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p. 41. Conquestlocked

  • Christopher Kelly


‘Conquest’ looks at the brutal process of imperial establishment and expansion, and at the Romans' sense of their own imperial mission. The Roman Republic began to expand outside Italy in the aftermath of the Punic Wars against Carthage. The establishment of the empire by Augustus after civil war was mostly a reorganization of the existing oligarchy, as the empire had already been mostly conquered. The empire relied on a colossal military establishment and extreme brutality to secure its conquests, yet the Romans believed that they waged war so they could live in peace. A sense of imperial mission to civilize lesser breeds without the law is communicated in Virgil's Aeneid.

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