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ROME. Geography and Early Roman Peoples Lots of rich farm land and mild climate, able to support a large population Rome is based on the Italian Peninsula,

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Presentation on theme: "ROME. Geography and Early Roman Peoples Lots of rich farm land and mild climate, able to support a large population Rome is based on the Italian Peninsula,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Geography and Early Roman Peoples Lots of rich farm land and mild climate, able to support a large population Rome is based on the Italian Peninsula, which is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea – Protected in the north by the mountains of the Alps – Protected in the south, east, and west by the Mediterranean Sea Founding of Rome based on the legend of twin brothers Romulus and Remus The people who built Rome were members of an Indo- European tribe called the Latins around 1000 BC – The city prospered due to its location on the Tiber


4 In 616 BC a group named the Etruscans arrived and started to rule Rome Influences of the Etruscans – heavily influenced by the Greeks – The toga, gladiator games, and Chariot races – Introduced the alphabet and number system, also built Rome’s first walls and sewer The last Etruscan king was driven out of Rome in 509 BC


6 Roman Republic Since the Romans had been ruled by kings under the Etruscans, they distrusted monarchy and decided it to replace it with a new form of gov’t – Republic = a form of gov’t in which the leader is not a monarch, elected officials governed the state, and certain citizens have the right to vote Early Rome was divided into two groups: – Patricians = rich landowners who controlled the gov’t and society – Plebeians = commoners, mostly farmers and merchants Men in both groups were citizens who could vote

7 In the beginning, however, only patricians could be elected to governmental offices Plebeians eventually got more rights, and formed their own assembly called the Plebeian Council – Even had the right to elect officials called tribunes – It was the job of the tribunes to protect the plebeians against unjust treatment by patrician officials Tribunes could even veto, or ban, laws that the patricians made that they felt were harmful The plebeians also forced the patricians to have all laws written down – The Law of the Twelve Tables = Rome’s first written law code, was displayed in the Roman Forum (central square)

8 The patricians and plebeians created an unwritten and flexible constitution – Constitution = framework for gov’t or political structure The government consisted of three parts: – The Senate = a select group of 300 hundred patricians who served for life Advised elected officials, handled all foreign relations, and controlled public finances By the third century it had the force of law – Various popular assemblies All citizens voted on laws and elected officials

9 – Officials called magistrates = put laws into practice and governed in the name of the Senate and the people Chief executive officers of the Republic – Consuls – two elected each year, one to run the gov’t and one to lead the army – Praetors – magistrates that could act as consuls when the consuls were away at war Also in charge of enforcing civil law – Censors – recorded the city’s population and how much property people owned System of checks and balances that stopped one group from becoming too powerful


11 The Republic Expands Military might – All men between the ages of 17 and 46 with a minimum amount of property were required to serve in the army during times of war – Army was organized into units called legions The backbone of the legions were centurions Centurions = commissioned officers who usually commanded a century of a 100 men Conquests – Romans defeated the Etruscans and the Greek cities in southern Italy by 256 BC

12 – Rome fought and defeated the Hellenistic kingdoms of Macedonia and Persia, making them Roman provinces – Rome also annexed Greece as another province Annex = incorporate territory into an existing country Adopted many elements of Greek culture, especially religion Why was Rome successful – Romans were good diplomats Extended Roman citizenship and allowed states to run their own internal affairs Only had the conquered people supply troops

13 – Romans excelled at military matters Accomplished and persistent soldiers Fortified towns and built roads Defeated the enemies surrounding Rome Roman Law – One of the greatest achievements was its system of law First code of laws adopted was the Twelve Tables Later a more sophisticated system of civil law was developed As Rome expanded, legal questions arose that involved both Romans and non-Romans, needed special rules

14 Gave rise to a body of law known as the Law of Nations – Law of Nations Used natural law (universal law) based on reason Established standards of justice that applied to all people: – Innocent until proven guilty – Accused allowed to defend themselves before a judge – This law system greatly influenced the law system of the United States

15 The Punic Wars Due to the conquest of Italy, the Romans now faced the powerful city and empire of Carthage located in North Africa – Both wanted to control the Mediterranean First Punic War – War started in 246 BC when the Romans sent an army to help some allies in Sicily Carthage considered this an act of war because they believed Sicily to be part of their empire – Carthage’s powerful navy dominated the fighting early on

16 The Romans were a land power and had to create their own navy – The war ended when the Roman navy defeated the Carthaginian navy off the coast of Sicily – Carthage gave up all rights to Sicily and vowed revenge Second Punic War – Rome encouraged one of Carthage’s Spanish allies to revolt and Carthage struck back with the greatest Carthaginian general, Hannibal Hannibal decided to bring war home to the Romans

17 218 BC Hannibal led a well-trained army of 46,000 men and a force of 37 war elephants across the Pyrenees and the Alps to invade Italy – 216 BC Romans decided to meet Hannibal head on Was a disaster for Rome – lost an army of 40,000 Refused to surrender and raised another army – For many years Hannibal dominated the Italian countryside Defeated one Roman army after another Battle of Trasimene – 15,000 Romans killed, 15,000 captured, Hannibal only lost 1,500 and an eye In another battle 50,000 Romans died or were wounded

18 – Unable to defeat Hannibal in Italy, the Romans decided on a new strategy The Roman army sailed across the Mediterranean and attacked Carthage Carthage was forced to recall Hannibal – Battle of Zama (202 BC) – Romans defeat Hannibal’s army Carthage lost Spain, which became part of Rome Carthage was stripped of its navy Rome is now the dominant power on the Mediterranean


20 Third Punic War – Romans decide in favor of the complete destruction of Carthage – After a siege of three years, Carthage finally fell in 146 BC Roman soldiers spent ten days burning and demolishing buildings The entire population was sold into slavery Carthage became a Roman province called Africa

21 Collapse of the Republic Social unrest – Growing tension among the various classes – Soldier-farmers were returning home from years of service and finding that their land had either been sold or was in bad shape Two brothers, the Gracchi, tried to redistribute public land and were quite popular The Roman elite, especially the Senate, were unhappy about this – The Senate urged mobs to kill the two brothers – For the first time, the blood of Roman citizens was intentionally shed in the Forum Violence had become a political tool

22 The Social War – Rome’s allies in Italy wanted Roman citizenship – The Senate refused and war broke out – The Italian rebels were defeated, but only after the Senate promised them citizenship The military in politics – Gaius Marius, a talented young military leader was elected consul and he decided to improve recruitment for the army Eliminated property requirements Poor people began to join and swore an oath of loyalty to the general, not to the Roman state, in hopes of sharing the plunder from war

23 – Result was that armies largely became private forces devoted to a general and placed much power in the hands of individual generals Generals could use loyalty of troops as a political tool – New type of army that was not under gov’t control The Civil War – General Sulla became consul following the Social War – Marius and his supporters defied Roman custom by trying to prevent Sulla from taking a military command Sulla responded by marching on Rome with his legions

24 – Sulla emerged victorious and became a dictator Dictator = an absolute ruler Executed all who had opposed him Carried out reforms aimed at protecting the power of the Senate and preserving the Republic – Legacy of Sulla = using an army to seize power

25 Rise of the Roman Empire The old Republic was mostly gone within a generation of Sulla – Was the result of the ambitions of just a few men The First Triumvirate – Triumvirate = rule by three people with equal power – The first Triumvirate was composed of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus Caesar added Gaul – modern France Pompey added Syria and parts of Asia Minor Crassus was one of the wealthiest men in Rome – Took over Rome in 60 BC


27 Crassus died and Caesar and Pompey faced off in a civil war – Caesar was victorious – Senate declared Caesar dictator for life in 44 BC Gave citizenship to people in the provinces and gave public land to veterans Was popular with the people, but many senators thought he meant to destroy the Republic – Ides of March (March 15) – a group of senators murder Julius Caesar Second Triumvirate – Established in 43 BC – composed of Octavian (Caesar’s adopted son and heir), Marc Antony, and Lepidus

28 Lepidus was pushed aside and Octavian and Antony each decide to govern half the empire – Civil war breaks out and Octavian defeats Antony and his ally Queen Cleopatra of Egypt Both commit suicide after the defeat – Octavian now alone controlled Rome Republic effectively dead Senate awards Octavian the title Augustus “the revered one” – continued to control the army and took the name imperator Imperator = commander in chief (emperor) Became the first emperor of Rome

29 The Augustan Age – Augustus ruled Rome for more than 40 years – Divided the power to rule Rome between himself and the Senate Later emperors took over more and more powers of the Senate – Augustus did great things for Rome Created a police force and fire brigades Vast building program, he restored old temples and built new ones Sponsored Latin literature – Vergil, Livy, Horace Julio-Claudians – relatives of Caesar ruled for the next 54 years


31 – Tiberius – adopted son of Augustus – Caligula – brutal and mentally unstable – Nero – killed his own mother and committed suicide The Five Good Emperors – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius – Governed Rome for nearly a century and under them the empire grew tremendously – Hadrian built defensive fortifications along the frontiers to guard against invasions Hadrian’s Wall – built in northern Britain

32 Pax Romana Pax Romana = Roman Peace – Age of peace and prosperity – Started off with the reign of Augustus in 27 BC and ended with the death of the last Good Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, in 180 AD Stable gov’t, strong legal system, widespread trade Not much war or invasion – The Roman gov’t was the strongest unifying force in the empire Maintained order and enforced the laws – Extensive road network – 50,000 miles


34 Rise of Christianity Some Jews began to revolt against Roman rule, resulting in all Jews being banned from Jerusalem Jesus of Nazareth – Born in the town of Bethlehem – All knowledge about Jesus comes from the Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament – Traveled around preaching people to repent their sins and seek God’s forgiveness People needed to seek forgiveness in preparation for the coming of Judgment Day People were to practice humility, mercy, and charity

35 – As Jesus traveled, he gathered a small group of disciples, or followers According to the Bible, Jesus performed miracles and defended the poor – Roman authorities feared a political uprising and arrested Jesus and sentenced him to death Jesus was crucified = nailed to a cross – Some believed he rose from the dead and spent another 40 days teaching his disciples before ascending into heaven – As a result, people began to call him Jesus Christ, the Greek word for Messiah Spread of Christianity – Jesus’ disciples began to teach that all people could achieve salvation

36 Salvation = forgiveness of sins and the promise of everlasting life in heaven – The Apostles – the 12 disciples that Jesus had specifically chosen to carry out his message Were the earliest Christian missionaries Mostly only taught in Jewish communities – Paul of Tarsus believed that God had sent him to convert non-Jews Without him, Christianity might have remained a branch of Judaism He helped to make Christianity a broader religion Established Christian churches throughout the eastern Mediterranean

37 – Paul got rid of some Jewish customs, such as food prohibitions, that hindered his missionary work among non-Jews Emphasized new doctrines that helped distinguish Christianity from Judaism – The Christian message of eternal life after death appealed to many – Roman religious toleration contributed to the spread Persecution – Some local officials and rulers saw Christians as a threat and arrested and killed them Fed to the lions, made them martyrs Martyrs = people who die for their faith and thus inspire others to believe

38 – Christianity survived and triumphed Imperial approval of Christianity – Emperor Constantine became the first Christian emperor after he converted after winning a battle He issued the Edict of Milan, which made Christianity legal within the empire and declared official tolerance of Christianity – Emperor Theodosius outlawed public non- Christian sacrifices and ceremonies As a result, Christianity was adopted as the Roman religion and polytheism began to disappear


40 The Early Christian Church – Development of ceremonies that inspired people’s faith and made them feel closer to Jesus Eucharist = held in memory of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples – Eat bread and drink wine in memory of Jesus’ death and resurrection Baptism = people admitted into the Christian faith Mass = Church service – Hierarchy Priests ran the ceremonies and instructed a small local community Bishops = high-ranking church official who oversees a group of churches in a particular area

41 Bishops were the most important official of the early Christian church Many Christians believed that Peter the Apostle founded the Roman Church – Peter had been the bishop of Rome, so later bishops of Rome were seen as Peter’s spiritual heir – They took the name popes – Popes were seen as the head of the entire Christian church – This was due to the belief that Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven

42 Roman Society Rich vs. Poor – The rich usually had a house in the city and one in the country – The poor (most of the people of Rome) lived in crowded apartment buildings where fire was a constant hazard – To keep the poor from rebelling against the bad living conditions, free food and public entertainment became a major feature of city life “Bread and Circuses”


44 Entertainment – provided on a grand scale for Romans – Chariot races – Coliseum - Gladiator fights, animals killing prisoners – Dramatic performances held in theaters Slavery – Romans relied the most on slave labor and had the most slaves – Large numbers of captured peoples brought back as slaves – Slaves built buildings and roads, were used as tutors, on farms, and as shop assistants – Conditions for most slaves were bad



47 – The murder of a master by a slave meant the execution for all the household slaves – Most of the gladiators were slaves – The most famous slave revolt was led by Spartacus and involved 70,000 slaves – they managed to defeat several armies before being caught and crucified Family – Headed by the paterfamilias – the family father Was the oldest living male and had extensive powers over his family – Extended family – included wife, sons with their wives and children, unmarried daughters, and slaves – Legal age to marry: girls – 12 and boys – 14 – Families with no sons could adopt boys to be heirs

48 Education – The upper classes placed great importance on education – The father was the chief figure in providing for the education of his children 1) teach them himself, 2) hire a tutor, or 3) send them to exclusive schools Women – Women could do little without the intervention of a male guardian – Could own and inherit property – Could attend races, the theater, and events in the Colosseum, but had to sit in separate female sections

49 Achievements – Galen – Roman physician who wrote several volumes that summarized all the medical knowledge of his time Was regarded as the greatest authority on medicine for centuries – Ptolemy – stated that the earth was the center of the universe – Aqueducts – man-made channels used to bring water to the cities


51 Decline and Fall of Rome Political problems – Weak leaders – Political upheaval – series of civil wars Military dictatorship – army deposed emperors and elevated their own leaders Between 235 to 284 there were 20 emperors, all but one died violently Economic problems – Economic crisis – decline in trade and farming – Military needs required emperors to raise taxes – As taxes rose, the value of money declined

52 Emperors minted new coins with copper and lead instead of the same amount of silver People didn’t believe the money was worth the same – The result was growing inflation = dramatic rise in prices Military Problems – Difficult to pay and enlist more soldiers, had to rely on hiring Germans to fight Had little loyalty to the Empire Plague – Disease weakened the Roman Empire – Not enough soldiers or farmers to harvest crops

53 Invaders – Invading Germanic tribes, mostly enter Roman territory to flee from the Huns Huns = feared nomadic warriors from Asia Visigoths – crossed the Danube river into Italy Vandals – came into Italy from north Africa – Sacking of Rome 410 the Visigoths plunder Rome 455 the Vandals sack Rome – Famous for destroying everything in their path – Vandal = “one who causes senseless destruction” The Huns were talked out of attacking Rome by Pope Leo I

54 Fall of Rome – 476 – the last emperor of Rome was deposed by the Germanic commander Odoacer – Many consider this to be the end of the Western Roman Empire Division of the Roman Empire – To slow the empire’s decline, emperors Diocletian and Constantine divided the empire into two parts – Western Roman Empire – capital at Rome Destroyed in 476 – Eastern Roman Empire – capital at Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople Lasted another thousand years, becomes known as the Byzantine Empire



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