of Aeneas, son of the goddess Aphrodite. These two myths show the founding of Rome in two very different ways. ( Barnett 28)

The myth of Aeneas is about how a young man begins the founding of Rome. Aeneas was born to a very attractive man named Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father, Anchises, can trace his ancestors back to the son of Zeus, Dardanus. (Marks and Tingay 5)

The legend begins with the Greeks laying siege to Troy and killed almost all of the people in the city. One prince of Troy escaped by boat and sailed all the way to Italy. His name was Aeneas. Aeneas landed on the west coast of Italy at Laurentum. The king of the Latins, Latinus, had a daughter named Lavinia. Aeneas and Latinus formed an alliance and Aeneas married Lavinia. Aeneas and his wife Lavinia had a son named Ascanius. Alba Longa was the city founded by Ascanius. Ascanius was the first of a 400 year rule of kings to follow. This is where Rome was founded. (Marks and Tingay 5)

The second myth of the founding of Rome is the legend of the twin boys named Romulus and Remus. Romulus and Remus are the twin boys that were born to the god Mars and the mortal Rhea Silvia. When the twins were born they were placed in a basket to float down the Tiber River and to die. They were placed there by their great uncle because he did not want them to be a threat to his power. The twins were found by a she-wolf and the wolf raised them.

The she-wolf raised them until one day a shepherd named Faustulus and his wife found the boys. They then raised the twins as if they were their own. Years later when the twins were old enough they decided to found their own city. Romulus and Remus looked to the sky and to the birds. After seeing the signs they saw that Romulus' section of the city would be twice the size of Remus'. The twins quarreled and Remus was either killed by Romulus or just disappeared. Romulus did continue to build up his city, which was named Rome.

In conclusion there are two very different myths about the founding of Rome. One to do with a Trojan Prince and the other to do with wolf raised twin boys. Both of these myths have survived throughout the centuries to be very well known.

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: the Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient Peoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Marks, Anthony, and Graham Tingay. The Romans. Usborne. London. 1990.