Loyalty and Rome Essay
The Roman Empire lasted so long due to various things. These include the establishment of a hierarchical government that enabled a system of checks and balances, the implementation of laws and taxes, a strong army, creation of institutions, and many different privileges and incentives for not only the people of Rome, but also those who were conquered and wished to become Roman. Amongst these things, there was an underlying commonality: loyalty. With loyalty came many personal relationships. A loyal government, a loyal army, and loyal people equates to a great empire. When that loyalty disappears, the effects can be disasterousl. Julius Caesar one of Rome’s most notable emperors depended heavily on loyalty and personal relationships.
Within “Caesar’s War Commentaries” Julius Caesar describes how his personal relationships with people within and outside played a major role within the empire and influenced many of his decisions. From “Caesar’s War Commentaries” it is clear to see that he was a very practical emperor and planned his every move carefully with a great deal of consultation. To quickly summarize, in this particular excerpt, Caesar needs to feed the army in time, but food is being held away and people within and outside the empire are resisting to aid as they would usually do.
He calls a meeting and to his surprise it is revealed that someone close to him and the government has been opposing him. Being the kind of Emperor Caesar is, he made the wise decision to privately question Liscus about what he had just informed him. Liscus of course is someone close to him and that he trusts. He discovers it is Dumnorix, brother of Divitiacus. Caesar wrote about his relationship with Divitiaus. He wrote “I had come to realize the very high regard which his brother Divitiacus entertained for Rome and his personal devotion to me. He was a man of unswerving loyalty.”
Caesar worried that “there was a possibility that the execution of his brother might alienate his goodwill.” Being that they were close, Caesar goes to him personally and gives him options to choose from concerning the actions to take against his brother. Divitiacus, when expressing his apologies asked for nothing to happen to him. Because of Caesar’s “high regard for him his prayer should be granted and the insult to Rome as well as my personal grievance forgiven.”
If it were not for the personal relationship that Caesar with Divitiacus, and the loyalty that Divitiacus had for Rome and Caesar, surely the situation would have played out differently. Other situations to point out within this excerpt, is that with Domnorix trying to rise to power, the people who were loyal to Caesar and trusted him, were now going against him. Not only was loyalty lost, but also respect and a sense of power for the Romans. Caesar’s excerpt can be used as an example as to what can happen, when these relationships are tarnished.
This is why the Romans, while conquering and expanded made sure to secure loyalty. The loyalty was secured in many different ways, which included the system of checks and balances, institutions within the Roman and non-Roman cities, and privileges for its people. To conclude, Rome as an Empire valued the loyalty and the personal relations acquired. Julius Caesar one of Rome’s notable emperors used this as he ruled and this is seen in “Caesar’s War Commentaries.”
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