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Ancient Rome 1.The origins of the society: fact and mythThe origins of the society: fact and myth 2. Religion in the societyReligion in the society 4.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Rome 1.The origins of the society: fact and mythThe origins of the society: fact and myth 2. Religion in the societyReligion in the society 4."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient Rome 1.The origins of the society: fact and mythThe origins of the society: fact and myth 2. Religion in the societyReligion in the society 4. Work: urban and ruralWork: urban and rural 5. Daily life of womenDaily life of women 6. Warfare and the life of soldiersWarfare and the life of soldiers 7. Societal hierarchy in the RepublicSocietal hierarchy in the Republic 8. Government in the Republic. Government in the Republic 10. Julius Caesar

2 Ancient Rome - The origins of the society: fact and myth Greek myths and Roman folktales provide a to provide an account of how Rome was founded. Aeneas was a mythical hero from Greek legend. He was a citizen of Troy, the city that the Greeks besieged after the Trojan prince Paris abducted the Greek beauty Helen. After Troy was defeated by the Greeks, Aeneas escaped from the city with his father and his son, Lulus. His journey from Troy to Italy was filled with adventure. He eventually arrived in the plain of Latium where he settled and married a Latin princess. Two of Aeneas' descendants were twin boys named Romulus and Remus. They were the grandsons of the ruler of a city called Alba Longa. Their parents were believed to be Mars, the god of war, and the Latin princess Rhea Silvia. Their great uncle Amulius seized the throne and ordered the two boys to be drowned in the Tiber River. The men who had been ordered to drown the boys took pity on them. Instead, they put the twins in a cradle and sent them down the river. The cradle eventually drifted to shore and was discovered by a she-wolf, who fed and protected them until a shepherd found them. When Romulus and Remus grew up they went back to Alba Longa and killed their great uncle Amulius, winning back their kingdom.

3 Ancient Rome - The origins of the society: fact and myth Kings and the birth of the republic After Rome was founded by Romulus, the city was ruled by a series of kings. These kings were chosen and advised by a council of elders, the senes. Of the seven kings who ruled Rome, the last three were Etruscans and were regarded with hatred by the Romans. The last king, Tarquinius Superbus, or Tarquin the Proud, was particularly hated by Romans. Tarquin the Proud came to power by throwing the previous king down the steps of the Senate House, killing him. He was a selfish tyrant who ignored the advice of the council of elders. His son had inherited his bad habits. One night Tarquin's son attacked and raped a Roman noblewoman named Lucretia. The Roman people were enraged and they drove Tarquin and his family out of Rome. Tarquin the Proud was not willing to give up his city without a fight. He appealed to the King of Clusium, a northern Etruscan city, to help him attack Rome. The Romans defended their city passionately, stopping the invading army at a wooden bridge over the Tiber. A courageous Roman soldier, Horatio, single-handedly fought off the invaders as the Romans destroyed the bridge.

4 Ancient Rome - The origins of the society: fact and myth Kings and the birth of the republic - The Etruscans There were many different people living on the Italian Peninsula when the city of Rome was founded. In the north there were the Etruscans, in the south the Greek colonists. Throughout the middle of the peninsula there were groups such as the Aequi, Volsci and Samnites. The Etruscans lived in the north of the Italian Peninsula, they had a rich culture. They built carefully planned towns with drainage systems and wide paved roads. Their prosperity came from their rich farmland which yielded many crops, including grapes and olives.

5 Ancient Rome - The origins of the society: fact and myth Kings and the birth of the republic - The Etruscans They traded with other towns and overseas peoples, exchanging iron and copper for gold, silver and tin. Through trade they came into contact with many other ancient cultures. They adopted the Greek alphabet and used it for their own language. There were many highly skilled artists, tradesmen and craftsmen. The Etruscans buried their dead in elaborate tombs decorated with beautiful wall paintings of daily life. The Etruscans had a strong influence on the development of Roman culture. It was from the Etruscans that the Romans discovered chariot races, gladiator fights, aqueducts (a man-made channel that transports water) and the toga. Many Etruscan villages were situated on the Latium plain, a fertile area on the west coast of Italy. The area had been occupied since 1000 BC by a group of Etruscans called the Latins. These original people lived in wooden huts with thatched roofs. Eventually the villages on the Latium plain merged to create one town - Rome.

6 Ancient Rome - The origins of the society: fact and myth Kings and the birth of the republic Greek influence In the 8th century BC, the Greeks were sending colonists to set up cities around the Mediterranean. Many colonies were founded in the south of the Italian Peninsula and on the island of Sicily. The Greeks had a very strong influence in these areas. The Romans later called it Magna Graecia, Greater Greece. The Greeks had a considerable impact on the development of Roman culture. The Etruscans adopted the Greek alphabet for their own language and passed it on to the Romans. Greek became the language of education and the aristocracy of Rome. The Greeks also influenced the development of Roman literature, drama, art, architecture and mythology. Many of the Roman gods and goddesses were Greek gods and goddesses with Roman names.

7 Religion in the Roman society - The gods and goddesses of ancient Rome There were two groups of gods and goddesses in ancient Rome. There was the official state religion worshipped in public and informal household spirits worshipped in private. Many Roman gods and goddesses were borrowed from the Greek pantheon (group of gods and goddesses). Roman Jupiter was Zeus, Juno was Hera and Minerva was Athena. These gods were the most important in Roman state religion

8 Religion in the Roman society Below is a table of the most popular gods and goddesses worshipped by the Romans. Roman nameGreek equivalentRole JupiterZeusRuler of the gods, sky, thunder and lightning JunoHeraQueen of the gods, goddess of women MinervaAthenaGoddess of war, soldiers and wisdom BacchusDionysusGod of wine, revelry and drama CeresDemeterGoddess of the harvest CupidErosGod of Love DianaArtemisGoddess of hunting and the moon DisPlutoGod of the underworld AresMarsGod of war MercuryHermesMessenger of the gods NeptunePoseidonGod of the sea

9 Religion in the Roman society Romans built temples for the state gods. Roman people attended public sacrifices and participated in religious festivals. Offerings to the gods came in many forms, including cakes, flowers, statues and animals. The most frequently sacrificed animals were oxen. There were a number of priesthoods created to worship the Roman gods. The most important priests and priestesses in Roman religion were Pontiffs, Augurs, Fetiales, Flamens and Vestal Virgins. Vestal Virgins were young women selected for service in the temple of Vesta from the age of six. Their duty was to make sacrifices to the goddess Vesta and keep her sacred fire burning in the temple. The Vestal Virgins were only allowed to leave the temple after 30 years of service.

10 Religion in the Roman society There were also a number of native Roman gods, goddesses and nature spirits worshipped by the Romans. Roman name Role FloraGoddess of Spring and flowers JanusGod of doorways and bridges RomaPatron goddess of Rome FaunA male country spirit CerberusA three-headed dog that guarded the gates of Hell VictoriaGoddess of war and victory PanGuardian of the countryside and animals NymphA female nature spirit TritonA male water spirit

11 Religion in the Roman society Household gods The Romans worshipped many household spirits in private. These spirits were responsible for the wellbeing of the household and its inhabitants. Each Roman had a lararium (shrine) in their home where they prayed and made offerings to the household gods. LaresProtected the home PenatesProtected food in the cupboards VestaGoddess of the hearth JanusGod of doorways

12 Religion in the Roman society The Romans launched a fierce campaign of persecution against the Christians and Jews who refused to worship the huge number of Roman gods and goddesses. Thousands of Christians and Jews were executed. It was illegal to practise Christianity until AD 311. By AD 313, the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, paving the way for it to become the official religion and change the course of Western history

13 Work: urban and rural Every Roman had a job to do. Whether this involved leading armies into battle, baking bread or planting crops of wheat and barley, there was always something to be done. The majority of physical labour and menial work in Rome was done by slaves in the cities, leaving Roman citizens free to occupy themselves in other, more interesting, jobs. Urban work In the many cities in the Roman Republic, there was a wide variety of work to be found. Most Romans did not have kitchens in their homes. A kitchen was a luxury that only the richest Romans could afford. The majority of Romans ate takeaway - for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food industry in ancient Rome was always booming. Romans liked their food fresh. Bakers were important as fresh bread was a staple food in the Roman diet. There were also butchers, fishmongers, olive oil sellers, wine merchants and a huge number of take-away stalls selling snack foods and meals.

14 Work: urban and rural People who lived in cities were employed in crafts and trades. The most common craft and trade jobs included carpentry, pottery and metal working. Many products that archaeologists have discovered include beds, tables, storage chests, pots and dishes, tools, pans and weapons. Romans were skilled in metal working and their products were purchased by the wealthy and exported to overseas customers. Intricate jewellery such as gold and sliver necklaces, flasks, ornaments, brooches and rings were popular gifts. The Romans also perfected the art of glass blowing by the 1st century AD. This was called glazing. Roman glaziers blew simple glass jars, even large sheets of glass for windows. A variety of drinking glasses were made and purchased by wealthy Romans.

15 Work: urban and rural Another interesting occupation held by some Romans was medicine. There were many doctors who diagnosed and attempted to cure common ailments. Doctors even performed basic surgery. Often, doctors had been trained in the army while on campaign. As a result, Roman surgeons were skilled at amputation and cauterising (burning a part of the body to seal a wound, usually done when a limb has been amputated). The Romans pioneered many areas of medicine. The Romans had the first chemists. Pharmacists would concoct herbal remedies and liquid medicines to help cure illness. The Romans also had the first optometrists. These doctors specialised in studying the eye. There were also dentists who extracted teeth and made replacements.

16 Work: urban and rural There were some less glamorous occupations held by some Romans. After Romans purchased cloth to be made into clothes, they took it to a fuller's workshop to prepare it for clothes-making. Cloth was first stiffened by soaking it in urine, then cleaned by rubbing it with clay. After this, the cloth was beaten, stretched and bleached to become soft and white. Wealthy Romans also took their clothes to the fullers for washing and mending.

17 Work: urban and rural Rome conquered many cities, countries and civilisations. Slaves were taken as rewards from battles. Cities and tribes that had put up particularly strong resistance against the Roman army would be taken prisoner. Men, women and children would be sold into slavery. Slaves were transported to the nearest markets and sold at auction. Educated slaves were sold for the highest price. These slaves were often trained in public speaking, science or philosophy. These were purchased and put to work in the houses of wealthy Romans as tutors for their children. Some educated slaves were employed as doctors and pharmacists. Healthy and strong slaves fetched a high price.

18 Work: urban and rural Healthy and strong slaves fetched a high price. They performed the most laborious tasks. Romans were prolific builders. They constructed bridges, archways, viaducts, sewers, aqueducts, temples and homes. While the Romans designed many of these projects, it was the slaves who performed the time consuming, back-breaking labour. By the Imperial period, the government owned entire families of slaves that they used to construct and maintain public buildings.

19 Work: urban and rural Some slaves resisted Roman rule. These troublesome slaves were sent to work in Roman mines and quarries. This work was dangerous and unhealthy. Roman mines were notorious for their unsafe conditions. Walls often caved in, the mines were hot and slaves were worked to death. Slaves sent to the quarries faced a similar fate. They worked in the hot sun shovelling rubble and shifting heavy rocks from dawn until dusk. Mining and quarrying were frightening occupations and few slaves risked being sent there.

20 Work: Rural Early farms in Italy were small and owned by a single family. Harvests were plentiful and there was more than enough for the single family and local trade at markets. Farmers were often used in the Roman army. As the Roman Republic took on more land, farmers spent more time away from their farms. Rich landowners bought many farms to help boost agricultural production while farmers were away on campaign. Land was leased to families or worked with slaves. These practices caused an agricultural crisis as families were unable to pay the rich landowners rent for the land. Agricultural production was going to waste. This situation caused many problems for the Romans in the late Republic. By the time of the Roman Empire, the agricultural crisis had been resolved. Almost all farm workers were slaves. Roman crops were supplemented by imported grain from Egypt.

21 Work: Rural Work in the country was difficult. Staple crops included grain, grapes, olives, wheat, oats and barley. Roman farmers also kept sheep, goats and cattle to produce milk, cheese and wool. These products were traded at local and city markets. While farming was a year-round occupation, shepherds had by far the most difficult jobs. Sheep, goats and cattle were kept in the remote highlands and hills where grazing was good. Shepherds spent the majority of their time alone, isolated from friends and family and at the mercy of thieves and bad weather..

22 Daily life of women Most writers in ancient Rome were wealthy old men. They wrote about topics that interested them like wars, politics and philosophy. Very few men wrote about the lives of women and even fewer women wrote about their own lives and interests. As a result, we do not know as much about the lives of Roman women as we do about the lives of Roman emperors and politicians. Women in Rome had more opportunities than their sisters in ancient Greece, but certainly not the same freedoms as women in ancient Egypt. Roman codes of law dictated how Roman women should behave. In many areas of public life women had no rights. Roman women were considered citizens of Rome and did not need a male guardian or escort when leaving the house. In practice, however, women were usually accompanied by a male guardian.

23 Daily life of women - Women's status Women were not considered equal to men. Women had no legal rights to participate in public life or politics. Women could not vote or run for public office. Like Greek women, Roman women had male guardians, usually their fathers or husbands. If a woman's father or husband died, the state appointed a guardian. This new guardian could be a member of the extended family or sometimes a complete stranger. While guardians did not have to accompany Roman women whenever they went out in public, the guardians did have the right to approve or disprove of any action. A Roman woman's legal rights regarding property were very few. Women could not own property. It was usually owned by her guardian. A Roman woman could inherit land or leave it to her husband or children in her will, but a will was not legal until it had been approved by a man.

24 Daily life of women - Women's status In ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, a woman's status increased as she had more children. If a woman bore three to five children who survived infancy and childhood, she was greatly respected. Many children died during their childhood due to poor health or living conditions. Judging a woman's worth by the number of children she bore was not the case in Rome. In fact, Romans believed that if a woman had many children, it was a sign of uncontrolled passion. Marriage was one of the most important events in a Roman woman's life. Marriages were often practical arrangements made between two families. Women often had very little influence in deciding who they would marry. Marriage was seen as a way to climb the social ladder. Wealthy families often formed political alliances cemented by a marriage. Women were often married at the age of 12. While men could marry legally at 14, they often waited until they had established their careers at the age of 30. The purpose of a marriage was for the wife to give birth to children, preferably male, who would continue the family name, inherit property and continue the reverence of their ancestors. Few couples met before the wedding ceremony. Weddings took place in the bride's home.

25 Daily life of women - Women in the household The Roman woman's primary duty was to care for her family. The Roman word for family was familia. The father or husband was the head of the family. Roman wives and female slaves worked long hours running the family household and caring for children and relatives. The amount of work that women did around the house depended upon their social status. Wealthy women had many slaves and domestic servants to do daily chores. This allowed wealthy women time to go out and socialise with their friends. Women from lower-class families who could not afford slaves and domestic servants had to do daily chores on their own, assisted by daughters and other female family members. Household work involved washing dishes, sweeping and scrubbing floors and general cleaning. The experiences of women were different for the urban, rural, wealthy and poor. Army wives followed their husbands to the frontiers of the Roman Empire where they lived in forts. Concubines and mistresses accompanied their partners to the forts. For entertainment, women were able to socialise at dinner parties with men, conversing with men about topical issues such as politics, philosophy and general gossip.

26 Daily life of women - Women's work Some women were able to work to earn money. After their household duties were done, women were able to produce craft objects. Women worked with linen, wool and silk and made a number of products such as clothes and household items like curtains. Women did not usually receive an education and were not able to study medicine, law or participate in politics. Women were able to find employment in cooking, childcare and weaving industries. Often a woman worked in the same occupation as her husband. A carpenter's wife might prepare the wood. A shopkeeper's wife would help complete transactions and accounting. Women were able to seek their own employment. There were many occupations for women in ancient Rome. Women owned taverns, worked as waitresses, baked, cooked, lent money, made shoes and performed a number of nursing roles such as midwifery and wet nursing (helping to care for newborn babies). Women were also allowed to participate in religious worship.

27 Warfare and the life of soldiers Rome developed one of the most effective and efficient armies in Western history. Over a period of 1000 years, Rome expanded beyond the borders of her city to encompass the Italian Peninsula. Rome forged an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean from Persia, Egypt and Greece, across to Spain, North Africa and England. Rome's strength depended upon the discipline of the Roman army. The army in the Republic and Empire - In the early Republic there was no professional army. Soldiers were farmers and citizens of Rome. They fought out of patriotic duty. These early soldiers received no pay and had to provide their own weapons and armour. After the campaigning season was over, they would return to their farms and resume normal life.

28 Warfare and the life of soldiers As Rome expanded to control the Italian Peninsula and beyond, wars were fought further from Rome. These wars took longer to win. Rome needed a larger and more efficient army to conquer and control the empire. By the 2nd century BC, the army was reformed by the military commander Gaius Marius. The Roman army was transformed into a full-time professional fighting force. All Roman citizens had the ability to enlist, regardless of whether or not they owned land. Weapons and training were standardised. Soldiers received wages and it was possible for Romans to become career soldiers. When a soldier completed his time in the army, he was given a grant of land and a pension.

29 Warfare and the life of soldiers - Organisation of the Roman Army The changes Marius made to the army were not altered much over Rome's history. Soldiers were called legionaries who fought and travelled on foot. The legionaries were supported by cavalry and groups such as slingers, archers and siege equipment operators. The Roman army was organised around small, highly-trained groups. On campaign Roman soldiers spent a great deal of time campaigning on the frontiers of the Empire. The Roman army could march up to 30 kilometres a day. Each legionary was required to carry his own weapons, armour and equipment (including three days rations and tent pegs) in a backpack that could weigh up to 30 kilograms. The Roman army was an unstoppable force. If the army came upon a river without a bridge, they would build a bridge of tree trunks. The army was like a mobile city. Each night, the soldiers set up camp and dug a deep, rectangular ditch around it. They would then fortify the ditch with sharp wooden stakes. The next morning, they pulled down the fortifications and prepared for their daily march.

30 Warfare and the life of soldiers The sound that a Roman army made as it marched was frightening to passers-by. The soldiers' sandals had flat, metal discs attached to them which would clash against the ground as they marched. Discipline was very strict. If legionaries were late to training, they would be beaten. If a legion rebelled or fought poorly in battle, one in every ten men was killed. This was called decimation. Most battles were fought on open ground. The Roman army would march forward and attack their enemy with javelins and swords. Cavalry was used to strategically attack the enemy. Archers and slingers would fire arrows and rocks. A successful battle formation adopted by the Romans was called the testudo or tortoise. In this formation, Roman soldiers formed into a square and locked their shields together. This formation created a solid barrier over their heads and around the edges. Enemy cavalry was unable to charge this formation and the Romans could march up to the enemy without sustaining any injuries from spears or arrows.

31 Warfare and the life of soldiers The Romans were skilled at besieging and capturing cities. The Roman army would surround a city and cut off all exits. No one could escape and no food or weapons could be brought into the city. If there was a river or water source that entered the city, the Romans would do their best to disrupt the flow. By starving the city's inhabitants and bombarding them with catapults and battering rams, Romans often brought a swift end to a siege. Campaigning was done in the spring and summer seasons. For the majority of the year, soldiers spent their time in camps and fortresses. Permanent forts were built to protect the borders of the Empire and control the conquered territories. Life was strictly regulated. Horns acted as an alarm clock signalling a day of training. Soldiers trained in running, swimming, javelin throwing and mock fighting. In peace times, soldiers worked as builders. They maintained their fortresses but also constructed canals, bridges and buildings in local towns. The Romans laid many roads, the most famous being the Via Appia which led to Rome.

32 Warfare and the life of soldiers The life of the Roman soldier was adventurous and dangerous. Soldiers received good pay and a share of booty from conquered cities. Most soldiers served in the army for 25 years and lived under the constant threat of I injury or death. It was through their bravery that one of the longest lasting empires in Western history was forged.

33 Societal hierarchy in the Republic Roman society was divided into a number of social classes. There was a distinction made between citizens and non-citizens, patricians and plebeians, and patrons and clients. These social divisions determined rights and privileges in the Roman Republic. Citizens This was the first major division of the population of the Roman Republic. To be a citizen, a person had to be born within the city of Rome to parents who were already Roman citizens. Roman citizens received many privileges. They had the right to participate in politics and they did not have to pay taxes. There were further divisions within the Roman citizen population that determined more rights and privileges. Non-citizens Non-citizens were people who were not born in Rome. By the late Republic there were thousands of non-citizens living in the city of Rome. This included people who lived outside Rome in neighbouring states and other countries. When Rome conquered other countries, the people who lived in these countries became provincials. Slaves were also considered non-citizens. Although non-citizens could vote in elections, they had to pay taxes.

34 Societal hierarchy in the Republic Freedmen and freedwomen These were slaves who had been set free by their masters. Rome had a large number of slaves. Slaves who had served their masters well were often set free after a period of time. Most freedmen and women were trustworthy and intelligent and were able to make the most of their new-found freedom by adopting a trade or craft. Many freedmen and women became wealthy through their occupations. The bureaucratic system of the Roman Empire relied on trustworthy freedmen for many of their daily transactions.

35 Societal hierarchy in the Republic Patricians Roman citizens were divided into two large groups, the patricians and the plebeians. They were the descendants of the original founding families of Rome. The ancestors of the patricians were the first clans who occupied the seven hills surrounding Rome. The patricians were a small group in society who had a large amount of power. The patricians played a key role in advising the first kings. Most patricians were wealthy land owners. They owned the best land and used their position of power to dominate the governing of the Republic. In the early Republic, only patricians were allowed to run for public office. As a result, patricians held all the positions of authority. They controlled the religious, judicial, political, and military institutions of Rome.

36 Societal hierarchy in the Republic - Plebeians and equites The rest of society consisted of plebeians. The plebeians were citizens of Rome, but not descendants of the original founding fathers. They did not have the right to participate in politics or have a role in political and religious institutions. They were allowed to vote. The patrician ban on inter marriage with plebeians meant that there was little chance that plebeians could rise to the status of patrician. Occasionally, plebeians did marry into patrician families, but this was only used as a political tool in the very late Republic. Although the plebeians did not come from noble families, many became very wealthy. Plebeians worked as craftsmen, farmers and traders. By the late Republican period, a large group of wealthy plebeians demanded the right to run for public office. These plebeians were called equites, the Latin name for knights or horsemen. The equites had taken advantage of Rome's growing empire and built up successful importing and exporting businesses between Rome and the provinces. Demands by the equites for political influence brought them into conflict with the patricians.

37 Societal hierarchy in the Republic There were many disagreements between plebeians and patricians regarding political power. Many plebeians wanted to have a say in how Rome was governed. In 494 BC, the plebeians threatened to leave Rome. The Senate allowed the plebeians to set up their own council and elect representatives called tribunes. The tribunes would have the right to veto or stop any political change that would disadvantage the plebeians. The plebeians eventually won the right to run for political positions. The first plebeian consul was elected in 336 BC. By 287 BC, all decisions made by the plebeian council had to become law.

38 Societal hierarchy in the Republic Patron-client relationship An important system in resolving the discrepancies in power and privileges between the patricians and plebeians in ancient Rome was the patron-client relationship. The tradition was established in the early Republic. Groups of patricians, the patrons, agreed to protect groups of plebeians, the clients, in return for assistance in politics and private life. The patrician would give the plebeian land, food, legal help and protection. In exchange, the plebeian would vote for the patrician in politics, support the patrician in public life and follow the patron to war.

39 Societal hierarchy in the Republic Women Women were never considered equal to men in ancient Rome. No women had the right to vote or participate in politics. Among the women in ancient Rome, citizen patrician women were at the top of society. They had the most independence and freedom of all Roman women. Living on the wealth of their families, patrician women were free to socialise during the day and night, having the daily chores attended to by servants and slaves. Most plebeian women did not have the luxury of servants and slaves. Plebeian women usually did their own housework with the assistance of their daughters and female relatives. Some plebeian women had jobs, helping their husbands in their occupations or working independently.

40 Societal hierarchy in the Republic Slaves The lowest group in Roman society were the slaves. As Rome's empire grew and more cities, countries and civilisations were brought under Roman rule, the number of slaves in Rome increased. Slaves could be men, women or children. They had no rights or freedom. They were bought, sold and treated as property. They were forced to perform menial and laborious daily tasks. Educated slaves acted as tutors, doctors and librarians. Healthy and strong slaves were put to work in construction and agriculture. Women and children were used as domestic servants. As previously mentioned, troublesome slaves were sent to the quarries and mines where they were often worked to death. By the late Republic, Rome was dependent on slaves for the Republic's labour force.

41 Government in the Republic After the kings of Rome were expelled, the Romans established a republic. The Latin words res publica meant 'the public things'. The Romans remained fearful of one man becoming too powerful. The Republic distributed political power among many magistrates and assemblies. Cursus honorum – This was the 'ladder' of political offices in the Republic. A Roman politician would enter politics and climb the ladder of offices. The easiest way to enter politics was by serving in the army. Most Roman politicians had spent ten years or more in the army, fighting on the frontiers of the Roman empire.

42 Government in the Republic The Senate The Senate was a council of men from the patrician class. During the history of the Republic, the number of senators was increased from 100 to 600. The Senate was an advisory council for the consuls making major decisions on war and peace and supervising magistrates. It also had the right to veto decisions made by the assembly. Comitia curiata The Comitia curiata was the people's assembly. Rome was divided into a number of suburbs called curiae. People voted according to the curia in which they lived. Dictator A dictator was one man elected to run the government in times of emergency. He had the supreme power of a consul without anyone to veto his decisions. It was through the office of dictator that the Roman Republic was slowly transformed from a Republic into an Empire.

43 An event in the life of the Republic: Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 100 BC. He came from a patrician family that had fallen into debt. His family had connections to Marius, a disadvantage since Marius had lost the Marian-Sullan war. Caesar overcame these disadvantages and became a skilled politician, and a popular public speaker and a good general. He entered the cursus honorum as quaestor in 69 BC in Spain. He made aedile in 65 BC and was elected to the prestigious religious position of pontifex maximus in 63 BC. Caesar was a charismatic (charming) leader. He had won many victories in Gaul from around 60 BC to 54 BC.


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