Series
Contemporary Civilization I: from classical antiquity to early modern times
Episode Number
No. 6
Episode
Rome. The Empire
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-526-fx73t9fc3j
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Description
Episode Description
This is an episode of the radio course "Contemporary Civilization I: from classical antiquity to early modern times," taught by Dr. Salvatore Saladino of the School of General Studies of Queens College, Flushing, N.Y. This lesson focuses on the Roman Empire. Professor Saladino begins by discussing the achievements of the Roman Empire. Firstly, he presents the benefits that their subjects received, including: peace, orderly government, economic unity, a fair system of law, and the cultural unity that the empire made possible. These are the factors that explain why the Roman empire lasted so long. In general terms, the weaknesses of the Roman empire were: tendency and desire for expansion, failure to solve economic and social difficulties, orderly succession to the imperial throne, loss of initiative and sense of civic duty, and a general degradation of the moral tone of the empire. He then defines the Empire as the period of Roman dominion in the Mediterranean world and western Europe dating from 27 BC to 476 AD. His history begins with a description of the Republic transitioning into an empire, and the rise of Julius Caesar and Octavian (and the defeat of Anthony). Octavian was called Augustus, held the title "imperator," had chief executive power, was tribune, and was high priest of the state religion. Augustus had undisputed control for forty years and ridded Rome of different Republican institutions. Augustus's reforms included: ending the practice of allowing individuals to raise armies on behalf of the state (making this an exclusive state function), fixed sites for the garrisoning of troops on the outer edges of the Empire, systemized the bureaucracy with honesty and competency standards, ended the practice of bestowing Provincial governorships to former consuls, made tax collection an exclusive function of the state, standardized the tax rates, beautified the city, and instituted police and fire protection services. His successors, who were inept, failed to shake the Empire, proving again that his foundation and reforms were successful. Nerva introduced the practice of adopting a capable man to be heir to the Empire after dynastic inheritance caused problems. Marcus Aurelius, perhaps Plato's "philosopher-king," ended this practice, giving the dynasty to his son because he failed to see his faults. Trouble came to the empire when his son, Commodus, took power. Saladino continues with a geographical and basic description of the extent and different regions of the Roman Empire, and explains how Rome introduced the "city-state." The Empire was very flexible, allowing its individual provinces to maintain their own cultures and practices. Problems arose in the third century, such as widespread prostitution, more brutal gladiatorial fights, and labor system failures. Diocletian, from a military background, become emperor in the late 200s and tried to mend troubles with reforms, but ultimately only made the collapse more certain, yet rather delayed. Lasting effects of the Roman Empire include: language breadth, Roman law, juris prudence, spread of Christianity, and 200 years of peace and stability.
Broadcast Date
1961-10-06
Asset type
Episode
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:28:37.824
Embed Code
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Credits
Producer: Crawford, Robert P.
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Speaker: Saladino, Salvatore
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-85942ac1ba0 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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Citations
Chicago: “Contemporary Civilization I: from classical antiquity to early modern times; No. 6; Rome. The Empire,” 1961-10-06, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-fx73t9fc3j.
MLA: “Contemporary Civilization I: from classical antiquity to early modern times; No. 6; Rome. The Empire.” 1961-10-06. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-fx73t9fc3j>.
APA: Contemporary Civilization I: from classical antiquity to early modern times; No. 6; Rome. The Empire. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-fx73t9fc3j