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The Grandeur That Was Rome
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Date: 1992


The story of Rome's rise from an insignificant muddy village along the
banks of the Tiber to the mighty ruler of an empire that included most of
western Europe, the Mediterranean area, and the Near East will always remain
one of the most fascinating stories in world history. Rome's expansion was
accompanied by much devastation and suffering, yet it was less disastrous than
continued international anarchy would have been.

Rome's greatest achievement was the Pax Romana, peace and prosperity over
a vast area for long periods under a stable and acceptable government. The
Roman citizens who accomplished this task were characterized by Livy, Rome's
great historian at the end of the Republican period, in words that anticipate
what modern Americans have often said of themselves:

I hope that my passion for Rome's past has not impaired my
judgment; for I do honestly believe that no country has ever
been greater or purer than ours or richer in good citizens and
noble deeds; none has been free for so many generations from
the vices of avarice and luxury; nowhere have thrift and plain
living been for so long held in such esteem. ^29

[Footnote 29: Livy Roman History 1.1, trans. Aubrey de Selincourt, Livy: The
Early History of Rome (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1960), p. 34.]

World History Center