The religious teachings were meant to frighten simple minded believers with tales of darkness, terror, and punishment.
Magicians and priests used fear of death to serve their purposes.
He didn't deny the existence of the gods, he thought of them as made of atoms.
He said that the gods live far from humans and have no concern for them.
One can't expect help from the gods.
The pursuit of pleasure is more difficult than avoiding fear.
Eating and drinking can be self-destructive for they can act as fresh sources of pain until they have been satisfied.
He thought it was better to discipline them rather than feed them.
The "passive" pleasures were urged to be cultivated, such as recollection and meditation, personal friendship, and the enjoyment of nature.
He didn't like the pursuit of wealth or public office for it brings disappointment, trouble, and pain.
Above all, it is valued, calmness, poise, and serenity of mind.
The most influential of the Roman intellectuals was Stoicism.
The ethical code was similar to the Roman virtues.
The Romans might have practiced Stoicism before they heard of it.
Zeno had a materialist view of the universe.
The universe is a plan of goodness.
People are masters of their own beings, even though they can't control what is beyond themselves.
The Stoics said that happiness and harmony are achieved by virtue rather than pleasure.
According to their definition, virtue consists of understanding nature through reason, accepting by self-discipline God's purpose, and living in accordance with duty, truth, and natural law.
They thought all people were equal because they shared the same spark of reason.
They challenged the practice of slavery and taught that everyone should love one another as brothers and sisters.
The ideal person is self-sufficient, dutiful, compassionate, and calm.
Cicero, the noble lawyer and senator, was one of the followers of Stoicism.
Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of the Roman empire.
He embodied Plato's dream that kings should be philosophers.
Marcus Aurelius wrote that the work of God is good.
Specific events may be harmful to someone who is immediately affected by them.
To live in wisdom and harmony, individuals must learn to accept events that are necessary to the good.
Personal suffering will give them a sense of participation in the larger works.
They will conduct themselves calmly no matter what their situation is.
The ancient Roman virtues were in accord with the philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.
"Let it be your hourly care, to do stoutly what the hand finds to do, as a man and a Roman, with carefulness, unaffected dignity, humanity, freedom, and justice," he advised.
The individual should live one day at a time and leave the past to itself.
As it falls to him, every man must do his duty.
Nature's plan is served, and the individual's life is blended with the universe.
The future of Roman times was influenced by the philosophy of scritism, which fered a noble standard of conduct and anticipated Christianity.
The most direct influence was on Roman legal thought, in which the idea of "natural law" was of high importance.
The Romans were carriers of Hellenistic culture in literature and philosophy.
In the sciences, the same is true.
Alexandria, in Egypt, continued to be the hub of scientific and medical works despite Athens being the leading center for philosophy.
Ptolemy created a model of the universe that was accepted in the West until the scientific revolution of the 17th century.
A series of books written by a Greek physician in Asia Minor had equal influence.
Until the emergence of scientific biology in the 17th century, Galen's views on anatomy and physiology were accepted, but he stressed the importance of personal hygiene to health.
The Romans were vigorous originators in the field of law, and their most enduring contribution to Western institutions lay in legal theory and practice.
The "customary" laws that the patrician judges had been observing were recorded in the Twelve Tablets.
The rules of evidence in judicial hearings, provision for the calling and questioning of witnesses, and specification of crimes and their punishments were included in the code.
The basis of Roman law was the Twelve Tablets.
Although it provided for harsh penalties, the judges gradually modified them.
He was given the freedom to interpret the code of the Twelve Tablets.
At the start of his term, each Praetor was required to announce his own interpretation of the law.
Through his daily decisions, he adapted the original tablets to the cases before him.
There were disagreements between Roman citizens and foreigners under Roman jurisdiction.
The official was able to draw on various foreign laws and Roman law to arrive at fair decisions and settlements.
By the first century a.d., the basic provisions of the two bodies of law were close together.
In theory, at least, and usually in practice, one system of law prevailed throughout the empire.
The ancient statutes of the Republic were further expanded by the interpretations of rulers and the opinions and commentaries of legal experts.
Outstanding legal scholars were appointed by the emperors to advise on specific cases.
The commentaries carried considerable authority because the Romans had respect for the law.
The judicial traditions of the West owe a lot to these scholars.
They observed that the laws of nations had many elements in common and that the laws themselves were gradually merging into the single law of the empire.
The roman triumph and fall in legal ideas among the peoples of the empire were similar to the belief in the law of reason.
The idea of law and human rights is contained in the United States Declaration of Independence.
He said that the regulations of states that do not conform to reason are not truly laws.
Several emperors tried to bring order to the accumulating of laws, interpretations, principles, and procedures.
After the division of the Roman Empire in the sixth century, a complete codification was carried through.
The foundation for the legal systems that were later developed throughout Europe was created by Justinian's codification.
The Romans built their state, their law, and their public structures for eternity, and there is no more impressive proof of their sense of power and permanence than their architecture.
The ruins of hundreds of Roman buildings still stand on three continents, from the shores of the eastern Mediterranean to the Scottish border.
Etruscan and Hellenistic styles were the primary influences on the architects of Rome.
The Romans built on a larger scale than the Greeks, with a population of hundreds of thousands.
The Romans expressed their taste for grandeur, elegance, and display in their architecture.
The Italian peninsula had plenty of timber and stone, as well as good clays and lava for brick and concrete.
Other materials, such as marble, were imported.
Rome used brick and concrete faced with stucco or marble veneer.
Completed in 19 B.C.
The water can flow quickly and stay clean if the top tier of arches slopes slightly.
The bridge is built of accurately cut stones that hold together by their own weight without cement, yet the structure is so strong that the bottom row of arches carries a roadway used by modern motor vehicles.
The first use of all of them was in ancient Sumer.
They realized that an arch made of bricks, stones, or poured concrete could carry a heavier load than a stone beam.
The arch is an extension of the vault.
This type of vault is limited in its usefulness in public structures.
This kind of structure can be made to fit in a huge space with no need for supporting members between floor and ceiling.
A large dome was built up of horizontal rings of brick, stone, or concrete.
The single unit was firmly set in place when the parts were finished.
There are Roman vaulting systems.
The basic features of large public buildings were developed in many different ways.
The Romans designed structures to serve the needs of the population.
To provide their cities with water for public baths and ornamental fountains and also to ensure a good supply of drinking water, they built great aqueducts leading down from distant mountain springs.
Much of the way, the water flowed through pipes or channels in the mountains or hills, but across a valley or a plain.
The water flowed steadily by force of gravity because the Romans had no mechanical pumps.
The covered water channel was supported by the upper level of arches.
The entire structure was built of stone blocks.
The spread of disease south of the capital was reduced by Roman engineers.
Wetlands are a good place for mosquitoes to breed.
The Romans didn't understand the mechanism of the disease that hit them at the source.
Perhaps the most impressive practical achievement of the Romans was their network of roads.
They needed swift and reliable means of overland movement to control, defend, and expand their empire.
50,000 miles of roads were built or improved over the centuries, reaching out from Rome to the farthest corners of the empire.
The roadbed was 15 feet wide and 5 feet deep.
Carefully graded broken stone and gravel was packed down to form a foundation that could hold water.
In the neighborhood of towns, traffic was heavy and thick blocks of hard stone were used.
The priority was given to the army, government officials, and the emperor's messengers, but the roads were also open to the public.
On the major arteries, there was a stable every 10 miles and a hostel every 30 miles for official travelers.
Until the twentieth century, there was no road system like the Roman highways.
An earlier temple built by Hadrian was destroyed in a fire.
The Pantheon's dome is shallow, as if the builders were experimenting with something new.
The ancient Etruscans had a model of domestic architecture found in their dwellings.
The welldesigned homes have fountains, sculptures, wall paintings, mosaics, and metalware.
The urban population lived in crowded apartment buildings.
At the port and suburb of Rome, there are examples of these.
The most enduring monuments of Roman architecture can be found in public buildings.
It was a civic center.
In the early days of the Republic, the Roman Forum was a marketplace, but it became an impressive meeting place with statues, temples, and halls of government.
The Capitoline Hill was the top of which was the temple of Jupiter, while across the Forum was the palaces of the emperors.
The emperors built their own forums in Rome.
The Forum of Trajan was built in the second century a.d. on a large site near the Capitoline Hill.
The marble Column of Trajan, with a spiral band of sculptured relief, retells the emperor's conquests.
The building was either a rectangular one with a cross-vault principle or a Greek one with columns.
By lifting the roof of the center aisle higher than the roof of the side aisles, the architects were able to admit light through a series of "clerestory" windows.
The apse was often used as a chamber for courts of law because it was covered by a half-dome.
The basilica was adapted to the needs of the Christians in the fourth century.
The apse was used to hold the altar and sacred objects as the congregation stood in the open rectangular area.
The Roman temple was similar to the Greek, but it followed an Etruscan plan.
The most impressive of all Roman temples has a different design.
The original temple was destroyed by fire and the emperor ordered a reconstruction.
The rotunda wall was 20 feet thick to carry the weight of the dome.
The seven niches cut into the wall were believed to hold the statues of the seven "planetary" deities.
There is a doorway that leads to a Greek-style porch.
The Pantheon has a squat, heavy appearance, but the interior gives a dramatic impression of space and buoyancy.
The civilization of the empire was mostly urban and elaborate structures were built to satisfy the recreational needs of city people.
The emperors courted popular favor by donating pleasure palaces that housed large indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gymnasiums, gardens, libraries, galleries, theaters, lounges, and bars.
The town's first bishop, Saint Apollinaris, was honored with a church built in the seaport of Classis.
The church is a replica of a Roman basilica, but it was built after Apollinaris and 70 years after the last emperor ruled Rome.
Classis was once an important imperial naval base, and the church's construction was a sign of the town's continuing wealth and civilization in spite of the empire's troubles.
The best-preserved pleasure palace in Rome is the complex of buildings known as the Baths of Diocletian, built in the late third century a.d.
It is 300 feet long, 90 feet wide and 90 feet high.
Three thousand bathers could be accommodated in the baths, which are decorated with gilt and marble.
The Romans liked to watch the chariot races of the circus and the gory combats of the arena.
The cultural tastes of the ancient Greeks and Romans were represented by the theater and arena.
It was the largest of its kind, covering 6 acres and seating more than fifty thousand spectators.
The stairways were arranged so that the stadium could be emptied in a few minutes.
The construction of the Colosseum was done with a variety of materials.
The archways and vaults were of brick, while other sections were of concrete and broken stone.
There was a wall of stone blocks over the outer facing.
The arena was built by the new imperial dynasty, the Flavians, in order to gain popularity in the city of Rome.
The city's decay ended gladiatorial combats, wild beast hunts, and mock sea battles.
The Colosseum was a "stone quarry" for newer buildings.
When preservation replaced quarrying, the structure was still huge and impressive.
Great poles used to be held in the sockets inside the high wall.
Over the centuries, marble and other building material was carried off from the exterior of the Colosseum and used in other structures.
The arena floor was made of wood covered with sand and had a maze of corridors, chambers, and cells where animals and humans were waiting to fight.
The crowd's appetite for violence was hard to satisfy, even though these contests were usually fought to the death.
"Roman holidays" lasted from early morning till dark.
The cost of food and refreshments is usually paid for by wealthy donors.
The Eternal City and the provinces have many of these edifices.
They have the same sense of power and pride as the Column of Trajan.
The works of sculpture were seen as propaganda by the Roman rulers.
They could relate the events of a military campaign or present the unaffected portrait of a man.
The strength and eagerness of the horse shows the power and authority of the rider who controls it, and the rider's high-browed, bearded face speaks of wisdom and mercy.
When the statue's pedestal was ready, Michelangelo ordered the animal to walk forward onto it because he was taken with the horse's realistic quality.
An unknown patrician is depicted in this carving.
When a patrician dies, his family makes a wax death mask, which is used in his own and later funeral processions.
The custom grew up of reproducing the masks as marble busts.
An aged but strong-minded, shrewd, and perhaps grimly humorous noble Roman would be the subject of a study by a fine artist.
There are busts of emperors in the National Museum of Naples.
The era of "decline and fall" began after the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 AD.
The weakness of the Roman Empire was marked by periods of recovery.
The average citizen had no sense of sudden catastrophe for most of the time, despite the many ills of the empire.
Scholars have written hundreds of volumes on the problems the empire faced.
The economic weakness of the western part of the empire was one of the factors.
Italy was able to live off the profits of conquest under the Republic, but after Augustus' time, these came to an end.
There was a period of prosperity in Spain and Gaul after the Roman conquest, as cities were founded, agriculture flourished, and commerce developed.
The West had fewer people, cities, and economic resources than the East.
To meet the needs of the army and civil government, tax rates had to be raised.
The government tried to make up for the impoverishment of taxpayers by increasing taxes.
Stable and effective leadership was one of the problems that the empire began to suffer from.
The line of emperors by adoption and designation came to an end when Marcus Aurelius' son Commodus outlived him and became emperor.
Commodus was murdered after twelve years of irresponsible rule, and rival generals fought one another to take over the imperial office.
The emperors were beholden to the soldiers of the armies that won them the supreme power and the resulting gifts and pay raises increased the burden on the empire's resources.
These difficulties made it harder for the empire to deal with the stillunconquered barbarian peoples who lived to the north of its European frontiers.
The Germanic peoples had the same way of life as the Greeks and Romans before they became civilized.
The Germanic peoples were farmers, livestock breeders, and warriors, but they were also liable to move around in search of new land if they were defeated in war or natural disasters.
Each tribe had a nobility based on their birth, and the villages formed more or less permanent tribes.
There were slaves who had been captured in battle, as well as some individuals who were bound to do labor for others in payment for debt.
The political and military institutions of the Germans were characteristic.
Each village held a monthly assembly open to all free males, which served as both a council and a court of justice.
The warriors received a share of the spoils from the chieftain.
By the time of Caesar, the Germanic tribes had spread into the broad area between the Baltic and North seas and the Rhine-Danube frontier.
They moved into eastern Europe in the third century a.d.
The Germanic tribes were in close contact with the Romans as soon as they reached north of the Alps.
The tribes had no desire to destroy the empire, and these contacts were just as friendly as hostile.
Many Germans joined the Roman army, and some of them enlisted themselves.
It was a common practice for the Romans to allow large groups to settle within the frontier as a buffer against further expansion.
The Germanic tribes had contact with Rome over the centuries.
The Germanic warriors learned from the empire's methods of fighting and adopted its weapons.
Roman subsidies to friendly tribes brought more wealth to Germany than before.
The tribes formed larger confederacies in the second century a.d. due to the power of the war bands.
The members of the war bands were wealthy from loot and Roman subsidies, and eager to spend their wealth on the luxurious trappings of the upper-class Roman way of life.
The tribal confederacies were able to field armies as large as twenty thousand warriors.
The more advanced the Germanic barbarians became, the more dangerous they were to the empire.
The combination of diminishing resources, political divisions, and growing barbarian strength almost destroyed the empire in the middle of the third century.
A decline in population made the economic situation worse.
The disease was spread through much of the empire by Roman troops who were in Syria.
The imperial succession was determined by the clash of legions as provincial armies battled to advance their favorite candidates.
Surprisingly, many of the emperors were effective leaders.
Their terms of office were short and this did not save them from violent death.
The empire from Gaul to the Black Sea was devastated by barbarian tribal confederacies.
The territories of Spain, Greece, and Italy were taken by barbarian war bands.
The Parthian kingdom was overthrown in the East by a revived Persian kingdom.
The provinces of the Middle East were ravaged at Rome's expense.
The empire was on the verge of collapsing.
A typical third-century emperor was Diocletian.
He subdued them all after they challenged his claim to the throne.
He retired to a palatial estate in his native Illyria after twenty years of rule.
He was the main agent in shoring up the crumbling foundations of the empire, even though he was often credited with undertakings that were begun before his time.
The only means left to him were the imperial bureaucracy, the army, and his authority.
The character of a centralized and militarized sacred monarchy was taken on by the "late empire".
The civil administration was the first major step taken by Diocletian.
He decided to divide the empire in two because it was too big.
The theory was that Diocletian was still the monarch of the empire.
The separation of East and West became permanent in 395.
The size of individual provinces was reduced, the number of provinces was increased, and the provincial governors were stripped of their command of troops.
Germanic barbarian raiders and Persian attacks were spearheaded by forces of heavily armed and armored cavalry in the third century.
A new Roman army was formed early in the fourth century because of a series of reforms begun by Diocletian.
The old legions were divided into smaller units.
Some were stationed in heavily fortified outposts along the frontiers, others were assigned to mobile armies in each diocese, and still others were central reserve forces in the imperial capitals.
The early Persian-style heavy cavalry of the Knights of the Middle Ages were more important than in the days of the legions.
The troop strength needed to be double what it had been since Augustus' time.
Diocletian and his successors restored order in the empire and on the frontiers.
It was at the price of breaking the limits on the size of the bureaucracy and the army that every emperor since Augustus had more or less kept to, and therefore imposing on the citizens a heavy burden of tax payments and supply deliveries.
A new survey of the empire's population and wealth was ordered by Diocletian to increase the yield of taxes.
Stilicho was born a Vandal, one of the Germanic tribal confederations.
The diptych shows the "merger" of Romans and barbarians already under way, even though Stilicho was killed by a rival at court.
The advisers did not know enough about economics to deal with the deeper problems.
Diocletian tried to deal with economic problems as if they were barbarian invaders, by giving orders.
He issued an "edict of maximum prices" which froze the price of basic commodities.
To reduce tax evasion and banditry, he ordered that critical occupations be made hereditary.
The sweeping decrees made workers virtual slaves to their jobs, discouraged business owners, and destroyed the mobility of the labor force.
Efforts were made to put the decree into effect, though strict enforcement proved impossible.
If he was to hold the empire together and win acceptance of his reform decree, he had to strengthen respect for imperial authority.
He turned the imperial office into a sacred monarchy.
He was not content with simply accepting the admiration of the citizens for his genius.
He claimed to be Jupiter in human form, while Maximian was Hercules.
The citizens of the empire were expected to devote themselves to Jupiter as the father and ruler of the traditional gods and goddesses of Rome and to himself as Jupiter's earthly embodiment.
Many temples of other gods and goddesses were built or restored by him, a form of piety that the emperors had neglected.