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Rome The Rise and Fall of an Empire. Geography of Rome Advantages: Plenty of open plains Apennines don’t dominate the landscape More food The Italian.

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Presentation on theme: "Rome The Rise and Fall of an Empire. Geography of Rome Advantages: Plenty of open plains Apennines don’t dominate the landscape More food The Italian."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rome The Rise and Fall of an Empire


3 Geography of Rome Advantages: Plenty of open plains Apennines don’t dominate the landscape More food The Italian peninsula is right in the middle of the Mediterranean Benefits trade and empire building Rome is about 15 miles up the Tiber River from the coast Protects from sea invaders Rome is built on seven hills Easy to defend Disadvantages: Italian peninsula has a lack of natural harbors Not ideal for trade No true barriers to invaders Alps are significant, but there are passes Few natural resources Forced them to fight for resources

4 The Founding of Rome Founded by the Latins, probably around 750 B.C. Influenced by both the Greeks and the Etruscans Etruscans were in control of Rome from about 650 – 500 B.C. Rome was ruled under a monarchy until around 500 B.C. Romans rebelled against their Etruscan rulers and established a republic Why a republic? Did not like power in the hands of one man Inspired by the Athenian democracy?



7 The Roman Republic The Roman Republic lasted from 509 B.C – 27 B.C. Most offices were restricted to 1 year terms Meant to keep any one man from having too much power This created a society based upon COMPETITION Senators were appointed for life This created a very strong aristocracy, as only members of the upper classes (primarily patricians) could join the Senate Roman society was similar to the mob Just as mob bosses took care of the people in their territory in return for allegiance… …Patricians took care of their “clients” in return for allegiance Rome was continually at war, continually expanding In order to serve in the military, you had to own land What’s the problem here?

8 Roman Warfare Roman culture placed a great emphasis on AMBITION and GLORY Throughout the history of the Republic, Rome was CONSTANTLY at war By about 300 B.C., Rome had become a regional power in Italy Organized, dedicated, efficient army Sidenote – “Decimation” – What is decimation? If they were to expand farther, they needed to deal with Carthage… Carthage was another powerful city state situated in North Africa Originally founded by the Phoenicians – What were they known for? Carthage was building a powerful trade empire throughout the Mediterranean and a strong navy to defend it The conflicts between Carthage and Rome are called the Punic Wars Punicia was the roman term for Phoenicia

9 Rome vs. Carthage

10 First Punic War Cause: Rome and Carthage fight over Sicily - Why is Sicily important? Fighting: Carthage had a dominant navy Rome had a dominant army – Who has an advantage here? Rome scrambles to build ships modeled after a sunken Carthaginian ship Rome gets creative….. notice anything? In the end, Rome has more manpower and outlasts the Carthaginians Result: Rome wins Treaty is signed weakening Carthage

11 Second Punic War Cause: Carthage rebuilds and wants revenge Fighting: Rome expects a naval attack Carthage, under Hannibal, attack over land… crossing over the Alps WAR ELEPHANTS! – Is this a good idea for Hannibal? Carthage loses most elephants and most siege equipment Rome lets Hannibal ravage the countryside, knowing he can’t sack Rome without siege equipment Finally, Rome attacks Carthage, forcing Hannibal back to Africa Result: Rome wins again Carthage weakened once more

12 Third Punic War Cause: Carthage has paid off war debt Rome wants to finish them off Fighting: Rome demands that Carthage move their city inland Should Carthage do this? Why or why not? Impossible for a city-state built on sea trade Rome attacks Carthage Defeats Carthaginian army Murders much of the population Sells the rest into slavery Pours salt over all of the fields – Why? Result: No more Carthage Rome is the undisputed dominant force in the Mediterranean

13 Rome – Before Punic Wars – 264 B.C.

14 Rome – After Punic Wars – 146 B.C.

15 Fall of the Republic After the Punic Wars, Rome continued to expand through warfare Only landowners could become soldiers in the Roman Army – Problems? As a result, Rome had limits on the size of it’s army With increasing territory to protect, this became a problem Also, because these landowners spent so much time fighting, many of their farms fell into bankruptcy The wealthy were the primary beneficiaries of Roman expansion – Why? Newly conquered lands were often sold or rented to the highest bidder – allowing the wealthy to get more land Also, as farms fell into bankruptcy, that land would be bought up by the wealthy Many soldiers returned to find themselves homeless and unemployed Roman expansion brought a steady stream of slaves back to Rome - Wealthy landowners used slaves from newly conquered territories to work their land – Why? Any problems with this? This maximized their profits Also took jobs away from plebs – creating massive unemployment 15

16 Fall of the Republic The Roman tax system was unfair Tax collection was given to the highest bidder The winning bidder would owe the government the agreed amount Anything he was able to collect above that amount was his to keep – Result? As a result, tax collectors squeezed every penny they could out of the poor The unemployed and homeless began to fill the city, living on welfare Tension began to mount between the classes Two political factions began to form: Populares – pushed for popular reform, supported by the plebs Optimates – held onto status quo, supported by the patricians Why would you want to be a populare? An optimate? Conflict between the classes leads to political violence Populares and Optimates fight for power and influence These battles often end with somebody dead Once violence enters Roman politics, it stays….. 16

17 The Fall of the Republic – Who Am I? Tiberius Gracchus Elected Tribune in 133 B.C. He attempted to institute huge land redistribution plan, limiting each citizen to 300 acres, with the rest of the land being distributed among the poor. Eventually, upon completion of his 1 year term, he attempted to run again, but was driven from Rome and killed by the Senators. Gaius Gracchus Elected as tribune 10 years after his brother, in 123 B.C. Like his brother, he fought hard (and loud) for reforms for the poor. Also like his brother, he and his followers were killed by the Senate. Gaius Marius Army General elected to Consul by the plebeians. Used his power with the military to hold the office beyond the one year term. Was Consul for seven different terms. Among other reforms, he removed the land ownership restriction for participation in Rome’s army.

18 The Fall of the Republic – Who Am I? Lucius Cornelius Sulla Another Army General elected to Consul/Dictator by the Senate. Used his power to remove many of the reforms and restore the power and influence of the Senate while reducing the ability of the Tribunes and the Plebeian Assembly. Pompey Army General who became Consul in 89 B.C. From a plebeian family, many of the plebs looked to him for hope. Instead of real reform, he relied on Bread and Circuses to keep the plebs distracted. Julius Caesar Patrician politician who formed the First Triumvirate to control Rome with Pompey (and Crassus, a wealthy Senator). When this alliance broke down and Pompey took sole power, Caesar marched on Rome, defeated Pompey and became Dictator, growing his power and eventually dismantled the Republic and had himself declared Dictator for life. (until his death…)

19 Roman Empire After the death of Julius Caesar, Octavian (his grand-nephew) and Mark Antony (an army general) fight for control Octavian wins Renames himself Augustus (“respected one”) Named himself “first citizen” of the Republic Why did he call himself that? Effectively became a dictator Senate remained, but had no real power

20 Pax Romana Latin for “Roman Peace” Period of peace, prosperity, and expansion Augustus ushered in a time of peace that lasted over 200 years (27 B.C. – A.D. 180) Why is this impressive? Changes during this time: More men were made eligible for citizenship Fairer laws Civil service system put in place Govt. promotions based on merit Census taken to keep track of population and taxes Built roads Good for trade, travel, and military mobility


22 The Decline of the Roman Empire A.D. 180 – End of Pax Romana – period of peace, prosperity, and expansion Expansion of lands leads to expansion of army and increased costs At the same time, poverty and unemployment are again on the rise To conserve precious metals, Emperors reduce gold and silver in the money, which leads to inflation – What is inflation? Inflation – increase in prices related to devaluation of currency Economic conditions increase crime rates and political instability Violence re-enters Roman politics Peaceful succession of the Emperor was rare Of the 29 Emperors between AD 180-284, only 4 died of natural causes

23 The Decline of the Roman Empire New Emperors often came about through military coup Coup – violent overthrow of the government The army remained strong Replenished with war captives, barbarians, mercenaries Soldiers began fighting for money, rather than for the empire Sound familiar? Emperor Diocletian 284-305 What would your parents do if you continued to misbehave? Strict dictator Harsh laws controlled all business Doubled the size of the military Split the empire into East/West


25 The Decline of the Roman Empire Constantine 324-337 Enforced even more control Moved capital to Byzantium, renamed Constantinople Attila the Hun enters Europe Forces Germanic tribes into Roman territory Weakened the Roman Empire with repeated invasions Never quite conquered Rome or Constantinople Germanic invasions continued until fall of Rome in AD 476 Eastern part of Empire (Byzantine Empire) continued in some form until AD 1453

26 The Decline of the Roman Empire There are many (MANY) theories about factors that contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire. Here are some: Decline in Morals, Ethics and Values Sex, alcohol, savagery Political Corruption Senate Corruption, Military power struggles Overexpansion and Heavy Military Spending Increased taxes on conquered barbarians incited more rebellion Reliance on mercenaries Weakening Economy, High Inflation, Unemployment Growing empire, Diminishing resources, Large “welfare” bill The Mob and the Gladiatorial Games Unemployment caused civil unrest – Gladiatorial Games took on increasing cost Famine Over-worked land, increase in disease due to poor conditions Barbarians Used Rome’s military knowledge against them

27 Roman Cultural Influence: Remnants of Roman Culture in our world today… Language (many words have Latin roots) gre_rts_afx2.htm?... gre_rts_afx2.htm?... Romance Languages Spanish Portuguese French Italian Romanian

28 Roman Cultural Influence: Remnants of Roman Culture in our world today… Government U.S. Senate Laws

29 Roman Cultural Influence: Remnants of Roman Culture in our world today… Art and literature Mosaics Virgil – wrote The Aeneid, an epic Ovid – Roman poet Cicero – Roman Philosopher

30 Roman Cultural Influence: Remnants of Roman Culture in our world today… Architecture Arches, domes Aqueducts Colosseum


32 The Colosseum Mock naval battles Gladiator fights Used criminals and war prisoners Built without mortar “Bread and circuses” Roman govt. provided free food and entertainment for the plebeians Roman Cultural Influence: Remnants of Roman Culture in our world today… fe=active

33 Aqueducts!

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