At the same time, one of the most striking characteristics of the Roman Empire is that it achieved a level of urbanization that would only be matched in early modern Europe. Population was a key factor in any preindustrial economy, and to a large extent, increases in the gross domestic product GDP for the Roman Empire as a whole were largely the result of population growth. This situation would not be favorable to the bulk of the farming population, which would find itself in increasing competition for land; as population increased, real wages would decline, and the carrying capacity of the land would eventually be exhausted. One basic issue is whether the Roman Empire ever escaped Malthusian constraints on the economy, with its population enjoying an improving standard of living resulting from increases in the productivity of workers.
Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Greeks, Romans, and barbarians The main treatment of Classical Greek and Roman history is given in the articles Aegean civilizations ; ancient Greek civilization ; Hellenistic Age ; ancient Italic people ; and ancient Rome. Only a brief cultural overview is offered here, outlining the influence of Greeks and Romans on European history.
Greeks Of the Indo-European tribes of European origin, the Greeks were foremost as regards both the period at which they developed an advanced culture and their importance in further evolution.
The Greeks emerged in the course of the 2nd millennium bce through the superimposition of a branch of the Indo-Europeans on the population of the Mediterranean region during the great migrations of nations that started in the region of the lower Danube.
From bce onward the first early Greeks reached their later areas of settlement between the Ionian and the Aegean seas. The fusion of these earliest Greek-speaking people with their predecessors produced the civilization known as Mycenaean.
They penetrated to the sea into the Aegean region and via Crete approximately bce reached Rhodes and even Cyprus and the shores of Anatolia. From bce onward the Dorians followed from Epirus. They occupied principally parts of the Peloponnese Sparta and Argolis and also Crete. Their migration was followed by the Dark Ages —two centuries of chaotic movements of tribes in Greece—at the end of which c.
Early Influences in the SouthInfrastructure and influences of the Roman and Greek civilizations of old can still be seen in the southern Europe of today. From about bce there was a further Greek expansion through the founding of colonies overseas.
The coasts and islands of Anatolia were occupied from south to north by the Dorians, Ionians, and Aeolians, respectively. In addition, individual colonies were strung out around the shores of the Black Sea in the north and across the eastern Mediterranean to Naukratis on the Nile delta and in Cyrenaica and also in the western Mediterranean in Sicily, lower Italy, and Massalia Marseille.
Thus, the Hellenesas they called themselves thereafter, came into contact on all sides with the old, advanced cultures of the Middle East and transmitted many features of these cultures to western Europe.
The position and nature of the country exercised a decisive influence in the evolution of Greek civilization. The proximity of the sea tempted the Greeks to range far and wide exploring it, but the fact of their living on islands or on peninsulas or in valleys separated by mountains on the mainland confined the formation of states to small areas not easily accessible from other parts.
This fateful individualism in political development was also a reflection of the Hellenic temperament. Though it prevented Greece from becoming a single unified nation that could rival the strength of the Middle Eastern monarchies, it led to the evolution of the city-state.
|HISTORY OF SLAVERY||Arab slave traders and their captives along the Ruvuma river in today's Tanzania and Mozambique19th-century engraving. David Livingstone wrote of the slave trades:|
This was not merely a complex social and economic structure and a centre for crafts and for trade with distant regions; above all it was a tightly knit, self-governing political and religious community whose citizens were prepared to make any sacrifice to maintain their freedom.
Colonies, too, started from individual cities and took the form of independent city-states. Fusions of power occurred in the shape of leagues of cities, such as the Peloponnesian Leaguethe Delian Leagueand the Boeotian League.
The efficacy of these leagues depended chiefly upon the hegemony of a leading city Sparta, Athens, or Thebesbut the desire for self-determination of the others could never be permanently suppressed, and the leagues broke up again and again.
The Hellenes, however, always felt themselves to be one people. They were conscious of a common character and a common language, and they practiced only one religion.
Furthermore, the great athletic contests and artistic competitions had a continually renewed unifying effect. The Hellenes possessed a keen intellect, capable of abstraction, and at the same time a supple imagination.
They developed, in the form of the belief in the unity of body and soul, a serene, sensuous conception of the world. Their gods were connected only loosely by a theogony that took shape gradually; in the Greek religion there was neither revelation nor dogma to oppose the spirit of inquiry.
The Hellenes benefited greatly from the knowledge and achievement of other countries as regards astronomy, chronologyand mathematics, but it was through their own native abilities that they made their greatest achievements, in becoming the founders of European philosophy and science.
Their achievement in representative art and in architecture was no less fundamental. Their striving for an ideal, naturalistic rendering found its fulfillment in the representation of the human body in sculpture in the round.
Another considerable achievement was the development of the pillared temple to a greater degree of harmony. In poetry the genius of the Hellenes created both form and content, which have remained a constant source of inspiration in European literature.
The strong political sense of the Greeks produced a variety of systems of government from which their theory of political science abstracted types of constitution that are still in use.
On the whole, political development in Greece followed a pattern: Frequently there were periods when individuals seized power in the cities and ruled as tyrants. The tendency for ever-wider sections of the community to participate in the life of the state brought into being the free democratic citizens, but the institution of slavery, upon which Greek society and the Greek economy rested, was untouched by this.
In spite of continual internal disputes, the Greeks succeeded in warding off the threat of Asian despotism. The advance of the Persians into Europe failed and —79 bce because of the resistance of the Greeks and in particular of the Athenians.The most basic purpose of slavery is to rid oneself of work and force the hideous labor upon someone else.
Since the time of our more primitive era, societies have taken slaves from war and conquest, and forced them to do their workaday tasks.
In the period after the collapse of the Roman empire in the west, slavery continues in the countries around the Mediterranean. But the slaves are employed almost exclusively in households, offices and armies.
and bishops of the Roman Catholic church argue against the ownership of slaves in the emerging dynasties of northern Europe. At first.
Ancient Rome, the state centred on the city of Rome. The lasting effects of Roman rule in Europe can be seen in the geographic distribution of the Romance languages (Italian, French, During the fesitval of Saturnalia, slaves were treated as their masters' equals.
The Wyandotte Constitution establishes the future state of Kansas as a free state, after four years of armed conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups in the territory. Southern dominance in the Senate of the United States delays the admission of Kansas as a state until Scholarship on the Roman economy must be understood as part of a broader debate about the nature of the ancient economy.
The terms of this debate have been largely set by M. I.
Finley (see Finley ), who differentiated ancient economies from modern ones and argued that economic activity in the. The key difference is that Roman slavery had no racial element. The majority of slaves in the Roman Empire were European.
It is true that many slaves were captives of war, and they came from societies the Romans considered to be barbarians.