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The City of Rome In The Late Republic ‘A Ruin...But What A Ruin!!!- Lord Byron
Focus Questions • 1) Why is the city of Rome so important and why do we study it? • 2) What is the geographical setting of Rome and how did this influence the development of the city? • 3) What was the early history of Rome and how was the city established? • 4) What were the major religious, political and government buildings? • 5) What can be learned about drainage and waterworks? • 6) What has been revealed about leisure activities and entertainment?
The life of Brian • Reg – All right, but apart from sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, freshwater system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us? • Xerxes – Brought Peace? • Reg – What? Oh...(scornfully) Peace. Shut up!!!
Discussion Topics • Rome wasn’t built in a day • All roads lead to Rome • When in Rome, do as the Romans do • The ‘Eternal City’ • These are all common sayings that people use in everyday conversation. What do you think is meant by each one?
Geographical features Shape of the Land • Rome is situated on the West coast of Italy • About half-way down the Italian Peninsula • Peninsula is shaped like a boot and juts into the Mediterranean • Similar in land mass and size to New Zealand • Aprox. 1046km long and is no more than 200km wide • Apennines runs the length of the peninsula like a backbone • West coast is fertile plains, traversed by the rivers of Arno and Tiber
Geographical Features Con. Climate • Mild winters, and hot summers with moderate annual rainfall Vegetation • In ancient times, the mountain slopes were covered with thick forests with wild beasts e.g bears, deer, foxes and wolves • It is a volcanic region with Mt Etna, Mt Vesuvius and Mt Stromboli • As a result, the soil is very fertile
When establishing a settlement, what important features are vital for the settlement to survive? • Clean water supply • Food source nearby • Decent soil • Flat, open land • Hills/high ground for defence • Ports for the ships to harbour
Source 1 • ...on the banks of a copious and smooth-flowing river with a broad estuary on the sea...a site with a good supply of springs and healthy, though in an unhealthy district: for there are hills which themselves catch the breezes and also provide shade for the valleys – Cicero, On The Republic, UrbsRomana • What advantages of the site are cited by Cicero?
Source 2 • Not without reason did gods and men choose this spot for the site of a city- the salubrious hills, the river to bring us produce from inland regions and seaborne commerce from abroad, the sea itself, near enough convenience yet not so far as to bring danger from foreign fleets, our situation in the very heart of Italy- all these advantages make itof all the places in the world the best for a city destined to grow great. – Livy 5.54.4, 1) What advantages does Livy list that Cicero doesn’t? 2) Livy states that Rome is well situated in the very heart if Italy. Why is this geographic position so important?
Tiber River Source This cannot have been the result of a mere accident. The Tiber was the natural highway for the traffic of Latium; and its mouth, on a coast scantly provided with harbours, became necessarily the anchorage of seafarers. Moreover, the Tiber formed from very ancient times the frontier defence of the Latin stock against their northern neighbours. There was no place better fitted for an emporium of the Latin river and sea traffic, and for a maritime frontier fortress of Latium, than Rome. It combined the advantages of: • a strong position and of immediate vicinity to the river • it commanded both banks of the stream down to it’s mouth • it was so situated that as to be equally convenient for the river navigator descending the Tiber or the Arno, and for the seafarer with vessels of so moderate size as those which were then used • it afforded greater protection from pirates than places situated immediately on the coast. T. Mommsen, The History of Rome, Book 1, Chapter 4
Tiber River Source Questions • 1) What does Mommsen see as the strategic advantages of the site of Rome? • 2)Mommsen mentions ‘northern neighbours’. Who do you think these were? • 3) The word ‘emporium’ means a place to trade or commercial centre. What does this suggest about the site and the role of the Tiber? • 4) Why was the site so suited for commerce?
The Seven Hills of Rome • In ancient times, there were seven distinct and steep hills (not mountains) with valleys between and streams flowing down into the Tiber. • Archaeologists have found settlements on some of the hills and suggest they were fortified • Aventinus, Palatium, Caelius, Quirnalis, Capitolinus, Viminalis, Esquilinus • Many of the hills were associated with different uses E.g Capitoline was the fortified stronghold of the city and later became the religious centre of the city.