world history 1

| March 17, 2020


please answer the following questions in the file I’ll upload even the extra credit.


Sandra Houston

Professor Sade

History Paper

6 November 2014

World History 1

Short Answers

  1. Who are Romulus and Remus?

Romulus and Remus were twin brothers and a part of Roman mythology, in which they were credited with founding the city of Rome.


  • Explain the difference between patricians and plebeians.

Patricians were the rich people in Rome, who happened to have a lot of influence on the government. In contrast, plebeians were ordinary people of lower social status, who formed the majority of the Roman population and had no influence on the government. The Roman government was shaped by long-standing conflict between patricians and plebeians.

      3.   Who were the members of the Second Triumvirate?

The members of the Second Triumvirate included Octavius, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus. They represented an institution that was officially recognized and legally established. These attributes gave it immense power in Rome, outranking even the power of all other consuls and magistrates. 

      4.   Describe the adaptations to the military for which Gaius Marius is known.

Gaius Marius is known for abolishing the principle of property qualification in the military. Prior to this abolition, individuals were required to own land worth a certain amount to qualify to work as soldiers. This adaptation created a new environment where any citizen could choose to work in the legions. Consequently, soldiers started pledging allegiance to their general as opposed to Rome itself. This, in turn, triggered several civil wars, followed by the ultimate fall of the Republican system.

      5.   Who were the optimates/boni?

In the Roman state, optimates, also called boni, were conservative people who formed a majority of the population during the Roman Republic’s later years. During these years optimates competed with populares for the pursuit of particular goals as opposed to the promotion of a collective ideology. The environment of competition had arisen because the Roman political process had become highly individualized.

      6.   Which emperor made Christianity a legal religion in the Roman Empire and why?

Christianity was made a legal religion in the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great. He did so in order to gain political mileage.

  • Who were the men who ruled Rome during the Year of the Four Emperors?

The men who ruled the Roman State during the Year of the Four Emperors included Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian. Galba became emperor after Nero, his predecessor, committed suicide. Otho succeeded Galba, who was in turn succeeded by Vitellius. Finally, Vespasian became the last of the four emperors, all of whom ruled Rome during the same year.

      8.   Why are the Roman emperors from Nerva to Marcus Aurelius known as the “Good Emperors?”

These emperors were regarded as the “Good Emperors” because of their abilities as wise rulers. Their reign was characterized by a high level of general prosperity. During their time, Rome went through its best experience in terms of civilization.

  • What is a meritocracy?

The term “meritocracy” was originally intended to mean a society where rulers at the top of the social-class hierarchy ruled autocratically, whereby the masses at the lower levels of the hierarchy could not protect themselves against the oppression of the “merit” elite. In this case, one’s wealth and social class were the controlling factors for one’s power and role in society. Today, the term has developed a positive connotation, whereby it is being used to describe a system where people can achieve success based exclusively on their hard work, abilities, and efforts.

    10.   What was the connection for trade between China and Europe?

The connection for trade between the two countries was the Silk Road. The Silk Road was a series of cultural transmission and trade routes through which interactions between China and Europe were made possible. Traders, soldiers, nomads, and merchants used this route to move between these two regions.


  1. Explain the CursusHonorum. 

CursusHonorum was a system that described the sequential order in which aspiring politicians in Rome could hold public offices. CursusHonorum provided a framework for both political administration and military posts. It also provided guidelines on minimum age requirements for each of the public office positions. CursusHonorum was used during both the Roman Republic and the early days of the Empire. However, during the later years of the Republic, politicians started ignoring CursusHonorum with impunity.

CursusHonorum essentially provided a ladder of advancement for politicians. In the meantime, the underlying principles kept evolving, particularly during the power struggle between plebeians and patricians. Nevertheless, the system maintained certain checks and balances, with the main ones being collegiality and limited terms of office. Theoretically, the system adopted the face of participatory democracy, while in practice it contained oligarchic elements. At the same time, the Senate played a critical role in the operation of CursusHonorum. It consisted only of magistrates and ex-magistrates, who work as a permanent governing body assigned the exclusive task of conducting debate and exercising control over state administration, finances, and foreign affairs.

CursusHonorum provided a detailed description of magistrates, the senate, and Assemblies. The system of magistrates consisted of 2 consuls, 8 praetors, 2 censors, 4 aediles, 10 tribunes, and 20 quaestors. Regarding the Senate, guidelines regarding membership, meeting venues, and symbols of government were provided. It comprised of 600 members, who met in a chamber called the Curia. The symbols of the Republican government were SPQR, which stands for SenatusPopulusqueRomanus.

Lastly, Assemblies theoretically encompassed all males with full Roman citizenship. Individuals were required to attend personally if they wanted to vote. Votes counting was done based on groups, with the majority of individuals in various groups determining that vote. An individual’s membership to a specific assembly was determined majorly by the administrative function for which that assembly had been established.

  • Do you agree with Sallust that any great power must have a proper rival?
    Why or why not?

I Agree with Sallust’s view that any great power must have a proper rival for three reasons. The first reason is that rivalry promotes competition and innovation, while the lack of it breeds complacency. A country that constantly perceives the threat of an adversarial state with immense military capabilities is likely to look for ingenious ways of matching, if not surpassing those capabilities. The need to develop systems for protecting citizens against adversaries drives countries into reorienting their socio-economic and political systems in a manner that facilitates their ascendency to the status of great powers. In the absence of a proper rival, a country may lack the sense of urgency that triggers an unrelenting quest for efficiency in governance and economic development.


The second reason why a proper rival is needed is that a country’s greatness cannot be appreciated unless it is compared with that of lesser states aspiring a similar status. At any given time, weaker states should be working towards attaining the status of stronger states. The stronger states should be aware that another state is threatening to take over their position of dominance. To prevent this takeover, the stronger states seek new ways of accumulating wealth and hegemony, a move that ultimately leads them to the achievement of the status of great power.

Lastly, in conventional circumstances, rivalry tends to be an inevitable outcome of an ongoing struggle for socio-economic and political dominance of one state over others. Sovereign states aspire to achieve greater levels of national prosperity just in the same way that individual citizens aspire to move from a lower social to a higher social class. These individuals are likely to develop an air of hostility towards the ruling class, which they perceive to be working towards maintaining the status quo. Similarly, the rivalry between weaker and stronger states is an inevitable outcome of an ongoing struggle to exert political influence in a certain region or even across the world. Without that kind of rivalry, it would be impossible for the great powers of yesteryears to fall and new ones to emerge.

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