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The World of the Romans

Chapter 6

Early History
Early community built on plain of Latium
753 BC - Rome founded along Tiber River
Legend of Romulus and Remus twins
raised by a wolf
Romulus slays Remus and builds Rome on
7 hills


Peninsula juts into Mediterranean

Apennine Mountains
Fertile Plains (Po Valley)
Tyrrhenian Sea (W), Adriatic Sea (E)
Geography did NOT divide

More farmland; food

18 miles from sea (far enough from raiders)
Juts into Mediterranean trade
Built on hills easy to defend

Greek & Etruscan Influence

Latins earliest Romans
Greeks olives, vineyards, alphabet,
architecture, culture, literature
Etruscans toga, organization of army,
building projects, arch

Roman Republic
509 BC Republic established (last Etruscan
king thrown out)
Roman Confederation people could run affairs;
hoped to be citizens; provided soldiers
Good diplomats
Firm, cruel when necessary; crushed rebellions
Extended citizenship; allowed to rule own
Practical; built colonies, roads, harbors;

Republic cont.
2 Consuls elected for 1 year led armies
Senate 300 could make laws
Patricians ruling class, great landowners, could be
Plebeians Craftsmen, merchants, small farmers;
little power
Struggles between the two resulted in more power
Council of the plebs; tribunes
Twelve Tables 451 BC - Laws written for plebeians

Punic Wars
Carthage founded 800 BC by the
Coast of Africa; spread to Sicily, Spain,
Corsica, Sardinia
Made Romans nervous
Led to a series of wars called the Punic

Punic Wars cont.

1st (264 BC) Rome built its navy and defeated
Carthage in Sicily; made it Romes first province
2nd (218 BC) Hannibal crossed into Spain with
horses, elephants; crossed the Alps (most animals
Huge toll on Roman Army; Rome invades
Carthage Carthage loses Spain; becomes
another Roman province

Hannibals army crossing the Alps

Punic Wars cont.

3rd 50 years later Rome totally destroys
Carthage; 50,000 sold into slavery; became
the province of Africa;
Later Macedonia, Greece and Asia Minor
made provinces
Rome is master of the Mediterranean Sea

Section 2 Fall of the Republic

Growing inequality and unrest
Senate controlled by small, wealthy few
Small farms forced out by large ones; landless

poor, drifting, slave labor

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus wanted land to give

to poor; both Senators killed; more instability and
Army power shifts to local generals; loyalty to
general not to the state

Competition for Power

Crassus richest man in Rome
Pompey military hero in Spain
Julius Caesar military hero in Spain also
Formed First Triumvirate government by
3 people
Pompey Spain
Crassus Syria (killed in Syria)
Caesar Gaul (France)

1 Triumvirate

Senators feared Caesar the most; refused to

relinquish his power
Crossed the Rubicon into Rome, defeated
44 BC made dictator for life
Land to poor, increased Senate to 900 (weakens

Citizenship to provinces, introduced Egyptian
calendar (365 days); building projects

Caesar cont.
44 BC Senate kills Julius Caesar
Power struggle Octavian (grandnephew)
and Mark Antony
Antony allies w/Cleopatra of Egypt
Battle of Actium Octavian crushes army
of Cleopatra & Antony (both commit
End of the Roman Republic (27BC)

Roman Empire
Octavian given title of Augustus by Senate
First Roman Emperor (imperator)
Roman legion (military)
Praetorian guard to protect emperor
Extends power of Rome into Balkans
Pushed to Danube; stopped by *Germanic

Early Empire (27BC - 180AD)

Pax Romana 200 years of peace
Power of emperor grew but:
Peace, building projects, public works
Aqueducts, bridges, roads, harbors
Hadrians wall in Britain

The Roman Empire

Tomb of Augustus

The Pantheon

Ceiling of Pantheon

Trajans Marketplace

Early Empire cont.

Difficult to maintain empire
3.5 million square miles
50 million people
Latin and Greek (west and east) mix and
become Greco-Roman culture
Trade routes all the way to China!
Farming chief occupation; great gap
between rich and poor

Culture & Society

Took writings & art of Greece
Educated Greek slaves were tutors
Poet Virgil
Livy history of Rome celebrated
Romes greatness; Horace - satire
*Law Law of nations; natural law based
on reason; standards of justice for all
(innocent until proven guilty; can defend
oneself, etc.)

Paterfamilias male was absolute
Divorce common
Some tutors for girls but pushed to marry
Changed over time husband became less
Women were respected companions

Common practice most from Italy and were
part of the family
After conquest of Mediterranean, more slaves
Greeks in demand as tutors, doctors, musicians,
Horrible conditions for many; revolts, especially
in Sicily
73 BC Spartacus (gladiator) leads 70,000; killed
and 6,000 followers executed

Daily Life
Rome crowded and dangerous at night
Gap between rich and poor
Fires a constant threat
No plumbing, heat
Magnificent public buildings temples,
baths, markets, theatres, arches,
Poor relied on govt. grain; malnutrition

Daily Life cont.

Public shows were huge spectacles
Circus Maximus chariot races
Theatrical performances
Gladiators most popular shows; fought at
the Colosseum
Gruesome fights; thousands of animals

Coliseum Tunnels

Coliseum Video

Romans were polytheistic (Jupiter, Juno,
Minerva, Mars, etc.); modeled Greeks
Tolerant of other religions
Judea (Jewish kingdom) had been made a
Roman province; led by Procurator, a
Roman official
Conflicts among Jews about cooperation
with Rome

Jesus of Nazareth began preaching
Importance of not adhering to the letter of the
law but transforming the inner self; love God
and one another; humility, charity, love
Basis for western civilization (JudeoChristian)
Some welcomed him as the messiah; upset

Christianity cont.
To Romans, seen as a revolutionary who
could cause an uprising
Denounced on all sides, turned over to
Pontius Pilate had him crucified (common
method then)
Followers said he came back as a savior
Christos (the anointed one - messiah)

Christianity cont.
Paul preached that Jesus came for our sins,
therefore, by accepting Jesus, could
achieve salvation
Passed on in writings New Testament
Christianity grew through the empire
(structure of Rome actually helped roads)
Rome grew nervous, Christians refused to
worship state gods and emperors

Christianity cont.
Seen as treason; persecuted intermittently
throughout history
Nero began this
Strengthened in 2nd and 3rd centuries
Offered much:
Gave life meaning beyond daily world
Jesus as human was easy to relate to

Christianity cont.
Initiation was easy - baptism
Fulfilled human need to belong
Attractive to all classes, especially poor

and powerless
Spiritual equality

Christianity cont.
4th Century Constantine became the first
Christian emperor
313 Edict of Milan gave tolerance of
Theodosius the Great (378-395)
Christianity becomes official religion of
the Roman empire

Decline of Rome

Invasions, civil wars, gap between rich & poor

Trade declines, farms production declines, plague
Decline of traditional values/morals; decadence
Financial strain had to pay armies more, high taxes,
Diocletian and Constantine tried to make reforms
Enlarged army; mobile units including Germans; decline
in patriotism & loyalty among soldiers
Empire divided; built Constantinople (Byzantium) new
capital (prosperous, stable)

Decline cont.
Failed to advance technologically due to use of slaves
Christian emphasis on spirituality weakened military
Church leaders gained power
Lead poisoning? (plumber comes from Latin word
plumbum, which means lead)
Unable to put together a workable political system
Problems with succession

Decline cont.
After Constantine, west under increasing pressure from
Huns from Asia moved into Europe, put pressure on
German Visigoths; moved into Rome as allies, soon
410 AD Vandals sacked Rome (Rome sacked several
476 AD Romulus Augustulus last emperor considered
end of Rome
East remained free from invasion for 1,000 years
(Byzantine Empire)

Legacy of Rome
Architecture/Engineering roads, bridges,
aqueducts, majestic marble buildings, arch,
dome, column; Colosseum
Language Latin is root of romance languages
(French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
Preserved intellectual heritage of the Greeks
(known as Greco-Roman)

Law codified laws, impartial and humane
All are equal before the law, guaranteed
legal protection
Burden of proof on accuser
Unreasonable or unfair laws can be set
aside (Judicial Review)
Judeo-Christian values

Fall of Rome