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Ancient Rome


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Title: Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome
Roman Military
Roman Military
  • The army was organized into legions.
  • Each legion has 5000 men.
  • Each legion has its own leader, its own banner,
    and its own number. Each also had its own
  • Each legion was broken into several fighting
    groups known as cohorts of about 480 men.

Roman Military
  • Cohorts were then divided into centuries.
  • If a soldier was brave, clever and fought well he
    could become a centurion in charge of 80 ordinary
    soldiers called legionaries. Each troop of about
    80 legionaries was called a century. There were
    59 centuries in a legion and about 30 legions in
    the Roman army. There were also other soldiers
    called auxiliaries who included the cavalry. The
    centuries were divided into contubernium of eight
    men sharing one tent.
  • To show the differences in ranks centurions
    carried a special stick to show who they were.
    They used the stick to beat any soldier who
    disobeyed an order. The important centurions also
    wore special armour, which emphasized their rank.

Roman Military
  • Eight men One Contubernium
  • Ten Contubernium One Century (80 men)
  • Two centuries One Maniple (160 men)
  • Six Centuries One Cohort (480 men)
  • Ten Cohorts A legion (6000 men)

Roman Military
  • A legionary's uniform included a rectangular
    shield, a short sword, a dagger, a metal jacket,
    a belt, a helmet, a kilt, a shirt, and hobnailed
    sandals. The legion wore special hob-nailed
  • Their hobnailed sandals were designed to make a
    loud noise as they marched. They were also
    accompanied by trumpets and other noise makers.
    Add the many colorful banners waving above their
    heads, and you can probably understand why an
    approaching legion was an impressive sight and

Roman Military
  • Gaius Marius changed the military from having
    farmers as soldiers to having a standing army.
  • Roman soldiers had to be tough. They were
    expected to march 20 miles a day wearing armour.
    They were also expected to carry their own
    shield, some food and camping equipment. They
    were called Marius Mules.
  • Soldiers were also trained to fight together.
    They marched into battle in a flexible line with
    their shields next to each other. If the enemy
    shot arrows at them the soldiers in the rows
    behind the front line would lift their shields
    over their heads like a roof to protect them.
    This was called a testudo, which means tortoise.

Roman Military
  • The Roman Army was made up of men from allover
    the Empire, no women were allowed to join. These
    men were professional soldiers whose only job was
    to fight and defend Rome. (Standing Army)
  • Initially only property owners such as farmers
    could serve in the army, but from the 1st century
    B.C.onwards anybody could join.
  • Each legionary served for 25 years. After
    serving in the ranks, they serves as a verteranus
    (a reserve soldier). If they lived through their
    service, they could retire. They were given land
    and a pension (gratuity fixed sum of money) so
    that they live comfortably. The land they were
    given was located in the provinces. This was very
    clever of Rome. It gave their retired military
    men a place to call home that they would defend.
    This system placed loyal military men all over
    the provinces. 

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The Republic Fails
  • Rome needed tax money. The government needed to
    pay the legions, and build roads, sewers,
    aqueducts, and arenas. They needed to pay for the
    welfare program put in place to help feed the
    growing number of poor in Rome. To get this tax
    money, Rome used tax farmers. Tax farmers were
    Romans who paid a flat fee to the Roman Republic
    for the privilege of collecting taxes from a
    territory. To recoup their investment, tax
    farmers levied a tax against every citizen in
    their territory. Tax collectors expected to make
    a profit. Their business was the business of tax
    collection. That was understood. Under this
    system, there were many abuses, as the government
    could not control how each tax farmer runs their
    individual business. There were no rules. A tax
    collector could charge one person almost nothing,
    and charge another person a great deal of tax,
    knowing that person could not pay. If you did not
    pay the taxes you owed, you could be sold into
    slavery. Tax collectors were powerful people
    under the Republic. 

The Republic Fails
  • Under the Republic, elected officials used their
    positions to get rich. To get elected, some
    people were buying votes. The poor were quite
    happy to sell their votes to the highest bidder.
    Under this system, many people were elected to
    office who were poor governors. Graft and
    corruption were rampant. Rome suffered from this.
    Rome had bad government. 

The Republic Fails
  • Under the Republic, Rome did not have a police
    force. Rome's streets were not safe for citizens
    after dark. Crime was everywhere. Wealthy Romans
    hired guards to protect themselves and their
    families. Some build private armies. During
    elections especially, these private armies often
    clashed and fought in the streets. The government
    recognized this problem, but they could not put a
    police force in place because they did not have
    enough money to pay them. 

First Triumvirate
  • Political alliance between Julius Caesar, Pompey
    Crassus. The rule of three men.
  • Caesar was a great military leader, who also was
    famous amongst the masses as he spent a lot of
    money in their behalf. He organized spectacular
    public games and gave gifts of food.
  • Crassus was a military hero and the richest man
    in Rome
  • Pompey was a military hero.
  • Caesar held the positions of consul and general

Julius Caesar
  • Julius Caesar was a great general and an
    important leader in ancient Rome. During his
    lifetime, he had held just about every important
    title in the Roman Republic including consul,
    tribune of the people, high commander of the
    army, and high priest (Pontifex Maximus)
  • In Gaul, he wrote Commentaries on the Gallic
    Wars, which made him known as a great military
  • While Caesar was fighting in Gaul, Crassus was
    fighting in Persia and was killed. Pompey ruled
    Rome almost as a dictator.
  • He suggested new laws, most of which were
    approved by the Senate. He reorganized the army.
    He improved the way the provinces were governed.
    The Romans even named a month after him, the
    month of July for Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar
  • Julius Caesar told the people that he could solve
    Rome's problems. Certainly, the Republic had
    problems. Crime was everywhere. Taxes were
    outrageous. People were hungry. Many were out of
    work. It was easier to use slaves to do work than
    hire Roman people. The people were angry that
    their government had not been able to solve the
    many problems facing the Republic.

Julius Caesar
  • As Julius Caesar became more powerful, and more
    popular with the people, leaders in the Senate
    began to worry. They were afraid that Julius
    Caesar wanted to take over the government and
    rule Rome as a king. The leaders of ancient Rome
    had vowed that the Roman people would never be
    ruled by a king again. That promise went back
    over 500 years in time, to when the Roman
    Republic first began.

Julius Caesar
  • Caesar was ordered to disband his army and
    resign. Instead we crossed the Rubicon River and
    entered Italy.
  • One of the laws of the original Twelve Tables was
    that no general could enter the city with his
    army. Julius Caesar ignored this law.  In 49 BCE,
    he entered Rome with the Roman Legion, and took
    over the government.  The poor people of Rome,
    who made up the bulk of the population, were
    glad. The people called him "father of the
    homeland.  The Senate was furious. 
  • Pompey managed to escape to Egypt where he was
    murdered, thus ending the 1st triumvirate.

Julius Caesar
  • Caesar defeated the republican forces. Pompey,
    their leader, fled to Egypt where he was
    assassinated. Caesar followed him and became
    involved with the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.
  • Caesar was now master of Rome and made himself
    consul and dictator.
  • He used his power to carry out much-needed
    reform, relieving debt, enlarging the senate,
    building the Forum and revising the calendar.
  • Strong leader
  • improved lives
  • made laws to help the poor
  • created new jobs
  • gave citizenship to more people

Julius Caesar
  • Dictatorship was always regarded a temporary
    position but in 44 BC, Caesar took it for life.
    His success and ambition alienated the strongly
    republican senators. A group of these, led by
    Cassius and Brutus, assassinated Caesar on the
    Ides (15) of March 44 BCE.

Spartacus - Gladiator Slave
  • Spartacus was born a freeman. He joined the army,
    but he ran away. When he was caught, he was sold
    into slavery to work as a gladiator.  Some
    gladiators were freemen. But most, like
    Spartacus, were slaves, who had been sold to a
    gladiator school. When these men were not
    fighting, they were locked up in the gladiator
    school, to make sure they did not escape.
  • One day, in 73 BCE, Spartacus did just that - he
    escaped. Around 70 other gladiators escaped with
    him. They armed themselves with knives from the
    cook's shop. They found a wagon full of gladiator
    weapons. They stole those, too. They camped on
    Mount Vesuvius.  Rome sent an army of 3000
    soldiers to capture the runaway slaves. Spartacus
    attacked from the rear. The Roman army was
    defeated. Rome tried again. This time they sent
    6000 men. Spartacus won that battle as well. 

Spartacus - Gladiator Slave
  • When other slaves first heard that Spartacus had
    escaped, some ran away and joined Spartacus. But
    when Spartacus and his men defeated the Roman
    army, many slaves ran away to join him. The
    people knew Spartacus. He was a gladiator. He was
    famous. Rome's slaves felt if they could reach
    Spartacus, Spartacus would keep them safe. In a
    very short amount of time, Spartacus and his
    followers had swelled from 70 to over 100,000
  • Rome was terrified. The wealthy Roman way of life
    was dependant upon slaves. That is one reason so
    many poor Roman citizens were out of work. Slave
    labor was free. About 1/3 of the people in the
    Roman Empire were slaves. Wealthy citizens could
    not allow this revolt to succeed, not if they
    wanted to keep their lifestyle. 

Spartacus - Gladiator Slave
  • Catching Spartacus was not easy. Spartacus and
    his followers spent their first winter with
    plenty of good food that they stole from the
    surrounding countryside. They prepared for
    battle. They made weapons. They drilled. The
    gladiators taught others how to fight like a
  • Spartacus and his followers were hunted for two
    years. They defeated every effort to capture
    them. When Rome finally caught up with him, they
    killed Spartacus and everyone with him.  

  • The ruler of the family was the oldest male. That
    could be the father, the grandfather, or perhaps
    even an uncle. His title was pater familias. The
    pater familias led religious ceremonies, taught
    his sons how to farm, and made all the important
    decisions. This word was law as far as his family
    was concerned. He owned the property, and had
    total authority, the power of life and death,
    over every member of his household. 
  • Even when his children became adults, he was
    still the boss. But, he was also responsible for
    the actions of any member of his household. He
    could order a child or an adult out of his house.
    If anyone in his household committed a crime, he
    could be punished for something his family did.
    It was not against the law for the head of the
    house to put a sick baby out to die or to sell
    members of his family into slavery.

  • A women had no legal protection. She was not a
    citizen of Rome. Her job was to take care of the
    house and to have children.  Mothers who could
    read and write taught their children how to read
    and write. She taught her girls how to cook and
    sew and care for a family. But women could leave
    the home to shop or see a play or visit a temple.
    Women who could afford it used slaves to shop and
    cook. Wealthy women could leave the house, but
    spent a large part of their day on personal
    grooming - styling their hair, and dressing

  • Children were trained to obey their elders and be
    loyal citizens. You couldnt talk back. If you
    talked back, you could find yourself out the
    door. You could try to go to a friends house,
    but the odds were good that they would not take
    you in. 
  • Some families kept slaves. Slaves were treated
    well, in most cases, because they were property.
    They had food to eat, jobs to do, and clothes to
    wear. But they were not free to look for a better
    family. They were slaves. They were owned.

  • Rome as a Kingdom In early Roman days, kids did
    not go to school. A Roman boy's education took
    place at home. If his father could read and
    write, he taught his son to do the same. The
    father instructed his sons in Roman law, history,
    customs, and physical training, to prepare for
    war. Reverence for the gods, respect for law,
    obedience to authority, and truthfulness were the
    most important lessons to be taught. 
  • Girls were taught by their mother. Girls learned
    to spin, weave, and sew. The rich had tutors for
    the children, but mostly, the kids were taught at

  • Rome as a Republic About 200 BCE, the Romans
    borrowed some of the ancient Greek system of
    education. Although they did not add many
    subjects, they did begin sending their boys, and
    some of their girls, with their father's
    permission, to school, outside their home, at age
    6 or 7.
  • The goal of education in ancient Rome was to be
    an effective speaker. The school day began before
    sunrise, as did all work in Rome. Kids brought
    candles to use until daybreak. There was a rest
    for lunch and the afternoon siesta, and then back
    to school until late afternoon. No one knows how
    long the school year actually was it probably
    varied from school to school. However, one thing
    was fixed. School began each year on the 24th of
  • The children studied reading, writing, and
    counting. They read scrolls and books. They wrote
    on boards covered with wax, and used pebbles to
    do math problems. They were taught Roman
    numerals, and recited lessons they had memorized.
    At age 12 or 13, the boys of the upper classes
    attended "grammar" school, where they studied
    Latin, Greek, grammar, and literature. At age 16,
    some boys went on to study public speaking at the
    rhetoric school, to prepare for a life as an

  • The very early Romans wore a toga. It looked like
    a white sheet 9 yards long. Togas were arranged
    very carefully, in a stylish way. Togas fell out
    of style rather early. (The toga was
    inconvenient, and people felt the cold when they
    wore it.) To get anyone to wear them, even very
    early emperors had to legislate the wearing of
    togas by at least senators. Eventually, the
    emperors gave up. The Romans switched to
    comfortable tunics, which looked like long
    tee-shirts. They were far more practical. Tunics
    were made of cool linen, for summer wear, and
    warm wool, for winter wear. Sometimes, they worn
    trouser like affairs.

  • Roman Men Rings were the only jewelry worn by
    Roman citizen men, and good manners dictated only
    one ring. Of course, some men did not follow
    "good taste", and wore as many as sixteen rings.
    Hairstyles and beards varied with the times. In
    early Roman times, men wore long hair and full
    beards. For a while, they were clean-shaven with
    short hair. About 1c CE, they had started to
    style their hair, and wear beards again. 

  • Roman Women Women enjoyed gazing at themselves
    in mirrors of highly polished metal (not glass).
    The ancient Roman women loved ornate necklaces,
    pins, earrings, bracelets and friendship rings.
    Pearls were favorites. Women often dyed their
    hair, usually golden-red. They used false
    hairpieces to make their hair thicker or longer.
    Sometimes, Roman women wore their hair up, in
    carefully arranged styles, held with jeweled
    hairpins. Sometimes they wore it down, curled in
    ringlets. Parasols were used, or women might
    carry fans made of peacock feathers, wood or
    stretched linen. Women's street shoes were made
    of leather, like a man's. In the house, most
    Romans (men and women) wore sandals. Women's
    sandals were brightly colored. Some were even
    decorated with pearls.

  • BULLA Children wore a special locket around
    their neck, given to them at birth, called a
    bulla. It contained an amulet as a protection
    against evil and was worn on a chain, cord, or
    strap. Girls wore their bulla until the eve of
    their wedding day, when their bulla was set aside
    with other childhood things, like her toys. Boys
    wore their bulla until they day they became a
    citizen. Boys bullas were put aside and carefully
    saved. A boy's bulla could be wore by the owner
    again, if he won special honors. For example, if
    he became a successful general, and won the honor
    of triumph, he would wear his bulla in ceremonial
    parades, to protect him from the evil jealously
    of men or gods.

  • Romance Language A language that developed in
    an area that had been part of the Roman Empire,
    such as French, Spanish and Italian
  • Vernacular Everyday language of the people

  • He attempted to provide a year-by-year account of
    Romes developing power.
  • This account was called the Annales
  • It was in verse to make easier to remember

  • Cicero was a famous Roman statesman. He was born
    six years before Julius Caesar. They were in
    politics at the same time. Cicero was from a
    wealthy family. He was educated as a lawyer. He
    served in the Senate. He served as elected
    Consul, the highest position in government under
    the Republic. He was a wonderful speaker. When
    Cicero spoke, people listened. 
  • Cicero said about government, "In a kingdom, only
    the king has many rights. Kings can be wise and
    just. But rule by one person can easily become

  • When Julius Caesar entered the city of Rome with
    his army, and declared himself dictator, Cicero
    said "I see no reason for ... being alarmed
    except the fact that, once departure has been
    made from the law, everything is uncertain and
    nothing can be guaranteed as to the future which
    depends upon another man's will, not to say
    caprice. When Caesar declared himself dictator
    for life, his action was in direction violation
    of the principals of a constitutional republic." 
  • The day Julius Caesar was assassinated, Cicero
    was there. But he was not one of Julius Caesar's

  • Cicero lived at time when Rome was changing from
    a constitutional republic to a dictatorship,
    ruled by emperors. Cicero fought in the way he
    knew best, with words and speeches, about the
    importance of keeping a constitutional
    government. His words did not fall on dead ears,
    but the Senate had lost nearly all its power.  
  • As the transition continued, and Rome became
    ruled by an all-powerful emperor, Cicero had to
    flee Rome. He ran for his life. But he was
    captured by the emperor's forces, and killed.  
  • His legacy of writings tell us a great deal about
    ancient Roman government and daily life. Cicero's
    words are still powerful today, just as they were
    two thousand years ago. 

  • In the 500 years Rome was an Empire, there were
    over 140 different emperors!Some emperors were
    good. Some emperors were bad. Some were just
    plain crazy. 

Second Triumvirate
  • Alliance between Octavian (Caesars adopted son),
    Marc Antony Lepidus
  • They divided up the republic
  • Octavian took the West
  • Antony took the East
  • Lepidus took Africa
  • Octavian attacked Antony in the Battle of Actium.
    Antony had befriended Cleopatra, who Rome did
    not trust
  • Antony Cleopatra fled and committed suicide.

  • Caesars grand-nephew, Octavian, became dictator
    in 27 B.C. He changed his name to Augustus,
    meaning respected one or revered one.
  • Augustus was the first true emperor of Rome. He
    was given the title Princeps, which means 1st
    citizen or first amongst equals. The Augustan
    period is known as the Principate.
  • Under the leadership of Augustus, the following
    things were accomplished
  • laws were passed giving citizens more rights
  • Romans were the first people to take a census
  • (a count of the countrys people)
  • - A professional army, divided into large
  • called legions, was established
  • Roads were built
  • New government buildings (basilicas), temples,
    libraries, and public
  • - baths were built.
  • The aqueduct system (a system to carry water from
    place to place) was constructed.
  • Created a group of firefighters known as vigils,
    who were freed slaves

An Ancient Roman Epic - The Aeneid
  • The heroic deeds of Prince Aeneas are wonderfully
    told in the ancient story of the Aeneid, written
    by the great Roman poet, Virgil (official poet of
    the Emperor Augustus). It was written around 30
  • The story takes place in the years between the
    fall of Troy and the founding of Rome by Romulus
    and Remus, twin sons of the war god Mars. It
    tells what happened to the survivors of the city
    of Troy. It was written, in part, to justify
    Rome's right to expand her empire.

  • Was a poet who used his gifts to applaud the
    benefits of peace, Augustan rule and the Roman
  • He wrote Odes.

  • Augustus, the first Roman emperor, ruled for 45
    years. It was during the reign of Augustus that
    people got used to being ruled by one leader.
    Rome went on to greatness under the Empire, but
    the Roman Republic was no more.
  • For 45 years, Rome was at peace. This period is
    the beginning of the Pax Romana, or Roman Peace.
    The phrase "Roman Peace" is a bit misleading. The
    Romans continued to expand their empire during
    this period. They did not always do so
    peacefully. Things were not always peaceful in
    the city of Rome. Rome did not always have the
    best leadership. Some emperors were very cruel.
    Some were insane. But the empire continued to be
    stable. For around 200 years, the Roman Empire
    was united.
  • The Romans were great builders. Many of their
    incredible buildings and engineering projects
    were constructed during this period of relative
    peace. Culture and literature flourished. Much of
    Greek culture was adopted during this period.

  • Caligula Declared himself a god and tried to
    have his horse made a senator
  • Claudius Became an excellent ruler following
    Caligulas death and was chosen by the Praetorian
    Guard (A special palace guard who policed Rome.)
  • Vespasian Changed the system of hereditary
    succession to the throne. As the emperor before
    him, Nero, had no heirs.
  • Marcus Aurelius Had a humanitarian approach to
    government, which helped unify the empire.
  • Theodosius Last Roman Emperor

  • There are many stories and legends about Emperor
    Nero. Most are not very pleasant. Nero was not
    the first insane emperor in office. But he was
    certainly one of the most famous. 
  • Nero did not go insane all at once. Rather, he
    went insane slowly. As time went on, his behavior
    became more and more odd, and then more and more
    murderous. He murdered his own mother and wife
    and poisoned Caligulas son.
  • It was rumored that he started the great fire in
    Rome. He blamed the Christians and ordered many
    of them to be tied to poles and set on fire to
    light his party.
  • He spent most of his time staging plays and
    musical events.
  • The leaders of Rome in the Senate wanted to do
    something about it, but they were afraid. It was
    not until Nero ordered some of the members of the
    Senate to kill themselves that they finally took
    action. The Senate ordered Nero's immediate
    execution. When Nero heard about it, he killed

Trajan Hadrian
  • Trajan was the first Roman emperor who was not
    from Italy. He was Spanish. He was a great
    conqueror. Under his rule, the empire grew and
    covered more geography than at any other time.
  • Hadrian was Trajans adopted son.
  • He consolidated the Empire by taking making many
    trips across the empire.
  • His famous monuments are
  • Villa at Tivoli
  • Hadrians wall
  • The Pantheon

Villa at Tivoli
Hadrians wall
The Grand Pantheon
  • The Grand Pantheon was a temple first built in
    the very early days of the Roman Empire. It was
    dedicated to all the Roman gods. The Romans used
    concrete (an ancient Roman invention) to build
    the dome of the Pantheon, which even today is
    still one of the largest single-span domes in the
    world. The construction of this building greatly
    influenced western architecture. 

The Baths
  • The Public Baths were extremely popular. Roman
    women and men tried to visit the baths at least
    once every day. The baths had hot and cold pools,
    towels, slaves to wait on you, steam rooms,
    saunas, exercise rooms, and hair cutting salons.
    They had reading rooms and libraries, as among
    the freeborn, who had the right to frequent
    baths, the majority could read.  They even had
    stores, selling all kinds of things, and people
    who sold fast food. The baths were arranged
    rather like a very large mall, with bathing
  • The baths were packed. The people loved them. At
    one time, there were as many as 900 public baths
    in ancient Rome. Small ones held about 300
    people, and the big ones held 1500 people or
    more! Some Roman hospitals even had their own
    bathhouses. A trip to the bath was a very
    important part of ancient Roman daily life.

Thermae (Baths)
  • a system to carry water from place to place

Improvements under the Empire
  • Many things changed. Although the Senate met and
    argued, and had advisory power, the real power
    was now in the hands of an all-powerful emperor.
    The Roman people would never have accepted a
    king. However, they seemed to have no problem
    accepting the leadership of a dictator, who
    called himself an emperor. Under Augustus, the
    first Roman emperor, the people got used to being
    ruled by one leader.
  • Other changes included   
  • Establishment of Public Health Programs The
    government created new public health programs.
    One program distributed free bread to workmen on
    their way to work in the morning. 

Improvements under the Empire
  • Reduction in Crime Under the empire, the Roman
    legionnaires policed Rome's streets. They worked
    in small groups. They could quickly band together
    in large groups as necessary. Their hob-nailed
    sandals made quite a loud sound on Rome's
    cobblestone streets. When criminals heard the
    legionaries approaching, they typically
    scattered. The legionaries were armed and well
  • Improvements for Women Life was very different
    for women during the Empire than it was under the
    Republic. During the Empire, it was legal for
    women to own land, run businesses, free slaves,
    make wills, inherit wealth, and get a paid job.
    Women could even use the public baths. There were
    separate hours for men and women, but women were
    allowed inside. These were all new privileges. 

Improvements under the Empire
  • Public Theatre Under the empire, Rome built huge
    theatres. Plays were no longer performed only in
    the Forum. Admission was free.
  • Free Spectacles The government constructed other
    huge public buildings and improved open-air
    facilities. These were used to host  events
    called spectacles. Chariot racing was held in the
    Circus Maximus. The Colosseum hosted the
    gladiator games. Admission to spectacles was

  • Amphi-theatres are "theatres in the round"
    amphi- means "around" in Greek.
  • An amphitheatre is for action it's a sports
    arena, where the spectators sit around the field.
    They need to see, but they don't really need to
    hear, so an amphitheatre can be much larger.

The Colosseum
  • The Colosseum was a huge public entertainment
    center. The Colosseum could seat 50,000
    spectators. Some people were not lucky enough to
    have a seat in the Colosseum. If you didn't mind
    standing, the Colosseum could hold up to 70,000
    spectators! This is where the ancient Romans
    gathered to watch bloody combat between
    gladiators, and battles between men and wild
    animals. This is where they threw people to the
    lions! To see men being killed was very
    entertaining to the ancient Romans. On occasion,
    they flooded the Colosseum with water, to hold
    naval battles. During the battles, many
    competitors died. 
  • The ancient Romans were great builders. They
    built things to last. The Colosseum was built of
    concrete, faced with stone, as were most
    amphitheaters. It was built in the early days of
    the Roman Empire, around 70 CE. It was designed
    to host huge spectacles.  Anyone could attend the
    events in the Colosseum. Admission was free. 

  • Roman gladiators were trained in mortal combat, a
    form of public entertainment in ancient Rome.
  • The word gladiator comes from the Latin word
    gladius (sword).
  • Wealthy or important Romans often asked for
    funeral games to be held in their honor.
  • The popularity of the games grew and spread
    throughout the Roman empire. Eventually
    gladiatorial games became lavish public
    entertainments, especially after the Coliseum in
    Rome opened
  • Roman gladiators were usually convicted
    criminals, slaves, or prisoners of war.
  • Many gladiators came from the lands Rome had

  • Some gladiators who managed to survive the fierce
    fighting became famous or even wealthy.
  • Men of the very lowest social rank sometimes
    bound themselves to the owner of a gladiator
    troupe, enduring branding, chains, flogging, and
    brutality at the hands of their masters to become
  • Gladiators went through intense training and were
    taught complex moves so they could better
    entertain the audience.
  • Gladiators were supposed to fight to the death,
    but if they fought extremely well the crowd could
    decide to spare both fighters. The crowd voted by
    showing thumbs up or thumbs down although
    whether or not thumbs up meant life has not
    been verified. Sometimes gladiators won prize
  • At a large event there could be hundreds of
    gladiators. In the Coliseum, the audience could
    be as large as 50,000 people.

  • After other entertainments in the morning, such
    as hunting wild animals and
  • the execution of criminals, gladiators would
    enter the arena. They would approach the emperor
    and proclaim, Ave, Imperator, morituri te
    salutamus (Hail, Emperor, we who are about to
    die, salute you).
  • As Christianity spread and the power of the Roman
    Empire declined, the appeal of the games
  • In 326 C.E. Constantine began the process of
    abolishing gladiator games. In 400 C.E. Emperor
    Honorius banned gladiators forever.

Circus Maximus
  • The ancient Romans loved chariot racing. In early
    Roman times, young nobles used to race their
    chariots around the 7 hills of Rome. People had
    to scatter to get out of the way. They stopped
    for no one.
  • In the 6c BCE (about 2,500 years ago!), the
    ancient Romans built the Circus Maximus in the
    city of Rome. Basically, the Maximus was a race
    track. It was designed to race chariots. Women
    could attend the races. They could sit with men.
    That was very unusual.
  • The original Circus Maximus was built out of
    wood. It burnt down a couple of times. During the
    Roman Empire, the Circus Maximus was rebuilt
    using marble and concrete (an ancient Roman
  • The Circus Maximus was not the only circus in
    the Roman Empire. The Romans built circuses,
    outdoor racetracks, all over the Empire. The
    Circus Maximus was the most well known race
    track. It could seat over 250,000 people!
    Admission was free. Anyone could attend the
    races, including Rome's poor. There were races
    every day. It was the height of success to race
    in the Circus Maximus. 

  •  Pompeii was an ancient Roman city, buried by a
    volcanic eruption. 2000 years later,
    archaeologists uncovered the city.  The people in
    ancient Pompeii did not have a chance to escape.
    The city had been quickly buried by volcanic
    ash.  When archaeologists dug out the city, two
    thousand years later, they found petrified bread
    still in the ovens that had been baking that day.
    Archaeologists learned a great deal from the
    ruins of this ancient city because it had been so
    well preserved. 

  • Romes Greatest Historian
  • He was financial minister, elected Praetor,
  • His major works were the Histories and the
  • He set the standard for historical research and
    writing for the rest of the Western Roman Empire.
  • He believed that it was the historians job to get
    to the objective truth and not have bias.

Julia Domna
  • She became a formidable empress
  • After her husbands death, she unsuccessful
    supported her son, Geta, to become emperor.
  • Although Geta was removed from office, she played
    an influential role in politics and
    administration of the empire.
  • She was given the title of Mother of the Senate
    and of the Fatherland.

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  • Rome slaves were 1/3 of the population
  • Slaves were used in almost every aspect of human
    activity builders, gladiators etc.
  • Lowest order of slaves were the outside workers
  • Highest order of slaves worked inside
  • Manumission is when a slave can buy their own
    freedom or a deceased owners will frees them.

  • Promoted to Emperor by his fellow soldiers in the
    Praetorian Guard.
  • Divided the empire into 2 parts East and West

The Roman Empire is Split into Two Pieces
  • Because of the well-built Roman roads the success
    of the legionnaires and the leadership of Rome's
    more able emperors and generals, the Roman Empire
    grew to enormous proportions. It was huge!
  • It covered most of Europe, most of North Africa,
    and some of Asia. That created problems. 
  • One problem was that it was getting difficult to
    manage the empire effectively. Word went out from
    Rome, but the provinces did not always do what
    they were told. Rome seemed very far away to the
    people in the provinces. 

The Roman Empire is Split into Two Pieces
  • Another big problem was that the provinces were
    putting a great financial strain on Rome. Taxes
    and trade goods from the provinces were pouring
    into Rome, but supplies to support the provinces
    were also pouring out. Money was needed to build
    new roads, to support the legionnaires, and to
    enable more growth. Rome needed more growth
    because they needed new regions to tax, to refill
    Rome's treasury.  
  • When the old emperor died, the army selected
    General Diocletian to be the new emperor of
    Rome.  One of the first things Emperor Diocletian
    did was to put price controls in place to help
    stop inflation. He created a law that stated if
    you charged more than the price limit, you could
    be killed. The punishment for breaking any of his
    laws was quite severe. 

The Roman Empire is Split into Two Pieces
  • After some thought, Emperor Diocletian decided
    the only thing to do with Rome was to split the
    empire in half. That way, it would be easier to
    manage. This created two Roman empires - the
    Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman
    Empire. Each side had a ruler in charge of
    it. But the ruler who was in charge of Rome was
    the senior ruler. 
  • The Western Roman Empire (Europe/North Africa)
    included the city of Rome. 
  • The Eastern Roman Empire (Turkey/parts of Asia)
    included the city of Byzantium.  
  • Rather than rule Rome, Diocletian chose to rule
    the Eastern Roman Empire. He placed a good friend
    in charge of Rome. Before he left town, Emperor
    Diocletian moved a great deal of Rome's money
    over to the Eastern Roman Empire. He left Rome

  • Constantine Constantine was the first Christian
    Roman emperor. 
  • He lived in the Eastern Roman Empire, and chose
    his capital to be the small town Byzantium, which
    he renamed Constantinople.
  • The western side of the empire, which included
    the city of Rome, became less and less important
    to the Eastern Roman Empire. Byzantium was
    located in a perfect position to trade with the
    east and the west. Rather than send traded goods
    onto to Rome, Constantine kept most of the goods
    in his own half of the empire. As well, he pulled
    monies from Rome to support and build

Rise of Christianity
  • During the first century CE, a new religion took
    hold in Rome. It was called Christianity. The
    followers of Christianity were called Christians.
    Christians believed in one god. They refused to
    worship the Roman gods. In ancient Rome, that was
    against the law. Christians were hunted as
  • In spite of persecution, Christians grew in
    numbers rapidly. Christians actively looked for
    converts. They told others about the benefits of
    being Christian. Christians came from every walk
    of life in ancient Rome, but Christianity had
    great appeal to Rome's poor.  
  • Life After Death Christianity promised life
    after death in heaven. In the Roman religion,
    only gods went to heaven. Emperors were
    considered gods. Everyone else went to the
  • Equality Christianity promised equal
    opportunity. You had to be born into the
    nobility. You could join Christianity and be
    equally a Christian.

Rise of Christianity
  • After nearly 300 years of persecution, in 313 CE,
    Emperor Constantine ruled that Christianity was
    legal and that Christians would no longer be
    persecuted for their beliefs. This does not mean
    that Rome finally had religious freedom. It meant
    only that it now legal to worship Roman gods or
    to be Christian. Every other religion was still
    illegal. The lack of religious freedom in ancient
    Rome contributed to the fall of the Roman

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Valens The Barbarians
  • Valens tried to be a good emperor, but he
    inherited a great many problems. By the time he
    took over, Rome was just about broke. Some of
    Rome's wealth had been spent in warfare. Some had
    been spent on the development of Constantinople,
    the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. And much
    had been wasted by the outlandish behavior of
    some of Rome's less able rulers. 
  • Without money to use for repairs, the famous
    Roman roads started to fall into disrepair.
    Without good roads, fresh supplies of men and
    goods did not always reach the far ends of the
    empire. Nor were needed goods getting back to
    Rome. Barbarian tribes had always raided the
    Roman Empire. These days, barbarian raids on the
    provinces were becoming more successful.
  • In ancient Rome, a barbarian was the name given
    to any people who lived outside the borders of
    the Roman Empire. You were also called a
    barbarian if you did not speak Latin.

Valens The Barbarians
  • There were five main barbarian tribes in Europe.
    Each wanted to conquer the famous Roman Empire.
    These tribes were the Huns, Franks, Vandals,
    Saxons, and Visigoths. They were all attacking
    various pieces of the Western Roman Empire at the
    same time. Forts and strongholds along the road
    were destroyed. There were few cities in the
    outlying regions of the empire, but those that
    existed were attacked.  
  • Rather than try to defend against all the
    barbarian tribes who had turned their eyes on
    Rome, Emperor Valens tried to turn one barbarian
    tribe against another. Since the barbarian tribes
    rarely got along anyway, it was a smart thing to
    do. Valens went one step further. He believed
    that if he could get some of the barbarians
    working for him, he might be able to restore

Valens The Barbarians
  • Valens allowed a fierce and battle-strong
    barbarian tribe, the Visigoths (Goths), to settle
    in the Danube region of the Western Roman Empire.
    He promised these settlers that Rome would help
    with food and shelter, provided they helped by
    keeping order in their section of the empire. 
  • When Valens did not keep his promises, the
    Visigoths rebelled. It was the beginning of the
    end of the Western Roman Empire. The Western
    Roman Empire finally fell in the year 476 CE.

Valens The Barbarians
  • When people say "Rome fell", they mean the
    Western Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire,
    pictured to the right in dark gold, included the
    city of ancient Rome. The Western Roman Empire
    fell into the Dark Ages in 476 CE.
  • The Eastern Roman Empire, pictured in green
    below, with its capital Constantinople, continued
    for another thousand years. 

Review of the Fall of Rome
  • 476 AD FALL OF ROME 
  • Rome had quite a run. First a monarchy, then a
    republic, then an empire all roads led to Rome
    for over 1200 years.
  • In the Mediterranean, Rome was in charge.
  • During the Imperial period, Rome had some
    wonderful emperors. Rome also suffered from a
    series of bad, corrupt and just plain crazy
  • There were lots of reasons why Rome fell. 

Review of the Fall of Rome
  • Problems towards the end of the Empire included
  • The empire was too large to govern effectively.
  • The army was not what it used to be. There was
    corruption in the military - dishonest generals
    and non-Roman soldiers.
  • Civil wars broke out between different political
  • Emperors were often selected by violence, or by
    birth, so the head of government was not always a
    capable leader.
  • The increased use of slaves put many Romans out
    of work
  • The rich became lazy and showed little interest
    in trying to solve Rome problems.
  • The poor were overtaxed and overworked. They were
    very unhappy.
  • Prices increased, trade decreased.
  • The population was shrinking due to starvation
    and disease. That made it difficult to manage
    farms and government effectively.
  • The Empire starting shrinking. The Huns,
    Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Saxons and other
    barbarian tribes overran the empire.

Review of the Fall of Rome
  • The ancient Romans tried to solve some of their
    problems by splitting the Roman Empire in half,
    hoping that would make the empire easier to
    manage. Each side had an emperor, but the emperor
    in charge was the emperor of the western half,
    the half that included the city of Rome. 
  • The Western Roman Empire did not do well. Instead
    of getting stronger, they became weaker. By 400
    AD, it was pretty much over. The Huns, Franks,
    Vandals, Saxons, Visigoths any of these
    barbarian tribes might have been the group that
    finally brought Rome down. They were all
    attacking various pieces of the Western Roman
    Empire. In 476 AD, the Visigoths sacked Rome.
    Europe entered the Dark Ages. 
  • The eastern half of the Roman Empire received a
    new name the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine
    Empire did fine. It lasted for another 1000