Rome: From Village to Empire

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1 Rome: From Village to Empire

2 Geography and Origin Like Greece, Italy is a mountainous peninsula Apennines & Alps Fertile plains in the north below the Alps Favorable climate, fertile land and meant most early Romans were farmers. Circa 750 B.C.E. - Latins establish Rome on the banks of the Tiber River (Palatine Hills) MYTH: c.753 B.C.E. Rome founded by twins Romulus and Remus (Latins)

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

4 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.

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

6 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) freed of the usual social obligations. Devoted solely to the study and observance of state rituals "full-time professional clergy."

7 Roman Republic Romans declare to never be ruled by a king after 509 B.C.E. Establishment of a representative government Res Publica Hereditary rule prohibited Representatives chosen by patricians Decision-making responsibilities entrusted to two Consuls The Senate - In times of war chose a dictator to rule for 6 months

8 Plebeians Demand Equality 494 B.C.E. granted the right to elect tribunes. Allowed veto of laws not in the interest of plebs 450 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

9 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 Via Appia Easier military transport, commerce and unifying territories

10 100 Years of Punic Wars 1) B.C.E. Battle to Control Sicily and the Western Mediterranean Naval Battles 2) B.C.E. Hannibal lays siege to Roman Mainland Defeated by 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

11 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 Unequal distribution provoked class tensions 2. Republic replace by 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).

12 Julius Caesar: Bread and Circus 50 s B.C.E. - Conquers Gaul 49 B.C.E. Marches on Rome Alea iacta est Republic Centralized imperial Gov t/military dictator for life Massive building projects and redistributed land Alienated Rome s elite Extends Roman citizenship imperial provinces 44 B.C.E. assassinated Et tu Brute last words of Julius Caesar Civil crisis ensued for thirteen years

13 Octavian to Augustus Nephew, protégé, and adopted son of Julius Caesar 31 B.C.E Defeats Mark Antony (principal rival) & Cleopatra Octavian strengthen his rule and in 27 B.C.E 1. Centralized political and military power Eliminates personal armies 2. Bestowed the Divine title Augustus 3. Preserves traditional republican government (Roman elite) Ruled virtually unopposed for 45 years PAX ROMANA (27 B.C.E. to 180 C.E.)

14

15 Rise of Christianity During Pax Romana - Christianity emerges 63 B.C.E. Judea conquered Jewish monotheism permitted Jews reluctantly live under Roman c. 26 C.E. Jesus begins preaching to villagers Welcomed by man in Jerusalem Threatened Judaism - Romans feared a revolt. C. 313 C.E. Edict of Milan - freedom of worship to all Roman citizens C. 337 C.E. 1 st Christian Roman Emperor Constantine C. 380 C.E. Christianity made the official religion (Theodosius)

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