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Republic to Empire
In the Beginning
Romulus and Remus, twin sons of the god Mars
Left by their “father” (Amulius)
Left along the banks of the Tiber River
Helped by a she-wolf
Raised by a shepherd
Built a city where shepherd found them
Romulus built a city wall, Remus mocked him saying it
was too small
Romulus killed him in anger – named the city Rome
after himself
Peninsula of Italy located in the central
Mediterranean Sea.
Apennine Mountains run like a backbone
Fertile plains along coasts and in the north.
Why is Italy easier to unify than Greece?
Settled in the Tiber
River Valley
Settled in the
Southern portion of
Italy and in Sicily
Settled in Central
Define Republic:
Roman Government
form of government in which power rests with
citizens who have the right to vote
In Rome only free-born male adult citizens could vote.
Patricians- aristocratic landowners
Plebeians- common farmers, artists and merchants
Goal was to prevent any individual from gaining too much
What is this political term for this?
Checks and Balances
Roman Government
Twelve Tables forced by the plebeians so
that interpretation of laws were limited
Three “groups”:
Senate- 300 members
Consuls- rulers of Rome
Dictator- only in time of war
Most powerful governing body.
300 members (patrician class).
Served for life.
Issued decrees, interpreted laws, and elected consuls
to rule.
Two consuls
Serve only 1-year terms.
Could “veto” acts of the other
Veto means literally “I forbid”
Supervised the business of
Commanded armies
Chosen to rule absolutely in time of war.
Complete rule over country when in power.
Family and Religion
center of religion, morals and education.
Most important unit in Roman society.
“Family” – included unmarried children, married sons
and families, all dependent relatives and family slaves.
Father was known as “paterfamililias”
Adopted and identified with the gods of Greeks.
Lares – ancestral spirits within the home.
Vesta – guardian of fire and the hearth of which family worship
was focused..
1. What are the most
notable geographic
features of Italy?
2. How safe do you
think Italy is from
3. How might Italy’s
geographic position
have contributed to its
ability to expand into
the Mediterranean?
Roman Expansion and Wars
Army Video
Info on army:
Efficient and well-disciplined.
Roman legion - 5,000 men
Loyal, courageous
Mixture of praise and punishment:
Unit that fled a battle faced decimation (1 in 10 put to death)
Conquering Lands and People
Profess loyalty to Rome.
Pay taxes and supply soldiers.
Some chose citizenship.
Soldiers occupied and posted in foreign lands.
Built roads to link provinces.
Locals began to adopt Roman language,
customs and beliefs.
Punic Wars
First Punic War
Rome versus Carthage
Result of a trade rivalry.
Lasted 23 years
Rome victory gained:
Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia.
Second Punic War
Revenge by Carthage
Carthaginians were led
by Hannibal
He had 50,000
infantry/ 9,000
cavalry/ 60 elephants
Scipio defeats
Hannibal at Zama and
Punic Wars
Third Punic War
Devastation of Carthage
50,000 sold in slavery
Collapse of the Republic
Why did the Roman Republic decline?
Widening gap between rich and poor
Farmer-soldiers – dead livestock
– acquired “equites” (Ek-wuh-teez)
– Corruption of the wealthy
– Slaves made up about 1/3 of population
Slave life:
Revolts led by Spartacus (73 B.C.) – dies in battle.
6,000 slave followers executed by crucifixion.
Collapse of the Republic
Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus (GRAK-uhs)
Twin brothers
They tried to help the poor
Strongly opposed
Died violent deaths
Civil War ensued after their deaths
Violence became primary tool in Roman politics.
Julius Caesar
Formed a triumvirate (“rule of
three) with Crassus and Pompey
(military generals)
He ruled as consul for one year,
then became governor of Gaul
During his rule of Gaul he won
many battles that won him
popularity back in Rome
Julius Caesar
Crassus dies in battle
Pompey had become his rival, he asked the
senate to order Caesar to disband his army
and return home.
Crossing of the Rubicon (Jan 10 49 BC)
Caesar defied orders by marching across the
Julius Caesar
By 44 BC Caesar become dictator for life
Expanded the senate – 900 members.
Reduced their power to advisory council.
Created jobs.
365 ¼ day calendar.
Ides of March
March 15 44 B.C.
Stabbed 23 times
Led by Gaius Cassius
and Marcus Brutus
Famous last words “Et
tu, Brute?”
Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra
Pompey fled to Egypt
Caesar followed him there.
Arrived to find him beheaded
While in Egypt Caesar met Cleopatra, he
helped her to defeat her enemies
They fell in love, Cleopatra had a boy
named Caesarion.
Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra
Cleopatra returned home after Caesar’s death
Later she would meet Mark Antony in Egypt
Mark Antony fell in love with Cleopatra.
They will produce twins together.
Second Triumvirate
Second Triumvirate:
Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus.
Octavian, Mark Antony,
Octavian-Grand-nephew of Ceasar was in
charge of Rome
Mark Antony wanted to be sole ruler of
He married and put Cleopatra in power,
which angered Octavian
Antony was already married to Octavian’s sister
Octavian and Mark Antony
Octavian persuades the senate to declare war on
Eventually Octavian will defeat him at the Battle
of Actium
Mark Antony and Cleopatra fled back to Egypt
While in Egypt Cleopatra spreads a rumor that she
has committed suicide, Mark believes the rumor
and kills himself
Cleopatra will follow realizing that she has lost
control of Egypt
After the defeat of
Antony and Cleopatra,
Octavian becomes
“exalted one”
Will start the Pax
Romana- Roman
Mentally disturbed
Assassinated after
short brutal reign
Good administrator
but vicious
Murdered many
Persecuted Christians
Committed suicide
Ruled dictatorially
Feared treason
everywhere and
executed many
Began custom of
adopting heir
Empire reached its
greatest extent
Undertook vast
building program
Enlarged social
Consolidated earlier
Reorganized the
Antonius Pius
Reign largely a period
of peace and
Marcus Aurelius
Brought empire to
height of economic
Defeated invaders
Wrote philosophy
Brutal and incompetent
Called himself the “Roman Hercules”
Fought in many Gladiator battles
Condemned criminals
Prisoners of war
Free men
Start of the Roman Collapse
Cost of defense
Overworked soil
Absolute ruler
Limited personal
Fixed prices
Persecuted Christians
Divided empire East
(Greek) and West
He took eastern half, named a co-ruler
Would retire from power due to health
Civil war broke
Fought 3 others for
When he gained
control he reestablished 1 ruler
Moved capital to
Byzantium, later
Western Empire
Because of the capital being moved the west
was open to invasions
Huns- Mongolian nomads
Germanic tribes- Franks, Burgundians, and
Attila the Hun
Marched with 100,000
Attacked over 70 cities
on the way to Rome
He could not gain
control of
Pope Leo I helped
Last Emperor
Romulus Augustulus was the last Roman
Overthrown by German general named
The Eastern half lasted until 1453 when
they were conquered by the Ottoman Turks
Causes of Fall
Burden not reward
Military interference
Civil war
Division of empire
Moving of capital
Decline interest in
public affairs
Disloyalty, lack of
Rich v. poor
Causes of Fall
Poor harvests
Disruption of trade
Tax burden
Rich v. poor
Threat from European
Low funds
Problems recruiting