Greece: City-States in Conflict
The Peloponnesian War was waged mostly between Sparta and Athens, although both had outside allies. After Sparta defeated Athens, the balance of power should have shifted to leave Sparta in the role of empire-builder, but the Spartans were unable to unify the Greek city-states. This failure can be attributed to a number of reasons.
key words- Thebians, Rome: Opportunity for Empire, Roman rule, The End of Rome, Lucius Cornelius Sulla .
[...] Rome: Opportunity for Empire After the Greeks failed to unify the city-states, Rome used its own methods to take control of the entire Mediterranean. Even beyond the coastal towns, Rome stretched its empire to include parts of Africa and Britain. Why did Rome succeed where the Greeks had failed? One of the advantages Rome had was the strength of its army. Although political and societal infighting was commonplace, Rome was able to uphold unified front against their enemies abroad” (Kishlansky 112, 5). [...]
[...] As Rome went farther afield to expand its territory, it also had the bonus of a large base of support at home. The text says this was due to the patrician system and the strong ties of familial and social loyalty felt in the Roman culture (118, 1). More support came from the Roman colonies and allies. When Hannibal marched against Rome, he was unable to keep his victories for long; the Roman colonies worked against him. Another factor in Rome's eventual victory was its flexibility in its fighting methods. [...]
[...] After the deaths of Gaius and many of his supporters, Rome saw the building of “party politics more a matter of personal ambition, political machinery than of genuine conviction” 4). The country soon found itself torn by vendettas waged by private political gangs. Before long, these gangs gave way to “personal armies, potent tools in the hands of ambitious politicians” (Kishlansky 135, 6). When the Senate backed out of a deal providing poor soldiers with parcels of land, the soldiers became more loyal to their commander than to the state. [...]
[...] By winning the Punic Wars, Rome sealed the fate of the Mediterranean. The historian Polybius gives his own opinion on why Rome was able to defeat Carthage. He writes that as Carthage was declining, Rome was reaching its zenith. He also mentions that Carthage had to rely on mercenaries, who had fewer stakes in the outcome of the war than the Roman citizen soldiers, who were “fighting for their country and their children” (118, 4). While Greece was preoccupied with jealousy of its neighboring city-states and keeping its allies in line, Rome was able to rely on its citizens for a backbone of support. [...]
[...] Although Rome been exposed to so many religious beliefs that they were tolerant of the Christians were different from these previous religions in several crucial ways (128, 1). First of all, they refused to burn incense to the emperor's idol or to acknowledge other gods which the state promoted. Their beliefs were increasingly seen as a religion, but as subversion” (Kishlansky 153, 1). It was also seen as a threat to the Empire in other ways. Christianity only grew faster under the persecution, and the Christians' bravery when facing death lent credibility to their beliefs. [...]
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