At the conclusion of our research, looking back on the journey we have taken, it is clear to the five of us that we have reaped a lot from this project.
Contrary to what our perceptions were, it was certainly illuminating to witness how the process of colonialism and conquest was far from a modern concept but one with ancient roots. Perhaps it even took place on a larger scale before, as territory was more often than not, perceived to be the most important measure of a country’s strength.
Also, we learnt not to view conquests in isolation but to see them in totality, for every incident of colonisation can be said to be a result of a previous one or the cause of another. War has existed since time immemorial, and it is not ludicrous to see links between each conquest. The area of Rome was after all, a Greek territory in previous ages.
Yet, the impact is not merely a territorial redrawing and renaming of maps. Perhaps far more significant are the economic and social repercussions. For example, Roman colonisation led to the spread of Latin and from this language sprung the Romance languages of French, Spanish and more. Yet, the traffic of cultural influences does not simply cascade down to the colonies. The dominant lords sometime absorb traditions from their subjects, as how the Romans incorporated Hellenistic elements into their religion and literature. Such events in antiquity can have a chain-reaction effect on times to come as well. The subsequent colonisation of the 19th century Western powers led to the spread of English, French and German to the other areas like Africa and Southeast Asia, where our whole team either lives, or has lived. The five of us are, too, indirect products of the chain of colonisation for we have adopted the English language even though it is not the mother tongue for any one of us.
Also, it was interesting to see how the 19th century powers, the conventional “colonial masters”, had their own history of subjugation, and their own “colonial legacy”.
We also gained many invaluable skills through our work as a group. Particularly, we learnt how to communicate with one another, overriding the geographical and time barriers imposed. Time management was also a skill we gained, for four of us were in our senior year at junior college preparing for our ‘A’ level examinations and had to cope with the existing pressures of leaving examinations, as well as the effort required for this project. We had to rely on teamwork heavily, trusting different parts of the project to various members, and executing our tasks with reliability and independence.
Our webpage then, is more than a synthesis of material but also the fruit of our hard work and the maximisation of our capabilities. More than a typical research project, what the five of us have gained is truly an experience of a lifetime.
=Simon Fraser University, Canada=
Tara single-handedly fought back the hordes of invading barbarians and Germanic tribes, with a notebook in hand and a mug of coffee in the other. She managed to cover the entire topic without help (and sometimes it even seems without sleep as well), and has also somehow managed to make it for all our online meetings. After seeing her reduce five books and a few thousand years of history into coherent lines of text, I am firmly convinced that she would have no problem personally dealing with said barbarians.
=Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Singapore=
Joanne was our arbiter of taste, managing the website design even as all the rest of us provided no helpful feedback, and was also instrumental in helping us access a wealth of resources at the ACJC library. We soon required her expertise in web design, and all the "html"ing, layouts and the various computer-related aspects were handled by her, considering the rest of us are "computer illiterate". The only reason why the website is up at all is due to her effort, and despite the large task before her, Joanne still willingly volunteered to help us with the research itself, and handled the preliminary research for the Etruscans, as well as the background of the Greeks.
=Raffles Junior College, Singapore=
Celina was involved in research on the Turks, and managed to get a month into research before we realised (belatedly) that time constraints prevented us from covering that chapter in sufficient depth, and she joined Joanne to help in website-building. However, in the process we realised what an artist we had hidden in our midst (and a very modest one at that). Her sketches for each civilisation, painstakingly redone to fit the requirements of the chapters, helped us to avoid the sticky issues of copyright infringement. Also, she was able to cope with our fluctuating demands, whether it was to draw the world map on one day or to search for images to come up with a design for the Coliseum.
Benita, as our only history student, helped keep our research focused by providing an overall analysis of the separate portions. She also helped to keep us aware of the broad historical perspective behind the work, stepping in to salvage the topic of "Carthage" after the devastation of - not Rome, but this ignorant science student who was overwhelmed by the flood of minutiae involved in battle reports.
Zhenling (whose words you have the dubious honour of reading right now) was the primary researcher for the topics covering the Greeks to the Romans, using the background information that Joanne provided. She managed to cover the origins of Athenian Imperialism right to the mid-point of the Roman Empire, but as a committed Anglophile (I insist you read the section on Roman Britain), the news of Britannia's fall left her unable to continue, hence Tara had to step in to complete nearly a third of the remainder, from the continued Carthagian expansion into Spain right to the fall of Rome. Aside from this, her only other contribution was in deafening the other group members with constant paranoia about deadlines, in a manner not so much that of a group leader as a prophetess of doom.