Rome: From Village to Empire

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1 Rome: From Village to Empire

2 Topography and Geography Like Greece, Italy is a mountainous peninsula Apennines & Alps Fertile plains in the north below the Alps Favorable climate, fertile land and constant fresh water source meant most early Romans were farmers.

3 Origin - Rome A tribe called Latins established Rome on the banks of the Tiber River (Palentine Hills) c.750 B.C.E MYTH: c.753 B.C.E. Rome founded by twins Romulus and Remus (Latins) c. 6 th century B.C.E. - 3 groups battle for control

4 Life Under Etruscan Rule Etruscans (Northern Italy) Skilled metalworkers and engineers By 600 B.C.E An Etruscan king of Rome 6 th Century B.C.E, trade routes from all parts of Italy come together in Rome A commercial center due to access to the Mediterranean via the Tiber River Safe from sea invasion In 509 BCE Etruscans are overthrown by the Romans Tarquin the Proud = last Etruscan king

5 Roman Republic Romans declare to never be ruled by a king The Romans established a representative government -Res Publica No one person could inherit the right to rule Representatives chosen by patricians Decision-making responsibilities entrusted to two consuls The Senate In times of war: Senate chose a dictator to rule for 6 months

6 Plebeians Demand Equality 494 B.C.E. granted the right to elect tribunes (2). Allowed veto of laws not in the interest of plebs Eventually tribunes increased to B.C.E Tables (first written laws) Posted in the Roman Forum Early 3 rd century, Rome = more democratic Plebeians allowed in Senate and hold political office. Struggle for Political power continued in Rome for several centuries

7 Roman Social Structure Patricians: wealthy landowners and office-holders Patrician = Father (Latin) Plebeians (commoners): farmers, artisans, trader Could vote and served in the military, but not hold political office Slaves: mostly prisoners of war, non-citizens Not granted any rights Patricians 10% Plebeians

8 Roman Religion Polytheistic Absorbed gods of other civilizations including Greece Important Roman gods/goddesses: Jupiter (father of gods) - Zeus Juno (watched over women) Hera Minerva (goddess of wisdom) Athena Apollo (god of the sun) Emperor worship eventually became part of the religion of Rome.

9 The Role of Roman Women More influence than Greek women Many upper class women received some formal education Could NOT vote, but allowed to testify in court Gained property rights The Vestals (c BCE) were freed of the usual social obligations. devoted solely to the study and observance of state rituals

10 Roman Expansion Gradually, the Romans began to expand their control over the entire Italian peninsula plus: Corsica, Sardinia & Sicily As they expanded their control so did the network of roads Easier military transport, commerce and unifying territories

11 Punic Wars: 100 Years of Fighting 1) B.C.E. Battle to Control Sicily and the western Mediterranean Naval Battles 2) B.C.E. Hannibal attempts to lay siege to Roman Mainland Defeated at the hands of Scipio Hannibal commits suicide rather than captured. 3) B.C.E. Rome laid siege to Carthage city set ablaze and its 50,000 inhabitants were sold into slavery Carthaginian Peace

12 Republic to Empire Imperial expansion brought wealth to Rome Wealth unequally distributed which provoked class tensions - Conflict arose over political and social policies 1 st Century B.C.E. - 1 st Century C.E. Civil and military leaders gradually dismantle Republican constitution Replaced with a centralized imperial government

13 Imperial Issues 1 st Century B.C.E. - 1 st Century C.E. Expansion brought wealth to Rome: 1. Land concentrated into the hands of wealthy elites Enormous plantations - latifundia slave labor drove smaller farmers out of business» unequal distribution provoked class tensions The problem of land distribution was a symptom of a bigger problem 2. Civil and military leaders replaced the Republican constitution - with a centralized imperial government The Republic constitution was designed for a small city-state Roman politicians and generals began jockeying for power by raising personal armies (for support).

14 Julius Caesar: Bread and Circus 50 s B.C.E. - Conquers Gaul 49 B.C.E. successfully marches on Rome dictator for life Republic replaced by a centralized imperial Government and Military Proposed massive building projects and redistributed land - alienated many of Rome s elite Extends Roman citizenship to those in imperial provinces 44 B.C.E. assassinated Et tu Brute - Latin phrase used poetically to represent the last words of Julius Caesar Civil crisis ensued for thirteen years

15 Octavian to Augustus Nephew, protégé, and adopted son of Julius Caesar defeats his principal rival, Mark Anthony (Cleopatra) c.31 B.C.E. Octavian strengthen his rule and in 27 B.C.E Bestowed the Divine title Augustus Centralized political and military power Preserved traditional republican government (Roman elite) Eliminated personal armies Ruled virtually unopposed for 45 years PAX ROMANA (27 B.C.E. to 180 C.E.)

16 Rise of Christianity During Pax Romana - Christianity emerges 63 B.C.E. Judea conquered Jewish monotheism permitted Jews reluctantly live under Roman Jesus begins preaching to villagers c. 26 C.E. Welcomed by man in Jerusalem welcomed him, many priests felt threatened - Romans feared a revolt by followers. 337 C.E. 1 st Christian Roman Emperor Constantine 313 C.E. Edict of Milan - freedom of worship to all Roman citizens 395 C.E. Christianity made the official religion

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