• In the 8th century B.C., the
inhabitants of some small
Latin settlements on hills
in the TIBER VALLEY
united and established a
common meeting place,
the FORUM, around which
the city of Rome grew.
THE ROMAN MONARCHY to 509 B.C.
According to tradition, early Rome was ruled by KINGS elected
by the people.
• The king's executive power was conferred by a POPULAR
ASSEMBLY made up of all arms-bearing citizens.
• The king turned for advice to a council of nobles, called the
• Each senator had lifelong tenure and the members of this
group and their families constituted the PATRICIAN class.
• The other class of Romans, the PLEBEIANS (commoners)
included small farmers, artisans, and many clients
(dependents of patrician landowners). In return for a
livelihood, the clients gave their patrician patrons political
support in the ASSEMBLY
Three Social Classes
• During Roman Republic and Empire, there were three distinct social
• The patrician (aristocracy)
• The equestrian (army)
• The plebian (common people)
The Roman Republic
• The Early Republic (509-264 BCE): division of society into two
classes, the aristocratic patricians and the plebeians
• The Middle Republic (264-133 BCE): the challenge of Carthage; the
Punic Wars (264-146 BCE).
• The Late Republic (133-31 BCE): the rise of the equestrian order, a
social class who gained wealth during the Punic Wars.
• In 509 B.C., according to
tradition, the PATRICIANS
expelled the last Etruscan king
and established a REPUBLIC.
• The power to rule was
transferred to two new officials
• Elected annually from the
patrician class, the consul
exercised their power in the
interests of that class.
The Late Republic: Julius Caesar, I
• Julius Caesar, an equestrian, was a major political figure from 60 to 44
• He took his authority from the many titles and powers he held:
dictator for life, consul, and head of the armies.
• Future Roman emperors recognized him as their predecessor by
calling themselves Caesar, or ruler.
The Late Republic: Julius Caesar, II
• On march 15, 44 BCE, a band of senatorial assassins murdered Caesar and Rome
plunged into chaos.
• Caesar’s nephew and adopted son, Octavian, emerged as a new leader in 31 BCE.
He was later called Augustus Caesar.
• With Octavian, we have the beginning of Pax Romana (Roman Peace) and the
• During Octavian’s rule, patrician’s power decreased and equestrian power
STRUGGLE FOR CONTROL
• Alexander died in 323 B.C.
• Rome dominated most of the Italian peninsula
• Expansion southward brought Rome into collision with Carthage, the
greatest power in the western Mediterranean
• Second Carthaginian war (218-201 B.C.): Rome’s southern Italian
allies defected to Hannibal
• Third war with Carthage in 201 B.C.: Rome emerged not merely
victorious but a world power
PLEBEIAN STRUGGLE FOR EQUAL RIGHTS
• For more than two centuries following the establishment of the Republic, the
plebeians struggled for political and social equality.
• Outright civil war was averted by the willingness of the patricians to
• Much of the plebeians’ success in this struggle was also due to their tactics
of collective action and to their having organized a corporate group within
The unofficial body was known
as the PLEBEIAN COUNCIL.
It was presided over by plebeian
TRIBUNES, whose job was to
safeguard the interests of the
plebeians and to negotiate with
the consuls and the Senate.
• The advancement of the PLEBEIANS during the early Republic took
two main lines: the safeguarding of their FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
and the progressive enlargement of their share of POLITICAL
• The Romans were attracted to two Hellenistic ethical philosophies:
• EPICURIANSIM taught that the wise man could achieve happiness
simply by freeing his body from pain and his mind from fear --
particularly the fear of death. To reach this goal, men must AVOID
BODILY EXCESSES, including those of pleasure, and accept the
scientific teaching of Democritus that both body and soul are
composed of atoms which fall apart at death. Thus, BEYOND DEATH
THERE IS NO EXISTENCE and nothing to fear.
STOICISM argued that THE UNIVERSE IS
CONTROLLED by some power -- variously called
Reason, World Soul, Fortune, and God -- which
determines everything that happens. The wise man
conforms his will to the World Will and
“STOICALLY" ACCEPTS whatever part fortune
allots him in the drama of life.
Stoicism had a humanizing effect on Roman law
by introducing such concepts as the LAW OF
NATURE, the LAW OF BROTHERHOOD OF
MEN (including slaves), and the view that a man
is INNOCENT UNTIL PROVED GUILTY.
• Weakened by civil war, the Roman Republic gave way to
the ROMAN EMPIRE, with its AUTOCRATIC form of
government and LARGE TERRITORIAL HOLDINGS in
Europe and around the Mediterranean.
• Several events marked the transition from Republic to
Empire, including JULIUS CAESAR’s appointment as
perpetual DICTATOR (44 BC), the victory of OCTAVIAN at
the Battle of Actium (31 BC), and the Roman Senate's
granting to Octavian of the title AUGUSTUS. (27 BC).
• Hellenistic culture became the foundation of Roman civilization.
• The Roman blend the utilitarian with the aesthetic.
• Fascination with the spectacle
• Architecture and sculpture are increasingly monumental and
Above: A reconstruction of the huge Circus Maximus in Rome. This was the greatest Roman entertainment complex of all
time, being able to seat 300,000 spectators.
The first parts of the Circus Maximus were built around 600 BC, being substantially enlarged by Julius Caesar, who also added
canals which could flood the theater floor upon which ships could be sailed to re-enact sea battles. The Roman general
Pompey the Great is said on one occasion (55 BC) to have sponsored five days of circus games during which 500 lions and 20
elephants were killed. The Circus Maximus, which was far larger than the famous Colosseum, did not survive. It was broken up
and its stone was used to build Christian churches after that religion came to dominate Europe
• In designing their bridges and
aqueducts, the Romans placed a
series of STONE ARCHES next to
one another to provide mutual
• Fourteen AQUEDUCTS, stretching
a total of 265 miles, supplied
some 50 gallons of water daily for
each inhabitant of Rome.
• The practical nature of the
Romans and their skill and
initiative in engineering were
demonstrated in the many
DAMS, RESERVOIRS, and
HARBORS they built.
• The BARREL VAULT, basically a
series of adjoining arches forming
a structure resembling a
tunnel, was a new method of
enclosing space. In the barrel vault
the supports of the arches
became heavy masonry walls to
bear the weight of the vaulted
• The Romans next developed the
CROSS VAULT by intersection two
barrel vaults at right angles.
• Another important advance in
architecture was the Roman's
success in constructing
CONCRETE DOMES on a large
scale. The weight of the dome
was transferred directly to the
walls and no other support was
necessary. The largest of the
dome structures was the
PANTHEON (temple of all the
• The standard type of Roman public building was the BASCILICA, a colonnaded structure that
became a model for early Christian churches. Rows of columns divided the interior into a
central nave and side aisles, with the roof over the nave raised to admit light, creating a
CLERESTORY (an upper portion of a wall containing windows for supplying natural light to a
• The Romans developed a distinctive
SCULPTURE which was realistic, secular,
and individualistic. EQUESTRIAN STATUES
sculpted coffins (SARCOPHAGI), and the
RELIEFS found on imperial monuments
were exceptionally fine works of art. The
Romans were particularly skilled in
producing floor MOSAICS and in painting
FRESCOES. Roman epic, dramatic, and lyric
POETRY forms were usually written in
conscious imitation of Greek masterpieces.
• The need to move legions and
trade goods in all weather led
to the development of the best
roads in the world (to the 19th
public bathing to an
hot, cold, and
pools, places to get
a massage or work
out, even reading
Roman Innovation – Massive Building –
Baths of Caracalla
• Roman baths were the
recreation centers of
exercise facilities and
• They could serve
hundreds or thousands
at a time.
• Tuscan Order:
• Like the Doric, except this one has
• The Composite order combined
elements of both the Ionic and
• It appears to be Corinthian
acanthus leaves, supplemented
A Roman “castra” or military camp and a
typical Roman town
Grid (or gridiron) plan served practical
purposes, as well
• Easy to lay out
• Easy to administer
• Breezes could flow through for natural ventilation
• Easy to defend if walled
Pompeii shows that this was an ideal, not a
(this one is in Pompeii,
a city preserved in
volcanic ash of Mt.
Vesuvius from the 1st
• Bordered by everything important:
temples, offices, jails, butcher shops
• Public processions and ceremonies took place there
• For a mainly pedestrian population, the surrounding
colonnade was a very important urban design feature
temples law courts
Main forum in Rome
Roman Forum (artist’s conception)
Source: A.E.J. Morris, History of Urban Form
“furnishings” for a
Pont du Gard, France
(brought water to city of Nimes)
Odd (but familiar) mix of practicality and
• Their passion for size and excess pushed them to
unsustainable levels of consumption and territorial
• They aqueducts were not strictly needed; they were
as much about demonstrating imperial power as
about gaining access to water
• City of Rome had 1352 fountains and 967 free baths
A courtyard surrounded by a colonnade
or portico (peristyle)
•1000 BC - Latins begin to settle in Italy.
•753 BC - The city is allegedly founded in this year by Romulus and Remus.
•750 BC - Tarpeia betrays Rome because of greed and attempts to hand it over to the invading Sabines
•700 BC - Near Rome, the Etruscan civilization more or less begins.
•659 BC - The enemy city of Alba Longa is destroyed by the Romans.
•616 BC - The first Etruscan king of Rome, Tarquinius Priscus establishes a Forum and a Circus
•c.600 BC - Cloaca Maxima is probably first built around this year.
•578 BC - Servius Tullius becomes the next Etruscan king of Rome
•565 BC - Servian Walls are built.
•534 BC - King Servius is assassinated.
•510 BC - Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol is completed and consecrated.
•509 BC - Lucius Brutus founds the republic and expels the Etruscans and Tarquin the Proud from
•508 BC - A Treaty is made between Rome and Carthage.
•507 BC - The famous war against the Etruscans begins, featuring hero Horatio.
•499 BC - A battle against foreign tribes commences, including the construction of the Temple of
Castor and Pollux.
•396 BC - The Etruscan city of Veio is defeated by the Romans
•390 BC - Rome is sacked by the Gauls after the Battle of the Allia
•380 BC - The once destroyed Servian Wall is reconstructed.
•312 BC - The Via Appia and Aqua Appia are constructed.
•264 - 241 BC - First Punic War
•220 BC - Via Flamina is constructed.
•218 - 202 BC - Second Punic War
•168 BC - The Romans have a great victory in the Macedonian War, conquering Greece.
•149 - 146 BC - The Third Punic War
•133 BC - 120 BC - The Gracchi brothers are controversially killed.
•71 BC - Spartacus is killed and his rebel army destroyed.
•60 BC - Pompey, Crassus and Caesar form the first triumvirate.
•58-50 BC - Caesar conquers Gaul.
49 BC - Caesar crosses the Rubicon in order to take Rome.
•44 BC - Caesar elects himself dictator, and in March is killed by Brutus and Cassius
•27 BC - Augustus is made Rome's first emperor.
•13 BC - The Ara Pacis is constituted since Augustus secured his empire.
•42 AD - The apostle St Peter arrives in Rome.
•64 AD - The Great Fire of Rome, rumored to be blamed by Nero on the Christians.
•c. 65 AD - The Romans begins to massacre Christians .
•67 AD - St Peter is crucified in Rome, and similarly St Paul is executed.
•72 AD - Work on the Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum) begins.
•March, 80 AD - The inauguration of the Colosseum begins.
•121 AD - Hadrian's Wall is completed.
•125 AD - Emperor Hadrian has the Pantheon reconstructed to more or less how it is today.
•212 AD - All the inhabitants of the empire are granted citizenship.
•216 AD - Work on the Baths of Caracalla is finally over, as the building gets completed.
•247 AD - The first millennium of Rome is celebrated.
•270 AD - Construction of the Aurelian Wall begins.
•284 AD - Diocletian partitions administration of the Roman Empire in half, thereby establishing
the Eastern Roman Empire inByzantium.
Early medieval period
•312 - Constantine the Great defeats Maxentius at Battle of the Milvian Bridge to become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire
•c.320 - Old St. Peter's Basilica is constructed.
•325- Constantine convenes the First Council of Nicaea.
•380 - The Christian emperor Theodosius makes Christianity the official religion of Rome, persecuting pagans and destroying
•395 - Ravenna becomes the capital of the Western Roman Empire, whilst Constantinople that of the east.
•410 - Rome is sacked by Alaric, King of the Visigoths
•422 - The Church of Santa Sabina is founded.
•455 - Rome is sacked by Genseric, King of the Vandals
•476 - Romulus Augustulus is deposed, traditionally considered the end of the Western Roman Empire and the beginning of the
Middle Ages in Europe. Byzantium continues to be the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
•496 - The first pope to achieve the Pontifex Maximus is Anastasius II.
•546 - Rome is sacked by Totila, King of the Ostrogoths
•c. 590 - 604 - Pope Gregory the Great makes the Christian church exceedingly strong.
•609 - The Pantheon becomes a Christian church.
•630 - The Church of Sant' Agnese is the first Roman church to be constructed in Byzantine style.
•725 - The King Ine of Wessex is the first man to create a hostel for pilgrims to Rome.
•778 - Charlemagne conquers Italy and Rome.
•800 - Charlemagne is crowned the emperor in St. Peter's Basilica.
•846 - The Arab sack of Rome plundered the environs of Rome, including Old St. Peter's Basilica, but were prevented from entering
the city itself by the Aurelian Wall
•880 - 932 - A rare occasion, the city is governed by women, Theodora and later her daughter Marozia.
•961 - King Otto the Great of Germany becomes in Rome the first Holy Roman Emperor.
2. Roman bath
3. Circus Maximus
6. Roman villa
9. roman roads
13.St peters basilica
14.Compare roman and Greek civilization
17.Roman empire(Imperial Rome)
18.Early medieval period
19.High middle ages
20. byzantine period
21.Spread of Christianity
1. Constantine & Post Constantine age
2. Compare Parthenon and pantheon
3. Roman military city
4. Medieval city of Rome
6. Roman city planning
7. Roman religion-stoicsm
8. Roman social classes
9. Punic wars
13.Birth of roman civilization
15.Eastern roman empire & western empire
17.Barrel vault & cross vault
21.Roman territory in timeline