Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HWH 9-24-14 Notes

Ancient Rome

Rome was a city-state, a country, a region, and an empire.



·       Located in the Mediterranean Sea – Italian Peninsula

·       Experienced a Mediterranean climate

·       Apennine Mountains run the length of the peninsula(backbone)

·       Po River in the north

·       Rubicon River in the north

·       Tiber River  in the middle (Rome was founded on the Tiber)

·       Alps to the north – protected Rome from harsh weather and harsh tribes located north of the Alps

Groups that inhabited the peninsula together:

1)    Latins migrated to Italy ca. 800 BC

a)   Settled along the Tiber River on the seven hills located there

b)  Small villages expanded until they joined together and became the one city Rome

c)   Mythology – Rome was founded  by Romulus and Remus

2)  Greeks settled in the south and on the island of Sicily

a)   Probably colonists sent away from Greece during the Dark Ages

3)  Etruscans lived in the region north of Rome

a)   Ruled much of central Italy, including Rome – much of the later Roman culture was based on the Etruscans

b)  Began the use of the arch

c)   Adopted alphabet from the Greek

d)  Developed concept of engineering, which was used to drain marsh land for agricultural purposes

e)   Some early Roman god and goddesses were Etruscan

509 BC – the Romans defeated the last Etruscan king to rule Rome and established a respublica – “that which belongs to the people”

o   Today, called a Republic – people chose some of the officials

o   Believed this would prevent any one individual from gaining t00 much power


§  Patricians – members of the landholding upper class; controlled the government in early Rome through the Senate

§  Plebeians – farmers, merchants, artisans, and traders  - had little political influence early but fought for political rights over the years


v Early Republic – the most powerful governing body was the Senate – 300 members – all Patricians

v Each year the Senate elected 2 Consuls – they supervised the business of government and command of the armies; they served for 1 year

v The Consuls were expected to approve one another’s decisions

v This established a system of Checks and Balances by limiting time in office and making them responsible to one another

v In times of war or emergencies – the Senate could choice a dictator – a ruler who has complete control over a government – for 6 months

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