Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 11 History Solutions Unit 2 Ancient Greece Long Answer Questions.
CHSE Odisha 11th Class History Unit 2 Ancient Greece Long Answer Questions
Long Type Questions With Answers
How Greater Greece / Magna Greece was formed?
Greek was not their original name. They called themselves ‘Hellens’, but the Romans called themselves ‘Greeks’ and the world has adopted that name from the Romans. The Greek tribes were a branch of the Aryan stem. About 2000 to 1500 B.C. these tribes entered the mainland of Greece from the north and soon these different groups took possession of the coast of Asia Minor, the Aegean sea, and a portion of Europe in the southeast.
However, prior to that, the Greek island of Crete was already the home of a great civilization that reached its zenith after 1600 B.C. It was the Minoan civilization named after legendary king Minos of Crete, sometimes referred to as Mycenaean civilization, after a city called Mycenae, which the Cretans had built. This civilization was quite prosperous.
The people of this Aegean civilization used the Cuneiform and pictorial writings of the Sumerians and Egyptians and had also an alphabet of their own. Sea trade, not agriculture, was their main occupation. Aryan tribes defeated the Cretan’s arid development of the latter civilization. These Aryan tribes were the Achaeans, Phocians, Thessalians, and Boeotians. The Achaeans had three main branches.
They were the Dorians who settled in the Peloponnesian regions, the Aeolians in Asia Minor, and the Ionians in Attica and the Aegean region. It was during this period that the Greeks destroyed the gold- and-bronze city of Troy in Asia Minor, to avenge the insult of the Trojan prince Paris, of having abducted the mythical beauty queen Helen. This is the theme of the famous epic of Homer, the ‘Iliad.’
To the Greeks, the Trojan war that lasted over ten years was the first important event in their history. The Aryans later called themselves Hellens and their country Hellas, after legendary tradition associated with king Hellen of Thessaly. The Achaeans had no fear of any military attack on them. They were thus free to establish a series of establishments in the region.
They lived in simple but lavishly decorated houses. The women had their separate rooms in the house. Homer, the blind poet, wrote about many feminine characters of striking beauty. Perhaps that is why the Achaeans were famous for the delicacy of their manners they were extremely courteous to strangers, elders, and women. Like most other Aryan tribes, these Greeks loved singing.
That appears to be justification enough for the Age of Homer. Homer pioneered the birth of European literature. His most famous works were the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’ composed in the seventh century B.C. The ‘Iliad deals with the Spartan victory over Troy after a decade-long war, as well as the exploits of their legendary hero, Achilles. The ‘Odyssey’ describes the adventurous return journey of Odysseus from Troy.
These epics give us an insight into their society before 700 B.C. Another great author of those times was Hesiod who exposed the mistakes of “bribe-swallowing lords”. This period goes down in history as the Homeric Age. Geography gave the Greeks no other option but to have city-state types of political organization. Gradually they abandoned their tendencies, adopted agriculture, and devoted their leisure to sharing the problems and privileges of their city-state governments.
Each city-state for each of their groups was governed by a king with the aid and advice of a council of elders from each clan. worshipped a number of deities like Zeus, Appolo, Athena, and Mount Olympus – the abode of Gods. Their religion was a sort of contact between a man and God. So they came to believe in divine revelations or Oracles. The most important of these was the Delphic Oracle. They would not set out on a march of conquest, nor would they take important decisions without consulting the Oracles.
Naval competition with ancient Phoenicians turned them out to be good mariners later. Gradually they conquered and colonized the whole of the Mediterranean region. This region came to be known as ‘Magna Grecia’ or Greater Greece. The increase in population at home along with limited agricultural prospects and oppression of the feudal lords made them settle down in these colonies
Describe the community of Greece?
The Greeks had settled in scattered villages ever since their migrations into Greece. The absence of communication intensified their isolation from one another. But gradually the people of each valley or plain grouped themselves together to form a single political community for worshipping the gods, for buying and selling, as well as for common government and common interests in defense.
The center of the community was usually at the highest point in the valley so that it could become a fortress as well as capital. community, which developed around the city or capital in its own way, was called in Greek a ‘poll’s’ or city-state. The central fortress or capital was the ‘acropolis’. The most famous acropolis is, obviously Athens. The king lived in the fortress.
Each city was protected by a wall, each city-state had a fixed place for popular assemblies. There the king and the council of elders would take important decisions after discussions. There was this council of elders along with an Assembly to carry out the administration. The council consisted of the nobles or the Eupatrids, whereas the Assembly was constituted of the poor citizens.
Each city-state was autonomous. It collected taxes from its people, declared war, and negotiated peace with other city-states. A city-state naturally tended to be a Republic. The Greeks were thus conducting the biggest experiment in human history, the experiment of self-government. Each developed in its own way. Social and, even, religious life differed from one city-state to another.
There was no unity among them. The citizen was fanatically loyal to his own city-state. Constant infighting among the city-states also added to the absence of any sense of Greek nationalism as a whole. Of course, they still had many things in common. Firstly, they used the common Greek language in preference to the local dialects they had developed. Secondly, they were bound by a common religious faith.
Religious councils or Amphictyonies organized common religious festivals attended by all city-states. Thirdly, the Olympic games, held every fourth year at Olympia, were run and participated in by all the Greeks. Fourthly, the literature and legends of heroes were held m common by all city-states. Homeric literature was the common property of all city-states. Lastly, a sense of superiority was in their minds in relation to the non-Greeks.
This sentiment was also common to all city-states. Yet it is an irony of history that, in spite of there unifying factors, the Greeks could not establish nation-states Temporary alliances and confederations among city-states were a far cry from the ideal of a homogeneous nation-state. Among the many city-states, the most prominent were those of Athens and Sparta. Both were hostile to each other.
Both differed widely in spirit and character. The Spartans were all for physical prowess. Might be right for them. The Athenians were for mental growth in the realm of ideas. For them, the pen was mightier than the sword: If Sparta can be said to be the military capital of all Greece, Athens was its cultural capital.
What is the contribution of Athens to Greece?
Athens was the pioneer city-state that contributed much to the culture of ancient Greece. It was founded in the province of Attica Acropolis was four miles off fee sea- coast. The soil was arid, free rainfall was scanty and so few inhabitants were hardened by toil and sweat for earning a living. The Athenians were a mixed race wife majority of Ionians and these were all united by king Theseus before 700 B.C.
Athens contributed immensely to Greek civilization whole. They improved on fee Greek literature, philosophy, religion, politics, architecture, etc. Another important contribution was the growth of ‘polity’ or democracy, as we know it today. After the death of their peerless ‘Archon’ (ruler) Cordus, they chose in 282 B.C. nine Archons annually the presiding Archon.
a military Archon or Polemarch and six other judges under fee Chief Priest or King Archon. All of them would govern for a year consultation wife a fee body of nobles, feat appointed them fee Areopagus. The nobles became more powerful wives fall from the monarchy. Gradually they became selfish and oppressive. Common people exploited wives through high taxation.
Overburdened with debts, they were made slaves by the nobles. Whim, not law, became the basis of administration. The time was now ripe for reformers to come up as saviors of the common people.
There was no code of laws; The aristocrats were the judges who always interpreted the laws to their own advantage. People did not get justice. The peasants were the first to demand a written law. Ultimately the task of preparing the code was entrusted in 621 B.C. to Draco, an Athenian noble. These laws were extremely harsh and failed to serve the purpose of the common man.
The severity of these laws led the common man of the time to quip that these were written down with blood, not ink. Since then the world “Draconian” has come to symbolize any harsh law. Yet, the code of Draco was the first step towards the future prospect of rule of law.
Solon was the proud descendant of the family of Codrus. He was born in 638 B.C. He became a great statesman of Athens. He was elected as Archon in 594 B.C. Though a noble by birth, he was a commoner by disposition and felt sorry for the misery of the poor under the code of Draco. He enjoyed full authority to remedy this. He introduced many reforms to relieve the burden on the poor. It was a custom then that any peasant who defaulted in repaying his loan would be a slave of the money-lender by virtue of the debt- agreement.
Solon freed the slaves by declaring all such laws null and void. The state paid the amount for bringing back such slaves sold outside. He also put a ceiling on land beyond which no noble can own land. The voting right was extended to all sections including the lowest class, the Thetes. All free men were equal before the law. The reforms of Solon were, indeed, salutary.
The disparity between the rich and the poor still continued in spite of Solon’s reforms. The improvement came through Pisistratus, a nephew of Solon, who became the master of Athens in 546 B.C. Aman of high ideas and ambitions, he smiled benevolently for 30 years. The period was enriched by great progress in Athenian art, architecture, literature, and even in agriculture and industry. He drove the nobles out Athens and confiscated their property to the State for the purpose of redistributing this land among the landless.
He helped the poor with loans from the State funds on moderate terms. The constitution of his illustrious uncle was left untouched. He championed an agrarian revolution, patronized state feasts, religious rites like the Panathenaea festival in honor of the principal goddess Athena. His death in 527 B.C. again brought anarchy.
Cleisthenes had rightly been called the “Father of Greek Democracy”. A practical reformer, he took steps to prevent tyranny and protect democracy. He divided the four classes of Athenian society into ten ‘demes or tribes. Each tribe was to elect 50 members every year to constitute the Council of the ‘Five Hundred’. Every free man had the right to vote.
The Council was the supreme authority in administration The Assembly or Ecclesia discussed the Council proposals. Ten generals, popularly elected were placed in command of the army. They were responsible to the Ecclesia. Through these reforms, Athens almost became a kind of direct democracy. To protect this democracy, he also used a novel system ‘Ostracism’. The method authorized the people to vote for any influential man as dangerous to the State.
Individual voting to be conducted once a year on a piece of ostracon against any such person would be valid only beyond 6,000 votes, in which case, the man would be driven out of the country for ten years. This system of Ostracism authorized the people to ‘ostracise’ unwanted elements. It also involved the authority of the people over the administration, in consequences.
What are the reasons which lead to Persian inventions?
Various reasons were there for the Persians to invade the city-states of Greece at the outset of the fifth century B.C. There was the rise of Persian power under the kingship of Cyrus and Darius. Conquest, not trade, was their motto. Persian expansion towards Europe was a threat to the Greeks especially when the latter was still in search of new colonies to house their ever-increasing population. Both the Persians and the Greeks were expanding imperialists. A clash was the logical outcome.
The Persians under Cyrus conquered many Greek city-states and appealed to Athens and Sparta for help. The Athenian and Eritrean ships destroyed the Persian city of Sardis. The then Persian Emperor despatched a strong navy under his son-in-law Mardonius in 492 B.C. to take revenge on Athens. This expedition was destroyed by a storm. The second expedition was sent in 490 B.C. The great battle was fought at Marathon. The Athenians made an urgent appeal to Sparta.
The message was sent by the hand of the Philippines which covered 150 miles of hilly track in two days of amazing running. The Spartans pledged help but took six days to mobilize. Philippides ran back equally fast to convey the news, but the Athenians won the war themselves. Philippides fought in the war. He ran to Sparta to convey the news of Athenian victory after the war. He died after conveying the news to Sparta. The ‘Marathon race in modem sports is a tribute to his memory.
In 480 B.C. Xerxes the son of Darius, invaded Greece. The Athenians were joined by the Spartans under king Leonidas and checked the advance of the Persians in the battle of Thermopylae. Finally, in the battle of Salamis and Plataea, the Persians were defeated. Athenian fame spread and Athenian leadership were recognized. She formed a Delos or Delian league of city-states.
Her civilization flourished and reached its climax under Pericles. Athens was at last an Empire. Victory over Persia was regarded as ordained by gods and the Athenians composed hymns and constructed shrines in honor of gods. The Persian defeat also boosted the trade, commerce, and imperialism of the Greeks.
Why Age of Pericles is known as a golden age in Greek history?
The age of Pericles is regarded as the ‘Golden Age in Greek history. In substance and volume of achievement, it was as remarkable as the Augustan Rome, Elizabethan Age in England, Gupta Age in India, and Meiji Age in Japan. All round prosperity and achievements in art, literature, philosophy, politics, etc, marked this age. The age is a land mark in human history as a whole. Pericles, a descendant of Cleisthenes, was born into a noble family in 490 B.C. His father Xanthepas had participated with credit in the war with the Persians.
He got good and integral education which included gymnastics and philosophy, singing and Logic, literature and military training, oratory and statecraft. He was adept in all these. Liberal at heart, he was a champion of liberty, welfare, and the general prosperity of the common man. As a politician, he was as capable as Gladstone or Lincoln. His was the thought of Plato and the voice of Socrates.
This popular noble was elected as Strategus of Athens in 465 B.C. and got elected to that post in each of the following thirty years. Austere, honest, and gentle, he was a paragon of virtue. Contemporary historian. Thucydides wrote, “He kept Athens safe from all dangers, and under his guidance, Athens reached the height of her greatness.” He died of plague in 429 B.C.
A significant contribution of Pericles was the system of direct, not delegated, democracy. The whole of Athens met in the General Assembly or Ecclesia to make Laws. The 1,00,000 slaves and 20,000 foreigners out of a total population of2,80,000, were not to take any part in public fife. About 50,000 citizens thus were attending the Ecclesia. Women had no political rights and so were not eligible for such bodies.
The citizens took a direct part in the administration of the state. The Ecclesia met at least ten times a year. Along with the council, constituted the Athenian Legislature. This supreme body of the Government decided questions of war and peace as well as treaties. The executive authority lay with a council of ten Strategus elected by the Ecclesia. They regulated foreign policy and defense.
Justices, Juries, and Judicial Committees were appointed for the distribution of Justice. Pericles ordered that each of the 200 Jurors should be paid for their services. Merit and equality of all before the law came as evidence of the wisdom and far-sightedness- of Periclean liberalism. The only defect, by modem standards, appears to be the denial of political rights to women and slaves.
Pericles was a patron of the scientific pursuit of knowledge. He was a close friend of the philosopher, Anaxagoras. He made Athens, in his own words, “the School of Greece”. Beauty, grace, and natural perfection came to be reflected in Periclean art and architecture. use of marble and pillars were two characteristics of Periclean architecture. Acropolis was repaired after the Persian destruction of it. The temple of the Parthenon was built by Lectinus and dedicated to the goddess Athena.
The statue of Athena was wooden, overladen with ivory and gold. Athena was worshipped till 430 A.D. The Parthenon is a unique specimen of Periclean architecture along with the ‘Temple of victory”, the Olympia statue of Zeus, and the Dionysus theatre pantheon with a capacity for 15,000 audiences. Painted potteries and painted pictures of the achievements of gods and heroes were also exquisite pieces of art.
Music and Drama:
Music was the heart-throb of Athens. The state bore the expenses for all the sixty festivals of a year that saw musical, choral singing, sports, and dramatic competitions.
Few ages are as favored as the Periclean age in the field of literature, history, and philosophy. Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus were the three tragic poets of the period. Their writings were inimitable and for all ages. were staged out of their historical plays. Aristophanes was a famous comedy writer. ‘The Clouds’ and ‘The Frogs’ were two of his great works. Pinder was a great poet.
Herodotus, the father of history, and Thucydides, the first scientific historian gave good company to Sappho, the first woman poet in history, in the Periclean Age, Xenophon was another illustrious historian. The philosophical heritage of the age is incomparable and unique: The wisest man, Socrates (469-399 B.C.) was ‘the incomparable peer of philosophical learning. Arguments and logic were his swan song.
Plato and Xenophon were his pupils. It was left to Plato to write the discourses of Socrates. Socrates was made to drink poison on charges of corrupting the minds of the youth with ideas, against polytheism and in you’re of monotheism. It happened after the death of Pericles. Plato (427-347 B.C.) carried the mantle of Socrates,- established a school (Akademy), and wrote many treaties, the most outstanding of which was the Republic’. It dealt with the ideal state.
Aristotle was a pupil of Plato who, too, contributed immensely to various branches of learning. The age was also characterized by the Sophists. They were a group of teachers in the Socratic mold of logic, moving from place to place, teaching arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, and asking the people not to accept anything that fails the acid test of reason. The Periclean Age in its substantial import is thus not simply Athenian but for the whole of mankind.
Explain the Peloponnesian war of Athens?
The glory of Athens, the Periclean Age, and the Athens Empire of the confederation of Delos ignited the spark of jealousy in Sparta. the Peloponnesian league with Corinth, it declared war on Corcyra. Corcyra sought Athenian help. The second Peloponnesian war was thus waged, in 431 B.C. In this thirty years war, the navy-oriented Athenians could not sustain the army-oriented assaults of Sparta. A plague in Athens killed Pericles along with a third of the Athenian population.
Defeat for them was inevitable. This inaugurated the hegemony of Sparta for a time. Internal quarrels continued among the city-states. Gradually they became weak and powerless. This provided the opportunity for the rise of strong men One such was King Philip of Macedon who brought all city-states under his control in 338 B.C. It was no surprise that he did it, for, after all, he was the father of Alexander, the Great.
Discuss Sparta, the city-state of Greece, and its system of Govt?
Sparta was another city-state of Greece in the province of Laconia. A group of Dorans migrated from the, north and, by 1100 B.C. came to settle down in the Peloponnesus of the southern peninsula of Greece. Known as the Lacedaemonians, they established the city-state Sparta, oppressed the local people, and consequently suppressed their rebellion and set up a frame of rules for themselves. The city-state of Sparta was the largest in the whole of Greece.
The Spartan laws, commonly regarded as those formulated by Lycurgus, emphasized physical prowess and turned the Spartans into good professional soldiers. The city-state was virtually an armed camp. The Spartans made newborn babies to be first examined by experts. If found weak or with deformities, the child was put atop a to die by exposure. Women were asked to bear healthy children and in order to keep fit, had to undergo regular physical exercises. From the age of 7 to 19.
boys had to undergo vigorous and rigorous military training in the camps. Simplicity and a strong sense of discipline were the two main attributes of camp life. The trainee underwent torture to make him painstaking and tolerant. No tears were shed for those trainees who died. Away from any amusement, without any inclination for education, the Spartans were expected to gain excellence only iii physical strength and martial arts. All would serve in the army till the age of sixty.
Stem discipline and a crude military zeal thus shaped the Spartan attitude to life. They practically had no family life, for, the entire city-state was a military camp, commerce was neglected, cultural development was limited only to military arts, and agriculture was left to slaves to carry out. Constant fighting was their philosophy of life. They preferred death to surrender. As soldiers, they were second to none but as Greeks, they, unlike other Greeks, had nothing to offer in the shape of philosophy, sciences, and arts.
System of Government:
The Spartan system of government was much inferior to those of Athens and Corinth. constitution did not contain even an iota of democracy of the Athenian model. Their administration was carried out by the Kings, Ephors, and a popular assembly. A system of mutual check-and-balance however was seen in their mode of administration. They had two kings simultaneously ruling over them. Each of them tried to- curb the other’s tendency for becoming a dictator.
Their power was further limited by the appointment of Ephors by the Assembly. The Ephors were appointed for a year’s term. They were administrators who could even arrest, try, fine, or punish the kings. They enforced the laws and regulated the manners and morals of the people. The Popular Assembly had men within the age group of 30 and 60. They were called the ‘Apella’. This body of free citizens met at the time of each full moon. It had the power to declare war and negotiate peace.
But all these powers were limited. This body of Spartan nobility in general became aristocratic. However, the most significant of the Spartan system of government was the Council of Elders. It was the legislative body, consisting of thirty members, one from each of the thirty districts. All had to be retired soldiers i.e. above the age of sixty. All laws originated in this council.
The fag-end of the sixth century B.C. saw Sparta taking the lead in. the formation of the Peloponnesian Confederation in southern Greece. Sparta conquered many neighboring city-states and hosted the meeting of the Peloponnesian League. It consistently kept up its tradition through times of prestige and adversity until Philip of Macedon over-ran it. The Dorians and their Helot Slaves (the Helots were the original inhabitants of Sparta till overrun by the Dorians) did not live in harmony.
The degree of the Helot revolts was equally matched by that of Dorian’s oppression of them. Sparta made no contribution to the art human, progress or peace. They had no literature other than that of the sword. Agriculture, trade, and even gold and silver totally neglected, Ancient Sparta was thus a military colossus, without a head and heart. Brawn, not brain, was its scan song. Patriotism and discipline are their only heritages to posterity
Discuss the Roman Republic becoming a power in Rome?
The Roman Republic brought the whole of Italy under its authority and direct control. Thus, though Italian in the larger context, the republic and the empire that followed it are prefixed as Roman. The Roman civilization was a continuation of the Greek civilization in a broad sense.
Yet the two popular cultures had some distinct differences between them. The Greeks were idealists and romanticists, but the Romans were very practical and down-to-earth. The Romans concentrated on law and the politics of government, military security, and an inventive genius for organization.
Patricians and Plebians :
The nobles overthrew the monarchy and captured political powers. The nobbles were called the Patricians and the other citizens – were the Plebians. The Patricians were very much oppressive. They exploited the people or Plebians in various ways, especially when in that society the Plebians were poor and enjoyed no political rights or privileges. The Plebians thus came to start a movement against the Patricians.
Their sole advantage over the Patricians was that they far outnumbered the nobility. This made possible their novel weapon of the ‘Strike’. So, whenever the Plebians thought that some injustice had been done and they had been the victim of any discrimination, they left Rome to settle in some nearby military settlement as long as the Patricians did not come to them for compromise.
The rulers and authorities cannot continue without the meld. So the Patricians would then go to the Plebians, compromise, and bring them back. On five occasions the Plebians went on this ‘Strike’. On the first such occasion, the Plebians got the concession of becoming tribunes – officers entrusted with the authority to protect the Plebians from the government.
This was the first of the many concessions to them, like, the legalization of the inter-marriages between the two classes, laws codified into ‘Twelve Tables’, the Plebians got the right to be members of the Senate and to be appointed as high-ranking officers of the government. All these opened the way for good cordial relations between them.
The Codes :
In 450 B.C. the Romans codified their laws. These were inscribed on twelve bronze tablets. These are called the ‘Twelve Tables’. These codified laws helped and protected the common people. In 367 B.C. the Tribune Licinius Stolo prepared laws to protect the peasants from impressive landlords. These came to be called the Lic Nian Laws’.
Discuss the government system of the Roman Republic?
The Lesson learned from the dark days of the monarchy led the Romans to set up a republican form of government in which precaution was taken to stop too much power from getting into the hands of one person. They separated religion from the government by appointing a separate religious officer who was to act as the chief priest but was to have no political authority at all. He held the title of the King of Sacred Things.
As per the Roman constitution, there would be two Consuls with administrative and military powers. Both would enjoy equal powers. They were elected for one year. In times of peace, they would act as the Executive heads. In times of war, they would be the Chief Commanders of the army. Each Consul enjoyed equal powers as the other and each acted as a check on the other so that neither became a dictator with absolute powers.
They enjoyed the powers of life and death over the citizens. They had the power to summon the legislature. For extra-ordinary situations and emergencies of external invasion, the constitution provided for a Dictator. He would be appointed for six months only. The Senate appointed him by nomination. He was free to take any action he deemed fit to meet the crisis. All other organs of the government stood temporarily suspended for these six months.
None enjoyed the right to criticize the Dictator. He would not go out of the State and might be re-appointed for another six months. He had to resign after every such six-month period or immediately after the crisis was over. Otherwise known as ‘Magister Populi he was not to have any access to public funds. The’Patricians were alone eligible for the posts of Consul or Dictator. The general style was for the distribution of power among more and more people.
Thus, less would be the chance for anybody to become supreme. Praetor was the chief judicial officer of the state; Quester, the treasurer; Aedile, administrator of the Police and municipality. There were two censors for census after every five years and for assessing the individual property of every person for fixing revenue collections. The Roman Constitution provided for a Senate. It was the most powerful body in the Republic.
Otherwise known its the Council of Elders, it was composed of 10 members from each of the thirty Patrician groups. Each of these 300 senators held the post for life. Each Senator must have to be above twenty-eight years and must be an ex-magistrate. They embodied the wisdom and experience of the State Senate elected the Consuls and looked after the affairs of public expenditure.
To protect the interests of the Plebians, the Constitution later provided for two Tribunes to be elected for one year. They protected the common man from the oppressive Magistrates. They even came to acquire the power to veto any law of any Magistrate. They were to preside over the popular assembly. The Comitia Tribute was the popular Assembly. It was for the Plebians. It passed laws for them only.
But in 287 B.C., by a constitutional amendment, it came to be authorized to pass laws applicable to the Patricians as well. It appointed the Tribunes, and certain other low-ranking officer, and tried cases against the Plebians. There was also another Assembly, The Comitia Centuriata, that tried all cases of crimes committed against the Republic, and elected the Consuls as the highest court appeal. aristocrats manned its ranks. In all other matters, these Assemblies were to approve the Senate decisions.
Discuss three stages of the Roman Republic?
First Stage: Rome defeated and humbled all hostile tribes of Italy during the period from 89 B.C. to 266 B.C. They captured the Etruscan city of Veil in 396 B.C., after a prolonged struggle, captured other such cities one after the other, and humbled all Etruscan territories. Three wars over thirty-five years were fought against the Samnite hilly tribes to humble them. They also defeated the Volscians and Aequians.
Finally, the Greeks in the south of the Italian peninsula were all conquered by 270 B.C. and Rome became the mistress of all of Italy. The only setback of the period was when the Gauls of the Po valley defeated the Romans in 390 B.C. and left two months later, after collecting a handsome penalty from the Republic. Rome treated the conquered people well and granted them citizenship.
Second Stage The Punic Wars :
The conquest of the whole of Italy made the Romans more enthusiastic about further conquests abroad. A rich Mediterranean colony of the Phoenicians soon attracted their attention. This was Carthage, “the Mistress of the Seas”. Carthage was richer and navally superior. The entire Mediterranean was a lake of the Carthaginians. A clash between Rome and Carthage was thus inevitable. Three such wars were fought between 264 B.C. and 146 B.C.
These are known as the Punic wars. The first Punic war began in 261 B.C. and continued till 241 B.C. The superiority of the navy of Carthage made the task of Rome difficult. When Rome won, it was a hard-earned victory. A treaty signed with Carthage in 241 B.C. made age to pay a huge penalty, give up Sicily, and, later in 238 B.C., Corsica and Sardinia also. Rome came to reign supreme in the Mediterranean and the Carthaginians went to settle in Spain.
The Second Punic War (218 B.C. to 201 B.C.) started when the Carthaginians wanted to take revenge and in 218 B.C. and under their great leader Hannibal attacked the Roman city of Saguntum. Hannibal succeeded his father Hamilcar and had taken an oath as a nine-year-old boy to avenge the first Punic war. He became the greatest military genius of his time and has come to rank with Alexander and Napoleon same.
He marched to Italy via France and Switzerland and after crossing the Alps, a rare feat of military achievement defeated the Romans at Trebia, Canne, and Trasimene. The emergency led the Romans to appoint a Dictator. He was Quintus Fabius Maximus. He resorted to the trick of avoiding a direct attack but was finally defeated in 216 B.C. at Canne. But, “Romans are feared most when their danger is the greatest”.
Hannibal received no help from home. Many of his good soldiers were already dead. Finally, in 202 B.C. at Zama, the new great Roman gene bliss Cornelius Scipio defeated Hannibal. A treaty followed. By it, the Carthaginians surrendered their navy, a huge price in gold, and agreed not to go to war without the permission of Rome. Thus ended the Second Punic War that re-established the supremacy of Rome over the Mediterranean.
Third Stage :
In the East lay the dominions of Alexander like Athens, Rhodes, and Pergamum, etc. now ruled by Alexander’s generals. Rome defeated Macedon in 197 B.C. and annexed it in 148 B.C., In 190 B.C. Antiochus of Syria was defeated in the battle of Thermopylae and also was Mithridates of Asia-minor. Thus, Rome came to acquire a gigantic empire, for herself.
Discuss Julius Caesar and his career?
Julius Caesar did “bestride this narrow world like a Colossus”, to quote Shakespeare. He was the general who thrust the power of Rome northward; he was the dictator who made possible the existence of a Roman Empire. Here was a man who claimed kinship with the gods and came to be revered by the people as such. He left a mark on history that has never faded. Cicero was a better orator, Cassius was wealthier, and Pompey a good soldier, but Caesar was all the three put together and much more.
Gaius Julius Caesar appeared on the Roman scene when the public was withering rapidly. The vast empire arid its possible administration, the corrupt Senate, the Social war between the Italians and civil war between the Senate and the people, the slave war between the slaves and the army, and the popular demand for independence in remote areas of the Empire contributed together to the end of the Republic and the beginning of the Empire under Julius Caesar.
Julius Caesar was born in the Patrician class of Juli in 100 B.C. His father was Gaius and his mother was Aurelia. His family supported the Plebians because of previous matrimonial links with them and even Julius Caesar supported them during their struggle with the Patricians towards the far end of the Republic. One of his aunts was married to the Plebian leader Marius. He was, married to Cornelia, the daughter of the popular leader Cinna and his daughter Julia Pompey’s wife.
He lost his father in 84 B.C. and as a teenager was tutored capably by Amelia and tutor Antonius. Caesar grew up as a man of vision with a superlative will-power, clear purpose, amicable dealings, and quick decisions. He knew that would be extremely difficult to manage the empire through the Senate, knew that the trend of times pointed to dictatorship, and was determined that he should direct the affairs of the State.
The rise in his political carrier was meteoric. He began as Tribune. Aedile and Praetor before capturing the attention of all of Rome with feats of military conquest, as the governor of Spain. When Pompey returned from the East, the whole of the Republic and Crassus in 60 B.C. This was known as the First Triumvirate. Rome was ruled by the Triumvirate up to 48 B.C. with Caesar in the West, Crassus in the East and Pompey in the South, and Centre zones of the Empire.
Three changes however came in the situation. The first was the defeat and death of Crassus by the Parthians. The second was the conquests of Caesar. To dazzle the Roman eyes with his military genius, Caesar entered Gaul (corresponding to modem France) in 58 B.C. and in course of nine years won many great victories. The most notable was his victory over the Germans under Ariovistus that saw the military.
The skill of Caesar in full bloom, the capture of slaves and spoils of war, and the annexation of Gaul to Rome which continued for three hundred years. The Englanders were the allies of the Gauls in these wars and so Caesar attacked England twice in 55 B.C. and in 54 B.C. crossing the English channel to go right up to the Thames. The British Prince Cassivellaunus was forced to pay taxes and tributes.
Discuss Caesar as a dictator of Rome?
Caesar won the civil war and returned to Rome. Not only was Caesar a great ‘conqueror but had great achievements to his credit. His victories brought great honors and a real power.
Caesar was voted dictator for life. He became in effect a monarch. He was adorned with the title – Imperator. He aimed at the all-round development of his subjects. The people of Romo enjoyed peace during his time. Mal¬administration and revolts at Rome brought chaos and indiscipline to the country. That was the time of 45 B. C. He brought confidence in the Roman citizens through his administrative, economic, and other reforms.
Administrative Reform :
Although Caesar was a virtual dictator, he respected the Republican traditions and the Government of Rome. The Roman government was brought under his own autocratic and unlimited control. He secured all the powers of the Consuls and the Tribunes. He increased the number of senators from 600 to 900 through his own supporters. The Senate just became an advisory body. He acted as the chief priest. He could appoint the magistrates, command the army and declare war and peace.
He reduced the powers of provincial governors. He was authorized to spend the public fund. Citizenship was granted to all aliens in Roman dominion like the Roman citizens. Roman laws were codified and systematized. Municipal laws were standardized. He imposed order in Roman streets and took action checking the moneylenders to participate in politics. Italy town-planning scheme was introduced.
To seek the welfare of his subjects was the principal work of Caesar. He took steps to relieve the burden of loans of the common people. He distributed lands among the landless poor. Water supply for cultivation was Caesar’s principal job. He constructed highways and dams. He prepared a flood control scheme for the Tiber. Colonies were established.
Near 80,000 people were sent to Carthage, Corinth, and other places. Caesar introduced regular taxation. He protected trade and commerce. He improved the coin system which facilitated the expansion of trade. Even gold coins bearing his effigy were issued.
Caesar’s building activities were no less inferior to other rulers. He renovated the old temples and buildings. He built a temple for Mars and established an auditorium. A public library was built. The introduction of Julian’s calendar was his best contribution to future Europe. The new calendar started functioning from the first of January, 45 B.C. The calendar actually came from the Hellenistic Alexandria where an astronomer suggested to Caesar that “the year of 365 days.
An extra day each fourth year would make it possible to emerge from the complexities of the traditional Roman calendar.” Census was conducted in the whole of Italy. An incentive was given to increase the population. He also for the first time in history started a kind of newspaper – the Acturbols. In this way, Caesar brought peace and prosperity to the people of the Roman empire and earned fame.
What are the contributions of Rome to Human Civilization?
It is observed that the culture of the Greeks highly influenced the culture of ancient Rome. The Greek language, science, and arts penetrated Rome through the Greek colonies in South Italy. Even Greek social, political and economic conditions no less impressed the Romans. That is why the Roman poet Horace said, “captive Greece had captured her rude conquerors”. But it cannot be said that the Roman civilization was fully influenced by the Greek civilization.
The Romans created many new elements. As J.M. Roberts puts it,” “The Greek contribution to civilization was essentially mental and spiritual, that of Rome was structural and practical.” The Romans possessed creative power. In politics and jurisprudence, the Romans had greater development than the Greeks. Below are enumerated the contributions of Rome to ancient civilization.
Government and law:
Monarchy was prevalent in Ancient Rome. But soon kingship was abolished and Rome became a republic. The powers of the king were captured by two Consuls. The Consuls were elected from among the Patricians for a term of one year. The Consuls enjoyed the highest administrative and military powers. They also acted as Judges, n case there was a difference between the two the Senate meditating.
The Senate was the most powerful political body. In administrative matters, the Consuls were to seek its advice Questions related to war and peace were settled by the Senate. It also controlled the National finance. The Romans had their edit of establishing a systematic code. There was a feeling at Roman laws were often interpreted to suit the Patrician’s interest. So the Plebians demanded written laws.
Accordingly, the laws were codified and inscribed on the Twelve Tables of bronze and displayed in the marketplace. When the Roman empire grew, foreigners lived in Rome. To secure their right it was necessary to enlarge the scope of the Twelve Tables. The special judges known as the praetor were appointed to look into the matters. A new body of laws came to be evolved for the administration of justice.
In the 6th century A.D. Emperor, Justinian codified the Roman laws which came to be known as the Justinian code. The Roman laws were just and humane in character. It is not exaggerated to mention that many European countries have prepared their laws on the basis of Roman laws.
The Roman religion was a very obvious part of Roman life. The early Romans worshipped spirits rather than gods. Every family worshipped its spirit. The head of the family offered simple ceremonies to the family spirit. There was no priestly caste, nor was there creed or dogmas. Some of the popular spirits were Vesta, Janus, Juno, Penates, and Genius Familiae. Influenced by the Greeks, the Romans started worshipping the phototype of Greek Gods.
They worshipped Mars, Jupiter, Minerva, and Neptune, Jupiter, the spirit of the sky became the God of justice, and Mars who agricultural deity became the God of war. Venus was the goddess of beauty and Minerva was the goddess of wisdom. Neptune was the sea god. They observe an agricultural festival, the Saturnalia. Mysticism also entered into Roman belief.
In the field of philosophy, Rome could not progress a lot like Greece. However, Rome had great thinkers. The Romans borrowed “Epicurian and Stoic philosophic ideas of ancient Greece” Lucretius was a thinker of ‘Epicureanism and wrote ‘On the Nature of things. Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius advocated Stoic philosophy. Aurelius, in his book ‘Meditations’, interpreted, “Stoic philosophy and its place in Roman civilization.”
The literature of Greece also influenced the Romans. But Roman literature was unique and it was a great contribution to human civilization. Their Latin works were more moralistic and less imaginative. Roman literature attained perfection in the fields like didactic poetry, historical writing, and satire. Virgil, Lucretius, Horace, and Ovid were great genius in poetry written in the Latin language.
Ovid was a model poet of his time. Virgil was a poet of supreme genius. He was famous for his pastoral poem, the Georgies. Here was painted a peaceful and harmonious World with nature. His World was the World of hard work, sincere faith, and simple pleasures. In theAeneidheisknownasthe ‘Voice ofRome’. It was written in the style of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’. The epic ‘Aeneid’ dealt with the foundation of Rome by the great Trojan Hero, Aeneas.
Ovid wrote poetry like the Metamorphoses. It was a collection of stories taken from Greek mythology. The Roman drama was not original, yet it prospered a lot. Seneca wrote nine tragedies to please Emperor Nero. His works served as a model for plays of the sixteenth century. In comedy, the Romans were more successful than in tragedy. Terence and Plautus were two great comedians.
The Romans were great builders. They followed the architectural technique of the Greeks and added many new elements to it. For example, they followed the technique of construction of Greek pillars or columns but the building of arches and domes was their own creation. H. A. Davies holds the view, “If Rome plundered she also civilized the world.” Sculpture. The Roman artists were also greatly influenced by the Greek sculptural style. However, they also developed their own technique.
Their sculptures were realistic, secular, and individualistic. The Roman sculptures expressed their skill in making statues of gods goddesses. In the first century A.D. There was a school of portrait bust-makers. Busts of emperors, administrators, and soldiers were produced life-like. Most remarkable of them were die-bust images of Pompey, Julius Caesar, Augustus, and Cicero. The collection of fine Roman busts is there in British Museum.
Science and Engineering:
Probably the Romans were ignorant of pure science, but their technology was highly advanced. Roman roads, bridges, and tunnels bear the testimony of Roman constructive genius. They had a deep knowledge of metallurgy. Roman craftmen were well-skilled in mining, glass works, dyes, and textiles. Claudius Ptolemy who was an astronomer compiled “The encyclopedia of Astronomy”.
He also displayed his knowledge of Geography. He was the first map-maker in the world. Pliny wrote ‘Natural History’ on nature. Galen was a great physician. He demonstrated that the arteries contained blood, not air. Celsus, another physician practiced medicine in Rome. Chiefly the Roman doctors contributed to healing rather than to theories about diseases and medicine.
The Roman culture was rich and it was not confined to Rome. Soon it was widespread throughout the Roman empire and contributed greatly to human civilization. Being impressed by the glory of Roman civilization, Edgar Allan Poe sings – “I Kneel, a layered and humble man, Amid thy shadows and drink within my very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory”.
What is the meaning and significance of terniTeudalism?
What is known as the Feudal system came gradually into existence in the centuries following the collapse of the Rorpan empire in the west, particularly after the death of Charlemagne. During that long period of chaos, warfare, and insecurity, when the weakness of kings was exposed, the tiller of the soil found it safer to surrender his land and ‘commend’ himself to the armed man or ‘lord’ who could protect him in the use of this land. In return, the lord himself acquired certain liberties and privileges.
This development is known as Feudalism and it took a century or more to reach its full development. The name “Feudalism” is, however, a later invention of the lawyers and historians for it was unknown to the very people who practiced it and about whom so much has been written. This new socio-economic system made its first appearance in France and it was here that the system found fruition.
Gradually, however, it spread to other parts of Europe, and through every country had its distinctive features, the basic characteristics of feudalism were almost the same everywhere. In England, Feudalism developed after the Norman conquest during the eleventh century. The term feudal is derived from the Latin word ‘forum’, that is, ‘fee’ from ancient. Germanic word meaning ‘property’. Other terms linked with the system were fief (land), vassal (land-holder), and fealty (loyalty).
There is no definite demarcation to indicate the birth of feudalism. It was essentially an outgrowth in response to the needs and conditions of the times Prior to the growth of feudalism as an institution, its duties were being performed by such Roman and Germanic organizations as the ‘Clientage’ and ‘Commendation’. But their jurisdiction was not very for a fling. After the death of Charlemagne, his weak successors were unable to maintain effective control over his vast empire.
During the 9th century A.D., his empire broke into fragments. The petty kings who emerged in this fragmented empire lacked the power and authority to maintain law, order, and discipline. Without the support of a regular standing army, they even could not provide protection to their own subjects. Taking advantage of this rampant chaos hordes of German plunderers, looted people’s properties.
External invasion too was endemic. People lived in mortal fear since there seemed no one to protect them from the internal plunderers and external enemies. The condition of the peasants and laborers became particularly deplorable. Charlemagne had been assisted by a group of high officials known as the Dukes, Courts, and Margraves. After his- death, the successors of these officials declared independence from their titular kings and each one of them maintained a regular standing army.
They built numerous castles and continued to live luxurious life within these castles. Gradually, there developed a tendency among the weak kings, to grant land to these strong and wealthy people and in return, they were given protection against internal disorder and external aggression. Such seems to be the origin of Feudalism in Medieval Europe. Though kings were only in name, they nevertheless owned all land in the state.
After receiving the land from the kings, these powerful men, now known as Lords, promised to provide protection and security to the society. These Lords were termed the king’s vassals or feudatories. Even Bishops and Abbots gave away church land to these lords and in return received protection and security. The Lords in turn gave away land to the people in general and to the helpless peasants and laborers in particular.
These people owed them to the lords. The piece of land given to the peasant by the Lord was known as a ‘Fief or ‘Feud’ and from this term took shape an institution known as Feudalism. It was based upon an implicit contract between the kings, lords, and subjects but there was no legal sanction behind it.
Why it is regarded that all land was King’s land?
Theoretically, all land was king’s land and there were no landowners in the modem sense of the word ‘owners’, but only shareholders or tenants. Society being graded or hierarchical, kings granted land to powerful lords or barons and they, in turn, sublet it to numerous tenants. The main duty of the baron and the knight was to provide soldiers to the king, usually for forty days of service per year. The performance of this duty was what he owed the king in return for his land.
These barons and knights who held their land directly from the king were known as tenants-in-chief. The lesser barons and knights who held land from the tenants-in-chief and not directly from the king were the sub-tenants. Just as the great nobles or lords were expected to supply the king with soldiers when the king went to war, the obligations of the sub-tenants to their lords would be similar. But generally speaking, a vassal or a sub-tenant did not serve for more than forty days.
Other Obligations of a Vassal:
Besides rendering military service, the vassal had other obligations to fulfill. A payment called a ‘relieF was due to the lord when a vassal succeeded to his father’s estate. He could not take possession until the relief was paid. Again, a vassal had to pay his lord feudal taxes or ‘aids’ on certain occasions like to ransom the lord from captivity to provide a marriage dowry for his eldest daughter when his eldest son received the honor of knighthood.
Ceremonies: Homage and Investiture:
A tenant – the tenants-in-chief to the king and sub-tenants to their immediate lord – before receiving his land, did allegiance or ‘homage’ for their holdings of fiefs. The land which the vassal received was termed the Fief or Feud. He had to kneel before his lord to do homage by placing his hands between his lord’s and then he swore fealty [loyalty] to his lord. The tenant was then ‘invested’ or presented with some symbol, such as a clod taken from the soil of the manor or estate.
The oath of fealty not only bound the tenant to faithful obedience but implied also that he would perform his feudal duties and render some form of service, particularly military. A feudal fief was hereditary in the family of the vassal or villein and passed down to the eldest son from one generation to the other. So long as the original conditions of the grant were observed faithfully, neither the lord nor his successors could rightfully regain possession of the land given to the vassal.
Mutual Rights and Duties :
The lord held the land, the peasant tilled it. The lord was duty-bound to protect the community and his rights included a tax on both the labor and the produce from the peasant. Conversely, the peasants’ duties were to perform these personal services to the lord, His right obviously was to expect protection, and also, by custom, to farm part of the soil for his own sustenance.
The Monor Duties by Villeinss Serfs :
The normal unit of a holding of land was the manor or an estate and a manor might include a whole village or part of one or more than one village. It was through the manor that the lords enforced their feudal arrangements. The lords whom the manors were granted had the entire mass of the villagers at their command. At first, the term ‘villein’ meant a villager, but in time it came to imply servitude.
The lord of a manor had various classes of tenants and he himself had his own farm. His farm was worked by the villagers. This compulsory labor on the lord’s land was one of the distinctive marks of the system of villeinage. In return, the villein had to cultivate certain strips of land.
He received no wages, but he had to do certain ‘base’ services for his lord. It included the heavy ‘week work’ and extra work or ‘boon work’.
The villain was not ‘free’ and he was ‘bound to the soil.’ He could not change his occupation, migrate from one village to another, or even get married without his lord’s permission. However, no one could take away his land, not even the lord, as long as the peasant or the villain performed his due services.
During festivities like Christmas and Easter, the lord claimed payment in kinds like poultry, eggs, butter, and whatnot. Sometimes there were workers known as bondmen or ‘serfs’. They held no land but were kept by the lord to do his chores and special tasks, for example, the beekeeper, the Hayward, and the swineherd.
Who is ‘Freemen ’ and what is the general condition of the villain?
The villeins formed the great mass of the population, perhaps three-quarters. But besides the villeins, there were ‘freemen” who held varying amounts of land. The freeman was ‘free’ in the sense that he enjoyed various legal rights. He, in fact, could enforce his rights even against the lord and could even sell or give away his land to anyone he liked. Though at times he plowed the Lord’s land, unlike the villains he did not perform any weekly work.
On the whole, judging from the condition of the people, it was apparent that under feudalism their lives were far from being a happy ones. Though it was the labor of the villeins which made it possible for the feudal lords to pursue their passion for fighting they hardly had the will or inclination for looking after the welfare of the villains. Perhaps the only way a villein could obtain his freedom was by running away to a town and remaining there undetected.
The Castle :
The manorial village provided the lord of the manor with profit and it also provided the villagers with the means of existence. It is no exaggeration to say that war was the law of the feudal world. While brothers fought against brothers, sons stood up against their fathers, the tournaments of the medieval times which are so vividly described as avenues for entertainment were, indeed military exercises by the knights to keep them ever-prepared for the eventuality of war.
The military potential of the lords and barons often led to many cases of abuse. For instance, when the Duke of Normandy decided to break his feudal vows and fight against the king of France, it became imperative on the part of Norman landowners and villains to follow their duke. This had a disrupting effect for, it was absolutely fatal to the growth and development of a powerful nation.
Feudal warfare disrupted the normal and healthy growth of agriculture, commerce, and trade. Though a desire for security on the part of ordinary people was a powerful factor in the development of feudalism, that system did not provide a cure for their ills. The feudal lord often claimed and exercised rights that were detrimental to the interests of the community the right of private jurisdiction and the right of private war.
A strong king might be able to restrain such activities of a feudal lord, but few of the kings of Western Europe during the Middle Ages were strong enough to curb the rebellious instincts of their barons. A strong English king like Henry II might have been successful but the reign of the good-natured yet back Stephen illustrates what the lack of an effective central authority meant.
The initial feudal contract degenerated into a systematic exploitation of the weaker section of the community by the strong and powerful. Instead of a mutual distribution and sharing of concerns, it was sheer coercion by a small minority of a vast majority. Feudalism led to the evolution of serfdom a condition of abject poverty, misery, and deprivation.
Though gradually New Monarchs rose to power in Europe and restored order and fixed definite boundaries, the institution of the nobility- lords, dukes, barons counts-continued to survive and thrive. This feudal institution became parasitical which enjoyed privilege without responsibility. The kings, in fact, were to be blamed for this, they considered this exploiting class to be the mainstay of their strength.