2. Geography of the
Rome’s central location contributed to its success in
unifying Italy and then all the lands ringing the
Mediterranean Sea which it called the “Middle of the
Italy was a crossroads within the Mediterranean and
Rome was a crossroads within Italy.
The Tiber River on one side and a double ring of seven
hills on the other afforded natural protection to the
The Apennine Range runs along its length like a spine,
separating the eastern and western coastal plains.
The mild Mediterranean climate affords a long
growing season and conditions suitable for a variety
of crops and the conditions for sustaining large
The mountainous regions were abundant in timber and
iron and other metal were found in the northwest
region of Etruria.
5. From Kingdom to Republic
Modern scholars do not support the myths of
Romulus and Remus but it appears bands of Indo-
European migrants crossed the Alps and settled
throughout the Italian Peninsula.
Like their distant cousins in India, Greece, and
northern Europe, these migrants blended with the
Neolithic inhabitants of the region, adopted
agriculture, and established tribal federations.
Bronze metallurgy appeared around 1800 B.C.E. and
iron around 900 B.C.E.
The first major group of Italy were the Etruscans.
Coming from Anatolia, they settled from the Po
River in the north to modern-day Naples in the
The Etruscans deeply influenced the early
development of Rome. Several of the first Roman
kings were Etruscan and ruled through the seventh
and sixth century B.C.E.
6. Influence of the EtruscansInfluence of the Etruscans
The ArchThe Arch
9. Formation of an Empire
About 509 B.C.E., Romans drove out the
Etruscan kings and declared Rome a republic,
a government in which power resides in a body
of citizens and consists of representatives
elected by them.
The Roman Republic which lasted from 507 to
31 B.C.E. was not a democracy. Sovereign
power resided in assemblies and while all male
citizens were eligible to attend, the votes of
the wealthy classes counted for more than
the votes of poor citizens.
In Rome, as in classical China and Greece,
patterns of land distribution caused serious
political and social tensions. Conquered
lands fell into the hands of wealthy elites
who organized large plantations known as
10. The Roman Republic
• The real center of power was the Roman Senate.
Technically an advisory council, first to kings and
later to Republican officials, the Senate
increasingly made policy and governed. Senators
nominated their sons for public offices and filled
Senate vacancies from the ranks of former
The Senate whose members served for life brought
together the state’s wealth, influence, and
political and military experience.
The inequities in roman society led to periodic
unrest and conflict between the elite (patricians)
and the majority of the population (plebeians).
It became apparent in time the republic which was
constructed for small city-states was not suitable
for a large and growing republic.
11. Expansion of the Empire
As it expanded, Rome often offered its
opponents a choice between alliance and
conquest. If they accepted Roman rule, they
would receive Roman citizenship and protection.
Rome fought protracted and bloody wars
against the Carthaginians (Hannibal) called the
Punic Wars. The Carthaginians were the heirs
of the Phoenicians which controlled much of
the southern and eastern Mediterranean.
During the early first century B.C.E., Rome fell
into civil war as individuals fought for land and
power in the new lands of the Romans. While
there were attempts to reform the empire under
Tiberius in 132 B.C.E. and Gaius in 121 B.C.E., they
were both assassinated and the die had been
caste for a move away from the Republican
ideals and a move toward a centralized imperial
form of government.
15. Imperial Rome Emerges
In addition to the Carthagians, the Romans also fought
with the Gauls (Celts) from Modern-day France.
Under Julius Caesar, Rome expanded its empire across
the Mediterranean and the continent of Europe.
The conquest of Gaul helped to create a political
crisis. As a result of his military victories, Caesar had
become very popular in Rome. As tensions arose in
early 49 B.C.E., Caesar had turned his armies toward
By early 46 B.C.E., he had made himself master of the
Roman state and named himself dictator-an office he
claimed for life rather than the usual six-month term.
Caesar’s policies pointed the way toward a
centralized, imperial form of government for Rome
and its possessions but Caesar’s rule had alienated
many members of the Roman elite and he was
assassinated in 44 B.C.E. which led to continued civil
conflict until the acceptance of Octavian, Caesar’s
nephew and adopted son.
19. Pax Romana
Octavian known now as Augustus, a term with strong
religious connotations suggesting the divine nature of its
holder, would rule virtually unopposed and fashioned an
imperial government that guided Roman affairs for the
next three centuries.
During the two centuries following Augustus’s rule,
Roman armies conquered much of the Mediterranean. The
empire had expanded to include not only the lands of
Italy, Greece, Syria, Gaul, and most of the Iberian
Peninsula, but it would go onto conquer lands as far as
Britain, most of northern Africa, SW Asia, and Anatolia.
Roman Expansion had especially dramatic effects on
European lands embraced by the Empire. Egypt, Syria,
Anatolia, and Mesopotamia had long been sites of complex
city-based societies but Gaul, Germany, Britain, and Spain
When Roman soldiers, diplomats, governors, and
merchants arrived, they stimulated the development of
local economies and states.
31. The Empire Stops
One noticeable difference
during this time is the building
of walls to keep out the
Barbarians of the Empire.
The most famous was Emperor
Hadrian’s Wall (117 - 138 C.E.)
which defined the most
northern extent of Roman
expansion on Britain.
As military commanders were
more focused on defensive
strategies than on offensive
strategies, these changes
started to sow seeds for
32. Roman Law
Under conditions of political stability and the Pax
Romana, jurists constructed an elaborate system
Romans began a tradition of written law about 450
B.C.E., when they created the Twelve Tables.
As armies spread Roman influence, jurists worked
to construct a rational body of law that would
apply to all peoples under Roman rule.
They established the principle that defendants
were innocent under proven guilty and they also
had the right to challenge their accusers in a court
Like transportation and communication networks,
Roman law helped to integrate diverse lands that
made up the empire and the principles of Roman law
continued to shape Mediterranean and European
society long after the empire had disappeared.
33. Roman Society
As Rome expands, it did levy tribute, taxes, rents, and
recruited soldiers from the peoples in conquered. They
settled their own soldiers in captured lands, turning
those lands into Roman estates and enslaving millions of
The Supplying of Rome, the construction of cities, and
trade across the Eurasian land mass transformed the
Even though it was law for the peoples of the empire to
worship Roman deities, as conditions worsened and
contact with other areas increased, new religious
thoughts would permeate the empire.
The two groups who were creating the greatest concern
for the Romans were the Jews of Palestine and a Jewish
sect, known as Christians.
37. Empire in Crisis
From 235 to 284 C.E., Rome was beset and nearly
destroyed when political, military, and economic problems
befell the empire because of a frequent change of rulers.
Twenty or more men claimed the office of emperor during
this period and most only reigned for a period of months
Diocletian implemented radical reforms that saved the
Roman state by transforming it. One thing he did was to
divide the empire into two: One primarily Latin-speaking
and one primarily Greek-speaking which led to a period of
multiple emperors ruling the West and East Roman
In addition, the barbarians were also gathering and
attacking the Empires outer flanks (Celts,Goths, Huns,
Saxons, Vandals, Franks, and others).
40. The New Rome
When Diocletian resigned in 305 C.E., the old
divisiveness reemerged as various claimants battled
for the throne.
The eventual winner was Constantine who reunited
the entire empire under his sole rule by 324.
In 312, Constantine won a key battle near Rome. He
later claimed he had seen a cross superimposed on
the sun before battle. Believing the Christian God
had helped him achieve victory, he would later
legalize Christianity called the Edict of Milan.
This ended the persecution of Christians in the
In 324, Constantine transferred the imperial city
from Rome to Byzantium, an ancient Greek city on
the Bosporus Strait between the Black and the
This move reflected and accelerated changes in the
empire. Constantine and his mother, Helena,
studded the city and the Empire with churches and
involved himself in doctrinal disputes over which
beliefs constituted heresy. This discussion will
eventually give way to a further break of the empire
and the Christian faith.
However,the heavy involvement with religion of the
emperors in Constantinople did not prevent them
from playing conqueror and lawmaker.
45. The “Barbarians”
Rome labeled many of its neighbors on its
borders barbarians, including the Celts of
central Europe, the various Germanic groups of
northern and eastern Europe, and the steppe
nomads of central Asia.
Many of these groups did not have cities, written
languages, formal governments, established
geographical boundaries, nor codified laws.
The view of the Barbarian peoples as being
beneath the true “Roman” would shape harsh
treatment and sow the seeds of conflict with the
47. Rise of the Barbarians
Continuing imperial vitality in the Eastern
Empire contrasted with deepening decline in
the Western Empire, which became a separate
entity after 395.
While the Byzantine armies were able to stop
the warring bands north of the Danube River,
many of these groups would move toward the
west and create havoc for the Western empire.
The primary “Barbarian” groups were the Huns,
Vandals, Goths, Saxons, and Franks.
The Goths, a Germanic People, would go on to
sack Rome in 410. By 530, with the old Roman
economy and urban centers in shambles, the
Western Roman empire would eventually fall
to numerous tribes from across Europe and
50. Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire originated as the eastern half
of the classical Roman empire, which survived the
collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth
In the early days, the Byzantine Empire embraced
Greece, the Balkan region, Anatolia, Syria,
Palestine, Egypt, and Northern Africa.
Under Justinian (527-565), armies were sent out to
regain control of lost territories and he would
regain some of the areas and establish a legal code
which will influence most of the modern European
One of the reasons why the Byzantine Empire was
able to survive 1000 years after the fall of Rome
may be due to its administrative system. The ruling
classes were never isolated and alienated as they
were in the west.
58. Rome’s Last Days
Even though by the end of the 5th century
Rome would cease to be symbol of the capital
of the past, the legacy of Roman rule would
live on in the Byzantine Empire (East Roman)
until Muslim invaders would eventually
control the capital of Constantinople in 1453
and rename it Istanbul.
The Ottomans and many other Islamic groups
were also influenced by the splendor of
Justinian’s Hagya Sophia…so in many ways
Roman Architecture lives on in the west and
59. The Legacy of RomeThe Legacy of Rome
Republic GovernmentRepublic Government
Roman LawRoman Law
Latin LanguageLatin Language
Roman Catholic and Easter OrthodoxRoman Catholic and Easter Orthodox
City PlanningCity Planning
Romanesque Architectural StyleRomanesque Architectural Style
Cultural Distinctions (Ethnicity)Cultural Distinctions (Ethnicity)
Roman EngineeringRoman Engineering
• Sewage systemsSewage systems
1.1.During the Republic –During the Republic – TempleTemple
K blended Etruscan, Greek,blended Etruscan, Greek,
Persian, etc. features.Persian, etc. features.
K emphasis on the front of theemphasis on the front of the
K example: Temple ofexample: Temple of FortunaFortuna
72. Barrel orBarrel or
“Tunnel” Vault“Tunnel” Vault
K Windows can beWindows can be
placed at any point.placed at any point.
K These vaults requireThese vaults require
buttressing tobuttressing to
counter-act thecounter-act the
downward thrust ofdownward thrust of
73. Groin VaultGroin Vault
K Also called aAlso called a
cross vault.cross vault.
K Needs lessNeeds less
74. Multi Groin VaultsMulti Groin Vaults
K A series of groin vaultsA series of groin vaults
can have open lateralcan have open lateral
arches that formarches that form
K Windows that allowWindows that allow
light into the interiorlight into the interior
of churches.of churches.
K These concrete windowsThese concrete windows
are fireproof [anare fireproof [an
important considerationimportant consideration
since many earlysince many early
churches burned!]churches burned!]
80. Interior of theInterior of the
ArenaArena is Latin for the sand, coating the flooris Latin for the sand, coating the floor
that soaks up the blood of the combatants.that soaks up the blood of the combatants.
84. Cylindrical DomeCylindrical Dome
K With the dome, theWith the dome, the
Romans couldRomans could
surpass earliersurpass earlier
cultures by theircultures by their
ability to spanability to span
K Light enters throughLight enters through
thethe oculusoculus on top.on top.
of Roman Sculptureof Roman Sculpture
1.1. Collectors and copiers of GreekCollectors and copiers of Greek
works [more idealistic].works [more idealistic].
K Portrait sculpturePortrait sculpture
K Paintings & mosaicsPaintings & mosaics
K Relief sculpturesRelief sculptures
3.3. More realism [show the wrinkles,More realism [show the wrinkles,
the bulges, and ageing!]the bulges, and ageing!]
99. Roman Copy of GreekRoman Copy of Greek
Original created by the Greek sculptor,Original created by the Greek sculptor,
Polyclitus, 5c BCEPolyclitus, 5c BCE