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Midterm Review


Friday's class: 'Spartacus' = film about a Roman slave rebellion ca. ... Sophia Loren, Alec Guiness (1964) Why did Rome fall? Postmodern/Pirenne: no fall at all? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Midterm Review

Midterm Review Fall of Rome
Midterm Review
  • Midterm this Friday, Oct. 8 (in-class and
  • Questions re format, etc.?
  • Sample Multiple Choice
  • Sample Primary Source Passage
  • Sample essays Hints

Sample Multiple Choice Questions 1. The
Julio-Claudian Emperors who succeeded Augustus
were a. his equal in dedication and ability b.
unstable and incompetent c. democratically
inclined d. mostly of Germanic origin,
reflecting Romanization. 2. Patricians were a.
usually wealthy aristocrats b. members of an
elite military unit to guard the Emperor. c.
lower on the social scale than plebians d.
members of the Greek priesthood. 3. The Battle
of Marathon resulted in a. a Persian
victory b. an Athenian victory c. the
destruction of the Carthaginian navy d. the
death of Julius Caesar 4. The earliest
civilizations emerged close to a. river
valleys b. the sea coast c. mountain
passes d. good pasture land for animals
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Sample Primary Source Passage
  • If anyone take a male or female slave of the
    court, or a male or female slave of a free man,
    outside the city gates to escape, he shall be put
    to death. If anyone be too lazy to keep his dam
    in the proper condition, and if the dam then
    breaks and all the field be flooded, then shall
    he be sold for money, and the money shall replace
    the grain which has been ruined.
  • Hammurabi, Code of Laws, ca. 18th c. BC,
    Babylonia. This law code shows that Babylonia
    was among the earliest civilizations. It valued
    organized agriculture, and had a government to
    enforce laws for the common good. Capital
    punishment was common in this society.

Sample Primary Source Passage II
  • We will now proceed to show you that we are come
    here in the interest of our empire, and how we
    wish to preserve your country. You should submit
    before suffering the worst.
  • You will not consent to our being neutral,
    allies of neither and friends of both.
  • No, for we are the masters of the sea, and
    islanders like yourselves might take a rash step
    and lead yourselves and us into danger.
  • Thucydides, Athenian/Melian Debate, Classical
    Greece (4oos BC?). Recorded by a Greek
    historian, this debate was about whether Athens
    had the right to conquer its neighbors. It shows
    that Athens was imperialist.

Hints for Primary Source Passage
  • Know major passages in Wiesner (e.g., Pericles,
    Aristotle, Vitruvius, Res Gestae), as well as the
    online primary sources (e.g., Polybius, Livy,
    Twelve Tables).
  • I am likely to choose passages we have discussed
    in class.

Hints for the Essay Question
  • 1) Analyze the question in advance, to understand
    what its asking re time, location, structure of
    answer, etc.
  • 2) Formulate a strategy for answering each
  • 3) List relevant examples that might be useful
    (primary and secondary sources can both be used)
  • 4) Always include an introductory paragraph
  • 5) Try to have a thesis statement that makes an
    argument or convinces the reader
  • 6) Use separate paragraphs for separate ideas
  • 7) Show how each paragraph contributes to the
    larger argument.

Fall of Rome timeline
  • Augustus (27 BC 14 AD)
  • Pax Romana (1st/2nd c. AD)
  • Third-Century Crisis (3rd c. AD)
  • Rebuilding w/ Diocletian and Constantine
  • Fall vs. Transformation (4th/5th c. AD)

3rd-Century Crisis
  • From a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust
  • Invasions from Persia (Sassanids), from N. Europe
    (Goths, Franks)
  • Plague in Egypt
  • Assassinations of emperors
  • Massive inflation
  • Militarization of government
  • Roman Empire under Siege, ca. 250 AD

Diocletian (r. 284-305)
  • Dominate Lord
  • Reorganizes Roman Empire into provinces and
  • Incorporates barbarians into Army
  • Tetrarchy
  • Persecution of Christians

  • Splits Empire into quarters, with caesars and
    augusti to rule each.
  • See pp. 206-207 in Noble.
  • See Lactantius comment (p. 208, Noble)

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Persecution of Christians
Baths of Diocletian
Emperor Constantine (r. 306-337)
Constantine (r. 306-337)
  • Builds Constantinople
  • Mobile Frontier Armies
  • Converts to Christianity


In Hoc Signo Vinces
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Constantine At Milvian Bridge
Constantine Hollywood!
Rome Fall vs. Transformation?
Why did Rome fall?
  • Postmodern/Pirenne no fall at all?
  • Environmental (deforestation, Krakatoa)
  • External forces (Huns, Goths, Vandals)
  • Economic (lack of gold/silver, inflation,
    arbitrary taxation, low tariffs, plunder
  • Epidemological (plague, lead, measles)
  • Ethnic mixing (Germanization of troops)
  • Others
  • Chrisitian focus on heaven gt now
  • lack of martial vigor
  • Continued civil war
  • clash of civilizations
  • Moral decay
  • Etc.

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Comments on Homework Essays
  • Best Essays
  • One page only (think before you write!)
  • Cite multiple sources gt one
  • Identify the source of information (e.g.,
    Polybius, Livy, video, textbook) for each value
  • Use specific examples (e.g., Hannibals defeat gt
    strong army)
  • Directly answer the question gt summarize a source
  • Weaker Essays
  • Are the opposite of abovethey rely exclusively
    upon one source, dont answer the question
    directly, dont identify/cite the source, and
    dont use specific examples.
  • Confuse its w/ its and Romans w/ Romans
  • Use you and things, which distract the reader.
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