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The Roman Empire
Gr. 7
Rome’s Beginnings
 Looking at the geography…
Rome’s Beginnings
 What is a Peninsula?
 A piece of land surrounded on 3 sides by water.
 Look at Italy on a map, you will see it is surrounded on 3
sides by the Mediterranean Sea. (Also mark on your map
the Med. Sea
 What shape does Italy look like?
 Let’s look at Google Earth 
Rome’s Beginnings
 Other key geographic terms…
 On the top of the boot, the Alps, a long mountain range
that separates Italy from Europe.
 Would the mountain range be a good thing or a bad thing
for Italy?
 The Strait of Messina; located between the toe of the boot
and Sicily. A strait is a narrow body of water which
passes between two large land masses
Rome’s Beginnings
 The Apennines, is another mountain range which runs
all the way down the boot of Italy.
 Unlike Greece and her mountain ranges, the mountains
of Italy did not create city-states and weren’t nearly as
cumbersome for people to pass for place to place.
Rome’s Beginnings
 So how did Rome become Rome?
 Well, although not much is known about the people
who settled Rome and Southern Italy, we can say some
time between 1500 B.C.E and 1000 B.C.E., Latin
speaking people had crossed into Italy and settled.
 A steady stream of settlers probably settled here due to
the mild climate and rich soil.
 Interesting note here about the location of Rome,
Rome’s Beginnings
 Tiber River is about 15 miles from Mediterranean Sea,
offered protection from Naval attacks and offered trade
routes to and from the Med. Sea
 Rome also built on 7 hills, each hill offered defensive
 Rome also became a prosperous trade city, because
one could cross the Tiber River easily.
 With many people crossing into and out of Rome, gold,
silver, precious metals also came with it.
Rome’s Beginnings
 Romulus and Remus is the traditional story of how
Rome began.
 While the story is Roman, the plot will be seen in other
originations of empires we will study this year.
 See page 264 in your textbook for the story of Romulus
and Remus.
Rome’s Beginnings
Rome’s Beginnings
 Two groups of people influenced the growth of Rome:
 The Greeks had been settling Southern Italy and Sicily
from 750 B.C.E – 550 B.C.E.
 Greece, still a world power, was busy building overseas
 Greeks taught Romans how to grow olives and grapes.
 Romans also adopted the Greek alphabet and would later
model their architecture, sculpture and literature after the
Rome’s Beginnings
 However the people how had a greater influence on
Roman life was the Etruscans.
 From North of Rome, after 650 B.C.E., they moved south
into Rome and took control of Rome.
 Were skilled metalworkers; became rich from mining and
 Had slaves do the heaviest work, made own lives
 Some famous Etruscan murals,
Rome’s Beginnings
Rome’s Beginnings
 Etruscans greatest significance to Rome;
 Turned Rome from a village of straw-topped homes into a
city built of wood and brick buildings.
 Laid out streets, temples, public buildings and central
 Also influenced fashion, with the wear of short cloaks and
 Most important, the Etruscan army would serve as the
model for what became the mighty Roman army, which
would be the greatest fighting force the world had seen to
this point
The Birth of a Republic
 The Romans rebelled in 509 B.C.E against the ruling
Etruscans. The ruling family, the Tarquins, had grown
more and more cruel.
 With the overthrow of the Tarquins, a Republic was
 A Republic is a form of government in which the leader
is not a king or queen but someone put into office by
citizens with the right to vote.
The Birth of a Republic
 Being surrounded by enemies, the Romans would
spend the next 200 years or so fighting war after war
against their neighbors.
 By 338, the Romans had conquered other Latin cities
and by 267, they had conquered the Greeks in
Southern Italy.
 Rome had control of the Italian peninsula.
 Take out your maps.
The Birth of a Republic
 So how do you do this…
 Well you have a fighting force which is excellent.
 How did the Romans become such good soldiers?
 Your thoughts…
The Birth of a Republic
 The Roman army…
 In the beginning, Romans fought like the Greeks, lining
up thousands upon thousands of men, marching
shoulder to shoulder, keeping their shields together
with longs spears.
 Roman generals found this slow and hard to control,
thus they created legions
 A legion is made up of about 6,000 men and was
further divided into smaller groups of 60 – 120 soldiers.
The Birth of a Republic
 As Rome conquered Italy, they set up permanent
military settlements in areas they controlled.
 The Roman Confederation was created to establish
rule over these areas.
 To make transportation easier, Romans built roads from
Rome to its new territories.
 Let’s look at page 266 and see what a typical Roman
legionary would wear…
The Birth of a Republic
 With its new conquests, Rome did something unique;
 It gave full citizenship to some people, especially other
 They could vote and serve in government and were treated
the same as other citizens in the eyes of the law.
 Allies were allowed to run their own local affairs but did have
to pay a tax to Rome.
 Rome rewarded those allies who were friendly to Rome and
sought to punish those who were not.
The Birth of a Republic
 Rome’s generosity I suppose paid off because
conquered people became more loyal to Rome than
their local authorities.
 Rebellions were swiftly put down in done in a way to
strongly discourage others from doing the same.
Rome at its height
Rome’s Vitals
 At the height of the Roman Empire, the 2nd century
A.D., the Roman Empire included some 65 million
 According to sources, the Roman Legion were as big
as 28 legions with approximately 4800 men per legion.
Each man would serve 25 years. (This is an estimate
due to the inconsistency to determine the correct
definition of the legion. Some have a legion consisting
up to 15,000 men.)
Rome’s Vitals
Rome was as big as 2.2 million square miles. The USA is 3.79 million square
147 Emperors served the Roman Empire (mot a perfect number)
Latin was the official language
Official religion of the Roman Empire changed from a polytheistic society which
religion was less a spiritual experience than a contractual relationship between
mankind and the forces which were believed to control people's existence and wellbeing to one which believed in one God, in which the Pope would become more
powerful than the Emperor.
Life Expectancy Table
For a 15-year-old to live to age 20 about 93% 25 = .93 x .92 = 86%
 30 = 78%
 35 = 69%
 40 = 61%
 45 = 52%
 50 = 44% 55 = 34%
 60 = 26%
 65 = 17%. 70 = 10% 75 = 5% 80 = 1.5% 85 = < 1 in 200
The Fall of Rome
 Rich vs. Poor: While the rich or elite ran the Roman
government and directed the wars, many small
farmers, whom owned a plot of land to arm, were off to
fight Rome’s wars.
 These farmers could not pay for their farms because
they could not farm them.
 Conversely, to avoid foreclosure (losing the farm yet
still having to pay for it,) these farmers, now soldiers
would sell their lands.
 To whom do you think they sold their farms to?
The Fall of Rome
 So know the farmer and his family were “homeless.”
 The people who were brought in to work the land were
the now enslaved, former enemy soldiers.
The Fall of Rome
 These homeless soldiers would turn to the cities and if
they could find work, it was for low wages.
 Thus the appeal of working for a general and having
the General take care of you and the family,
establishing a new home outside of Italy became so
 You may have actually had a situation where more nonRomans lived in Rome than Romans.
The Fall of Rome
 The real crime was that Roman Senators would violate
and break the law when it served them best to do so.
 When you have a government which purposely violates
the very essence of what it is suppose to represent, it
will fail to govern itself with any sense of guidance and
 The military becomes the power and governance of the
Roman Empire.
 Was a political leader and considered Rome’s greatest
public speaker.
 He had argued against dictators and called for a
representative government with limited powers.
 Cicero’s speeches and books swayed many Romans.
Centuries later, his ideas would influence the writers of
the United States Constitution.
Fall of Rome
 Octavian – became to be known as Augustus Caesar.
His leadership (in the spirit of Cicero) lead the way to
the Pax Romana.
 Which is translated to “Roman Peace”
 Augustus did 3 things very well,
 1. Stengthen the army – became a permanent army.
 2. Turned Rome from a city of brick to a city of marble
 3. Rebuilt the government to resemble and act as a
 What is a Republic?
 a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of
citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by
representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
 2. any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.
 3. a state in which the head of government is not a
monarch or other hereditary head of state.
Fall of Rome
 What Augustus did in each province was to promote or
appoint a proconsul, or governor, for each province.
 Augustus was quite the watch dog – He would travel to
the provinces frequently and audit each province to
make sure the governor was doing his job and doing it
in the best interest of the people and not themselves.
 Augustus also improved the tax system.
 He also improved the legal system.
Fall of Rome
 When Augustus died in 14 A.D., he had reshaped
Rome from a collection of provinces looking out for
their own interested, to one united under a common
flag and an empire working within the same system.
 In American History, Augustus would be Abraham
Lincoln. Group work
 The efforts of Augustus would influence human history
to this very day.
Fall of Rome
 Writing assignment:
 Augustus overcame the obstacles of illness and
political enemies to become a great emperor. Can you
think of any present-day individuals who overcame to
excel at something?