Choose one of the following questions to write your Primary Response (following all rules for formatting of references given previously, as well as general grammatical, spelling, and punctuation rules), and two Secondary Responses–a Question and an Answer–in order to receive full credit.
1. An oft-quoted scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian has a group of Jewish revolutionaries discussing the question of “What did the Romans ever do for us?” with various answers that, in fact, demonstrate how deeply everyday citizens and inhabitants of the Roman Empire were dependent upon its infrastructure. From the viewpoint of an everyday Roman citizen of the province of Lycia-Pamphylia in 100 CE, “What did the Romans ever do for us?”
2. Remembering some of the information discussed in Chapter 10, what are the primary similarities and differences between democratic forms of government (as witnessed in Greece) and republican forms (as witnessed in Rome)?
3. Discuss in greater detail than that given in the book the rise of Octavian/Augustus to Emperor of Rome.
4. Was the so-called Pax Romana really as peaceful as the textbook indicates? From whose viewpoint was that period the most peaceful and prosperous, and from whose might it have been difficult or problematic?
EXTRA CREDIT: Slavery was an important part of the Roman Empire, as it was for almost all successful world empires that we have studied thus far (and others that eventually emerged as well). Discuss some of the issues that set Roman slaves apart from slaves in other empires; and, briefly discuss the three Servile Wars that were fought against Rome in the second and first centuries BCE.
EXTRA CREDIT: Choose one “Good Emperor” and one “Bad Emperor” from the following lists, and describe their reigns in brief detail in relation to (at very least) foreign powers and warfare, internal politics, and religion, and then compare/contrast them.
Good Emperors: Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus.
Bad Emperors: Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Caracalla, Elagabulus.
EXTRA CREDIT: While the textbook only covers Etruscans, there were in reality a large number of different groups that eventually contributed to what we know now as Roman society. Discuss the role of the various other Latin communities in ancient Italy, and their relationships with Rome, as well as the Etruscans and one other group (e.g. the Gauls) that occurred during the time before the first century BCE.
EXTRA CREDIT: On p. 227, our textbook refers to the Jewish War of the late 60s CE, but in reality there were two (or sometimes three!) Jewish Wars in the first and second centuries CE. Briefly outline both the First Jewish War of c. 66-70 CE and the Second Jewish War of c. 132-135 CE, being sure to include the causes of each and their eventual results, and at least some mention of the following individuals: Vespasian, Titus, Rabbi Johanan ben Zakai, Flavius Josephus, Hadrian, Simon bar Kosiba, Rabbi Akiva.
EXTRA CREDIT: Apart from the various cults and sects mentioned in our book, discuss three others that emerged in the period of the Roman Empire, of which at least one should be an alternative form of Christianity/Gnosticism.
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