Rome * Located in Europe and in the country of Italy. *Italy is a peninsula with the Alps Mt. range running across the northern border and the Apennines Mt. range running the length of Italy. *Rome built on the Tiber River. Rome's Government * Etruscan kings ruled at the beginning of Rome. *509 B.C. patricians overthrew the Etruscans and set up a republic. Class Divisions *Patricians - wealthy landowners, only ones to hold public office. *Plebeians - poor citizens, paid taxes, served in the army, farmers, merchants, and all other workers. Roman Government During the Republic *Leader of the Roman government were 2 people called consuls. The consuls led the military and ran the government. *Senate - 300 elected patrician men. Advised the consuls and proposed laws. Senators served for a lifetime once elected. *Praetors - official in the Roman governement who interpreted the laws and acted as judges in court. * Plebeians outnumbered the Patricians. Plebeians made up 95% of the population. *Plebeians resented having to pay taxes and serve in the military without any say in the government. * To gain political power, the plebeians protested and left the city of Rome. Patricians paniced and this led to a compromise between the plebeians and the patricians. *Plebeians were able to create the Tribune of the Plebs. This protected the plebeians by being able to veto any laws in the Senate that were not fair to the plebeians. *The Council of Plebs was then created and they could pass laws, but these laws only affected the plebeians. * Through other protests, the plebeians were able to gain the right to be represented by 1 of the consuls and were able to pass laws that affected everyone. Roman Dictators * The office of dictator in the Roman Republic was different than what we think of usually. *Roman dictators had complete control, but they served the people and only ruled temporarily during emergencies. The Senate would appoint the dictator and as soon as the crisis was over, the dictator would give up power. *Cincinnatus (picture on the left) was the best known Roman dictator. He only served for about 15 - 16 days. Roman Law * The Twelve Tables were the first written laws of Rome. These laws established the principle that all free citizens had the right to be treated equally by the legal system. * The Twelve Tables only applied to Roman citizens. As the Roman empire expanded they needed laws to govern nonRoman citizens. The Law of Nations were created to rule these people. *Examples of laws we still used today that were established during this time: 1. person is innocent until proven guilty. 2. people accused of crimes can defend themselves in court. 3. judge must look at the evidence carefully before making a decision.