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ANCIENT ROME. ROME’S BEGINNINGS. The Capitoline Wolf sculpture depicts a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, Rome's legendary founders. Now a symbol of Rome. Legends.

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rome s beginnings

The Capitoline Wolf sculpture depicts a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, Rome's legendary founders. Now a symbol of Rome.


Much of Rome’s early history comes from legends. The legends may not be totally accurate but are useful in giving the qualities and values the early Romans admired.


Founder of Rome in 753 BCE

First of seven kings

Started Rome’s first army and government

numa pompilius
Numa Pompilius

Rome’s second king

Brought peace to Rome

Founded Rome’s religion


Rome’s powerful neighbors to the north from Etruria

Were wealthy traders

Controlled Rome from 575 – 509 BCE

Gave the Romans their alphabet and the “arch”

Rome becomes a walled city with paved roads

Built Circus Maximus, Temple of Jupiter, Cloaca Maxima

tarquin the proud
Tarquin the Proud

Seventh and last king

Was cruel and terrorized his people

Ignored the Senate

509 BCE Romans rebel and send him into exile


Rome was a city-state in Italy

2)Rome’s climate is a Mediterranean climate with summers being hot and dry and winters being wet and mild


Built on hills – made it hard to attack

On Tiber River – transportation route, resources

15 miles from the sea – safe from others’ navies and storms

Center of Italy – could easily get to other places in Italy and in the Mediterranean


Mare Nostrum means “our sea” – eventually Rome controls all of the lands around the Mediterranean Sea


The upper class – wealthy landowners

Very small group – 5% of the population

Chose the king’s advisors

Controlled the most valuable land, held the key military and religious offices


The lower class – peasants, laborers, artisans, shopkeepers

Very large group – 95% of the population

Very few privileges and say

Paid most of the taxes and served in the army.


A Republic form of government’s purpose is to serve the people. It was established in Rome when the Patricians overthrew the last monarch/king Tarquin the Proud because King Tarquin wanted more power and was cruel.

The Conflict of the Orders is when the Plebeians demanded more political rights because the Patricians were controlling almost everything since Tarquin’s removal.

some major differences between the patricians and the plebeians
Some Major Differences Between the Patricians and the Plebeians
  • Patricians could only be consuls or senators, they made and interpreted the laws, small group, wealthy, etc.
  • Plebeians paid the heavy taxes, were the soldiers, had no political powers, were the labor force, large group

The conflict between the Plebeians and the Patricians was resolved over time by the Plebeians would leave Rome and refuse to work or serve in the military and the Patricians would compromise with the Plebeians by giving them some power and say in the government each time this happened.

Rights gained by the Plebeians over the years:
  • Tribunes of the Plebs to represent their interests to the Senate
  • Council of Plebs that could make laws only about themselves
  • All laws were written down – The Twelve Tables
  • One consul had to be a plebeian – in this way it was possible for a plebeian to become a senator
  • Eventually could make laws that everyone (patricians and plebeians) must obey/follow
  • One patrician and one plebeian
  • Head/leaders of the Republic
  • Run the day to day affairs of Rome and command its army
  • Three hundred patricians and ex-plebeian consuls
  • They can make and veto laws about everyone
  • Advised the consuls
tribunes of the plebs
Tribunes of the Plebs
  • Ten plebeians who represent plebeian interests to the senate
  • Advised the consuls
  • They can make and veto laws about everyone
citizens assemblies
Citizens Assemblies
  • Made up of all adult male Roman citizens
  • Nominated people to be the consuls, to be members of the senate, and to be a Tribunes of the Plebs
  • Approved or rejected all new laws

took great pride in their Republic and

  • defended it
  • treated conquered groups as allies
  • the Roman army was disciplined and
  • experienced
  • military success was greatly valued and
  • admired by Romans
  • winning wars was a great source of wealth
  • to the Romans – land, valuables, slaves, etc.

farmers would be gone a long time fighting

  • wealthy were controlling all of the land
  • there were many poor and unemployed people
  • in Rome
  • Roman leaders quarreled and, at times, killed
  • one another
  • 5) the slaves rebelled

Rapid expansion of the Roman Empire


Gap between the rich and poor grows


Greedy, dishonest leaders


The poor felt no loyalty to the Roman government who was keeping them poor


The poor felt no loyalty to the Roman government who was keeping them poor


Conflicts between rich and poor people grow


Professional soldiers who were poor citizens and only made money if they won a battle


Soldiers only loyal to the generals who paid them


Power hungry generals fight one another for control of government


Caesar’s rivals fear he is becoming too powerful and declare him a public enemy


Caesar crosses the Rubicon River and brings his army with him to Rome


Civil War breaks out for three years


Caesar defeats Pompey and declares himself dictator


This ends the Republican system of government in Rome