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Roman History
Foundations of Rome
a. The Place
i. *Apennine Peninsula
ii. *Alps separate it from rest of Europe**
iii. *Apennine mountains run down through Italy - in Sicily is the highest
- Mt Etna* (11,053 ft)
iv. Fertile areas along the rivers *(Po river valley)
v. Good harbors
vi. Cool rainy winters, dry hot summers
b. The People
i. Itali – tribe related to the Greeks
ii. One of the tribes call Latins settled in Latium and created a meeting
place or common market area called the Forum*
iii. This area becomes known as Rome in 753 BC
iv. *Greek culture dominated the primitive Romans by a people known as
1. Built streets, temples, sewer systems
2. Taught pottery, leather, metal, furniture, and weapons
v. Two social classes
1. Patricians – upper class (“Insider”)
2. Plebeians – lower class (“Outsiders”)
vi. Carthaginians
1. *City of Carthage founded in 814 BC as a Phoenician colony
in North Africa*
2. grew and spread into the islands Sicily, Sardinia, *Corsica,
and into Spain
3. Become Rome's greatest rival
vii. Gauls
1. *wild Celtic barbarians from western Europe*
2. last people to enter into Italy
c. Family
i. Strength came from family unit
ii. Father was head of the house
1. ruled the wife
2. ruled the kids
3. Ruled his sons with their wives and kids
4. ruled the slaves
5. power of life and death over his family
iii. trained the children
1. *pietas – *(piety) *sense of duty
2. *gravitas – *(gravity) *sense of purpose
3. *dignitas – *(dignity) *sense of worth
iv. with the disintegration of the family came the loss of character and
came the fall off the Rome empire
d. Religion
i. Was closely linked with family life
ii. Ancestor worship
iii. *******Embraced all the Greek gods – renamed them
1. glorified immortal human beings with a sinful nature
a. *no purpose for life (everything up to the whims of the
b. *no hope beyond the grave
c. *started turning to oriental cults by the time Jesus came
on the scene
e. education
i. *Fathers (paterfamilias) *taught *sons
1. *reading, writing, math
2. Moral values – obedience, honor, loyalty, courage, self-control,
reverence for Roman law and custom
ii. *mothers (mater) *taught *daughters
1. *duties in marriage
2. how to manage the home
iii. *higher education for those who were wealthy**
1. Wealthy Romans bought an educated Greek slave (pedagogue)
to tutor their sons
2. Mythology, geography, history, Greek, Latin
f. governments
i. *monarchy between 753-509 BC
1. Last 3 kings were Etruscan
2. *Kings were *head of nation, *father of state, *ruler,
*commander of army, *chief judge, *high priest of the city
3. *His office was elected by a popular Assembly (representatives
of the upper-class – patricians)
a. *Assembly made laws, declared war, concluded peace
b. *Advised by the Senate - 100 patricians
c. *Later replaced with Assembly of Centuries
ii. *Roman Republic 509 BC
1. *People led a revolt against the tyranny of the last Etruscan
2. *They establish a republic (interests of the people)
a. *The electorate was formed (all citizens eligible to
b. *Consuls
i. *Power was divided between 2 equal executives
ii. This would protect against one man having too
much power
iii. *Patricians elected by the Assembly of
iv. *Held office for one year
v. No right to succession (being re-elected)
vi. Duties - command army, in charge of public
funds, trial of important cases, priest in public
religious ceremonies
vii. *Could veto (Latin “I forbid!”) the acts of the
*could appoint a dictator for 6 months
in a time of disaster
c. *Senate was increased to 300 under the republic
i. Senators were from patrician class
ii. Plebeians were prohibited from holding public
1. They could vote but had little say in the
2. They paid the majority of taxes
3. Filled the lower ranks of the army
4. In 493 BC they refused to fight in army,
making the government listen to them
5. They were given an official plebeian
assembly called the concilium plebis
6. A tribune was appoint to hold office and
represent the Plebs
iii. *The Law of Twelve Tables
1. Set up in the Forum in 450 BC
2. Made Roman law accessible to all
citizens for the first time
3. This allowed Plebs to serve as senators
and consuls
3. Contributions to the Western World
a. *Republican form of limited, representative
b. Reverence for the rule of the law
iii. *Dictatorship - 44 BC with Julius Caesar
Military Expansion
a. *Roman Army developed around 500 BC
i. Soldiers had to be land owners
1. They had land to protect
2. It was their duty
3. they had to provide own weapons
4. modeled after the Greeks
ii. *tough training - marched 20 miles in 5 hours with full pack
iii. as it grew and developed they became uniform
1. *chain mail armor – to take slashing blows
2. *helmets to protect the head and neck
3. *shields – went around the body
4. *Gladius – Roman sword – stabbing sword
b. Roman Legion
i. Structure
1. *legion – 4,800 soldiers
2. *cohort – 480
3. *century – 80
4. *tent – 8
ii. Centurion
1. Crest goes across the head
2. Don't have to retire
iii. set up of army
1. *infantry – foot soldiers
a. Use their shields and swords to make a drum roar
b. Form wedges to break up the lines and then use the
short sword
2. *cavalry – horse mounted soldiers
a. Saddle – formed to allow soldier to lean out 45 degrees
b. They were there to harass the front line
c. *Roman navy
i. Fighting with Carthage (north Africa)
ii. Practiced on dry ground
iii. Made special ramps to attach to other boats then they could fight on
the “ground”
Battles of Rome
a. Carthaginians (264 – 146 BC)
i. *Punic wars (Latin for Phoenician – people of the sea)
1. 1st Punic war (264-241 BC)
a. Rome took many defeats
b. They finally took over the Med
2. 2 Punic war (218-202 BC)
a. General Hannibal of Carthage
b. Hannibal hated Romans
i. He marched his troops around through Spain
and France and across the Alps
ii. He came across on elephants (most died)
iii. It was such a surprise the Romans couldn’t react
iv. Cannae battle – major lose for Rome – 216 BC
1. Hannibal had 40,000 - Rome 80,000
2. He surrounded Romans
c. He marched on Rome
i. Battle of Zama – Rome defeats Hannibal
d. It took 15 years of fighting to get Hannibal out of Rome
– 202 BC
3. 3 Punic war (149-146 BC)
a. Rome attacks Carthage
b. Defeated Carthage and leveled the city
c. Rome's dominance now established
ii. By 133 BC Rome was an empire
1. Break down of the family
2. Breakdown in the government
3. Corruption and internal war (civil wars)
Rome takes over Greece and now owns the whole Mediterranean area
a. The army becomes mobile – to maintain their kingdom
i. *Set up a city wherever they went
ii. In enemy territory you make a city
iii. *Each camp was set up exactly the same
b. Practicing the art of decimation – to destroy 1 out of every 10 men
c. *The army was dispersed** throughout the foreign lands**
i. There was no standing army in Rome**
ii. Left Rome open for surprise attack
*Civil wars
a. *1st began with the death of the Gracchi brothers *(87-79 BC)
i. *Tiberius Gracchus
1. wanted to help the poor people (plebs)
2. limit the land that could be owned
3. land owners and some of the senate got together and murdered
him with 300 of his followers
ii. *Gauis Gracchus
1. regulate prices that they could sell to the poor
iii. create colonies where the poor could live
1. Nobles started a riot and threatened Gauis
2. Gauis committed suicide and 3,000 of his followers
were killed
b. *Slave revolt - 73 BC
i. *Spartacus
1. he was a slave forced to be a gladiator
2. led a revolt with other gladiators and 70,000 slaves
3. Rome needed to raise up legions to fight him
4. for 3 years they ran through Rome
5. they used guerilla tactics
6. *Senate told Marcus Crassus to stop the revolt
a. Raised up 6 legions and sent them against
b. Decimated two of the legions for failing to
apprehend Spartacus
c. Spartacus decided to fight like the Romans
d. *Spartacus was killed and they took 6,000 men and
they crucified them along the Appian Way
c. *Change in the Roman Army - 100 BC
i. The expanding empire meant long campaigns overseas
1. *For property owners this was too long
2. *Only 130,000 men in the army – needed to do 6 years at a
stretch – 16 years maximum over his lifetime
3. *Needed more men – had to recruit from somewhere else
ii. *Consul Marius*
1. *All Roman citizens could now enlist not just land owners
2. *Now poor people could have a prestigious job, good pay,
3. *It was now going to be a full-time professional force
iii. Soldiers
1. *Had to be tall
2. *Literate
3. *Good character references
4. *Had to pass a medical exam
5. *Sent for training*
6. *Soldiers were looking for booty
a. *increasing brutality
b. *their loyalty went from Rome to their general who
could make them rich
c. *general look at the army as his way to wealth
iv. *beginning of Super Generals – political ambitions
1. *Marius – counsel for many years
2. *Sula – eastern Med – dictator for a short time
3. *Pompey
a. Conquered Syria & Palestine (Israel)
b. Got rid of the pirates in the Med Sea
c. He wanted the senate to give property to his troops
d. Senate denied the request
e. Pompey is not happy with the senate
4. *Julius Caesar
*Julius Caesar (100-44 BC - ruled from 63-44 BC)
a. Nobleman who worked his way up to become a leader
b. *Was captured by pirates
c. *Had enough booty from Spain to buy votes in Rome
d. Made the consul – and then formed the 1st triumvirate - 59 BC
i. *Julius Caesar
ii. *Pompey the Great – Rome’s best general
iii. *Marcus Crassus – richest man in Rome
e. Made himself governor of Northern Italy and southern France
i. Made him commander over several legions
ii. More conquests – more power – more booty
iii. *He attacks a group of Gauls
iv. He attacks a German tribe
v. Attacks Belgium
f. His attacks were made against the barbarians
i. *The senate despised his actions
ii. *The people cheered for Caesar
g. His speed and surprise was part of his power
h. There was a loyalty between he and his men – he fought right with his troops
i. All the attacks made his men rich in booty and slaves
ii. Slaughtered over a million and took another million captive
iii. 40% of Italy were slaves – slavery was very important
i. *Conquered Gaul (France) turned his attention to *Great Britain
i. He attacked the Celts
ii. Made two attacks in 55 & 54 BC
1. both times his fleet was destroyed
2. was a failure
iii. *returned to fight the Gaul’s (with Verson Gettericks)
1. he lost the first fight
2. the Gaul’s ran to Alesia
3. Caesar besieged Alesia
a. Built a circle around the high ground and starved them
b. Diverted rivers to make motes around the fortification
c. Made “barbed” wire
d. When he heard another Galic was coming, he built
another wall around their fort
4. for 2 days they fought on the outside and inside
a. the Gauls ran away in fear
b. *Caesar’s right hand man was Marc Antony
j. *then he turns his attentions toward home
k. *Caesar heads for Rome (would be the 2nd civil war)
l. *Caesar set his sight on Rome and against *Pompey (a member of his
i. Senate told him that he would have to disband his army, and come
back to Rome
ii. *Pompey raised an army to fight Caesar
iii. *Caesar crossed the Rubicon (a boundary no one could cross without
the Senate’s permission
iv. He begins a civil war
1. 80,000 men join him to confront Pompey
2. Pompey and the Senate – flee
3. Caesar meets them head on
v. Caesar was faster, more unified,
vi. Pompey escapes to Egypt where Ptolemy takes his head and presents it
to Caesar
m. Ptolemy in a fight to be Pharaoh with his sister Cleopatra
i. Cleopatra seduces Caesar to make her head of all Egypt under Rome’s
ii. Caesar said it was necessary to safeguard Egypt
n. Caesar declared himself dictator for life - 45 BC - master of the Roman world
i. Began reducing debts of the poor
ii. Provided employment on public construction
iii. Reforms in the government
iv. Introduced Julian calendar (365 ¼ days)
v. Planned a new constitution
o. *******The senate kills him on the Ides of March, 44 BC, stabbing him 23
p. They wanted to return Rome to a republic
q. *This brought 3rd civil war - those loyal to Caesar, and those loyal to the
i. *Marc Antony steps in
ii. He forms the 2nd Triumvirate
1. *Octavian (Caesar’s grand nephew)
2. *Lepidus – Roman General
iii. The triumvirate goes and kills *2,300 people who conspired against
iv. Pursued Caesar’s assassins and defeated them in *Philippi in Greece in
42 BC
v. Divided the Roman Empire
vi. Triumvirate falls apart
1. *Lepidus forced out
2. *Antony joins Cleopatra in Egypt and gives away Roman
territory to her
3. *Octavian stirs up people against Antony
4. in 31 BC Octavian defeats Antony’s fleets and Antony seeks
refuge with Cleopatra in Egypt
5. Antony and Cleopatra later committed suicide
6. *Octavian becomes the master of the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire
a. Octavian - August Caesar - 1st Roman Emperor (44 BC - 14 AD
i. In 30 BC he returned to Rome and received as “savior” to the Rome
ii. Increasing his own power
iii. Absolute ruler of largest kingdom ever
iv. Claims several titles for himself
1. Princeps - first citizen
2. Caesar - heir to distinguished Roman family
3. Imperator - emperor and commander of the Roman legions
4. Pontifex Maximus – supreme one – head of the priests
5. Augustus - great one – form of deity
v. Mentioned in New Testament
vi. Ruled during the time that Christ was born
vii. Pax Romana – Roman peace
1. 30 BC – 180 AD
2. 200 years of peace and prosperity
3. Expanded the empire to Danube River
4. Began massive building program
a. Stadiums, walls, baths, temples, roads, aqueducts
b. Many still stand today
appointed Governors
1. Jerusalem
a. Herod the Great (37 BC – 4 BC)
b. Herod Antipas (4 BC – 39 AD)
i. Pontius Pilate (26-36 AD)
b. Claudian Emperors
i. Tiberius (14-37 AD)
1. good leader
2. not popular because he tried to stop the circuses
3. ruled during Jesus’ earthly ministry
a. appointed Herod Aggripa I (39-44 AD)
ii. Caligula (37-41 AD)
1. “little boots" or "little soldier”
2. was insane and couldn’t sleep
3. appointed his horse to the senate
4. Told the sun to rise in the middle of the night
5. was murdered by his own bodyguards after threatening to kill
the senators including his horse
iii. Claudius (41-54 AD)
1. Caligula’s uncle
2. weak emperor
3. the military subdue Britain in 43 AD
4. mentioned in the Bible
5. poisoned by his niece and 4th wife so that Nero could become
6. Governor - Herod Agrippa II (44-100 AD)
iv. Nero (54-68 AD)
1. mentally deranged
2. morally depraved
3. had his half brother, mother, wife put to death
4. Paul appealed to Caesar (this was the Caesar)
5. In 64 AD fire swept through Rome
a. Many people thought Nero set it
b. He wanted to institute a new building project
c. He blamed it on the Christians
d. Began a great persecution against Christians
e. Had them burned as torches
f. Hundreds of believers killed by Nero – including
Peter and Paul
6. his own Praetorian Guard revolted against him and he
committed suicide
7. 4 rival generals were appointed emperor over the next year
c. Flavian emperors
i. Vespasian (69-79 AD)
1. Helped to restore political and economical stability
2. Two sons
a. Titus – destroyed Jerusalem
b. Domitian
3. built the coliseum
4. There was a revolt of the Jews against Roman authority
a. Titus sent to Jerusalem
b. Titus marches on Jerusalem and destroys it and the
temple in 70 AD
5. 900 Jews fled Jerusalem to the hilltop called Masada
a. Vespasian sends his general to take Masada from 72-74
ii. Titus (79-81 AD)
1. son of Vespasian
2. destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD
3. Mt Vesuvius erupts and buries Herculeum, Pompeii, and
4. did not persecute Christians
iii. Domitian (81-96 AD)
1. demanded to be worshipped as God
2. he renewed the Christian persecutions
3. had John boiled in oil and then sent to the island of Patmos
where he wrote he wrote the book of Revelation
d. “5 Good Emperors” – they all persecuted Christians because they would not
worship the emperor
i. Nerva (96-98 AD)
1. revived the Senate’s power
ii. Trajan (98-117 AD)
1. expanded the border north of the Danube
iii. Hadrian (117-140 AD)
1. related to Trajan
2. builder of Hadrian’s wall
a. built between England and Scotland
b. to keep out Barbarians
iv. Antonius Pius (140-161 AD)
1. pro-consul
2. adopted son of Hadrian
3. restored the status of the senate
4. he was deeply concerned about the safety of his people
v. Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD)
1. known as a philosopher
2. his deepest desire was to do away with emperors and have the
senate lead once again
3. used the gladiators to help form an army
4. tried to get rid of the “games”
5. Germanic tribes became a threat
e. “barracks emperors”
i. Between Aurelius and Diocletian there were 29 emperors on the throne
1. only 4 died a natural
2. trouble brewing on the frontiers of the empire
ii. Commodus (180-192 AD)
1. Marcus Aurelius’s son
2. Tried to reestablish the power of the Roman circus with the
3. Made people come to the coliseum to watch him in over 700
gladiator battles - he never lost - people had to cheer him on
4. this began the decline of the Roman empire
5. immorality running rampant, sickness and disease, Mt
Vesuvius’ destruction, Germanic tribes getting restless
iii. next 120 years the Roman empire went down hill
1. Persian forces begin to fight against Rome in the Middle East
2. Emperors double the size of the armies and had constant war
3. They taxed the kingdom heavily to pay for the battles
4. Inflation soared and Rome soon refused their own currency as
payment because their coins were worthless
5. Barbarian attacks and civil war tore through the country
6. In the 3rd century the cities began building walls to protect
themselves since the government was no longer able to protect
them constant war
iv. Diocletian (284 – 305 AD)
v. Came to power when anarchy was rampant (anarchy = no ruler)
vi. Created two equal emperors (Augusti)
i. each had an assistant and successor (Caesar)
ii. Subdivided the empire into prefectures
1. each was ruled by a prefect who served under an
2. each prefecture consisted of a number of diocese
a. each diocese was ruled by a vicar
b. each diocese consisted of several provinces
i. each province had a governor
vii. in his empire there were 120 provinces and 13 dioceses
viii. instituted a new gold standard and wage and price controls
2. anyone not adhering to the new standards were put to death
3. resulted in further depression, food shortages and food riots
4. laws were repealed to be followed with more controls
ix. population decreased so taxes continued to increase
x. in 303 AD started on a savage persecution of the Christians – his
goal was to destroy Christianity
xi. persecutions continue to 311 when they are stopped by Constantine
xii. Constantine I (306-337 AD)
2. rebuilt Byzantium it was renamed Constantinople
3. “Christianized” Rome
4. Edict of Milan – 313 AD – guaranteed Christians freedom to
worship – ended the persecutions
5. “Christianity” becomes a state religion
b. pagans began filling the churches
c. they brought their idols and false beliefs with them
d. became a church of elaborate rites and ceremonies –
resembling the pagan temples
e. the presbyters (elders) became sacerdotes (priests) –
they began offering the Lord’s body for the living and
the dead (Eucharist)
f. errors and distortions of God’s word run rampant
g. “Catholic” (universal) church began its reign in Rome
Life Before and After Constantine
a. Before – Persecutions of the followers of Christ
i. Apostles deaths
1. Stephen
a. Stoned - 34 AD
2. James
a. Beheaded - under Tiberius - 44 AD
3. Philip
a. Crucified and stoned in Heliopolis a city in Phrygia - 54
4. Matthew
a. Run through with a spear in Ethiopia - under Hircanus a
king in Africa - 60 AD
5. James
a. Brains dashed out
6. Matthias
a. Stoned and beheaded in Jerusalem
7. Andrew
a. Crucified - died in Patrae in Achaia - under Aegeas
8. Mark
a. Drawn with ropes and burned in Alexandria, Egypt
9. Peter
a. Crucified - upside down under Nero in Rome
10. Paul
a. Beheaded in Rome under Nero
11. Jude
a. Crucified at Edessa in 72 AD
12. Bartholomew
a. Beaten, crucified in India
13. Thomas
a. Killed with a spear in India
14. Luke
a. Hung on olive tree in Greece
15. Simon
a. Crucified in Britain in 74 AD
16. John
a. Dipped in boiling oil, banished to the island of Patmos
b. Under Domitian
c. Died of old age around 100 years of age
17. Barnabas
a. 73 AD
ii. Other early martyrs
1. Ignatius
a. Thrown to the beasts and burned
b. Under Antonius Pius
2. Polycarp
a. Arrested for being a leader of the Way and not
worshipping Caesar
b. Burned at the stake as an exhibition to all
3. Blandina
a. Tortured her to the extent that her torturers were
b. Suspended from a pole and fed to the wild beasts
4. Matius, Sanctus, Attalus
a. Fed to beasts
b. Sat in hot iron chairs – to roast them alive
5. Alban
a. Died in England
b. Beaten and tortured
c. Beheaded
b. Under Constantine (306-337 AD)
i. Edict of Milan (313 AD)
1. extended legal protection to Christians
2. Christianity the only legal religion
ii. Tried to unite the church under the Roman state
c. After Constantine
i. Theodisius
1. baptism and membership to the church was mandatory
2. false “converts” filled the church
3. the unified church became known as the Roman Catholic
(unified, universal) Church – “World Church”
A New Rome
a. Division of the Kingdom
i. Western Empire – Rome is the capital
ii. Eastern Empire – Byzantium capital – name was changed to
b. The decline
i. The riches and power were in the East
ii. The west begins to slip away
1. the Goths under the leadership of Alaric sack Rome and carry
away the riches – 410 AD
2. as part of a treaty the Goths are given Spain and part of France
a. changed the name to Visigoths
iii. other barbarian tribes begin to invade (400-500 AD)
1. Huns
2. Vandals
3. Angles, Saxons, Jutes – invade Britain
4. Germanic tribes invade from the north and they remove the last
Roman emperor – Romulus Agustulus
c. Increase of the power of the church
i. In the area of Rome – the church has the final authority – specifically
the pope
ii. The pope’s power as well as that of the church is about to expand
because of a chance meeting between Pope Leo and Attila the Hun
1. This meeting, Pope Leo gave Attila a large amount of money to
leave them alone
2. Attila went home and the pope was hailed for being able to
control “The Scourge of God”
3. Attila died that winter in 453 AD. and the pope was looked at
as having special powers to do that
4. The Roman Catholic church took its place in history
Blandina (pg 25)
Matius, Sacntus, Attalus (pg 26-27)
Alban (pg 31-32)
To remember the first 12 emperors
Jump Over The Crazy Car Not Van Then Do Not Touch Hood