• Political structure and a DISCIPLINED fighting force The reasons the romans were such a powerful fighting force was due to their modern tactics. Like the Spartans before them, a single roman soldier was not much stronger than any other soldier, but when in a group with good commanders. They were worth their manpower ten times over. Romans fought as one, just as any western army today. The Romans had a chain of command and when they marched they come with their shields up and their lines deep. The idea of having say 10 lines of men deep was to have the first 2 or 3 line do the fighting and the others to push forward. If a group of soldiers(10 in a group) were considered cowardly in battle they would cast lots to which one would be clubbed to death by the others. There were countless other tactics that the Romans employed to make them the such a powerful force. Even though leaders weren't elected directly from the people, they were a republic, not a monarchy where inbred rich people lead everyone. There were senators and leaders to govern each province.
  • Although Rome's military power certainly contributed to intial conquest, the long and successful existence of the Roman Empire was much more an intellectual and cultural dominance. Firstly, the legendary Pax Romana afforded legal rights and involvement in public governance to those who had been conquered. But more importantly it was the Roman genius to absorb and reinterpret local customs, faiths, and traditions which allowed people to believe that they were not required to bow the knee to Rome but were being offered the opportunity to participate, while still citizens of their own country, in the citizenship of Rome. It is, of course, exactly that same genius which explains the complete dominance in European Christianity of the ROMAN Catholic Church long after the official Roman Empire was already a memory!
  • The Roman Empire became so successful because of a phenomenon known as 'acculturation'. Far from destroying the societies they invaded the Romans incorporated them, sometimes in complex ways, into the Roman way of life. For example, the architecture of Roman North Africa may include forums, arenas and temples to Rome, but they were built in an essentially African style. Rome might have become the new administrative leaders in invaded provinces, but they rarely tried to culturally annhilate the vanquished. The result was a remarkably diverse and tolerant empire, pretty much devoid of racism. The Christians were persecuted because their religion implicitly challenged administrative authority. This diversity and tolerance did not suit everyone, and the Roman elite (senators, etc) complained bitterly that Rome was becoming culturally diluted... or more to the point, they were rapidly becoming an outdated caste in a rapidly changing world, no longer respected or needed. Perhaps the English upper classes of today might provide a useful comparison. Nearly all Roman writers (for Roman writers were from the elite classes) complained as such.
  • One answer and ONLY ONE ANSWER: Construction of ROADS. That is what enabled the Roman Empire to be the powerhouse it was. Construction of roads unified the entire empire all throughout Europe.
  • Another reason is that the Romans were very stubborn; they refused to accept defeat. For instance, when the Carthaginian general Hannibal invaded Italy, the Romans first sent an army of 20,000 men to stop him. That Roman army was destroyed. Then the Romans sent 40,000 men. They too were annihilted by Hannibal. Finally the Romans sent 80,000 men. Hannibal defeated them as well: only 10,000 survived. That was the Battle of Cannae, the greatest defeat in Roman history. Hannibal spent 13 years in Italy, destroying farmland and defeating every Roman army that was sent against him. But the Romans refused to surrender, and even Rome's Italian allies remained loyal. Finally the great general Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama, and Rome was saved. Rome suffered many military defeats in her history: the Caudine Forks, Cannae, Carrhae (50,000 men died), and many others. But they just kept coming back until they won. And they were always willing to change their weapons and tactics to something better, often copying things from their enemies. Finally, in the 4th and 5th centuries AD, it seemes like the Romans lost that stubbornness. After 1000 years of existence, the Romans started accepting defeat. They lost the Battle of Adrianople to the Visigoths in 378, and it seems like it's all downhill from there. The Visigoths plundered the empire from Greece to Spain, and sacked the city of Rome in 410. The Vandals sacked it again in 455. Rome was not able to "come back" from these defeats. The last Western emperor was dethroned in 476. However, the eastern empire continued on (it's called the Byzanitine Empire) and exhibited the old Roman stubbornness against the Persians, Bulgars, Slavs, and Moslems until it fell in 1453.
  • Obstinacy. The Romans never stopped. Ever. If you destroyed one of there armies then good for you but they just raised another one and killed you.
  • they had successfully defeated Hannibal of Carthage. That is probably the only single reason how they became powerful because there was no nation to confront them after Hannibal's carthage. The roots of Democracy - the spirit to live free and indepedent were the traits
  • Italians are the beat. Forget about it my friend..YO.
  • In order: 1) Supremacy of the State. You may not like or agree with this fascist notion, but it does result in a powerful combination of wealth and power concentrated in the State (at the expense of liberty). It was the Roman notion of "Rome first" that led to such power. This premise allowed for a strong military. 2) Infrastructure. Roads, aquaducts, sewage, markets, and city plans (for everyplace except Rome proper) allowed for the huge societal benefits of urbanization. 3) Assimilation. Even with the Jews, Rome never tried to impose its own religion or societal norms upon conquered peoples. Once conquered, people were allowed to romanize themselves, by choice. Serve in the military, and earn coveted Citizenship for yourself and your family. When Rome deviated from this premise (with its adoption of Christianity), it secured its eventual demise.

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