Geography -Located on the Italian peninsula, in the center of the Mediterranean Sea -The Alps are in the North -The Apennine Mts. are on the eastern coast -broad, fertile plains in the north and west
Early Civilization -Italy was originally occupied by many different groups of people -Two main groups were Greek colonists and the Etruscans -The Etruscans ruled much of central Italy and Rome itself -Ancestors of the Romans, the Latins , settled in the area that is now Rome around 800 B.C.
Legend of the Founding of Rome -Legend has it that twin brothers, Romulus and Remus founded the city -According to the tale, the twins’ mother was a Latin woman and their father was the war god Mars -This led Romans to believe that they had a divine origin
Rome Geography Rome is located: -On the banks of the Tiber River -On and around seven hills Why would this geographic location be an advantage?
Politics <ul><li>Romans drove out their Etruscan ruler and established a republic </li></ul><ul><li>They did not want one person to have all the power </li></ul>- 509 B.C. Rome is Founded
Structure of the Republic <ul><li>Patricians = landholding upper class </li></ul><ul><li>Plebeians = farmers, merchants, artisans, traders </li></ul><ul><li>Senate= governing body </li></ul><ul><li>Consuls= two patricians </li></ul><ul><li>Dictator = assigned to be in charge in the event of a war for six months </li></ul>
Patricians vs. Plebeians <ul><li>Plebeians have no say in the government </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually get to elect their own officials called tribunes in 494 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>For 84 years, (421-337 B.C.) plebeians fought to have a role in each part of the government </li></ul>
Social Structures <ul><li>-A man was the head of the household and his wife and children did not question his authority </li></ul><ul><li>Over centuries, women received more rights. These included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Owning property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Running businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All children were taught to learn to read and write </li></ul><ul><li>Wealthy had private tutors for their children </li></ul>
Religion -Romans were polytheistic -they believed in many gods and goddesses -Many of the gods were adapted from the Greek gods <ul><li>Roman calendar is full of feasts and celebrations to honor the gods and goddesses </li></ul><ul><li>Temples for worship to ask for divine assistance </li></ul>Greek God Roman God Zeus-ruler of all gods Jupiter-ruler of all gods Hera-wife of Zeus, protected marriage Juno-wife of Jupiter, protected marriage Poseidon-god of the sea Neptune-god of the sea
Politics <ul><li>Rome grows strong and begins conquering the rest of Italy </li></ul><ul><li>-By 270 B.C., Rome controls most of the Italian peninsula </li></ul><ul><li>Military is made up of citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Rome conquered justly- allowing those conquered to keep their culture, customs, and government - as long as they supplied soldiers, paid taxes, and acknowledge Roman leadership </li></ul>
The Punic Wars - Carthage had an empire throughout the Mediterranean -Rome fought Carthage in three wars from 264 B.C. to 146 B.C. (118 years!) -By the Third Punic War, Rome had completely destroyed Carthage and gained all of Carthage’s territory
Economics - Conquests brought much wealth to Rome -Wealthy families bought huge estates called latifundia . -Romans forced the people they conquered to work as slaves on the latifundia -Slave labor hurt the small farmers because it cost them more to produce food, and the price was driven down by the immense quantities coming into Rome -Farmers fell into debt , sold their land , and moved to the city looking for work -gap between rich and poor widens=riots and chaos
The Gracchus Brothers <ul><li>The brothers worked to get the state to distribute the land to the poor farmers </li></ul><ul><li>They also worked to get the state to buy grain to feed the poor </li></ul><ul><li>Senate felt they were a threat to its power , and hired thugs to kill the brothers and their followers </li></ul>-Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus were patricians who were elected tribunes
Republic to Empire - Civil wars break out to decide who should hold power. The senate wanted to keep the status quo ; political leaders wanted to weaken the senate and enact reforms -Slave uprisings throughout the republic -Armies became loyal to their commanders because they gave them benefits such as captured land