An Overview of the Roman Army and Its Role in the Roman Empire and Polybius

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Polybius wanted to explain to his fellow Greeks how the Romans had risen to world power in a short span of time. Polybius criticized bitterly those writers of his time who wrote history as romance or who blindly celebrated their homelands or famous men without regard to deeper truth. Polybius combination of philosophical underpinnings, clear purposes and capable narrative made the important influence which he has been.

Polybius saw in the Roman constitution a marvelous combination of the three legitimate forms of government. The Roman Republic elected each year two Consuls as its joint heads of states. Although the terms of Consuls was short, and they could check one another, Polybius regarded the executive power of the Consuls as kingly in nature, providing the leadership which the Republic needed to manage its affairs, especially in times of crisis.

The Senators were selected on the basis of their wealth, moral character and experience. The Senate provided advice to the Consuls and others magistrates. They also regulated the treasury, directed military and foreign affairs and acted as a court in important cases. Polybius noted that foreigners including Greeks, often regarded the Roman Republic as aristocratic in nature.

Polybius referred to the third part of the Roman constitution simply by calling them the people. These [people elected the magistrates, made the laws and ratified the important decisions of the Senate.

Polybius followed his discussion of the military system of Rome with comparisons between the Roman constitution and the constitutions of some Greek states. He says for example, that Carthaginians were more skilled men in warfare, but they don’t have the valor of their men. His conclusion here is because they fell and we haven’t fell ours must be better.

Polybius main contribution is the formation of a constitution characterized by a balance of the three legitimate forms of government. Balance is everything — like a “well-trimmed ship” says Polybius, which shall long remain afloat and reach its destined port.

The impact of classical models, especially Roman models, on the thinking of the Founders of this country helped to form a source for some words and stories. But, it did more than simply supply a surface vocabulary of names and allusions. A preoccupation with Roman history supplied Americans with an instinctive awareness of the fragility of liberty.

In their efforts to maximize the lifespan of the Republic which they were creating, the Founders consulted the experience of the Romans: they sought to benefit from the legacy of the past, in the same way that they hoped to leave a legacy of their own to the future. Among the ancient writings, which described the Roman Republic, none served as a more important guide to the strengths of the Roman Republic at the zenith of her vitality than the works of Polybius.

The Roman Army was a masterpiece in itself. There was no other army like it, and was impenentrable. This was probably because of the extreme patriotism and pride in battling for Rome, and maintaining their superiority. Gladiator, “RomanArmy.com”, and The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire all portray this patriotism in many aspects.

Gladiator was directed by Ridley Scott. He is a graduate of London’s prestigious Royal College of Art. Scott began his directing career at the BBC doing commercials. In 1977, he made his feature film directorial debut with the period drama ‘The Duelists,’ for which he won the Best First Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1984, Scott made a brief return to commercial directing for what was to be one of the most groundbreaking ads ever created- The introduction of the Apple computer.

Following the record-breaking success of his follow-up film, ‘Alien, Scott directed the futuristic hit “Blade Runner,’ starring Harrison Ford. In 1993, Scott re-edited a director’s cut of ‘Blade Runner,’ which was released to great critical acclaim. He also executive produced “Monkey Trouble’ and the anthology series ‘The Hunger.’ Scott’s reason for developing Gladiator came from his interest in Roman history. He “loves the pride show by the Roman soldiers in their country and themselves.” He planed to bring the Roman history to us, for knowledge and understanding.

Gladiator’s purpose was to portray the life of the particular Roman general; Maximus(played by Russell Crowe) the general-turned-gladiator whose popularity does threaten the power of the emperor was key to the success of the project. The reason they picked this as the main focus of the movie was because the government of Rome was a very corrupt society. “Maximus is the very soul of the movie.” “It was crucial to find an actor who you could believe possessed the ferocity of this great warrior, but in whom you could also see a man of strong principle and character. Russell Crowe’s name came up pretty fast. His intensity, his dignity and his utter conviction in every role he undertakes made him everyone’s first choice.”

I think “Gladiator” presented the prospect of helping to re-establish a film genre which had not been stumbled upon successfully in a long time. It’s an incredible period. The achievements of the Roman Empire were remarkable, but they were underscored by absolute brutality, which fascinates people to this day, and was portrayed well in this film. This film was not lacking anything in my perspective. It was a great movie. The only thing that could have been portrayed differently was the use of the coliseum. They could have show the voting, and judicial purposes of it, and its other uses besides the games.

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An Overview of the Roman Army and Its Role in the Roman Empire and Polybius. (2023, May 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/an-overview-of-the-roman-army-and-its-role-in-the-roman-empire-and-polybius/

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