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  • 753 B.C., the city of Rome was founded, on theTiber River , in what is now central Italy.

3. Aeneas

  • The mythological story of the ancestry of Rome tells of a manAeneas , the son of a king and the goddess Aphrodite.
  • During the Trojan war (1194-1184BC), a war between the Greeks and the Trojans in the city of Troy, he was under the command of prince Hector, prince of the Trojans. He was removed from the war so he could be the new leader of the Trojans someday, but when Troy was destroyed he left to find a new home.
  • Aeneas went through a series of adventures trying to find a place to settle with his fellow Trojans. They encountered Harpies and bleeding bogs. At the urging of Juno, Aeneas and his companions were attacked by the god of the winds Aeolus. There were then protected by Neptune. who keep them from being shipwrecked and from other perils. Finally Aeneas arrived in Carthage where Cupid disguised himself as the son of Aeneas and influenced the Queen Dido to fall in love with Aeneas. Aeneas did fall in love with Dido. Mercury, the messenger of the gods, was sent to visit Aeneas twice to remind him of his destiny and to get him to break away from Dido, after which Aeneas resumed his journey to his new land.

4. Continued

  • After landing in Italy, Aeneas was tried to determine where to settle. Aeneas visited Cumaean Sibyl, a prophetess who had access to the underworld through a cave with a hundred openings. Sibyl agreed to be the guide and directed Aeneas to take an item from a nearby magical bough which was sacred to Proserpine, wife of Pluto. Charon, the ferryman of the river Styx, allowed Aeneas to pass because of the item from the magical bough. In the underworld, Aeneas spoke to his father Achises and was told where to settle. He returned from the underworld and sailed again to the Tiber River in a land called Latium.
  • Aeneas, after beating a rival tribe who had been pitted against him by Juno, began to rule the area where he settled. For twelve generations the throne was passed peacefully down until the thirteenth king, Numitor. Numitor was removed from the throne by his own brother Amulius. Amulius tried to make sure that none of Numitor's descendents could challenge him for the throne. Amulius killed both of his nephews and appointed his niece Rhea Silvia a Vestal Virgin. This position forced Rhea to stay a virgin, which would eliminate any prospect of Numitor's children to challenge Amulius.
  • Mars, the god of war and farming, became enamored with Rhea, and depending on the account, seduced her. She became pregnant and gave birth to two sons, Romulus and Remus. Amulius had Rhea imprisoned. He put the two boys in a basket and tossed it into the Tiber River. The boys were saved by their father Mars, who sent two animals to feed them. A she wolf fed the boys until they were discovered by a shepherd named Fausulaus. The boys were sheltered by the shepherd and his wife until they had grown. The boys were united with their grandfather Numitor, and they then planned revenge on Amulius. The three, along with a band of shepherds, stormed the palace and killed Amulius and restored Numitor to the throne.

5. Romulus and Remes

  • After restoring Numitor to the throne,Romulus and Remusset out to establish their own city with some of their shepherd followers. They planned to establish the city on the banks of the Tiber where they were discovered. The brothers began to argue over the city's design and name. They decided to settle their dispute by seeking a sign from the gods. They decided that who ever saw a flight of vultures first would be the winner. Remus was positioned on Aventine Hill, while Romulus was on Palentine Hill. Remus was the first to see six vultures, while shortly after Romulus saw twelve vultures. Remus claimed that he had won since he saw the birds first. Romulus claimed that he had won the contest since he saw a dozen of the birds. A fight broke out between their followers. Remus was killed, and Romulus set himself up as ruler. He named the city Rome.
  • Another version of the story has Romulus winning the contest with the birds flying over the hill which he was on. When Romulus began to build the walls of the city, Remus jumped over a walls. Romulus was so insulted that he killed his brother and stated that anyone who tries to come over the walls of his city would meet the same fate.
  • Romulus was the citys first ruler.

6. The 1 stRuler-Romulus

  • Romes first citizens were outlaws.
  • There wasnt enough women for all the men of the city. So, they stole women from an Italian tribe called theSabines .
  • The Sabine men waged war against the Romans. However, the stolen women loved the Romans and begged the fighting to stop. The leader of the Sabine tribe wasTitus Tatiusand he joined Romulus as the leader of the people until he was killed in battle.
  • In time, help and conquest blended and the Romans ran most of the peninsula

7. Kings to a Republic

  • There were several kings of Rome. The last king wasTarquinthe Proud, whose son, so the story goes, committing an act of injustice upon the wife of a friend, stirred the citizens of Rome to a revolution, in which they expelled their king and installed ademocracy .
  • Rome became arepublic(509BC). This meant that a group of people, called theSenate , made the laws for the people of Rome. (And the civilization this time had grown quite a bit, including colonies.)
  • During this time Rome was only about 50 square miles. When Rome was threatened they called upon a man named Cincinnatus to help out the city.

8. Cincinnatus

  • Cincinnatuswas once a wealthy noble and highly respected from the rulers and the people of the city. His son, however, got into deep trouble and he had to spend all his money, including the money of ten other men to bail him out of jail.
  • When one of the citys two consuls was killed, he was called upon to be a consul. He restored order in the city and, as the end of his term approached, the senate wanted to elect him for another term. This was illegal and Cincinnatus pointedly refused. His term complete, he returned to the farm.
  • When he was called upon from the attack from local enemies, called Aequi, the army was away from the city and the only men left in Rome were too old or too young.
  • On this occasion, the consuls were each leading one of the armies, so Cincinnatus was elected directly by the senate. He was aware that his absence from the farm meant the harvest would be poor and his family would go hungry, but he considered his duty to be more important.

9. Continued

  • Cincinnatus ordered the suspension of all business and for all men of military age to gather, suitably provisioned. Everyone who was too old to fight was to assist in gathering food for the soldiers.
  • Having spoken words of encouragement to his rag-tag force, Cincinnatus led them to the rescue of the Roman army, which had been under attack for three days. Arriving at night, he sent his men to surround the Aequi, digging a ditch all the way around them and filling it with stakes to prevent an escape. He then ordered his men to yell a fearsome Roman war cry to encourage their brothers who were under attack, before attacking the enemy themselves.
  • The Aequi were taken by surprise and now had to fight two armies at once. As they turned their focus from the newcomers to the re-energised Roman army, Cincinnatus ordered his men to dig in for the night. The following morning, they charged. The Aequi surrendered almost immediately. Cincinnatus allowed the survivors to disband, but took the leaders to Rome.

10. Continued

  • On his return, Cincinnatus was not surprisingly treated as a hero. There were great celebrations, including a procession. Cincinnatus then returned his powers. The leaders of the city even offered to make him king but, to his enormous credit, he refused and returned to his poor farm, also refusing offers from the senate of land and the spoils of war.
  • Decades later, Cincinnatus was called upon once again. It was a time of famine, and a wealthy Roman named Spurius Maelius was providing corn extremely cheaply, or for free, to the poor. This made him extremely popular with the lower classes but raised the suspicions of the nobles, who suspected he might have kingly ambitions.
  • He was thought to be keeping weapons in his home, so it was decided to call Cincinnatus in as dictator again. He was over 80 at the time, but accepted the call after initial hesitation. Cincinnatus went in secret and ordered Maelius to be called before a tribunal. Afraid, Maelius refused, and in the melee which resulted was killed.
  • Although no-one could be certain Maelius had aimed to become king, he was posthumously declared guilty of refusing the summons of the dictator, which was a capital offence. Several plebians (common citizens), believing Maelius to have been killed by powerful interests, attempted to revolt, but failed. Cincinnatus had them executed.

11. Life in the Republic

  • Rome was ruled by its aristocrats (roughly, thepatricians ) who abused their privileges. This led to a struggle between the people ( plebeians ) and the aristocrats that is referred to as the Conflict of the Orders, where "orders" means "plebeian" or "patrician".
  • To help resolve the conflict, the patricians gave up most of their privileges, b