Unit 8, Part 1: Geography and Rise of The Roman Empire
Unit 8, Part 1: Geography and Rise of The Roman REPUBLIC GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE Italian Peninsula looks like a boot; juts out into the Mediterranean Sea 2 major mountain ranges Alps To the north (Europes highest mountains) Apennines run length of the
peninsula Some of the mountains, such as Mount Vesuvius, are volcanic. Not much flat land Hills cover where there arent mountains. Cities built on hills are easier to defend. Climate warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Similar to California. Able to grow wide variety of crops like grains, citrus fruits, grapes, and olives. ROMES LEGENDARY ORIGINS Romes early history is a mystery because no written records exist. Roman leaders wanted their city to have glorious past, so they told legends about great heroes and kings who built the city. Aeneas According to Virgils epic poem the Aeneid, the
Trojan hero Aeneas carried his father from the burning city of Troy before it fell to the Greek. After traveling around the Mediterranean, he and his followers finally settled in ROMULUS & REMUS Romulus and Remus Descendants of Aeneas and founders of Rome. As babies, these twins were put in a basket and thrown into the Tiber River. A wolf rescued them and raised them for many years. A shepherd found the boys and adopted them. After they grew up, Romulus and Remus decided to build a city to mark the spot where the wolf had rescued them. While planning the city, Remus mocked one
of his brothers ideas. In a fit of anger, Romulus killed Remus. He then built the city and named it Rome after himself. Romulus Took the throne as first king of Rome in 753 BC (give or take 100 years). EARLY KINGS Roman records list 7 kings who ruled the city. Etruscan Kings - The last 3 kings were Etruscans, members of a people who lived north of Rome and where there before it was founded. They made great contributions to Roman society.
Built huge temples Built Romes first sewer. Romans may have learned their alphabet and numbers from the Etruscans. Last Roman king was cruel and had many people killed, including his own advisors. Finally, a group of nobles rose up, overthrew him, and created a new government. EARLY REPUBLIC A Republic people elect leaders to govern them. Each year the Romans
elected officials to rule the city. These officials had many powers but only stayed in power for one year so as to keep any one person from becoming too powerful. Not a democracy! Almost all officials came from a small group of wealthy and powerful men who held all the power, with others having little to say in how the republic was run. Shortly after republic was created, Rome fell into a 50 year period of war with other people of the region. Though they won most of these wars, they lost several battles, and many people were killed and property destroyed. DICTATORS During particularly difficult wars, Romans chose dictators, rulers with almost absolute power, to
lead the city. To keep them from abusing their power, dictators could only stay in power for 6 months then had to give up power. Cincinnatus most famous dictator of this period. A farmer who was chosen to defend the city against a powerful enemy, whom he quickly defeated and then immediately resigned and returned to his farm. Considered an ideal leader because he didnt want power and was loyal to the republic. (Cincinnati, Ohio is PLEBEIANS VS. PATRICIANS Within Rome, society was divided into two groups Patricians nobles, or wealthiest people. Only patricians could be elected to office, so they held all the political power.
Plebeians common people; peasants, craftspeople, traders, and other workers. Some, especially traders, were quite wealthy. Although most of the population were plebeians, they couldnt take part in government. They began to call for changes because they wanted more of a say in how the city was run. In 494 BC the plebeians formed a council and elected their own officials, which frightened patricians as they feared Rome would fall apart if the 2 groups didnt cooperate. The patricians decided to change to a tripartite, or 3 part TRIPARTITE - Magistrates 1st Part Magistrates, or elected officials Consuls - 2 most powerful; elected for one year; ran city and lead the army. There were 2 so that no one person could be too powerful Below the consuls were many
different types of magistrates, all elected for 1 year, each with his own duties and powers. Some were judges, others managed finances, organized games and festivals, etc. TRIPARTITE - Senate 2nd Part Roman Senate council of wealthy and powerful Romans that advised the citys leaders. Originally created to advise Romes kings, then advised consuls 300 members who held offices for life Mostly patricians, but over time wealthy plebeians became senators Because magistrates often became senators after completing their terms in office, most didnt want to anger the Senate and risk their future jobs. As time passed, Senate became more powerful, gained great influence over the magistrates, and took control of finances.
TRIPARTITE Assemblies & Tribunes 3rd Part 2 branches: Assemblies & Tribunes Assemblies Both patricians and plebeians took part Primary job to elect the magistrates who ran the city Tribunes elected by plebeians Could veto, or prohibit, actions by other officials. Veto means I forbid in Latin, the Romans language. Ability to veto made tribunes very powerful. Remained in office 1 year so wouldnt abuse power CHECKS & BALANCES Checks and balances methods to balance power and keep any one part of a government from becoming stronger or more influential than the others.
For example, one consul could block the actions of the others. Also, laws proposed by the Senate had to be approved by magistrates and ratified by assemblies. When officials worked together, the government was strong and efficient. Could also complicate government when officials disagreed. The same is Overview of the Roman Republic Government Patricians Upper class Landowners Consul Consul Supervise government business Command armies 1 year
Supervise government business Command armies 1 year Senators 300 Make laws For life Plebeians Lower class Farmers Merchants Artisans Traders
Tribunes Protect interests of plebeians Veto laws Consuls Senators Cr is is Dictator Absolute power No more than 6 mo. LAW OF THE TWELVE TABLES At first, laws werent written down, so the only people who knew all the laws were the patricians who made them. Many people were unhappy about being punished for breaking laws they
didnt even know existed. As a result, they called for laws to be written down and made accessible to everybody. Romes first written code of law was produced in 450 BC on 12 bronze tables, or tablets. These were displayed in the Forum, Romes public meeting place. Because of how they were displayed, they were called the Law of the Twelve Tables. People looked to these as a symbol of their rights as Roman citizens. THE ROMAN FORUM Means public place Heart of Rome and center of life Most important temples and government buildings were located there. Popular place for citizens to meet to talk about issues of the day, shop, chat, and gossip. Located in center of Rome between
Palantine Hill where the richest people lived and the Capitoline Hill where the grandest temples stood. Leaders would use the Forum as a speaking area to deliver speeches to the crowds. Reconstructed Forum Public ceremonies often held there. YJKxic Gladiator fights sometimes held there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4PAC
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