Humanities Unit 2: Module 1

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Define mos maiorum.
The "ways of the fathers", which were models of virtue that presented themselves in Roman stories and heroes.
What do Roman legends tell us about their values?
Romans legends speak of the values of virtue, bravery, and chastity (both with men and women). They also speak of a revulsion against kings.
What is Rome's geography?
Rome is located on seven hills that overlook a low-lying plain and the Tiber river.
What advantages did its geography give Rome?
- The nearby Tiber River gave them access to the Mediterranean Sea and inland regions of the Italian peninsula. - The large plains around the shores helped foster trade, communication, and agriculture. - The Apennine mountain range allowed the western plain to have large amounts of rainfall. - The Italian Peninsula's position in the center of the Mediterranean allowed Rome to have busy and peaceful harbors that opened up trade across the rest of the sea. - The hills made it hard for outside attackers to come in; at the same time, Romans could hide in the hills to fight.
What is the legend of Rome's origin?
A female descendant of Aeneas (Trojan War hero) was impregnated by the god Mars (Ares). She bore the twins Romulus and Remus, who were abandoned and raised by wolves. After growing up, Romulus killed Remus and became the first king of Rome at around 753 BCE.
What did the Romans learn while being ruled by the Etruscans?
- Etruscan engineering; they used these skills to drain a marsh to form the center of Rome and build a sewer. - Etruscan architectural features; the arch and vault construction and Etruscan-inspired temples. - Divination (interpreting the will of the gods in the entrails of sacrificial animals). - Clothing; they adopted the toga. - The fasces (a bundle of rods surrounding an ax that was the emblem of Roman authority). - The Etruscan alphabet, which the Romans used to write in Latin.
What was the LEGEND of the fall of the Roman monarchy?
After the son of the Etruscan king, Sextus, raped a virtuous Roman matron named Lucretia (resulting in her suicide), Romans rallied around the leadership of Brutus (an Etruscan nobleman), who joined Collatinus (Lucretia's husband), in a revolt against the monarchy.
What did the legend get right about the reality behind the fall of the Roman monarchy?
The legend accurately concluded that the Etruscan monarchy was overthrown.
What was the REALITY behind the fall of the Roman monarchy?
Not all Romans supported the overthrow of the monarchy; many in the lower classes relied on the monarchy to control the power of the noble families (patricians). With these social forces competing, overthrowing a monarchy wouldn't resolve social class issues. However, like the Greeks, the Romans overthrew their monarchs in favor of an oligarchy/aristocracy.