THE RESEARCH: 2 days in the library to gather additional information
You will work in a small group to gather further details about a crucial period in the life
of the Roman Republic. When we finish this assignment you will have heard a series of
compelling speeches that will give you a sense of the unfolding dramatic story of the
Roman Republic.
Your fellow citizens are gathered in the Forum, eager to hear the latest on the breaking
news. After all, it’s tough to be a Roman citizen, living in the gaze of others and trying to
make the right choices…who’s in? who’s out? what’s a citizen to do?
THE SPEECHES: 15 minutes per group
Your speeches should be written to command the attention of your fellow citizens as you
convey the most reliable summary you can of vital issues and events. Be sure to provide
careful focus on main ideas in your topic sentences while your paragraphs supply the
critical details that will make the story clear.
Remember, too, that rhetoric is important—your ability to speak clearly, maintain eye
contact, and use your voice to emphasize important ideas will determine whether you are
listened to and believed. You wouldn’t want your fellow citizens to be writing nasty
graffiti about you when you finish!
Come to class on ___________________, with your rough draft speech. You will have a class period
to critique fellow group members’ speeches and to fill in any gaps in information
Group 1
It’s 287 BCE and the Romans have completed their conquest of Italy and created the
constitution that will govern the republic. What is the scope of this accomplishment from
the time of the Etruscans to the end of the so-called “Struggle for the Orders.” What has
happened? What are the crucial issues? What is the legacy from the past? Who are our
heroes? Our villains? What is our mission now?
Group 2
It’s 146 BCE and the Punic Wars are finally over. What has it been like to extend Roman
rule over the Mediterranean? How has the army been shaped to meet the challenge?
How has Rome been influenced by contact with other cultures? What tensions have
arisen in Rome as it has become wealthier and more diverse? What does Cato say? How
has Roman art and architecture grown?
Group 3
It’s the time of the late Republic and Rome is in trouble. You might want to give a
series of short speeches to emphasize the many crisis points. What was the problem?
What forces opposed each other? First the Gracchus brothers, then Marius, Sulla, Cicero,
Pompey, Crassus, and even Spartacus the rebel slave each try to solve the problems of
Rome. How did each of these individuals shape events? By 60 BCE Romans have had
Group 4
It’s 44 BCE and Romans have just been through the First Triumvirate and the rule of
Julius Caesar. What went wrong? In 60 BCE the First Triumvirate was formed but it
didn’t seem to work? And what about Julius Caesar?