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6 th grade ubd unit 7 geography and economy of ancient rome

6th Grade UBD - Unit 7 - Geography and Economy of Ancient Rome

Geography and Economy of Ancient Rome


  • Where was Rome- Rome grew from a city in central Italy to a huge empire that included parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia.

  • Location Leads to Expansion- Rome’s location and geography gave it advantages that other locations did not have.

  • Roman Roads and Coins- Roman coins and roads helped make trade and travel much easier during the Roman Empire.

Reach into your background
Reach Into Your Background

  • Roman soldiers were often used as labor on large construction projects. The many roads built by the Romans were just one of the reasons they were able to build a strong and long-lasting empire. Explain what role roads played in shaping the United States. ( 5 minutes)

Partner activity
Partner Activity

  • Work with a neighbor and compare your answer with theirs. What things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)

Key ideas where was rome
Key Ideas- Where was Rome?

  • Rome was founded along the Tiber River in the center of the Italian peninsula.

  • The Roman Empire extended as far north as modern-day Great Britain and Scotland.

  • The empire extended as far southwest as the country of Morocco and as far east as the country of Syria.

  • The Roman Empire began as a small city in central Italy but expanded greatly over hundreds of years.

Key term
Key Term

Rome- The capital city in Italy, was founded in 753 BCE. Rome rose to become the capital of an entire empire comprising almost all of current-day Europe.

Key term1
Key Term

Italy- A peninsula on the north coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the southern part of Europe. The Alps form the country's northern border, and the Apennine mountain range runs down its length.

The beginning of the roman civilization
The Beginning of the Roman Civilization

Video- The Beginning of the Roman Civilization

The founding of rome
The Founding of Rome

  • Roman civilization had an enormous impact on the world, as the Roman Empire expanded and conquered much of modern-day Europe and the Middle East and parts of North Africa.

  • For more than 1,000 years, Rome ruled this part of the world.

The founding of rome1
The Founding of Rome

  • Rome is located in the center of modern-day Italy on a peninsula, which is a piece of land surrounded by water on three sides. This peninsula stretches into the Mediterranean Sea.

The founding of rome2
The Founding of Rome

  • Over time different towns joined together to form the city of Rome.

  • In 509 BCE, the Roman Republic formed, and the city eventually became the political center of a large empire.

Natural benefits
Natural Benefits

  • The geography and climate helped the different towns develop into a city and then into an empire.

  • Mountains protected Rome from attack.

  • A warm climate allowed year-round farming. 

Key term2
Key Term

Weather- The state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.

Key term3
Key Term

Climate- The weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period.

Rome s natural sites
Rome’s Natural Sites

Reading Handout- Reading Handout- Rome's Natural Sites

Key ideas location leads to expansion
Key Ideas- Location Leads to Expansion

  • Rome’s location on the Tiber River in central Italy meant that it could easily sail in the Mediterranean to trade with other places.

  • The mountains and hills of Italy helped keep Romans safe from attacks.

  • Rome’s warm climate made it a good place for farming, which meant that Romans had plenty of food. Rome’s location and climate made it an excellent location for growing grains and other crops.

  • Rome’s geographic conditions helped it to develop a trade-based economy. It also made it easier for Rome to extend throughout the Mediterranean region.

Rome s waterways
Rome’s Waterways

  • Access to freshwater allowed Romans to irrigate their crops, increasing agricultural output.

  • Proximity to waterways made trade easier, helping the economy grow.

Rome s waterways1
Rome’s Waterways

  • Like many other ancient civilizations, Rome’s farmers depended on a major river.

  • The Tiber River provided them with fresh water.

  • The Romans used the water to irrigate their farms.

Rome s waterways2
Rome’s Waterways

  • The Tiber also provided drinking water for humans and animals.

  • However, unlike many other civilizations, Rome did not develop in the river’s delta.

Rome s waterways3
Rome’s Waterways

  • Rome began about 15 miles from where the Tiber River empties into the Mediterranean Sea. This distance gave Rome extra protection.

  • Its enemies had to move inland from the coast to reach the city.

  • However, Rome was still close enough to the sea that Romans could use the river to get to the Mediterranean.

Rome s waterways4
Rome’s Waterways

  • As the empire got bigger, Roman farmers could not grow enough food to feed the larger population.

  • Rome imported wheat from North Africa and olive oil from Spain.

  • Trade became important for the Roman food supply.

Key term4
Key Term

Import- Bringing goods or services into a country from abroad for sale.

Key term5
Key Term

Export- Sending goods or services to another country for sale.

Key ideas roman roads and coins
Key Ideas- Roman Roads and Coins

  • Romans built thousands of miles of roads and bridges. Soldiers, messengers, and traders throughout the empire used them.

  • Romans had such advanced building skills that some of their roads still exist today.

  • Romans made coins that were used for trade throughout the empire. These coins showed pictures of Roman rulers, gods, and goddesses.

  • The development of roads made travel and trade throughout the empire easier. This helped Rome to expand its influence and empire.

All roads lead to rome
All Roads Lead to Rome

Video- All Roads Lead to Rome

Roman roads and bridges
Roman Roads and Bridges

  • Roman emperors stressed road building as a way to increase trade, strengthening the economy, and as a way to move armies, increasing the capability of the empire to conquer even farther-flung lands.

Roman roads
Roman Roads

  • The phrase “all roads lead to Rome” is a reminder that Roman roads connected the whole empire to the capital.

  • These roads show the strength of Roman engineering.

Roman roads1
Roman Roads

  • The roads were built of several different layers. Often, the top layers were paved.

  • The Romans also built drainage ditches along the sides of the roads. The ditches kept water from damaging the roads.

  • Some parts of this road system are still used in Europe and the Middle East.

Roman bridges
Roman Bridges

  • In addition to roads, Romans also built many bridges.

  • The bridges helped Romans reach territories that were separated by rivers and other bodies of water.

  • These bridges were made of stone.

Key term6
Key Term

Monetary System- Anything that is generally accepted as a standard of value and a measure of wealth in a particular country or region.

Coin minting
Coin Minting

Reading Handout- Coin Minting

Monetary system
Monetary System

  • The development of metal coins used as money to increase the economic power of the empire.

  • The common monetary system used throughout the Roman Empire made it easy and efficient to trade with far-flung territories.

Monetary system1
Monetary System

  • The Romans made coins out of gold, silver, and other metals.

  • The coins were worth different amounts based on the different metals from which they were made.

Monetary system2
Monetary System

  • The Romans had coins of several different values.

  • Like today, the government guaranteed the value of the coins.

Monetary system3
Monetary System

  • The decorations on Roman coins, many of which are still in existence, show present-day historians and archaeologists details of life in the Roman Empire.

Field trip to the money factory
Field Trip to the Money Factory

Video- Field Trip to the Money Factory


  • Achievements such as roads, bridges, and coins helped Romans develop trade networks that allowed them to grow rich and helped to unify the empire.

Independent activity
Independent Activity

  • What has been the “muddiest” point so far in this lesson? That is, what topic remains the least clear to you? (4 minutes)

Partner activity1
Partner Activity

  • Work with a neighbor and compare your muddiest point with theirs. Compare what things are the same and what things are different? (3 minutes)