Romans vs. Germans Essay
Overview of Assignment
What were you asked to do?
We were asked to write a five paragraph essay on comparing the culture of Romans and Germans.
Germans vs. Romans essay
Between the warlike Romans and the Blood-thirsty Germans there was a lot of different and similarities. You would think the German Kingdoms and the Roman Empire would be very similar, but they are very different in many ways. The Germans were people that fought wars to gain status, not to gain land, like Romans did. Their religion was mostly based on nature. They were warriors and put into clans based on family ties. They had chieftains that were the heads of the clans. There are three main comparisons. They are village life to city life, which is like how the Germans lived in the villages and what their their jobs were. Then how the Romans lived in the cities, and what their jobs were. The other comparisons are law and warriors.
Village life in Germany was much different from living a roman life in the cities. In Germany the villages were surrounded by miles of farmland and pastures.Their houses were long. thatched, roof huts. The houses were not like ours though. They only had wooden tables and benches for furniture. Then the family only stayed in half of the house. The other half was filled with animal stalls. This was not just because they didn’t have enough room. It was because the animals heated the houses. As jobs the German Villagers herded cattle, gathered food, and made clothing. Farming was a big thing, woman, children, and enslaved people farmed. As you can tell already this is going to be very different than the Romans life style. In Rome the rich lived in houses called a domus. They were very nice. In it it had heat, stone floors, and running water. They even had running water that reached the top floors. On the other had the poor lived in apartment buildings called islands. They were usually six or more stories high. The higher the floor, the lower the rent was. The ground floor was dedicated to shops. The apartment building didn’t seem too nice because they had no heat, no water, and sometimes no windows. The houses in both these civilizations were very different. The Germanic houses were one floor, basic, and simple houses while Romans houses were two or three floors with high quality furniture. They also had pipes for their water system. The Romans could not farm because they lived in the cities. While in Germany farming was one of the main jobs and way to make money. They are similar because they both had heat. Not the island, but the domus and the German houses. They got it different ways though. These are the similarities and differences I have with Germans and Romans.
The different ways of using law in other civilizations is quite interesting. I will explain and compare the contrast law between the Romans and the Germans. The Germans did not write down their laws in a book like we do. They memorized their laws and passed them down from parent to child. Most of the time if they had reckless fighting it would turn into blood feuds. They had judges that would try to settle this. In Germany they had weird ways of deciding if you were guilty or not. Here were some if them. You could take an oath. You were the defended by an Oath Taker and if you lied you were punished by the gods. Then they had an ordeal, which was severe trial. The people would have to either walk barefoot over red hot coals or put their arm into boiling water. If the scars went away in three days that meant they were innocent. Then they would throw you in water with your hands tied, and if you floated you were guilty and if you sank to the bottom you were innocent. If you were guilty though you were not always punished physically. You could get things called Wergelds, which were fines. The German Laws kept peace throughout the civilization. The Roman laws were organized much differently. They had something called the Twelve Tables. When Rome conquered other people the Roman merchants had to do business with non-romans. So the judges had to make new laws for the non-romans. Then they got help from people called juris prudentes. These were special lawyers and legal writers. Together they would make the laws. The differences between these two ways of law were that in Germany you were not always 100% certain if the people were guilty or not. They had harsh ways that their gods probably told them. In Rome it was organized a lot better. You would just go to a court and have time to explain what you had done. Then the judge wold decide if you were guilty or not. The similarities were that in Germany and Rome there were two similar people that had the same jobs but had different names. In Germany they were called oath takers and in Rome they were called judges or juris prudentes. These were my similarities and differences about law on Germans and Romans.
Warriors in Germany and legionaries from Rome had a lot of different purposes in their civilizations. German fighters became warriors at young ages. Mostly when they were young boys. They would fight, hunt, and make weapons. When the males reaches manhood they would go on sacred gatherings. There they would receive a shield and spear. They had to guard them with their lives and if they were lost that would mean they lost their honor. Once that was done they were divided up into groups called clans. They were based on their family ties. In each clan there was a leader. They were called chieftains. These men were very important and gave much leadership to their men. He also gave them weapons and a chance to advance in wealthiness. The most important thing though was that he made peace. The Chieftains fought for victory and the warriors fought for the chieftain. The Roman army had a very good tactic. Their army was organized into something called legions. Each legion had about 5,000 men and the soldiers were called legionaries. The legionaries were then divided up into even smaller groups of 60-120 soldiers. This was a good technique to use because it was small and could move quickly. It could also split off from the main point and attack from the sides. It depended on every mans fighting ability. It worked very well for the Romans. As you could see here they had no similarities. The Germans had a well know leader for their defensive strategies where as the Romans just went in as a big group. Even though they were both divided up into groups meaning the Germans as the clans and the Romans as the legions, it still worked differently. There is one similarity though. It is that both strategies worked for both civilizations.
Overall Rome and Germany were great civilizations because of how organized everything was. They had different leaders and emperors so they had different lifestyles but they were both very successful. There was one similarity and two differences for village life to city life. For the law of both civilizations they figured out ways to keep the civilization peaceful. Then there was the warriors from Germany and the legionaries from Rome!--