From republic to empire
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From Republic to Empire. SS.6.W.3.8,9&12. The 1st Period of Expansion: 509-264 B.C.E. At the start of this period, Rome was still just a tiny republic, or democracy, in central Italy. The 1 st period of expansion included more than 200 years of almost constant warfare.

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From republic to empire

From Republic to Empire


The 1st period of expansion 509 264 b c e
The 1st Period of Expansion: 509-264 B.C.E

  • At the start of this period, Rome was still just a tiny republic, or democracy, in central Italy.

  • The 1st period of expansion included more than 200 years of almost constant warfare.

  • During this time, Rome gradually took control of the entire Italian peninsula by conquering some city-states and signing treaties with others.

The 1 st period of expansion continued
The 1st Period of Expansion Continued

  • As Rome’s territory grew, the city had to keep a large, permanent army to defend it and the conquered lands.

  • As a result, more and more Romans were forced to serve in the army.

  • Most of the soldiers were plebeians.

  • This was one reason for the struggle between the plebeians and the patricians you learned about in the last chapter!

The 2 nd period of expansion 264 146 b c e
The 2nd Period of Expansion: 264-146 B.C.E

  • The Greek cities in southern Italy had frequently clashed with Carthage, a powerful city in North Africa, over trading rights.

  • During Rome’s 2nd period of expansion, it fought 3 savage wars with Carthage which became known as the Punic Wars.

  • Punic was the Greek name for the people of Carthage.

The first punic war
The First Punic War

  • The 1st Punic War began in 264 B.C.E. and was fought mostly at sea.

  • Carthage had a very powerful navy, but the Romans built up their own by copying and improving on the Carthaginians’ ship designs.

  • A decisive victory at sea in 241 B.C.E. won the war for the Romans who took Sicily and some other islands.

The second punic war
The Second Punic War

  • The 2nd Punic War began 23 years later when the Carthaginians attacked Italy.

  • In 218 B.C.E., Hannibal, a brilliant Carthaginian general, surprised the Romans by marching his army from Spain across the Alps into Italy using elephants for transportation!

  • Hannibal was eventually defeated, and Carthage was forced to give Spain to Rome along with a huge sum of money.

The third punic war
The Third Punic War

  • 50 years later, Rome attacked Carthage and sparked the 3rd Punic War which lasted 3 years.

  • In 146 B.C.E., the Romans burned Carthage to the ground.

  • They killed many people and sold others into slavery.

  • Rome was now the greatest power in the Mediterranean controlling North Africa, Spain, Macedonia, and Greece.

The 3 rd period of expansion 145 44 b c e
The 3rd Period of Expansion: 145-44 B.C.E.

  • By 145 B.C.E., Roman conquests had brought great wealth to Rome, but there were also strains on their republic.

  • As Romans conquered other lands, they brought hundreds of thousands of prisoners as slaves to Roman lands.

  • Romans often treated their slaves harshly, so slave revolts became increasingly common.

  • In one famous revolt in 73 B.C.E., a slave named Spartacus raised an army of slaves to fight the Romans.

  • He was eventually killed, and the Romans hung thousands of surviving rebels on crosses.

  • With so many slaves to do work, thousands of citizens had no jobs, leading to labor demonstrations as well.

The 3 rd period of expansion continued
The 3rd Period of Expansion Continued

  • The event that put an end to democracy, or the republic, of Rome began with a fight between 2 generals, Pompey and Julius Caesar.

  • Both had conquered much land for Rome, and they each wanted to take command of the city, but Pompey had the support of the Roman Senate.

  • In 49 B.C.E., Pompey was back in Rome while Caesar commanded an army to the north of Italy.

  • The Senate forbade Caesar from reentering Italy, but on January 11th, he crossed the Rubicon River into Italy with his army anyway.

  • After 3 years of fighting Caesar defeated Pompey, and the frightened Senate named him dictator for life.

  • The republican form of government in Rome was over.

The 3 rd period of expansion continued1
The 3rd Period of Expansion Continued

  • As dictator, Julius Caesar introduced many reforms.

  • He put thousands to work making new roads and buildings.

  • To keep the poor happy, he staged gladiator contests they could watch for free.

  • He adopted a new calendar that is still used today.

  • He also started new colonies and gave citizenship to the people of Gaul (France) and Spain.

  • To many, though, Caesar had become too powerful, so on March 15, 44 B.C.E., he was stabbed to death as he entered the Senate.

  • The date became known as the “Ides of March.”

The 4 th period of expansion 44 14 b c e
The 4th Period of Expansion: 44-14 B.C.E.

  • Caesar’s murder plunged Rome into a series of civil wars that lasted more than 10 years.

  • When the fighting ended, Octavian, Caesar’s grandnephew and adopted son, emerged victorious.

  • One of the rivals Octavian had to defeat was a Roman general named Marc Antony who was married to Queen Cleopatra of Egypt.

  • Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra in a sea battle, and his army chased the lovers back to Egypt where they killed themselves.

The 4 th period of expansion continued
The 4th Period of Expansion Continued

  • The Senate gave Octavian the title Augustus, which means honored.

  • Historians call him Rome’s 1st emperor.

  • As ruler, Augustus encouraged education, art, literature, and construction.

  • He also gave Rome its 1st police force, firefighters, and library.

  • During this time, the Romans also improved trade routes by building harbors, canals, and roads.

  • Roman coins made trade easier

The 4 th period of expansion continued1
The 4th Period of Expansion Continued

  • As emperor, Augustus ruled over 50 million people.

  • To defend his empire, he pushed its borders to natural boundaries such as the Rhine and Danube Rivers in the north, the Sahara Desert in the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

  • Later emperors added to the territory, and the Roman empire eventually stretched from Britain to the Red Sea.

  • Under Roman rule, the Mediterranean world was mostly at peace for 200 years.

  • This period became known as the PaxRomana, or Roman peace.

  • As time went on, though, defending the empire became increasingly challenging and costly.