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The Roman Empire was a strong hold over the Mediterranean for many
years. Being the goal of most all world leaders, the Romans wanted land along
with their power. They set their eyes on the valuable lands around them and the
Mediterranean world as well as parts of Northern Europe and Asia. The Roman
civilization and culture was much influenced by the Phonetians and Greeks. Later,
the Romans were in control of these lands and their people. Three of their prize
provinces held at much value to them were Thrace, Macedonia, Greece.
These three lands were all located in the same area, providing a throughway
to Rome for trade routes from China and the Middle east. Thrace, being on the
south western coast of the Black Sea made it easy for the Romans to sail farther
inland to what is today Russia. Greece was located on the Agean Sea and
Macedonia was to the north of it tieing all three provinces together.
Before Romans conquered Greece, there was a great civilization in itself
that has influenced much of the Western culture of today. The Greeks were people
that believe in beauty and the good of life. They people had a well developed
government system, religion, architechural advances, literature, and beautiful art.
Many scholars and philosophers had began to discover the longtime mysteries of
the world. The Greeks had a system of writing and were very well educated. They
were eventually taken over by King Philip V of Macedonia. He made and alliance with
Greece and gave them military aid in order for control of their government and
people. King Philip dreamed to make Macedonia a world power and intended on
starting in the Mediterranean. Rome had also set these same goals for their
future and there was nothing stopping them. One of Philip’s allies, Hanibel, went
against him and fought him for Macedonia. The Macedonians allied with the
Carthagenians and the Romans with the Aetolian League. By 168 B.C. Rome had
Macedonia in their command. After this, the Archaen League in Greece sought
freedom after the long rule of Macedonia. They tried to fight against the mighty
army of the Romans, but this only resulted int he destruction of the city, Corinth.
In 146 B.C. the Romans had abolished all leagues in Greece, and most trade was
stopped in the big port cities. Rome would be over this land for sixty years to
Meanwhile, the Romans realized the value of such things like gold. They soon
found out that deposits of gold and other minerals were in the uncultivated land
of Thrace. The people of Thrace were for the most part, barbaric, warlike, and
unorganized. The Romans did not have as many troubles obtaining this land,
considering the people weren’t as advanced as the Greeks. Thrace would link Rome
closer to Asia through the port city of Byzantium. This city was along the major
routes coming out of the middle east and China.
The Romans left their mark on all of these areas from architecture to
names. Byzantium was soon named Constantinople after the emperor,
Constantine, moved the new capitol of Rome there. He was the first Christian
empire of Rome. Today the church based in Constantinople (now known as
Istanbul) is the Eastern Orthodox Church. Ninty-eight percent of Greeks are of
this donomination. After the Romans realized they had destroyed the beautiful
cities of Greece they rebuilt and restored many of the buildings, but they added
their own culture to them in the same movement. Hadrian, a good emperor,
beautified Athens and restored many other ruins. Constantine also restored much
of Byzantium while he was there in his reign.
Eventually, the Romans grew weak and the western portion of their empire
fell to the invaders that would soon make their demise. After Constatine had
moved to the east and he left, the empire kept dividing into east and west. While
the west was on raided regularly the Germanic visgoths crossed the Danube to
settle in Roman territory. This tribe became allies with the Romans but soon
revolted to crush and defeat the Romans. This defeat made a domino affect that
the Romans could not control leading to their fall.
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