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Read chapter 5 and 6 on Roman Civilization. Especially review the artwork and maps in the textbook. (Online book. Only place to grab information from) https://1lib.us/book/5743040/8afa8d 

Answer this question in 1,200-2,000 words making a specific reference to the primary sources and visual aids:
The Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period Polybius asked: “Who is so thoughtless and lazy that he does not want to know in what way and with what kind of government the Romans in less than 53 years conquered the entire inhabited world and brought it under their rule–an achievement previously unheard of?”
With keen awareness Polybius realized that the Romans were achieving something unique in world history. What was that achievement? Clearly it was more than creating a huge empire. Despite frontier wars and provincial rebellions, how did the Romans maintain cohesion in the empire for so long? (You may want to discuss specifically the workings of the government, the mixed constitution, infrastructure, army, culture, economics, society, dates, etc.) Why did the Roman Republic come to an end? For the last third of the essay, evaluate the significance of the Roman Empire based on the readings. What role did Augustus play in the history of the Roman Empire? When did the Roman Empire reach its political and military high point? Why did it stop expanding in the East and in the North? You should make at least two references to primary sources found in the chapter in this paper. Do not write about events after 180 AD.

In brief, this essay is asking you to write about your understanding of the history of the Roman Empire from a “macro” point of view, but with frequent references to “micro” evidence found in the resources of this unit. Simply stated: Explain the Roman Empire–its success and challenges. You should support your statements with evidence from the textbook and the primary sources boxes in the book. In history writing, there should always be an interplay between specifics and the general. Ask yourself how facts and data that is available can be used to support the argument you are making to the reader. Part of a writing a solid history essay is your ability to bring together a wide range of disparate sources into a coherent product. In research, you must learn to recognize and make decisions about what to put in and what to leave out as you use the sources to buttress your arguments.

A few more words on what it takes to be a good historian:
What differentiates history writing from chroniclers is that historians try to understand and make-sense of the past, rather than just listing mindless dates attached with events. Historians do research, which means they search for sources and reading everything possible. Professional historians would need to visit libraries and archives to gain access to all of the sources. In our case, since we are not traveling, this means the textbook chapters and the written materials available on Moodle represent our sources. You simply won’t be prepared to write an essay, a good one anyway, without adequate and complete knowledge of the past obtained from reading the book. After you’ve done that, you can begin your writing. After reading the narrative found in the textbook, have it close by as a reference as you write your essay. Obviously, if you were publishing this essay in a professional journal you would literally need to read everything. Fortunately, we don’t in this class.
As mentioned before, every essay must have a thesis statement in the first paragraph. You are stating for the reader the argument you wish to make. Make sure to include in the essay at least one citation, if not more, from the primary sources in your textbook (those special boxes are found interdispersed within every chapter). Some of the primary sources may not fit your arguments precisely. That’s fine. Just figure out a way to mention it then. Nothing is more exciting for a historian than to re-construct something that was quite unknown, and had not been written about from the original sources. This is where historians push the boundaries of historical knowledge and earn their money! Please understand that I don’t expect any blockbuster discoveries or insights in your essay. But that is what we are striving for.
History encompasses all aspects of human activity–politics, economy, religion, art, daily life, gender, family, diplomacy, war, etc. When you are answering the essay question, be sure to think about this and make clear in your mind what it is that you are focusing on. “Okay, in this essay I am concentrating mostly about economic and social history”. It is also a good idea to give the reader a “feel” about the period written about. Wide ranging generalizations are needed of course in many essays, especially in an undergraduate history online essay. Admittedly, the essay questions that I ask are designed in a broad manner to allow you the freedom to answering it in a way you find most appropriate. But your arguments must still be supported by empirical details within the contours of historical interpretation. Don’t be afraid to use the “red pen” and revise your work if necessary. This usually requires a day or two away from the essay so you can look at what you’ve written with a pair of “fresh eyes”. Above all, be sure to begin the work as early as possible in the time frame of the unit. You can’t expect to write a good essay for Saturday if you just begin the readings on Thursday.
Best wishes as you embark on the enjoyable, scholarly, and creative act of writing a history essay!