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Germans vs. Romans
This is my Germans vs. Romans essay. In this essay, we compare the life of the Germans to the life of the Romans.
A standardized Roman army marching down a dirt road, while unseen in the woods a German army launches out at the disciplined soldiers screaming and slashing their axes. Taken by surprise the Roman army is defeated. This was a classic attack by the Germans on a Roman legion. The Germans are a tribal society living in rural areas, while the Romans lived mostly in cities. There are several big areas were Romans and Germans are completely different. Those areas are: how they lived, their government, and their army.
Germans lived in rural areas rather than in cities like the Romans. They made their living off of farming and raising livestock. The German’s houses were extremely different than the Roman’s. The Romans lived in large houses, with running water and slaves to keep them clean if they were rich, and if they were poor, they lived in small apartments in a building sometimes six stories high, with no running water and sometimes no bathroom. The Germans lived in long thatch-roof huts with an open space around them. The hut was divided into two sections. The family lived in one end, and the other end was split into animal stalls. The Romans were disgusted about how the Germans lived with their animals. They believed that staying clean and organized was the right way to live.
There are many major differences in the government and laws of the Germans and Romans. The Romans believed that the laws came from the emperor, and what the emperor said, (if there he had enough support) was done. For example, the huge palace Emperor Nero built for himself, went completely against the people's wishes, but it was done. The Germans believed that law came from the people. In the Roman empire, what the emperor said was almost always dome. German law would not change if the people didn't approve. Instead of writing down the laws like the romans did on the twelve tablets, Germans memorized them and and passed them down by word of mouth. The Germans had two main ways that they decided if someone was innocent of guilty. One way was to declare innocence under oath and then be backed up by an oath-helper or someone who swore that the accused was telling the truth. If the accused could not find an oath-helper, their innocence was determined through ordeal or a severe trial. During an ordeal, the accused persons had to walk bare-foot over hot coals. The innocent's burns were supposed to heal within tree days. There was also ordeal by water where the accused's hands and feet were tied together and they were thrown in a river. The innocent would supposedly sink while the guilty would float.
All German men were warriors. They spent most of their time fighting, hunting, or making weapons. When a boy became a man he was given a shield and a spear at a special ceremony. If he were to lose his spear and shield he would lose his honor. When Germans were in a battle, they would sneak up on their enemies and take them by surprise screaming and yelling to scare them, while Romans would meet the enemy head on. A successful raid would provide the Germans with enslaved people, cattle, and other treasures. Romans never turned their backs on a battle and the German way of fighting was more of a hit and run. When the German territories and the Roman territory were side by side, The Germans would take advantage of the weakening Romans and attack Roman soldiers. During that time, no road was safe for travel and trade, which weakened the Romans even more.
Germans and Romans were different civilizations with completely different cultures that were almost opposites in some ways. Romans were urbanized and relied on others to bring wealth to their empire, while the Germans lived in rural areas and supplied their own resources. For a while the Germans and Romans lived side by side, so cultures mixed a little bit, and the Germans became more civilized and adapted some Roman culture. For example, Christianity. Though there was some mixing of culture, there was not a lot. Eventually the German territory would start to expand onto the land that once was the Roman empire.
Article posted May 3, 2012 at 06:52 AM •
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