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The Rise of Rome From City-State to Emerging Empire c. 750-150 B.C.

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Presentation on theme: "The Rise of Rome From City-State to Emerging Empire c. 750-150 B.C."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Rise of Rome From City-State to Emerging Empire c B.C.

2 The Origins of Rome According to Roman legend, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by the twins, Romulus and Remus, sons of the war god, Mars, and a Latin princess They were supposedly raised by a she-wolf and established Rome on the banks of the Tiber River According to the Roman poet, Virgil, Trojan refugees, led by Aeneas, founded Rome after escaping the destruction of Troy at the hands of the Mycenaean Greeks, as told in The Aeneid I sing of arms and of a man: his fate had made him fugitive: he was the first to journey from the coasts of Troy as far as Italy and the Lavinian shores Across the lands and waters he was battered beneath the violence of the high ones for the savage Juno's unforgetting anger." - Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1, lines 1-7

3 Rome’s Geography The Latins established Rome around seven hills along the banks of the Tiber River Rome’s central location on the Italian peninsula near the western coast enabled it to become a thriving trade center, but it was also far enough inland to be protected from sea raiders Rome’s central location in the Mediterranean later enabled the Romans to dominate the entire region militarily “All roads lead to Rome”

4 Etruscan and Greek Influences Etruscans to the north and Greeks to the south heavily influenced Latin culture The Etruscans shared their alphabet, architecture, and religious rituals but also ruled over the Latins through a series of kings from about 600 to 509 B.C. Greek colonists taught the Latins to cultivate olives and grapes and introduced their religion and legends (the Greek Zeus became the equivalent of the Latin Jupiter) Etruscan tomb fresco (above), necropolis (below)

5 The Birth of the Roman Republic Roman aristocrats (known as patricians) overthrew the last Etruscan king of Rome, Tarquin the Proud, in 509 B.C. and established a republic Republic = res publica (public affairs) Power rested with the citizens of Rome (free-born males alone) The Romans banned monarchy and threaten to kill anyone who sought to become a king How was the Roman republic different from Athenian democracy (established at nearly the same time)?

6 The Republic PeopleInstitutions/Laws PatriciansSenate PlebeiansCenturiate Assembly ConsulsTribal Assembly TribunesTwelve Tables PraetorsLegions *How did the republic balance the interests of different social classes and prevent any one person or group from dominating the system? *How is this system similar to the United States government today?

7 The Republic’s Balance of Power Patricians (aristocratic landowners) controlled the Roman Senate of 300 members, which determined foreign and financial policy and advised the consuls Plebeians (commoners) demanded a greater role in government and forced the creation of a law code - the Twelve Tables (451 B.C.) and the Tribal Assembly, which elected tribunes and eventually made laws Centuriate Assembly consisted of citizen-soldiers and selected consuls (mostly patricians at first but later consisted of more plebeians) Roman legions consisted of about 5000 soldiers each, grouped into centuries Two Consuls served as chief executives and army commanders in place of a single king Tribunes defended the interests of the plebeians against unfair acts and were eventually able to gain wider powers Praetors served as chief judges and presided over civil and criminal courts, they were selected by the Centuriate Assembly

8 Comparing Republics RomePowersAmerica ConsulsEXECUTIVEPresident *Senate *Centuriate Assembly *Tribal Assembly LEGISLATIVE*Senate *House of Representatives PraetorsJUDICIALSupreme Court Twelve TablesLEGAL CODEConstitution

9 Hero of the Republic: Cincinnatus Even as plebeians pushed for more power, Romans valued civic virtue in their leaders and were even willing to temporarily surrender absolute authority to a dictator in time of crisis (almost always a patrician) Cincinnatus won fame as a consul who was appointed dictator twice (458 B.C. & 439 B.C.) to help Rome defeat both external and internal enemies; both times he immediately gave up his authority once the crisis was over and returned to his farm His actions served as an ideal model for future Roman leaders and even a famous American general and “patrician” landowner (guess who)

10 Conquer or Perish: Rome’s Expansion To survive, the Romans had to stay organized in an almost constant state of warfare against other tribes in the Italian peninsula Rome led the Latin League in a series of wars that eventually led to domination of central Italy by 396 B.C. and nearly all of the peninsula by 264 B.C. *All Latins received Roman citizenship *Conquered peoples were given citizenship but not the vote *Allies contributed troops to the Roman army Though fearsome in battle, the Romans practiced leniency with their defeated enemies and gained their trust and support Above: Fresco depicting fierce Samnite warriors, one of Rome’s many enemies and eventual allies Below: map depicting Roman conquests in Italy

11 The Punic Wars ( B.C.) Rome’s growing commercial network in the Mediterranean brought it into conflict with the other great power of the region – the Carthaginians (descendants of the Phoenicians)\ The First Punic War ( B.C.) led to Rome’s conquest of the island of Sicily (its first overseas province) and Rome’s rise as a naval power The Second Punic War ( B.C.) nearly witnessed Rome’s downfall at the hands of the Carthaginian general, Hannibal, who crossed the Alps from Gaul with over 50,000 troops (and even some elephants) to wreak havoc in Italy for a decade; he was eventually defeated by Scipio, who led a Roman counter-invasion of North Africa The Third Punic War ( B.C.) resulted in Carthage’s complete destruction – over 50,000 Carthaginians were sold into slavery and Rome acquired North Africa

12 Carthaginians vs. Romans Above: Scipio “Africanus”, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal Above left: Hannibal Left: Hannibal’s army invades Italy (c. 218 B.C.) Right: The destruction of Carthage after conquest by the Romans in 146 B.C., its fields were sown with salt to ensure that no food could be grown


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