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Roman Civilization (753 BC–476 AD)

Ancient Rome began as a group of small villages along the Tiber River in what is now Italy. The
history of the Roman Empire can be divided into three distinct periods:
 The Period of Kings (753-509 BC)
 Republican Rome (509-27 BC)
 Imperial Rome (27 BC-AD 476)
Forms of Government
 Monarchy - is a form of government in which total sovereignty is invested in one person,
a head of state called a monarch, who holds the position until death or abdication.
 Republic – is form of government in which a state is ruled by representatives of the citizen
 Imperialism - is form of government which seeks to increase its size, either by forcing
(through war) or influencing (through politics) other countries to submit to their rule.
Sovereign Heads
 Kings
 Democracy
 Emperor

Social Classes
 Emperor - Head of Roman society and ruler of all Rome.
 Patrician Families - Wealthy influential landowning families
 Senators – Served in the Senate and governed Rome.
 Equestrians - Wealthy property owners who chose business over politics.
 Plebeians - Working class. Men without substantial wealth who worked for their living at
jobs such as artisans, craftsmen, bakers etc.
 Freed Slaves - Slaves who had either been given their freedom or had paid for their
freedom and now worked for their living.
 Slaves - Generally prisoners of war but sometimes abandoned children who were owned
by their master

Seven Early Kings

While Romulus and the six succeeding rulers were called "kings", they did not inherit the title but
were duly elected. In addition, the kings were not absolute rulers: they answered to an elected
 Romulus
Rome was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus. After Romulus killed his brother, Remus,
in an argument, he became the first King of Rome. He is best known for the establishment of the
Senate, as well as various voting practices.

 Numa Pompilius
Numa Pompilius was a Sabine Roman, a religious figure who was very different from the warlike
Romulus. Under Numa, Rome experienced 43 years of peaceful cultural and religious growth.
 Tullus Hostilius
Tullus Hostilius had focused entirely on military expansion. He constructed the home of the
Roman Senate, the Curia Hostilia.
 Ancus Martius
Ancus Marcius ruled peacefully and only fought wars when Roman territories needed defending.
 Tarquinius Priscus (Tarquin the Elder)
Tarquinius Priscus increased the size of the Senate and began major construction works, including
the Temple to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, and the Circus Maximus.
 Servius Tullius
Servius Tullius was the son-in-law of Tarquinius Priscus. He instituted the first census in Rome,
which was used to determine the number of representatives each area had in the Senate.
 Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud)
The tyrannical Tarquinius Superbus was the last Etruscan or any king of Rome. According to
legend, he came to power as a result of the assassination of Servius Tullius and ruled as a tyrant.
His reign is remembered for his use of violence and intimidation, as well as his disrespect of
Roman custom and the Roman Senate.

The Founding of the Roman Republic

After the death of Tarquin the Proud, Rome grew under the leadership of the great families
(patricians). As a result of a strike by the plebeians (commoners), a new representative government

 One of the two chief magistrates of the Roman Republic. The consuls had a wide range
of powers; they decided when to go to war, how much taxes to collect, and what the laws

The Fall of the Roman Republic and the Rise of the Roman Empire
Julius Caesar
 Was born on 100 BC. He went to establish a career as both a skillful politician and military
leader. He formed a close allegiance with Pompey (Roman Lieutenant) which enabled him
to get elected as consul.
 Next, Caesar allied himself with Crassus (a Roman general and politician). Crassus was
the wealthiest man in Rome and financed many of Caesar’s military and political
The First Triumvirate
 Partnership between Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus.

 Crassus died in battle around 56 BCE.

 Caesar then went to war with Pompey and won. (Battle of Pharsalus)
 Caesar then marched to Rome with his army and declared himself dictator.
 Caesar served for just one year before he was assassinated.
The Ides of March
 The Senate was fearful of Caesar, they feared he would destroy the Republic. They
assassinated him on March 15, 44 BCE – “Beware of the Ides of March”
 Deadline for settling debts.

The Rise of the Roman Empire

 Rome broke out into a new civil war after Caesar’s assassination. (Liberators' civil war)
 Marc Anthony (Caesar’s general) and Octavian (Caesar’s nephew) hunted down the
 Shortly after, Marc Anthony and Octavian turned towards each other and fought for the
power of Rome.
 Anthony made allies with Egypt and Queen Cleopatra (former lover of Caesar).
 In 31 BC, Octavian defeated Marc Anthony and Cleopatra.
 The Senate renamed Octavian “Augustus” - meaning exalted one.
 Rome had now turned towards imperialism and Augustus was its first emperor.
The Divide of Rome
Empire had grown so vast that it was no longer feasible to govern all the provinces from the central
seat of Rome. The Emperor Diocletian divided the empire into halves with the Eastern Empire
governed out of Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul) and the Western Empire
governed from Rome.

The Fall of Rome

The fall of Rome was in AD 476, when the last Roman emperor of the West, Romulus
Augustulus, was deposed by Flavius Odoacer. Flavius Odoacer became the king of Italy; his
reign marked the end of the Roman Empire. The East has continued to rule from Byzantium until
AD 1453 as the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire came to an end when Constantinople
fell to the Ottoman Turks.

Religion in Rome was polytheistic and Roman gods were based on the Greek gods. While
conquering other territories, Rome came into contact with other gods, religions and rites.
Christianity exploded in the Imperial age.
Gods & Goddesses
Jupiter – the god of the sky and thunder.
Juno – the goddess of marriage and childbirth.
Neptune – the god of freshwater and the sea.
Minerva – the goddess of wisdom, medicine, commerce, handicrafts, poetry, the arts in general,
and later, war.
Pluto - the god of the Underworld.
Venus - the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility.
Mars – the god of war.
Roman Inventions
1. Roman Numerals (Ancient Numeric System)
 Back then, the existing counting systems could not keep
up with the need for ever complex calculation
 Were developed so that the Romans could easily price
different goods and services.
 However, these Roman numbers came with their flaws
such as the absence of the number zero and the inability to
calculate fractions.
 Survived even after the fall of the Roman Empire.

2. Acta Diurna
 Translated from Latin to mean ‘Daily Acts’
 Used to inscribe current affairs onto stones or metal
 Were published daily and posted by the government
in the Roman Forum or in spots where people could
read them.
 Most of the content in the Acta Diurna is comprised
of political news, trials, military campaigns,
executions, major scandals, and other similar

3. Concrete
 The Romans being great architects needed to be able
to build quickly whilst making sure the building was
structurally sound.
 This encouraged them to invent and develop one of
the first known types of concrete by mixing water,
pebbles and volcanic ash.
 Buildings which have been built using this concrete
include the Coliseum, many aqueducts and the sewers
of Rome.
4. Roads and Highways
 Were developed with a blend of soil, rock and
blocks produced using stone or solidified volcanic
 The Romans worked up more than 50,000 miles of
paved highways around the Mediterranean basin
and across Europe.
 Ensured the fast and efficient movement of goods,
soldiers, and information across the entire empire.
 Travelers and walkers on top of that were informed
by stone mile markers and signs to the destinations.

5. Aqueducts [Aqua Appia]

 Brings fresh water from the mountains into Roman cities.
 Used gravity to transport water along stone,
lead and concrete pipelines and into city
 The Romans did not invent the aqueduct—
primitive canals for irrigation and water
transport existed earlier in Egypt, Assyria and
Babylon—they used their mastery of civil
engineering to perfect the process.

6. Julian Calendar
 It is clear from the name that the calendar
was named after Julius Caesar himself.
 The Julian calendar was almost perfect,
but it miscalculated the solar year by 11
 The Julian Calendar consisted of 365
days in one year, divided further into 12
months. The months were as followed:

Ianuarius Maius September

Februarius Iunius October
Martius Julius November
Aprilis Sextilis December
7. Sewers and Sanitation
 Took human waste out of the city where
they wouldn't contaminate drinking water.
 Help restrict diseases which often run
rampant in ancient and medieval cities.
 Roman aqueducts along with runoff water
from local streams was regularly used to
flush these drains and sewers. The flush
would then dump all the waste into the
nearest river (usually the Tiber).
8. Surgery Tools and Techniques
 The Roman medical scene was
heavily influenced by surgical
advances achieved by the ancient
 They used Opium and
Scopolamine to relieve pain.
 Acid vinegar to clean up wounds.
 They invented procedures such as
the cesarean section.
 They used arrow extractors,
catheters, scalpels and forceps in
healing the wounded soldiers.

9. The Twelve Tables and the Corpus Juris Civilis

Subpoena, habeas corpus, pro bono, affidavit—all
these terms derive from the Roman legal system,
which dominated Western law and government for
 The basis for early Roman law came from the
Twelve Tables, a code that formed an
essential part of the constitution during the
Republican era.
 The Twelve Tables detailed laws regarding
property, religion and divorce and listed
punishments for everything from theft to black magic.
 The Corpus Juris Civilis, an ambitious attempt to synthesize Rome’s history of law into
one document. Established by the Byzantine emperor Justinian
 The Corpus Juris Civilis included modern legal concepts such as the notion that the accused
is innocent until proven guilty.
 After the fall of the Roman empire, it became the basis for many of the world’s legal

10. Apartments
 Since Roman Empire was very vast, the population was on
the rise and people needed housing space to construct
 This was the time when the architects thought of a brilliant
way of stacking floors at top of buildings to create
separate living spaces on the same foundation.
 The result was apartments or insulae (islands) as they were
called in Rome.
 However, these apartments were reserved for medium to
low-class citizens as the upper classes preferred their own
separate housing spaces.

11. Testudo: The Tortoise Approach

 Testudo was made for it is effectiveness against
 Roman soldiers would form a roof like formation
and a wall like formation in front.
 With this formation they can protect themselves
from top and side.

12. Air Conditioning (Hypocaust System)

 Mosaic tilled stone floors supported by columns.
 The space underneath was used to transport heated
air to warm space.
 Sergius Orata invented air conditioning.
13. Arches
 Build structures like aqueducts, buildings,
roads and highways etc.
 Support heavy structures downward and
 Not the one who invented arch based
structures, but they are the one who used it
to build great structures and buildings.
 Learned from Etruscans of Tuscany.

14. Welfare
 First initiation is Lex Frumentaria --- regime that
the Roman gave grains at a low price to the poor.
 Rome had many lower-class citizens.
 Rome had food tokens called tesserae, were given
to people who couldn’t afford food.