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Kerala Plus One History Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 3 An Empire Across Three Continents
It is usual to divide the history of the Roman Empire into two phases. What are they? Explain.
The history of the Roman Empire is usually divided into two phases the Early Empire and the Late
Empire. The Early Empire is the history up to the end of the 3rd century. The later period from the 4th to the 7th century is the. Late Empire. It is also called the Late Antiquity.
Raju said that there were big differences between the Roman Empire and the Iran Empire. Do you agree with this opinion? Why?
Yes, I do. There were many differences between the Roman Empire and the Iran Empire. In the Roman Empire, there was more cultural diversity than in the Iran Empire. The majority of the Iran people belonged to the ‘Iranian’ race. But in the Roman Empire, there were many regions and different cultures. In the Roman Empire, many different kinds of people stayed together under one common government.
In the Roman Empire, there was also much diversity in languages. The Iranians used Aramaic language. But in the Roman Empire, there were different languages. Latin and Greek were the administrative languages. The upper classes in the Eastern part of the Empire used Greek whereas those in the Western part used Latin in their writing. Different from Iran, all the people who lived in the Roman Empire were the subjects of a single Emperor.
Augusts Caesar was the first Emperor of Rome. Explain.
The Roman Republic lasted 500 years (BC 509 – 27). Towards the end period of the Republic, military officials like Julius Caesar had established their dominance in the Empire. In BC 27, Octavian, the adopted son, and heir of Julius Caesar overturned the Republic and got into power. He ruled by the name Augustus Caesar and he became the first Emperor of Rome.
The administration established by Augustus was known as the Principate. He ruled by taking the title ‘Princeps’which means the first citizen. The only ruler and centre of authority in the Roman Empire was Emperor Augustus. He took the title Princeps just because of his admiration for the Senate. It was a strategy to please the Senate and make it dance to his tunes.
In the history of Rome, the Senate had much significance. Examine the validity of this statement.
Senate was a body representing rich landowners and other wealthy people in Rome. In administration, the Senate had the second place after the Emperor. Most of Roman history is written by historians who were closely associated with the Senate. Even Emperors were evaluated on the basis of their relations with the senate.
All the emperors who were angry with the Senate or refused to cooperate with it were depicted as bad emperors. Some Senators were interested in going back to the old Republican times, but they knew it was an impossibility.
In the history of Rome, Army had much significance. Examine the validity of this statement.
The army of Rome was quite different from that of the Persians, who were the adversaries of Rome. Recruitment to the Persian Army was done by force. For sections of the society, military service was compulsory. But the Roman army was a professional one.
The soldiers were appointed with the expectation that they would serve the army for at least 25 years and they were paid wages for their service. This army was a special feature for the Roman army. It was one of the most powerful and organized institutions in the Roman Empire. It had the power even to decide the fate of the emperors.
It was urbanization in the Roman Empire that enabled the Emperor to rule and control it. Prepare a seminar paper on this topic.
It was urbanization that enabled the Emperor to rule and control the vast Roman Empire which had 60 million people and extensive and diverse regions. The real strength of the imperial administration was . the great urban centres in the Mediterranean shores. Carthage, Alexandria, and Antioch were big urban centres of those times. It was through the cities that taxes from the rural areas of the provinces were collected by the Government. A good measure of the income of the empire came from rural areas.
The Upper classes in the Provinces cooperated with the Roman Administration in administering their areas and to collect taxes. The Provinces and the Upper classes there were an integral part of the Roman administration. In the 2ndand 3rd centuries it was the Upper Classes in the Provinces that supplied the Cadres and army commanders for the Provincial administration.
Gradually, they became a new elite class of administrators and army commanders. Since they had the backing of the Emperors, they were able to become stronger than the senators. Emperors like Gallienus helped the new elite class to establish. themselves. Gallienus avoided senators from any position in the army. Thus he prevented the imperial administration falling into their hands. This strengthened the hands of the elite class.
In short, during the Early Roman Empire period, the importance of the Provinces increased tremendously. The majority of the Cadres in the administration as well as in the army were from the Provinces. As the power of the Provinces increased, the importance of Italy was lost.
Even her dominance in the Senate was lost. Until the 3rd century Italy had dominated the Senator As the members from the Provinces increased in the Senate, Italy’s position became weak. Thus Italy degenerated politically and economically and an urbanized and new elite class began to come up.
Urban centres which contained villages and which had their own magistrates and corporations were called “Cities” by the Romans. Villages were under, the jurisdiction of the Citie. Some Villages were able to raise themselves to the status of cities. The reverse also happened. Cities became villages.lt all depended on the sweet will of the government.
Living in cities had an advantage. Curing famine the distribution of food in the cities was far better than in villages. Public baths were another important feature of the. Roman urban life. The people in the Roman cities used to enjoy entertainment of high standards. One Roman calendar shows that there were shows of various kinds on 176 days a year.
The 3rd century was a time of crisis for the Roman Empire. Do you agree with this view? Clarify.
As far as the Roman Empire was concerned, the 1st and 2nd centuries were those of peace, development and economic growth. But in the 3rd century the Empire began to show signs of trouble. It was foreign attacks that-caused the problem. In 225 AD the Sassanian Dynasty came to power in Iran and this was a great threat to the Roman Empire. When the Irani an army marched forward with Euphrates in sight, it became a big crisis for the Roman Empire.
In one of his famous stone inscriptions, it is written that Shapurl, who was the ruler of Iran, destroyed a Roman army numbering 60,000 and captured Antioch, the Eastern capital of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire faced attacks by Barbarians. The Romans scornfully called the Tribal people who lived in the northern border of the Roman Empire as Barbarians to mean that they were uncivilized. These Tribal Groups belonged to the Germanic race and inducted Alamanni’s, Franks and Goths. They started infiltrating into the Rhine-Danube boundaries.
Between 233 and 280 they attacked the Roman Provinces that lay between Black Sea and Alps in Southern Germany. The Romans were forced to quit from areas on the other side of River Danube. During this period Emperors had to spend a lot of time in the battlefronts. In 47 years, 25 emperors ascended the throne and this shows the extent of the Crisis the Roman Empire faced.
“In the Roman Empire, women had a high place.” Anwar.
“In the Roman Empire, the condition of women was bad.” Hassan.
This was part of a classroom debate. Which one do you support? Why?
The Roman society was a patriarchal one. Women were under the power and control of their husbands. Husbands would even physically abuse their women. Fathers had legal control over their children. They had even the right to Rill the children whom they did not like by leaving them in the terrible cold.
Women, however, had the right to own and handle property. Women did not give their family property which they got during marriage to their husbands. They would give whatever money they got as dowry to their husbands, but they retained their other properties as they had the right to keep them and use them the way they wanted.
In the Roman Empire, there were a lot of cultural diversities. Explain.
In the Roman Empire, there were a lot of cultural diversities. We could see these cultural diversities in their different religious beliefs, their deities, their languages, their dresses, their food, their organizational forms whether Tribal or non-Tribal and their dwellings. In short the cultural diversities in the – Roman Empire were reflected in many things and in many ways.
Present a seminar paper on the economic development of the Roman Empire.
Areas to be considered: Production, trade, agriculture, technology, and other factors.
In the Roman Empire, there were many ports, mines, quarries, brick-making kilns, factories producing olive oil, etc. Things like wheat, wine, olive oil, etc. were manufactured in a large scale. But they also got more from outside. They imported them from Spain, the Gallic provinces, North-Africa, Egypt and Italy. Wines and olive oil were brought in huge amphorae (tall jar or jug). Plenty of broken pieces of these jars and jugs have been found by archaeologists.
In the Roman Empire trade in Spanish olive oil. had achieved great progress. In the 140-160 period, the trade had reached its peak. During this period the Spanish olive oil was taken in jars called Dressel 20. From the Mediterranean sites, plenty of such jars have been found.
It shows that Spanish olive oil was much traded. Evidence shows that the Spanish producers of olive oil were able to capture the market from Italian competitors. They succeeded as they gave high-quality olive oil at cheaper prices.
The success the Spanish producers of olive gained in the olive oil market was repeated by North African producers of olive oil. In the 3rd and 4th centuries, the olive oil market was under the control of the olive estates of this region. But in the 5th and 6th centuries the monopoly of the North African producers was lost. Oriental countries like Egypt, Southern Asia Minor (Turkey), Syria arid Palestine captured the olive oil and wine markets.
In the Roman Empire, there were extraordinarily fertile places. Strabo and Pliny point out that Compariia (Italy), Cicily, Faiyum (Egypt), Galilee, Byzantia (Tunisia), Southern Gaul and Baetica (Southern Spain) were very rich and they had dense populations. , The best wine came from Compania, Cicily, and Byzantia exported wheat to Rome in large quantities. People cultivated every inch of land in Galilee. Spanish olive oil came mainly from the estates in southern Spain.
Romans were much advanced in technology. They developed the technology to use water power to work mills. They also developed the water-energy technique to mine gold and silver in the mines of Spain. Roman Empire also had an organized commercial banking chain. Cash was extensively used, All these are proofs of the strength Of Roman economy. There were also problems like the exploitation of workers and the use of slaves.
Slavery was a very deep-rooted evil system that was prevalent in the ancient times. Based on this statement, write about the slavery in the Roman Empire.
Slavery was a very deep-rooted evil system that was prevalent in the ancient times. In the Mediterranean region and in the Near East, slavery had deep roots. Even Christianity did not challenge slavery. But it is wrong to assume that all the work in the Roman Economic System was carried out by slaves.
During the Republican times, in most of the areas of Italy, slaves were made to do all the work. Under Augustus, there were 3 million slaves. In those days the Italian population was only 7.5 million. But slaves were not used in all areas of the Empire. In many places, work was got done by giving wages to people. Slaves were considered an investment. The upper classes of the Roman society did not show any mercy to the slaves.
For managing labour, agricultural writers and owners gave much attention. Explain.
For managing labour, agricultural writers and owners gave much attention. They gave the greatest importance to supervision. The owners of land believed that unless the workers are supervised. nothing would work out properly.
Writers like Cato, Columella, Varro, and Palladius wrote handbooks on farming practice. To make the supervision on the paid workers and slaves, they were divided into smaller teams called gangs. Columella recommended that workers should be divided into teams of 10. If you divided them into smaller teams, it would be easy to find out who are really working and who are not. It shows a lot of importance was given to the management of labour.
In the Roman society, there were different social. groups. On the basis of this statement, evaluate the social hierarchy in Rome.
In the Roman society there were different social groups, Historian Tacitus divides the. main social groups into 5:
- The Senators (Paters)
- The top class cavalry men (Equites)
- The Respectable Middle Class
- The Lower Class people who were interested in circus and colorful shows (Plebs sordida or humiliores).
There was no stable currency system in Rome. Discuss.
In the first 3 centuries, the currencies used were based on silver. But this system failed completely in the later period of the Empire. The reason was the lack of silver in the Spanish mines. Because of the shortage of silver, the government could not maintain a stable silver currency. Emperor Constantine started a new currency system based on gold. During the Late Roman Empire, a lot of gold coins were in circulation throughout the Empire.
Corruption and dictatorship were the. trademarks of the Roman government. Evaluate this statement.
Corruption was rampant in the empire. This was especially so in the judiciary and in the army administration. The greed of higher officials in the army and the governors of the provinces was notorious. The government had to frequently interfere to stop such corruption. Legislation against corruption and the criticisms against corruption made by historians and intellectuals help us in knowing more about the corruption prevalent in the empire. Criticism is an important aspect of the classical world. Roman Administration was a despotic one. Government never tolerated any criticism or opposition against it. Such criticisms or oppositions were brutally suppressed by the government.
Diocletian and Constantine were two rulers that brought revolutionary changes in the Roman Empire. This is what Honey wrote in her seminar paper. Justify this statement.
During the time of Constantine, there were revolutionary changes in the religious life of the people in the Empire. He made Christianity the official religion of the empire. In the 7th century, Islam came into being. There were great changes in the structure of the nation. It was Diocletian (244-305) who brought changes here.
The large areas created administrative inconveniences and therefore Diocletian took steps to solve the problem. He reduced the size of his Empire by removing the strategically and economically unimportant regions. He protected the boundaries by building fortresses. He reorganized the provincial boundaries. He exempted citizens from military service. The Duces (army commanders) were given autonomy.
Constantine (306-334) Was the successor of Diocletian. He brought great changes in the administrative setup. The most important among them were the new currency system, new capital, and economic reforms. He brought out new gold coins called Solidus which weighed 4 1/2 grams of gold. A lot of these coins were minted. Millions of such coins circulated in the empire.
Even after the fall of the Roman Empire, these coins remained valuable. Constantine made Constantinople (old Byzantium) his second capital. It was in the modem Istanbul in Turkey and it was covered on all the three sides by oceans. He also formed a new Senate for the new capital. The emperor invested heavily in the oil mills and crystal factories in villages. Screw-making machines and watermills were introduced. He also re-established the trade relations with the East.
The Romans were polytheists (worshippers of many gods). Based on this statement, write a note on the religious practices of the Romans.
The Romans were polytheists. They worshipped many gods and goddesses like Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, and Mars. They built temples and other places of worship for their deities. Their faith did not have any special name or label.
Judaism was another religion in Rome. It was also not monolithic as the different ancient Jewish communities followed different ways. By the 4th and 5th century Christianity began to spread in Rome. Constantine was the first Emperor to become Christian. Later Christianity was made the state religion.
The reason for the fall of the Western European Empire was internal differences. Do you agree with this statement? Examine.
In the 4th century AD, the Roman Empire was divided into two-the Eastern and the Western Empire. They were under two Emperors. In the Eastern Roman Empire, there was general prosperity. It not only survived the great plague of the 540s which made the Mediterranean area a vast graveyard, but the population went on increasing. But, at the same time, the Western Roman Empire faced political crises. The attacks of the germanic tribes were the reason for that.