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Here is a quick question on Romans

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Discipline and organization.

And they didn't try to fundamentally change the societies they conquered.

It was like they said "Ok, Bob's not in charge anymore Caesar is... but carry on as if Bob was still in charge and all the money you would have given to Bob, now goes to Caesar..."

The inevitable response from the average Joe was "Meh, what do I care if it's Bob or that Caesar guy... I'd be paying the money anyway."

They also brought a measure of civilization with them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaE3EaQte78

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Another thing they would do--at least in the early days when they were still working on conquering the Italian peninsula--was grant Roman citizenship to the leadership of a city they had conquered, and offer the city a path of advancement up a heirarchy to being a fully Roman city. In Rome, anyone could in principle work their way up to Roman citizen; it gave ambitious people an outlet other than rebellion.

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Discipline and organization.

My two word answer would be: politics and ideology. (which were both superior to everyone else's)

Sure, the legions were often well organized, certainly better organized than the enemy, but they weren't deployed everywhere: I'd say their distribution was very similar to the way american forces are deployed across the world: massive presence in Iraq and Afghanistan (two hotspots at the edge of the civilized world), with everything else spread around the world.

The world is "stable" because of a combination of military presence and politics, but the emphasis is often on the political and ideological/cultural.

However, military intervention was often necessary, and when the culture of Rome itself changed, that was no longer possible, so everything went to hell.

Of course, that ends the similarities between the Roman Empire and the West today: while we use politics and ideology as well, the roman politics and ideology were both very different.

If there's one thing we should learn from them, it is that we shouldn't rely on a constant military presence everywhere, to make the world stable.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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Virtus et Lex

"Valor and Law." Yes, that is a good summary. It was the Valor of the Legionaries, coupled with the benifits of Pax Romana, which included Roman Law and civilization, which enabled Rome to maintain thier Empire as long as they did. Imagine where we would be today had the West not fallen into darkness for 1000 years...

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