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Legendary Beginnings of Rome

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Devin O'Meara

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of Legendary Beginnings of Rome

Legendary Beginnings of Rome
..... and a bit of Roman Geography

Roman/ Italian Geography
Italy is a
that juts into the
Mediterranean Sea
Roman History
Three Major advantages:
Mediterranean Sea
Offers protection from invasion
Access to sea-going trade routes

Roman Geography
2. The Alps
: An arc of mountains that protects the peninsula from invasion from the north
Alps Mountains.
Roman/Italian Geography
Centrally located in the Mediterranean Basin
far from eastern Mediterranean powers (Persian and Hellenistic empires)
- Poet, the Roman equivalent to Homer

can be considered a national epic of Rome. It traces the legendary beginnings of Rome back to Aeneas, a Trojan prince who brought his people to Italy after Trow was destroyed in the Trojan War
Romulus and Remus
Twin brothers descended from Aeneas
Grandsons of King
, King of an Italian city-state
Legendary Beginnings
Numitor's brother tried to depose the king and had the twins thrown in the
Tiber River
. The twins were saved by a she-wolf
Romulus and Remus
Legendary Beginnings
When the twins grew up, they restored their grandfather to his throne and then founded a new city on
Palentien Hill
, above the river in 753 BCE. And what do you think they named the city?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
How did Rome get its name?
Romulus erected a wall around the city. Remus, being the annoying brother, tried to assert his leadership by
mocking the wall
and leaping over it.
In true brotherly fashion
Romulus killed
his brother
Guess what? the city became known as
instead of Remus
Legendary Kings
Legendary Kings (753-509 BCE)
Many of these kings were
no written records exist from that time
histories about the kings were written during the Empire based on legends
As we saw in both
China and Greece
some of these legends have an element in archaeological truth
Legendary Beginnings
Etruscans were people who occupied the territories in what is now
Northern Italy
and are thought to have originated in the near east. (perhaps Persians or Phoenicians?)
Legendary Beginnings
The kings had a great influence on Roman cultural and physical development. Skilled at Urban planning,
and water works.
Projects attributed to the Etruscan Kings
The building of
City Walls
The engineering of the
The construction of the great drain to channel both rainfall and
sewage into the Tiber River.

Roman Walls
The Forum
Cloaca Maxima
Cloaca Maxima: One of the world's earliest
sewage systems.
Built some 3000 years abo and still in use today... just think, when in Rome, your poop can be using the same channels as Julius Caesar's poop!
Body of a lioness, tail of a serpent and a goat rising out of the back. Earlies known literary reference to creature was in Homer's Illiad
Legendary Endings
Legendary Kings (753-509 BCE)

The last Etruscan King was overthrown in
509 BCE
. It is this date that marks the
beginning of the Roman Republic
509 BCE - 1st Century BCE
The Roman Republic
Definition: Literally
"a thing of the People

Some officials were chosen by the people, democratically

The Romans wanted no one person to have all the power

Most powerful governing body in the early Republic.
Make the laws
(just like our Senate in the U.S.)
300 members
- all
Patricians -
Landholding upper class
served for life
: living the easy life!
Each year, the senate would elect 2
consuls for 1 year terms!
were responsible for
running the government
enforced the laws
The commanding of the armies
Consuls had to consult with the rest of the senate. (Ever try getting 300 people to agree on something? not any easy task to be a consul)
Consuls had limited power because
They had to consult with the Senate
They had short terms.

1st instance of CHECKS on government powers
In the event of an
(in other words... war), the senate might choose a dictator who would have complete control over the government, but
ONLY for 6 months!
Can't do it in 6 months? They'll find some one else

Remember.... those Romans were a bit on edge!
Roman Society
"common folk"
who made up the bulk of society
~ tradesmen, farmers, merchants~

Originally, only patricians could serve in the government or be senators.

can you guess who the laws benefited in Roman society ????????

Plebeians had very
little say in the government
over time, however, plebeians eventually gained more and more political power through Tribunes
Twelve Tables
450 BCE- Plebeians convinced government to
write down the laws of Rome
on twelve tablets and have them set up in the Forum, or main central square.

Why it's important

laws become
..open to everyone! Not every Roman knew the laws because they were not previously written!
This also gave plebeians the
right to appeal
a judgement handed down by a patrician judge.
The Twelve Tables

The Twelve Tables
Roman laws for the first time

(i.e. innocent until proven guilty concept)
Some examples of laws
If you need a witness to testify and he will not show up, you can go once every three days and shout in front of his house.
A person who had been found guilty of giving false witness shall be hurled down from the Tarpeian Rock.
A dreadfully deformed child shall be quickly killed.
A dead man shall not be buried or burned within the city.
Marriages should not take place between plebeians and patricians.
Punishments included fines, exile, enslavement and death. ~Citizens could exchange exile for death~

Tribunes and Vetos
plebeians gained the right to elect officls to protect their interests. Tribunes were their representatives
A tribune could
(literal definition:
I forbid)
laws that were harmful to plebeians

who has the right to Veto in the U.S.?

over time, plebeians gained the right to be chosen as consuls, be appointed to higher offices, and even become senators.
Who was considered a citizen

selected foreigners
Who was included in this Republic
Who was excluded in this Republic
Basic unit of Roman Society

Under Roman law,
father had absolute power
wife was subject to his authority
Women played larger roles
in society than in Greece
attend theater, went to public baths and dined out with husbands
were all
(boys and girls)
What was expected of citizens?
1. Pay
: show me the money $$$$$$$
2. Serve in the
Roman coins
All citizens were expected to participate in the
(remnants of direct democracy)

Assemblies could
pass laws
elect magistrates
declare war

Representative Democracy
Roman government -- although
because many people were left out of the process, the Roman Republic made major strides in the development of
representative democracy
, which became a foundation of modern democracy.
Representative Democracy
A democracy where voters (citizens) choose (usually by voting)
officials who represent their interests
when making laws
elected official who represents other citizens interests
US is a representative democracy,
it's also called a "republic"
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