Roedell.EarlyRome.MiniLesson - WLPCS Middle School

Rome: The Eternal City
The Founding of Rome
• 753 B.C.: Rome was founded on the Italian
peninsula in a region called Latium
• Rome was founded on seven hills, of which the
Capitoline Hill was the most important
• The Capitoline was the citadel of the earliest
Romans, the part o the city most able to resist
invasion or attack
The Etruscan Kings
• 650 B.C.: The Etruscans gained control of Rome
 The first Etruscan king, Tarquinius Priscus, was
elected king by the Roman people, but he then tried
to turn Rome into a hereditary monarchy
• 509 B.C.: The last Etruscan king, Tarquinius
Superbus (Tarquin the Proud), was expelled
from power and Rome became a REPUBLIC
Tarquinius Superbus
• Became king by
arranging the murder
the pervious king,
Servius Tullius
• Had government
officials and others that
he suspected of
opposing him put to
• His arrogance and
cruelty led to an
uprising and his exile
from Rome
Republican Government
• REPUBLIC: a system of government in which
the people have control over the state
government where the people ELECT or
choose representatives to carry out their
 Rome was the first example of republican government
in history!
The Senate of Rome
The Senate
• 300 landlowners who advised public officials
and served for life
 Controlled the treasury/funding of projects
 From the Latin “senex,” meaning “old man”
 The Senate possessed tremendous
“auctoritas,” authority, through the collective
prestige of its members
Senatus Populusque Romanum
Class Warfare: Conflict of the Orders
• Government
landowners of the
ruling class
• Small farmers,
• They could be
consuls or senators
• Had the right to vote,
but they could not hold
high office
• Had the right to vote
• Provided the manpower
for the Roman army
The Secession of the Plebs
• In 494 B.C., the Plebeians protested their
unequal treatment by “seceding” from Rome –
they left the city and refused to work or fight until
their conditions were improved and they were
granted more equal rights under the law
• Since Rome could not function without workers
or soldiers, the Patricians and the Senate had no
choice but to compromise with the Plebeians
Concessions made to the Plebs
• Created the office of Tribune of the Plebs, an office
that could only be held by Plebeians
• Tribunes of the Plebs could veto the acts of the
Senate and other lawmakers and high officials
• Tribunes could also intercede personally on behalf
of a Plebeian
• For example, they could prevent a Plebeian from being
arrested or put to death
The Conflict of the Orders Ends
• In 287 B.C., the Plebeians once again seceded
from Rome to protest their unequal status
• The Senate agreed that laws passed by the
Plebeian Council would now be enforced on ALL
Romans, Plebeians and Patricians alike
• Equal treatment under the law – the same
principle that underlies the 14th Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution
Government Offices
• Consuls: 2 were elected annually for a one-year term;
they commanded the military, and each consul could
veto any decision taken by the other
• Praeters: Elected for one year, they were responsible for
the administration of laws
• Senators: The ruling body of Rome, whose members
included former consuls
• Council of the Plebs: passed laws binding on all citizens
starting in 287 B.C.; led by the Tribunes of the Plebs