Ancient Rome From Village to Empire
Romulus and Remus Legend Abandoned on the Tiber River and raised by a She-Wolf, the twin sons of the god Mars and a Latin princess decide to build a city near this spot.
Geography of Rome • Developed because of strategic location • Fertile soil important to the agriculture • Built among seven hills along a bend in the Tiber River
The Seven Hills of Rome • The Seven Hills of Rome east of the Tiber form the heart of Rome. The Seven Hills of early Rome – the Cermalus, Cispius, Fagutal, Oppius, Palatium, Sucusa and Velia – figured prominently in Roman mythology, religion, and politics. The original city was held by tradition to have been founded by Romulus on the Palatine Hill. The other six are now the Aventine, the Capitoline , the Quirinal , the Viminal, the Esquiline and the Caelian. • The hills of Rome were of great strategic importance because of their height and position. They have gradually been cut away and built over although they are still evident to the expert eye.
Strategic Location • Midway between the Alps and Italy’s southern tip • Located midpoint in the Mediterranean Sea “Not without reason did gods and men choose this spot for the site of our city…the river brings us produce from the inland regions and sea-borne commerce from abroad, the sea Itself, near enough for convenience yet not so near as to bring danger from foreign fleets , our situation in the very heart of Italy…all these advantages make it of all places in the world the best for a city destined to grow great” – LIVY, The Early History Of Rome
From Whence We Came … • Three groups inhabited the region and battle for control: • Latins • Greeks • Etruscans
Etruscans have skills • Skilled metal workers and engineers • System of writing • Architecture
It was all Greek to them • Greeks settle between 750 and 600 B.C • Settle along southern coast and Sicily • Develop prosperous and commercial activity • Teach Romans to grow olives and grapes • Romans borrow religious ideas
The Early Republic • The Early Romans accept an Etruscan monarchy • Under this leadership Rome grows from swamp village to a major city • Tarquin the Proud is the last king of Rome
The Last King of Rome • Tarquin the Proud was a harsh tyrant • Driven from Rome in 509 B.C. by wealthy landowners who resented his heritage • Romans declare they will never be ruled by a king again
The Republic • The Latin term res publica (from which comes the word “republic”) is usually translated as “state” or “commonwealth”. • At no time was Rome a democracy (that is, rule by the people) in the Greek, or true, sense. Its society was rigidly divided by legal status (free or enslaved) and by class. • Free men or women were further classified, for example, according to whether they were so by birth or by release from slavery, were Roman citizens or Latins, or were independent or answerable to a guardian or other person in authority.
Struggle For Power Patricians Plebians
Disenfranchised Women Slaves • Women could not partake in government decisions, office or voting • Slaves made up 1/3 of population • Slave mostly war captives who were soley owned by citizens and had no rights
Power in Society Patricians vs. Plebians • Patricians inherited their power and social status • Ancestry gave patricians authority • Plebeians were citizens w/ rights to vote • Barred from holding office • Tribunes were finally developed to protect the rights of plebeians from unfair patricians
Government under the Republic • Rome claim a balanced government • Consuls (leaders) were limited in power • Limited terms • Senate represented Aristocrats of society • Senators were in office for life (continuity) • Major influence • Centuriate / Tribune Assemblies • Tribal Assembly represented the Plebeians and made laws for the common people • In times of crisis, a Dictator assumed absolute power for six months
The Twelve TablesLexDuodecimTabularum Senatus Populusque Romanus • A plebeian named Terentilius proposed in 462 BC that an official legal code should be published, so that plebeians could not be surprised and would know the law. • Like most other early codes of law, they combine strict and rigorous penalties with equally strict and rigorous procedural forms.
The Roman Army“Courage, Duty, Determination • All citizens required to serve in the army – Citizen Soldier • Military units = Legions (5,000) • Legions divided into smaller groups of 80 = Century • Organization/fighting skills were key to Rome’s rise to greatness • Daily training: swimming, running, jumping, fencing and javelin throwing • To secure public office, ten years of service was required
Cincinnatus • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 BC) was an ancient Roman political figure, serving as consul in 460 BC and Roman dictator in 458 BC and 439 BC • Cincinnatus was regarded by the Romans as one of the heroes of early Rome and as a model of Roman virtue and simplicity • After defeating Rome’s enemies, Cincinnatus resigns his office and goes back to being a farmer
Rome’s Rise to Power • Fight to control Italian penninsula • Conquer the Etruscans, the Latins and the Greek City-States in the south • Good diplomacy with those conquered – Citizenship and rights • Good location = Good Trade • Built infrastructure to support trade • War with Carthage: The Punic Wars
The Punic WarsPunici • The main cause of the Punic Wars was the clash of interests between the existing Carthaginian Empire and the expanding Roman Republic. • The Romans were initially interested in expansion via Sicily • At the start of the first Punic War, Carthage was the dominant power of the Western Mediterranean • By the end of the third war, after more than a hundred years and the deaths of many hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides, Rome had conquered Carthage's empire and razed the city, becoming the most powerful state of the Western Mediterranean.
Hannibal • Hannibal was a master strategist who knew that the Roman cavalry was, as a rule, weak and vulnerable. He therefore enlisted superior cavalry into his armies, with devastating effect on the Roman legions. • Hannibal surprised the Romans in 218 BC by directly invading Italy after traversing the alps with, most famously, two dozen African war elephants • Although Hannibal surprised the Romans and thoroughly beat them on the battlefields of Italy, he could not invade the crucial city of Rome itself, thus making him unable to draw the war to a decisive close.
Rome Controls The Mediterranean • Rome’s victories in the Punic Wars give it dominance in the Mediterranean world • Rome conquers the eastern half • Rome’s empire expands from Spain and Britain to Asia Minor