Myth: Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus- twin sons of the god Mars and a Latin Princess. They were abandoned on the Tiber River and built a city on that land because of its strategic location and fertile soil.
Rome’s geography: built on 7 rolling hills, curve of the Tiber River, half way up the Italian peninsula, has the ability to control the Mediterranean
First Romans: 3 groups (Latins, Greeks, Etruscans ) who battled for control.
Latins built the original settlement and are considered the first settlers.
Greeks made colonies at southern Italy and Sicily that were very prosperous. Brought Italy and Rome into closer contact with the Greeks.
The Etruscans were from northern Italy. They were metalworkers, engineers, developed Roman alphabet and influenced Roman architecture (use of arch)- Strongly influenced the development of Roman civilization
Rome had an Etruscan king who made Rome into a city.
Various kings ruled Rome and built temples and public centers
The last king was Tarquin the Proud, very harsh that the Romans decided not to have kings anymore so they created a republic.
Republic- government where the citizens have the power and can vote for their leaders. Citizenship was only granted to free- born male citizens. (Republic- very few people have power, democracy has way more people with power.)
Two groups struggled for power:
Patricians (wealthy landowners, had most of the power) and Plebeians (artisans, farmers and merchants, made up most of the population.)
Patricians had high power and social class from their ancestors and the Plebeians had the right to vote but couldn’t have important government positions so they were allowed to make their own assembly and elect representatives- Tribunes.
Tribunes- protected the rights of the Plebeians from unfair acts of Patrician officials. Twelve tables-Roman Law: Plebeians enforced written laws, they carved laws on 12 tablets. These tablets established the idea that all free citizens had the right to the protection of the law.
Government- balanced: combination of a monarchy- govt. by kings, democracy- govt. by people and aristocracy- govt. by nobles.
Rome had two officials called consuls- directed the army and government, limited power- one year, the same person cant be elected consul for 10 years and one consul could overrule another’s decision.
Senate- aristocratic branch of Rome’s government. Had both legislative and administrative functions. 300 members chosen from high Roman classes. Plebeians were later allowed in the senate. Assemblies were more democratic- made by the Plebeians- Tribial Assembly that elected Tribunes and made laws.
As the republic grew larger and larger (more and more people), it could no longer control the, so they began to appoint dictators.
In crisis times, the republic could appoint a dictator- had absolute power to make laws and command the army. Lasted only 6 months, chosen by consuls and elected by the senate.
Legions- roman soldiers were organized in these units. Made up of an infantry- 5,000 heavily armed foot soldiers who were divided into groups of 80 soldiers.
Rome conquers Italy:
By 265 BC the Romans defeated the Etruscans and controlled all of Italy
Conquered people: full citizens, citizenship without the vote and allies of Rome
Rome’s location: excellent center of trade
Rome traded wine and olive oil for other foods, raw materials and manufactured goods
Carthage (North Africa) interfered with Roman trade in the Mediterranean
War with Carthage:
Punic wars- Rome and Carthage fought 3 wars:
For control of Sicily and the western Mediterranean, defeat of Carthage, lasted 23 years
Hannibal- brilliant military strategist who wanted to Carthage’s earlier defeat. He organized an army of 50,000 infantry, 9000 cavalry and 60 elephants to capture Rome. Marched his army up and down the Italian peninsula for…