• Rome was a small town on the Tiber
the central part of the Italian
• The fertile plains could support a
• The Tiber provided a route to the
giving Rome the opportunity for
• The early settlers of Rome were people called
Latin, one of many different people living in the
• Etruscans lived in prosperous trading cities to
the north and west of Rome.
• From the Etruscans, Romans learned
practical skills in sanitation, road, building,
architecture, and pottery making.
• About 17 th B.C, the Etruscans controlled
Rome for over a hundred years.
• Rome grew into a great city built on
hills along the Tiber.
• The Forum – a central public square –
built between two of the hills.
• In 509 B.C, the Roman
drove out their Etruscan
ruler and established
a republic – a government
without a king.
• The Roman Republic was not a democracy.
• Leaders were from the class of wealthy
• Consuls held office for only
one year; there was little risk
that they would gain too much
power or make themselves king.
• THE SENATE
– 300 -member council of
– Most powerful part of the
government of the Republic
– Controlled Rome’s finances
and foreign affairs
• The military banners carried
by the Roman armies bore the
letters S enatus P opulus Q ue R omanus
– “ the Senate and the people
of Rome .”
• An assembly of soldier-citizens made laws
and approved the election of government
• Plebians – “common people”. They took
part on the assembly, but had less power
than the senate . They could not hold high
government positions or marry patricians.
They struggle to gain equality for
• Plebians threatened to stop serving the army
and paying taxes.
• They were given right to form their own
assembly. It could pass law affecting only the
• Elected officials called tribunes, who
protected the plebians right.
In 451 B.C. the plebians
succeeded in having Roman laws –
“ Twelve Tables”.
• Twelve Tables – gave the plebians some
protection against unfair decisions by
• Plebians could no longer be enslave for debt.
They gained right to marry patricians and
hold the office of consul . Eventually, they
won the right to become members of
By 287 B.C ., plebians and
patricians had equal rights .
• The Romans showed a devotion to their city , a
toughness of character, and a genius for
warfare and diplomacy.
• By the middle of the third century B.C.,
Rome ruled most of Italy.
• The strength of the Roman army was its
superior discipline and organization.
• Romans adopted and improved upon the
battle formation used by the Greek foot
• The basic army unit was the legion. It was made
up of 3,000 – 6,000 infantry soldiers and 100
more troops on horseback.
• Through wise diplomacy , Rome made
some former enemies.
• Some defeated cities and people were
granted Roman citizenship; others were
permitted to keep their local self-
• Rome gave the conquered people
protection and maintained order
the Italian peninsula .
• In 264 B.C. Rome went to war with the
African city – state of Carthage.
• Carthage controlled large areas in the
Mediterranean , including parts of
North America, and many islands.
• The series of war that Rome fought
Carthage are called the Punic Wars.
• Rome’s victory in the First Punic War
Sicily as its first province.
• In 218 B.C ., the Carthaginian general
decided to strike at Rome by invading Italy
the north - “Second Punic War”.
• The Gauls joined the
Rome , and even some
Roman allies helped
• Hannibal showed his military genius at
Battle of Cannae in 216 B.C.
• 4 legions of Roman soldiers
were killed or captured.
• Hannibal lacked the military strength to
capture the city of Rome.
• Roman allies near the city remained loyal.
• An army led by the Roman general Scipio
attacked Carthaginians in Spain, preventing
help from being sent to the Hannibal.
• In 204 B.C ., Romans invaded North Africa
and Hannibal returned to Carthage to protect
• Hannibal was defeated by Scipio in the
Battle of Zama in 202 B.C .
• This was Hannibal’s first defeat , and it ended