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Cheng Chen

2nd of October of 2006


4th Hour Belch, AP World History

Chapter 5 Notes/Outline
An Age of Empires: Rome and Han China (753 B.C.E. – 600 C.E.)

The Roman Mediterranean Empire (753 B.C.E. – 600 C.E.)

Farmer Republic (753-31 B.C.E.) From the Beginning

Ever since the beginning of the Roman Empire, there has been a developing form of
republic. The first king of Rome was Romulus. As Rome was more and more
occupied, the Roman Forum (civic center) that was once a swamp was drained in
600 B.C.E. Afterwards (507-31 B.C.E.), the Roman Republic was founded. This was
the basic Roman government other than the imperial leaders. However, the main
power of Rome lies with the Roman Senate, an advisory council for the king and for
Roman republicans.

In the Roman Republic, all free men could vote. However, the aristocracies had more
voting power than lower people. In addition, the Roman Senate was an aristocratic
self-perpetuating governing system whose members served for life. In this society,
the Roman elites were called patricians while the majority of the common population
were referred to as the plebeians.

To solve the power struggle between the upper and lower classes, a new set of laws
on 12 stone tablets were published in 450 B.C.E. indicating new officials, the
tribunes, for the lower class citizens.

In a Roman family, the oldest living male was the paterfamilias. He had the absolute
control of a family. [This indicated a common Patriarchal family system.]

In the Roman society, there were ties of patron/client relationships. Powerful


senators may be patrons to many clients. This relationship allowed the patron to
support and help the clients in times of need and the clients to support the patron’s
various political campaigns and even a dowry of a patron’s daughter. In addition,
women were subjugated to be a child in the eyes of the law. They were constantly
controlled by the paterfamilias of her family. However, there have been many
popular and famous women in Rome who greatly influenced their men. [Still, the
Roman society is Patriarchal.]

The Romans developed a polytheistic religious system for worshipping various gods
representing various objects. In addition, the Romans borrowed many religious ideas
from the Greeks, such as Ares, Zeus, etc.

The Peak of the Roman Republic

The Roman Republic began slowly and picked up momentum, reaching a peak in the
3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.E. The expansion that allowed for this power and
development was credited to the various military campaigns the Romans went
through.
Roman Soldiers and Military
Any farmer/male citizen who owned enough land were subjected to military service.
The Roman soldier was similar to hoplites but had much more independent
maneuverability than the phalanx of the hoplites. Rome’s military conquest was
caused at first by conflicts between it and various pastoral tribes around the area.
Although Rome did not have the best fighting strategies, it won many times due to
the sheer number of troops overwhelming the enemy but still suffering great
numbers of casualties. When the Romans took over new territories, they did no force
or fully enslave the new people into Rome’s ways. Instead, Rome allowed a relatively
free self-governing of the territories in which governors from Rome were sent to
govern these areas/communicate back to Rome.

Between 264-202 B.C.E., Rome fought 2 protracted and bloody wars against the
Carthaginians. Following this, the Romans emerged as the most powerful western
Mediterranean force.

From 200-146 B.C.E., Rome fought the Hellenistic kingdoms of Eastern


Mediterranean. [Basically, Rome now fought Greece and even Sparta.] Although the
Romans did not want to occupy the lands of Greece, they were forced to take over
their government when the settlements did not take root. Basically, Rome took over
the Greek Kingdom.

In 59-51 B.C.E., Gaius Julius Caesar led the Roman army against the Celtic people of
Gaul in modern day France. This was the first Roman military campaign into the
heartland of Europe.

The Fall of the Roman Republic

When Roman farmer soldiers were away for war, investors tricked and plotted to buy
and sell their lands. In addition, these investors, rather than growing wheat and
grain (the backbone of food for the Roman Empire) grew more profitable substances
for items such as wine. When the soldiers returned to fine their farms gone, they
could hardly find jobs and lived in dire poverty. This decline of peasant farmers in
Italy created a new opening for soldiers. In the 2nd century B.C.E., Gais Marius
(“new man”) accepted poor and propertyless men into service while campaigning in
northing Africa and promised lad upon return to Rome. The devotion of his men led
him to illegal positions in the Roman Government. Later a series of other ambitious
leaders commanded armies that were more loyal to them than to the state, thus
causing internal conflict. Civil wars between military factions erupted and political
opponents were executed as Rome plunged into dictatorial control.

The Roman Principate (31 B.C.E.-330 C.E.)

Octavian was Caesar’s grandnephew and heir. He completed reformed the Roman
government, but did not actually change the physical aspects of the Republic. The
true power of the state had inherently been shifted to him even though he called
himself to be princeps “first among equals.” He was the first Roman Principate. The
Roman senate called Octavian Augustus. He used his psychological skills to
manipulate his way up the Roman society. During his rule, Egypt and parts of the
Middle East and Central Europe were added to the Roman Empire. After Augustus,
Rome had various and many “Emperors.”