Alexander the Great

XIX) The Roman Family, the Roman Army, and the
Roman Government
A) The family
1) The Romans believed in big (but close)
families – a typical family would consist of the
basics (parent(s) and children) and…
a) the grandparents/great grandparents
b) uncles/aunts and their children
c) relatives who did not have children
d) slaves of the family
2) Typically the family would live in the same
town or even in the same house
3) The head of the house though was the father
(the “paterfamilias” – father of the family)
a) typically he was the strongest/richest of
the males in the family
b) he …
1) led all the religious ceremonies
2) controlled all the property of the family
3) in charge of the education of the sons
of the family
4) responsible for taking care of the family
as a whole, even if that meant
a) arranging marriages (some as early as
age 12)
b) selling members into slavery
c) killing members of the family
4)What about the women/wives?
a) had a few more rights than Greek women
b) they ran the day to day operations of the
family – they …
1) ran the family business
2) did the advertising for the family
3) acted as a hostesses for social occasions
c) if they were rich they could also
1) study Greek literature, arts, and
2) own their own businesses
5) What about the kids?
a) were taught to be loyal to the family and
empire or else (this type of extreme
loyalty was also known as gravitas)
b) most parents were responsible for
teaching them reading, writing, and
c) in addition:
1) boys were to be trained as good farmers
by their father and eventually get the
right to vote
2) mothers taught daughters (who were
named after their fathers) how to run
the house until they married between
12 to 15
B) Protecting the family was the army
1) it consisted of anyone who owned the
smallest bit of land (be they rich or poor)
2)the rich (or ones who owned the most
land) were usually made the officers in the
army while the poorer citizens were usually
part of the legions* (or 5,000 member
infantries/foot soldiers)
3) in order to run for any type of public
office you needed to be in the military for at
least 10 years
4) legions were split up into smaller
divisions of 80 men called centuries
C) Watching and commanding the army was the
1) To review
a) Thanks to a rich Etruscan family the
Latins learned how to turn their small
village of Rome into a larger, more
productive city
b) Eventually though the Latins became
tired of the Tarquin family and drove
them out of town
c) The Latins declared Rome to now be
a republic* (or a representative
democracy) – a land where people
elect their leaders
2) Rome now was divided into 3 groups
a) the Patricians* (the rich citizens of
a) the name comes from the Latin word
“pater” which means father
b) made up 5 % of the population
c) claimed to be descendents of the 1st
settlers of Rome
4) as a result they owned most of the
5) they held the highest positions in the
6) you could only become a patrician if
you were born patrician
b) the Plebeians* (the poorer citizens of
1) comes from the Latin word “ plebs”
which means many
2) made up 95% of the population
3) made up of :
a) peasants
b) laborers
c) artisans
d) shopkeepers
4) had the right to vote just like the
5) however, they could not become
higher members of the government
even though they paid the most
taxes and did the worst jobs in the
c) the final group of people in Roman
society (who made up almost 1/3 of
the population) were the slaves
(people who were of all races who
served the Roman republic because
they were captured in war or were in
D) The Roman 3 branch Government (At first)
1)the Executive Branch
a) Led by two patricians called consuls who
were elected every year (but not
consecutively) – How long is our
president’s term of office?
b) They had “imperium” or the right to rule
which meant they…
1) Commanded the army
2) Ran the day to day affairs of Rome
3) Oversaw the judges or praetors
4) Oversaw the record keepers or censors
c) Could “forbid” or veto anyone they
disagreed with (including the other
d) The only other person who could overrule
a consul was a dictator
1)They were appointed only in times
of crisis for periods of 6 months
2) they were chosen by the consuls
and approved of by the Senate
2)The legislative branch – made up of essentially
two parts
a)The Assembly of Centuries
1) Named after a military formation of
80 soldiers
2) Made up of only patricians
3) Were responsible for electing
officials of the executive and judicial
branches (and occasionally making
b)The Senate
1)Made up of over 300 patrician men –
How many members in our US Senate?
2)Served for life
3)Was more powerful than the Assembly
of Centuries
4)Duties included:
a) Advising the consuls
b) Arguing foreign policy
c) Proposing laws
d) Approving contracts for the
construction of :
1) Roads
2) Temples
3) Defenses (like walls or gates)
3)The Judicial Branch – also known as the
a) there were 8 judges on the court – How
many judges(justices) are on the US
Supreme Court?
b)judged all type of court cases (some which
started in Rome, many which took place in
the provinces in the Empire)
c) Could determine who ruled Rome when
the consuls were away
d) chosen every year by the Assembly of
4) Two last things to be reminded of:
a) the only people who could be elected to
office were the patricians
b) the plebeians, again, still had to pay
taxes and serve in the army
c) plebeians could not marry patricians
for the longest time
E) The Plebeians get angry – also known as the
Conflict of Orders
1) Angry at the unfair advantages of the
patricians, the plebeians went on
strike and refused to serve in the army
2) When this didn’t work, the plebeians
announced that they were going to
leave Rome to set up their own
3) All of the sudden the patricians paid
attention – Why?
Eventually …
a) the patricians agreed to give powers to
the tribunes (plebian representatives
elected by other plebeians)
b) These tribunes could:
1) Veto any government action
2) Not be arrested
3) Were protected by penalty of death
from injury by others
5) The plebeians were still not satisfied –
they wanted better laws or at least know
what the laws were
a) before the Conflict of Orders no one
had put Roman law into writing
b)so in the beginning only the
patricians knew the laws – Why is this
c) finally in 451 BCE, the plebeians finally
got the patricians to engrave down the
laws on 12 bronze tablets – these tablets
became known as the Twelve Tables
which insured that all patricians and
plebeians followed the same laws
d) eventually the plebeians were allowed
to actually make laws themselves
6) Still though, many plebeians were still not
satisfied so they fought on until 287 BCE when
they were able to:
a) marry into the patrician class
b) avoid being turned into slaves if they went
into debt