Unit 1
Ancient Rome
-Through trade, the Greeks influenced the
Italian peninsula by colonizing there;
though the Etruscans were already living
-Mountains cut off land travel, thus, the
people depended on sea trade.
-Became the center of trade between Asia,
Europe, and Africa.
The Rise of Rome
A rivalry began to brew between two
brothers who wanted to start their
own city by the Tiber River. As
babies, they had been abandoned
and nursed by a wolf. While building
their cities, Remus made fun of
Romulus’ efforts, and in a fit of rage,
Romulus killed Remus. He went on
to create Rome.
Under Etruscan rule, two social
classes developed.
Patricians-the wealthy nobility.
Plebeians-the artisans and farmers.
-All could vote, but only the
patricians could hold office.
The Roman Republic-people elect leaders
to represent them. 2 branches of
government were formed:
Executive Branch-2 officials were elected for 1
year terms. Called consuls, they consulted
each other before acting, and could veto (Latin
for “I forbid”) each other. They oversaw
judges, censors, and tax collectors.
Legislative Branch-divided between 2
houses of government.
• Assembly of Centuries-lower house of 100
men; they elected officials in the executive
• Senate-upper house of 300 men who
outweighed the Assembly. They advised
consuls and served for life.
Plebeians against Patricians
-wanted representation in government,
and refused to serve in the army until
given a voice. Patricians then allowed
plebeians to elect representatives,
tribunes, who had power to veto
legislation and were elected from the
Assembly of Tribes. The plebeians
insisted the government write down the
laws, thus the Twelve Tables were written.
Plebeians also could serve in some
unsalaried public offices.
-Romans borrowed Greek gods and
gave them new names: Aphrodite
(love) became Venus; Ares (war)
became Mars; old god Jupiter was
given characteristics of Zeus. They
also worshipped ancestral spirits at
Roman Expansion
Legionaries-Roman Soldiers
conquered new land and established
permanent military settlements
called coloniae, forming a chain of
roads and major trade routes.
Punic Wars with Carthage
The First Punic War-Carthaginians
(Punici) wanted to gain control over a
strategic water way of the Romans.
Rome hooked to Carthage ships and
boarded, easily winning. Carthage
repaid a huge indemnity for damages.
The Second Punic War-New
Carthaginian leader, Hannibal, crossed
the Alps with elephants to defeat Rome.
Romans rallied, attacked Africa and
Hannibal had to go home; Carthage
The Third Punic War-Rome wanted to
end Carthaginian independence for
good and burned Carthage, selling the
population into slavery.
-Rome now had complete control over
the western Mediterranean from Spain
to Asia Minor.
Problems in the New
Roman democracy was only good for
the small city-states. The Senate
appointed a proconsul (governors)
who accepted bribes and stole from
the treasury. The publicans (tax
collectors) also stole. This caused
many territories to revolt.
Latifundia (large estates owned by the
wealthy) used slave labor and cheap labor
to produce more crops, causing small
farmers to sell out and go to the cities,
where jobs there were already taken by
slaves. A new social class thus developed
between the plebeians and patricians:
equites-wealthy enough to ride horses in
battle, but not noble enough to be
Tiberius Gracchus-a patrician who
decided to represent the plebeians in
the Tribune, developed a law to
return land back to landless citizens.
After passage, a riot developed
against him, killing him and 300
Gaius Gracchus-Tiberius’ brother
then elected to the Tribune; he set up
a government program to sell grain
at lower prices to the poor. He
started a new court using the
equites, and upset the Senate. He
was also killed by his opponents.
Gaius Marius-elected consul and
gave poor people jobs by enlisting
them into the army, led by General
Sulla, who turned against Marius,
overthrowing the government and
appointing himself as dictator.
The First Triumvirate
Pompey and Crassus were elected
consuls, gaining the support of Julius
Caesar, a young aristocrat. The three
united and formed a triumvirate,
meaning three leaders with equal power
controlling the government.
Caesar, a strong military leader,
conquered Gaul.
Crassus wanted to prove his leadership,
but was killed in battle
• Pompey was scared Caesar might use his
army to take total control, thus, Pompey and
the Senate ordered Caesar to leave his
troops behind and return to Rome. Caesar
refused to step down, and with his troops,
drove Pompey and his allies out of Rome.
Julius Caesar-45 B.C., became dictator for
life, giving jobs to the unemployed and
land to the poor. Many thought Caesar
was a wise ruler; others felt he was a
tyrant who wanted to be king and end the
republic. To prevent his rule, Brutus and
Cassius assassinated Caesar as he
entered the Senate on March 15, 44 B.C.the Ides of March.
The Second Triumvirate
Octavian (nephew of Julius Caesar),
Marc Antony, & Marcus Lepidus
condemned to death Caesar’s
assassins, dividing the Roman Empire
into three empires
• Octavian-Italy & West; Antony-Greece &
east; Lepidus-North Africa.
Octavian-wanted the entire empire,
and forced Lepidus out of power;
persuaded the Romans that Antony
and Cleopatra (queen of Egypt)
wanted to conquer them, thus,
declared war on them. To evade
capture, they committed suicide in
Egypt, giving Octavian rule of Rome.
Roman Empire
Octavian gave himself the title of
Augustus (Majestic One); 27 BCAD14
-became Rome’s first emperor
(absolute ruler)
-rebuilt the city of Rome; built new
roads; fed the hungry; became a
great patron of the arts.
-built new buildings with concrete
and stone (e.g.-Colosseum, where
gladiators, meaning armed slaves,
competed; Pantheon, a temple for
the gods).
-created aqueducts to carry water.
-instituted the Pax Romana (Roman
Peace) that lasted 200 years.
Pax Romana
During this time, the conquest of colonies
increased trade and the economy. There were
changes in lifestyle: more divorces, fewer
children, and women gained some legal rights.
Those equites were able to move up the social
ladder and become patricians. 130 holidays
were celebrated each year; among the
favorites were the gladiator fights, where men
often faced death with wild animals.
-Augustus chose his own successor
but failed to devise any law for the
selection of later emperors.
Julian Emperors (all related to Julius
Caesar); 14AD to 68AD.
Tiberius-accused people of treason against
Caligula-mentally disturbed and assassinated.
Claudius-very old; had problems with ruling.
Nero-bankrupted Rome to pay for his horse
racing habit and love of music; killed his wife,
mother, many senators; was sentenced to
death for crimes against the state, but
committed suicide before the sentence was
carried out.
Good Emperors
AD96-Senate chose Nerva as emperor,
followed by Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus
Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.
-These emperors ruled according to the
system created by Augustus, with “jus
gentium,” a law that dealt with
foreigners and non-citizens; and “jus
civile,” a law for citizens. The authority
of the state was stressed over the
individual; the accused was considered
innocent until proven guilty. People
lived by the Stoic philosophy which
stressed mind over emotion.
realized the Roman Empire was too big
for one man, thus he divided it into two
administrative units. To slow inflation,
he issued the Edict of Prices, freezing
wages and setting maximum prices for
goods. Citizens sold goods on the
black market-through unofficial & illegal
trade. Many workers were forced to
remain working the same job for life.
came to power after years of civil war.
He made it legal for landowners to chain
their workers so they would not leave.
All jobs became hereditary; sons had to
follow in their fathers occupation. The
capital of the empire was moved from
Rome to Byzantine and renamed
Constantinople (an ideal site for trade).
declared that the eastern and western
sections of the empire be divided into
the Byzantine Empire in the east, and
the Roman Empire in the West.
Roman Decline
Germanic tribes had always been a threat.
After the Good Emperors, Rome was in
constant change searching for good
emperors, but ending up with a series of
bad emperors.
Armies fought internally and could not
easily defend Rome’s border from
Germanic tribes: Goths, Franks, and
Saxons, ending the Pax Romana.
The economy also suffered. Trade and
crops weakened. More money was
printed; a time of inflation-rise of prices
due to a decrease in the value of money.
Germanic invasions occurred because
they were searching for a warmer climate
and wanted a share in the Roman’s
wealth. Romans considered them to be
Three tribes successful in bringing
down the Roman Empire: Visigoths,
Huns (leader-Attila; efforts ended
early when the plague hit), and the
Vandals, who overtook Rome, setting
up their own kingdom.
Other Aspects of Roman
Latin was the official language of
Rome. Many words had several
meanings. Latin served as the
foundation for the Romantic
languages-Italian, French, Spanish,
Portuguese, and Romania. Latin
words are the basis for many English
Roman writers
Cicero-a Roman senator who published
many speeches.
Horace-a poet who wrote about the
shortness of life and rewards of
Virgil-wrote the Aeneid-an epic that
expresses the humility and pride of
The Rise of Christianity
Although many Chrisitians were at
first persecuted, this belief in Jesus
Christ continued to spread.
The Romans became dissatisfied
with their polytheistic religion,
feeling it had failed them.
Constantine, while leading his army into
battle, saw a flaming cross in the sky.
He ordered his troops to paint crosses on
their shields.
After winning the battle, Constantine
credited the victory to God and started
defending Christians, allowing them to
worship freely and ordering that destroyed
churches be rebuilt.
Christianity spread throughout the
Roman world and influenced the
creation of the Roman Catholic
Tiberius Gracchus
Gaius Gracchus
Marc Antony
Gaius Marius
Marcus Lepidus
Julius Caesar