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Ancient Rome

World History
Mr. K
Geography
• Middle of the Mediterranean
• Larger and more arable land than Greece-
mts north and south
• River valleys- Po in the North, Tiber in
middle of boot
• Rome - inland accessible by boat-
defensible,on “Seven Hills”
Origins of Rome
• Legend: Romulus and • Reality: Etruscans
Remus raised by she- • unsure of origin
wolf 733bce traced • used iron, bronze and
boundaries with plow silver
• Later: Virgil’s Aeneus, • Rome and Latins under
hero of Troy, roams rule of king
the Med looking for a • beginning fear of kings,
home rebelled
• invaded by Gaul 390
BCE
Steps to Unification
• Etruscans and Gauls squeezed out by
Latins
• 290- conquered central Italy then
Samnites in South
• 265 took over Greek city states
• key- staying power of army, won over
conquered people- become Roman
citizens
Meanwhile, back in Rome,
the importance of citizenship
• gradual struggle between the patrician
and plebeian classes
• 2 consuls and Senate made up of
patricians
• popular assemblies established with a
representative tribune- veto power
• 450 BCE 12 Tables Roman Law codified
• Result- increase of privileges for plebes
The Punic Wars 264-146 BCE
• Major rival in Med- Phoenician Carthage
• 3 Punic (another name for Carthage) Wars
• Third- Rome wins for the final time
– Result= Rome now the POWER in the
Mediterranean
8 Struggles Continue in the
Republic
• Graft, corruption, struggle between
patrician and plebeians
• Gracchi Brothers Tiberias and Gaius
• Marius consul 6 x
• Sulla- general seized Rome in 82 BCE
restored power to Senate
– set precedent
Republic’s Last Gasp
• First Triumvirate Julius Caesar, Pompey,
Crassus
• Julius Caesar challenges the Senate crosses
the Rubicon
• 47 BCE virtual ruler, increased Senate to 900
• 44 BCE assassinated, Second Triumvirate
– Octavius, Marc Antony, Lepidus
– Battle of Actium, O defeats MA in 31 BCE End of an
Republic, beginning of EMPIRE
The Roman Empire
• Caesar Augustus- purpose “to restore the
republic”
• 27 BC Augustus become “First Citizen”
Princeps
• ended strife- beginning of Pax Romanae
• tried to impact life- morality, building
• sculpture- deified him, literature as well
• Consolidation- of power/ Senate limited
The Greatest Extent of the
Roman Empire – 14 CE
The Roman World
• Ever expanding-
• Politically - emperor/ dictatorship
• Extended Roman citizenship as they spread
• The Roman family- gradual less influence for fathers
– family strong unit- run like the state
– women become more independent- socially and ownership
– politically active as wives of emperors- Livia, wife of CA
The Roman World (cont)
• Golden Age- literature Horace, Virgil, Ovid and
Livy
• Religion- state religion, Roman gods reflected
Greek
• emperor became “divine” connection to gods
– tolerant of other religions Mithras, Persian god of light
– Christianity-”And there went out a decree from Caesar
Augustus”
– persecutions not as many as thought- made stronger
– sometimes combined with others- e.g. Celtic gods
Slavery in the Roman World
• Important to building projects and way of life
• Conquests supplied slaves so came from all over
• Not related to ethnicity or skin color
• Rebellions like Sparticus 73BCE occurred- Crassius
– put down, crucified slaves and held a 10 day party for Rome
– Slaves gradually won freedom and numbers decreased
The Roman Builders- All over
the Empire
• Amazing accomplishments- Roads that still last
• Aqueducts- bringing water to every important city
• Temples for the gods- copied Greek style-
massive
• Forum- public area of the city- center- oration etc.
• Theaters- for entertainment- drama
• Coliseums- more fun, fights, gladiators, animals
• Baths- public places- series of rooms dif temps
Imperial Roman Road
System
The Roman Emperors- the
Good, Bad and Ugly
• Good- Marcus Aurelius-phil “citizen of the world”
• Calm and unified- Trajan, Hadrian, walls and rebels
• Bad- Caligula- named horse “consul”, Commodus, fought
gladiators with blunted weapons, Nero, mass murder- inc his
mother, pregnant wife, brother
• Many later emperors were generals- most powerful could
become emperor
The Roman legacy- writing and
the law
• alphabet- should look familiar to us
• Romans wrote down everything- very literate, passed on to
use use every day, alma mater, alter ego, per capita, vice
versa, a.m/, p.m., RIP ,list goes on ad infinitum
• some consider the statutes and case law most important
legacy- took idea that a written law can protect one person
from another- put it into practice- Because it’s the laws means
something to us- not necessarily in other cultures.
• tried to appeal to people through argument- idea of people
deciding
• magistrates important in Rome- e.g. of Apostle Paul
The Roman Provinces- still
impacted
• Gaul- France today- many roads, aqueducts,
theaters
• The Rhine- no border- Trier and Wiesbaden
• Britain- difficult place, Bath and Hadrian’s wall
• Palestine- Masada- rebellion and magnificent cities
like Baalbek
• Africa- riches of Egypt and the granary of the
Empire
Christianity and Rome
• Helped Christianity spread- communication
• Appeal- unrest, questioning of polytheism
– explained spiritual aspects, Christ’s teachings
– emphasis of eternal life
– community exclusive (mystery religion)
• Persecution- under Nero, blamed for fire
– mostly tolerant, Christians refused to worship state
• Effect- spread slowly- letters formed NT
– officially tolerated 313 Edict of Milan
The Rise of
Christianity
The Spread of
Christianity
Diocletian Splits the Empire in
Two: 294 CE
The Empire in Crisis:
3c
Why a Roman “Fall”
• Instability caused by no real plan of
succession
• Trouble on the borders
• Morally bankrupt?
• Division of Empire- Diocletian
• Later Constantine- new capitol-
Constantinople-
The Barbarians at the Gates
• Pressure from Germanic tribes looking for
safety
• Huns pressured the Visogoths-410- ran into the
empire
• Vandals- 455- sacked Rome
• Series of invasions- physical damage, but also
intellectual
– established German kingdoms in West-
illiterate,look at art
• The East survives- becomes Byzantium- keeps
the learning from the ancient world
Barbarian Invasions:
4c-5c