ROME MAKES A UNITED STATES OF EUROPE

ON Nero's death a bloody civil war followed, in which the victor was Vespasian (A.D. 69-79). He was of humble origin, and started a line of kings of whom very few had any hereditary claim to the throne except as the adopted sons of their predecessors. The intended successor henceforth received the tide Ccesm. Circumstances, too, made it more necessary at the end of each reign to assume no gap in the succession. The Senate became a kind of Upper House, which had little influence on action, but appointment to which was a distinction equivalent to the grant of a peerage. There was a Civil Service not dissimilar to our own and a Privy Council, consisting of jurists and high civil servants. This was later called " The Sacred Consistory," a name still retained by a Council in the Roman Catholic Church. With the spread of one language and one judicial system, local national feeling disappeared. The design of the Roman villa, with its baths and its central heating system which far surpassed any method known until the twentieth century, was adopted everywhere. Roads and bridges made communications easier and fostered commerce. In those days, a man could cross Europe without having to show his passport at ten frontiers. Free trade allowed eastern spices to be exchanged for British tin without restrictive tariffs or quotas. The Roman franchise was granted with greater liberality than ever to whole towns and districts. The old Italian stock had almost disappeared, and Rome was filled with provincials from all parts. In A.D. 211 the Emperor Caracalla took the final step of granting Roman citizenship to every inhabitant of the Empire. In the first century A.D. local patriotism was strong, and citizens competed eagerly for election to the local town councils, and endowed their towns with baths, gymnasiums, theatres, and schools. In the second century, however, the spirit of local independence was weakened by the interference of the central government. THE problem of frontier defence became more urgent. J. The impetus of conquest had long disappeared, and the Emperors were content to keep the Roman Empire secure Beyond the boundaries, the barbarian tribes were on the move from the Rhine and the Danube right on into Asia. The tide of Roman fortunes had reached its flood, and would soon begin to ebb. Domitian (A.D. 81-96) was faced by a rising of German tribes on the Danube, where there arose the powerful kingdom of Dacia (modern Roumania), whose situation enabled it to threaten the provinces which lay on the road to Italy.Trajan (A.D. 98-117) revived for a time the old aggressive spirit. He conquered Dacia and made it a province, thus enabling Rome to keep an eye on the movements of the tribes to the west and north. So successful was his policy that there was peace on the Danube frontier for the next fifty years. Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) was a soldier too, but he preferred internal prosperity to unsafe adventures beyond the limits of the Empire. He built a great frontier barrier to close the awkward gap between the Rhine and the Danube, and to keep the legions in closer touch with each other. The Roman wall in Britain from the Tyne to the Solway was built during his reign. Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-160) enjoyed a peaceful reign, but his successor, Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic philosopher, whose Meditations breathe a spirit of Christian gentleness, had to encounter the first thrust of a united barbarian army. A German tribe, the Marcomanni, united with other tribes, crossed the Danube, and in A.D. 167 were the first non-Roman force for three hundred years to camp on the sacred soil of Italy. Marcus Aurelius, though handicapped by a plague which ravaged the Empire and by lack of funds, managed to drive back the main body of invaders, but only by resorting to the desperate and dangerous expedient of settling many tribes on land within the boundaries of the Empire, and enrolling their warriors as soldiers in the Roman army. It was the beginning of the end when Rome had to enlist one set of barbarians to defend her against another.