Ch. 6 Powerpoint Rome

Chapter 6: Rome and the
At height, 2nd century C.E., Roman Empire
contained 70-100 million people in an empire
reaching 2,700 miles east to west and 2,500
miles north to south
Rome enforced Pax Romana across empire
Contemporaries praised it for promoting
peace and prosperity while critics claimed
Pax Romana was brute military conquest
From Hill Town to Empire
The Founding of the Roman Republic
Founded in 753 B.C.E. [in legend]
Ruled for 250 years by Etrurians [Etruscans]
Republic created in 509 B.C.E. when upper-class
Romans drove Etruscans out of city
New republican government had two consuls and
a Senate using a system of checks and balances
From Hill Town to Empire
The Conquest of Italy
Army established on Greek model of
Drove Etruscans out of central Italy, 396
Controlled all Italy south of Po Valley, 264
Offered opponents the choice of alliance or
Republic was a society geared for war
From Hill Town to Empire
Conquest of Carthage and Western
Carthage controlled North Africa and was a rival to
Rome in commerce
Rome and Carthage fought three Punic Wars from
264 to 146 B.C.E.
Wars included invasion of Rome by Hannibal
using elephants
Romans destroyed Carthage and sold citizens into
slavery at end of war
From Hill Town to Empire
Subsequent Expansion
Annexed Spain, 197 B.C.E.
Series of wars led to annexation of Gaul
(France) by 49 B.C.E.
Moved into successor states of
Alexander’s empire at invitation of the
Rome applied “new wisdom” of harsh
treatment to conquered areas
From Hill Town to Empire
Institutions of Empire
Support of conquered people achieved by
• Selective offers of full citizenship to nonRomans
• Others could get partial citizenship, right to
marry Roman citizens, and freedom from
arbitrary arrest
• Citizenship offer directed toward upper classes
From Hill Town to Empire
Patrons and Clients
An ancient form of relationship where
strong protected weak and received
obedience and support in return
Patrons were patricians; clients were
plebeians who helped pay patron
expenses and showed submission by ritual
visit to patron’s house
Relationship present in Republic and
From Hill Town to Empire
Patrons and Clients [cont.]
The Roman Family
• Paterfamilias (father) had life and death control
• Control of daughters did not pass to husbands
• Women had no formal rights but some control
in practice
• Marriages were arranged
• Restrictions did not apply to lower classes
From Hill Town to Empire
Patrons and Clients
Class and Class Conflict
• Existed despite patron-client relationship
• Plebeians and patricians forbidden to
intermarry under Etruscans
• Plebeians not allowed to be army officers in
early Republic
• Etruscan king had protected plebeians from
patricians; Republic meant loss of protection
From Hill Town to Empire
Patrons and Clients
The Struggle of the Orders
Term applies to plebeians’ long struggle for rights
Boycotts of Rome provided leverage in struggle
Plebeians had no economic rights
First plebeian consul was 360 B.C.E.
Fruits of imperial expansion went to patricians
Plebeian soldiers would return home to find their land
confiscated for debts
From Hill Town to Empire
Patrons and Clients
Urban Splendor and Squalor
• Rome was most extreme example of wealth
and poverty
• Newly wealthy patricians relocated to Rome
and built stunning mansions
• Poor flocked to Rome in search of work and
food and lived in hovels
From Hill Town to Empire
Patrons and Clients
Attempts at Reform
• Tiberius Gracchus clubbed to death by Senate for his
support of the poor (133 B.C.E.)
• Gaius Gracchus (consul, 123 B.C.E.) redistributed land,
subsidized grain sales, resettled some poor in lands won
in Punic Wars (assassinated in 121 B.C.E.)
• Tax farming proposal unpopular
• Reforms fail but lay groundwork for later permanent
From Hill Town to Empire
Patrons and Clients
“Bread and Circuses”
• New solution was to bribe poor in form of free
daily bread ration
• Also presented many free public
entertainments to fill idle hours of the poor
• Threat of revolt by poor continued throughout
life of Roman Empire
From Hill Town to Empire
Slaves and Slave Revolts
Conquests led to agricultural and mineral
wealth that required an enlarged labor
Millions of slaves acquired in wars
Rebellions included Great Slave War (134131 B.C.E.) in Sicily and Spartacus-led
gladiator revolt of 73-71 B.C.E.
From Hill Town to Empire
Military Power
Roman armies were central to the state
Willing to innovate: Greek phalanx, small
maneuverable units, cavalry, sophisticated
warships, walled camps
Service in army made men free but
involved lengthy enlistment: 16-25 years
under Augustus
Conquered people served in army
From Hill Town to Empire
Generals in Politics
Military experience basis of political power
Control by Senate and Assembly weakens
Julius Caesar a model of how military
success leads to political power
Augustus Caesar (Octavian) completed
process with creation of Empire with
central power coupled with promotion of
traditional family values
From Hill Town to Empire
The End of the Republic
Augustus created imperial monarchy
Military expansion continued into
Switzerland, Britain, Mesopotamia
Gains consolidated by Trajan (117-138
Citizenship for conquered peoples now
Created international law (jus gentium) to
deal with diverse people of empire
From Hill Town to Empire
Economic Policies of the Empire
Romans worked with local elites in provinces
Cost of empire to subjects included taxes and
military service
Prosperity caused some to worry they had lost the
simple virtues of Republican life before the rise of
military leadership, or even before the overthrow
of the Etruscans
From Hill Town to Empire
Economic Policies of the Empire
Supplying Rome
• Feeding Rome, a city of one million under
Augustus, was major task
• Empire moved a large variety of products by
ship within empire
• Trade included exotic animals and gladiators
for public entertainment
From Hill Town to Empire
Economic Policies of the Empire
Building Cities
• Empire was largely agricultural but managed by
potent urban civilization
• Built administrative cities around empire
including ones that became core of London,
Paris, and Lyons
• Empire contained over 5,000 civic bodies (cities
and towns)
From Hill Town to Empire
Economic Policies of the Empire
Luxury Trades
• Included goods transported over great
distances including Chinese silks
• Payment for luxuries was in metal (gold/silver)
• Overland routes also vital (“all roads lead to
• Upper classes publicly scorned but privately
participated in commercial activity
• End of Pax Romana sharply reduced luxury
trade in the late 2nd century, C.E.
From Hill Town to Empire
Cultural Policies of the Empire
Greco-Roman Culture
• Incorporated Greek ideas and language
through conquest and spread them across
• Greek was the language of high culture; Latin
was the language of administration
• Sense of Roman triumph a key element of
Roman sense of self and others
From Hill Town to Empire
Cultural Policies of the Empire
• From Zeno, a Greek philosopher (c. 300 C.E.)
• World is rational, well-ordered system
• People should accept events without joy or
• Treat all people with decency as brothers and
• Stoics sought more humane treatment of
• Height of influence under Emperor Marcus
Aurelius (r. 161-180 C.E.)
From Hill Town to Empire
Cultural Policies of the Empire
Religion in the Empire
• Accepted religious diversity and divinity of emperor
• Mithraism and cult of Cybele attracted women
• Monotheism of Judaism led to Jewish revolts and Roman
• Christianity seen as atheistic (Christians rejected divinity
of emperor) and treasonous (refused to participate in
public religious festivals)
From Hill Town to Empire
Cultural Policies of the Empire
Christianity Triumphant
• Christians gained by time of Marcus Aurelius
• Stoic idea of orderly world and concern for
social welfare paralleled Christian ideals
• Initially attracted poor and women
• Acceptance in Edict of Milan (313 C.E.)
culminates in Christianity being named official
religion of empire in 394 C.E. when polytheistic
cults are banned
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
Invaders at the Gates
Celts sacked Rome in 390 B.C.E.; fomented revolt
in 61 C.E. led by Boudicca, a woman
Goths (Germanic) on northern border from 50
B.C.E. move west into Empire (under pressure
from Huns) and form states within empire
Huns pressure late Empire, topple dynasty in
China and invade India
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
Decline/Dismemberment of Roman
Roman vulnerability to invasion increased
by plague that killed one-quarter of Roman
population (165-180 C.E.)
Marcus Aurelius recognized invaders could
be assimilated
Some invaders took citizenship, others
wanted plunder, others wanted to set up
separate states
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
Decline/Dismemberment of Empire
Crisis of the 3rd Century
• Repeated invasions along Danube and Rhine
• Invasion of Italy thwarted in 253-268 C.E.
• Loss of territory beyond Danube
• Persian revolts unsuccessfully threaten Roman
control of the east
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
Decline/Dismemberment of Empire [cont.]
The Fragmentation of Authority
• Warfare required decentralization of power to regional
capitals, including use of Constantinople as home to a
second, eastern center of Roman power
• Valentinian (r. 364-375 C.E.) last emperor able to defeat
• Administration moved to Milan and Ravenna [c. 400 C.E.]
• Vandals and Huns extended power into west
• Control of west into barbarian hands
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
Causes of the Decline and Fall
Structural problems
Class conflict continued
Cost of armies drained treasury
People more impoverished over time
Yeoman-farmer class, backbone of the
Republic, was ruined although wealthy still
• Support of idea of empire faded
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
Causes of Decline and Fall [cont.]
Quality of emperors declined
Couldn’t defeat enemies or assimilate them
Christianity critical of pursuit of earthly power
Climate change and epidemics
Traditional list includes overextension, military and
financial exhaustion, leadership failure, new
values systems, infiltration of outsiders, new states
that rejected Roman leadership
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
The Empire in the East
Focus on Constantinople, the “New Rome”
Combined Greek culture, Roman law, and
Christian faith
Constantinople, later called Byzantium,
lasts to 1453 C.E.
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
The Empire in the East [cont.]
Resurgence under Justinian
• Constantinople impervious to Germanic attacks
• Justinian recaptured lost portions of western
empire [r. 527-565 C.E.]
• Created legal codes known as Justinian Code
• Suppressed Monophysite understanding of
Christianity, the basis for ongoing religious
conflict in the east and amenability to Islam
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
The Empire in the East [cont.]
Religious struggles
• Armies of Islam launch invasions after 632 C.E.
• Divisive iconoclastic controversy: is there a place for
icons within Christian religion and practice?
• Ability to resist invaders declines
• Byzantine emperor asks Pope [western Christian leader]
for help
• Result is start of the Crusades
Barbarians and Fall of Roman
The Empire in the East [cont.]
A Millennium of Byzantine Strength
• Ruling classes not as separated from rest of
people as in Rome
• Less geographical overextension
• Longstanding urban tradition
The Legacy of the Roman Empire
What Difference Does It Make?
Language was basis of many European
languages and survived in liturgy to 20th century
Law a basis of and inspiration for modern law
Roman towns survive to present day
Roman Catholic church was organized along
Roman imperial lines
Remains a model for modern empires

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