The Roman Republic and Empire were ultimately beneficial to the peoples of the world.
Debate Rounds (4)
Beneficial - conferring benefit; advantageous; helpful: the beneficial effect of sunshine.
Said advantage/benefit may be monetary, in terms of liberty, in terms of order, or any other term with which "advantageous" is associated in modern English. I think that's all the clarifying I can do, other than to say that "ultimately" shall act in both a short and long term sense, i.e. the Romans burned this city to the ground, the Romans introduced this structure to this part of the world, etc.
I'm actually not sure on this point, but I'll play the devil's advocate against my former pro - Roman self.
With that I turn to my opponent for his case :)
I eagerly await his response.
The crimes of these two vindictive and ultimately (as I shall show for the Republic in comparison to the empire) not at all dissimilar political and identical cultural entities include but are not restricted to genocide, exploitation, ignorance and ultimately greed. The Romans were not as the have been portrayed (mostly because they have portrayed themselves) but were rather a cruel and barbaric civilization. I shall begin with short term ills.
GENOCIDE DURING CONQUEST
Genocides committed by the Romans were mostly committed during their conquering of the known world. One major genocide involves the starvation of the Gauls at Alesia in northern France. These Gallic women and children were sent out from their fortress as Vercingetorix was too short of food to feed them, however, the Romans had built a wall surrounding the Gallic fortress (these Romans being led by Rome's greatest hero, Julius Caesar) and would not let the women and children pass to search for food. The Gauls could not allow their women and children back in, as the Romans would then storm of the fortress and massacre all, thus the women and children starved, thousands of them.
This is merely one example of brutal genocide committed by the Romans on their conquering spree. Similar genocides occurred during the slaughter of the people of Carthage (200,000, 4/5ths of the population) the slaughter of the people of Epirus (northwestern Greece) and the deaths and enslavement of entire populations, including the Dacians, who to some extent no longer exist.
The genocide committed against the Judeans (several times) does not help the Romans' case either, as they massacred the Judean population several times, including in 70, 117, and 135 CE successively when the Judeans, revolting against high Roman taxes, were slaughtered by Roman legionaries or enslaved.
It's back to Julius Caesar now with his destruction of the Library of Alexandria, which contained many of the greatest works in human history, all lost and never to be read again. Returning to Carthage as well, the firestorm that destroyed it also destroyed much of what we could have learned about Carthaginian culture. The destruction of Athens didn't help either, when the Roman general Sulla leveled all of it's buildings in 88 - 85 BCE except those used for civic purposes, i.e. taxes. Years of Athenian culture, wiped away for the sake of Roman glory.
Contrary to much popular belief, there were few great Roman philosophers or theologians, most of their culture was stolen from Greece, right down to the Greek gods and goddesses. Philosophy itself was not favoured in Ancient Rome, as philosophy suggested questioning and questioning anything was contrary to the Romans' traditional, patriotic, and ultimately bigoted belief that they had a kind of manifest destiny to rule the world and the rest of the world was populated by barbarians, including the Greeks from whom they stole their culture. Even works of literature, such as Virgil's Aeneid, were in style copied directly off of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Roman plays never got past the Sophoclean stage. In fact, one of the few truly Roman ideas in Roman "culture" was that of the Collosseum, where individuals, including but not limited to slaves, debtors, POWs, and petty criminals were sent to fight to the death against wild animals. Many of the wild animals, of course, nearly went extinct because they had been used too often in the collosseum - this is probably why bears went extinct in Britain. Chariot races, another truly Roman sport, were incredibly dangerous and were, of course, only engaged in by slaves, debtors, and petty criminals.
Therefore culture - wise, the Romans contributed nothing to the world that had not already existed and, if anything, caused great harm through their "culture."
Exploitation was also very popular with the Romans. This is why Judea had THREE rebellions, because the Roman procurators, whose job was to collect taxes and whose (get this) salaries depended upon how much money was left over (an incentive to tax the provinces wildly) made the Judean people incredibly poor whilst giving them nothing. If anything, the Romans exploited the Judeans by stealing the sacred treasures of King Solomon from a Judean temple, setting off the first Judean revolt from 66-70 CE. Not only did the Roman procurator tax the Judeans into poverty, he insulted their religion.
Infrastructure was set up by the Romans in the provinces they conquered, but this infrastructure was largely of a Roman nature and, of course, benefited only the Romans. Rich Roman elites and the Roman aristocracy dominated trade and that "trade" was usually for the purpose of directing resources to Rome. The Romans took grain shipments from north Africa and Egypt, took gold from Gaul and took tin from Britain, all mined, of course, by slaves from the local area. In fact, the Romans took slaves from virtually every province and certainly immediately after conquering provinces, so that a third of the total population of the Roman Empire of 50 million were probably human chattel, and most of those were controlled by the aristocracy or the state - if that isn't exploitation, I don't know what is.
It may seem that when Rome was a republic there might have been greater amounts of equality, but this idea is false as the Roman senate, which could only be made up of the Roman aristocracy and nobody else, was in entire control of all decisions and usually their decisions were, of course, decisions that favoured the Roman aristocracy. Two Roman senators DID try to pass legislation to help the people, the Gracchi brothers, but both were, in succession, murdered by the Roman senators themselves.
Our view of Rome is distorted. We see it as a civilization that brought enlightenment and culture to those peoples it conquered. The truth is that it destroyed previously thriving cultures and exploited the survivors to no end. Thus, the Roman republic and empire were NOT ultimately beneficial to the peoples of the word.
AshleysTrueLove forfeited this round.
I won't add any points this round as obviously my opposition has circumstances beyond his control that have caused him to forfeit. Either that, or I crowded out round one with an argument that was perhaps too long and/or a badly phrased argument that is difficult to respond to, which would, of course be my responsibility.
If the next round is forfeited then I will, if I may reuse the above argument in another debate.
AshleysTrueLove forfeited this round.
AshleysTrueLove forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by famer 4 years ago
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