Ancient Rome and its History

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This booklet is about the history of Rome, describing the importance of its geographical location, the early history of Rome, the rise of Julius Caesar, the golden age of Rome, expansion, and different political, military problems.
1. -Ancient Rome-
2. I. Geography
A. The Italian peninsula is
located in a strategic
position in the center of the
Mediterranean Sea
B. Unlike the geography of
Greece, which divided its
people, the geography of the
Italian peninsula allowed its
people to unite under one
C. Rome’s location has
many natural geographic
advantages including being
on a fertile plain, located
near a river, and living in a
Mediterranean climate
3. II. Early History of Rome
A. Rome was settled by the
Etruscans who had moved to
the Italian peninsula from
Asia Minor
B. The Etruscans brought
with them many elements of
Greek culture including
mythology and architecture
1. The religion of
Ancient Rome was
2. Rome’s first
government was a
4. C. In 509 BC, the Romans overthrew the Etruscans and established a
1. The governing body of Rome was the Senate, which
represented the upper class, known as the Patricians
5. 2. The farmers, artisans, and
merchants of Rome were known as
a. Plebeians made up
a much larger portion of
the population
3. Slaves were not citizens and had
no legal rights
6. D. The rights of citizens in Rome were
protected by the Twelve Tables
Aspects of the Twelve Tables that serve as
the basis for western law include:
1. Equal protection under the law
2. Innocent until proven guilty
3. Rules of evidence
7. E. Due to the strength of its
military, Rome was able to
conquer areas through the
Mediterranean world and
1. During the era of
the Roman Republic,
Rome became a
colonial power
8. F. The Punic Wars involved bitter fighting between Rome and Carthage
(Northern Africa) for control of the Mediterranean region
10. III. The Rise of Julius Caesar
A. In times of crisis,
the Senate could
appoint a dictator
who would lead the
country with absolute
power for up to six
11. B. Due to his military prowess and success, the Senate appointed Caesar
“Dictator for life,” which he turned into absolute power
12. 1. Julius Caesar was a member of the first triumvirate
a. The triumvirate was a group of three rulers who led Rome
13. C. Due to Caesar’s absolute power, he was assassinated by senators
who wanted to return to the ideals of the Republic
14. D. Caesar’s contributions to Ancient
Rome include:
1. Giving land to the poor
2. Extending Roman citizenship
to conquered peoples
3. Creating public works projects
4. Increasing the pay for soldiers
5. Developing a more accurate
a. The Julian calendar
15. IV. The Second Triumvirate
A. Caesar’s appointed successor
was his adopted grandnephew
1. Octavian was a
part of the second
triumvirate in Rome
17. B. Octavian won the power struggle
with Marc Antony and Egyptian
empress Cleopatra
1.He was then given the title
of Emperor Augustus,
“Exulted one”
18. C. Beginning with the rule of Augustus, Rome entered a two hundred
year period of relative peace and prosperity known as the Pax Romana.
(Roman peace)
1. It was during the Pax Romana that Rome experienced a
Golden Age
19. D. Accomplishments of Rome
during the Golden Age included:
1. The Coliseum
2. Aqueducts
a. Sewers
20. 3. A relatively stable government
4. Roads and improved infrastructure
a. Allowed armies and information to move quickly and also
promoted unity within the empire
21. 5. Expansion of the empire
22. 6. Expanded and improved trade
a. Coined money
7. Written history
8. Roman law
23. V. Religion Under the Roman
A. Rome was
traditionally polytheistic
and persecuted followers
of different faiths
24. B. In 70 AD, a Jewish revolt resulted in the Diaspora, which was the dispersal
of Jews from their homelands throughout the empire
25. C. Due to their refusal to worship Roman gods, Christians were also
persecuted throughout the empire
1. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to legalize Christianity
26. VI. Reasons for Rome’s Decline
A. Germanic Tribes
1. Germanic tribes were constantly putting pressure on
Rome’s immense frontier borders
a. The attacks left border areas poor and
27. 2. The government taxed its citizens heavily in order to pay for the defense of the
a. The heavy taxes caused the middle and lower classes to hate the
28. B. Spiritual Considerations
1. Many citizens were apathetic and indifferent towards the empire
2. The citizens who preserved and added to Roman culture, the urban
upper class, lost interest in public life
3. All classes of Roman citizenry did little or nothing to help the empire
29. C. Political and Military Problems
1. The constant demands of the Late Roman Empire robbed
its citizens of their initiative and civic spirit
2. For many, the state became the enemy, hated even more
than the Germans
30. 3. The quality of Roman soldiers had deteriorated
a. Mostly peasants who were not committed to
Greco-Roman civilization
4. Citizens no longer respected or honored military service
31. D. Economic Considerations
1. The western empire experienced a large decrease in population
a. Less taxes
b. Fewer agricultural workers
c. Less men for the army
32. 2. Roman cities failed to expand their
industry and commerce
3. The economy could not support the
demands of constant warfare
4. Focus shifted from the city to the estate;
from the streets to the farm
33. VII. The Byzantine
34. A. Reasons why Byzantine did not fall
1. Had more money
2. More urbanized
3. More populated
4. Germanic and Hunnish
invasions were in the west
35. B. Byzantine Civilization
1. Religion = Christianity
2. Language and Culture = Greek
3. Administration = Roman
4. Capital = Constantinople
36. C. During the Early Middle Ages
1. Byzantine civilization was more advanced than the west
2. Byzantine scholars studied:
a. Literature
b. Philosophy
c. Science
d. Greek and Roman law
3. Trade and urban life thrived in Constantinople
37. D. The Great Schism
1. Differences developed
between the Byzantine and
Roman church
2. The Pope resisted
domination by the Byzantine
3. Byzantines would not accept
the Pope as head of all
4. Final split occurred in 1054
5. Roman Catholic in the west
—Eastern Orthodox in the east
38. E. Impact on World History
1. Prevented Muslim Arabs from entering Eastern Europe
39. 2. Codification of the laws of ancient Rome under Justinian
40. 3. Preserved the philosophy, science, mathematics, and literature of
ancient Greece
4. Contacts with Byzantine civilization stimulated learning in Latin
Christendom to the west
5. Influenced civilization in Russia