Roman Law (4556 words)
Roman LawThe Romans have had almost every type of government there is. They’ve had a kingdom, a republic, a dictatorship, and an empire. Their democracy would be the basis for most modern democracies. The people have always been involved with and loved their government, no matter what kind it was. They loved being involved in the government, and making decisions concerning everyone. In general, the Romans were very power-hungry. This might be explained by the myth that they aredescended from Romulus, who’s father was Mars, the god of war. Their government loving tendencies have caused many, many civil wars. After any type of government, the change has been made with a civil war. There have also been many civil wars between rulers. But it all boils down to wanting to be involved in government.
When the Greeks finally entered Troy after ten long years of siege, a man named Aeneas escaped the city with his father, Anchises, and his son, Ascanius. They went to Mt. Ida, where they were to meet Aeneas’ wife, Creusa, but she never showed up. Saddened, Aeneas acquired a boat and sailed around the Mediterranean. He bounced around from Asia Minor to Greece to Crete looking for a place to found a new Troy, but he couldn’t find a satisfactory place. As told by Homer in the Aeneid, Aeneas was cared for by the gods. Venus, in particular, was very worried about him. She asked Jupiter, king of the gods abouthim, and he said this:Since you are so consumed with anxiety for Aeneas,I shall turn forward farThe hidden pages of fate and speak of the future.
He shall conduct a great campaign for youAnd conquer all Italy and its haughty peoples.
He shall impose laws on his own peopleAnd build walled cities for them; the third summerShall see him rule in Latium, the third winterOf warfare see the Rutulians [an Italian tribe] subdued.
But his son Ascanius…
It is he who shall consolidate your power-For thirty years with all their turning months;Then shall he move his capital from LaviniumTo Alba Longa, which he shall fortifyTo the uttermost; and there a line of kings…
Shall reign and reign till Ilia [Rhea Silvia], a priestessOf royal blood, bear twins begotten by Mars;And one of these, Romulus, fostered by a she-wolf,And joyfully wearing her tawny hide, shall ruleAnd found a city for Mars, a new city,And call his people Romans, after his name.
For them I see no measure nor date, I grant themDominion without end. Yes, even Juno…
Even she will mend her ways and vie with meIn cherishing the Romans, the master-race,The wearers of the Toga. So it is willed.(Nardo 13)Finally, he wound up at the mouth of the Tiber River in Italy. He went inland up the river, which was a miracle in itself, becausethe river is very swift. He found Latium, ruled by King Latinus, and married his daughter, Lavinia. With King Latinus’ permission, Aeneas and Lavinia founded a city called Lavinium, where they ruled side by side for many years. When Aeneas died, his son Ascanius took over. Ascanius founded a new city, which he called Alba Longa, and made it his capital.
Now we advance four centuries. The king of Alba Longa is Numitor. He had a jealous brother named Amulius, who seized the throne and drove out Numitor. To prevent Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, from having children who could claim the throne, Amulius made her a celibate priestess. While she was a priestess, Mars, the god of war, came and visited her and she had twin boys named Remus and Romulus (Burrell 7). When Amulius found out about the twins, he was furious. He ordered Rhea imprisoned and the boys drowned on the Tiber. The slave who was ordered to drown them felt pity for them, and instead sent them down the river in a basket. When they landed, a she-wolf found them and nursed them because her cubs had just been killed and she was still fertile. Romulus and Remus were found by a shepherd named Faustulus, who took them home to his wife to raise them. As they grew up, being sons of Mars, they turned out to be very athletic and natural leaders, especially of the local boys. When