Rome is located near the Tiber river and on seven hills.
The Etruscans took over Rome from the original Roman leaders.
Italy is a peninsula that extends into the Mediterranean Sea and to the right of the peninsula is the Adriatic Sea.
The Italian peninsula has many large plains especially in the north, which gave Rome more arable land.
The two rivers that were the northern boundaries of the Roman empire at it’s height were the Danube and the Rhine.
The Black Sea to Mesopotamia was the eastern and the northern boundary.
The western boundary was the Atlantic Ocean.
North Africa was the southern boundary.
The Romans got all of their gold and silver from conquered lands.
On their way to war, farmland was trampled or eaten by soldiers.
Small farmers were displaced by Roman conquests and they drifted toward major cities.
Emperor Diocletian divided the empire into two parts, but it made the empire weaker.
Barbarians crossed the Rhine and the Danube to invade Rome.
Constantine built a new capital in present day Turkey.
Etruscans brought their gods to Rome when they took over.
Etruscan augury was used to predict the future.
The augurs (priests) used to study animal entrails and the flight pattern of birds and to read the will of the gods.
Romans worshipped hundreds of gods adopted from the Greeks and Etruscans.
When Rome became an empire, the emperors became seen as gods.
Some gods are Jupiter, Juno, Mars, and Minerva.
Christianity evolved from Judaism and originated in Judea.
Jesus traveled around from town to town teaching about the ways of God.
Jesus was believed to be the son of God and was resurrected.
For most Christians, Christianity meant believing in Jesus and in his sacrifice for other people’s sins and in his resurrection.
Spread of Christianity
Paul the Apostle traveled around the eastern empire and in Rome preaching.
Paul the Apostle traveled on the Roman roads which made it possible for ideas and people to traverse the empire.
People who no longer believed in polytheism were attracted to the monotheist aspect of Christianity.
Others liked to hear that in God’s eyes, everyone is equal whether they are slave, free, man, woman, Jew, or Gentile.
The aqueducts brought water to all of the Roman cities.
Aqueducts brought water from springs, wells, and distant lakes.
Aqueducts were bridged across valleys and around mountains.
The concrete roads stretched 250,000 miles to unify the empire.
All of the roads led to Rome.
The roads were designed to last forever.
Development of the Dome
Domes were constructed from wooden arches.
Then the Romans poured concrete between the arches.
Then, when the dome dried, it was hoisted on top of a building.
Latin was the written and spoken language of Rome.
Many English words have Latin roots.
Latin became the language of the Roman Catholic Church.
An Etruscan leader, Torque the Elder, took control of Rome and became Rome’s king.
The throne later passed to two more monarchs after Tarquin the Elder.
Each monarch had broad powers, he was the head of the army, the chief priest, and the supreme judge.
Etruscan kings ruled with the consent of the aristocrats, or the Senate.
Republic comes from the Latin term, res publica , which means public things.
Two officials called consuls took over the jobs done by the king.
The aristocratic Senate held most of the power.
The system of government was an oligarchy, not a democracy.
The Roman government had a Tripartite government, or a three part government.
The Magistrates were the main officials of the Republic. The top two Magistrates were the consuls who held the power of the kings.
The Senate advised the consuls and passed laws. The original Senate had 300 patricians, but wealthy plebeians made it grow.
The assemblies elected the Tribunes, who had veto power over the other branches. One assembly was made of patricians, which was called the . The other was called, and was full of plebeians.
Emperor Trajan reduced taxes, increased the free distribution of food, and created a fund for the poor people.
Trajan encouraged blood sport events such as gladiator fights and chariot races.
Trajan was excellent at administering the provinces of the empire. He sent capable governors to the provinces.
Trajan failed to put down a religious revolt in the eastern empire.
The foundation of the Roman economy was farming.
The Pax Romana greatly increased the economic growth of Rome.
Skilled workers produced wool, linen cloth, glass, pottery, metalwork, and ships.
Commerce and Trade
All of the goods that were manufactured were moved peacefully throughout the empire.
The Romans linked the empire with a network of roads that goods can be moved fast on.
Since the Romans controlled the Mediterranean, travel by sea was safe.
Red pottery was exported to Britain and India, silver bowls and bronze ware was exported to Russia and Northern Europe. Silk was imported from as far east as China.
Stable currency is quickly and more widely accepted in trade and commerce.
Augustus issued new currency in the form of coins after taking power.
A gold denarius was the main coin in Roman economy. A silver denarius was worth twelve times less than a gold one.
Pictures on the coins depicted the achievements of the emperor.
Decline of the Economy
Civil wars created huge economic taxes because wars cost very much.
The empire’s supply of gold and silver was declining.
A silver denarius, that was once silver, was turned into a copper denarius with a thin silver coating.
Merchants began raising prices when they realized that the coins were made of less valuable materials.
The plebeians had little power in government and could not hold political office.
Plebeians also held little influence in Rome’s economic life too.
Most plebeians worked as poor farmers. In poor harvest years, some had to take out loans just to survive.
Plebeians made up 90% of the Roman population.
Patricians made up 10% of the Roman population.
Patricians held all of the political power in Rome until the plebeians rebelled.
They also acted as the leaders in economic growth.
Role of Men
The father or grandfather of a Roman family was the head of the house hold.
The father had absolute power over a house hold.
When a father died, the eldest son took control of the family.
A man’s power was limited by custom. Custom called for men to show respect for their family.
Role of Women
Women in Rome could own land, while women in Greece could not.
Women had to bear children and raise them to honor traditional values.
The ideal woman was a faithful wife and mother and devoted to the home and family.
When Rome grew in wealth, slaves took over most of the household work.
Conclusion I think that the most important things that I learned about ancient Rome are the Emperors, the location, the plebeians, concrete roads, trade, and Christianity because those aspects are key ideas in the ancient Rome.