Free «Life in the Roman and Athenian Empires» Essay Sample

The Roman and Athenian empires existed during the ancient period. Their survival and strength were imperative elements. Therefore, every empire did its best to ensure that it defeated own enemies. This paper focuses on the Roman and Athenian empires and discusses the key strategies both of them used to survive.

The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was under the control of Ancient Rome. It was built through the conquest and annexation of Romans that occurred in the third century BC and AD. This empire had expanded to the north-east and even occupied the Mediterranean region (Mitchell, 2007). Therefore, controlling such a large area was a major issue. Fix (2007) states that the control of the Empire was achieved through a powerful administrative system, a strong army, and a good communication strategy. The Empire also consisted of provinces placed under the control of the Roman governors (Fix, 2007).

The formation of the Empire began during the Roman Republic. By the 1st century AD, it was known as the greatest empire in the world. During the early years of its formation, the various provinces were governed by their constitution, and the Senate regulated it (Mitchell, 2007).

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The Romans applied effective tactics to create and maintain the empire. At first, there was established a large army that was famous for its might and strength. Mitchell (2007) asserts that due to the military the Roman Empire was able to conquer the neighboring parts, especially in the north-east area, and they eventually dominated the Mediterranean region. The Roman army took part in a series of battles, and they emerged winners. The Empire started to expand massively at the expense of the Etruscan states. The Romans could easily stand any attack and drive the invaders away since they could not match their military strength (Harrison, 2009). They also became dominant in the Latin League, and their power became eminent. Also, the Empire took advantage of its superior position in Italy. It had dominated Italy, and it took the advantage to colonize and explore new areas. Therefore, leadership in the army assured them victory whenever they engaged in battles with their rivals (Harrison, 2009).

Another effective strategy the Romans used was a strong administration establishment. According to Mitchell (2007), the Romans had acquired a lot of territories and they felt that there was a notable change in governing different people in the new areas. As a result, they decided to divide the regions into provinces. Governors ruled the latter. The establishment of provinces solidified their control and ensured their leading position. The provinces also made it easy for the Romans to maintain their empire and power. The appointed governors were able to establish firm control and they could quickly neutralize any resistance that occurred (Mitchell, 2007).

The additional strategy the Romans applied was effective communication (Harrison, 2009). There were strong coordination and communication between the heads and the provinces’ governors. Therefore, it provided a possibility to solve any issue that could arise. All the above strategies were very helpful in the maintenance of the Roman Empire (Harrison, 2009).

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The Athenian Empire

From the very beginning, Athens was a small, poor city. It relied on supplies from other parts. Most amazingly, Athens did not have a strong army. However, this small town became one of the most famous Greek cities, and strong empires such as Spartans were forgotten. It is the first democracy in the world. According to Waterfield (2005), the Empire was also popular for the great scholars such as Socrates and thrived because of its economic success.

Waterfield (2005) asserts that the economy of the Empire relied on trade and manufacturing. Athens also manufactured metal goods, and due to expansion in trade, the Empire also started shipbuilding. The wealth got could buy slaves who were non-Greek. The slaves served as a symbol of wealth, and the wealthy Athenians had acquired a lot of slaves (Waterfield, 2005).

In many cases, one would expect that democracies would seek peace. However, the same did not happen in the Athenian Empire formation. Pisistratus built a vast army, and through the military power, they were able to pursue democracy. They supported the revolution of Greek colonies (Harrison, 2009). The action led to unity among the Greeks and the Spartans, and they managed to defeat the Persians in land and sea battles. The victory was a significant boost to the Athenians, and they were very proud of it. It raised the prestige of the Athenians (Harrison, 2009). The former led to the formation of the league of Greek cities. The Persian moved out of Ionia after a series of wars launched against them. The Athenian Empire was very determined to maintain the leadership. The small cities that formed the league could not withdraw from the treasury as they could not get their payments from it (Low, 2008). They used their money for expanding the Athens city. Athenians continued to dominate until Spartans challenged their rise and power. The latter decided to form a resistance. Hence, they formed a counter league to defeat Athenians (Harrison, 2009).

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The Athenians used a lot of strategies to expand as well as maintain their empire. According to Low (2008), the Empire attempted to bring all other parties that were against the Persian Empire together. By doing this, it had a powerful army at its disposal. Since the military was large, it could easily subdue any threat that emerged. On the other hand, the strategy to unite against the Persians worked to its advantage (Low, 2008). It was the best strategy they used to form a stable empire (Harrison, 2009).

Also, the Empire also acquired a lot of resources through the combined forces. It had a good supply of ships as well as military. The latter enabled the Empire to pursue its interests with ease providing an opportunity to defeat the Persians in land and sea battle (Harrison, 2009). Finally; the Empire also acquired many resources from the member states.

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