- Do you agree with the authors that the similarities between Roman civilization and our own
are overstated? Why or why not?
- The art and architecture of a people usually reveal a great deal about their aspirations, ideals,
and character. With this in mind, compare Roman art and architecture with any of the following:
a) Egyptian; b) Aegean; c) Assyrian; d) Hellenic.
- "Even without political problems the Roman Empire would probably have been fated to
extinction for economic reasons." Discuss the validity of this statement.
- Read the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius and compare with Hellenistic Stoicism.
- Compare in as many ways as you can Ancient Rome and the United States. (You may wish to
consult, among other works, Guglielmo Ferrero's Ancient Rome and Modern America.)
- Attempt to determine the extent of Etruscan influence upon Roman society and culture.
- Machiavelli (Discourses on Livy, I, 37) asserted that the Gracchan agrarian reforms and the
dissension which they led to were a prime cause of the decline of the Roman Republic. Do you
- In assessing the causes of Rome's decline, compare Toynbee's discussion (A Study of History,
Vol. I, Part IV: "The Breakdown of Civilizations") with Rostovtzev, History of the Ancient
World, Vol. II, Chap. XXV: "Causes of the Decline of Ancient Civilization."
- How was Roman civilization modified by contact with other peoples? Were these contacts
beneficial or detrimental to Rome?
- Why were Roman achievements in the field of law so outstanding?
- How do you account for the fact that the Romans made little advancement in science despite
the fact that the vast contribution of Hellenistic science was at their disposal?
- What do you think were the chief drawbacks of the civilization of ancient Rome?
- Examine in detail the various theories regarding the decline and fall of the Roman empire.
- In The Revolt of the Masses (Chap. 14), Jos‚ Ortega y Gasset identified Julius Caesar as one
of the two "really clear heads" of the ancient world. Evaluate Ortega's judgment in the light of
Roman history and of later European history.
- If appropriate to your locale, examine the influence of Roman architecture on contemporary