Origins of Rome/ Geography Founded in 8th century by Romulus and Remus- sons of Latin princess and Mars Abandond on Tiber river and raised by she-wolf Built city near Tiber river for strategic location and fertile soil Built on seven rolling hills at a curve on T. R., near center of Italian Peninsula
First Romans Latins, Etruscans, and Greeks settled on Italian peninsula in prehistoric times Latins: 1stRomans built original Rome settlement, a wooden cluster of huts on 1/7 hills called Palatine Hill Etruscans: skilled metalworkers + engineers – contributed arch natives of N. Italy Contributed alphabet Greeks: established colonies along southern Italy + Sicily Cities were commercially active & prosperous Brought Italy + Rome into closer contact with Greek civil.
The Early Republic Etruscan became king and Rome grew from hiltop villages to city which covered 500 squ. miles. Temples and Public centers were built Forum: public center and heart of pol. Life Last King of Rome: Tarquin the Proud- harsh tyrant driven from power Citizens created a republic: form of gov. in which power rests with citizens who have right to vote Citizenship with voting rights only granted to free-born males
2 Groups Struggle for Power Patricians: wealthy landowners Inherited power and social status- claimed ancestry gave right to make laws for Rome Plebeians: Common farmers and artisans -90 % of pop. Had right to vote Barred by law from holding most important gov. pos. Tribunes Elected by Plebeians to represent them and protect them from unfair acts of Patrician officials
Twelve Tables- Rome’s Laws Plebeians forced officials to make written law code so patricians code not interpret the law to fit their own needs. Carved on tablets that hung in Forum Basis of Roman law- idea that all free citizens had right to protection of the law
Government under Republic Took the best of the monarchy , arist., dem. Monarchy: 2 Consuls: commanded army and directed gov. 1 years term. Could veto other consuls decisions Aristoracy: Senate: 300 upperclass members Influence over domestic and foreign policies Had legislative and administrative functions Plebeians allowed in later Democracy: Tribal Assemblies Tribal Assembly- formed by pleb.- elected tribunes Made laws for people and later the republic itself In times of crisis, republic could appoint a dictator- leader with absolute power to make laws and command army In power for 6 months Chosen by consuls and elected by senate
Roman Army Citizens who owned land were required to serve army Seekers of public office had to serve 10 years Legion- large military unit made of 500 heavily foot soldiers called infantry Cavalry- horseback soldiers who supported legion Century- Group within legion made of 80 men Military Org. and fighting skills were key factors in Rome’s rise to greatness
Rome Spreads Its Power Power grew slow and steady Defeated Etruscans and conquered Italian peninsula Lenient policy toward defeated enemies helped Rome to expand Latins enjoyed full Roman citizenship Others enjoyed citizenship except voting rights Farther conquered territories were allies and Rome did not interfere as long as they supplied troops and pledged loyalty only to Rome
Rome’s trading Network Location gave it easy access to riches of Med. Carthage (N. African peninsula) interfered with this access and thus the Punic Wars were started. 1st War: Over control of Sicily (23 yrs.)- Carthage defeated 2nd War: Hannibal- Carthaginian general who led large army and elephants on long trek from Spain across France through Alps. To surprise Rome and inflicted enormous losses on Rome. Rome used help from allies to prevent H. from overtaking them 3rd War: Scipio, Roman military leader forced H. back to Carthage At Zama H. was defeated. Carthage was burnt, pop. Was enslaved, and Carthage was made a Roman province Victories gave Rome dominance over W. Med. Then conquered East: Anatolia to Spain.
The Republic Collapses Economic Turmoil: Poverty- enslaved people made 1/3 of pop. Farmers were unable to compete with wealthy landowners with huge estates who had war-captured slaves to run them. They sold their land became jobless and homeless Most worked as seasonal migrant laborers, went to cities for work, and joined ¼ of the urban poor. Tiberius and Gaius: Tribunes who attempted to help poor by proposing reforms like limiting estate size and giving the land to poor. Came to violent deaths due to being enemies of senate who were threatened by ideas. A period of civil war followed these deaths.
Military Upheavel Generals began to seize greater power for themselves by recruiting soldiers from the homeless and promising them land Allegiance was payed only to commanders-not republic itself Julius Caesar, one of these military leaders, partnered with Crassus, wealthy Roman, and Pompey, a popular general. Through their help, Caesar was elected consul and the men dominated as a triumvirate.
Caesar Rises in Pol. And Social Pop. Following his self-appointment as governor of Gaul, he led a grueling campaign to conquest Gaul and won his men’s loyalty because shared fully in the hardships of the war. Pompey became Caesar’s political rival and urged senate to order Caesar to disband his legions and return home in fear of his growing pop. Caesar defied these orders and defeated Pompey’s armies in Greece, Asia, Spain, and Egypt He returned home will full support of the masses and his army and the senate appointed him dictator for life.
Caesars Contributions Granted citizenship to people in many provinces Expanded the senate-added friends, Italian and other region supporters Helped poor by creating jobs through the construction of new public buildings Started colonies where people without land could own properties Increased pay for soldiers
Caesar- A Threat? Many nobles and senators were concerns about C.’s growing power and feared losing their influence Some considered him a tyrant Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius with a number of important senators plotted and executed Caesar’s assassination. The stabbed him
Beginning of the Empire After Caesar’s death, civil war broke out again and destroyed what was left of the Roman republic.