GRC 10070 - ROME’S RISE TO EMPIRE
Assignment Option 1: The Battle of Lake Regillus
Passage A describes the myth of the Roman victory in the Battle of Lake Regillus, which was written by Plutarch, some time in the first decades of the second century AD. Plutarch’s work is comprised of many different stories as a biography, comparing Greek and Roman lives. This battle was highly significant at the time because after the last king, Tarquinius, was defeated Rome became a Republic.
The short passage tells of how two tall and handsome men were seen shortly after the battle against the Tarquins. These two men (identified as Castor and Pollux) had come bearing an eyewitness report of the Roman’s victory to the first man they met. This account was initially deemed unbelievable, until the pair had touched the man’s beard, proving their credibility as it went from black to red.
Passages B, C and D are three varied stories of the result of the actual Battle of Pydna. This battle in 168 BC between Rome and the Macedonian Antigonid dynasty represents the ascendancy of Rome in the Hellinistic world and the end of the Antigonid line of kings. After many other great victories King Perseus of Macedonia looked to be the sure winner. At close quarters, however the longer Roman sword and heavy shield easily prevailed over the short sword and lighter armour of the Macedonians. Perseus later surrendered to Paulus, and was paraded in triumph in Rome in chains. He was then imprisoned. The Macedonian kingdom was dissolved, inhabitants enslaved and sent to Rome, and in time Macedonia became a roman province. This battle is often considered to be the classic example of the Macedonian Phalanx against the Roman legion, and generally accepted as proving the superiority of the latter over the former.
Passages B, C and D depict slightly different versions of how the news of the battle was reported. Pasaage A can be compared to all three passages in different aspects. In passages A and...