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Roman Empire Theme: Republic and Empire Lesson 5.

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Presentation on theme: "Roman Empire Theme: Republic and Empire Lesson 5."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roman Empire Theme: Republic and Empire Lesson 5

2 ID & SIG: Augustus (Octavian), dictators, empire, Julius Caesar, patricians, plebeians, latifundia, pax romana, republic, tribunes

3 Origins of Rome Rome was founded in the 8 th Century B.C. and was originally a small city-state ruled by a single king Late in the 6 th Century B.C., the city’s aristocrats deposed the king, ended the monarchy, and instituted a republic –A republic is a form of government in which delegates represent the interests of various constituents The Roman republic survived for over 500 years and at one time dominated the Mediterranean basin

4 Mediterranean Basin

5 Legend of Rome’s Founding Aeneas migrated from Troy to Italy Two of his descendants, Romulus and Remus, were abandoned by an evil uncle in the flooded Tiber River A kindly she-wolf found them and nursed them to health The boys grew strong and courageous and in 753 B.C., Romulus founded the city of Rome and established himself as its first king Romulus and Remus being nursed by the she-wolf

6 Rise of Rome From humble beginnings, Rome grew into a strong commercial center, in part because of its geographic location –Rome enjoyed easy access to the Mediterranean via the Tiber River, but because it was not on the coast, it was safe from invasion or attack by the sea By the 6 th Century B.C., trade routes from all parts of Italy converged in Rome

7 Establishment of the Republic When the aristocracy deposed the king in 509 and established a republic, they instituted a republican constitution –Executive responsibilities were entrusted to two consuls who wielded civil and military power –Consuls were elected by an assembly dominated by hereditary aristocrats and wealthy classes –Consuls served one year terms

8 Establishment of the Republic The Senate was composed mostly of aristocrats with extensive political experience They advised the consuls and ratified all major decisions Roman Senate house

9 Patricians versus Plebeians Both the consuls and the Senate represented the interests of the patricians– the hereditary aristocrats and wealthy classes This caused tension between the patricians and the common people– the plebeians Roman patricians

10 Patricians versus Plebeians In the early 5 th Century, tensions got so bad that the plebeians threatened to secede from Rome and establish a rival settlement In order to maintain the integrity of the Roman state, the patricians granted the plebeians the right to elect officials known as tribunes to represent their interests

11 Patricians versus Plebeians Originally the plebeians were authorized two tribunes, but that number eventually rose to ten Tribunes had the power to intervene in all political matters and to veto measures they thought were unfair –Still the patricians continued to dominate Rome

12 Increased Representation for Plebeians During the 4 th Century, plebeians became eligible to hold almost all state offices and gained the right to have one of the consuls come from their ranks By the early 3 rd Century, plebeian-dominated assemblies won the power to make decisions binding on all of Rome Republican Rome was gradually broadening the base of political participation

13 Dictators In times of civil or military crisis, the Roman constitution allowed for the appointment of a dictator who wielded absolute power for a term of six months Cincinnatus, shown here handing the rods of power back to the city fathers, served as dictator of Rome twice

14 Expansion of the Republic Rome expanded from central Italy, to the Italian Peninsula, to the Mediterranean basin Defeated the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars between 264 and 146 B.C. Territory under Roman control near the end of the republic, 44 B.C.

15 From Republic to Empire Imperial expansion brought wealth to Rome, but the wealth was unequally distributed which aggravated class tensions –Conflicts arose over political and social policies –During the 1 st Century B.C. and the 1 st Century A.D., Roman civil and military leaders will gradually dismantle the republican constitution and replace it with a centralized imperial form of government

16 Problems with Conquered Lands Conquered lands usually fell into the hands of wealthy elites who organized enormous plantations known as latifundia The owners of latifundia enjoyed great economies of scale and used slave labor to drive the owners of smaller holdings out of business

17 Problems with Conquered Lands Tiberius and Gaius Gracchi worked to limit the amount of conquered land an individual could hold They met strong resistance from the wealthy and ruling classes and were both assassinated

18 Bigger Problem The problem of land distribution was a symptom of a bigger problem –The constitution of the Roman republic had been designed for a small city-state –It was not suitable for a large and growing empire Roman politicians and generals began jockeying for power and several raised personal armies for support

19 Civil War The two most important generals were Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla –Marius sided with social reformers who favored redistribution of land –Sulla sided with the conservative and aristocratic classes SullaMarius

20 Civil War In 87 B.C., Marius marched on Rome, placed the city under military occupation, and began hunting down his enemies When Marius died the next year, Sulla moved to replace him In 83, Sulla seized Rome and began slaughtering his enemies

21 Sulla Sulla initiated a reign of terror that lasted almost five years until he died in 78 During that period he killed some ten thousand individuals He imposed an extremely conservative legislative program that weakened the influence of the lower classes and strengthened the hand of the wealthy

22 Julius Caesar Sulla’s program did not address Rome’s most serious social problems The latifundia continued to crush small farmers and poverty was rampant There were many social eruptions when times were especially hard Julius Caesar stepped into the chaos and inaugurated a process that replaced the Roman republican constitution with a centralized imperial form of government

23 Julius Caesar Caesar was a nephew of Marius and he favored Marius’ liberal policies and social reform In the 50s B.C., Caesar led an army that conquered Gaul and made him very popular Gaul (now mostly France)

24 Julius Caesar In 49 Caesar marched his army to Rome and by early 46 he had named himself dictator But instead of the constitutional six month term, Caesar claimed to be dictator for life

25 Julius Caesar Caesar centralized military and political functions and brought them under his control He confiscated property from conservatives and distributed it among veterans of his army and other supporters He launched large scale building projects to provide employment for the poor He extended Roman citizenship to people in the imperial provinces

26 Julius Caesar But Caesar’s reforms alienated many of Rome’s elite who considered him a tyrant In 44 B.C. they assassinated him However it was too late to return to the old conservative ways and a new round of civil crisis ensued for thirteen years –Octavian emerged in power

27 Octavian Octavian was a nephew, protégé, and adopted son of Julius Caesar He defeated his principal rival, Mark Anthony, and Anthony’s ally Cleopatra at Actium, Greece in 31 B.C. Anthony and Cleopatra by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

28 Augustus Octavian consolidated his rule and in 27 B.C., the Senate bestowed upon him the title Augustus –“Augustus” has religious connotations suggesting a divine or semidivine nature Augustus ruled virtually unopposed for 45 years in “a monarchy disguised as a republic”

29 Augustus Augustus centralized political and military power like Julius Caesar did, but he was careful to preserve traditional republican offices and forms of government and included members of the Roman elite in his government

30 Government under Augustus Accumulated vast powers for himself and ultimately took responsibility for all important governmental functions –Placed individuals loyal to him in all important positions Reorganized the military system –Created a new standing army with commanders who owed allegiance to him Eliminated the personal armies of earlier years Stabilized the land after the years of civil war and allowed the institutions of empire to take root

31 Mare Nostrum After Augustus, the Roman Empire continued to grow to the point that it surrounded the Mediterranean –Romans called the Mediterranean mare nostrum (“our sea”) Expansion brought Roman soldiers, diplomats, governors, and merchants throughout the region Trade flourished

32 Roman Empire, 117 A.D.

33 Pax Romana By stopping the civil wars, Augustus inaugurated an era known as pax romana (“Roman peace”) which greatly facilitated trade and communication –Lasted from 27 B.C. to 180 A.D. Also included applying standards of justice and a basic code of law throughout the empire

34 How were populations controlled by the Romans? Under the republic? Under the empire?

35 How were populations controlled by the Romans? Under the republic –Representation (consuls and Senate) –Resolution of conflicts between the patricians and plebeians (tribunes) –Dictators Under the empire –Julius Caesar centralized authority but alienated elite –Augustus continued centralization but placated elite and ensured loyalty through patronage –Pax romana stabilized region through trade, communication, and law

36 Next Lesson Incas

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