ANCIENT ROME Prepared by Anita Billeter Palmdale School District with funding from Jordan Fundamentals Grant Keeping History Alive Grant
SEVEN KINGS • Roman legend says that Rome was founded in 753B.C. and Romulus was the first of seven kings • About 575 B.C. the Etruscans from the north moved into Rome and ruled it for the next 66 years. • Under the Etruscan kings, Rome made rapid progress in the area of writing and new building techniques. • The Romans rebelled against the seventh and last Roman king, an Etruscan, and never lived under kings again.
Midpoint of the Mediterranean • Rome lay near the center of the peninsula, with Etruscans to the north and Greek colonies to the south. • Rome’s location had several advantages: it was a difficult place for enemies to attack; close to the sea, but not too close; and on an important river that brought supplies in and out. • Rome was also within easy reach of Greece, Spain and the northern coast of Africa.
Patricians and Plebeians • With the overthrow of the last Etruscan king, Romans adopted the republican form of government. • Consuls, the leaders in place of a king, were elected by a citizen assembly and advised by the Senate. • Roman society was made up of patricians and plebeians, who were citizens; and slaves, who had no rights.
STRUGGLE FOR RIGHTS • In 494 B.C. the plebeians demanded greater rights by withdrawing from the city, forming their own assembly, and electing their own leaders. • In the 300s B.C., the plebeians obtained more rights, such as the right to become members of the Senate. • In 287 B.C., after more than 200 years of struggle and once more withdrawing from the city, the plebeians obtained equality under Roman law.
ROMAN GOVERNMENT • The Roman government and the army were managed by two consuls, a patrician and a plebeian. • The consuls were advised by the Senate, which controlled the treasury and foreign policy. • Laws proposed by the Senate could be approved or disapproved by the citizens’ assemblies.
EARLY EXPANSION • Year after year, the Roman army marched off to expand the area under Roman control. • By 338 B.C. Rome had conquered Latium and Etruria, and by 275 B.C., Rome ruled the whole Italian peninsula. • Rome did not punish the people it conquered, but instead made them allies.
THE PUNIC WARS • Rome and Carthage fought three long wars over control of the Mediterranean, called the Punic Wars. • Hannibal, an important commander of the Carthage troops, led an almost successful invasion of the Italian peninsula. • Hannibal’s defeat marked the end of the Carthage empire.
CONQUEST OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN • After defeating Carthage, Rome conquered Greece and Macedonia, and by 50 B.C. controlled the entire area around the Mediterranean. • Rome was successful because its people were determined, it made allies of its conquered enemies, its army was highly disciplined and experienced, it greatly valued military success, and it used the spoils of war to build up the treasury.
TROUBLE AT HOME • Rome’s farms were destroyed during the second Punic War, and farmers could not afford to rebuild them. • Landless farmers moved to the city to find work, creating a large mass of poor, jobless people. • Slaves—captured in the many wars– were often mistreated and sometimes rebelled.
FALL OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC • Rome’s rapid expansion caused problems at home and conflicts broke out between the rich and poor. • Julius Caesar was an ambitious general who challenged the Senate and caused a civil war. • After three years of civil war, Caesar won and declared himself dictator, ending the Roman republic.
GREEK INFLUENCE ON ROME • Roman’s studied and copied Greek statues and art, and Greek literature greatly influenced Roman writers. • Greek scholars were brought as slaves to Rome to teach wealthy Roman children. • The Roman’s renamed and worshipped Greek gods.
ROMAN GENIUS • Rome mastered the skills of military organization, legal administration, and engineering. • The Roman military was determined, disciplined, and able to wage long battles. • Roman engineers built roads that are still in use, perfected the arch, invented concrete, built aqueducts, and developed surveying. • The Romans developed a legal system with courts, judges, and lawyers that has served as the model for modern-day legal systems in many parts of the world.
ESTABLISHING PEACE AND ORDER • After Caesar was assassinated, his adopted son, Octavian (later called Augustus), brought peace to the empire and became a popular leader. • Augustus oversaw major building projects, created a police force and fire brigade, and set up a department to supply food to Roman citizens. • Augustus's reign marked the beginning of the Pax Romana, which lasted more than 200 years.
RULING THE EMPIRE • During the 200 years after Augustus's death, four dynasties ruled the Roman Empire. • Each of the four dynasties ended with the violent overthrow of an unpopular or unfit emperor. • While most Roman provinces lived in peace during the Pax Romana, the Roman army had to put down rebellions in Gaul, Britain, and Judea.
UNIFYING THE EMPIRE • The Roman emperors encouraged the building of cities modeled on Rome, which spread Roman ideas and customs throughout the empire. • The emperors granted citizenship to people in the provinces, giving them certain rights. • The emperors allowed officials in provinces to govern their own cities, and to participate in the central government of Rome.
THREE SOCIAL CLASSES • Roman society was divided into three major classes—the elite, the “more humble,” and the slaves—determined by birth and wealth. • The elite made up less than 2% of the people, while the “more humble” included most of the freemen and women of the empire. • Slaves may have made up as much as one third of the people in the empire, and were completely at the mercy of their masters.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL LEVEL • Social divisions were clearly defined as seen in ancient Rome. • Romans could change social position through the gain or loss of wealth. • An individual could improve social position through gaining wealth, but this was hard to do.
RICH AND POOR • Rich Romans lived in homes with many rooms, running water, heat, and servants. • Poorer Romans lived in dirty and poorly-maintained buildings called insulae, that had no running water and little light. • For the majority of Romans living in crowded conditions, fire and crime were serious problems.
FAMILY LIFE IN THE EMPIRE • In the later days of the empire, women gained more power, and laws prevented fathers from selling their children or forcing marriages. • Wealthier families sent their children and even household slaves to school until age 15, after which only boys continued their education. • Professional people—such as engineers—learned through apprenticeships, not formal education.
BENEFITS OF LIFE IN ROME • The Roman government gave free wheat, and sometimes money, to citizens. • There was a plentiful supply of water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. • The emperor provided circuses and games.
RELIGIOUS PRACTICES • The Romans worshipped many gods, some of which were state gods, while others were gods of the household. • The Roman religion was based on rituals, especially the sacrifice of animals. • For the most part, Romans were tolerant of other religions in the Empire.
An Agricultural Economy • Four out of five people in the Roman Empire worked on farms. • Roman farmers’ crops were small and they did not make significant profits. • The Roman economy was primarily concerned with the basic task of feeding soldiers and city dwellers.
TRADE IN THE EMPIRE • The most important trade item for Romans was grain for feeding the vast numbers of people in the Empire. • Mining was the largest industry in the empire, with building materials and metals coming from outside of Rome. • Trade in manufactured goods was limited, while trade in luxury goods was the smallest part of the economy.
THE NEW FAITH • Romans followed a number of religions and also allowed a great deal of freedom to other religions • Jews and Christians began to disagree on religious grounds, and Christianity slowly became a separate religion. • There are few written historical accounts of Christianity’s early history. Much of what we know comes from the New Testament part of the Bible.
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS • Jews and Christians shared the same basic beliefs, but differed on the idea of the messiah. • At first Christians concentrated on trying to convert other Jews. • After serious debate, the early Christians decided to preach Christianity to the Gentiles.
THE WORK OF PAUL • Paul, a convert to Christianity, made three long journeys to spread Christianity and establish Christian communities. • Paul’s Roman citizenship, the good roads, and listeners open to new ideas helped Paul spread Christianity in the Greek-speaking world. • While in Rome to stand trial, Paul preached and taught for two years before being executed.
ROME’S EARLY RESPONSE • At first the Romans paid little attention to the Christians. • Some Romans were quite suspicious of Christians, and Nero blamed them for starting a major fire which destroyed much of Rome. • Although by A.D. 100 there was a law condemning admitted Christians to death, it was seldom enforced.
THE ATTACK ON CHRISTIANITY • In A.D. 250 Emperor Decius ordered the execution of all Christians who refused to worship the Roman gods. • Up until A.D. 311, Christians suffered two more waves of persecution under two different emperors. • Roman mobs destroyed Christian churches and sacred books. Christians were fired from jobs, forced to leave the army, attacked, and killed.
THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY • Emperor Constantine made it legal for Christians to worship, gave money to the church, and became involved with church decision-making. • Constantine gave Christianity the support of the Roman authorities, but also combined religion and government, and persecuted Jews. • Christianity gained power as the Roman Empire was declining.
THE END OF PAX ROMANA • Rome suffered political turmoil during the years after A.D. 180; in one 50 year period, 25 emperors ruled. • Prices rose, trade was disrupted, and people could not afford to pay the taxes Rome needed to defend the empire. • Tribes from the north overran Rome’s borders.
THE REIGN OF DIOCLETIAN • Diocletian introduced a number of reforms to solve the problems of the empire. • Diocletian’s reforms reorganized and stabilized the empire, but limited the freedoms of the Roman people. • Under Diocletian, the power of the emperor over the people became complete.
THE REIGN OF CONSTANTINE • Constantine helped Christianity become the empire’s main religion. • Constantine completed the reorganization of the government, and moved the capital to Constantinople. • After Constantine’s death, by A.D. 400, the empire had permanently split into two parts.
BARBARIAN INVASIONS • Over a period of 300 years, many barbarian tribes made their way south into the Roman Empire. • By the A.D. 200s, the frontier of the empire was no longer a clear-cut boundary between barbarians and the Romans. • Historians use the year A.D.476, when the last emperor was forced out of the western part of the empire, as the fall of Rome.
GROWTH OF THE CHURCH • While the Roman empire declined, Christianity grew stronger. • Some of the barbarian tribes from the north converted to Christianity. • Pagan Romans blamed Rome’s decline on the fact that Romans had abandoned their old gods.
THE CAUSES OF THE FALL • A far-flung empire, economic decline, and the growth of a government which required more and more of its people were some of the factors in the fall of the Roman Empire. • Other factors in the fall included: decline in the work force, a lack of technology, and a greatly weakened army.
THE ROMAN LEGACY • Following the fall of the western Roman Empire, Europe entered 500 years of decline called the Early Middle Ages. • In Europe, Rome’s heritage in book form was preserved in monasteries. • In Constantinople, scholars copied many important Greek and Roman works, thereby saving them for the future.