THE FOUNDING OF ROME
• The Latins, an Indo-
people from central
Europe, crossed the Alps
about 1500 B.C. and
• Attracted by the warm
climate and fertile land, the
Latins conquered the
native peoples and settled
in central Italy.
•On the seven hills overlooking the Tiber River,
they founded the city of Rome.
Romulus and Remus
• About a year before the twins were born
their great-uncle had seized power from
• When the new king learned of the twins'
birth, he ordered them thrown into the
Tiber River, fearing that they would grow
up to threaten his rule.
• A shepherd discovered the twins, he
took them home and raised them as his
• When Romulus and Remus grew up,
they took revenge on their great-uncle
and restored their grandfather to his
•Then, on the seven hills overlooking the Tiber River, the
two young men founded the city of Rome.
• Years later, when Romans encountered the older,
more sophisticated cultures of the eastern
Mediterranean, the story of Romulus and Remus
seemed pale when compared to the heroic Greek
tales of the Trojan War.
• So the Roman poet Virgil created a new legend.
• Tells the story of valiant Trojan hero Aeneas .
• He founded the colony of Rome
• His descendants, Romulus and Remus,later took
The Aeneid 2
• The story of Romulus and
Remus said that strength,
justice, and the favor of the
gods were the best
protection against danger
• The Aeneid linked Rome to
the older civilizations of
Greece and Asia Minor.
• This assured Romans that
they were not mere
newcomers to the
• Rome was only a small town on the west
coast of Italy when Athens flourished.
• By 323 B.C., however, when Alexander
the Great had conquered his empire,
Rome was emerging as a strong city-state.
• Between 265 B.C. and 44 B.C., Rome
won control of the Mediterranean world,
uniting many different peoples and regions
under its rule.
GEOGRAPHIC SETTING of
• The Italian peninsula juts out like a boot into the Mediterranean Sea.
• Off the toe of the boot lies the island of Sicily.
• The sea provided some protection for the early peoples of Italy.
• Later, the Romans used the sea as a highway for conquest and trade.
• At the top of the boot are the Alps, which block cold winds and give
the region a pleasant climate.
– However, the Alps give only limited protection from invaders.
• The Po River, which is fed by melting snows from the Alps, provides
water for the rich farming region of the northern plain.
• Another mountain range, the Apennines (AP uh NiNZ), runs down the
length of Italy.
• Unlike the mountains in Greece, which isolated the city-states, the
Apennines were a less serious barrier to unity in Italy.
• Most people lived in the west, where the land was more fertile than in
• In the wet there were also good harbors and long rivers that be easily
navigated by small boats.
• Another mountain range, the
Apennines (AP uh NiNZ), runs
down the length of Italy.
• Unlike the mountains in
Greece, which isolated the
city-states, the Apennines
were a less serious barrier to
unity in Italy.
• Most people lived in the west,
where the land was more
fertile than in the east.
• In the wet there were also
good harbors and long rivers
that be easily navigated by
• The city of Rome enjoyed many natural
advantages. It was located on the fertile coastal
plain halfway up Italy's west coast.
• From the seven hills overlooking the Tiber River,
Romans could watch for enemy attacks.
• The Tiber provided food and transportation.
Since Rome lay some distance inland, it was not
exposed to raids from the sea.
• Romans built the port of Ostia at the mouth of
the Tiber for ships too large to move up the river
Early Peoples of Rome
• The early Latins, a simple and hardy people,
• (1) worked chiefly at farming and cattle-raising;
• (2) maintained close family ties, with the father
exercising absolute authority;
• (3) worshipped tribal gods (Jupiter, the chief god; Mars,
god of war; Neptune, god of the sea; and Venus,
goddess of love), and
• (4) defended Rome against frequent attacks.
• The Latins who founded Rome were farmers and
• During their early history, they fought with other Latins
for control of neighboring areas.
• Their struggles helped shape a belief in duty, discipline,
Early People of Rome (Etruscans)
• The Etruscans (ih TRUHS kuhnz), who had
migrated into Italy from Asia Minor, seized Rome
about 600 B.C.
• During the next 100 years, the Romans
absorbed many ideas from their Etruscan
• They adopted the Etruscan alphabet, which the
Etruscans had borrowed from the Greeks.
• They copied Etruscan styles of art and
worshipped Etruscan gods alongside their own.
• And they learned Etruscan building techniques,
including the arch.
Greeks and Phoenicians
• At the same time the Romans learned
from advanced civilizations of the
Phoenicians and Greeks, who had set up
colonies in Sicily and Italy.
• For example, from the Greeks, the
Romans learned to build fortified cities and
to grow grapes and olives.
ROME: FROM ETRUSCAN RULE
TO INDEPENDENCE (750–500
• Rome was captured about 750 B.C. by its
northern neighbors, the Etruscans. From these
more advanced people, the Latins, or Romans,
• (1) construct buildings, roads, and city walls,
• (2) make metal weapons, and
• (3) apply new military tactics. The Romans in
500 B.c. drove out the Etruscans and
established an independent republic.
THE EARLY REPUBLIC: AN
• The Roman Republic at first was an aristocracy,
with power in the hands of the wealthy
landowning nobles, the patricians.
• Only they could serve
• as consuls (heads of state) ) and as members of
the hereditary legislative Senate, which passed
laws, approved appointments and controlled
• Largely excluded from government were the
rest of the Roman people, mainly small farmers
and city workers, known as plebeians.
THE ROMAN REPUBLIC
BECOMES MORE DEMOCRATIC
(5TH–3RD CENTURIES B.C.)
• The plebeians clamored for democratic
reforms. Over the course of two centuries,
they gained the right to
• (1) elect tribunes empowered to veto (forbid)
actions of the consuls and the Senate,
• (2) enact laws in the people's assemblies,
• (3) hold all government offices, including
those of consul and senator.
• The plebeians' demands also resulted in
codification (arranging and writing down) of
Roman law into the Twelve Tables. This
prevented judges—who were nobles—from
twisting unwritten laws to favor their own class.
Each had the right to veto, or block, an action of
• In Latin, the word "veto" means "I forbid."
• The Romans achieved these reforms rather
harmoniously, because both the patricians and
the plebeians willingly compromised their
differences for the good of the Republic.
Twelve Tables 450 BC
TABLE I Procedure: for courts and trials
TABLE II Trials, continued.
TABLE III Debt
TABLE IV Rights of fathers (paterfamilias) over the family
TABLE V Legal guardianship and inheritance laws
TABLE VI Acquisition and possession
TABLE VII Land rights
TABLE VIII Torts and delicts (Laws of injury)
TABLE IX Public law
TABLE X Sacred law
TABLE XI Supplement I
TABLE XII Supplement II
In 450 B.C., Rome's first written law code was carved onto 12 stone tablets
that were set up in the Forum, or central marketplace. The Twelve Tables
of Law showed the strict separation between patricians and plebeians.
Laws prohibited plebeians from serving as consuls, entering the Senate, or
marrying patricians. Yet by listing laws and punishments, the Twelve Tables
protected all citizens from unfair treatment.
ROME GAINS CONTROL OF
ITALY (340–270 B.C.)
• In a series of wars Rome conquered the Italian
peninsula. The Romans
(1) in central Italy, overwhelmed the other Latins
as well as the Samnites and Etruscans,
(2) in northern Italy, drove back the Gauls, and
(3) in southern Italy, captured the Greek colonies.
Rome conquers Italy
Rome succeeded in conquering and uniting Italy because
• Powerful Armies. Roman citizen-soldiers felt deeply
responsible to their Republic. They fought not for a
despot but for their own freedom, land, and government.
Well-trained and strictly disciplined, the Roman legions
were the ancient world's most effective fighting force.
• Ability to Move Troops. The Apennine Mountains,
running north and south through Italy, did not obstruct
Roman troop movements appreciably.
• Wise Treatment of Conquered Peoples. The Romans
secured the friendship and allegiance of the conquered
peoples by granting them the privileges of either partial
or full Roman citizenship. From these allies Rome
received troops and support for its foreign policy.
• The First Punic War (264–241 B.c.). Fighting chiefly on the
island of Sicily and in the Mediterranean Sea, Rome's citizen-
soldiers eventually defeated Carthage's mercenaries (hired
foreign soldiers). Rome annexed Sicily and then Sardinia and
• The Second Punic War (218–201 B.c.). Hannibal, Carthage's
great general, led an army from Spain across the Alps and into
Italy. At first he won numerous victories. However, he was unable
to seize the city of Rome. Gradually the tide of battle turned in
favor of Rome.. Rome annexed Carthage's Spanish provinces
and reduced Carthage to a second-rate power.
– Reasons for Rome's victory: (a) superior wealth and military power,
(b) the loyalty of most of its allies, and (c) the rise of capable
generals, notably Fabius and Scipio. Scipio was named Africanus
because he triumphed over Hannibal in North Africa.
• The Third Punic War (149–146 B.c.). Some Romans believed
that Carthage remained a threat. Rome finally attacked Carthage,
destroyed the city, and annexed the territory.
• At first, only patricians served in the Roman army. But the Republic
faced many enemies, including the Etruscans, neighboring Latins,
and the Gauls who lived north of the Po River. After the Gauls
burned Rome in 390 B.C., the Senate turned to the plebeians for
help. It required all citizens who owned land—plebeians and
patricians—to serve in the army.
• Roman soldiers trained in the use of slings, javelins, spears, and
swords. Wealthy Romans provided their own equipment and served
without pay. Poorer citizens received small salaries. Roman
commanders enforced strict discipline. Such training and discipline
made the Roman army highly effective.
• The Roman army was divided into legions of about 6,000 soldiers.
Each legion was divided into smaller units that could be moved
around swiftly. This freedom of movement gave the Roman army an
advantage over the massed ranks of its enemies.
ROME CONQUERS THE
(BY THE 1ST CENTURY B.C.)
• After the Second Punic War, Rome conquered
(1) Macedonia, including Greece, and
• (2) Syria, including most of southwestern Asia.
• Rome's might, submitted to Roman domination
of the eastern Mediterranean. In
• 30 B.C. Rome annexed Egypt. Rome was now
master of the entire Mediterranean world.
CONQUESTS AFFECT ROME
• 1. Conquests Introduce Greek Culture. The Romans
enthusiastically accepted the advanced Hellenistic culture of
the eastern Mediterranean (see pages 50-51). They
(a) shipped Greek treasures—books, statues, and vases—to Rome,
(b) enslaved educated Greeks to serve as tutors, actors, writers, and
(c) imitated Greek culture extensively. Roman arms conquered Greece,
but Greek culture conquered Rome.
• Conquests Bring Wealth to Some Romans.
(a) Nobles cheaply acquired huge estates in the provinces and in Italy.
They often seized public lands illegally.
(b) Merchants and business people prospered by filling army contracts,
buying booty, supplying slaves, and trading with the provinces.
(c) Government officials in the provinces amassed huge fortunes at the
expense of their subject peoples.
• These wealthy classes enjoyed lives of ease and luxury.
Hard work, discipline, and patriotism—early Roman
THE MEDITERRANEAN CONQUESTS
• Conquests Ruin Small Farmers and Workers. Small
farmers and city work-ers could not compete with slave
labor employed by huge estates and in industry. Unable
to pay their debts, farmers abandoned their lands and
migrated to the cities; city workers suffered serious
– To gain the support of landless farmers and unemployed
workers, Roman politicians sponsored free government
programs of bread and circuses (food and entertainment).
• Conquests Change the Character of the Army. The
small farmer had been the backbone of the Roman
army. As he disappeared, the nature of the army
changed. Citizen-soldiers, loyal to the state, were
replaced by professional soldiers, fighting for pay and
booty, loyal to their own commanders.
FROM REPUBLIC TO
• By the 2nd century B.C., the common people were again
demanding economic and political reforms.
• The aristocracy, controlling the Senate, bitterly opposed
measures that threatened their wealth and power.
• Since the spirit of compromise of the early Republic was
dead, peaceful reform failed. In a series of civil wars,
rival Roman generals battled for supremacy.
• The entire conflict, lasting more than 100 years, wrecked
the Roman Republic and its many democratic features.
• In 27 B.C. the Republic was replaced by an absolute
monarchy, the Roman Empire.
• One general, Pompey (PAHM Pee), led his legions
in a series of successful campaigns in Asia Minor,
Syria, and Palestine. However, when he returned to
Rome and the Senate and looked for allies. He
found one in a talented young general, Julius
• Caesar had won victories in Spain and had
attracted a large following in Rome. Like Pompey,
Caesar resented the Senate. In 61 B.C., he had hoped to be elected
consul, but the Senate, fearing his popularity, blocked his bid for power.
In 60 B.C., Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance with Marcus Lucius
Crassus, a wealthy general. They agreed to pool their re-sources and
rule Rome together. Their alliance is known as the First Triumvirate (tri
UHM ver iht), or three-man commission.
The First Triumvirate gained control of Rome but was soon split by
Julius Caesar rules Rome
• Between 49 B.C. and 44 B.C., Caesar won a string of victories in the Middle
East, North Africa, and Spain. On his triumphant return to Rome, he
pardoned many senators who had sup-ported Pompey. In 44 B.C., he was
appointed , dictator for life.
• Caesar introduced reforms meant to strengthen Rome and protect his own
1. He distributed land to the poor and granted Roman citizenship to people in
provinces out-side Italy.
– This action helped unite the empire by giving people in the provinces a stake in
2. To reduce unemployment, he began many building projects.
3. He increased pay for soldiers and
4. moved to end corruption in the provinces.
5. He also introduced a more accurate calendar based on Hellenistic
• The Julian calendar, as it was called, was used in Europe until 1582 A.D.
• Although the Senate and Assembly of Tribes continued to exist, Caesar had
Death of Caesar
• Opposition to Caesar grew in the Senate.
• Some senators denounced him as a tyrant while others
were jealous of his popularity.
• On March 15, 44 B.C., a group of conspirators led by
Gaius Cassius and Marcus Brutus stabbed Caesar to
death in the Senate.
• A farsighted leader, Caesar planned to establish stable
government, reform provincial rule, provide land for the
poor, and beautify the city of Rome.
• But he lacked time. In 44 B.C. a group of conspirators,
some envying his power and others hoping to restore the
Republic, assassinated Caesar.
• In the civil war that followed, the Republic suffered a fatal
The Second Triumvirate
• Before his death, Caesar had adopted his 18-year-old
grandnephew Octavian as his son and heir.
• After Caesar's assassination, Octavian formed the
Second Triumvirate with two of Caesar's chief
commanders, Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus.
• After crushing Caesar's assassins, the Second
Triumvirate dissolved into a power strug-gle between
Antony and Octavian.
• When Antony married Cleopatra, queen of Egypt,
Octavian feared they planned to seize power. Octavian
• Antony and Cleopatra fled back to Egypt. They later
committed suicide when
The Age of Augustus
• On his return to Rome, Octavian promised to share control
of the empire with the Senate. In practice, however, he had
• In 27 B.C., the Senate, realizing that peace depended on his
leadership, gave Octavian the title Augustus, or "Exalted
One," a name normally reserved for the gods.
• After 100 years of civil war, peace was finally restored under
• Under Augustus, Rome ceased to be a republic and
became an empire.
• The Senate gave him the title imperator ([HM puh RAHT
uhr), or commander-in-chief of the Roman armies.
• The English word "emperor" is derived from this Latin title.
• Although the Senate still existed, Augustus ruled as a
The Age of Augustus
• Between 27 B.C. and 14 A.D., Augustus sponsored many reforms
to strengthen the empire.
1. He reorganized the army into a highly disciplined, professional
body, loyal to the emperor.
2. He encouraged former soldiers to settle in the provinces, where
they could bolster local defense.
3. He developed public works programs to build infrastructure and
4. He developed an efficient civil service system
1. high level jobs were open to people with the best qualifications
regardless of social class
2. civil servants were given salaries
5. He continued Caesar's policy of granting Roman citizenship to
people in the provinces.
Such measures ensured the loyalty of these people to Rome
and spread Roman ideas.
THE ROMAN EMPIRE: A
DICTATORSHIP (27 B.C.–476 A.D.)
The Roman Empire, existing about 500 years, was a military dictatorship.
Of the many Roman emperors, some dominated the army; others
were its puppets. Some devoted themselves to the Empire's welfare;
others sought personal advantages. However, only a few were
qualified to meet imperial problems.
• The outstanding Roman emperors were:.
• Claudius (41–54 A.D.) established Roman authority in the southern
part of Britain. In Italy he promoted public works.
• Vespasian (69–79 A.D.) dispatched an army, led by his son Titus, to
Palestine. Titus suppressed a Hebrew revolt, destroyed Jerusalem,
and expelled most Jews from Palestine.
• Trajan (98–117 A.D.), through conquest, expanded the Empire to its
greatest territorial extent. His most important acquisition was Dacia
(modern Rumania). He wads a Spaniard
• Hadrian (117–138 A.D.), to repel barbarian tribes seeking to enter the
Empire, built defensive walls in northern Britain and central Europe.
Tireless worker. Issued laws to protect women and children, and
mistreatment of slaves.
More Roman Emperors
• Marcus Aurelius (161–180 A.D.) was a conscientious and high-minded ruler
concerned with the people's welfare. He was also a Stoic philosopher who wrote
the famous book, Meditations. He led troops and conquered a large part of the
Germanic tribes in the area of Germania. His death marked the end of the Pax
• Diocletian (284–305 A.D.) became emperor after a period of incompetent rule
and internal strife. To simplify government, he divided the Empire into East and
West—each portion administered separately. To prevent civil war, he
established a system of succession to the throne. Nevertheless, his death led to
renewed civil wars. Diocletian was the last Roman emperor who actively
• Constantine (312–337 A.D.) reunited the Empire by military force and moved
his capital from Rome to Constantinople (formerly Byzantium). By the Edict of
Milan (313 A.D.), he ended the persecution of Christians. Just before his death,
Constantine himself was converted to Christianity.
• Justinian, Roman emperor at Constantinople (527–565 A.D.), directed jurists to
codify these laws. The Justinian Code influenced the legal systems of western
Europe and, less directly, the United States.
• Roman law was intended to be impartial and humane. Two of its principles were:
(a) All persons are equal before the law.
(b) Accused persons are guaran-teed legal protection. For example, forced confessions are
BARBARIC TRIBES DESTROY THE
• Germanic (Teutonic) Tribes Exert Pressure (1st–4th Centuries A.D.).
Germanic, or Teutonic, tribes—primitive, warlike peoples—lived in central and
eastern Europe. They were attracted to the Roman Empire by its fertile land,
great wealth, and advanced civilization.
• Early Germanic efforts to enter the Empire were thwarted by Roman troops.
Later, Rome permitted some Germanic peoples to settle within its borders and
enlisted Germanic soldiers in its armies.
• The Huns Invade Europe (4th and 5th Centuries A.D.). The Huns, savage
invaders from central Asia, terrorized Europe, causing many Germanic tribes
to flee into the Roman Empire. Attila, the "Scourge of God," later led the Huns
in ravaging the Empire until turned back by a combined Roman-Germanic
force at the Battle of Chalons (451 A.D.). The Huns, nevertheless, had
weakened Rome militarily and hastened its downfall.
• The Germanic Tribes End the Roman Empire (4th and 5th Centuries
A.D.). The full-scale Germanic migrations into Roman territory could not be
stemmed by the enfeebled Roman government. Gradually the Germanic tribes
estab-lished kingdoms within the Empire: the Visigoths in Spain, the
Ostrogoths in Italy, the Vandals in North Africa, the Franks in Gaul, and the
Angles and Saxons in Britain.
• In 476 A.D. Germanic mercenaries overthrew the last emperor in Rome. This
event, according to most historians, ended the Western Roman Empire
REASONS FOR THE FALL OF
THE ROMAN EMPIRE
• Why could the Germanic tribes crush Rome, so long the master of the
Mediterranean world? The answer lies not in Germanic strength but in
Roman weakness. By the 4th and 5th centuries A.D., the Roman Empire
had declined because of the following internal conditions:
(a) The dictatorial government was frequently inefficient and cor-rupt and did
not command the people's loyalty.
(b) The vast Empire, having primitive transportation and communication, could
not be governed efficiently from one central city.
(c) Rivalry over succession to the throne often resulted in destructive civil wars.
(a) People were interested mainly in luxury and survival. The early Roman
ideals of patriotism, service, and morality had almost vanished.
(b) Sharp class distinctions existed. The upper classes were wealthy and
educated; the lower classes were poor and ignorant.
(c) Cities—previously centers of culture and industry—declined as people fled
to the rural regions.
(a) Small farmers had abandoned their lands, and many had become workers
on large estates.
- No longer independent, they lost the incentive to improve farming methods or
to increase production.
(b) The self-sufficiency of the large estates hampered trade and curtailed
industry, thus causing an economic decline.
(c) Heavy, often unjust, taxation burdened the people and destroyed their
ambition to work and progress.
(d) The widespread use of slaves in industry and agriculture caused great
unemployment among the plebeians.
(a) The warlike spirit of early pagan Rome was weakened by Christian
teachings of peace and universal love.
(b) The Roman armies included many Germanic mercenaries of uncertain
(c) The armies, considering themselves masters of the state, not its servants,
often chose the emperors and determined government policy.
ROMAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO
• 1. Pax Romana (27 B.c.–180 A.D.). For over 200 years Roman
military might enforced in the Mediterranean world the Pax Romana,
or "Roman peace." This was a period of social cohesion on an
international scale. Trade and commerce expanded; the arts and
sciences thrived; Greco-Roman, or classical, civilization reached
everywhere in the Empire. The achievements under the Pax
Romana prove that peace means progress.
• 2.Roman Law. The Romans developed bodies of law on business
matters, family relationships, individual rights, and international
affairs, Justinian, Roman emperor at Constantinople (527–565
A.D.), directed jurists to codify these laws. The Justinian Code
influenced the legal systems of western Europe and, less directly,
the United States.
– Roman law was intended to be impartial and humane. Two of its
– (a) All persons are equal before the law.
– (b) Accused persons are guaran-teed legal protection
• 3. Architecture. The Romans constructed military roads, aqueducts,
bridges, and marble buildings—some still in use. Roman architects
effectively employed the arch, dome, and column.
– During the reign of Emperor Vespasian, the Romans erected the famous
stone amphitheater, the Colosseum. In its arena gladiators and wild beasts
battled to entertain spectators.
• 4. Language. Latin, the Roman language, is (a) the root of the Romance
(or Romanic) languages: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and
• (b) the source of about one-half of the words in the English language.
• 5. Literature
• Cicero (106- 43 B.c.), an orator and writer, is known as the "father of
Latin prose." He wrote extensively on ethical, religious, and political
subjects, and delivered famous orations in defense of the Roman
• Vergil (70–19 B.c.) wrote the famous epic poem, the Aeneid. In relating
the adventures of Aeneas, whose descendants supposedly founded
Rome, Vergil extolled Rome's greatness.
• Horace (65–8 B.c.) wrote Odes, charming poetry about everyday life. A
moralist, he praised the early Roman virtues of simplicity, courage, and
• 6. Historical Writing
• Livy (59 B.c.–17 A.D.) wrote an encyclopedic history—only part of which
has survived—of Rome from its founding to the Augustan Age. Livy
deplored the decay of the early Roman virtues and the fall of the Republic.
• Plutarch (100 A.D.) compared Roman and Greek heroes in his book of
biographies, Parallel Lives.
• Tacitus (55–120 A.D.), in his work Germania, vividly described life among
the Germanic barbarians.
• 7. Science. The Romans were practical scientists, specializing in sanitation,
public health, and engineering. The research scientists of the Empire were
• Galen (131–201 A.D.), a Greek physician, wrote books summarizing the
ancient world's medical knowledge. He also performed experiments
involving the nervous and circulatory systems.
• Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.), a Greek astronomer, taught—erroneously as
we now know—that (1) the earth is the center of the universe and (2) the
sun revolves about the earth. (This Ptolemaic theory was corrected in the
16th century A.D. by the Copernican theory, see page 131.)