Roman Civilization

I have always been very interested in history and I am glad that my economics major lets me take courses of my choice. I am from Russia, and luckily our school curriculum includes 10 years of world history classes.  I believe everyone should know the past in order to live properly now and not to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.

My first acquaintance with Rome was due the ''Gladiator'' movie by Ridley Scott and since then I have always admired Roman Civilization. Romans were extraordinary: they had amazing art and architecture, they came up with a legal system which led the foundation of ours today, they were talented warriors and intelligent strategists, and whatever they didn't know, they adopted from the Etruscans, Greeks and other nations.  The modern world learnt a lot just from this one country.           Luckily for me, as soon as I started walking, my parents started taking me everywhere with them, and together we visited nearly all continents and more than 35 countries. I had a habit of taking coins from each country, so by the age of 14 I already had a big collection.  Numismatics became my hobby and that is why I chose the coin artifact below.

This is a Bronze sestertius of Titus showing the Colosseum. This coin shows history in Rome, by the late first century AD, concerning gladiatorial combat that took place in the huge stone amphitheatre, the Colosseum. Flavian Amphitheatre was the ancient name given to it. This was after Flavian dynasty established Emperor Vespasian who reigned between 69 and 79. Its plan came during the reign of Vespasian. However, it was dedicated and opened officially by Titus, his son in 80 AD.

The Colosseum was a marvel of engineering in the past. Its capacity was in the neighborhood of 50,000 seats which were arranged in three tiers. It measured 188 by 156 meters and 52 meters tall.  The interior designed was wholly executed in marble while the entrances were entirely adorned with painting, reliefs and stucco work. The arena was made of a wooden floor. Under the floor, there were various complex rooms, wild animal cages as well as lifts used to bring combatants into the arena. The entire Colosseum was completed within eight to ten years. The inaugural sporting activities lasted for about three months. About 5,000 animals were killed in an animal fight in a particular day. The citizens could participate in a free lottery. The servants to the emperor threw into the audience hollow wooden balls with vouchers for cattle, food, clothes or even slaves.

I hope to learn a lot concerning art and engineering during ancient roman times. The different styles of art like wall paintings, pictures of flowers, trees and people will help me to dig deeper to know the theme expressed in them. Art is symbolic and is used in many occasions to represent various cultural items, norms and values of a given society. What is so much embraced by a particular people can be preserved through art work. I believe the same applied for the Roman society. From the previous class presentation on ancient Rome, it was evident that there is a lot to be learned in the world of technology during this historical period.  It is my hope and desire that what I learn in this course would reflect the ancient Roman society. I hope that the content of the course will help in providing succinct information concerning the ancient Roman Empire. This artifact shows a history of the Roman Empire and raises much more questions that I believe would lead to establishing other historical knowledge.

It would be very interesting to know Roman architecture. It is no doubt that Romans were great in the sculptural and architectural designs as evident in this artifact. I know that through this course I will establish the contribution Romans brought into the world. Arch and the use of technology were evident as shown in this artifact. I fully anticipate knowing much during the republican era. It was during this time when temples were built and developments made in the Roman Empire. Therefore, I expect to know the various architectural designs in matters of religion, culture and life in general.

The passing on of technique from one generation to another is a subject of great interest. Architectural learning all through the years is a fascinating area that I think would explain how skills and knowledge were learnt and developed.  In modern societies, politics influence development, research and the economy at large. It would be important to know how Roman Politics influenced art, language, literature and architecture. Such issues would help a lot in understanding the diversity of the Roman people.

The artifact as shown here is a very instrumental one which lays the ground for a further exposition of the Roman history, culture and art. The class structure of the Romans is most likely to emerge. People with different social status in the society and the general outlook of the Roman Empire would be useful in understanding life systems of the time and how they have evolved. This will take into account how the Romans climbed the social ladder and the manner in which they were expected to conduct themselves.  The factors that led to such divisions and how they dealt with them are among my interests.  Romans have emerged out in history in a very unique way. They have been featured in such areas as those of politics, wars and battles, architecture, art and literature. It would thus be important to know how Romans achieved all these values in the different disciplines.

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