Just as the conquests of Alexander, by uniting the Orient
to Greece, produced a Graeco-Oriental civilization, so now the expansion of
Rome over the Mediterranean formed another world-wide culture, in which both
Greek and Roman elements met and mingled. A new sense of cosmopolitanism arose
in place of the old civic or national patriotism.
UNIFYING AND CIVILIZING FORCES
This cosmopolitan feeling
was the outcome of those unifying and civilizing forces which the imperial
system set at work. The extension of Roman citizenship broke down the old
distinction between the citizens and the subjects of Rome. The development of
Roman law carried its principles of justice and equity to the remotest regions.
The spread of the Latin language provided the western half of the empire with a
speech as universal there as Greek was in the East. Trade and travel united the
provinces with one another and with Rome. The worship of the Caesars dimmed the
luster of all local worships and kept constantly before men's minds the idea of
Rome and of her mighty emperors. Last, but not least important, was the fusion
of alien peoples through intermarriage with Roman soldiers and colonists.
"How many settlements," exclaims the philosopher Seneca, "have
been planted in every province! Wherever the Roman conquers, there he