Importance of Geography
Alps: Protection from the North.
through mountains for invasion.
Seas: ports for trade, invasion by sea.
People migrated from the North to
The Founding of Rome
Before mid-700sbc the Latins moved into Italy.
The Latins built villages which eventually united
to create Rome.
600s Etruscan Kings from the North ruled Rome.
Romans adopted their style of writing.
Etruscan culture greatly influenced Rome.
Jewelry, fine clothing, metal working, pottery,
wood, paved roads, drain marshes, sewers.
Greek colonies in southern Italy and the
island of Sicily became city-states.
They fought just like city-states in Greece.
Location of Rome
Rome was built on seven hills along the
Tiber River. 15 miles inland from the
coast. This gave the city protection from
Rome was at the center of trade routes
that spread out across the land in all
Early Roman Republic
509bc - Wealthy nobles overthrew the
Etruscan king and promised to never be
ruled by a MONARCHY again.
The Romans established a REPUBLIC =
form of government in which voters elect
officials to run the state.
Only adult males could vote or be in the
Government in Roman Republic
3 groups helped govern the Republic.
#1 SENATE. Most powerful.
public funding and foreign policy.
Sometimes a court. In emergencies
senate could make one citizen a
DICTATOR = absolute ruler.
#2 MAGISTRATES – Elected officials. 2
elected CONSULS = chief executives.
Ran govt, commanded army, appoint
dictators. Could VETO the other consul.
(CHECKS AND BALANCES)
#3 ASSEMBLIES = voted on laws and
elected officials and consuls. Vote for war
or peace. Elected 10 member
-TRIBUNES to decide if laws were in the
interest of the people.
Social Structure in the
PATRICIANS = powerful nobility (few in
number) inherited power. Controlled govt.
PLEBEIANS – majority of population.
Farmers and workers.
SLAVES – not based on race.
Rome Republic Representative
~450bc the Romans engraved their laws
onto stone tablets. These were called the
TWELEVE TABLES. They were put in the
FORUM for all to view.
After this the distinction between Patrician
and Plebeian was less important.
However, public officials did not receive a
salary. So only nobles could afford to be in
The Republic Grows
Romans fought many wars against neighbors.
Controlled everything South of Rubicon R.
Expansion – well organized army + wise
political policies. (taxes/citizenship)
ARMY – every adult male had to serve.
Non-citizen armies too = Mercenaries (bad idea)
Strong policies where they conquered, help to
control the growing Empire.
Senate - Patricians Chosen for Life
Controlled public funds
At times – act as court
Propose dictator during emergency
Assemblies – Plebeians
Served in courts
Made some laws
Magistrates – later on some plebeians
interprets and executes laws
Consuls – 2 elected 1 yr. terms
Registered citizens according to wealth
Veto other consul
In charge of citizen’s morals
Ran govt and army
Praetors – commanded army in war