In also the untold stories of how powerful these

In the books, The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction and
The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction, both authors provide their
readers with the significant characteristics of the Aztec and Roman empires and
also the untold stories of how powerful these civilizations stood. The Roman
Empire by Christopher Kelly, informs his readers of the Roman Empire. He
emphasizes the challenges and achievements that this civilization has made. The Aztecs by David
Carrasco, points out the wins of the Aztec Civilization. Despite different
viewpoints of Aztec culture, Carrasco uses evidence to back up his argument of
the significance and importance of the Aztec empire.

            Christopher Kelly starts The Roman Empire with the
mission of the small city of Rome that expands outside of Italy. Due to their
strong military, the Romans won against Carthage in the three Punic Wars. This
win allowed for the republic to expand its territory. The Roman empire reached,
“around 60 million people spread across five million square kilometers”1.
Kelly also includes how Rome was governed at the start of civilization.

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Another point the author includes in the
book was the mobility of religion. What was viewed as a crime, like
Christianity, changed over time.2 Christianity was viewed as
a threat to the Roman culture. Those who believed in Christianity were put to
death “they were subjected to every kind of torture; they ran the gauntlet of
whips; they were mauled by wild animals; they endured all that the shouts of
the excited crowd demanded…they were a part of the entertainment.”3 The importance of this
reveals how strong the Romans viewed religion. “The spread of religions throughout
the Roman world may be explained partly as a consequence of the movement of
peoples, partly in terms of the emergence of new elective cults.”4 This supports Kelly’s
claims about the religious changes throughout Roman civilization.

            Kelly shows the significance of the
Roman empire by providing the readers with detailed evidence throughout his
book. The Roman Civilization maintained “one of the world’s largest empires,
and only one to have embraced northern Europe, the Middle East, and North
Africa. That success in itself demands rich and complex explanation.”5 Other sources support his
view on how powerful the empire was and its ability to influence the western
civilization as a whole. For example, in the textbook, The Heritage of World Civilizations, authors state:

“Rome’s
legacy was not just one of military prowess and superb political organization.
The Romans adopted and transformed the intellectual and cultural achievements
of the Greeks, creating the Greco-Roman tradition in literature, philosophy, and
art. This tradition formed the core of learning during the Middle Ages and
inspired the new intellectual paths taken during the Renaissance. It remains
the heart of Western Civilization.”6

 David
Carrasco enters The Aztecs with an
explanation of the center of the Aztec world, the city of Tenochtitlan. He
gives his readers proof of how capable the Aztec culture was by representing
the alliance between Tenochtitlan, Tezcoco, and Tlacopan “Together these three
polities strove to control more than five million people and spread over an
area of more than 77,000 square miles.”7 In the textbook, The Heritage of World Civilizations,
authors Albert M. Craig et al. support Carrasco’s claims explaining that, “at
the time of Spanish arrival in 1519, the Aztecs controlled the most complex,
extensive, and powerful empire of any in the history of Mesoamerica.”8  

Not only does Carrasco point out the
achievements in Aztec life, he is supported by other historians. According to
the textbook, “the people responsible for these accomplishments were relative
newcomers, the foundation of their power being less than 200 years old.”9 Just within being in the
settled area for less than 200 years, the Aztecs were able to manage a great
civilization and achieve social order, agricultural productivity, and
architectural abilities.

            Carrasco’s background aided in the
development of The Aztecs. He is the
“Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard
University.” 10
In light of his Latin American knowledge, it enabled Carrasco to build up an
approach to give an insight on the Aztecs altogether for his readers. He
revealed “the longer he spent in Mexico City, the more he could see how the
legacy of Aztec Mexico lives on in the foods, faces, words, symbols, and
identities of contemporary Mexicans.”11

In conclusion, The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction and The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction successfully
provided the noteworthy aspects of how the Aztec and Roman empires were complex
and powerful civilizations. The two books are for those searching for a point
by point clarification of each verifiable culture and their huge qualities that
one can’t discover in textbooks. They enable the readers to get a thought of
what life resembled in one of the major past human advancements. Carrasco and
Kelly effectively abridged past occasions that have impacted societies around
the globe today and have likewise made an exceptional showing by providing their
readers with detailed information about both the Aztecs and the Romans.

 

1 Kelly
p. 1

2 Kelly
p. 89

3 Kelly,
C. (2006). The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford
University Press Inc. p. 78

4 Price,
Simon, “Religious Mobility in the Roman Empire” The Journal of Roman Studies (2012): 1-19.
http://www.jstor.org.cos.idm.oclc.org/stable/4172496

5  Kelly, C. (2006). The Roman Empire: A Very
Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press Inc.. p. 3

6 Craig,
A. M., Graham, W. A., & al, e. (2016). The Heritage of World Civilizations.
Pearson Education Inc., p. 166

7 Carrasco, D. (2012). The Aztecs: A very Short
Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., p. 3

8 Craig,
A. M., Graham, W. A., & al, e. (2016). The Heritage of World Civilizations.
Pearson Education Inc., p. 355

9
Ibid p. 335

10 Carrasco, D. (2012). The Aztecs: A very Short
Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., back cover

 

11
Ibid p. 117

x

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