The Leading Facts of English History (1898)

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9780217597470: The Leading Facts of English History (1898)

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: III. " Force and Right rule the world: Force, till Right is ready." Joubkrt. ROMAN BRITAIN, 55 B.C. 43-410 A.D. A CIVILIZATION WHICH DID NOT CIVILIZE. 39. Europe at the Time of Caesar's Invasion of Britain. — Before considering the Roman invasion of Britain let us take a glance at the condition of Europe. We have seen that the Celtic tribes of the island, like those of Gaul (France), were not mere savages. On the contrary, we know that they had taken more than one important step in the path of progress ; still, the advance should not be overrated. For, north of the shores of the Mediterranean, there was no real civilization. Whatever gain the men of the Bronze Age had made, it was nothing compared to what they had yet to acquire. They had neither organized legislatures, written codes of law, effectively trained armies, nor extensive commerce. They had no great cities, grand architecture, literature, painting, music, or sculpture. Finally, they had no illustrious and imperishable names. All these belonged to the Republic of Rome, or to the countries to the south and east, which the arms of Rome had conquered. 40. Caesar's Campaigns. — Such was the state of Europe when Julius Caesar, who was governor of Gaul, but who aspired to be ruler of the world, set out on his first campaign against the tribes north of the Alps. (58 B.c.) In undertaking the war he had three objects in view: first, he wished to crush the power of those restless hordes that threatened the safety, not only of the Roman provinces, but of the Republicitself. Next, he sought military fame as a stepping-stone to supreme political power. Lastly, he wanted money to maintain his army and to bribe the party leaders of Rome. To this end every tribe which he conquered would be forced to pay him tribute...

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