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What does Pax Romana mean?
I thought it meant Roman Peace (or somethin along those lines). In your website I thought I saw somethin along the lines of Roman legion? I could be wrong about that, but please specify for me what it means. What exactly was it? Wasn't it a movement to protect the roads from raiders? Or was that somethin else? <p><i><font color="black"><b>Romulus Agustulus, Ceaser of Rome and president of UPURS<br><marquee>All for the Glory of Rome!</marquee></i><br></p><i></i>
Yup, Roman Peace. It's almost a propaganda term, used under Augustus to describe the whole Mediterranean world united under Rome and no longer at war. Theoretically, a person could travel on Roman roads from the English Channel to the Black Sea to the Nile to the Straights of Gibralter using one language and one coinage. That's kind of a stretch, of course. And Pax Romana kind of ignores all kinds of wars and revolts that occurred under Augustus and his successors. Protecting the roads and frontiers was just part of the business of running an empire.<br>
Matthew/Quintus <p></p><i></i>
Matthew Amt (Quintus)
Legio XX, USA
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I agree with Quintus. Peace is the literal translation. Yet I also think "Pax Romana" translates well as the Roman Order, in the sense of a controlled, law-abiding, status quo. Think of Bush's New World Order -- how many people were alarmed by the Orwellian semantics of that phrase? I find Roman Order equally chilling, whereas Roman Peace just sounds rather dull.<br>
I suppose the beauty of Latin (and Latinate languages) is that one word can have so many nuances depending on how it's used. Certainly Pax Romana is a propaganda phrase -- but for what audiences, and how were they to interpret it? Restive malcontents contemplating revolt, or bustling merchants looking to open up new trade routes?<br>
Founder, Roman Army Talk and

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson
Pax Romana to my mind is more akin to the situation, starting in the late 19th century, interrupted by world wars, and going on today, referred to as globalization. Many of the same concepts hold: common laws, coinage, roads, transport, contracts, administration, measurement & weights, not to mention order. The pursuit of this commonality and the social benefits it achieved are similar to today.<br>
Did the Romans pursue this as a strategic policy or not over all that time? I would say no. The trend to globalization is a consensus (sp?) of efficiency based on answers to problems that are common and recurring trends throughout history. Such trends don't have owners, which is the real dilemna. No one to fight against if you don't like them: it's hard for most people to conceive that such large trends just happen.<br>
I think that's exactly what happened in Roman times. There was a critical mass of commerce and potential that the empire brought together that triggered this.<br>
If you've read the "Lexus and the Olive Tree" you'll catch this balance of local/global needs being satisfied. The Romans may have achieved this balance by permitting local government while insisting on overall control and standards.<br>
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?

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