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Classical Rome
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Classical Rome


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  • 1. Ancient Rome BCE-CE De nobis fabula narratur “ The Romans knew how to govern people, establish legal structures and construct roads that took them to the ends of their known world”
  • 2. Geography- Locus-Locus-Locus
    • Middle of the Mediterranean
    • Larger and more arable land than Greece- mts north and south
    • River valleys- Po in the North, Tiber in middle of boot
    • Rome - inland accessible by boat- defensible,on “Seven Hills”
  • 3. Origins of Rome
    • Legend: Romulus and Remus raised by she-wolf 733bce traced boundaries with plow
    • Later: Virgil’s Aeneus, hero of Troy, roams the Med looking for a home
    • Reality: Etruscans
    • unsure of origin
    • used iron, bronze and silver
    • Rome and Latins under rule of king
    • beginning fear of kings, rebelled
    • invaded by Gaul 390 BCE
  • 4. Steps to Unification
    • Etruscans and Gauls squeezed out by Latins
    • 290- conquered central Italy then Samnites in South
    • 265 took over Greek city states
    • key- staying power of army, won over conquered people- become Roman citizens
  • 5. Meanwhile, back in Rome, the importance of citizenship
    • gradual struggle between the patrician and plebeian classes
    • 2 consuls and Senate made up of patricians
    • popular assemblies established with a representative tribune- veto power
    • 450 BCE 12 Tables Roman Law codified
    • Result- increase of privileges for plebes
  • 6. The Punic Wars 264-146 BCE
    • Major rival in Med- Phoenician Carthage
    • First Punic War 264-42- copied ships and corvus
      • out of Sicily
    • Second Punic war 218-202- Hannibal 216 Battle of Camnae
    • Third- treaty infringement trumped up Cato’s speech
      • Carthago delenda est” Carthage plowed and sowed with salt
      • Result Rome now the POWER in the Mediterranean
  • 7. 8 Struggles Continue in the Republic
    • Graft, corruption, struggle between patrician and plebeians
    • Gracchi Brothers Tiberias and Gaius
    • Marius consul 6 x
    • Sulla- general seized Rome in 82 BCE restored power to Senate
      • set precedent
  • 8. Republic’s Last Gasp
    • First Triumvirate Julius Caesar, Pompey, Crassus
    • Julius Caesar challenges the Senate crosses the Rubicon
    • 47 BCE virtual ruler, increased Senate to 900
    • 44 BCE assassinated, Second Triumvirate
      • Octavius, Marc Antony, Lepidus
      • Battle of Actium 31 BCE End of an era
  • 9. The Roman Empire
    • Caesar Augustus- purpose “to restore the republic”
    • 27 BC Augustus become “First Citizen” Princeps
    • ended strife- beginning of Pax Romanae
    • tried to impact life- morality, building
    • sculpture- deified him, literature as well
    • Consolidation- of power/ Senate limited
    • SPQR Senatus Populusque Romanus- banner
  • 10. The Roman World
    • Ever expanding- see maps- spread Pax Romanae
    • Politically - emperor/ dictatorship
    • Extended Roman citizenship as they spread
    • The Roman family- gradual less influence for fathers
      • family strong unit- run like the state
      • women become more independent- socially and ownership
      • politically active as wives of emperors- Livia, wife of CA
  • 11. The Roman World (cont)
    • Golden Age- literature Horace, Virgil, Ovid and Livy
    • Religion- state religion, Roman gods reflected Greek
    • emperor became “divine” connection to gods
      • tolerant of other religions Mithras, Persian god of light
      • Christianity-”And there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus”
      • persecutions not as many as thought- made stronger
      • sometimes combined with others- e.g. Celtic gods
  • 12. Slavery in the Roman World
    • Important to building projects and way of life
    • Conquests supplied slaves so came from all over
    • Not related to ethnicity or skin color
    • Greek slaves educated and highly prized
    • Rebellions like Sparticus 73BCE occurred- Crassius
      • put down, crucified slaves and held a 10 day party for Rome
      • Slaves gradually won freedom and numbers decreased
  • 13. The Roman Builders- All over the Empire
    • Amazing accomplishments- Roads that still last
    • Aqueducts- bringing water to every important city
    • Temples for the gods- copied Greek style- massive
    • Forum- public area of the city- center- oration etc.
    • Theaters- for entertainment- drama
    • Coliseums- more fun, fights, gladiators, animals
    • Baths- public places- series of rooms dif temps
  • 14. The Roman Emperors- the Good, Bad and Ugly
    • Good- Marcus Aurelius-phil “citizen of the world”
    • Calm and unified- Trajan, Hadrian, walls and rebels
    • Bad- Caligula- named horse “consul”, Commodus, fought gladiators with blunted weapons, Nero, mass murder- inc his mother, pregnant wife, brother
    • Many later emperors were generals- most powerful could become emperor
  • 15. The Roman legacy- writing and the law
    • alphabet- should look familiar to us
    • Romans wrote down everything- very literate, passed on to use use every day, alma mater, alter ego, per capita, vice versa, a.m/, p.m., RIP ,list goes on ad infinitum
    • some consider the statutes and case law most important legacy- took idea that a written law can protect one person from another- put it into practice- Because it’s the laws means something to us- not necessarily in other cultures.
    • tried to appeal to people through argument- idea of people deciding
    • magistrates important in Rome- e.g. of Apostle Paul
  • 16. The Roman Provinces- still impacted
    • Gaul- France today- many roads, aqueducts, theaters
    • The Rhine- no border- Trier and Wiesbaden
    • Britain- difficult place, Bath and Hadrian’s wall
    • Palestine- Masada- rebellion and magnificent cities like Baalbek
    • Africa- riches of Egypt and the granary of the Empire
  • 17. Why a Roman “Fall”
    • Instability caused by no real plan of succession
    • Trouble on the borders
    • Morally bankrupt?
    • Division of Empire- Diocletian
    • Later Constantine- new capitol- Constantinople-
  • 18. Christianity and Rome
    • Helped Christianity spread- communication
    • Appeal- unrest, questioning of polytheism
      • explained spiritual aspects, Christ’s teachings
      • emphasis of eternal life
      • community exclusive (mystery religion)
    • Persecution- under Nero, blamed for fire
      • mostly tolerant, Christians refused to worship state
    • Effect- spread slowly- letters formed NT
      • officially tolerated 313 Edict of Milan
  • 19. The Barbarians at the Gates
    • Pressure from Germanic tribes looking for safety
    • Huns pressured the Visogoths-410- ran into the empire
    • Vandals- 455- sacked Rome
    • Series of invasions- physical damage, but also intellectual
      • established German kingdoms in West- illiterate,look at art
    • The East survives- becomes Byzantium- keeps the learning from the ancient world