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Hist 100 World Civilization I Instructor: Dr. Donald R. Shaffer Upper Iowa University.

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Presentation on theme: "Hist 100 World Civilization I Instructor: Dr. Donald R. Shaffer Upper Iowa University."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Hist 100 World Civilization I Instructor: Dr. Donald R. Shaffer Upper Iowa University

3 Lecture 6 Rome: Introduction Rome: the empire to which all of other empires and governments are compared So what made Rome great? Not the extent of the empire— others before had done that The success of the Romans was in incorporating conquered peoples into the Roman system Much more than the Hellenistic Greeks they were able to transplant their language, religion, and customs to conquered peoples Their influence survives them to the present day Roman Empire at its zenith in the 2 nd Century CE

4 Lecture 6 Rome: Origins Rome as a conqueror was blessed by geography Its position halfway up the Italian peninsula put it in a good position to dominate Italy Italy was well situated to dominate the Mediterranean Actual Roman origins shrouded in myth Archeological evidence suggests the Romans heavily influenced by Greeks and the mysterious Etruscans Romans apparently a subject people of the Etruscans who broke free, but not all scholars agree on this idea Etruscan territory and artifacts

5 Lecture 6 Roman Republic ( BCE) Documentable Roman history begins about 509 BCE with the rise of the republic This period notable for its gradual codification of law and the law’s growing fairness Demonstrated the Roman interest in practical government Divisions of Roman society Patricians: wealthy, land-owning class that dominated the Senate and Consulship Plebians: ordinary folk, who during the Republic forced the patricians to increasing share power Tribunes Roman Patricians Roman Plebians

6 Lecture 6 Roman Conquests (1) The later centuries of the republic saw the spread of Roman rule beyond Italy The Romans do not seem to have deliberately set out to conquer an empire, at least not at first Instead, the conquests initially came through wars with rival states in the Mediterranean, particularly Carthage Carthage A wealthy and powerful Phoenician city-state on the coast of North Africa Became Rome’s main rival for dominance in the Mediterranean world Based its military power on its large navy Carthaginian Empire and its military genius Hannibal

7 Lecture 6 Roman Conquests (2) The Punic Wars Rome’s wars with Carthage for dominance 1st Punic War began in 264 BCE, last ended in 146 BCE Since Rome dominated on land, and Carthage at sea, who triumphed eventually boiled down to who could beat the other at what was good at. After nearly losing the 2 nd Punic War to Hannibal’s land campaign, Rome built a navy that defeated Carthage in the 3 rd Punic War Carthaginian Empire wiped out and its territories incorporated into Roman domains Successful Roman conquerors given the honor of a “triumph” or victory parade through Rome

8 Lecture 6 Decline of the Roman Republic (1) Republican government proved unsuitable for ruling an empire made up of foreign peoples The wars also created military leaders too mighty for the Roman state to control The large army weakened the Roman agricultural economy Agriculture production dropped It became easier for ambitious men to squeeze out small-holders in rural areas and amass large estates using slave labor Dispossessed often moved to Rome, where there was not enough employment Situation ripe for strongmen who could feed and entertain the idle Roman mob “Bread and Circuses” Part of providing bread and circuses was arranging gladiatorial battles

9 Lecture 6 Decline of the Roman Republic (2) Julius Caesar ( BCE) Rose to power as a politician and general Conqueror of Gaul (France) Pragmatic, ruthless politician Formed the First Triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus, abandoned it when it was no longer useful to his ambition He engaged in useful reforms His undoing was to make himself a dictator Assassinated in 44 BCE Augustus Caesar (44 BCE-10 CE) Julius Caesar’s grandnephew, adopted as his heir Initially forced to share power with Lepidus and Marc Anthony Later emerges as “princeps civitatis” and later “imperator,” ushers in the Pax Romana Augustus Caesar (Octavian) Julius Caesar

10 Lecture 6 Roman Society (1) Rome: city of contrasts Population: about 1 million at its peak in ancient times State palaces and lavish residences for the elite, but average Roman resident lived in squalor Government forced to feed unemployed with imported grain paid for by tribute levied on conquered peoples—”tithe” Family Basic unit of Roman society Headed by “paterfamilias” Oldest male in the extended family Women held no formal power, but sometimes influential behind the scenes Ideal Roman matron was faithful, chaste, modest, and single-mindedly dedicated to her family Like all humans, the Roman family did not always live up to its ideals

11 Lecture 6 Roman Society (2) Roman slavery Slaves generated by Rome’s foreign conquests Came from Europe, Africa, and the Hellenistic East Quite diverse in their backgrounds Slavery hereditary, but slaves often freed Slavery a fact of life for the Romans, as all ancient people Roman religion Romans Gods closely paralleled Greek deities Worship of these gods became a form of civic religion Helps explain the deification of Roman emperors, starting with Caesar Augustus Helps explain the persecution of groups like the Christians who refused to worship Roman Gods The need for religion with more excitement explains the appeal of Eastern mystery religions Roman slaves tend their owner Roman depiction of Apollo, 6 th century BCE

12 Lecture 6 Christianity (1) Christianity emerges from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth Scholars know little of him outside of the Gospels, written decades after his death, whose provenance and authorship remains uncertain Jesus’ Palestine Much more is known of the Palestine of Jesus’ time A province of Rome since 65 BCE At time of Jesus’ birth ruled through a Roman client king, Herod the Great After Herod’s death, the Jews revolted, prompting the Romans to send a governor to rule the province Jews heavily factionalized Sadducees Pharisees Zealots Images of Jesus of Nazareth From the 6 th and 7 th centuries CE

13 Lecture 6 Christianity (2) Paul (Saul) of Tarsus Christianity might have died but for the efforts of Paul of Tarsus Paul initially persecuted the early Christians, but then converted to the religion As Jewish Roman citizen, he was able to bridge the divide and turn a Jewish sect into a religion for non-Jews Asserted Christians not bound by Jewish law, especially its dietary restrictions Also asserted that Christ’s teaching were universal Pax Romana and Roman roads made possible his evangelical activities

14 Lecture 6 Christianity (3) Appeal of Christianity Unlike the mystery religions, its message freely available, not just to initiates, and easily understood Attractive message: forgiveness for sin, God’s unconditional love, and the promise of eternal life Christianity and Rome Nero blamed Christians for the fire that burned Rome in 64 CE, and ordered their persecution Persecution peaked during the reign of Diocletian ( CE) Diocletian’s successor, Constantine ( CE) sanctioned Christianity Christianity made the state religion of Rome in 380 CE Nero Diocletian Constantine

15 Lecture 6 Empire’s Fall in the West Rome never actually “fell” The center of the empire shifted to the east, and the Romans, unable to defend the western part of the empire, gradually abandoned it to barbarian invaders Germanic tribes, pressed by Asiatic invaders, pressed against Roman frontiers in the 4 th century and gradually swallowed it up After Justinian in the mid-500s, the eastern Roman Empire stopped trying to reclaim the west The eastern part of the empire, being wealthier and more defensible, remained intact gradually becoming the Byzantine Empire (which lasts until 1453) Justinian: last Roman emperor to try to reclaim the western part of the empire from barbarian tribes


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