62 The Roman Empire


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62 The Roman Empire

  1. 1. The Roman Empire
  2. 2. <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Know the demographic problems facing the republic and how this contributed to instability and the eventual rise of Julius Caesar. </li></ul><ul><li>Know Julius Caesar’s path to power. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The First Triumvirate, who was in it, and the parts they played. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why he was assassinated. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know how Julius’s death led to formation of the Second Triumvirate and the eventual rise of Caesar Augustus (Octavian). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who was in the Second Triumvirate and the parts they played. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens to Mark Antony and why he loses public support. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><ul><li>What the pivotal battle is at which Octavian wins over Antony. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How Octavian/Augustus takes power and how his approach was different from Julius’s. </li></ul><ul><li>What the Pax Romana is. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why it was called the Pax Romana. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What factors led to it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who the good and bad Roman emperors were. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t need to know details about them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Main points about the life and culture of the Romans, e.g. women, children, slaves, families, games, etc. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Following the Punic Wars, Rome was facing a class and demographic problem. </li></ul><ul><li>All those soldiers who served in the army were typically small-time farmers . When they went to war, their farms were “acquired” by wealthy landowners and the veterans came back to nothing . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If not farmed, the land lies fallow. Fallow land produces no crops and no crops produce no money. Thus, they’d fall into debt to creditors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The farms get incorporated into latifundia – big plantations. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>In addition, Rome was flooded with slaves . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember those 50,000 Carthaginians sold into slavery? Yeah, those folks and many others the Romans captured in foreign wars. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The problem is that the slaves could do a lot of the more mundane activities . </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Between the landlessness and the slaves, many men found themselves broke and unemployed . So they did what people often do in such situations – they head to the big city. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many went to Rome, but generally all were rather unhappy with how things were turning out. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The expanding empire also meant more land and money , which invariably were grabbed up by already wealthy patrician families . This only exacerbated class conflict. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The time is ripe for somebody to step onto the stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Or two somebodies. Enter the Gracchus brothers, Tiberius and Gaius. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Tiberius , as a tribune, tried implementing land reforms by redistributing state-owned land (that was being used by patricians) to the poor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When the Senate balked , Tiberius used the Plebian Assembly to do an end run around it . He did this several times. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senators , worried about a “Tyrant” Tiberius (and, more importantly, worried about their land and money), kill him and 300 followers in the Forum in a case of mob violence. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>10 years later, Gaius Gracchus tries following up on the reforms. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He also gets killed by a mob, along with 3,000 followers. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Civil war breaks out between Marius and Sulla </li></ul><ul><li>The details aren’t important, but Marius briefly wins. Unfortunately, he soon dies of old age and Sulla comes back and takes control. </li></ul><ul><li>At this time, soldiers started showing great loyalty to their generals . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marius instituted military reforms that allowed even the very poor to enter the army. They became employed professional troops with the hope of plunder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the soldiers wanted any land, they had to hope their general could get it for them and give it to them. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Marius Sulla
  12. 12. <ul><li>The stage is set for Julius Caesar </li></ul><ul><li>The rundown: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Caesar joins with Pompey and Crassus to form the First Triumvirate . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Julius wanted Pompey’s influence (he was a prominent general) and Crassus’s money. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He uses this alliance to become governor of southern France (Gaul). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He proceeded to use his position to conquer all of Gaul (France), subduing all the tribes and killing tens of thousands of enemy troops. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This makes Caesar very popular and he becomes a threat to Pompey. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Pompey Crassus
  14. 15. <ul><ul><li>The Senate, under Pompey’s influence, tries stripping Caesar of his army. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caesar instead invades Italy and takes Rome . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He hunts down Pompey who is killed by King Ptolemy of Egypt. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caesar is elected consul for life and has all sorts of honors bestowed upon him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some senators were afraid Caesar was going to make himself an emperor and take absolute power for himself. So they plotted to assassinate him . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He’s killed in the Forum on 3/15/44 BC (the Ides of March) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 17. <ul><li>While the senators sought to prevent an empire, they ironically helped it come into being. </li></ul><ul><li>The public, with whom Caesar was enormously popular, were cheesed off that some rich, aristocratic fancy-pants senators had killed him. </li></ul><ul><li>With Caesar’s death comes a power vacuum and it needs to be filled. </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>The Second Triumvirate is formed. </li></ul><ul><li>A three-person dictatorship, this time established by law. It was limited to five year terms and lasted two terms. </li></ul><ul><li>Consisted of Caesar’s great-nephew Octavian (or Octavius depending on the translation), Caesar’s cavalry commander Lepidus, and Caesar’s right-hand man Mark Antony. </li></ul>
  17. 19. Octavian Lepidus
  18. 20. Marc Antony Not Marc Antony
  19. 21. <ul><li>One of the first items of business was getting rid of Julius Caesar’s enemies and assassins. They implement proscription: outlawing people as enemies of the state. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both Cassius and Brutus commit suicide in 42 BC upon losing a battle and seeing capture eminent (the captivity would not have been pleasant). </li></ul></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><ul><li>The great orator Cicero is also on the hit list. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He forcefully spoke against Caesar and then later Marc Antony. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He was decapitated and his head and hands were displayed on what was essentially the main podium in the Roman Forum as sign to others. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Its said Antony’s wife also pulled out his tongue and stabbed it with pins. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>Not surprisingly, once their joint goals are done, the three members start scheming against each other, mainly Antony and Octavian. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lepidus, for the most part stood aside, but was cast out of the Triumvirate when he tried to take Octavian’s legions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Octavian had the benefit of being Julius Caesar’s sole heir so he got Caesar’s name and money. Because Julius had been deified not long after his death, he could also claim he was the son (adopted) of a god. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He was only 18 when the Triumvirate formed so he consistently misunderestimated. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 24. <ul><li>Octavian had taken effective control of the western empire, while Antony took over the east. </li></ul><ul><li>Antony also shacked up with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra (Julius’s former lover) despite being married to Octavian’s sister, Octavia, at the time. He even had three kids by her. </li></ul><ul><li>Octavian used Antony’s affair to great political effect. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Antony spent most of his time with Cleopatra in Alexandria. He was accused of going native (and less Roman) and of having low morals by leaving his pregnant wife. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He even declared that Julius Caesar's illegitimate son with Cleopatra was Julius’s legitimate heir. This threatened Octavian’s big ace in the hole. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 26. <ul><ul><li>Octavian then goes before the Senate and reads Antony’s will aloud. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It promised large chunks of Roman land to his and Cleopatra’s kids and that his body should be buried in Alexandria, not Rome. In Roman eyes, no true Roman would do this and Antony lost a lot of public support. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Octavian definitely got the will illegally. There’s also speculation as to whether it was genuine or a forgery made for propaganda purposes. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Rome declares war on Cleopatra and Egypt (and Antony by association). </li></ul>
  24. 27. <ul><li>The war is quickly decided at the naval Battle of Actium off of western Greece in 31 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Octavian had trapped Antony’s fleet in a gulf and Antony needed to break out. </li></ul><ul><li>Antony was using heavy warships that could weigh up to three tons. He also had a manpower problem because his camp had been hit by malaria from being in a swamp. He burned the boats that couldn’t be staffed. </li></ul><ul><li>One of Antony’s generals also defected to Octavian and gave him Antony’s battle plans. </li></ul><ul><li>Octavian’s smaller ships stayed out of range and could outmaneuver Antony’s. When they did engage, it was more like a land battle. </li></ul>
  25. 31. <ul><li>Octavian’s forces start getting the better of Antony’s flank and Cleopatra, seeing this, takes her ships and runs. Antony, upon seeing Cleopatra running, takes some of his ships and runs after her. </li></ul><ul><li>The rest of Antony’s abandoned fleet, in disarray, is destroyed by Octavian’s forces. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Debate as to whether Antony’s and Cleopatra’s running off was planned or not. Either way, it was seen as a defeat and Antony’s armies left him. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 32. <ul><li>Octavian closed in on Antony who committed suicide. </li></ul><ul><li>Cleopatra is captured and she tries to negotiate with Octavian. He’s not much in the mood, though, and she too commits suicide by having an asp smuggled in with a basket of dates bite her. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>She didn’t care to be paraded through Rome as a victory trophy. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 34. <ul><ul><li>Caesarion, Julius’s son, is killed at age 17 on Octavian’s orders. Two Caesars is one too many. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 35. <ul><li>Octavian is now Rome’s main guy with all of Rome’s provinces pledging allegiance to him. </li></ul><ul><li>Octavian preserves the republican institutions and is elected consul. </li></ul><ul><li>The Senate makes him proconsul over the western empire. Also gives him the titles of Augustus and princeps (first citizen). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also got to wear a laurel crown. What? It was rather symbolic. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Senate continues granting him greater powers and authority. It’s only a collection of various titles and powers for set periods of time but… </li></ul>
  29. 37. <ul><ul><li>The point is that Augustus became effectively emperor. And he didn’t seize power by force or take on dictator for life. The Senate and the people voluntarily conferred power on him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This kept illusion of republican control and kept aristocrats from getting bent out of shape. Augustus didn’t make Julius’s mistakes. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 40. <ul><li>Augustus as emperor begins the Pax Romana from 25 BC – AD 180. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Roman Peace.” Rome had become the Mediterranean and European superpower. It used this power to create peace and prosperity throughout the region. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There was no one to seriously challenge it and Rome could keep people in line or put down rebellions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also protected trade. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No civil wars. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There were still wars, mind you, but most of them were to expand Rome’s boundaries or preserve them. Most action was on the borders while the interior stayed safe. </li></ul>
  31. 41. <ul><li>During the pax Romana, a uniform currency is introduced, trade expanded, and roads were built. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All roads lead to Rome, after all, and they were impressive . </li></ul></ul>
  32. 43. <ul><li>The roads were incredibly straight. And they pulled this off by using a ridiculously simple surveying tool called a groma. </li></ul>
  33. 44. <ul><li>The groma was used for all sorts of surveying, including buildings. It’s nearly as effectively accurate as highly precise modern surveying equipment that’s all fancy with electronics, lasers, and GPS. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The groma’s big disadvantage, though, is that it doesn’t do curves or other odd shapes well. It’s a straight line kinda instrument. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 51. <ul><li>Other factors that helped the development of the empire was incorporating new peoples. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everybody was attracted to Rome – it was big, powerful, wealthy, civilized, sophisticated, technologically advanced, and had lots of nice stuff. You want a piece of that. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soldiers in the Roman army could become citizens upon completion of their service. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rome also improved the territories and cities. Romanized them to some extent. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 52. <ul><li>Probably most importantly, Augustus put into place efficient administration across the empire. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In any empire, an emperor may rule it, but bureaucrats run it. Without an effective and relatively efficient administrative class, no empire (or any government for that matter) can maintain itself. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 53. <ul><li>Augustus dies in AD 14. He’s succeeded by Tiberius. </li></ul><ul><li>A empire or monarchial system is simultaneously strong and weak. </li></ul><ul><li>Its strength is that there’s one person who’s ultimately in control and has power over everything. This is more efficient, effective, and timely. This, though, is dependent on good and wise rulers. </li></ul><ul><li>Its weakness is that one or two bad rulers can ruin everything the good rulers do and nearly bring down the empire. </li></ul><ul><li>Its other weakness is the internal power politics and issues of succession. </li></ul><ul><li>These are all true of all empires and monarchies, not just the Roman variety. </li></ul>
  37. 54. <ul><li>It’s often said there were five good emperors and three bad ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Good guys: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bad guys: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Caligula, Nero, and Domition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There were more emperors than this, but these are the big ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Here’s a list . </li></ul>
  38. 55. Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antonius Pius Marcus Aurelius
  39. 56. <ul><li>Here are a few interesting points about some of these guys. Mainly the bad ones because they were somewhat insane and are therefore inherently more interesting. </li></ul><ul><li>Caligula </li></ul><ul><li>His real name was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. He was called Caligula because, as a boy, his mom would dress him up in a little soldier’s outfit. The troops nicknamed him Caligula, or Little Boots. </li></ul><ul><li>Indications he may have committed incest with his sisters. </li></ul><ul><li>Thought about having his horse be appointed consul. </li></ul><ul><li>Tried having himself deified. </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely decadent, blasphemous, and cruel. </li></ul><ul><li>Assassinated by his body guards. </li></ul>
  40. 58. <ul><li>Nero </li></ul><ul><li>Great grandson of Mark Antony and Augustus’s sister Octavia </li></ul><ul><li>Killed both his mother and aunt (later complained of his mother’s ghost haunting him). </li></ul><ul><li>May have set fire to the poorer parts of Rome to clear them out and take over the land. </li></ul><ul><li>Considered himself a great artist and actor and would act in the amphitheatre. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was somewhat scandalous. And nobody was allowed to leave while he performed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kicked his pregnant wife to death because she nagged him. </li></ul><ul><li>Senate deposed him and he slit his own throat as the soldiers were about to capture him. </li></ul>
  41. 59. <ul><li>Commodus </li></ul><ul><li>Played gladiator in the arena. But didn’t play fair. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thought he was a new Hercules. Wild animals would be tethered, though, and opposing gladiators would have wooden weapons. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also executed other prominent gladiators. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Had drunken orgies with a harem of 300 women and 300 boys. </li></ul><ul><li>Renamed the months after him. </li></ul><ul><li>Renamed Rome itself after him. </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly bankrupted Rome. </li></ul><ul><li>Strangled in his bathtub by his wrestling partner. </li></ul>
  42. 62. Commodus and Screech from Saved by the Bell… connection?
  43. 63. <ul><li>Roman culture </li></ul><ul><li>Fathers were the heads of their families and decided what would happen in them. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The emperor was the paterfamilias of Rome. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roman women had some rights, but could still have a difficult life. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Married young and had lots of kids. This was hazardous. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were tasked with their children’s early education and transmitting the culture. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used public baths and participated in some religious festivals. Could also work and had personal freedoms. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Couldn’t drink wine – didn’t want them to get wild. </li></ul></ul>
  44. 64. <ul><li>Children </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Received early education from their mothers before getting advanced learning from tutors and such – if even that. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Were with the mother until about 7. Then boys would go to their teachers or work with their fathers. Girls would stay with the mother and learn home ec. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boys were preferred. They could work more and gain political power for the family. Some girls were simply exposed. </li></ul></ul>
  45. 65. <ul><li>Slaves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Had no rights. Could be killed at will. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Were usually foreigners who had been captured in battle or the progeny of such people. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Could also be orphans or kids fathers sold off for extra money. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A slave was a slave for life unless the master freed him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Or unless he paid his master what his master had paid for him, but this was very rare since a slave has a pretty limited income. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimates are that anywhere from 25% to 40% of the population in Rome were slaves. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Less (around 10%) in rural areas and maybe 33% in most cities. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  46. 66. <ul><ul><li>Race or ethnicity didn’t matter about who could be enslaved. All that mattered was that they weren’t Romans. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some races, though, were more preferred for some tasks. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stocky northern Europeans were valued for manual labor. Greeks for education. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could be treated well or cruelly depending on the master. Slaves were expensive so there was some motivation not to be brutal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most gladiators were slaves, but were exceptionally valuable. Owners didn’t really want them killed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice changes over time as new influxes of slaves slows and empire falls apart. </li></ul></ul>
  47. 67. <ul><ul><li>Were a few large slave revolts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Biggest one led by Spartacus in 73-71 BC. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Had an army of 70,000 escaped slaves. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When Rome finally conquered him, they crucified 6,000 of his followers and lined them up on one of the main roads to Rome. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  48. 69. <ul><li>Entertainment and Bread and Circuses </li></ul><ul><li>Much of Rome’s populace was poor and many unemployed. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is a recipe for disaster if they’re not kept occupied. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emperor’s, at state expense, would put on massive entertainment events. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chariot races at the Circus Maximus. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gladiator battles at the Colosseum. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parades, theatre, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everybody also got grain rations. </li></ul></ul>