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Part 1: Roman Empire Part 2: Medieval Europe


Part 1: Roman Empire Part 2: Medieval Europe Lesson 18 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Part 1: Roman Empire Part 2: Medieval Europe

Part 1 Roman EmpirePart 2 Medieval Europe
  • Lesson 18

Part 1 Roman EmpireTheme Republic and Empire
  • Lesson 18

Origins of Rome
  • Rome was founded in the 8th Century B.C. and was
    originally a small city-state ruled by a single
  • Late in the 6th Century B.C., the citys
    aristocrats deposed the king, ended the monarchy,
    and instituted a republic
  • A republic is a form of government in which
    delegates represent the interests of various
  • The Roman republic survived for over 500 years
    and at one time dominated the Mediterranean basin

Mediterranean Basin
Legend of Romes Founding
  • Aeneas migrated from Troy to Italy
  • Two of his descendants, Romulus and Remus, were
    abandoned by an evil uncle in the flooded Tiber
  • A kindly she-wolf found them and nursed them to
  • The boys grew strong and courageous and in 753
    B.C., Romulus founded the city of Rome and
    established himself as its first king

Romulus and Remus being nursed by the she-wolf
Rise of Rome
  • From humble beginnings, Rome grew into a strong
    commercial center, in part because of its
    geographic location
  • Rome enjoyed easy access to the Mediterranean via
    the Tiber River, but because it was not on the
    coast, it was safe from invasion or attack by the
  • By the 6th Century B.C., trade routes from all
    parts of Italy converged in Rome

Establishment of the Republic
  • When the aristocracy deposed the king in 509 and
    established a republic, they instituted a
    republican constitution
  • Executive responsibilities were entrusted to two
    consuls who wielded civil and military power
  • Consuls were elected by an assembly dominated by
    hereditary aristocrats and wealthy classes
  • Consuls served one year terms

Establishment of the Republic
  • The Senate was composed mostly of aristocrats
    with extensive political experience
  • They advised the consuls and ratified all major

Roman Senate house
Patricians versus Plebeians
  • Both the consuls and the Senate represented the
    interests of the patricians the hereditary
    aristocrats and wealthy classes
  • This caused tension between the patricians and
    the common people the plebeians

In honor of the Roman plebeians, freshmen at West
Point are called plebes
Patricians versus Plebeians
  • In the early 5th Century, tensions got so bad
    that the plebeians threatened to secede from Rome
    and establish a rival settlement
  • In order to maintain the integrity of the Roman
    state, the patricians granted the plebeians the
    right to elect officials known as tribunes to
    represent their interests

Patricians versus Plebeians
  • Originally the plebeians were authorized two
    tribunes, but that number eventually rose to ten
  • Tribunes had the power to intervene in all
    political matters and to veto measures they
    thought were unfair
  • Still the patricians continued to dominate Rome

Increased Representation for Plebeians
  • During the 4th Century, plebeians became eligible
    to hold almost all state offices and gained the
    right to have one of the consuls come from their
  • By the early 3rd Century, plebeian-dominated
    assemblies won the power to make decisions
    binding on all of Rome
  • Republican Rome was gradually broadening the base
    of political participation

  • In times of civil or military crisis, the Roman
    constitution allowed for the appointment of a
    dictator who wielded absolute power for a term of
    six months

Cincinnatus, shown here handing the rods of power
back to the city fathers, served as dictator of
Rome twice
Expansion of the Republic
  • Rome expanded from central Italy, to the Italian
    Peninsula, to the Mediterranean basin
  • Defeats the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars
    between 264 and 146 B.C.

Territory under Roman control near the end of the
republic, 44 B.C.
From Republic to Empire
  • Imperial expansion brought wealth to Rome, but
    the wealth was unequally distributed which
    aggravated class tensions
  • Conflicts arose over political and social
  • During the 1st Century B.C. and the 1st Century
    A.D., Roman civil and military leaders will
    gradually dismantle the republican constitution
    and replace it with a centralized imperial form
    of government

Problems with Conquered Lands
  • Conquered lands usually fell into the hands of
    wealthy elites who organized enormous plantations
    known as latifundia
  • The owners of latifundia enjoyed great economies
    of scale and used slave labor to drive the owners
    of smaller holdings out of business

Problems with Conquered Lands
  • Tiberius and Gaius Gracchi worked to limit the
    amount of conquered land an individual could hold
  • They met strong resistance from the wealthy and
    ruling classes and were both assassinated

Bigger Problem
  • The problem of land distribution was a symptom of
    a bigger problem
  • The constitution of the Roman republic had been
    designed for a small city-state
  • It was not suitable for a large and growing
  • Roman politicians and generals began jockeying
    for power and several raised personal armies for

Civil War
  • The two most important generals were Gaius Marius
    and Lucius Cornelius Sulla
  • Marius sided with social reformers who favored
    redistribution of land
  • Sulla sided with the conservative and
    aristocratic classes

Civil War
  • In 87 B.C., Marius marched on Rome, placed the
    city under military occupation, and began hunting
    down his enemies
  • When Marius died the next year, Sulla moved to
    replace him
  • In 83, Sulla seized Rome and began slaughtering
    his enemies

  • Sulla initiated a reign of terror that lasted
    almost five years until he died in 78
  • During that period he killed some ten thousand
  • He imposed an extremely conservative legislative
    program that weakened the influence of the lower
    classes and strengthened the hand of the wealthy

Julius Caesar
  • Sullas program did not address Romes most
    serious social problems
  • The latifundia continued to crush small farmers
    and poverty was rampant
  • There were many social eruptions when times were
    especially hard
  • Julius Caesar stepped into the chaos and
    inaugurated a process that replaced the Roman
    republican constitution with a centralized
    imperial form of government

Julius Caesar
  • Caesar was a nephew of Marius and he favored
    Marius liberal policies and social reform
  • In the 50s B.C., Caesar led an army that
    conquered Gaul and made him very popular

Gaul (now mostly France)
Julius Caesar
  • In 49 Caesar marched his army to Rome and by
    early 46 he had named himself dictator
  • But instead of the constitutional six month term,
    Caesar claimed to be dictator for life

Julius Caesar
  • Caesar centralized military and political
    functions and brought them under his control
  • He confiscated property from conservatives and
    distributed it among veterans of his army and
    other supporters
  • He launched large scale building projects to
    provide employment for the poor
  • He extended Roman citizenship to people in the
    imperial provinces

Julius Caesar
  • But Caesars reforms alienated many of Romes
    elite who considered him a tyrant
  • In 44 B.C. they assassinated him
  • However it was too late to return to the old
    conservative ways and a new round of civil crisis
    ensued for thirteen years
  • Octavian emerged in power

  • Octavian was a nephew, protégé, and adopted son
    of Julius Caesar
  • He defeated his principal rival, Mark Anthony,
    and Anthonys ally Cleopatra at Actium, Greece in
    31 B.C.

Anthony and Cleopatra by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
  • Octavian consolidates his rule and in 27 B.C.,
    the Senate bestows upon him the title Augustus
  • Augustus has religious connotations suggesting
    a divine or semidivine nature
  • Augustus rules virtually unopposed for 45 years
    in a monarchy disguised as a republic

  • Augustus centralized political and military power
    like Julius Caesar did, but he was careful to
    preserve traditional republican offices and forms
    of government and included members of the Roman
    elite in his government

Government under Augustus
  • Accumulated vast powers for himself and
    ultimately took responsibility for all important
    governmental functions
  • Placed individuals loyal to him in all important
  • Reorganized the military system
  • Created a new standing army with commanders who
    owed allegiance to him
  • Eliminated the personal armies of earlier years
  • Stabilized the land after the years of civil war
    and allowed the institutions of empire to take

Mare Nostrum
  • After Augustus, the Roman Empire continued to
    grow to the point that it surrounded the
  • Romans called the Mediterranean mare nostrum
    (our sea)
  • Expansion brought Roman soldiers, diplomats,
    governors, and merchants throughout the region
  • Trade flourished

Roman Empire, 117 A.D.
Pax Romana
  • By stopping the civil wars, Augustus inaugurated
    an era known as pax romana (Roman peace) which
    greatly facilitated trade and communication
  • Lasted from 27 B.C. to 180 A.D.
  • Also included applying standards of justice and a
    basic code of law throughout the empire

How were populations controlled by the Romans?
  • Under the republic?
  • Under the empire?

How were populations controlled by the Romans?
  • Under the republic
  • Representation (consuls and Senate)
  • Resolution of conflicts between the patricians
    and plebeians (tribunes)
  • Dictators
  • Under the empire
  • Julius Caesar centralizes authority but alienates
  • Augustus continues centralization but placates
    elite and ensures loyalty through patronage
  • Pax romana stabilizes region through trade,
    communication, and law

Part 2 Medieval EuropeTheme Order in the
absence of empire
  • Lesson 18

Regional States
  • Germanic invaders toppled Romes authority in the
    late 5th Century A.D. but no clear successor to
    centralized authority emerged
  • The Franks temporarily revived empire the high
    point of which was the reign of Charlemagne from

Regional States
  • After Charlemagne, his successor Carolingians had
    no effective means of defending against Magyars,
    Muslims, Vikings, and other invaders
  • In response, European nobles sought to protect
    their lands and maintain order in their own
  • Political authority in early medieval Europe thus
    devolved into competing local and regional
    jurisdictions with a decentralized political
  • Feudalism

Viking long ship
(No Transcript)
  • There really was no feudal system if that
    implies a neat hierarchy of lords and vassals who
    collectively took charge of political and
    military affairs
  • Because the feudal hierarchy arose as a makeshift
    for defense against invaders, it always had a
    provisional, ad hoc, and flexible character
  • There was no system
  • However, medieval European society was
    characterized by
  • Fragmentation of political power
  • Public power in private hands
  • Armed forces secured through private contracts

Medieval SocietyEarly Middle Ages (450-1050)
  • The country was not governed by the king but by
    individual lords who administered their own
    estates, dispensed their own justice, minted
    their own money, levied taxes and tolls, and
    demanded military service from vassals
  • Usually the lords could field greater armies than
    the king
  • In theory the king was the chief feudal lord, but
    in reality the individual lords were supreme in
    their own territory
  • Many kings were little more than figurehead

  • The nobles maintained their armies by offering
    grants, usually land, to armed retainees
  • In exchange for the grants, the retainees pledged
    their loyalty and military service to their lords
  • The retainees gained increased rights over their
    land, to include the prerogative to pass on their
    rights to the heirs

Political-Military Relationship
  • A close relationship between political and
    military authorities developed
  • As a result, political authorities and military
    specialists merged into a hereditary noble class
    which lived off the surplus agricultural
    production that it extracted from the cultivators
  • Only by tapping into this surplus could the lords
    and their retainees secure the material resources
    necessary to maintain their control over
    military, political, and legal affairs

  • Free peasants sought protection from a lord and
    pledged their labor and obedience in exchange for
    security and land to cultivate
  • Beginning in the mid 17th Century, this category
    become recognized as serfs neither fully slave
    nor fully free
  • Not chattel slaves subject to sale by their
  • But still owed obligations to the lords whose
    lands they cultivated

Serfs Obligations
  • Had the right to work certain lands and to pass
    those lands on to their heirs
  • In exchange they had to perform labor services
    and pay rents in kind (a portion of the harvest,
    chickens, eggs, etc)
  • Male serfs typically worked three days a week for
    their lords with extra services during planting
    and harvesting times
  • Women serfs churned butter, spun thread, and
    sewed clothes for their lords and their families

Serfs Obligations
  • Since the lord provided the land, the serfs had
    little opportunity to move and had to get the
    lords permission to do so
  • Even had to pay fees to marry someone who worked
    for a different lord

  • Manors were large estates consisting of fields,
    meadows, forests, agricultural tools, domestic
    animals, and serfs
  • The lord of the manor and his deputies provided
    government, administration, police services, and
    justice for the manor
  • Many lords had the authority to execute serfs for
    serious misconduct
  • In the absence of thriving cities in rural areas,
    manors became largely self-sufficient communities

Transition to the High Middle Ages(1050 to 1400)
  • The regional stability of the early middle ages
    allowed local rulers to organize powerful
    regional states
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Capetian France
  • Norman England
  • Papal States
  • etc
  • The kings of England and France used their
    relationships with retainees to build powerful,
    centralized monarchies
  • Still no one could consolidate all of Europe
    under a single empire

Three Estates of Medieval Society
  • Those who pray
  • The clergy of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Those who fight
  • Nobles
  • Those who work
  • Peasants
  • The result was a society marked by political,
    social, and economic inequality

  • Church officials originally proposed a chivalric
    code to curb fighting within Christendom
  • By the 12th Century, the ritual by which a young
    man became a knight commonly included the
    candidate placing his sword upon an altar and
    pledging his service to God

  • With chivalry, warriors were encouraged to adopt
    higher ethical standards and refined manners and
    become cultivated leaders of society
  • The chivalric code called for a noble to devote
    himself to the causes of order, piety, and the
    Christian faith rather than seeking wealth and

How was order maintained in the Early Middle Ages?
How was order maintained in the Early Middle Ages?
  • In the absence of a strong centralized authority,
    local political and military elites worked out
    various ad hoc ways to organize and protect their
  • Lords and retainees
  • Manors
  • Serfs

How was order maintained in the High Middle Ages?
How was order maintained in the High Middle Ages?
  • The regional stability of the Early Middle Ages
    allowed powerful regional states to be built, but
    there was still no single European Empire
  • The code of chivalry helped provide some order
    and protection for those who otherwise would be
    most vulnerable to unchecked power

  • Mid Term Exam