GEOGRAPHY AND THE PEOPLES OF ITALY

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2 SETTING THE SCENE Roman people loved to hear stories about the heroes from the past. One such story was about some dude named Horatius. This guy was pretty cool. He defended Rome against an enemy invasion all by himself. He stood at the entrance of the bridge leading into Rome. As the enemies began attacking him, the Romans destroyed the bridge behind him (All planned). When Horatius felt that his fellow Romans were safe, he jumped off the cliff behind him into the river below. Dodging the spears raining down all around him, he swam safely to the other side.

3 GEOGRAPHY AND THE PEOPLES OF ITALY Geography: Rome is located on the Italian peninsula, which looks just like a boot! This boot is located right in the middle of the Medeterranean sea, so the early Romans had good access to all kinds of trade all around themselves. This peninsula was also very friendly to large settlements. This is why the Romans were able to form a single, unified empire (Unlike Greece with its multiple city-states). The early Romans, who were Latin, shared this boot with other Latins as well as some Greek colonists.

4 GEOGRAPHY AND THE PEOPLES OF ITALY Geography: The land on the Italian peninsula was home to the Apennine Mountains, which were much less rugged than those in Greece. This land was also home to some broad, fertile plains that made agriculture possible. This agriculture led to the possiblity of having huge populations, thus the creation of a large empire.

5 GEOGRAPHY AND THE PEOPLES OF ITALY Peoples: As stated earlier, the Roman ancestors were Latins who migrated to the Italian peninsula. They settled along the Tiber River Valley. The early Romans shared the Italian peninsula with other Latins, Greeks, and various others. The rules of the peninsula at that time were known as the Etruscans. The early Romans adopted various aspects of Etruscan society, including the alphabet, the arch, and certain engineering techniques used to drain flooded land.

6 THE ROMAN REPUBLIC The Government takes Shape: The Romans eventually drove the Etruscans out (~509BC). The Romans set up a preliminary government in which the people chose the leaders (This is known as a republic, or thing of the people ). The Romans believed that a republic would keep any one person from gaining too much power. The most powerful governing body in this early republic was the senate, which was made up of 300 members called patricians. These patricians were members of the landholding upper class, and they served life terms on the senate.

7 THE ROMAN REPUBLIC The Government takes Shape: Each year, the senators would elect two consuls. The consuls were supposed to supervise the business of government and command the armies. They served only one year terms, and they had to report back to the senate. This is how the Roman government showed that it had a system of checks and balances.

8 THE ROMAN REPUBLIC The Government takes Shape: In the event of war, Rome could elect a dictator, or ruler who had complete control over a government. This dictator was granted power to rule of six months. After this six month period, the dictator was supposed to give up the power and return things back to normal. One well respected dictator was a man named Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus was elected dictator during a war, and he went to work!!! He had won the war, had the victory celebration(s), and gave up power in just 16 days! He WAS the model dictator.

9 THE ROMAN REPUBLIC Plebeians Demand Equality: A plebeian is what the Romans called their common folk (Farmers, merchants, artisans, etc). They were being jerked around by the Roman government because they had no say in government. In order to defend their own rights, the plebeians made the Roman government actually write down their laws on what would become known as the 12 Tablets, establishing The Forum. The laws of these tablets made it possible for the plebeians to appeal a judgement handed down by a patrician judge. This occured in ~450BC.

10 THE ROMAN REPUBLIC Plebeians Demand Equality: Over time, the plebeians gained the right to elect their own officials. These officials were called tribunes, and they were supposed to protect the rights of plebeians. These tribunes would veto, or block, the laws that they felt were harmful to the plebeians. Eventually, the plebeians forced the patricians to accept them as equals. Plebeians ultimately found themselves being elected as consuls and even as senators!!!

11 ROMAN SOCIETY Under Roman law, men were the absolute head of the household. The husband would demand absolute respect for his authority. The ideal woman was loving, dutiful, dignified, and strong.

12 ROMAN SOCIETY Changing Role of Women: Roman women had a bigger role in society than Greek women did. They could run a variety of businesses. Most women, however, worked at home raising their families.

13 ROMAN SOCIETY Education: All children were taught to read and write. Wealthy Romans would even hire private tutors, often Greek, to supervise the education of their children. All sorts of subjects were taught at schools. People would learn specific things to help them in their future career(s).

14 ROMAN SOCIETY Religion: Romans were polytheistic. Roman gods were similar to Greek gods in many ways. The role of these gods was to control the events of nature, similar to ALL OTHER religions that we have discussed this year. Romans filled their calendar with celebrations and events to honor their gods and to ensure divine favor for their city. Romans built temples where statues of the gods were housed. The Romans worshiped and asked for divine assistance.

15 EXPANSION IN ITALY Citizen-Soldiers: Rome s great success and growth are due to skillful diplomacy and to its loyal, well-trained army. The army was made up of a bunch of legions, which is a basic military unit (~5,000 men). The men who served in the army fought for free and had to supply their own weapons. Citizens were good soldiers because all Romans were raised to believe in loyalty, courage, and respect for authority.

16 EXPANSION IN ITALY Conquered Lands: When Rome defeated an enemy, they were treated with justice. Conquered people were forced to acknowledge Roman leadership, pay taxes, and supply soldiers for the Roman army. Rome would, in return, allow the defeated people to keep their stuff (customs, money, and local government). Some lucky people conquered by the Roman army were given full citizenship. Others would become partial citizens. The end result of this type of fair treatment of the defeated was that they would remain loyal to the Roman ruler(s)/laws.

17 EXPANSION IN ITALY Protection and Unification: As the Roman army swept across the landscape(s), soldiers would be left behind at each newly acquired town. Roads were built to link these towns. These roads more or less weatherproof, so traveling in all weather conditions was much safer. Better roads and more disciplined cities created an abundant trade network. Over time, Roman customs and beliefs began to spread all across the Italian peninsula. Eventually, Italy began to unite under Roman rule.

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