Ancient Roman Society

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Roman Republic and Empire
■Timeline
■509 BC- 27 BC- Roman Republic
■ 27 BC- 476 AD- Roman Empire (West)
■ 330 AD- 1453 AD- Roman Empire (East)
Size of the Empire
The Geography of Rome
Rome was located on the Italian peninsula
along the Mediterranean Sea
The Romans were influenced by the Greeks and
a neighboring tribe called the Etruscans
Ancient Roman Society
Roman society was divided into three major groups
At the top were the nobles (called patricians);
they controlled most of the land and held key
military and government positions
Ancient Roman Society
Roman society was divided into three major groups
Patricians made up 5% of all Roman citizens
Ancient Roman Society
Most Roman people were commoners
(called plebeians); they were farmers,
shopkeepers, or peasants
Ancient Roman Society
Plebeians paid the majority of taxes
collected in the Roman Republic; they
made up 95% of Roman citizens
Ancient Roman Society
At the bottom of society
were slaves and residents
of the Roman Republic
who were not Roman
The Government of Ancient Rome
When Rome
was first
founded, it
was ruled by
kings; but in
509 BC, the
Romans
created a
republic
The most important feature of the republic
was the Senate, whose 300 members were
elected by citizens to make laws and taxes
The United States also has
a republican government,
very similar to the one of
Ancient Rome
The Government of Ancient Rome
In 451 BCE, government
officials wrote down
Rome’s laws onto the
Twelve Tables, which
were hung in the forum
for all citizens to see
The Twelve Tables were
based on the idea that
all citizens of Rome had
a right to the protection
of the law
The Roman Military
Rome had the largest army in the Mediterranean
at the time; it was also highly organized
The Roman soldiers were divided into
groups of 5000 men called legions
THE PUNIC WARS
The Romans went to war with a
neighboring kingdom, Carthage
(based in northern Africa)
THE PUNIC WARS
The Carthaginians engaged the
Romans in three long wars over the
course of about a hundred years
THE PUNIC WARS
With Carthage’s
defeat, the Romans
were then the most
dominant power in
the Mediterranean,
carving out an
enormous empire
Julius Caesar
partnered with two
other Roman
politicians to take
control of Rome
(they formed a
triumvirate)
Julius was extremely
popular with the
Roman people, due
to his great military
victories
Fearing that he was becoming too
powerful, members of the Roman
Senate conspired to assassinate Caesar
Caesar was cornered and
stabbed to death in the Roman
Senate building, which began
the end of the Roman Republic
FROM ROMAN REPUBLIC TO
ROMAN EMPIRE
Julius Caesar’s death changed Rome; the
people no longer trusted the Senate to
rule the Roman Republic
FROM ROMAN REPUBLIC TO
ROMAN EMPIRE
Octavian exacted revenge
on the Senators who
assassinated Julius
Octavian became ruler of
Rome, renaming himself
Augustus Caesar
“Augustus” means “exalted
one”; Julius Caesar’s last
name became the title for
“emperor”
FROM ROMAN REPUBLIC TO
ROMAN EMPIRE
Augustus did away with the
Senators’ power, ending the
representative government of
Rome and becoming Rome’s
first emperor
The Senate still met, but
the emperor had all of
the real power
THE PAX ROMANA
Augustus’ 41 year reign marked the beginning
of a 207-year era of peace, wealth, and
expansion called “Pax Romana” (the “Roman
Peace”) from 27 BCE to 180 CE
The Empire
was over 3
million square
miles in size
and contained
about 80
million people
Pax Romana
Pax Romana became the “golden age” of Rome as emperors like
Augustus built well-paved roads and a modern infrastructure;
they had a merit-based bureaucracy to rule the empire
Roman aqueducts brought water to cities
Emperors built arenas and used chariot
races, gladiator events, and theater to
entertain the Roman people
The Roman Coliseum
ROMAN EMPERORS:
THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY
Rome would have a wide
range of different
emperors over the years
Despite having some bad emperors mixed in
with the great ones, the Roman Empire grew in
size, power, and glory
CONCLUSIONS
Rome expanded from a city, to
a republic, to an empire
The era of the Roman
Republic introduced
representative democracy
The era of the Roman Empire
led to the Pax Romana and the
“golden age” of Roman
innovation and culture
Closure Activity
Would you rather live during the
Roman Republic or the Empire?
Provide at least 3 reasons why
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