Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daily Question: 3/24/11

 Read Augustus' 'Res Gestae ' paragraphs 19 - 21 and scavenger hunt for as many pictures relating to the places mentioned as you can find and chart them on a Google Map.,12.489272&spn=0.002976,0.004823&t=h&z=18

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Daily Question: 3/23/11

 Imagine you are a Roman in the year 264 BCE (the year of the 1st Punic War). What does your future look like? Then, look at the world around you today. What does your future look like? Think about politics, technology, culture, dominance, balance.

In the year 264 B.C.E., I think my future would probably be pretty normal if I was just an average middle class citizen. Although, I would be threatened by the scares of Hannibal, a monstrous general for the Carthaginians. As a Plebeian, I wouldn't have as many rights as the Patricians, but if I had a really big problem I needed to deal with, I would go to the Tribune of Plebs and try to get it sorted out. I still would not have a big say in the politics though. The technology would not be nearly as diverse as it is today, and I would have a much harder time doing things I call easy today. For instance, I would be walking great distances, have trouble communicating with my family when I need to meet with them, not know as much local and national news going around, and I would be doing stuff for a shorter time period during the day and would need to make a fire for heat and cooking food. My life would be much more time consuming because I don't have much technology, but I would be use to it. Our country during this time is pretty dominant, so I would not be that afraid of being taken over all of a sudden by a harsh ruler. During the second Punic War when Carthage defeated the Romans, I would be a little cautious though because they totally defeated us. I would eat a little bit differently too. In the Roman culture, they have different foods that the American culture does like today. Also, the meals in the ancient times were probably much less difficult to make and diverse because of the such little technology and knowledge to do more. My life in my world today is pretty different. I rarely worry about war conflicts. I know that many different things can happen and there are terrorists all around, but I generally don't worry about it because our country is so dominant and I live in a pretty safe environment. As a kid, I don't really worry about politics either. I don't think most people my age do, so I don't worry about that either. Today, the technology is very very diverse and it even keeps expanding more and more. Just 10 years ago, cell phones were getting popular. All of a sudden today, pretty much everyone has a cell phone and there are many more amazing things such as the IPad. Who would have ever guessed someone would create such a thing? My diet today contains a variety of foods. In the ancient Roman times, I'm sure many people ate the same thing like every night. I can't imagine doing that! I enjoy my era now much more than I think I would enjoy my future in the ancient Roman world.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daily Question: 3/22/11

Design a Google Streetview architectural tour through Rome.
The tour will begin at the Colosseum, a famous amphitheater that held many gladiatorial games, animals hunts, and dramas. This was a place that many people went to as a tradition. After that, we go out to the Cicus Maximus  to the Left of the Colosseum. The Circus Maximus was the first and the biggest chariot racing stadium in Rome. Then we go back up near the Colosseum and up the road the "Via Sacred". This means Sacred Way in Latin. It is one of the oldest roads in Rome. Further up the road is the Roman Forum. This was the center of the Roman life. At the forum, there was shops, merchants, dining areas, bulletins, and many other things that we have today. It was basically like a mall. People went there all the time also just to socialize. Continuing on, the Temple of Saturn is located a little bit after the forum. This was a temple dedicated the the God, Saturn. Then there was the Rostri. The Rostri was on the front of the building which no longer exists, but it was where the senate stood when there was an election or a meeting. Next to the Rostri was the Arch of Septimus Severo. This was dedicated the emperor Septimius Severus for all of the great battles he had won. Next, there is the court yard. The court yard had a marvelous design on it that Michaelangelo designed. Also, on one side of the court yard was where people got married. The Pantheon is the next building where we would visit. It is a temple that was dedicated to all the Gods. It had a large hole in the top that let in the light for the building. Then there is the Piazza Navona, which is also another very famous chariot racing track, but is much smaller than Circus Maximus. Finally, at the end of the tour, you will reach the Moselium of Augustus. This is the building where Augustus Caesar was buried once he past away.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daily Question: 3/21/11

Was Rome better off as an 'empire' than as a republic?

I think you could look at this question from both sides. For the people, I think that the people were probably happier under a republic because they had more say in what they wanted. For the country, the empire was better because the country had such a large rule so the people in the country probably had less chances of being attacked. In the Roman Republic, the people had the rights to vote for a leader and there were different classes of people. The country probably didn't face much inner turmoil besides the struggle of the orders, which was eventually solved and the country was fine once again. Also, not only one dynasty would most likely be in power like the empire. In the empire, the Caesar next in line would most likely go into power. Also, there was probably more fighting and killing for power. Just like we said in class, once something is done, it becomes a habit. Saying this, once Julius Caesar was killed, there were more people in power assassinated because it has already happened and it becomes a habit. The empire sounds like a much more violent place then the republic. In the republic, there wasn't people assumed to go into the leading position besides the fact that it would be a patrician. This would make it less likely for a big fight to arouse in wanting to kill the leader. Also, having a vote helps. In my view, Rome seemed to be better off as a republic than the empire for many reasons, but mainly for safety for all the people and the country as one. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Daily Question: 3/17/11

Please take a picture of something in your own neighborhood or town that appears to have been influenced by Ancient Rome.
(I will take a picture of the road near my house when I get home; I just didn't have time last night)

     Roads are very important structures that were tremendously influenced by the Romans. The Romans have credit for being the first civilization to create and use roads. Even though our roads today may be a little bit better, the Romans had the fantastic idea, especially for their time period, and theirs were still very reliable. I can see that our roads were influenced by the Romans because they have many similarities. For example, Roman roads had something on them called a crown. This meant it was higher in the middle than the outside so water or waste could drain out the sides into gutters, which we also have. The roads today in the United States have the exact same thing. If the Romans did not invent that, we might not have had it now and we would be having to fight bad diseases because of not getting rid of the waste and pollution. We can tell that the Roman roads were constructed very well because there are still some today that are in relatively good shape. The main reason that the Romans created these pathways was for transportation. The paved lanes made all of the commutation much quicker. They would import and export many goods and travel was much easier. Today, we still use roads for the exact same reason. I can't even imagine driving around the county through dirt and grass all day. That would be so unusual!! Thanks to the Romans, we have an easy way to do things that we think are trivial. The Romans had a big influence on roads and our lives now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daily Question: 3/16/11

Please write a brief biography of Hannibal and explain whether or not you think his reputation (in Roman eyes) as a monster was deserved. 

      Hannibal was a commander for the Carthaginians around 230 B.C.E. He was smart and very good at what he did. Hannibal didn't like the Romans at a young age because his father, Hamilcar, taught him to not like them all throughout his childhood. Hannibal is most remembered for his huge defeat over the Romans in the second Punic War. He went to Rome determined to win. He went up the Straight of Gibraltar, into Spain, and through the Alps, keep in mind with all of his military elephants, then he went through France and finally got to Italy where he arrived within 50 miles of Rome. Once he arrived, the Romans and Carthaginians went into a brutal fight. The Romans greatly outnumbered the Carthaginian forces, but this wasn't going to stop Hannibal. Hannibal used his tactical skills to out smart the Romans. He let the Romans attack the center of their line, during this the Carthage line was receding back. Then Hannibal ordered his army to surround the Romans. The Romans were now surrounded on three sides. Now the Romans only can move back out, but the problem with that is that Hannibal had a calvary waiting on the outside and they were quickly coming in. Once the extra calvary came in, the Romans were completely surrounded. The Carthage forces killed all of the Roman army one by one. This battle was brutal and thats what people remember it as. The Romans were completely obliterated in this fight. I think because of all of this, his reputation in Roman eyes as a monster was well deserved. The Romans were probably just very scared of him, after all, Hannibal did kill all of them in one battle! I would be scared of him too if he killed all of the people in my city-state. Not only did he act intimidating, but he looked like it too! He wore an eye patch because he was missing an eye from battle. That just comes across as creepy to me. I'm sure that when Hannibal was within 50 miles of Rome, they were all terrified. Hannibal's intelligence and cleverness helped create this name as a monster to the Romans. Saying this, I think that Alexander the Great could have been considered a "monster" too because of his great fighting strategies and his courage to fight right in the front. But neither of them were actually that harsh. In the end, Hannibal probably did deserve his reputation of a monster. 

Ancient Rome Map

The link below is to my ancient Rome map on google maps

the embeded one is below: 
<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=";ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=206207503437094631209.00049e719151135d91e18&amp;ll=41.896247,12.477089&amp;spn=0.019342,0.037701&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=206207503437094631209.00049e719151135d91e18&amp;ll=41.896247,12.477089&amp;spn=0.019342,0.037701&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Ancient Roman World</a> in a larger map</small>

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Daily Question: 3/15/11

How was the Struggle of the Orders influential on later Roman politics? 

The struggle of the orders was influential on the later Roman politics in a very specific way. There were two main classes in Roman culture. The patricians were the wealthy aristocrat families that had old ties in the country. The plebeians were all the rest of the people. They could be regular or poor, or maybe just wealthy but know body knows them. These classes started to come upon very big problems and fights because the patricians could have representatives or make laws the the plebeians didn't agree with just because the patricians were wealthier. The plebeians felt that they had no rights or power and they didn't think it was fair. There was all of this fighting and they didn't want to cause a big civil war. This was when the struggle of the orders came about. The plebeians made a deal with the patricians so that they can have a "tribune of the plebs." This one person was the tribune for all the plebeian people and they had the right to veto or deny a law by anyone. This helped the plebeians tremendously. It helped them be able to have a little bit more freedom because if the Patricians made laws that the tribune and plebeians didn't agree with, the tribune could just deny it. The patricians had to think more about their laws and be a little bit more fair. This didn't only help the plebeians though, all of Rome was helped because the country did not have as much if not any turmoil anymore. In the long run, this also supported the country because everybody was on relatively good terms with each other and Rome became very strong. So, if at one point their was a struggle of the orders, it ended up being great for the country of Rome and just made them stronger.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daily Question: 3/14/11

What elements of the Roman Republican political and legal system appear present in the systems of modern democracies? 

I think that there are many elements of the Roman Republican political and legal system that appear present in the systems of modern democracies. In the Roman Republic, they had elections based on what the people wanted. Today, we have the same thing. For instance, we vote for our president. Also, we can remove a person from office if the people want that to happen. Mostly everything is based on what the majority of the citizens want. Also, we have senates of our state so if we bring up an issue to them, they have to address it to the next person in rank higher than them. According to, the Romans had many different ranks in their government too. They had the Consul, Dictator, Pontifex Maximus, Censor, Praetor, Aedile, and the Quaestor. They also had assemblies with the senate, Comitia Curiata, Comitia Centuriata, Concilium Plebis, and Comitia Tributa. Many of these are related to our government today. Also, I think that the Roman Republic influenced our republic because the Romans began with not letting the women or slaves vote. This was the same for us in the beginning until we developed more freedom. Another related things between the two that shows we developed our government from theirs was that only rich people or the higher class could get into office. Today, it isn't only rich people getting into office, but you can't just be some poor person all of a sudden coming into office. For example, most of our presidents are usually from wealthier families because they have a good education and are raised in a good family. I can defiantly see many similarities between the Roman Republic and many democracies today, especially our own government's ways. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Special Question: 3/10/11

Please write a five paragraph essay on the question: Was Alexander's adventure really worth it? In your body paragraphs, you must cite specific examples to back up your thesis -- examples must include one from each of the following: Egypt, Persepolis, Afghanistan, India. 

      I think that Alexander the Great's adventure was defiantly worth it. He conquered all of Asia on this journey. Alexander had fought many battles, made many ties with people, and created a absolutely huge reputation. Alexander the Great showed that he was very courageous and adventurous by going on this long journey. Many people probably think that he was a great heroic leader in ancient times. Although, some may say that he was a harsh dictator because of some of his violence. 
     In the beginning of his journey, right after he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Guagemela, Alexander and his army went south to Egypt. This was a very important spot for Alexander the Great to stop at because it created a good bond between the Greeks and Egypt. The Egyptians already disliked the Persians before Alexander even came into the picture because the Persians ruled the Egyptians before. Once Alexander beat the Persians, the Egyptians loved him. said, "Alexander was therefore hailed as Savior and Liberator, and as the people's choice and legitimate heir he was offered the double crown of the Two Lands." This quote shows the importance of Alexander's journey because it is saying how since Alexander had already defeated the Persians, the Egyptians really appreciated him and wanted him to be the leader of their country. Now Alexander has two countries under his rule already. This didn't only affected who Alexander was the ruler of, but it also affected Alexander himself. At this time, Alexander started to get a little bit cocky. " Alexander must now have began to believe in his own divinity as a fact rather than a simple exercise of propaganda" says The Egyptians compared him to the Gods and called him "son of Gods". Another important thing about Alexander stopping in Egypt was that they were going to back them up if he was in need of help. Also, he created a "strong coastal base" in Egypt. This was important because he needed it for "strategic and commercial purposes" ( Egypt was a very significant place for Alexander to make a connection with. I think it helped create a good base for Alexander's rule.
      Another very important place Alexander went to on his expedition was Persepolis. Persepolis was the capital or center of the Persian kingdom. After he defeated the Persians at the battle of Guagemela, he went to Persepolis to really get at Persia and destroy them. I think Alexander wanted to defeat them so badly because they were also a relatively strong region (at least they were before Alexander) and to get them back for when the they destroyed Athens in the past. The Macedonians, who Alexander was with, were probably very for the idea of attacking Persia because their ancestors had been battled by them. When Alexander and the Macedonians went into Persepolis, they completely and utterly destroyed everything. They burned and dismantled buildings, statues, and palaces. Not only did they annihilate all the structures, but they also killed many people. Men, women, and children were all killed and their stuff was stolen. The Macedonians left with many treasures/possessions, gold and silver, and jewels. Alexander really eradicated Persepolis. All of this was very important because it put a great emphasis on the battle of Guagemela so the Persians would not try to attack Alexander and his army. "As Persepolis had surpassed all other cities in prosperity, so she now exceeded them in misfortune" says At this time, Persia was basically under Alexander's rule now and he could continue on trying to get more countries he could control.
      After he defeated Persia, he began his next tough battles with Afghanistan. Afghanistan was a very strong country and "many invaders found (Afghanistan) impossible to conquer" said  One of Alexander's main goals in going to Afghanistan was to get Bessus, a man who had murdered Darius III (the king of Persia), and then took the position of king of Persia and Asia (he had killed Darius and took his crown). Because Alexander was trying to murder Darius and then Bessus steps in, Alexander was angry. He didn't even really want to kill all the Afghanistan people, he just wanted to get Bessus. Alexander left some of his Greek soldiers at Herat to keep control. Unexpectedly, the soldiers were killed and Alexander had to come back. He then made many fortresses so he could protect his army's exposed flanks. Eventually, Alexander killed Bessus and he defeated Afghanistan. But it wasn't easy, it took Alexander and the Macedonians four years to defeat them. At this point, Alexander ruled Persia, Egypt, and Afghanistan. 
      In 327 B.C, Alexander went into India. Alexander invaded Punjab, which was ruled by Porus. There were also many people under Porus, but were still in high authority. These people began to dislike Porus and they wanted Alexander to come into India to destroy him. Porus did not like this and created a army to fight against the Macedonians. Both armies were lined up across from each other on a river. Even though it seemed very dangerous, Alexander managed to cross the river w It was a very brutal fight, but Alexander stuck it out once again. Http:// said, "Porus himself was wounded. At length, he yielded to the conquerer." This shows that Porus knew he couldn't stand up to Alexander and his great army, he knew he was just going to be asking for trouble. In the end, Alexander ruled India too. Alexander respected Porus as a "great king and warrior" and he didn't do anything else to him. They actually became "friends". I believe that them becoming friends instead Porus hating his new ruler is important. I think it was a very honorable thing for Alexander to do to Porus because he could have killed him or something for no reason. With India now under  Alexander's commandment, Alexander was a very strong "king"
     Alexander's journey was very much so worth it. Without his journey, there would not have been a way for him to have ruled such a large area. Not only did he rule all this land, but he also developed some friends. Although Alexander may have been somewhat vicious to some of the countries he really wanted to defeat, he was a heroic person and created a tremendous myth about himself. Even though some parts of his journey with all of his brutal fighting and killing was very rough, they adventure was essential to his conquering. Alexander was truly "the great" in his era.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekly Project: 1/21-2/4

 Does Power Corrupt? How or How Not? Why or Why Not? Do you think Alexander was corrupted? And who influenced whom the most: Did Persia become more Greek or did Alexander becoming more Persian?

         For the past two weeks, we have been talking about Alexander the Great. We learned a lot about him, his battles, his enemies, and about power. I think that power can corrupt for many reasons, but there are some people in power that will stay honest/good for their whole reign. I do think that Alexander ended up being somewhat corrupted because of the things he did. Finally, I feel that Persia and Alexander (the Greeks) both influenced each other. Without one or the other causing some of the events that happened, neither of them would have done much. 
       Having power is usually a tremendous strength. Most likely, when you are in control of the people, you can probably get away with much more, and your leading the whole nation/country/group. I think that having someone in power is a good thing if they use it correctly. For instance, I think having a president for a democracy is great because they are the leader, and they make decisions collectively. based on what the people want. The opposite of that is when the person is power is only in the position for the name. They want to rule all the people and for nobody to be able to be 'bigger' than themselves. This could be harmful for many countries because there could be mass killings or just very unhappy people. Also, the leader could just make very bad decisions. I think that power can corrupt for many reasons. A person thats in power may start off really good, but end up being horrible because they were corrupted. I think a person gets corrupted because they get ahead of themselves and start thinking nobody is better than them, and they can't be defeated. Sometimes people just go to far. Another reason is if the person had some huge accomplishment, they may start to think too high of themselves and not worry about what the people want.
               I think that Alexander the Great got somewhat corrupted because of some of his great achievements. In the Wikipedia article about Alexander the Great, it said, "he (Alexander) was undefeated in battle and is considered one of the most successful commanders of all time." This could have led Alexander's corruption because he started thinking that he was too good to do anything wrong. Some of the things that Alexander did that I think are wrong are that he had killed some people who were possible to also take thrown so that he would have all the power to himself. He had also killed many other people for various reasons. I think that this would be corrupted power because at first he wasn't like that. Once he started to be very hard to defeat, he started to do bad things like that. I think that power defiantly can be corrupted, and Alexander the Great was corrupted.
             I think that the Persians and Alexander equally influenced each other. Alexander did some things that greatly influenced the Persians. For instance, when Alexander the Great and his forces attacked the Persians, I think they were forever changed by that battle. That fight set the grounds for the rest of the battles between the Persians and Alexander. The Persians ran from Alexander at the battle of Gaugamela. Before Alexander, the Persians were a very strong force, but Alexander changed that. The Persians were greatly defeated by Alexander and his army. However, Alexander was also very greatly changed by the Persians. I think the battle at Gaugemela was the beginning of Alexander's corruption. That was when he started getting very powerful. He had just defeated the Persians who greatly outnumbered the Greek forces. After he had defeated the Persians, it wasn't enough, he wanted to go to Persia and fight them again. I feel that Alexander had probably gotten to be very conceited and thought too much of himself. He became this way because of the Persians. If the Persians had given Alexander a better fight, especially by not running away from him, I think that Alexander would have not been so big-headed. It was probably after he defeated the Persians that Alexander started killing people for power and other reasons. both the Persians and Alexander were greatly influenced by each other, but I think that the Persians were affected a little more by Alexander and the Greeks because he had so badly defeated them.
          We went over a lot in the past two weeks and I learned a lot. I think that Alexander had corrupted his power and the Persians had greatly affected that. Alexander the Great had also greatly affected the Persians though because of his tremendous wins. Another thing important is that power can corrupt and sometimes it doesn't start off being corrupted, but in the end it is because of the experience and events the leader has been through. Alexander the Great was defiantly a major character in history, and was a great commander from all of his great wins.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Daily Question: 3/3/11

This is the a google map of the places that Alexander the Great went on his journey. You can see that he went to many places, and sometimes, there would be a longer separation between places. This means that he really traveled far and it was on foot.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daily Question: 3/2/11

Describe relations between Egypt and Persia before Alexander came on the scene.

The relationship between Egypt and Persia before Alexander came on the scene was very bad. Egypt was under Persian rule for a time period. If I was under the rule of someone, I probably wouldn't really like them or be 'friends' with them. Not only that, but Egypt had been trying to invade Persia in earlier times. Persia and Egypt were not two countries that got along. I think that is weird because they are countries that are relatively close, so they had to be fighting very often. Once Alexander came into play, he was on Egypt's side. He wanted to be really good friends with Egypt so that they could back up Alexander and his group when they decided to fight the Persians. The Egyptians agreed because they obviously didn't like the Persians. Now, if Egypt wanted to join Alexander in fighting the Persians, the Persians would stand no chance. Also, Alexander wanted to be in good relationship with Egypt so that Egypt could give Alexander and his forces extra supplies if needed. Alexander destroyed Persia with out any help from any other country, so imagine if the Egyptians stepped in too! The Persians would have been so badly defeated. The Egyptians defiantly did not have a good relationship with the Persians before Alexander stepped in.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daily Question: 3/1/11

How did Alexander create his own myth?

I think Alexander could have created a very big myth. First, he hired a person to record everything that he did. Having said this, Alexander wouldn't want all the bad things written down, so the journal probably makes Alexander look like nothing he did was bad. This might have party given him his name Alexander "the Great". Alexander the great seemed like the type of person that would be some what full of himself, so this could be very true. Also, Alexander was a very courageous person. In the first battle against the Persians, Alexander used very strategical plans and stayed standing strong even though his forces were much smaller than Persia's. Also, Alexander charged right at the front of Persia's forces because he wasn't afraid, it was like he didn't even care if had got very badly injured. In class, we learned that when Alexander died (because he got sick) he had dozens of scars from being stabbed in battle. This shows that he was very courageous and just kept fighting through everything. Knowing all of this, many people could make up many myths about his many battles, his wounds, or his plans because they were pretty good. For instance, Mr. Wojo said that some people thought that Alexander was immortal because he had so many wounds and lived through all of that, especially in that time period where medical use wasn't that good. I would defiantly say that Alexander created his own myth.