Rome Rome Like the Persian Empire, Rome took shape on the margins of the “civilized” world. Rome began as a small and poor city-state on the western side of Italy in the eighth century BCE, so weak, according to legend, that Romans were reduced to kidnapping neighboring women in order to reproduce. Rome Rome’s central location contributed to its success in unifying Italy and then all the lands ringing the Mediterranean. Italy was a crossroads in the Mediterranean and Rome was a crossroads within Italy. Rome is located at the midpoint of the Italian peninsula, about 15 miles from the western coast, where a north-south road intersected an east-west river route. Rome The Tiber River on the one side and a ring of seven hills on the other gave Rome natural protection. Rome Even though 75% of Italy is hilly, there is still ample arable land in the coastal plains and river valleys to sustain a larger population than Greece. Rome Agriculture was the essential economic activity in the early Roman state (and land was the basis of wealth), and no matter how urbanized Rome later became, Roman roots remained firmly fixed in the soil. From their pioneer forebears of a hostile land, Romans inherited respect for strength and discipline, for loyalty, industry, frugality, and tenacity. Rome These ancient values were formally recognized by the Romans as the mos maiorum (ways of the fathers), and always dominated their outlook. The Roman owed his loyalties to the gods, the state, and the family. Where the Greeks had cherished their individuality, the Roman had always subordinated his personality to greater forces. Rome Social status and political privilege were related to landownership. The vast majority of early Romans were selfsufficient independent farmers who owned small plots of land. A small number of families acquired large pieces of land. The heads of these wealthy families formed the Senate (from the Latin for “old men”). Rome The basic unit of Roman society was the family, made up of several generations of family members plus domestic slaves. The oldest living male, the paterfamilias (“father of the family”) exercised absolute authority over the members of his household. Rome The paterfamilias looked after the family's business affairs and property and could perform religious rites on the family’s behalf. If his children angered him, he had the legal right to disown them, sell them into slavery, or even kill them. Only the paterfamilias could own property: whatever their age, until their father died, his sons only received an allowance to manage their own households. Rome Sons were important, because Romans put a lot of value on continuing the family name. If a father had no sons then he could adopt one – often a nephew – to make sure that the family line would not die out. When a child was born into the family, the paterfamilias had the right to decide whether to keep a newborn baby. After birth, the midwife placed the baby on the ground: only if the paterfamilias picked it up was the baby formally accepted into the family. Rome If the decision went the other way, the baby was exposed – deliberately abandoned outside. This usually happened to deformed babies, or when the father did not think that the family could support another child. Babies were exposed in specific places and it was assumed that an abandoned baby would be picked up and then taken as a slave. Around 25 % of babies in the first century C.E. did not survive their first year and up to half of all children died before the age of 10. Rome It wouldn’t be difficult for the Romans to move from the concept of an authoritarian paterfamilias to that of an authoritarian state and ultimately an allpowerful emperor (called paterpatriae – father of the country). Rome Roman women usually married in their early teenage years, while men waited until they were in their mid-twenties. As a result, the materfamilias (mother of the family) was usually much younger than her husband. It was accepted that the materfamilias was in charge of managing the household. In the upper classes, she was also expected to assist her husband’s career by behaving with modesty, grace and dignity. Rome As was common in Roman society, while men had the formal power, women exerted influence behind the scenes. Nearly everything we know about Roman women pertains to those in the upper classes. Unable to own property or represent herself in legal proceedings, a woman had to depend on a male guardian to advocate for her interests. Rome In early Rome, a woman never ceased to be a child in the eyes of the law. She started out under the absolute authority of the paterfamilias. When she married, she came under the jurisdiction of the paterfamilias of her husband’s family. Rome Despite the limitations put on them, Roman women seem to have been less constrained than their counterparts in the Greek world. Husband and wife mosaic from Pompeii. Rome While service to the state could lead to distinction, it was considered an extension of the obligation that Romans felt toward their families. The most admired characteristic of the Roman male was gravitas (dignity). Gravitas meant enduring strength rather than delicacy, power rather than agility, mass rather than beauty, utility rather than grace–these were the hallmarks of Rome. Rome Fact rather than imagination dominated its art and strength clothed in dignity was the Roman ideal. Swathed in his toga, a well-born Roman never gave the impression of being in a hurry…he always seemed to be on parade, always conscious of his audience. In homage to the past, he constantly reminded himself of the eminent forebears whom it was his duty to emulate in every waking action. Rome The private lives of Roman gentleman were strictly regulated by a code that defined acceptable conduct. While virtually all forms of business were closed to them, upper-class Romans found plenty of loopholes in this code by having “degrading” businesses run by slaves or hired agents; lawyers, long prohibited from accepting fees for their services, never refused gifts from grateful clients. Rome To a Roman gentleman, the menial work of an unskilled laborer, a fishmonger, butcher, cook, sausage-maker, perfumer, dancer, or actor was unthinkable. The one exception was a manufacturer of bricks (a widely used Roman building material); because clay was a product of the earth, brick-making was considered a branch of “respectable” agriculture. Rome According to legend, there were seven kings between 753-509 BCE; the first was Romulus; the last was the tyrannical Tarquinius Superbus (or Tarquin the Proud) who ruled from 535509 BCE. When his son Sextus raped his cousin’s wife (Lucretia—who killed herself from shame), the public outcry brought down the monarchy. Rome In 507 BCE, members of the Senate, led by Brutus “the Liberator,” deposed Tarquinius Superbus (he was sent into exile) and instituted a res publica, a “public possession,” or a republic. Rome The Roman Republic, which lasted from 50731 BCE, was not a direct democracy. Even though all male citizens were eligible to attend various assemblies, the votes of the wealthy land-owning aristocrats (known as patricians) counted for more than the votes of the poorer citizens (known as plebeians). The word patrician comes from the Latin “patres” meaning “fathers.” Rome The plebeians were the vast majority of the population—workers, merchants, and peasants. Although both groups had the right to vote, only patricians had the right to become leaders in Rome. So, all power was in the hands of the patricians. Rome Boys born into a patrician family would receive an extensive education, usually from a private tutor. This education would focus on the subjects a sophisticated noble would be expected to know, as well as some required for his future career. Poetry and literature, history and geography, some mythology and important languages – like Greek – would all be taught. Rome The Romans also considered lessons in public speaking and the law to be essential parts of a good education. Most young patrician men would go on to careers in politics and government, for which these two subjects were crucial. Rome The patrician class enjoyed many privileges: its members were excused from the military duties expected of other citizens, and only patricians could become emperor. But being a patrician carried its own dangers: patricians could find themselves becoming wrapped up in palace intrigue. If they ended up on the losing side, they could easily lose their home, their lands and even their lives. Rome Apart from the plots and politics, however, members of both royal and patrician families faced little work or real responsibility and were blessed with a relatively charmed life – certainly compared to the other inhabitants of Rome at the time. Rome The transition from a monarchy to a republic seems to have been accomplished with relative ease. Even though Romans had rebelled against their kings, they continued to accept the idea of supreme authority, which they called imperium. But instead of giving the power to a king who held it for life, the Romans placed it in the hands of two consuls who held it for one year. Rome The imperium of the consuls was absolute, and they were advised by the patrician Senate. Either consul could block the acts of the other, but neither could institute a change in the laws without the other’s consent. A patrician in the 1st century BCE with busts of his ancestors. Rome The Senate played the dominant role in the politics of the Roman state, increasingly making policy and governing. Senators served for life, nominated their sons for public offices, and the Senate became a self perpetuating entity. Politically the history of the early Republic is the history of the struggle of the common people for a larger voice in their government and for social equality. Rome The inequalities in Roman society between patrician and plebian became so sharply defined, that they became separate communities. Plebeians couldn’t marry into the patrician class and couldn’t hold any important offices. Yet plebeians were citizens, served in the Army, paid taxes, and were every bit as Roman in outlook and tradition as the patricians. Rome The basic difference was religious status: certain religious rituals could only be performed by patricians. Since these rituals were prerequisites for holding important offices, plebeians were effectively barred from advancement in the government, and therefore in society. This led to periodic unrest and conflict (known as the “Conflict of the Orders”) between 509287 BCE. Rome On a number of occasions, the plebeians refused to work or fight, and even physically withdrew from the city in order to pressure the elite to make political concessions. One result was the first publication of Roman laws, on twelve stone tablets (450 BCE), which gave the plebeians some legal protections from the abuses of judicial officials. Rome Another reform was the creation of a new office—the tribune—who represented plebeians in the public assemblies. The tribunes served for one year and had the power to block legislation from the Senate that was unfavorable to the lower classes by simply calling out “Veto!” (I forbid). Rome The person of a tribune was so respected, anyone of any class doing him violence was liable to punishment by death. Following the establishment of the tribunate, a series of laws gave plebeians the right to intermarry with patricians, the right to hold the office of the consul, and finally in 287 BCE the right to pass laws in the plebeian assembly without the consent of the Senate. Rome Romans took great pride in this political system, believing it gave them more freedom than most of their more autocratic neighbors. Rome Slavery was a defining element of Roman society. Every ancient society practiced slavery, but none to the scale of the Romans. Rome By the time of Christ, the Italian heartland of the Roman Empire had 2-3 million slaves, or about 33-40% of the total population (in China and India it was maybe 1% of the population). Not until the modern slave societies of the plantation complex was slavery practiced again on such a large scale. Rome Even families of modest means frequently had 2-3 slaves to do the chores...wealthy families might own hundreds. Owning slaves confirmed peoples’ positions as free, demonstrated their social status, and expressed their ability to exercise power. The vast majority of Roman slaves were prisoners of the many wars that came with expansion or the creation of the empire. Rome After the Third Punic War (146 BCE) and the destruction of Carthage, the Romans enslaved en masse over 55,000 people. Pirates also kidnapped thousands of people, selling them to Roman slave traders. Roman merchants were able to purchase slaves from the long-distance trading networks extending to the Black Sea, eastern Africa, and northwestern Europe. Rome Rome The children of slave mothers were also regarded as slaves and these “home-born” slaves had more prestige because they were thought to be less trouble (since they had never known freedom). Rome Abandoned children could legally become the slave of anyone who rescued them. Roman slavery had nothing to do with race or ethnicity, so the slave markets had an enormous diversity of people. Like slave owners everywhere, the Romans thought their slaves were “barbarians;” lazy, unreliable, immoral, etc. and came to think of certain peoples as slaves by nature (Asiatic Greeks, Syrians, and Jews). Rome Slaves were considered property; they had no rights and were subject to their owners' whims. Rome However, they had legal standing as witnesses in courtroom proceedings, and they could eventually gain freedom and citizenship. Masters often freed loyal slaves in gratitude for their faithful service, but slaves could also save money to purchase their freedom. Rome There was no serious criticism of slavery, even when Christianity became more important. Christian teaching held that slaves should be “submissive to their masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.” Rome St. Paul used the metaphor of slavery to describe the relationship of believers to God, saying they were “slaves of Christ.” Rome Even Saint Augustine described slavery as God’s punishment for sin. He regarded it as another necessary evil resulting from humanity's fall from divine grace. Rome So slavery was deeply embedded in the religious thinking and social outlook of the Romans. Slavery was especially entrenched in the Roman economy. No occupation was off-limits to slaves except military service, and there was no distinction between jobs that used slaves or free people…frequently they labored side by side. Rome In rural areas, slaves were most of the labor force that worked estates (whose products were exported like the later plantations of the Americas). Often they worked chained together. Rome In the cities, slaves often worked in their owners’ households, but also as skilled artisans, teachers, doctors, entertainers, and actors. (A slave trained in medicine was worth 50 agricultural slaves). Especially prized were educated Greek slaves, who became the tutors for the children of Rome’s elite class. Rome Others maintained the temples and shrines and kept Rome’s water system running. Certain classes of slaves lived lives of absolute misery, especially those who worked in construction or those who were forced into the empire’s many mines and stone quarries where they labored under brutal conditions. Often fed a bare subsistence diet, they worked until they were too old or too sick, then they were abandoned. Rome A pound of Chinese silk was typically worth 12 slaves. Some slaves, in the service of the Emperor, were trained in special schools to become gladiators. Rome Saturnalia was a traditional celebration like Christmas in which slaves and masters switched places. In this celebration, the master became the slave and performed all the tasks of the slave, and the slaves did the opposite. Rome Roman slaves, like slaves everywhere responded to enslavement in many ways. Most simply did what they had to survive but there were cases of prisoners of war committing mass suicide rather than become slaves. Slaves sometimes resorted to “weapons of the weak,” pretending illness, working poorly, putting curses on their masters. Rome Sometimes slaves escaped into the large crowds or to remote rural areas, prompting a growing business of catching runaways. Occasional murders of slave owners made masters conscious of the dangers they faced and prompted the Roman saying “Every slave we own is an enemy we harbor.” Rome Several times in Roman history there were slave led rebellions, the most famous happening in 73 BCE. It was led by the slave gladiator Spartacus. Rome Spartacus initially led seventy slave-gladiators to freedom…their success attracted a growing number of slaves. At the height of the rebellion, it is estimated there were 120,000 slaves in revolt. They set Italy ablaze for nearly three years, sometimes crucifying captured slave owners or making them fight to the death gladiator style. Rome Eventually the movement collapsed when the slaves encountered the superior Roman legions. Some 6,000 rebel slaves were nailed to crosses along the Apian Way from Rome to Capua, where the revolt had begun. Rome Nothing on the scale of the Spartacus rebellion occurred again in the Western world until the Haitian Revolution of the 1790’s. But Haitian rebels wanted to create a new society, free of slavery altogether. None of Rome’s slave rebellions, including Spartacus’, had any such plan or goal. They simply wanted to escape from slavery. As a result, aside from the perpetual fear of slave owners, the slave system in Rome was unaffected. Rome Slave owners were supposed to provide their slaves with the necessities of life (food, shelter, protection, etc). This often meant slaves had a more secure life than impoverished free people who had to fend for themselves, BUT the price of that security was absolute subjection to the will of the master. Rome Beatings, sexual abuse, and sale to another owner were constant possibilities. Having no legal rights, slaves couldn’t legally marry, and if they accumulated money or possessions, it legally belonged to their masters, who could seize it at any time. Rome If a slave murdered his/her master, Roman law demanded the lives of all the victim’s slaves. When one Roman official was killed by a slave in 61 CE, all 400 of his slaves were condemned to death. In Rome, like Greece, slavery was widespread. But in Rome, unlike Greece, freedom was accompanied with citizenship. Rome Slave labor was so widely used by both the Greeks and Romans that neither culture found much need for technological advances as labor-saving devices. As a result, the Mediterranean world fell behind the technological level of China and India in the areas of agriculture and manufacturing. Rome Rome Even though Roman citizens were equal before the law, there were sharp social stratifications among them. A Roman’s education, marriage, military service, career—even the decorations on his clothes—reflected his social status. By the First Century CE, three distinct divisions of society had developed among free Romans. Rome The upper class was made up of the hereditary office holders, the nobiles—the old patricians. Next were the equestrians—or more properly, knights—who were mainly businessmen. They were involved in major commercial ventures, like finance or insurance. The plebeians—along with the freedmen (liberated slaves who didn’t have the full rights of citizenship) made up the largest part of the population. Shop keepers and artisans were here. Rome Marriage was usually arranged by parents with a keen eye for status and material advantages. Close friends often served as matchmakers. Once a match had been made, the betrothal was formalized in a ritual. The dowry was stipulated, and the bride-to-be, usually 14 or 15, received gifts and a pledge of marriage from her fiance. Symbolic of the pledge was a metal ring worn on the third finger of her hand, from which a nerve was believed to lead directly to the heart. Rome There were three forms of a marriage service, two of which made the wife legal chattel of her spouse—but that didn’t keep a wife from exercising profound influence (even control) over her husband. The most formal form of marriage was called a confarreatio (used only by patricians) was a formal contract and a woman’s person and property were surrendered to her husband. Rome For women who wanted more freedom, a less rigid form of marriage (called coemptio) the groom symbolically “bought” the bride from herself. In the usus (similar to a modern common-law arrangement) the couple lived as husband and wife without any religious ceremony. After a year they were considered legally married. If the woman owned property she could retain the rights to it if she didn’t sleep with her husband and in her their home for 3 nights every year. Rome Weddings—especially the confarreatio—were very ceremonial. The date was selected with great care: many days of the year, including all of March and May and half of June were considered unlucky. On her wedding day, the bride wore a special tunic fastened about the waist by a woolen girdle tied in a “Hercules knot,’’ which only the groom could untie. Over this she wore a saffron cloak and a veil of flaming orange. Her elaborately arranged hair was topped by a crown of flowers. Rome The wedding was conducted by two priests. The couple sat side by side on stools covered with a single sheepskin, and shared a sacred wheat cake while holding hands (as a sign of union) as the marriage contract was read. After the ceremony, the bridal party proceeded to the home of the groom, accompanied by flutists and boys who threw nuts to children (nuts symbolized fertility). Rome At their new home, the bride was carried over the threshold (but not by the groom)…if she stumbled it was considered a bad omen! The groom presented his bride with a lighted torch and a filled vessel, the symbols of fire and water, essential for maintaining the Roman home. The bride lit the hearth fire, then tossed the torch to the bridal company, which scrambled for it as a lucky memento, a custom which survives today. Rome In addition to the ties of family and class, all Romans except slaves were bound in another relationship that has no modern counterpart. This was the patron-client association, which required large numbers of Romans above the plebeian class to assume an obligation for the well-being of certain of their inferiors. Clients sought the help and protection of patrons, men of wealth and influence. Rome A senator might have dozens or even hundreds of clients to whom he provided legal advice and representation, physical protection, or loans of money or food in tough times. In return, the client was expected to follow his patron into battle, support him in the political arena, work on his land, and most importantly, openly show loyalty and respect whenever the two met.. Rome Every morning between 7-9 AM, the streets of Rome were filled with throngs of clients awaiting their patrons so they could accompany them to the Forum for the day’s business. Rome The client never addressed his patron by name (a major faux pax) and called him dominus— master. A slip in etiquette might cost the client dearly in terms of what he’d receive from the patron. This relationship always provided a vain man with a retinue to follow him through the streets. Rome Despite Rome’s glorious architecture, only the richest citizens enjoyed the good life – most lived in dangerous, cramped and smelly housing. Sitting next to the grandeur of imperial Rome, however, would have been the tiny, rickety homes of normal people, whose lives were far less fabulous. Rome Most citizens living in Rome and other cities were housed in "insulae." These were small, street-front shops and workshops, whose owners lived above and behind the working area. Several insulae would surround an open courtyard and would, together, form one city block. Rome The insulae…crowded and cramped living. Rome The insulae were usually badly built and few had any running water, sanitation or heating. Constructed from wood and brick, they were dangerously vulnerable to fire or collapse. Rome Romans – including those who lived in the countryside – lived in a domus. They lived in beautiful houses – often on the hills outside Rome, away from the noise and the smell. Wealthier Rome Usually theirs was a single-storey house built around an unroofed courtyard, or atrium. The atrium acted as the reception and living area, while the house around it contained the kitchen, lavatory, bedrooms and triclinium (formal dining room). The rooms and furnishings reflected the wealth of the family and, for some, would be incredibly luxurious. Rome The wealthiest Romans might have a private bath or library, while others kept two homes – one in/near the city, the other in the clean air and quiet surroundings of the countryside. Rome Wealthy Romans might have several dining rooms so they could entertain more guests – or they might eat outside in warm weather. Tables were often “U” shaped…the servants or slaves would serve the food from the empty fourth side of the table. Diners would then eat the food with their fingers or, if necessary, with a small knife. Rome would lie on their sides – leaning on their left elbows – facing the table. Diners Rome Wealthy families would usually have three courses. The appetizers, or gustatio, would include eggs, shellfish, or vegetables. The entrees, called prima mensa, would usually be cooked vegetables and meat. The dessert, or mensa secunda, would be sweet dishes, such as fruit or pastry. Rome Plebian meals were centered around corn or wheat (grain), oil, and wine. Cereals were the staple food, originally in the form of husked wheat being made into porridge, but later wheat was made into bread. Bread was the single most often eaten food in Ancient Rome, and was sometimes sweetened with honey or cheese and eaten along with sausage, domestic fowl, game, eggs, cheese, fish, or shellfish. Rome Romans loved wine, but they drank it watered down, spiced, and heated. Undiluted wine was considered to be barbaric, and wine concentrate diluted with water was also common. Pasca was probably popular among the lower classes. It was a drink made from watering down acetum, low quality wine similar to vinegar. Beer and mead were most commonly drunk in the northern provinces. Milk, typically from sheep or goats, was considered to be barbaric and was therefore reserved for making cheese or medicines. Rome Fish and oysters were especially popular; meat, particularly pork, was in high demand as well. Elsewhere in Rome, delicacies, such as snails or dormice, were specially bred. A variety of cakes, pastries, and tarts were baked commercially and at home, often sweetened with honey. Rome Vegetables, such as cabbage, parsnips, lettuce, asparagus, onion, garlic, radishes, lentils, beans, and beets were imported. Fruits and nuts were also available to the consumer, as was a variety of strongly flavored sauces, spices, and herbs, which became very popular in Roman cuisine. Rome Romans generally ate one large meal daily. Breakfast, if taken, was a light meal at best, often nothing more than a piece of bread. This was followed by the main meal of dinner at midday, and a small supper in the evening. Later, dinner was eaten as a large meal in the evening, replacing supper and adding a light lunch, or prandium. Rome For the poor, meals consisted of porridge or bread with meat and vegetables, if available. For the poor, tableware probably consisted of coarse pottery, but for those willing to spend the money, tableware could be purchased in fine pottery, glass, bronze, silver, gold, and pewter. Bronze, silver, and bone spoons existed for eggs and liquids. These spoons had pointed handles that could be used to extract shellfish and snails from their shells. Rome Roman Beliefs: Rome Much of the culture of the Romans was adopted from the Greeks. The Greek alphabet, which was adopted from the Phoenicians, was passed onto the Romans, who modified the letters and transmitted their alphabet throughout the various parts of their empire. Rome Many aspects of Greek rational thought, including the works of Aristotle and the philosophical school of Stoicism, became part of Roman life. Stoicism taught that men should use their powers of reason to lead virtuous lives and to assist others. Rome Early Romans believed in invisible, shapeless forces known as numia. The Romans tried to maintain a pax deorum (“peace of the gods”), a covenant between the gods and the Roman state. Priests (from the aristocracy) performed rituals and sacrifices to win the gods’ favor and in return, the gods were expected to bring success to the undertakings of the Roman state. Rome When the Romans came in contact with the Greeks living in southern Italy, they adopted the Greek gods and their myths. Rome Zeus = Jupiter Hera = Juno Poseidon = Neptune Athena = Minerva Dionysus = Bacchus Ares = Mars Artemis = Diana Hades = Pluto Hephaestus = Vulcan Hermes = Mercury Rome By contrast to the earlier Greeks, the Romans were not preoccupied with speculative morality. The Romans would examine a problem, determine what needed to be done, did it, and moved onto the next task. They were very pragmatic. Romans tended to be very conservative and justified resistance to change by believing that the old ways had been the best ways. Rome A Roman gentleman saw himself as a paragon of sober propriety, and he looked down upon the more artistic and less inhibited Greeks as frivolous and feckless. A Roman gentleman strove for dignity and always tried to create the impression of a reserved spectator; he would not play a musical instrument, get sweaty in a gymnasium, or write philosophy. Rome Like the American pioneers, an early Roman farmer was prepared to leave his plow and family to fight his enemies. Officially accepted Roman history insisted that the Romans were invincible. According to Roman history (of themselves), winning was as natural as water running downhill. The occasional loss was explained as some divine chastisement for some transgression or as a lesson to be more alert and disciplined. Rome The Romans often told the legend of Cincinnatus, who according to the Roman historian Livy “merits the attention of those who despise all human qualities in comparison with riches, and think there is no room for great honors or for worth but amidst a profusion of wealth.” During an invasion in 458 BCE, a delegation of Roman officials went to tell Cincinnatus that he had been given dictatorial powers in order to repel the invaders. Rome Cincinnatus, working his modest farm, accepted command of the Roman forces for six months. In just 16 days he had defeated the invaders, surrendered his dictatorship, and went back to his plow. Rome The expansion of the Roman Republic (not the Empire) reached its peak in the 2nd century BCE. Some believe expansion was fueled by greed and the aggressiveness of a people with a fondness of war. Others think it was the two consul system (they had one year in office—and they couldn’t be reappointed—to gain glory). Rome All male citizens who owned a specified amount of land were subject to military service. The Roman soldier resembled the Greek hoplite, but Roman tactics were more flexible, with small units that could operate independently. Rome The Roman military machine: Rome The Roman writer Vegetius famously said “He who desires peace should prepare for war.” The Romans became experts in siege warfare. A Roman assault tower. Rome Romans seemed to be bred for warfare and to some contemporaries, it seemed as if their weapons were permanently attached to them. A Roman ballista could throw flaming objects 2,000 ft. Rome Starting in the 490’s BCE, Roman control of its Latin neighbors in central Italy began, and within a few hundred years, Rome controlled almost all of Italy. As the Romans moved into the southern “foot” of Italy, they came into conflict with the Greek colonies that had long been established there. Answering the appeal of their Greek cousins for aid, the mighty king of Epirus, Pyrrhus, arrived with thousands of soldiers. Rome Even though the Greeks soundly defeated the Romans in battle twice, the Greeks lost so many men king Pyrrhus famously said “Another such victory and I am lost,” giving rise to the expression “Pyrrhic victory” for battles that are too costly. Rome The Romans succeeded in defeating Pyrrhus the third time and he sailed home, leaving Rome master of the whole Italian peninsula. This victory over Pyrrhus gave Rome the status of a first-class power—which brought it into conflict with Carthage, the mistress of the Western Mediterranean. Rome considered every other power a threat and would spend the next several centuries trying to neutralize them. Rome Between 264 and 146 BCE, Rome fought three protracted and bloody wars against Carthage (the Punic Wars) eventually winning and becoming the undisputed naval and land power in the western Mediterranean. This brought Rome’s first overseas territories: Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain. The term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus (or Poenicus), meaning "Carthaginian", referencing their Phoenician ancestry. Rome Fighting in the Punic Wars. Rome Rome was so brutal in victory (146 BCE), legend has it that the Romans burned Carthage to the ground, then salted the earth to keep anything from ever growing there. All the inhabitants were either killed or Rome After the Punic Wars, Rome focused on the eastern Mediterranean and conquered Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. The conquest of the Celtic peoples of Gaul by Rome’s most brilliant general, Gaius Julius Caesar, between 59-51 BCE led to Rome’s first territorial expansion in Europe’s heartland. Rome Rome’s success in creating a vast empire eventually destroyed its republican system of government. Many peasant farmers, away from home for long periods serving in the military (they were the backbone of the Roman legions), had their farms repossessed by the wealthy who created large estates. These estates found it more profitable to graze animals or make wine instead of grow wheat (the staple food of Rome). Rome Rome became dependent on imported grain. Cheap slave labor (prisoners of war) made it hard for peasants who lost their farms to find work in the countryside. When they moved to Rome (or other cities), there wasn’t work there either and they existed in dire poverty. The growing urban masses, idle and prone to riot, created chaos for the republic. Rome A consequence of fewer peasant farmers was fewer men for military service. Some army leaders achieved political prominence by accepting poor, property-less men into the legions. These men were promised farms upon retirement from the military. Men like Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, Crassus, Mark Antony, and Octavian commanded armies more loyal to them than to the state. Rome This led to several bloody civil wars between military factions. Probably the most famous was Julius Caesar’s take over of Rome and proclaiming a Triumvirate (rule of three) in 60 BCE. Rome The Triumvirate was Caesar, Crassus (for his wealth) and Pompey, a rival general who had commanded actions against Mediterranean pirates and conquered Eastern provinces. Caesar’s conquest of Gaul (Gallic Wars 58-51 BCE) and being the first Roman general to cross the Rhine river gave him enormous popularity and power. When Crassus died in battle in 53 BCE, the balance of power was in serious trouble. Rome Power was now in the hands of two men who openly opposed each other. Caesar, as the proconsul of Gaul, was adding to his popularity and political stature through military victories north of the Alps. Pompey was consolidating his power in Rome. In 49 BCE Pompey persuaded the Senate to order Caesar to disband his army. Rome Caesar ignored the Senate’s order and in open violation of the law, he and his army crossed the river Rubicon, the southern limit of his military command. It was clear he meant to march on Rome and face Pompey. Rome Pompey and his army and most of the Senate had fled to Greece where he planned to mount a campaign against Caesar. Caesar struck first and routed Pompey’s army in Greece. Again Pompey fled, this time to Egypt, with Caesar in pursuit. But as Pompey stepped from his ship in Egypt he was stabbed to death by an agent of the boy-king Ptolemy. This gained Ptolemy nothing for when Caesar arrived, he was immediately beguiled by Ptolemy’s beautiful young sister, Cleopatra. Rome Soon installed as Caesar’s mistress, Cleopatra dominated Egypt after her brother’s death in battle against the Romans. Rome By 46 BCE Caesar won the civil war and returned to Rome as its sole ruler. To secure his position, he needed an heir. With no son of his own, he adopted his 17 year old great-nephew Octavian (63 BCE-14 CE). Caesar used his power well…he pardoned old enemies, he created a stronger, more efficient administrative system, he undertook extensive colonization projects, he provided work for the poor, and tightened laws against crime. Rome He planned a highway across Italy and gave Rome (and Western civilization) the Julian calendar. He even had laws made against such ostentatious behavior as wearing pearls in public and building mausoleums. But less than two years later Caesar was assassinated by senators (on the Ides of March, 44 BCE). Rome Rome Marc(us) Anton(ius)y was Caesar’s close friend and famously said, according to Shakespeare (Julius Caesar Act III, scene II) “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ear…” as Antony was trying to promote the virtues of Caesar while leading the Roman mob against Brutus. Rome Caesar’s heirs were the 19 year old Octavian (his legal heir) and Marc Antony, his coconsul. The Senate supported Octavian but the men created an alliance, forming the Second Triumvirate along with one of Caesar’s top lieutenants, Lepidus. Antony commanded the East, Octavian the West, and Lepidus Africa (and all three shared the Italian homeland). Rome The first order of business was to destroy the men that killed Caesar. In 36 BCE Octavius ousted Lepidus, took over Africa, and laid claim to all of Italy. Marc Antony was completely captivated by Cleopatra, rejected his legal wife (Octavius’ sister), and then married Cleopatra. The two men were now completely alienated. Rome In 32 BCE Octavius produced a document that he claimed was Antony’s will and read it to the Senate…it bequeathed all of Rome’s Eastern territories to Cleopatra. The angry Senate promptly gave Octavius permission to annul Antony’s powers and declare war on Cleopatra. Rome In 31 BCE, Octavius defeated Antony (and Cleopatra) at the Battle of Actium (Egypt). Rome When he returned to Rome, Octavius went to the Senate, announced that the Republic had been restored, then in a show of humility, offered to resign. The Senate proclaimed him princeps (“first citizen”) and Augustus (“revered one”). Because of his many names, it is common to call him Octavian (events 63-44 BCE); Octavius (events 44-27 BCE); and Augustus after 27 BCE. Rome Augustus never called himself king or emperor. So the period following the Republic became known as the Roman Principate. Rome Augustus was able to cleverly manipulate the Senate so that they had no real power. In his 45 year rule, he overhauled the government, the military, and the economy, creating a system that lasted another 250 years without major changes. When he died, no one even remembered the Republic. Rome One of Augustus’ many accomplishments was the creation of a new civil service administration that managed the huge empire with efficiency and honesty. The civil servants were known as equites, a class of Italian merchants and landowners, not patricians (they were second in wealth to the patricians, so they were respected and powerful). The army was reduced and became one of professional soldiers, not farmers. The navy was reorganized to effectively combat pirates. Rome These professional soldiers became an engineering force that built paved roads and public works all over the empire. Rome The Romans were pioneers in the use of arches, which allowed the even distribution of great weight without thick supporting walls. They also pioneered the use of concrete—a mixture of limestone powder, sand, and water—that could be poured into molds...this allowed the Romans to create their domed interior/exterior spaces. Rome They were also the first to create vaulted, domed structures. Rome The reforms of Augustus ushered in the Pax Romana (“Roman peace”), the 200+ year period (31 BCE-180 CE) of peace and prosperity when the empire reached its largest extent and Roman strength was generally unchallenged. Rome After the Pax Romana ended (c 180 CE), Rome settled into a decline that eventually ended in its conquest in 476 CE. Even though Augustus never regarded succession as hereditary, when he died he was so popular, four members of his family succeeded to the position of “emperor” even though these men had serious personal and political shortcomings (Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero). Rome Why was the first century so turbulent? The first answer is simple: hereditary rule. For most of this period, emperors were not chosen on the basis of their ability or honesty, but simply because they were born in the right family. Emperors had no elections or term limits, no early retirement or pension plans. It was a job for life, so if an emperor was mad, bad or dangerous, the only solution was to cut that life short. Everybody knew it, so paranoia ruled. Rome Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero Rome Before Augustus died (14 CE), he had chosen his stepson Tiberius to be his successor. Tiberius hated Augustus because the emperor forced him to divorce his beloved wife, and marry his daughter Julia (they didn’t like each other). Tiberius only became the heir after Julia’s two sons died (so he knew he wasn’t the preferred choice of Augustus). Rome Tiberius quickly ruined much of the prestige Augustus had accumulated. Morose, suspicious, unpopular, and almost 55 at the time of his succession, he quickly gained a reputation as a depraved and brutal ruler who disposed of anyone he so much as suspected of treachery. Rome The Roman historian Suetonius wrote “Not a day passed without an execution, not even days that were sacred and holy...some were executed with their children…the word of no informer was doubted.” Tiberius’ nephew was the fabled General Germanicus, who was sent by his uncle to quell mutinous armies in the north and bring peace to the Eastern provinces. Rome Germanicus did both extremely well and was called a hero. Tiberius was said to be extremely jealous of his nephew’s hard won popularity and had him poisoned (19 CE). Rome Warning that Germanicus’ family was plotting against the emperor, Tiberius’ most trusted advisor, Sejanus (known as the “cheat”) exiled the dead hero’s widow before killing her two elder sons. Only the youngest, Caligula, was spared. Tiberius knew of this atrocity and chose to do nothing. Rome Tiberius ruled for 23 years, spending the last 11 far from Rome (and his enemies) on the island of Capri. While on Capri, Sejanus controlled the government in Tiberius’ name while Tiberius scandalized Roman society with his astrology and drunken debauchery. Almost completely cut off from Rome, Sejanus was the only one allowed to visit Tiberius on Capri. Rome “The people were so glad of his death,” Suetonius wrote of Tiberius, “that at the first news of it some ran about shouting ‘Tiberius to the Tiber’ while others prayed to Mother Earth…to allow the dead man no abode except among the damned.” Tiberius was succeeded by his grandnephew Caligula (sometimes known as Gaius 37-41 CE). Rome Caligula was not a family name, he was named after a soldier’s footwear known as a caligae. When he went on military campaigns with his father (legendary General Germanicus), the boy wore miniature versions of a soldier’s footwear. Germanicus’ troops nicknamed the boy Caligula which means “Little Boots” or “Booties.” Caligula hated the name and wanted to be called Gaius. Rome At first, Caligula was hailed as a popular hero for he pardoned political offenders, banished informers, brought back people exiled by Tiberius, reduced taxes, sponsored lavish games, and burned the records of the treason trials of Sejanus. But seven months into his reign, he fell gravely ill (some think epilepsy). He eventually recovered but was very different. Rome He soon carried the powers of the princeps beyond all bounds. Dressed in silk robes and covered in jewels, Caligula pretended he was a god. He forced senators to grovel and kiss his feet and seduced their wives at dinner parties. He restored the hated treason trials of Tiberius, executing both rivals and close allies, including the head of the Praetorian Guard, his personal protection squad. Rome He had two large pleasure barges built on Lake Nemi complete with marble décor, mosaic floors, statues, and lead plumbing bearing the inscription “Property of Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.” Rome He proposed that his horse Incitatus be elected consul; he outfitted his horse for office by giving it a marble stall, a jewel studded collar, purple blankets, and servants that fed the animal oats mixed with gold flakes. Rome In 40 CE, he led an army north into Gaul, robbing its inhabitants before marching to the shore to invade Britain. Just as the army was about to launch its attack, he ordered them to stop and gather seashells. He called these the spoils of the conquered ocean. Wanting to be revered as a god, he ordered his statue to be placed in the Temple at Jerusalem. Rome When the treasury was bankrupted by his extravagance, he blackmailed patricians to bequeath their wealth to the state (on pain of death and confiscation of their property). His cruelty bordered on madness and outraged all of Rome, including members of his palace troops, the Praetorian Rome In 41 CE (four months after returning from Gaul) a group of advisors and officers assassinated Caligula and hastily buried the body, leaving Rome without an emperor or a successor (he was only 30 and hadn’t named one yet). So there would be no reprisals, they killed his wife and daughter too. While the Senate debated the problem, the Praetorian Guard decided to pick their own Rome Roaming through the palace, members of the guard found Claudius, the 50 year-old uncle of Caligula (and grandson of Augustus), cowering behind a curtain, and promptly made him emperor. Rome Partially paralyzed and ungainly, some thought him to be a fool (mentally challenged). Rome Left disfigured by a serious illness when he was very young, Claudius was also clumsy and coarse and was the butt of his family’s jokes. When he dozed after dinner, guests pelted him with food and put slippers on his hands so that he’d rub his eyes with his shoes when he woke up. As a boy, his grandfather Augustus acknowledged he had brains but was ashamed to have Claudius sit with him in public. Rome During his 13 year reign (41-54 CE), Claudius was known for working hard, often starting his work day after midnight. He expanded and reformed the civil service while making it more efficient and he granted new powers to the imperial governors abroad. He made major improvements to Rome’s judicial system, he passed laws protecting sick slaves, and he increased privileges for women. Rome Where his grandfather (Augustus) believed in the Empire’s borders being contained at the Danube, the Rhine, and the Euphrates, Claudius expanded northward to Britain. Britain had resisted Roman rule for over a century but was conquered by Claudius, who created client kingdoms to protect the frontier. He had succeeded where Caesar had failed. This was the most important addition to the empire since the time of Augustus. Rome Augustus seldom extended Roman citizenship to provincials (they should be of Italian ancestry); Claudius was much more liberal. In 48 CE he even had Celtic chieftains admitted into the Senate. Roman citizenship was now theoretically available to any qualified person of the Empire. Rome The paradox of the weakness of the man and the strength of his government has some historians suggesting that Claudius promoted his doltish reputation as a form of self preservation, to lull the Praetorians and possible rival claimants. As a man, he had awful taste in women and they proved to be his undoing. Rome When Claudius’ 3rd wife was caught having an affair with a nobleman, she committed suicide. Within a year, Claudius horrified Roman society by marrying his niece Agrippina (Caligula’s sister). An opportunist, she persuaded Claudius to adopt her son Nero and make him heir over Claudius’s son Britannicus (from his 3rd wife). Rome Once Nero was made heir, Agrippina had Claudius poisoned with mushrooms, delivered by a faithful servant. When he seemed to recover, Agrippina had the emperor’s doctor pretend he was helping Claudius vomit by putting a feather dipped in poison down his throat. Rome Nero became Emperor at the age of 16, and within a year, he had Britannicus killed by poison (he was almost 14). Later, he decided his own mother needed to be dispatched as well. Agrippina and Nero. Rome Nero started out well…he ended secret trials and gave the Senate more independence. He banned capital punishment, reduced taxes, and allowed slaves to sue unjust masters. He provided assistance to cities that had suffered disasters, gave aid to the Jews, and he established open competitions in poetry, drama and athletics. Rome But the young Nero had a dark side…before long stories were circulating that he seduced married women and young boys, and that he had castrated and "married" a male slave. He also liked to wander the streets, murdering innocent people at random. His mother and his tutor (the famous writer Seneca) tried to control him but his relationships with them soured. Rome Nero always fancied himself an artist and insisted on giving public performances where he would sing and play the lyre. This outraged Roman patricians who believed it scandalous for a noble to be seen on stage…but their attendance was compulsory. Rome Agrippina knew Nero would try to poison her so she built up an immunity by taking small doses. When the poison didn’t work, Nero arranged for the ceiling in her bedroom to collapse. When this failed to crush her, he sent for her to meet him at a seaside resort. Nero had the ship constructed so that it would fall apart at sea (but she swam to shore). Rome Finally Nero took direct action and accused her of plotting against the Empire and had her executed by loyal soldiers. Rome was appalled. Matricide – the murder of one’s own mother – was among the worst possible crimes. Rome When the Great Fire of Rome swept through the city in 64 CE, Nero was suspected of starting it because he said he wanted to rebuild the city in his own glory…it burned for six days and destroyed 10 of Rome’s 14 districts, including many homes, shops, and temples. Rome Nero offered to house the homeless, but it was too late...rumors spread about his possible involvement. When an assassination attempt in 65 CE failed, Nero’s paranoia unleashed a wave of terror on Rome, and hundreds of people, including Seneca, were executed or forced to commit suicide. Rome Rome had had enough so the Senate declared Nero a public enemy. This meant that anyone could kill him without punishment. Terrified, Nero fled to the country with his few remaining slaves and committed suicide. Legend has it that his last words were “What an artist the world is losing!” Without any heirs, the Roman Empire now had no leader. With the ultimate prize up for grabs, rival generals began moving their troops towards Rome and civil war. Rome Since the position of Emperor was not necessarily hereditary, after Nero other families obtained the post. In theory, early emperors were chosen by the Senate, in reality they were chosen by the armies. Rome By the second century CE, a series of capable emperors instituted a new mechanism for succession: each adopted a mature man of proven ability as his son, designated him as his successor, and shared offices and privileges with him. The Romans also imitated Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic kings by deifying (regarding as gods) many of their emperors after their deaths. Rome And a cult of worship of the living/dead emperor developed as a way to increase the loyalty of subjects. The development of this “imperial cult” would regard the emperor and his family as gods. On his death, Julius Caesar was officially recognized as a god, the Divine ('Divus') Julius, by the Roman state. Rome And in 29 BCE Caesar's adopted son, emperor Augustus, allowed the culturally Greek cities of Asia Minor to set up temples to him. This was really the first manifestation of Roman emperor-worship. Worshipping the emperor helped unify and focus the loyalty of the far flung provincials throughout the empire. Rome While worship of a living emperor was culturally acceptable in some parts of the empire, in Rome itself and in Italy it was not. There an emperor was usually declared a 'divus' only on his death, and was subsequently worshipped (especially on anniversaries, like that of his accession) with sacrifice like any other gods. The apotheosis of Antoninus Pius and his wife (161 CE). Rome The spreading of Latin language and the Roman way of life—Romanization—was one of the most enduring consequences of the empire, particularly in the western provinces. Greek language and culture, a legacy from the Hellenistic kingdoms, dominated the eastern Mediterranean The empire gradually granted Roman citizenship to those living outside Italy. Rome Men who completed a 25 year term of service in their native military units that backed up the Roman legions were granted citizenship and could pass this status onto descendants. In 212 CE the emperor Caracalla granted citizenship to all free, adult, male inhabitants of the empire. Rome But defending borders that stretched for thousands of miles was a great challenge, both in terms of cost and manpower. The Roman army was reorganized to go from an offensive to a defensive posture. Many borders were mountains, deserts, and seas…but some were rivers that could be breached (like the Rhine and Danube). Rome The Romans created strings of forts with small garrisons to battle raiders, and on some frontiers, like Britain and N. Africa, they built walls. Hadrian’s Wall (northern Britain): Rome the 3rd century CE the empire began to fall apart during what has been called the “thirdcentury crisis” (235-284 CE). Constant military, political, and economic problems almost destroyed the empire. More than 20 men claimed the throne during these 50 years, some merely lasting a few months before they were deposed or killed by rivals or their own troops. In Rome In 284 CE Diocletian pulled the empire back from the brink. A commoner and soldier, he ruled for more than 20 years and died in bed. His reforms included halting inflation by government control of prices for various commodities and services. To ensure an adequate supply of workers, he froze people in their professions and required they train their sons to succeed them. Rome When Diocletian resigned (305CE), he was eventually replaced by Constantine. Constantine, with his Edict of Milan, halted the persecution of Christians and guaranteed the freedom of worship of all peoples. Rome In 324 CE he moved the imperial capital from Rome to Byzantium, an ancient Greek city on the Bosporus (the people of the eastern Mediterranean were better educated and more were Christian). Rome This eastern empire will be known as the Byzantine Empire when Rome falls. The great Roman legacy was primarily in law, bureaucratic administration, finance, and engineering. The size and diversity of the empire called for flexibility in the law that combined effective central control. Rome Some of their legal inventions include: 1. The concept of precedent (how to rule in subsequent cases); 2. The belief that equality among all citizens should be the goal of the legal system; 3. Interpretation of the law, or the responsibility of judges to decide what a law means and how it should be applied; 4. Natural law, an idea that is the foundation of European and American societies, or the belief that humans have basic rights in nature that cannot be taken away.