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Roman Culture and Society. Chapter 5, Section 3. standards. 5.9.pi1 - list inventions, innovations, and other technological developments and incorporate the idea of change in the realms of communications, transportation, production, and lifestyle ,

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Roman culture and society

Roman Culture and Society

Chapter 5, Section 3


  • 5.9.pi1 - list inventions, innovations, and other technological developments and incorporate the idea of change in the realms of communications, transportation, production, and lifestyle,

  • 5.10.pi3 - analyze the evolution of the political, economic, and social status of women

  • 5.1 - describe the major historical eras and major events associated with those eras from the beginnings of civilization through the modern world.

Roman arts and literature
Roman arts and literature

  • Roman military shipped artwork back to Rome after their many conquests.

  • The Romans used this as a model for their artwork.

Art and architecture
Art and architecture

  • Romans borrowed styles of art from the Greeks.

  • The Romans however, produced more realistic artwork.

  • Romans excelled in architecture.

  • Known for curved forms: arch, vault, dome and using large amounts of concrete.

  • Supreme builders constructed roads, bridges, and aqueducts.

Roman architecture
Roman architecture

The Coliseum


  • Golden age of Latin literature came during the Age of Augustus.

  • Virgil – wrote Aeneid to honor Rome after Augustus took over.

  • Primary Source – pg. 161

  • Horace – writes Satires – weakness of humans.


  • Livy – wrote “The Early History of Rome” – 142 books – he saw history in terms of moral lessons.

  • Stories reveled character of the chief figures and demonstrated the virtues tat makes Rome great.

  • Problem 1 – He told a good story, but was not factually accurate.

Reading check
Reading Check

  • Why are Livy’s histories considered important to historians?

  • Livy’s histories reveal Roman values

    (5-9.pi1 – developments and change in the Roman Empire)

Life in ancient rome
Life in ancient rome

  • Roman family social structure – paterfamiles = dominant male.

  • Romans raised their children at home – boys and girls had to learn to read.

  • Father chose how to educate the children.

  • At age 16 – childhood ended for the boys at a special ceremony. Boys would exchange for their purple edged toga for a white one.

Life in ancient rome1
Life in ancient rome

  • Fathers would arrange marriages for their daughters.

  • Girls could marry at 12 but on average they were 14.

  • Males could marry at 14 but it was usually much later.

  • Early on divorce was not allowed but eventually this changed. Men or Women could ask for a divorce.

  • As time passed, the paterfamilia broke down and males absolute authority was no longer.

Life in ancient rome2
Life in ancient Rome

  • Women had considerable rights in Rome – own, inherit, and sell property.

  • Women could go out by themselves but in certain places there was women only sections.

  • Women could not participate in politics but they their influence was seen through their husbands.

    (5.10.pi3 – social status of women)

Slavery and revolts
Slavery and revolts

  • Slavery was common and heavily relied on by the Romans.

  • Most early slaves were taken but after many conquests prisoners were brought back.

  • Greek slaves were in high demand.

  • Horrible treatment – cheaper to let a slave die than to help them.

  • Slaves revolted but if a slave was caught he and all of the other slaves were killed.


  • Led a revolt of 70,000 slaves. He was eventually killed and 6,000 of his followers were crucified.

I am Spartacus

Living conditions
Living conditions

  • Capital city of Rome – close to 1 million people.

  • Rome was 2 sided – beautiful city and noisy city.

  • Walking in Rome was extremely dangerous – cart and wagon traffic was kept to nighttime only.

  • Crime was also extremely rampant in Rome.

  • There was a large gap between the rich and the poor.

Living conditions1
Living conditions

  • The poor lived in insulae – 6 stories high and was mostly made of wood.

  • Fire was a consistent threat and high rent forced many families to live together.

  • Rome had a HUGE problem – Emperors had given the poor free grain (200,000) and free entertainment.

  • 3 types of entertainment: Horse/Chariot Races – Dramatic shows – gladiatorial shows.

Reading check1
Reading Check

  • Why did the Roman emperors provide free grain to the poor?

  • There would be riots if people were starving.

Decline and fall
Decline and Fall

Chapter 5, Section 5

The decline
The decline

  • After Marcus Aurelius died – conflict, confusion, and civil wars followed.

Problems and upheavals
Problems and upheavals

  • Following the civil wars – a military government took control.

  • The Roman throne was occupied by whoever could sieze it.

  • For the next 50 years – Rome had 2 emperors.

  • Eventually the Persians and Germanic tribes flooded into Roman land.

  • Rome was heading to full on economic collapse.

Problems and upheavals1
Problems and upheavals

  • Plague also caused a labor shortage and hurt military recruitment.

  • Rome was slowly declining and was desperately need of help.


  • Before Rome fell totally dead in the water 2 emperors provided a new lease on life.

  • Diocletian and Constantine provided a new rigid social structure and economic system.

  • They also focused on the new state religion – Christianity.

  • Diocletian knew the empire was too large and divided it up into 4 units.

Final 2 emperors
Final 2 emperors




  • Constantine expanded Diocletian's policies and constructed a new capital city – Constantinople.

  • While their reforms were great it drained public funds and no new tax money was coming in.

  • To prevent inflation Diocletian issues a price edict but it did not work.

  • The next step was to keep working in family jobs – certain jobs became hereditary.

  • Ultimately, Constantine and Diocletian policies were based on control and coercion.

Reading check2
Reading Check

  • Describe the conditions in Roman Empire prior to Diocletian and Constantine.

  • Civil war, invasions, conflict, confusion, and plague.

    (5.1 – major historical events in the Roman era)

The fall
The fall

  • Constantine and Diocletian enjoyed early success but it did not last for a long period of time.

  • The restored empire limped along but continued to be divided into the western and eastern empire.

  • The western empire faced increased pressure from Germanic Tribes (Visigoths)

Germanic tribes
Germanic tribes

  • Huns pressured Germanic Visigoths in Eastern Europe.

  • The Visigoths then sacked Rome.

  • The Vandals followed the Visigoths and continued to sack Rome.

  • Huns, Visigoths, Vandals – Invaders of Rome

  • Western Empire falls when Romulus Augustulus is deposed.


  • There are multiple theories about the fall of Rome:

    • 1. Christianity weakened Roman military virtues

    • 2. Traditional Roman values declined when non-Italians gained prominence.

    • 3. Lead poisoning caused mental decline.

    • 4. Plague wiped out 1/10 of population

    • 5. No technological advance due to slavery.

    • 6. No workable political system

  • No one explanation fits but all have some form of truth.


A different perspective of the fall of Rome