Poly branches proposed by Polybius


The American constitutional system includes a notion known as the Separation of Powers. In this system, several branches of government are created and power is shared between them. At the same time, the powers of one branch can be challenged by another branch. This is what the system of checks and balances is all about. The basis behind checks and balances is to prevent the government from becoming too powerful in one branch. For example, the Executive Branch can veto bills from the Legislative Branch, but the Legislative Branch can override the veto. This system is applied primarily in constitutional governments. This article shares interconnected ideas with the Greek historian, Polybius. He analyzed the “ancient Roman mixed constitution under three main divisions: monarchy (represented by the consul); aristocracy (the Senate); and democracy (the people)” (quote from article) and proposed many ideas regarding the separation of powers that greatly influenced future monarchies and cultures. His writings were influential among Montesquieu who created the frame for the US Constitution. “Monarchy first changes into its vicious allied form, tyranny; and next, the abolishment of both gives birth to aristocracy. Aristocracy by its very nature degenerates into oligarchy; and when the commons inflamed by anger take vengeance on this government for its unjust rule, democracy comes into being; and in due course the license and lawlessness of this form of government produces mob-rule to complete the series.” This quote by Polybius, in essence, describes the flaws of different types of governments that don’t incorporate checks and balances and separations of powers. The consequences of governments like monarchies, aristocracies, and oligarchies create the potential for mob- rule that can be avoided if governments dont hold too much power above its people and dont make decisions on their own but ask for approval among other branches and its people. This audience of this article is aimed to those who would like to be informed of the different types of governments and where the foundations of the US Constitution originated from (Polybius).
MLA: “Checks and Balances.” Britannica Online Academic Edition (2017): Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Web.

– lauren ishay team vesta


Slavery was not only in Central America!

“Slavery.” Britannica Online Academic Edition, 2017, pp. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc

In this publication the primary audience would be people who are interested in history, or people that are interested in extra details that happened during slavery. This article sweetened up the history of slaves and gave a historical background on how slaves came about in Greece and Italy. This article also explained how so many other countries owned slaves. For me this article was a bit troubling because its not giving the truth raw. It sugar coated how slaves were treated in Central America. For example ” Slavery was usually, but not always, involuntary.” Maybe in other countries where slaves weren’t as mistreated as central america, slaves would not mind working off their debt. However being a slave in Central America people would get lynched for no reason, and beaten, African Americans would not voluntarily want to be slaves. This is one of the sentences that stood out to me because it just shows how much certain things are glazed over. But furthermore it explains how other countries had slaves such as, China, India, Malabar, Thailand, Japan, Philippines, and so forth. Lastly the article gets into the different protests that occurred in some of the countries that had slavery. One of the famous rebellions we know today is when Haiti gained their independence from the French in 1804, and the famous man who led them who was Toussaint-Louverture. In this article the author does not really connect the key terms, instead it is a lot if historical background on slavery on where it started and how it ended. While sugar coating things but overall capturing the main part of slavery. One connection I can say between these terms was just how slavery was in Rome, and in Sicily.


French Revolution

  1. Alp, Al. “The Redemption of the Gracchi and the Class Nature of the Republic.” Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 25, no. 3, 03 Jan. 1995, pp. 397-413. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/00472339580000221.
  2. The primary audience of this article is mainly for people who are interested in revolution and about the different type of societies we live in.
  3. The search terms “Gracchi France” are connected in the article by talking about how the Roman Republic in the past influence “Gracchus” Babeuf into the political agitator he was during the French Revolution. “As stated in the text, “Babeuf had many ways of expressing the necessity of the proletarian dictatorship: he did this as a leading activist in the mass movements of revolutionary France and as a propagandist, he did this also in his revolutionary Defense before the High Court of Vendome.”  
  4. A quote relevant to this article is “By taking control of the courts away from the senators and setting up the equities as judges, Gracchus gave the lower classes power over the nobles, and by breaking the harmony that existed previously between the senate and the equities, he made the populace a serious rival to both those classes” (Tiberius Gracchus 25). This is relevant because this was what Babeuf wanted, to overthrow the government and give power to the poor in France during the french revolution period. 
  5. – Hoky Tran, Team Saturn

Can the past be the Future?

The term i searched was “Sicily Slave Rome Haiti” and I chose “The Collapse of Empires”. It seems the targeted audience are people who live in countries that are considered to be “superpowers”. It goes over how some of the greatest empires in all of history at some point collapsed. As stated by Kevin Hartnett “Our country’s political gridlock and economic recession have prompted talk about the end of the American era” is his view that there is even talks about dangers that may happen to America. The economic recession and political gridlock, which is a difficulty to pass laws that appease citizens, are factors that can affect America. This is similar to what had happened to the Romans, “had left Rome’s citizens unwilling to fight for their empire”  which is a type of political gridlock. So already there is a link between the Romans citizens and the American people.

Public distrust toward the government is very critical because if the people who are meant to support, stability and be the backbone of the country can not even place their trust with them that can lead to future backlash. Could what happen to Rome possibly happen to another superpower of today? It seems the intended target is towards the people of powerful countries and to alert them that there trust toward their respective governments are what keeps them afloat. Although it is hard to compare the Roman empire to any country today, there are similarities that can be found between itself and the Superpower countries of today.

In this unit, I realized that it was linked to what we had discussed in Art 1010. We learned how Romans were so fascinated by Greek architecture and sculptures and included them into their own works of art.

-Al-Bishr Askar , Team Hephaestus


Hartnett, Kevin. “The collapse of empires.” Bookmarks, July-Aug. 2010,


The Roman Republic and Slavery

The terms I entered on my one search were “Sicily”, “slave”, “Rome” and “Haiti”. I came across the article, “The Ghost of Spartacus” by Bulent Diken. The audience that the author is targeting is people who are interested in war and culture. This article explains how humanity is a series of ghosts and how these ghosts have a continuity with the past and the future (Derrida 1994: 138). It deals with answering the question on how to have a conversation with the ghost by focusing on a 1960s film called Spartacus, by Stanley Kubrick.

The film is about the corruption of the Roman Republic and the menial work done by slaves. One rebellious slave named Spartacus is sold to a Gladiator trainer and after he devises a plan to lead the other slaves to rebel and escape to their homelands. A quote which includes both the terms “slave” and “Rome” is:

“The next scene brings us to the Senate in Rome, where we hear how the gladiators are ‘ravaging’ the countryside, ‘forcing’ other slaves to join them, ‘looting’, ‘robbing’, ‘burning’ estates” (Diken 2011: 402).

I chose a quote from “Appian, Civil Wars, 1.7-27” and it says:

At the same time the ownership of slaves brought them great gain from the multitude of their progeny, who increased because  they were exempt from military service. Thus certain powerful men became extremely rich and the race of slaves multiplied throughout the country, while the Italian people dwindled in numbers and strength, being oppressed by penury, taxes, and military service.

This quote relates to the article I read because it talks about the same idea of slaves and their oppression. It is relevant because it supports the fact that slaves are used for attaining “great gain” for the powerful men. These “powerful men” are the Roman Republic in the Spartacus article.

BÜLENT DIKEN (2011) The ghost of Spartacus, Journal of War & Culture
Studies, 4:3, 399-411.



Crisis in South Africa

The terms I looked up on OneSearch was “Gracchi “land reform” Africa” and I found the article “South Africa’s Land Reform Crisis: Eliminating the Legacy of Apartheid” by Bernadette Atuahene. I would say the audience the author intended for are people who are very well versed in the history and politics of South Africa. The article is very specific with statistics so the audience the article targets are people who already have a lot of prior knowledge on such information. The article I found goes into a lot of detail on the problems that are occurring in South Africa as they are trying to give back the blacks land the whites had taken from them. Land is being transferred from the whites to blacks because the land the whites had were taken under colonialism and Apartheid. Only some of the terms I used linked together. Gracchi didn’t appear anywhere in the article but “Africa” and “land reform” were mentioned a lot in the article, for example, “The ANC must realize that aggressive land reform would be far less destabilizing than a violent revolt.” From page 23 of the reading “The Romans, as they subdued the Italian peoples successively in war, used to seize a part of their lands and build towns there, or enroll colonists of their own to occupy those already existing, and their idea was to use these as outposts; but of the land acquired by war they assigned the cultivated part forthwith to the colonists, or sold or leased it.” This shows that the Romans gained their land through invading other lands and colonialism. Similar to the white people who took over and colonized South Africa to make their own. Also just like in South Africa, there isn’t an easy remedy for the way they deprived men of their land and homes. The rich won’t give up their land to the poor because they want to keep the benefits without any care for the poor even though they have the power to help.

Atuahene, B. (2011). South Africa’s Land Reform Crisis: Eliminating the Legacy of Apartheid. Foreign Affairs, 90(4), 121-129.

-Alvin Zhao, Team Venus


The Changing Life aspects of Africa due to Land Reform

Title of the Article:
What is the proper citation for this article?
Bradstock, Alastair. “Changing Livelihoods and Land Reform: Evidence from the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.” World Development, vol. 33, no. 11, 2005, pp. 1979–1992.
What is the article about?
The article is about the Government of South Africa’s land reform policy and which groups are benefiting from it, as well as what lifestyles have changed because of it.  But the article also discusses what levels of wealth and agriculture have been affected by this plan.  The final big part of the essay that is discussed is how the low amount of technical support has an impact on those areas.

Who is the Intended Audience?
From the looks of this article, it can most likely be seen that the intended audience for this article are those that are interested in the crisis going on in South Africa.  It can most likely be seen that this story is in a way a mini book when you see its layout.  Perhaps the intended audience can also be seen as someone who is interested in Politics and wants to help with situations like this.

How did the search words connect to this article?

The search words “Gracchi “land reform” Africa” did have a large significance on the article.  Now, the word Gracchi didn’t show up in the text itself, but the other words did.  The first line of the introduction straight up connects them by saying “This paper examines the changing livelihoods of eight beneficiary groups situated in the Northern Cape province of South Africa who have accessed land through the government’s land reform program.”.

What part of the text we read relates to this?

“Other gains included the abolishment of debt-bondage in 326, access to public land, and allotments of conquered territory for the poorer citizens. The alleviation of the burdens of the poor ended the plebeian struggle as a radical movement.” This can be seen as a relevant quote from the text that we read as it shows how the people were more able to gain control of the land that they needed rather than the government.  The story also discusses a lot about the struggles of the people in South Africa who relied on agriculture, yet had that suffering through the long dip in agricultural production.

#CLAS6 #LongLivetheRepublic #GracchilandreformAfrica

  • Scott Vincent, Team Cronos

Demagogues and the United States.


– The primary audience of “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.,” are people interested in politics and economic status of the United States in the 90’s.

– The Author does not use the search term “Gracchi” at all, however Gracchi brothers wanted to bring some serious change back in Rome, and this article is about change that happened in the 1990’s. Additionally, he does not specifically mention the United States in relations to the word “demagogues,” however it is clear that he can relate them. The author says that the leaders and important figures want to return US economy to the state at which it was during the 1970’s. The bottom line on all this is that a directionless White House has encouraged the demagogues to propose the failed remedies of the 1960’s and 1970’s – ‘soak the rich,’ castigate business ‘greed,’ pile regulation upon regulation, tax and spend – as if they had slept through the stunning revival of jobs and industry in the 1980’s.” and “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.”

 In the “The early Republic and the ‘Struggle of the orders,” I found a quote that relates to the article above.  “During the early republic an aristocratic clique known as the patricians retained power. During military and economic difficulties, the poorer citizens suffered most, esp. without the protection of the kings who had relied on their support.” This quote relates to the article “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.” This quote can relate because here it says that poor citizens suffered the most as they had no support from the kings and higher authority. Similarly, poor people in the US had very little to no aid, which then resulted in some reforms where the higher authorities chose to increase taxes for rich people and use those money to provide help to the less fortunate.  


Rukeyser, Louis. “Finally getting their recession, demagogues want a return to ’70s.” Caribbean Business, 5 Dec. 1991, p. 48. General OneFile, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=ITOF&sw=w&u=cuny_broo39667&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA11705103&it=r&asid=92cd6b384bd6e7ce709a0c7f526c95df. Accessed 6 Nov. 2017.



Diana, Team Mercury

Slavery in Rome

The terms ” Sicily Slave Rome Haiti” had best interested me and I chose the article named Slavery and Inhumanity. The MLA citation for this article was Harrill, J. Albert. “Slavery and Inhumanity: Keith Bradley’s Legacy on Slavery in New Testament Studies.” Biblical Interpretation, vol. 21, no. 4/5, Oct. 2013, pp. 506-514. EBSCOhost, . The primary audience was intended for the readers and scholars who were interested in slavery and how it was depicted in New Testament studies. The author J. Albert Harrill had gathered most of his information  from a lecture by a well known scholar known as Keith Bradley. The author talks about slavery as whole and goes more in depth when it comes to Rome however does not really connect with the term Haiti.  The author states ” that this process of enslavement was not random but served the interests of the slaveholders as a recognized mechanism of social control intentionally designed to “animalize” the slave, due in part to the Roman rejection of Aristotle’s ideas about natural slavery.” This shows that the author compares the slavery to descriptive words like animals and relates it back to Aristotle and Rome.  Harrill also states this  ”  recreates three key elements in the Roman enslavement process: (1) becoming a beast of burden; (2) suffering repeated beatings and randomly inflicted violence, including sexual violence;and (3) being sold and resold numerous times as a passive commodity. ” This also shows that he gives a visual idea of what was going on during slavery and how it brutal it actually was giving numerous examples of what took place.  This relates to the Roman Republic that we had studied for homework.  In the Roman Republic it states “the slaves fought a battle with Lucius Hypsaeus, who had come from Rome and commanded eight thousand Sicilians. In this fight the rebels won the day.” This shows that you can only push slaves to a certain point otherwise they will rebel and no longer take that kind of brutal treatment. This shows that they came together to fight for their freedom and do whatever it takes to reach their victory.

Spartacus the Slave

The term I searched was Sicily Slave Rome Haiti. The article I selected was, “The ghost of Spartacus”, and its MLA citation is Diken, Bülent. “The Ghost of Spartacus.” Journal of War &Amp; Culture Studies, vol. 4, no. 3, 2011, pp. 399–411. This article was written for those who admire Spartacus and those who are interested in Roman slavery. The author connects the search terms “Slave” and “Rome” by explaining how how the slaves were the ones that kept Rome together. “The slaves ‘are always with us, and we are the unique product of slaves and slavery. That is what makes us Romans’ . As such,as the ‘irrational’ element of a rational totality, the slave is the symptomatic  point at which Rome encounters its own unreason”(Fast 1960: 39). This quote explains how the slaves were always attached to the Romans and without the slaves, the Romans would not be able to think for themselves. “That is what makes us Romans”, proves this even more by explaining how people cannot be Romans without slaves.”The Spartacus War deprives Rome of the commerce of all south Italy. As a result, half the precincts of Rome are without bread and the city is close to panic”(BÜLENT DIKEN). Without the help of the slaves, the Romans cannot defend for themselves. They rely on the slaves for assistance and struggle when going against them.

“Those agricultural operations are performed by slaves with fettered ankles and by the hands of malefactors with branded faces! although the Earth who is addressed as our mother and whose cultivation is spoken of as worship is not so dull that when we obtain even our farm-work from these persons one can believe that this is not done against
her will and to her indignation”(Readings for CLAS 1110 on the Roman Republic, page 18). This quote shows the importance of slaves, as the slaves were the ones that took care of farming for the Romans. Without the slaves, the crops would not be cared for and the Romans would have to take of it themselves.


Diken, Bülent. “The Ghost of Spartacus.” Journal of War &Amp; Culture Studies, vol. 4, no. 3, 2011, pp. 399–411

“Readings for CLAS 1110 on the Roman Republic.” WordPress.com, wordpress.com/post/pastinpresenttense.wordpress.com/21983.

Frank,Team Artemis




Where do the methods of succession come from?

I was looking over different topics to write about my blog. Although they all seemed interesting, I ended up chosing “Gracchi France” to do my blog on. When I wrote the title on my Brooklyn college search; I was given different sources and articles. I chose “Land Reform: A World Survey” . Its an article on land reform.The article is for audience who are having trouble understanding the concept of Land reform and how it effects people and the country.The starting gives a overview of land reform, it goes on clarifying the problems faced by agrarian people. Most importantly it talks about the history evolution of land reform from classical Greece and rome through the Russian revolution. It focuses on “land reform and economic development. The effects of land reform on production, productivity and private capital formation” ( Enggass ). It explains how different factors like population and economic problems effect the country and the people. In our readings like Polybius we see “by what means and under what system of government the Romans in less than fifty- years have succeeded in subjecting nearly the whole to their sole government” ( Polybius 1.1. 4-6). We see the question being asked about the secrets of wealth and succession. The article gives info on how the things like land reform effect the country’s growth. They both seem to be questioning and answering the question by providing information about other concepts. The people understandings and the economy which clearly plays a huge part on the country and its people. They both connect with each other showing how different things play a part on economy and questioning ways of getting better. The article explains how the systems for better government come  from our past and get develops over time. Fizza Saeed, Team Hermes

MLA Citation

Enggass, Peter M., and Russell King. “Land Reform: A World Survey.” Economic    Geography, vol. 55, no. 4, 1979, p. 357., doi:10.2307/143169.

The Inequality After Apartheid

In this blogpost, I researched the topic of: Grachi “land reform” Africa. While researching, I came across the article “South Africa’s Land Reform Crisis: Eliminating the Legacy of Apartheid,” written by Bernadette Atuahene; who discusses the difficulties of redistributing land after the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. Despite the decades that has passed since the end of the law set by the original European colonizers of Africa, “it was extremely difficult for the new regimes to redistribute the land fairly and efficiently” (121). The author highlights how the social status and economic status of many citizens have influenced in which land was divided after apartheid. Though there was the end of political separation between those of different races, there was still a large economic divide between the white and African residents. The effects of apartheid lingered in the form of the defined line between the wealthy and poor, in which inhibited the government to establish a system of fair land reform.


Similar to Gracchi’s ideas of land reform, the idealized ways of solving tensions between the slaves and Romans also lead to unprecedented problems. The South Africans argued that they are the natives of their land, and that “land must be returned to blacks in South Africa, no matter what the consequences are for the current owners and for political stability in the country” (122). The natives’ argument brings up racism and orientalism that dates back to the 18th century, and presents a debate whether the current white citizens of the country continue to have the right to their land. The strong historical and emotional ties of South Africa’s history of monarchy portray how the past continues to influence public’s perspective on ownership today.

The outrage of unfair land distribution by the South Africans connects to the Roman’s opinions on land reform in Appian, Civil Wars. According to the text, the land reforms of Gracchi meant that the rich Romans “collected in groups, and made lamentation, and accused the poor of appropriating the results of their tillage, their vineyards, and their dwellings… and were angry that they should be robbed of their share of the common property.” The Romans displayed their outrage to the government, because their personal property was being exploited and taken by the government without much consent. The public argued that they had the earned the rights to their land from military services, ancestors, or loans. The idea of who had the original rights to the land is presented in both Africa and Italy.


Atuahene’s article was originally published in Foreign Affairs, a magazine dedicated to print works about international and foreign policies on important current events. The article of the magazine is most likely directed towards an American audience with a high education background. The article focuses on the political and economic inequalities of South Africa, which may be intended to provide the audience in a more profound perspective on the issues; especially from an author that graduated from Yale Law School and worked in South Africa as an Fulbright Scholar. Atuahene’s education and work experience enables the audience to acknowledge that she is creditable to provide an unbiased apprehension on the subject matter.


Work Cited:

Atuahene, Bernadette. “South Africa’s Land Reform Crisis: Eliminating the Legacy of Apartheid.” Foreign Affairs 90.4 (2011): 121-29. Web.

“Bibliography.” Bernadette Atuahene, http://bernadetteatuahene.com/. Accessed 4 November 2017.

“6: Roman Republic.”  Appian, Civil Wars. https://pastinpresenttense.wordpress.com/classics-1110/6-roman-republic/. Accessed  November 2017.


Vicky Lee, Team Hermes

A French Gracci

I read “The Redemption of the Gracchi and the Class Nature of the Republic” by Al Alp, which I found through the search terms “Gracci France.” The author, Alp, mainly compared and contrasted an essay written by Herbert Marcuse about Gracchus Babeuf, and Babeuf’s words himself, so I think the article is primarily intended to be read by scholars of history, or people who already have prior knowledge of the time period and who Barbeuf was. My search terms, Gracci and France, go hand and hand in this article. Gracci is another name for Gracchus Babeuf, and the article focuses on his supposed attempt to overthrow the French government. The author talks a lot about Marcuse’s point of view using those two search terms (like how for Marcuse, “the Great French Revolution was to be devoid of working class struggle and only preparatory to a bourgeois stage of history,” which he belives is Barbeuf’s fault).

In our Roman readings we read fragments from Polybius, where he talked about how the world had changed government-wise, and how a monarchy in present day Greece (which would be around 168 BCE) was much different than a monarchy in Ancient Greece. In Alp’s article, he discussed how Marcuse showed “a remarkable ignorance of history. The mass media of XVIII century France was quite different from that of the late XIX century. Advertising in Babeuf’s day was inexistent,” which is why Barbeuf couldn’t have been a propagandist on the level Marcuse accuses him to be. In Polybius’ text, he writes that there is a “cycle of political revolution, the course appointed by nature in which constitutions change, disappear, and finally return to the point from which they started.” Both Alp and Polybius stress the importance of the time period in which something happens, for it all amounts to generational differences.

Proper MLA citation: Alp, Al. “The Redemption of the Gracchi and the Class Nature of the Republic.” Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 25, no. 3, 1995, pp. 397–413.

Camille, Team Diana