Rome before 264BC

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Discuss the military, political, social and economic strengths and weaknesses of Rome by 264BC The Romans had a basic law of sorts, called the laws of the Twelve Tables. This governed a lot of Roman daily life and proceedings, and was the basis of a sort of equal rights scheme for the plebeian class. In addition to this, the Lex Hortensia, passed in 287BC, further blurred the distinctions between plebeians and patricians. The twelve tables, and any laws passed by a plebeian assembly, would now be binding to both plebeians and patricians, a sort of social justice. The Roman army before 264BC was a citizens’ army, comprised of farmers and the population, with very little to no full time soldiers. Every man was expected to provide his own gear, and as such it was very difficult to recruit the poor or slaves to fight, and when they were recruited, it was at the expense of the state. Another problem with a citizens’ army is that they are not full time soldiers, and many are often inexperienced in combat, and lacked the training necessary to be truly superior to any opponent. One major strength of the Romans was their policy of assimilation and compromise. This was a stark contrast to the preceding major civilisation, the Greeks. The Greeks followed a policy that is now known as Hellenization. This was effectively forcing Greek cultural, economic, social and political structures on to conquered territories. Alexander the Great even named over seventy cities after himself. They even tried to eradicate native languages and replace them with Greek. The Romans saw how unstable the Greeks became and instead followed a path of assimilation and compromise. Many assimilated cities and cultures were allowed to function fairly independently, needing only to pay taxes and fight in defence of the Romans. In return, they were often given citizenship of Rome, and could hence influence politics, especially at the Assembly of Tribes, where they would have the right to decide issues...
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