Conditions of Use
Germans vs Romans
For this assignment Mr. Waters asked us to write an essay on comparing Roman culture to German culture in a five paragraph format.
Romans vs. Germans
The Romans and Germans were fierce war-like people, however they were both very different. The Germans were a society while the Romans were an empire. Another way they were different is that the Romans had a large unified army while the Germans had clans that men were split into clans. Also, the Roman and German laws were different.
The Romans lived in a large empire that controlled the Mediterranean Sea. In the cities of the Roman Empire there was a high class of living that would not be matched until today and a low class that was worse than 3rd world countries today. The rich people lived in a domus which had heating and running water. The poor lived in islands that had many diseases. Since the Romans controlled all of the Mediterranean Sea they were able to trade. For example, they grew wheat in Sicily that they shipped to Rome so that Rome did not have to grow all of the crops that they needed. The Germans were the exact opposite. The Germans lived in villages around Western Europe. They were an agriculture society. In the villages people made a living by herding cattle, which provided clothing and food. The women and children were farmers that grew crops such as barley, rye, wheat, beans and peas. They would trade their cattle with the Romans for glass vessels, table articles and jewelry. The Germans were a society and not a civilization because they were just a bunch of individual villages.
The Germans and Romans were both war-like but in different ways. The Roman army was strong and united. They fought together until the last man died. They had a planned attack that was very powerful. The Germans were very different. Each man fought for the glory. The German men were the warriors. They spent most of their time hunting, fighting, or making weapons. Their training started when they were young boys. When a boy reached manhood, he was brought before a special gathering held under a sacred grove during a full moon. There he received a special shield and spear to carry around at all times. If he did not carry it around at all times he would loss his shield, spear and honor. Germans were divided into clans. They gave their loyalty to the clan at first but then they began to give their loyalty to the chieftain. In order to become a chieftain the man must fight well. In the beginning the chieftain was elected by a band of warriors. Later, this office became hereditary. The German warriors did not have a fixed plan like the Romans. They made surprise attacks against enemies. They would charge wildly and yell loudly to startle their enemies. The Germans loved battle just like their ancestors. They had many gods that liked to fight and hunt. Their chief god was Wodan that was the god of war, poetry, learning and magic. The son of Wodan was Thor, the god of thunder.
The Romans believed that law came from the emperor. In the Roman Empire laws had to be equal to all people, Romans and non-Romans. This happened in the Pax Romana when there was increased trade. The Germans thought that the power came from the people. The Germans ruler could not change a law unless everyone agreed. Germans did not write down their laws unlike the Romans that did. They would memorize them and pass them down. Germans set up courts to prevent blood feuds. People accused of a crime declared their oath by taking an oath. People who declared oath were defended by an oath-helper. Germans believed that if you lied under oath that you would be punished by the gods. When people could not find oath-helpers the guilt or innocence was declared by an ordeal. An accused person would walk on red-hot coals and if it didn’t heal in three days the person was declared guilty. There was also ordeal by water. They would tie someone’s feet and arms up, throw them into a river or and lake and if the person floated they were guilty. If someone was guilty they were not always physically punished. Courts could impose a wergled. The legal system did not treat all people fairly. A person of wealth and importance was treated differently than a normal person with no importance. However the German law did keep peace.
In conclusion, the Roman Empire and the Germans were very different. They both had a very different way of life. The Romans lived in a large empire with lots of trading while the Germans were an agriculture society that did not trade as often as Rome. They also had different laws and different ways they approached war. The Romans fought together while the Germans celebrated individual accomplishments.
Article posted May 3, 2012 at 09:00 AM •
comment • Reads 381
see all articles
Latest 10 Comments: