Ancient Greek, Roman Contrasts – Democracy With Alexander, Emperor With Julius

By admin ~ November 3rd, 2009 @ 10:52 am

Ancient Roman history books tell us about the single minded ambition and powerful physical presence of Julius Caesar, the greatest of any Caesar. Julius took his Roman legions far beyond the boundaries of Rome and created the Roman Empire, with him as the first dictator, or single ruler.

For this, of course, he was to pay for his life, and even then, a series of others who would call themselves Caesar continued the rule by leader, no longer the council of equals that the Senate and Forum had been.

The early Roman model had followed that of Greece, which had created the first modern example of honest rule by all through the equal power of their individual vote on any issue of urgency or efficiency: all had their say.

To begin his triumphal return to Rome, Julius Caesar came to, and then crossed the Rubicon River. He had hesitated, history understands, but not for long, as this plan had been building in the masterful mind and ambitious heart for years.

It was said of Julius as he rose that he would rather be first in any village than second in Rome. And so he became the first in every village he conquered, one by one, until he reached the Atlantic and had no more villages to gather up into the family of Rome.

But after his conquests, he and his men secured what they had established, began the building of roads and forts and the exchange of young sons between villages to work with them in far away lands, in the customary divide and rule. The new lads would become loyal soldiers for Rome once they were a thousand miles from their native village. It worked very well, and has been used by canny dictators since. But it was Julius Caesar, the Father of the Fatherland, who brought civilization to savage Europe.

Now long after Rome has faded as a power, the sense of a united Europe continued, even as languages diverged and now many versions of Latin are spoken between Portugal to Spain to France to Belgium to Italy and as far as Romania and beyond, and Christian all over. Yon Cassius did have a lean and hungry look, but all people prefer they get a vote, and a chance to express their deepest thoughts freely.

In his way, Julius gave his life to ensure that a civilized people could get along, and perhaps who was first in the village was not all.

At his Rubicon, the Indus, the soldiers of Alexander voted to go home, and they did. One man rule with Julius, or a Senate like Greece? We will discuss this further: this was the defining era that defined nation states to empires for more than the next thousand years. It is not a battle completed yet.
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