The Roman Republic & Its Downfall. Crucial Questions: A.) How could such a tiny city-state conquer the Mediterranean region? B.) Why did the Republic fall? C.) Can we draw comparisons from the development and fall of the Roman Republic to the United States today?
A.) How could such a tiny city-state conquer the Mediterranean region?
B.) Why did the Republic fall?
C.) Can we draw comparisons from the development and fall of the Roman
Republic to the United States today?
D.) What key contributions did Rome make to the modern world?
E.) What are the key items of cultural literacy from Rome that we need to know?
Watercolor (18th century), Giuseppe Becchetti
-Rome: “The First Romans”
Building Programs (the Forum)
-Influence on Romans:
the arch, alphabet
-Southern Italy and Sicily
-Influence on Romans:
art, architecture, literature, ..government, engineering
-Tiber River & Mediterranean Sea
-Fertile Soil & Strategic LocationAncient Italy(c. 6th century B.C.)
Does this have a role in America too?
The ideal of the citizen/soldier/farmer was Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. According to Roman legend, Cincinnatus was tending his farm when a messenger arrived, telling him that Rome was under attack and that he had been elected dictator He was at first reluctant to go, but the Senate pleaded with him. He defeated the enemy tribe within a matter of weeks and then returned to his farm.
And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love
Equal Power is not present in the new republic
The plebeians were the merchants, farmers, and artisans of Rome. They were allowed to vote, but only Patricians were allowed in the senate. In 471BC, the plebeians elected a tribune. Ten men represented the plebeians against any political oppression by the consuls or the patricians. By 287BC, the laws passed by the plebeians were binding for all Romans, including the patricians.
The senate met in the Forum, a marketplace in the valley among the hills that surround Rome. The senators would rule on the military and foreign affairs, but the tribunes protected the rights of the plebeians. When a tribune objected to a law, he would shout “veto.” Veto means “I forbid” in Latin, the language of the Romans. If enough tribunes objected, they could stop the law from passing
"One more such victory and I shall be lost!"
From its origins as a trading port, Carthage became the Mediterranean’s ultimate city, enjoying the best luxuries available – precious metals, jewels and spices all poured into Carthage’s harbours. Carthage was a city of magnificent temples, glittering palaces and luxury houses lived in by the rich merchant classes who benefited from Carthage’s trade. Their town houses were up to six storeys high, built around central courtyards. They also had private estates in the countryside around the city, with large houses and gardens backing on to extensive plantations that benefited from complex irrigation systems. Herds of cattle and flocks of sheep pastured on the surrounding plains.
Read about Carthaginian Child Sacrifice:
Carthage’s main port contained two linked harbours, with a common entrance from the sea 70 feet wide, which could be closed with iron chains. The first harbour was rectangular and used by merchant vessels, while the second was circular and designed for military use. Its shipyards and dry docks had a capacity for 220 ships. The central island rose to a considerable height, allowing Carthaginian commanders to observe what was going on at sea, while approaching ships had no clear view of what lay within. A double wall enclosed the docks of the circular harbor, and gates allowed merchant ships to move into the city without crossing the naval dockyards. Archaeologists have discovered that the harbors were built, or at least restored, as late as 150 BC. So Carthage really was expanding rapidly in the last years of Punic rule.Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.)Three Wars between Rome and Carthage
Carthage was the predominate trading
Power in the Mediterranean and an heir
Of the great Phoenician Civilization.
Because Carthage was primarily a trading city, with much of its trade route going over seas, Carthage had a huge navy of more than 130 strong and big ships. However, Carthage did not have a large or skilled army. Carthage used its treasury to pay mercenaries, most of which were from the neighboring Numidia, however, this meant the soldiers were less loyal to Carthage. Before Rome could expand over seas, it would have to establish a navy in a hurry. Different stories tell of a wrecked Carthaginian ship that washed up along Roman shorelines. Quickly, the Romans copied this new ship design, building about 160 ships. This gave the Romans an advantage in the number of ships.
• Romans built their first navy
• Carthaginian navy suffered its first defeat;
• Carthage was invaded for the first time; the Roman army was thrashed and the consul Regulus taken captive and tortured to death; yet the Romans demonstrated their ability to accomplish a monumental task in a short time; and the superiority of a patriot force (Roman) over a mercenary army (Carthage) was established. Though the Romans also gained Sardinia, Hamilcar ["He whom Melkart (a deity) protects"] Barca (the surname means "lightning") took a new Carthaginian force to Spain, where he proceeded to reconquer lost territories there.
The First Punic War (264 BC - 241 BC) • Festering Rivalry Carthage, a • Band of non-allied mercenaries
attacked Sicily, the Carthaginians
responded with force
• Romans claimed Sicily as their
own province and attacked.
and complete the activity for extra credit. Bring it proof
that you did the activity.
For Carthage, a peace even more humiliating than in 241 BC followed. Its navy was left with just 12 triremes (warships), all overseas territories were lost (including Spain) and reparations of 10,000 talents were to be paid over 50 years. The bulk of the navy was burned in full view of the Carthaginians. Hannibal, who had spent virtually all his life outside Carthage, became involved in Punic politics, but fell out favour and went into exile. In 183 BC, with Rome eager to capture him, he took poison to avoid surrendering to his life-long enemy
By 151 BC, Carthage had paid the last of the indemnity payments and, Rome noticed, was enjoying a renewed prosperity. Marcus Portius Cato, a powerful Roman orator, started talking up the threat of Carthage, catching the popular mood. His speeches always ended with one phrase: ‘Delenda est Kathago’ – ‘Carthage must be destroyed!’ When, in 150, Carthage declared war on King Masinissa of Numidia, an act prohibited by the 201 BC peace treaty, Rome declared war on Carthage. The Third Punic War comprised a prolonged siege of the city, starting in 149 BC. It took longer than the Romans expected, but by 146 BC, they were able to order the final assault. The defences of the city were breached, the temples sacked and the obliteration began. It was a gruesome end. Fire spread throughout the city for six days, and thousands were killed. Finally, 50,000 Carthaginians surrendered, to be sold into slavery. According to the city’s foundation myths, Dido burned herself on a pyre as her lover Aeneas left for Italy to found Rome. In 146 BC, the wife of the Punic leader Hasdrubal threw herself and her children in the flames of the burning temple as the city collapsed. It was the end of the Third Punic War, and it was the end of Carthage.
Why were the Romans able to conquer Italy & the Mediterranean World?Do you think the Roman Republic owed its success more to its form of government, or its army? Why?
Why did Carthage Lose?
Hannibal was never defeated in a single important battle during 16 years in Italy, but the momentum of his early victories didn’t last. He had anticipated that many cities, with grievances against Rome, would readily switch allegiance. However, although he was successful in persuading Gallic tribes to support him, few Italian cities defected to the Punic cause. Rome was particularly well equipped to fight a war on several fronts, which left the Carthaginians struggling to recruit enough mercenaries. Without a major port under Punic control, getting fresh supplies of men and food was a logistical nightmare. Apathy among the Carthaginian leadership also worked against Hannibal: only one draft of reinforcements ever reached him in Italy. Capturing Sicily could have provided grain as well as ports, but Rome retained control of the island. Rome’s assimilation of its former enemies was a brilliant achievement, and one reason why Hannibal was so unsuccessful at persuading Italian cities to support him. They had become part of the Roman world, with a depth of loyalty that the Carthaginians simply couldn’t understand.
In Rome’s aggressive bid to become the ruling power of the Mediterranean, the Carthaginians were its most celebrated victims. But they weren’t alone – Rome and its mighty military machine took on one state after another. In the same year that Carthage was destroyed, Rome also conquered and destroyed Corinth.
The newly rich, who prospered with the extension of trade and empire, resented their exclusion from power by the old aristocracy. The urban poor, who had increasingly gathered in Rome in growing numbers as large estates and slave labor displace free peasant farmers, are increasingly discontented. And the army, now more numerous, independent and powerful than ever, is giving birth to new generations of military leaders, who are happy to use the personal loyalty of their troops to pursue their political ambitions.
What went wrong?
Great Expansion in the beginning was beneficial to the Republic but as the
territory increased the provinces became a burden or changed the Roman way
1. War Reparations Decreased
2. Higher Taxes because of the cost to conquer and administer the provinces Caused Inflation
3 Too Many People and Not Enough Food (Hannibal Destroyed Many of the Fields as He Ravaged Throughout the Land)
4. Nobles Gained Power Which Means the Assembly of Tribes and Administration Had less Power.
5. Corruption was widespread. Officials Stole and Became Wealthy. Especially in the Provinces
a. The Proconsuls received no salary and were only in office 1 year so they took bribes.
b. Publicans (tax collectors) had a fixed sum to collect and whatever they collected over this amount they kept.
6. No One Took Care of the Fields (Too Many Men off to Protect the Expanding Republic)
7. The Roman government owned much of the land in the new provinces and leased it in very large estates called latifundia which also decreased the role of the citizen- farmer. When they returned from wars their farms were in disrepair and they often moved to the cities. (unequal distribution of the wealth causes economic problems.)
8. The new wealthy class (traders and merchants) had little political power.
9. People were judged for their wealth instead of their character.
10. Real reformers murdered or silenced to protect the wealth of the rich
a. Gracchus's brothers murdered (133 & 121)
Slavery accounted for roughly every third person in Italy. Slaves were liable to extreme and arbitrary punishment from their owners; while the death penalty for free Romans was rarely invoked (and humanely executed), slaves were routinely crucified. In the previous century, two slave revolts, both on Sicily, had been put down at the cost of tens of thousands of lives.
Slaves began doing the work and the Romans became dependant on them and curtailed their ability to become citizens. The slaves often revolted caused continued stress on the economic and political systems.
The Gracchus' reforms were motivated by their observation that military service had ruined many small farmersThe End of the RepublicDevelopment of the Professional Army
Marius Creates a professional army
People drawn largely from the poor from the cities, being a soldier was a profession, a career, rather than a duty performed to Rome.State begins to pay for weapons, healthcare etc. for soldiers.
Does this change the goals of the state?
However questionable their political tactics at times were, the brothers Gracchus were to show up a fundamental flaw in the way Roman society was conducting itself. Running an army with less and less conscripts to oversee an expanding empire was not sustainable. And the creation of ever greater numbers of urban poor was a threat to the stability of Rome itself.
Most important creations: arch, baked brick, acqueducts, and use of cement (if a society can only introduce one invention, it could do no better than this.) City planning--water, lead pipes, sewage, fire protection, Water mills (late in Empire)