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- The Old Roman World - 1/100 -


THE OLD ROMAN WORLD

THE GRANDEUR AND FAILURE OF ITS CIVILIZATION

BY JOHN LORD, LL.D.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE CONQUESTS OF THE ROMANS.

Early History of Rome--Wars under the Kings--Their Results--Gradual Subjection of Italy--Great Heroes of the Republic--Their Virtues and Victories--Military Aggrandizement--The Carthaginian, Macedonian, and Asiatic Wars--Their Consequences--Civil Wars of Marius and Sulla, of Pompey and Caesar--The Conquests of the Barbarians--Extension of Roman Dominion in the East--Conquests of the Emperors--The Military Forces of the Empire--Military Science--The Roman Legion--The Military Genius of the Romans

CHAPTER II.

THE MATERIAL GRANDEUR AND GLORY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

The vast Extent of the Empire--Boundaries--Rivers and Mountains--The Mediterranean and its Islands--The Provinces--Principal Cities--Great Architectural Monuments--Roads--Commerce--Agriculture--Manufactures-- Wealth--Population--Unity of the Empire

CHAPTER III.

THE WONDERS OF ANCIENT ROME.

Original Settlement--The Seven Hills--Progress of the City--Principal Architectural Monuments--A Description of the Temples, Bridges, Aqueducts, Forums, Basilicas, Palaces, Amphitheatres, Theatres, Circuses, Columns, Arches, Baths, Obelisks, Tombs--Miscellaneous Antiquities--Streets--Gardens--Private Houses--Populous Quarters-- Famous Statues and Pictures--General Magnificence--Population

CHAPTER IV.

ART IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

The great Wonders of Ancient Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting-- Famous Artists of Antiquity--How far the Romans copied the Greeks--How far they extended Art--Its Principles--Its Perfection--Causes of its Decline--Permanence of its grand Creations

CHAPTER V.

THE ROMAN CONSTITUTION.

The Original Citizens--Comitia Calata--Comitia Curiata--Comitia Centuriata--Comitia Tributa--The Plebs--Great Patrician Families--The Aristocratic Structure of ancient Roman Society--The Dignity and Power of the Senate--The Knights--The Growth of the Democracy--Contests between Patricians and Plebeians--Rise of Tribunes--Popular Leaders-- Their Laws--The Great Officers of State--Provincial Governors-- Usurpations of fortunate Generals--The Revolution under Julius Caesar and Augustus--Imperial Despotism--Preservation of the Forms of the Republic, and utter Prostration of its Spirit

CHAPTER VI.

ROMAN JURISPRUDENCE.

Genius of the Romans for Government and Laws--Development of Jurisprudence--Legislative Sources--Judicial Power--Courts of Law--The Profession of Law--Great Lawyers and Jurists--Ancient Codes--Imperial Codes--The Law of Persons--Rights of Citizens, of Foreigners, of Slaves-- Laws of Marriage, of Divorce, of Adoption--Paternal Power-- Guardianship--Laws relating to Real Rights--Law of Obligations--Laws of Succession--Testaments and Legacies--Actions and Procedure in Civil Suits--Criminal Law

CHAPTER VII.

ROMAN LITERATURE.

The Grecian Models--How far they contributed to Roman Creations--The Development of the Latin Language--The Orators, Poets, Dramatists, Satirists, Historians, and their chief Works--How far Literature was cultivated--Schools--Libraries--Literary Legacies of the Romans

CHAPTER VIII.

GRECIAN PHILOSOPHY.

Its gradual Development from Thales to Aristotle--How far the Romans adopted the Greek Philosophy--What Additions they made to it--How far it modified Roman Thought and Life--Influence of Philosophy on Christianity--Influence on modern Civilization

CHAPTER IX.

SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AMONG THE ROMANS.

The Mathematical Genius of the Old Astronomers--Their Labors and Discoveries--Extent of Astronomical Knowledge--The Alexandrian School-- The Science of Geometry and how far carried--Great Names--Medicine-- Geography--Other Physical Sciences and their limited Triumphs

CHAPTER X.

INTERNAL CONDITION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

The Vices and Miseries of Roman Society--Social Inequalities-- Disproportionate Fortunes--The Wealth and Corruption of Nobles-- Degradation of the People--Vast Extent of Slavery--The Condition of Women--Demoralizing Games and Spectacles--Excessive Luxury and squalid Misery--Money-making--Imperial Misrule--Universal Egotism and Insensibility to grand Sentiments--Hopelessness of Reform--Preparation for Ruin

CHAPTER XI.

THE FALL OF THE EMPIRE.

False Security of the Roman People--Their stupendous Delusions--The Invasion of Barbarians--Their Characteristics--Their alternate Victory and Defeat--Desolation of the Provinces--The Degeneracy of the Legions-- General Imbecility and Cowardice--Great public Misfortunes--General Union of the Germanic Nations--Their Leaders--Noble but vain Efforts of a Succession of warlike Emperors--The rising Tide of Barbarians--Their irresistible Advance--The Siege and Sack of Rome--The Fall of Cities-- Miseries of all Classes--Universal Despair and Ruin--The Greatness of the Catastrophe--Reflections on the Fall of Rome

CHAPTER XII.

THE REASONS WHY THE CONSERVATIVE INFLUENCES OF PAGAN CIVILIZATION DID NOT ARREST THE RUIN OF THE ROMAN WORLD.

Necessary Corruption of all Institutions under Paganism--Glory succeeded by Shame--The Army a worn-out Mechanism--The low Aims of Government-- Difficulties of the Emperors--Laws perverted or unenforced--The Degeneracy of Art--The Frivolity of Literature--The imperfect Triumph of Philosophy--Nothing Conservative in human Creations--Necessity of Aid from foreign and Divine Sources

CHAPTER XIII.

WHY CHRISTIANITY DID NOT ARREST THE RUIN OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

The Victories of Christianity came too late--Small Number of Converts when Christianity was a renovating Power--Their comparative Unimportance in a political and social View for three Centuries--The Church constructs a Polity for Itself rather than seeks to change established Institutions--Rapid Corruption of Christianity when established, and Adoption of Pagan Ideas and Influences--No Renovation of worn-out Races-- No Material on which Christianity could work--Not the Mission of the Church to save Empires, but the Race--A diseased Body must die

CHAPTER XIV.

THE LEGACY OF THE EARLY CHURCH TO FUTURE GENERATIONS.

The great Ideas which the Fathers propounded--The Principle of Self- sacrifice, seen especially in early Martyrdoms--The Idea of Benevolence in connection with public and private Charities--Importance of public Preaching--Pulpit Oratory--The Elaboration of Christian Doctrine--Its Connection with Philosophy--Church Psalmody--The Principle of Christian Equality--Its Effects on Slavery and the Elevation of the People--The Social Equality of the Sexes--Superiority in the condition of the modern over the ancient Woman--The Idea of Popular Education--The Unity of the Church

INTRODUCTION.

I propose to describe the Greatness and the Misery of the old Roman world; nor is there any thing in history more suggestive and instructive.

A little city, founded by robbers on the banks of the Tiber, rises gradually into importance, although the great cities of the East are scarcely conscious of its existence. Its early struggles simply arrest the attention, and excite the jealousy, of the neighboring nations. The citizens of this little state are warriors, and, either for defense or glory, they subdue one after another the cities of Latium and Etruria, then the whole of Italy, and finally the old monarchies and empires of the world. In two hundred and fifty years the citizens have become nobles, and a great aristocracy is founded, which lasts eight hundred years. Their aggressive policy and unbounded ambition involve the whole world in war, which does not cease until all the nations known to the Greeks acknowledge their sway. Everywhere Roman laws, language, and institutions spread. A vast empire arises, larger than the Assyrian and the Macedonian combined,--a universal empire,--a great wonder and mystery, having all the grandeur of a providential event. It becomes too


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