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Military Power and Leadership in Rome, Essay Example

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Essay

In regards to military leadership and the expansion and growth of Rome, Weber notes that the military was the driving force behind the bulk of Rome prosperity and longevity. It’s fall ultimately was the result of these military leaders as well.

The Rise of Rome

In program number 9 of UCLA Professor Eugene Weber’s episode of The Western Tradition: The Rise of Rome, he notes that within 200 years Rome became master of all Italy and it. In 800 A.D. Charlemagne crowned himself Roman Emperor. He points out how Rome was ‘blessed by geography” by having grains and fruit. Rome started as a market town and a farm community. The virtues the Romans admired were all related to discipline and self discipline. They believed in gravitas the sober seriousness that marks a real man, even the word virtue means manliness. Woman were considered 5th class citizens barely above slaves. When babies were born, if they were not boys they were often left to die. Romulus and Remus were raised by a she-wolf their plight brought on the moral ideology that “serious things should not be taken lightly.” The Roman Empire was founded in the 6th century BC. The Roman army mirrored the value of society. Every soldier was responsible for their own weapons and armor, and if they did not show up to the enlistment with these tools they were not inducted into the army.  The attraction of the army stemmed from the spoils of war. Roman Legions proved to be so much more militant and disciplined in their training that they were able to conquer the bulk of what is now known as Italy. The wars with Carthage forced Rome to evolve into a naval power. After Rome defeated Carthage, it continued on to defeat

The Roman Empire

The military defined the stability The Wars that extended into Asia, resulted in the loss of the farms owned by the soldiers.  Also the wars brought on new slaves that made it difficult for farmers to compete. In politics Tiberius Gracchus and his brother took on the issues of the poor. Julius Caesar was one of the first generals who married politics to war. Many generals followed in his footsteps. Political power of the senate depended on the character of those in power. Power in Rome was attained 46 B.C. Dictator for Life, and Emperator which became to be known as Emperor, or Solid rule. After two years of dictatorship Caesar was assassinated by senators of the senate who did not want to be In the Battle of Actium Octavian officially vanquished all of Caesars this resulted in the “Pax Romana’, the longest period of peace and stability that Rome and Asia have ever known. He did not get rid of the senate, but just made sure it was run by his men. This transition resulted in the Emperor changing the structure of the military.  Caesar creating the position of Emperor and then Octavian taking on the position and expanding its power, made it so that military en were no longer free agent entrepreneurs

The Decline of Rome

In the Decline of Rome Weber points out the significant changes that occurred which resulted in the eventual Fall of Rome. He does point out that most civilizations fell during this time, and that for Rome to last as long as it did it was quite an accomplishment. Factors like Barbarian growth in power from the outside the walls. The failed leadership of the senate to lose power to Emperor control, he says that  while this briefly lead to new prosperity for the empire with Octavian taking power it also meant the decline of the culture once tyrants were able to grab hold of the position.

The Fall of Rome

Finally, In this section Weber poses two questions, why did the Empire fall, or why did it last as long as it did. He points out that during this time there was much corruption in Rome. The title of emperor became auctioned off to the highest bidder and there were numerous assassinations. The military became de-Romanized by requiring each legion to enlists its own men, and since these legions were permanently stationed on certain fronts, they tended to enlist soldiers within their reach, which were usually barbarians or members of other cultures which made them have less national pride.

Ins um, Web paints a clear picture that depicts the Rise and fall of Rome reliant entirely on military power. Weber credits the fall of Rome to the coming of the Barbarians as they became stronger beyond the Roman walls and continued to attack.  While the Barbarians were always the enemy and posed a threat, near the Fall of Rome, by the 4th century, the new Roman soldiers were ex-barbarians.

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