Chapter 6
Ancient Rome and Early
Section 1
The Roman Republic
Section 1 Objective
• Describe the
structure of the
Roman Republic
and the ways it
Terms to Define
• Patrician: wealthy aristocrat class that had come into
being in Rome—Latin nobles.
Republic: a community in which the people elected the
Plebian: Most of Rome’s inhabitants, some wealthy,
some not, non-aristocratic townspeople and landowners
as well as merchants, shopkeepers, small farmers, and
Consul: Two patrician officials elected for one year
terms. They had to consult each other before acting.
Terms (con’t)
• Dictator: a leader whose word was law—
occurred mostly during times of crisis
• Tribunes: representatives chosen by
Plebians, granting them legal protections
and the right to veto government
People to Meet
The Etruscans
The Latins
The Tarquins
Places to Locate
• Italy
• Sicily
• Rome
• Greeks settled as
colonies 900 B.C.
Set up farming
Planted olive trees
and other crops
Introduced Greek
The Italian Peninsula
• The Greeks were
interested in
colonizing Italy for
several reasons
-Central location in
the Mediterranean
-Rich soil
The Italian Peninsula
Soiled enriched by silt
from mountain runoff
-Land to the north cut
off by the Apls
Mild, moist, climate
-Ideally suited for
trade among three
Asia, Africa
The Italian Peninsula
• Silt would often clog
the rivers
– Created mosquito
infested areas
– Epidemics of Malaria,
Early Inhabitants
• Generally traded
among themselves
-Rocky coastline
-Covered 75% of the
Early Inhabitants
• Soiled enriched by silt
from mountain runoff
-Land to the north cut
off by the Alps
-Generally traded
among themselves
Geographic Problems
• Silt created swamps
which drew mosquitos
Marshy coastline
wasn’t good for
Early Peoples
• Neolithic cultures
probably 5000 B.C.
People there long
before the Greeks
arrived or Roman
civilization began
Villages and farms
• Umbrians, Latins
(Latium--LAY-sheeuhm--), Oscans
migrants arrived and
overwhelmed the
Neolithic peoples on
Italian Peninsula
2000-1000 B.C.
The Etruscans
• Ruled northern Italy
from 900 B.C. to 500
Did not speak IndoEuropean languages
Their alphabet came
from the Greeks—but
only a few Etruscan
words have been
The Etruscans (con’t)
• Etruscans writing
baffles scientists
Etruscan art
(paintings and
sculptures) is
expressive, needing
no translation
-dancing, playing, rich
and pleasant life
The Etruscans
• The Etruscans…more
– feasting, conversing,
wrestling matches
– Triumphant soldiers
– Beautiful deities, smile
and gesture
The Etruscans (con’t)
• Wealthy overlords
• Aristocratic priests
• Slave labor
• Slaves forced to dual to the death to
appease angry gods
• Lower classes finally freed themselves—
chief among them were the Latins who
settled in Rome
The Etruscans
• The Latins freed
themselves after
being offended by the
Son of Etruscan king
savages matron,
The Rise of Rome--Legend
• Legend
-753 B.C. Romulus
was building a wall
for his city on the side
of a hill overlooking
the Tiber River
-Twin brother Remus
building on the other
side of the hill
The Rise of Rome
• According to Roman
historian Livy, Remus
leaped over the wall
built by Romulus and
mocked him.
Romulus killed Remus
warning, “so perish
whoever else shall
overleap my
• Continued to build Rome—named after
– Romulus—myth—great military commander
– Rome continues to expand
• Rome became the greatest city in that
part of the peninsula
Rome Origins
• Latins
-Huddled in huts on
seven hills
-At some point, 800
B.C.-700 B.C., they
joined to become one
Etruscan Rule
• About 620 B.C., the Etruscan gained
control of Rome
• The Tarquins, name of Etruscan family
-Taught the Latins to use brick to build
-Drained the lowlands and laid out streets
Etruscan Rule
• Created the Forum in
the middle of the
city—which became
the government
-Served as kings for
The Tarquins
• Wealthy Etruscan
Provided kings for
Taught Romans to
built with brick and
tile their roofs
Drained marsh lands
and designed streets
The Tarquins
• Created a square
called the Forum
– The seat of
Tarquins Driven Out
• Tarquin the Proud—
very cruel
Romans drive the
Tarquins out
Etruscans stay and
help Rome prosper
Tarquin kings son
violates Lacretia
Social Groups
• Latin nobles called
– Patricians declared
Rome a republic
– Wealthy aristocrats
Social Groups
• Most of Rome’s
inhabitants were
-Both patricians and
plebians could vote
-Both responsible for
serving in military
Social Groups
• Vote
• Pay taxes
• Serve in the military
• Could hold public office
• Vote
• Pay taxes
• Serve in the military
The Roman Republic
• Patricians organized Rome’s government
into executive and legislative branches
• Executive Branch
– Two consuls assigned day-to-day affairs
– One year terms
– Each could veto the other
– Veto: Latin for “I forbid”
The Roman Republic
• Consuls oversaw
other officials
– Praetors: judges
– Censors: keepers of
• Only a dictator could
overrule the consuls
Dictators appointed in
times of crisis
The Roman Republic
• Legislative Branch
-Assembly of Centuries (named for 100
The Roman Republic
Assembly of Centuries
• Elected from Executive
Branch officials
• Under patrician control
• Named for military
• Members—100
• Temporary office
• Little real power
• Executive Branch
• Under Patrician control
• Power outweighed
• Members—300
• Served for life
• Advised Consuls
• Proposed laws
• Approved contracts
• Most respected dictator
• Rival threatened Rome
• Found plowing his fields
• Led his troops to victory
• Resigned as dictator and returned to his
fields within 16 days
Plebians Against Patricians
• Plebeians resented power of Patricians
• Knew they could not rule without them.
• Plebeians made up most of military forces
• Patricians concerned about the military
Plebeians Against Patricians
• Plebeians went on
Left city create their
own republic
• Patricians meet some demands
– Recognized the Plebeians chosen
– Granted them legal protections and the right
to veto government decisions
– Tribunes were members of the Magistrate of
Plebeians and had some power
• Patricians recognized
the Assembly of
Tribes, the body of
plebeians that elected
Tribunes could veto
any government
• Could not be arrested
• Injuring a Tribune
was cause to be put
to death
Old and New Laws
• Plebeians insisted
laws put in writing
The Twelve Tablets:
basis of Roman law
Plebeians gain right to
serve in public office
Right to make laws in
Assembly of Tribes
Changes for Plebeians
• Debt enslavement ended
• Patrician/Plebeian marriage approved
• Plebeians moved Rome closer to
• The most significant victory—the Twelve
Tables—a written law code
The Twelve Tables
• Roman law had
rested on unwritten
– patrician judges
interpreted unfairly
– Plebeians insisted laws
be written down
The Twelve Tables
• 451 B.C. patricians
engraved the laws on
12 bronze tablets set
in the Forum
-standards for laws
-principle that citizens
protected by law
• Early Etruscans worshipped “spirits”
ultimately seen as gods or deities
• Adopted practice of foretelling the future
• Priests known as
Watched flight of
birds or intestines of
animals to gain
knowledge of future
• Roman influenced by Greek culture
• 500 years as a republic
• Borrowed Greek deities giving them
Roman names
-Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love,
became the Roman goddess, Venus
-Ares, Greek god of war, became Mars
- Etc.
Religion (con’t)
• Families privately
worshipped their
ancestral spirits and
their storeroom
Worshipped Vesta,
goddess of the hearth
• The basic unit of roman society
• Large and close knit
• Unmarried children, married sons and
their family, all independent relatives, and
household slaves
• The father was the absolute head
Father as Absolute Family Head
• Conducted religious ceremonies
• Controlled property
• Supervised education of his sons
• Could sell his family members into slavery
• Could kill family members
• However, fathers felt deep sense of
responsibility for family
Roman Women
• Few rights, but more than Greek women
• Hosted parties, did marketing, ran
• Occasionally, acquired property and
• Could study art, Greek literature, etc
• Wealthy could let slaves do work
Roman Children
• Firm discipline
• Complete family
Parental Training
• Parents taught
children reading,
writing, and moral
Fathers trained boys:
farmers and soldiers
Mothers taught
daughters to run
• Thrift
• Discipline
• Self-sacrifice
• Devotion to family
• Devotion to the republic

Chapter 6 Ancient Rome and Early Christianity