reply to post by deessell
When the Roman Empire was at it's peak, and when it went past the point where they still need to enter military conflicts for conquer objectives, they
had a very peculiar thing about their international policy.
They actually made treaty's with nations. The Romans were smart enough to realize that conflicts were too costly for what was worth it. Their
super-power status was already stretched thin all over Europe, and we need to bare in mind the times they lived in. If even today it's a nightmare to
move 200,000 troops from point A to point B, then it's even harder when you don't have aircrafts, self-propelled boats and all those logistic aids.
Troop movement could take up to a whole year, just to get into battle. The movement of their troops by itself was utterly destructive, since soldiers
have to eat, and poop, and drink and party. A force of 500,000 roman troops going through a country, or even a village, would mean that they would
deplete all resources available. First for the original people that would starve to feed the invading army, and then for the romans them-selfs, as
there were times where they were forced to stay in one place for months waiting for an attack on them or by them.
They realized that resources were more important than actual land to brag for. One thing is connected to the other, but if you make an effort into
conquering, you are actually wasting the resources that were supposed to make you rich and powerful. By having an expensive bill, both in offense and
defense (they did had to keep people from revolting).
So, after a very dominating military campaign that made them stretch from their original borders, they decided to stop the offensive politics and
start using their fame and fortune in their favor.
Instead of threatening other nations and then invading them with brute (but very well trained) force, they started to "corrupt" them.
Even though Romans were very narcissistic and thought too high of them-selfs, they decided to "offer" some things, of which you can give relevance
. The Romans thought that other nations were kind of...dumb and primitive. So they aided them with roman scriptures and literature.
They gave them the "freedom" of keeping the native language, but all conquered nations were forced and obligated to be fluent in latin and all
citizens should be able to properly speak to roman officers. This is actually one of the reasons why you have so many words in common both in English,
Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and so on.
. They also thought that most nations were a bit behind Rome when it came down to economic power. Mostly due to lack of resources.
They solved this by building stone roads across the major european/mediterranean markets (actually, the first "highways" in history are all roman,
thus the saying "all paths lead to Rome") which aided mutual economic trade and access to rare resources and spices. Other stuff included building
those massive water canals that are now historic places all over Europe. They decided that giving water to big cities was a big statement of their
engineering power (and it was). For all that, nations had to pay taxes to the Roman Empire.
. If the country that was conquered did so peacefully(or even if they didn't), then the Roman Empire would forge an alliance
with them. Any war effort would require that nation to send their best troops and gear to obey any roman order. To ease the fears of the conquered,
Rome would also state that the whole Roman army would come to any assistant if the need would arise. This was actually important, because later on the
Visigoths from the North started to wage war, and Rome while still protecting THEIR empire, would send troops to foreign nations to fight off the
. This is a mixed point, since I already mentioned that inside the Roman control, everyone had to speak roman latin. But
this was more than that. All nations had to use the Roman currency, marked with the emperor face on the side. This wasn't made for the same reasons it
is today. The currency was a way of the emperor to spread his authority through the Empire, since this was a time where they didn't have pictures of
posters, and most people would only see his face in coins, or at least, the ones lucky enough to have them.
But the civilization standards didn't stop there. We all heard about the entertainment the romans enjoyed most, gladiator battles/races/theaters.
Again, you can see all across Europe ruins of how far they went, building coliseums and theaters to keep the masses entertained.
The romans assumed that as long as the people were distracted with the games of gladiators, they wouldn't think about being under an empire, about the
several wars happening or other social problems, like the lack of food for all population.
(need another post to finish)
edit on 7-8-2012 by GarrusVasNormandy because: added taxes (no pun intended)