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.