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Rome – Growth of an Empire

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1 Rome – Growth of an Empire

2 Fight for Power By 350 BCE, the Romans began to extend their rule beyond their city. The power of Rome soon came in contact with Carthage – in Northern Africa. After a series of three wars known as the Punic Wars, Rome, the winner, became the dominant force in the Mediterranean.

3 A Shaky Republic The Roman Republic ruled vast amounts of territory for nearly 500 years. However, the republic began to fall apart. Senators corrupt and abusing their power Citizens felt their voices were not being heard Generals were competing for power

4 Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar was a popular general and consul, who won battles and new territory for Rome. Caesar was so powerful, that in 45 BCE, he took his army into the city of Rome to “restore order and pride for Roman citizens”. The Senate was coerced into appointing Caesar dictator for 10 years. On March 15, 44 BCE, afraid of his increasing power, members of the Senate assassinated Julius Caesar.

5 Civil War Breaks Out Power was left to Octavian, Caesar’s nephew – Marc Antony, Caesar’s friend contested this decision. In 41 BCE, Marc Antony fled to Egypt where he joined forces with Cleopatra. Antony & Cleopatra’s forces were defeated by Octavian’s forces – and they each committed suicide (30 BCE) rather than being captured.

6 An Empire Is Born By 27 BCE, Octavian became more powerful than Julius Caesar. Octavian kept the Senate happy by working with them. He changed his name to “Augustus” – meaning exalted one, or powerful position. Although Rome still had representatives, power rested the hands of an emperor, who took the title “Caesar”, in honor of Julius Caesar.

7 Rome Under Augustus Augustus ruled the Roman Empire for more than 40 years – known as the Augustan Age. During this time, the empire continued to expand and protect its land. The powerful Roman army defeated one enemy after another. Soldiers were well trained. These forces were divided into legions, army units that numbered about 6,000 men each. The legions were divided into smaller units that could be moved swiftly. As Rome’s population grew, its army also expanded in size and strength. Under the leaderships of ambitious generals, Rome’s highly trained soldiers set out to conquer new territories one by one. Rome now controlled all the land around the Mediterranean and into western Europe and Britain.

8 The Augustan Age Architects and engineers built new public buildings, baths, arenas, temples, amphitheaters, the colosseum, aqueducts, lighthouses, and roads. To bring new treasures home – and to keep control over the empire – Rome built a communications network of roads and ships. Throughout the empire trade increased: olive oil, wine, pottery, marble, grain, glass, horses. Literature became a focus with the epic poem the Aeneid by Virgil - about the founding of Rome. Augustus succeeded in bringing peace and wise leadership to Rome and her conquered lands or provinces. Locals customs were not changed making Roman domination less painful. For the next 200 years – some emperors continued these policies. These were good times for citizens of Rome. The came to be known as the “Pax Romana” or Roman Peace.

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