The Five Good Emperors and The Pantheon

RonPaulCurriculum Western Civilization Essay

The first question for history is about the Five Good Emperors. “Why do historians tend to look with favor on the period of the five good emperors? What differences do you observe between that period and the period from the death of Augustus through the death of Domitian?”. Between, Augustus rule, the first Roman Emperor till the last emperor of the Julian-Claudian and Flavian dynasty, Domitian, it was hell and a big mess. Some were emperors described as a tyrant and had mental problems, one was sadistic, etc. it was all messed up, until the good five emperors.

The five emperors include Nerva(96-98AD), Trajan(98-117AD), Hadrian(117-138AD), Antoninus Pius(138-161AD), and Marcus Aurelius(161-180). Each one adopted a son and appointed him as the heir, eg. Nerva adopted Trajan, Trajan adopted Hadrian, etc. All except Marcus Aurelius, who had a son, Commodus, and named him his successor, but Commodus was unfit to be a ruler and was killed.

During their reigns, they lowered and lifted taxations, organized the construction of public buildings(Hadrian’s Wall, rebuilt the Pantheon, etc.), welcomed back citizens who were banished from the previous horrible emperors and gave them back their land, etc.

In conclusion, the five good emperors was well liked, and gave Rome some fresh air and take a break from all the problems from the previous era. But as soon as Aurelius appointed his biological son as heir, it went downhill again.

Today’s second question is to talk about one of the art I learned about earlier this week. The Pantheon is one of the places to see in Rome, it was built by Marcus Agrippa, then was burned down, but was rebuilt by Hadrian in 125 AD.

The Pantheon is one of the best lasting Ancient Roman building. In the front, there’s a portico, which is basically a porch with columns and a triangular roof, but on the inside, there’s a huge and beautiful dome with a hole at the top of the dome that lets light in called an oculus.

The diameter of the dome is 43.3 m(142 ft) and the height from the ground to the oculus is 43.3 m(142 ft), making a perfect sphere, compared to the U.S. Capitol dome who is only 96 ft in diameter. And it holds a record of the largest unreinforced concrete dome.

The oculus is not really useless, it acts a ventilation, and the only other opening was the doors who weighed a ton. The columns outside are 5ft in diameter, 39ft tall, and weighed 60 tons each! And let me tell you Hadrian had them carried from the Eastern Egypt mountains all the way to the Nile river, where it was put on a barge to Alexandria, and from their put on a ship to Rome.

In conclusion, the five good emperors were praised and well-liked by the public, did good things, compared to the Julian-Claudian and Flavian dynasty whereas some emperors were tyrants and just horrible, one wanted to be seen as a God, it was just awful. The Pantheon was burnt down, but rebuilt by Hadrian in 125 AD and is still in great shape, being one of the best-preserved building from Ancient Rome.

Thanks for reading, I hope you liked it.

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Orestes

RonPaulCurriculum Western Literature Essay

“What would have been Orestes’ proper course of action, had he been living today? Why?”. Well, if you read my previous essay about Agamemnon and the Trojan War, then this essay is continuing the play Oresteia. In Oresteia, they’re three parts of the play, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides.

Before answering my question today, let me keep you up to date. In Agamemnon, on the way to the Trojan War, he had to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to get favorable winds, then after ten long years the Trojan War finally ended, and on his way back home, little did he know that he would be killed by his own wife. His wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus planned his murder, one of the reasons is because he sacrificed their daughter, but also if he died, she and her lover would become the king and queen. So they killed him and his son Orestes sought revenge for his father’s murder and murdered his mother and her lover in cold-blood.

Now to answer the question, what would’ve Orestes done if he was living in modern times. In modern times, he would’ve reported his mom to the police and she’ll be taken to court and sent to jail for a number of years or for life. But if Orestes did get revenge and kill her and her lover, then he would’ve got caught and sent to court and will be punished for it. Back then in Greece, to get revenge on someone was justice, if you didn’t get revenge then you’d feel guilty because you didn’t do it.

But in modern times, its changed, you shouldn’t kill somebody for revenge, instead, do the right thing and turn them in and let the jury and judge decide their fate instead of taking matters in your own hand.

In conclusion, I understand why Orestes did kill his mother, but now if he did that, he would’ve been charged with murder. I hope you liked this essay, thanks for reading.

The Augustan Settlement and Life of Julius Caesar

RonPaulCurriculum Western Civilization Essay

What was the Augustan Settlement? How did Augustus balance his perceived need for absolute power with his concern to lend the impression that the republic had been restored and the old ways were being observed?”. Octavian(also known as Augustus later on) was Julius Caesars, the previous monarch, great-nephew, adopted son, and next to the throne. When he was appointed monarch, he knew that he shouldn’t be very public that only one man is in charge of all the military or else he’ll end up like Julius. But if he backs out Rome might begin a civil war or worse. So he has to find a way to balance it out.

And he did, in 27 BC, he handed over his powers to the Senate. But the Senate gave them back, in fear of a civil war starting or a dictator hungry for power, not only that they also gave him the name Augustus which is how he is known now. But they also gave him powers that no other man had control over.

So he was given these powers, but didn’t announce to the world he was in control almost everything and kept it low.

In 23 BC he was given tribunicia potestas, for life, which means he could establish a law, make citizens carry out his commands, veto any officials. In time, he became favorable to the people, and his idea worked.

And from the time he became dictator till his death in 14 AD, Rome was finally peaceful and had a break from war, bad dictatorship, etc. Both the people and Senate favored him.

My second topic for history is to summarize the important events in the life of Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar(October 49 BC – March 44 BC) is an important Roman figure, being a politician and general in the army.

In 60 BC, he teamed up with Pompey(106 BC – 48 BC) and Crassus(115 BC – 53 BC) to create an unauthorized alliance they called the First Triumvirate. Its purpose was to help each one of them to their desired top places. To strengthen this alliance, Julius gave his daughter to Pompey to be wed.

Julius defeated Gaul and earned an army to himself. Things were going great until Crassus died and Pompey’s wife also died due to childbirth. So only Julius and Pompey were left, and the Senate favored Pompey more than Julius, so they appointed Pompey as sole consul.

Finally, in 49 BC, Julius headed towards Rome with his army, and Pompey knew his army was no match for Julius, so he fled, leaving Julius to take the throne. Pompey fled to Egypt where he was eventually assassinated.

So Julius became the dictator, his ruling was positive, and wasn’t power hungry. He made plans for things, renamed the calendar, established an army, and did a lot of good things. But the Senate still disliked him, and in the end, he was assassinated on March 15 44 BC.

In conclusion, Augustan found a way of keeping Rome in control but also making it seem that Rome was a republic country on the outside. And Julius created the First Triumvirate with Crassus and Pompey until Crassus died and things went down. Pompey was appointed consul, and Julius went after him, so he fled to Egypt where he was killed. And Julius became the dictator, and ruled well, but was assassinated by the Senate.

I hope you liked this essay, thanks for reading.

“Why shouldn’t I borrow to buy something that depreciates?”

RonPaulCurriculum Business I Essay

“Why shouldn’t I borrow to buy something that depreciates?”. First what does “depreciate” mean, it means diminish in value over time, which means it loses it value and becomes cheaper over time.

Now, why shouldn’t you borrow money to buy something that will depreciate, let’s say you’re buying the latest iPhone, and you’re borrowing money to get it. First, you’re going to have to pay back what you borrowed plus interest, and when you want to sell your phone, it won’t be as popular and new as it was and it won’t pay itself back, so you just lost money in doing so.

Before you invest in anything big or small, make sure you’re able to pay it back, but you can’t pay it all back if you buy something that will depreciate. If you keep on buying things that don’t help your business or help pay itself, soon enough you’ll be in deep debt and that is very hard to climb out of. Though people have, it’s better safe than sorry.

It’s better to borrow money to buy things that’ll help your business gain income, then set some of it aside, and use your spending money on the things you want, like little knick-knacks, but make sure you pay attention to your spending so you don’t overspend.

So in conclusion, you don’t want to be in debt, so don’t borrow money to buy something that’ll depreciate cause it won’t pay itself back. Better to borrow money to help your business and get income then pay it back plus the interest.

Aeschylus’s View of the Trojan War

RonPaulCurriculum Western Literature Essay

“What was Aeschylus’s view of the Trojan war?”. Aeschylus(523 BC – 456 BC) was an ancient Greek tragedian and was known as the father of tragedies. He wrote about an estimate of 70-90 plays, but unfortunately, only seven survived. If you’ve studied Greek literature, then I’m sure you’ve heard of the Trojan War, it was a popular topic to write about back then in Greece, and how they sneaked in with the famous Trojan Horse.

He like all other writers also wrote about the Trojan war, the play was called Oresteia. The first part was called Agamemnon, and it was about him and the Trojan war. In the beginning, on the way to the war, to get good winds to sail to the destination he had to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, to the gods, and in doing so “his attitude became profane” which means, he became crude or vulgar, which affected his consciousness of the war and everything.

Although other authors described the Trojan War as fairness and heroic, Aeschylus, on the other hand, described it as a struggle and focused on the sad and devastating parts.

After ten long dreadful years, the Greeks finally won by tricking the Trojans with the trojan horse. Even though the Greeks won the war, it looks more like they both lost. Both sides suffered and lost hundreds and thousands of men. The Greeks on the way back home lost all but one ship in a terrible storm, and the Trojans were raided and burned.

In conclusion, the Trojan War was a disastrous time and both the Greeks and the Trojans lost thousands of men and in the end, no one “won”.

I hope you liked this essay, thanks for reading.