Responses to people’s answers(Western Civilization)

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  • I need you to help me comment these two answers.
  • As you respond these answers, focus on this question: “What was your honest reaction to the claims made in these answers?”
  • Think about your genuine (but respectful) reaction to the posts and to put the result of your thinking into straightforward writing.
  • Your initial reaction may consist of mere approval or disapproval (“I like it”- “I don’t like it”), but that is too basic.
  • Your reaction should include reasons for your approval or disapproval (“I like it, because X” – “I don’t like it because it pays no attention to Y”).
  • At the most advanced level it will place the posts into a broader context (“It strikes me as important, because it connects well with what the the textbook or the lecture said about x.”).
  • At least 4 sentences.

Question:

How were the three civilizations (medieval Western Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and Islamic world) that arose after the fall of the Western Roman Empire both similar and different from the Roman Empire.

In other words, what remained the same and what changed after the Roman Empire dissolved?

Answers:

1.One of the main reasons that Western Roman Empire fell was because the people didn’t have many rights. In Rome the government controlled almost everything, normal people wasn’t allowed to be part of the government they were only able to be farmers. Byzantines was one of the first to try and save the empire. The founder of Byzantine, Constantine 1 made two major changes from Roman past to Byzantine culture. The first change was he legalized Christianity, the second change was he moved the capitol of Rome to Byzantium. Most important, however is how Byzantium protected the intellectual heritage of Greco-Roman civilization and then passed it on to the rest of Europe (McKay, 198) One thing that was different for Western European was that they were force to divide into Barbarian kingdoms. The Feudal System was also developed once the Roman Empire fell, it was known as the Middles Ages; which started in Europe. They brought different social, political, and economic structures with them, but as they encountered Roman culture and became Christian, their own ways of doing things were also transformed (McKay,173) Many of the things that stayed the same was the Roman culture, they continued to worship the gods and families continued to live in one house, and as always, the rich stayed rich and the poor remained poor.

2.The medieval Western Europe had many differences from the Roman Empire. The entering of the Barbarians into the empire began a key difference that resulted in the split of the empire. They would cause many fights and separation, but they were Romanized being that they intermarried with they population. The barbarians would take more than was in treaty. Also, the Germanic peoples during the medieval Western Europe did not consider themselves Romans which made for a significant difference. A key similarity between the medieval Western Europe and then Roman Empire was the consistent pattern of weak leadership, civil war, and war loads continuing to cause separation. Another similarity is that they did borrow the Roman law in the law codes. (Lecture 6,11-15)

The Byzantine Empire and the Roman Empire had a key difference of having a imperial administration that was actually effective. The Byzantine Empire used this to keep the civilian government out of the Germanic hands as to provide strong leadership when the emperors were not able to do this. This empire also was very strategic with having a women imperial family that was capable of making dynastic stability as well as good governance (lecture 6,23). The Byzantine Empire decided to possess similarities of the Roman Empire by preserving the forms, institutions, and traditions of the old Roman Empire. The people of the Byzantine Empire also called themselves Romans just as the old Roman Empire did (McKay, 197).

The differences of the Islamic world and the Roman Empire being that the Muslims in the Islamic period has a limit to how much they could be open due to things that had to do with the touch of Qur’an. There was much separation within the Islamic world between Muslims, Arabs, and Non-Arabs whereas in the Roman Empire everyone was considered to be Romans. The Islamic world was greatly impacted by Muhammed, and had a lot of separation within it as far as the regional differences that ended up taking hold and pulling the empire apart. The similarities being that they inherited a lot of Roman intellectual tradition from medicine to philosophy to geometry. (Lecture 6,36-38)

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