A Roman poet named Ovid wrote a book about the history of the Roman Empire. In his book, he tells all about the founding of Rome up to the assassination of Julius Caesar. Today, I will answer the question: is there any reason for an optimistic view of Rome in Ovid’s book?
Well first of all, Rome was founded on bloodshed. The story of two brothers, Romulus and Remus shows us what ambition can do to a person. These two brothers decided to build a city, but they quarreled over which one of them should rule it. In the end, Romulus killed his brother Remus and established the city of Rome. That is not a good start to any city or empire. If it was established on violence and bloodshed, I would not be surprised if that pattern continued throughout its history.
In Ovid’s book, he recounts the founding of the world as the Romans believed it to be. Chaos was the first thing to exist on the earth. After that, the gods came into existence and ruled over everything. It seems like the Romans were not very optimistic if they believed that chaos was how the whole world began. Nothing good comes out of chaos; just more chaos.
In the beginning of the world, there was four generations of humans (or mortals). The age of Gold, the age of Silver, the age of Bronze and the age of iron (which is the current age of humans). The Golden race of mankind was perfect. They wanted for nothing; food was abundant and pleasures abounded. There was also no sin anywhere. That means no wars, murders or thievery. As the world became older, new ages of men rose up. Each was just a little bit worse of than the last age of mankind. Now, according to Ovid we are currently in the age of Iron which is the most sinful and poor age known to man. Evil people abound and crimes happen more and more often. With this view of our world, how can you be optimistic? You can expect that the next age will be worse than the current one. How depressing is that?!
The gods and deities that the Romans worshiped were portrayed in a very bad light. They ultimately did not care about the humans at all. They were in fact, very selfish; wanting only praises from men. In one story told by Ovid, the gods completely destroyed the earth and everyone on it because one person was evil and did not recognize the supreme authority of the gods. Everyone on the earth died except for one man and one woman. You see, the gods did not want to completely wipe out the human race because then who would serve them?
In my opinion, the Romans did not have a very optimistic future. The gods did not care about them, their whole city was founded on bloodshed and everything originated from chaos. You never know when the gods might decide to destroy the human race again! If you can not trust the god that you worship to look out for your best interests, then your future is very uncertain.