The Roman Heritage
Lecturer, Department of International Studies, RUPP
Research Fellow, Cambodian Institute for
Cooperation and Peace (CICP)
Department of International Studies
• Greco-Roman Civilization
• Rise of Christianity
• Breakdown of Unity in the Empire
• Collapse of the Empire
• Can you list the names of city-states/empires
that were controlled by Rome by 44B.C.?
• How did Greek culture influence Rome?
• What contributions did Romans make in
science, technology, and law?
Art and Architecture
–Shipped and copied from Greeks (Athletes)
–Developed Roman styles (realistic Portrait)
• Painting (frescoes and mosaics)
–Mosaics=picture formed of chips of colored
–Column and arches
–Arches/columns improved to make dome
• Technology and Science:
–Bridge supported by arches to across rivers
–Strong roads lasting forever (years)
–Aqueducts (canal-like) to carry water from
–Collected masses of information
(encyclopedia) e.g. natural events,
medicines, astronomy, etc.
• Roman Literature (adopted Greek ideas)
–Dramas (Comedies and tragedies)
–War history and Roman ideas of justice by
Caesar and Cicero
• Roman Law
–Created a common standard of justice for
the entire empire
–Some aspects under the Roman Law:
(1) Fairness of court’s procedure:
-An accused person was considered innocent
until proven guilty.
-Judge’s decision to penalize the accused only
evidence presented in the court
-Severe punishments if found guilty (e.g. kill)
Can you raise one of negative aspects under
the Roman Law?
-Absolute rights of men (e.g. sale of children)
• Later on, during Pax Romana, Roman Law was
–Less severe punishment
–Limitation of absolution of men
–Rights of slaves and women to own
• During the Pax Romana, a new religion,
Christianity, was introduced in Greco-Roman
world and became an official religion in
• Why did Christianity spread throughout the
Rise of Christianity
• Romans tolerated religious practices.
–Old gods (e.g. Jupiter, Mars, Cupid, etc.)
• Where did Romans find Christianity?
–Palestine where Jerusalem is believed to be
the place where Jesus was born
• How did Rome treat the Jews in Palestine?
Roman Rule in Palestine
• People in Palestine called Hebrew or Jews with
its old religion tolerated by Rome
• Before 66 A.D., a new
religion, Christianity, found by Jesus
–Born in Bethlehem in Palestine
–Grew up in Nazareth
–Studies with priests in Synagogue and
learned trade of a carpenter
–Preaching to the poor
–Miracle Healing of sickness
–Jesus believed as a son of God or a Messiah
(Savior chosen by God) called “Christos”
–Followers of Jesus called Christians
• Why was Jesus condemned to death?
–Jesus supported much by crowded people
–As a threats to the authority of Rome in
Palestine (did not worship Roman emperor)
• He was executed according to Roman custom
of Crucifixion (nailed to a cross to die of
• Jesus’s moral teaching:
–“Love the lord thy God with all thy heart.”
–“Love thy neighbors as thyself.”
–Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in
God; trust also in me.
–All the commandments: You shall not
commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall
not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are
summed up in this single command: You
must love your neighbor as yourself.
–Many others of kindness, morality, etc.
Apostles and Paul
• Who were Apostles and Paul?
– 12 Apostles or 12 disciples (missionaries)
to spread Christianity to Rome
–Paul, a Greek-speaking Jew, from Asia Minor
to create Christian communities in eastern
Rome and spread Christianity to Asia Minor
–Therefore, Christianity was spread to many
places in the world.
• What are reasons of spreading Christianity?
–Missionaries to many places and many
–The poor and oppress found hope in the
God to help them regardless or their social
classes (e.g. equality, human dignity, and
–Woman movement as they believed to be
equal to the men
Pope Benedict XVIArchbishop Denis Hart
Who is Pope?
• In 66 A.D., the Jews in Palestine revolted
against the Rome.
• What were results?
–Jewish state abolished
–Jews moving to many other places
–Jews preserving their own religion and
cultures until nowadays
Breakdown of Unity in the Empire
• Why did the Pax Romana end?
• How Diocletian and Constantine try to
strengthen the empire?
• Why did reforms fail to stop the decline of
• After the dead of Augustus and later Marcus
Aureilius, the Rome declined as the Pax
• Civil wars erupted.
• Between 234A.D. and 284A.D. (50 years), at
26 emperors (some holding power for only a
few months and some others violently killed)
• What were results of Roman decline?
–Civil wars occurred.
–Provincial authorities weakened.
–Roman law and order declined.
–Trade dropped shapely.
–Devaluation of coin money increased.
–Trade further declined due to the inflation.
–Internal and external invaders
• Internal invaders: farmers for lands, slaves for
• External invaders: states for independence
Reforms of Diocletian
• Who was Diocletian?
–General as emperor in around 280s A.D.
• What were the reforms of Diocletian?
–Empire division into two to effectively
controlled (wealthier east controlled by
Diocletian; west by co-emperor responsible
–Civil officials solely responsible to the
–Enlarged army and training of cavalry to
–Built roads to facilitate quick move to
–Economically, set limit of price and wage
and maintained individual jobs
• These reforms kept peace for awhile in Rome.
Diocletian was sick and retired in 305A.D.
• Constantine rose to power as emperor in 312
• What were achievements of Constantine?
–United Eastern and Western world
–New capital, Byzantium, a Greek city of
Bosporus, called “Constantinople”
• Why did he build the new capital?
–Since Roman was full of “Pagan” or non-
Christian. The new capital wanted to be a
–It was located in the center of Eastern
Mediterranean sea easy to trade.
–Eastern world more secure than the West
(most invaders from the West)
Problems still occurred such as corruption,
violence, and economic downturn until the
death of Constantine in 337A.D.
• The Eastern Roman flourished, while the
Western Roman collapse due to internal issues
• Later on, the Rome collapse!!!
Collapse of the Empire
• How were Germanic tribes organized?
• Why did Germanic tribes invade the Roman
• What did political, economic, and social
problems lead to the decline of Rome?
• Where did Germanic tribes live?
–North of the Danube River
• Who were in Germanic tribes?
– Different groups of seminomadic herders
– Farmers from Scandinavia (now Norway, Sweden,
• How many Germanic tribes were there?
– Around 16 tribes
Alans, Angul(Angels), Aurvandil (Vandals),
Burgundus (Burgundians), Cibidus(Cibidi), Dan
(Danes), Franks, Gepids, Gothus(Goths), Ingve
(Ynglings), Irmin (Irminones), Longobardus
(Lombards), Nór (Norwegians), Normans (partial
Germanic peoples), Ostrogoths, Rugians, Saxneat
(Saxons), Sciri, Teutoni, Valagothus (Valogoths), and
• According to Tacitus, a Roman historian,
Germanic tribes organized their tribes as follow:
Council of chiefsFree men (not slave) Group of young warriors
In exchange for the service
- Strict morality (e.g. fine to injured people)
- Strong military discipline
Invasion of the Roman Empire
• What were causes of the flow of Germanic
people into Rome?
–Growth of population
–Attack of the Huns from Asia to Europe
• Why were the Germanic people able to invade
–Numerous Germanic troops
–Civil wars in Rome
–Weakened Roman troops
• Finally, Rome sought peace and granted
Germanic tribes with much of Southern Gaul and
(a) Who were the Huns? (b) Where did they
come from? (c) Why were they militarily strong?
• “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
• Rome formed an alliance with Germanics to
stop the Huns from further invasion.
• Finally, at the battle of Troyes in 451A.D., the
alliance stopped the Huns’s advance.
• After the withdrawal, the great leader of the
Huns, named Attila, died. No longer, it
• “My friend today can be my enemy tomorrow.”
• After the collapse of the Huns, Germanics
continued their invasion.
–From Gaul/Spain to North Africa (Cartage)
– From Cartage to Italy
• In 455A.D., Rome withdrew to protect its capital
city in Italy, and finally the Western Roman
Empire was taken over by the Germanics.
The Fall of Rome
• In 476A.D., a minor Germanic chief, Odoacer,
forced Western Roman emperor to give up the
• Odoacer proclaimed himself KING of Italy. It is
said that it was the “fall of Rome”.
• Yet, the Rome did not collapse suddenly. Why?
–People in Western Rome still felt
themselves as Romans
–Still used Roman Law and Spoke Latin
–Until 476A.D., the law and language
changed to those of Germanics in Western
–Eastern Rome (Byzantine) still survived for
another 1000 years.
• Why did Rome decline?
• Political factor:
–Felt less responsible toward the
government due to:
• Wide gap between the rich and the poor
• Corruption/high taxes
• Incompetent/evil rulers weakening the
• Officials tended to serve wealthy Eastern
Rome rather than the poor West where
most of invasion took place
• During the period of weakening Rome,
some wealthy landowners created their
own independent states.
• Economic factor:
–Huge spending on army (no wars, no war
–Separate revenues of the East and the West,
so the West had no more money and raised
–More invasions from the Huns and later the
Germanics resulted in:
• Agriculture and trade
• Difficulty to collect taxes
• Devaluation of money leading to inflation
• Social factor:
–Due to poor living condition and bad
governance, people served army for money
–They lacked discipline and patriotism of the
–Therefore, they were defeated by Germanic
troops with good military training
–People’s royalty toward the Roman empire
faded away, so they did not care whether
the empire was controlled by Roman or
–Eastern Roman Empire could survive for
1000 years after the collapse of the
Western Rome (More info: Chapter 11)
–From Chapter 8 to 10 (Europe)
• Chapter 8: Foundation of European
• Chapter 9: The Height of European
• Chapter 10: The Building of National
Monarchies (France, England, Spain,
Scandinavia, etc. and Decline of Medieval