Italy is a peninsula that is about 750 milesfrom north to south. It is also not verywide, averaging about 120 miles across.The Apennine mountains form a ridgefrom north to south down the middle ofItaly.Italy was divided into three main regions:the Po River valley in the Alps in thenorth, Latium, where Rome is located,and Campania. All three areas had fertilefarmland.
Geography played an important rolein the development of Ancient Rome.The Apennine mountains were notlike the stark, rugged mountains ofGreece – the Appenines did notdivide the country into small areas.Ancient Italy also had more land forfarming than Ancient Greece,allowing the Romans to develop amuch larger population.Rome was also located in an easilydefended area, with access by bothland and water.
Ancient Rome was located about 18 milesinland on the Tiber River.Built on seven hills, Rome was easily defended.The Tiber River allowed access to the sea andthe seven hills of Rome provided long-rangeviews and advantageous military positions.Rome was situated where the Tiber River waseasily crossed, making Rome the centrallocation for all of Italy.The southern end of the peninsula was animportant crossroads for the Mediterranean,giving Romans an advantage in sea trade.
• Roman legend attributed the founding of Rome to the twins Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a she-wolf; when the twins grew, they traced the boundaries of Rome with a plow, marking its borders (733 BCE)• In reality, the Romans were Indo-European people that moved into Italy in the period between 1000-1500 BCE• They moved into Latium and were Latin speakers• After 800 BCE, others began to move into Italy,specifically the Etruscans and Greeks.• The Greeks colonized southern Italy between 750 –550 BCE •The Greeks grew olives, grapes •Passed on their alphabet •Provided model for arts
• Rome was developed by the Etruscans, from the Northeast part of Italy called Etruria• After 650 BCE, they expanded into north- central Italy and came to control Rome and most of Latium• Romans adopted Etruscan dress – the toga and cloak• Roman armies were developed on Etruscan model
• In 509 BCE, the Romans overthrew the last Etruscan king and established a republic, a form of government in which the leader is not a monarch and citizens have the right to vote.• For the first two hundred years of the Republic, Rome was in a constant state of war.• In 338 BCE, the Romans crushed the state of Latium. They then went on the march to conquer the rest of italy
• By 264 BCE, the Romans conquered the Greeks who had colonized southern Italy and Sicily• The Romans created a Confederation, a type of rule that allowed some of the conquered people full Roman citizenship (the right to vote and hold office).• The other communities remained allied states and were allowed to run their own affairs as long as they continued to provide soldiers and taxes (tithes) to Rome
Why was Rome successful?• They believed in duty, courage,and discipline•They were good diplomats, whocreated loyalty in conqueredpeoples by allowing them the“privilege” of being Roman bygranting them citizenship•Although their diplomats wereeffective, they could also be cruelwhen necessary, especially incrushing rebellion
• The Roman military was a huge factor in Rome’s successful takeover of the Italian peninsula• Large population allowed them to constantly replenish the army – If defeated, the Romans sent another army rather than give up – They built colonies throughout Italy and connected towns with easy to traverse roads that allowed for fast military movement
• The Government of Rome:• Patricians Plebeians – Landowners craftspeople – Ruling class famers – Men could vote larger group than patricians – Elected officials men could vote• Chief Executive Officers of Rome• Consuls Praetors – 2 chosen every year In charge of civil law – ran government – led army into war• Senate Centuriate Assembly• 300 Patricians elected chief officials• Served for life & passed laws Tribunes were elected and took care• Advise government officials of different aspects of Rome’s public life, like roads, aqueducts, trade, etc.
• Plebeians and Patricians were often in conflict – Plebeians and Patricians could not marry – Plebeians provide most soldiers for army – Plebeians wanted social equality with Patricians
• The conflict between Plebeians and Patricians was partially resolved in 471 BCE – Tribunes of the Plebeians were created – Were given power to protect Plebeians from Patrician abuses – In the 4th century BCE, plebeians were allowed to become consul – In 287 BCE the Council of Plebs was allowed to create and pass laws that affected all Romans
Rome had an elaborate system of laws that wasimitated throughout the Mediterranean.Rome’s first code of laws was the Twelve Tables,adopted in 450 BCE. All the Roman laws wereengraved on twelve tables.As Rome grew, the Twelve Tables did not meet theirneeds. They developed a system of civil law thatapplied to all Roman citizens.Laws were applied differently to non-Romans,which created conflict throughout Italy. A new setof laws, the Law of Nations, which containedstandards of justice that could be applied toeveryone.
• Many of Rome’s laws and principles are still in use today: – People were assumed innocent unless proven guilty – People accused of wrongdoing were allowed to defend themselves before a judge – Judges were expected to make decisions based on evidence presented in court
After Rome conquered all ofItaly and the Greek colonies onSicily, they faced a challengefrom Carthage.Carthage was established inAfrica by the Phoenicians. Theyhad a large trading empirethroughout the Mediterranean.The Carthaginians had a colonyon western Sicily, which madethe Romans fearful ofCarthaginian power.In 264 BCE, Rome and Carthagebattled for control of theMediterranean. The wars wereCarthage were called Punicwars, after the Latin word forthe Phoenicians, punicus.
• First Punic War: – Began 264 BCE, when Rome sent army to Sicily – Rome created a large naval fleet and defeated the Carthaginians in 241 BCE – Carthage gave up all rights to Sicily and paid a fine to the Romans• Second Punic War: – Hannibal was major general for Carthage and vowed revenge – He attacked Rome in 218 BCE by moving through Spain and crossing the Alps with his army (including elephants!) They struggled with the Alps crossing and many died – Rome went to meet Hannibal at Cannae in 216 BCE and were slaughtered. Rome raised a second army to fight off Hannibal – Hannibal roamed Italy for nearly ten years but could not attack the major cities because his army wasn’t large enough – In 206 BCE the Romans finally pushed the Carthaginians out of Spain – In 202 BCE, Rome invaded Carthage in order to draw Hannibal out of Italy, it worked, and the Carthaginians were once again defeated
• After the Second Punic War, Italy became the dominant power in the Mediterranean• Prominent Romans wanted the complete destruction of Carthage so they could not rise to power again• In 146 BCE, the Romans invaded Carthage and destroyed the city; the city was burned by soldiers and the entire population was sold into slavery• Carthage became a Roman province called Africa