Classical Greece's early westward expansion through the Mediterranean Sea led to the rise of Rome.
The Greek model of civilization was adopted by the people of Italy during the eighth century b.c.
At least so far as government and warfare were concerned, the Romans improved on Greek civilization.
The war-fighting methods of the Roman armies were more successful than those of the Greeks.
Rome became the center of an empire that stretched from the Middle East to the Atlantic Ocean by the beginning of the Christian era.
Civil war, political crisis, and unstable rule were all caused by endless expansion.
One of these commanders, Augustus Caesar, was able to turn military rule into a workable system of government.
The new system allowed for a good deal of self-government, kept many features of the Roman Republic, and brought a halt to Rome's expansion.
The empire lasted for four hundred years and brought about changes in civilization.
The western territories of the empire were dominated by the Roman version of Greco-Roman civilization, while the East was dominated by the Greek version.
The empirewide civilization destroyed and replaced the traditional barbarian cultures of western Europe, undermined ancient civilizations in the Middle East, and interacted with them to produce new forms of culture and religion.
The Roman achievements in these fields eventually equaled or surpassed those of the Greeks and became an inspiration and model for civilization's further development in western Europe.
Changes to peoples living outside as well as inside the borders of the Roman Empire were typical of every expanding civilization before it.
As a result of hundreds of years of living as Rome's neighbors, the Germanic barbarians of northern Europe became increasingly advanced and powerful.
The emperors were able to hold them off only by building up the army, replacing self-rule with centralized government, and openly ruling as absolute monarchs.
The last and greatest changes in civilization that took place under Rome's rule were the conversion of its peoples to Christianity.
The burden of government and the army became too heavy to bear, the barbarian attacks grew too fierce to be resisted, and the empire began to collapse.
The western half of the country was taken over by Germanic invaders over the course of a century.
The Middle Eastern and African territories were lost to Islam in the seventh century a.d.
The empire's recent acquisition of Christianity was accepted by the Germanic rulers of the West.
Byzantium was the long-enduring Greek-ruled empire of the East.
The Christian Europe of the Middle Ages began to spread after the Mediterranean civilization of Greece and Rome began to change.
The Rise of Rome has challenged scholars for hundreds of years.
The technology of the time gave Rome an enduring order of astonishing size.
The Latin people were formed when they mingled with earlier inhabitants.
The settlements formed a city-state around 750 b.c.
Rome grew to be the chief power of Latium by 500 b.c.
The natural resources of the Italian peninsula are better than those of Greece.
The Etruscan rulers built a barrier from the Po valley to the very toe of the Italian boot.
The people who settled this country were self-sufficient from the beginning.
Rome was located on the peninsula.
Lying 14 miles from the sea, the city was easy to defend and even better adapted to offense.
The Italian peninsula was to be a great base for Rome's conquests.
It commanded every direction from the Mediterranean eastward to the lands of barbarian Europe.
The Romans did not have their own peninsula.
The Etruscans and the Greeks were two peoples who had a big influence on the growth of Roman civilization.
The Etruscans arrived in Italy in the ninth century b.c.
from somewhere to the east.
They gained control of the north-central part of the country, established city-states under the rule of kings, and built a civilization that combined native features and Greek influences.
In the seventh century b.c., they conquered Latium and ruled Rome for a time.
The Etruscans were ejected from Rome by an uprising around 500 b.c.
They had a superior culture that was easily absorbed by the Romans.
The Romans borrowed from the Greeks.
The Latins learned the alphabet from the Greeks.
The people of Latium came into contact with the civilized life of the Greek city-state as a result of dealing with the Greek colonies.
The Romans absorbed Greek ideas and arts into their culture as they realized that this civilization was more advanced than their own.
Italy was a region of many different citystates and small ethnic groups when Rome became a republic about 500 b.c.
Latium, the ethnic territory of the Latins, was a city-state of Rome.
Rome united Italy in 250 years by a system of alliances, emigration and settlement, and roads that speeded the movement of goods, news and above all armies.
Many lands of the Mediterranean, western Europe, and the Middle East would later be unified by these methods.
The Romans were able to build their political institutions because of the skills they acquired from the Etruscans and Greeks.
They were ruled by kings whose authority resembled that of Homeric Greece.
The king was a high priest of the state religion, military commander, supreme judge, and chief executive.
When a king died, his successor was chosen by the Senate from among its own members, subject to approval by an assembly of all male citizens-- like the Greek city-states, Rome relied on its own citizens as fighting men and therefore had to give them at least some share in.
When the Etruscans were expelled, the monarchy was also a part of it.
The government systems of the Greeks influenced the development of the Roman city-state.
Military and executive power was transferred to two chief magistrates, who were elected each year by the Assembly of Centuries, a group of one hundred men into which the citizens were formed for government, taxation, and military purposes.
The Romans created this executive to guard against tyranny, and each of them had the power to veto any lawmaking proposed by the other.
When it came to important matters of common concern, those who shared an office were required to act in concert.
The principle of joint responsibility can lead to delays and even paralysis.
The Republic allowed the appointment of a "dictator" to correct the weakness.
The dictator's term was limited to six months and he was chosen by the consuls.
The Republic reflected the serious social strug gle that was taking place among the Romans.
The patricians dominated Roman politics because they made up only a tiny fraction of the total population.
The powers of approving laws and electing public officials were held by the citizen assembly, but their voting procedures were usually arranged to favor the patricians.
The upper class was expected to act under senatorial advice.
The Senate was made up of a fixed number of heads of patrician families and senators were appointed for life.
The plebeians were determined to win equal rights because they felt they were being treated as second-class citizens.
They used a variety of methods to put pressure on the patricians, including threats to start a rival settlement and acts of passive resistance.
The Republic was not subverted because they stayed within the bounds of law and order.
Legal protection was one of the main complaints of the plebeians.
Before the fifth century b.c., an accused person couldn't turn to a written code of law for guidance or defense.
The judges interpreted the sacred traditional laws.
The plebeians protested that they weren't getting equal treatment in the courts.
The laws of Rome were written in response to their demand.
The new code was engraved on twelve tablets and mounted in the Forum for all to see, according to tradition.
The foundation for the system of Roman law that grew up in the centuries to come was served by the Twelve Tablets.
The plebeians wanted admission to the major public offices.
The tribunes had the power to protect any citizen who they thought was being mistreated by a patrician.
The Assembly of Tribes was another citizen assembly where the majority of the votes were cast.
This compromise was typical of the Roman approach to politics.
The Romans installed a counterbalance instead of abolishing or changing the institution.
The Romans were not perturbed by the complex checks and balances, the contradictions between political form and reality, and the growth of offices.
Their system had a flexibility and resilience that was lacking in more logical political structures.
Their "mixed" government, as it was called on account of its combination of oligarchic and democratic features, was widely admired in ancient times and continues to influence government systems today.
The checks and balances between different branches of government in the Roman city-state are what lead to the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution.
The citizen assembly played an important role in legislation, as well as electing the pontiffs and other pontiffs for one-year terms, and to be appointed a senator, a man had to.
The Republic depended on ordinary citizens to serve in the army and this democratic element in the government was vital to Rome's stability and power.
This didn't mean that Rome was a democracy.
Control of the Republic was still in the hands of the Senate since only well-off people could afford to join.
It cost a lot to run for the public offices that qualified a man for the Senate.
A candidate had to spend a lot of money to get the votes of the citizens.
The candidate had to pay the costs of his magistracy out of his own pocket after he was elected.
Only the rich could afford to be in the Senate.
The Senate was a body of enormous prestige and influence, for those who made it sat in the seats of the mighty.
Until the final centuries of the Republic it was able to exercise wide powers that it had not been given by law.
The members of the Senate made decisions on pressing matters immediately.
They appointed and instructed the military leaders of the Republic.
They investigated high crimes.
The Senate was the balance wheel in the complicated machinery of the Roman state.
The first campaigns were defensive against the Etruscans, Gauls, Greeks, and competing Italic tribes.
As the Romans secured their position at home, they began to reach out for territories and allies.
They encountered more enemies along the way, and each new frontier had a new danger.
The Romans won the war despite losing it.
Rome had a superior military organization that included the strength of its soldier-citizens and the shrewdness of its Sen ate.
At the beginning of the Republic, the citizens usually served for short periods and without pay, and the best-off soldiers seem to have armed and trained themselves to fight in Greek-style phalanxes, each numbering several hundred men.
The Romans began to pay their citizen draftees so as to permit longer campaigns and better training, and they developed formidable new tactics by combining the fighting methods of the various enemies they encountered.
By 250 b.c., Roman soldiers fought in small groups under the command of a centurion.
They wore light armor and used javelins to attack their enemies, rather than using long thrusting spears.
The Roman army's combination of iron discipline and treatment of its soldiers as citizens who deserved respect was what distinguished it.
The soldiers elected their own centurions, yet once chosen, a centurion had almost absolute power.
Penalties for cowardice or neglect of duty were severe and cruel, but there were generous rewards and promotions for the brave and victorious.
In war, the Romans applied the same incentive-deterrent system to their people.
In exchange for cooperation, the Romans offered protection and self-rule, replacing the rule of conquest, booty, and massacre.
Those who remained loyal and contributed the most aid were given the highest privileges.
Roman rule had many advantages.
In place of bloody anarchy, it brought order, roads, prosperity, and a share in the benefits of further conquests.
The Romans had a principle of two-way benefit that they would extend step by step to the Mediterranean world.
The army was the foundation of Roman power, but the conquered domains were solidified to Rome by mutual interest and service.
The new conquerors did not interfere with local laws, religions, or cus toms, only that the defeated communities submit to Rome's direction of external relations and provide troops for the Roman forces.
They created colonies from Rome that were both garrisons and models of Roman civic organization in order to tighten their control over the Italian peninsula.
The Roman forces increased in step with their conquests because both the colonists and the allies raised soldiers on the same scale.
Rome always won its wars because there were always other armies to take its place.
The Romans had the same rights of citizenship as the Roman colonists.
By the middle of the first century b.c., most of the non-Roman inhabitants of Italy were counted as Roman citizens, and the status of "ally," separate from the Romans, disappeared.
By 250 b.c., all of Italy south of the Po valley was in the hands of the Romans.
The city was founded around 700 b.c.
Carthage was a republic that spread its influence across North Africa, southern Spain, Sardinia, and Sicily.
The Greek city-states of Sicily had been fighting Carthage for control of the island for hundreds of years, and the Romans took over responsibility for protecting their Greek allies.
The Punic Wars began in the 16th century.
More was at stake than the harbors and hills of Sicily.
The two antagonists were fighting for control of the western Mediterranean.
In one phase of the war, the Carthaginian general Hannibal invaded Italy, defeated several Roman armies, and brought Rome to the brink of defeat.
Rome's alliances proved strong enough to meet the test.
Rome's expansion took 250 years to unify Italy.
The Celtic barbarians of western Europe came under Roman rule.
The empire was eventually brought down by the Germanic barbarians, the steppe nomads, and the Middle Eastern civilized states.
The Roman general leveled the city of Carthage and sold the survivors into slavery.
The first Roman provinces were Sicily, Spain, and Africa.
The administrative units were ruled as conquered lands by the Senate and did not enjoy the status of Rome's allies in Italy.
They paid tribute to the Roman state, gave cavalry and light infantry units to the Roman forces, and provided opportunities for influential Roman citizens to build up private fortunes.
The provinces began to share in the benefits of Roman order after the time of Augustus.
The conquest of the western Mediterranean meant an increase in both resources and military power for Rome.
Before the final defeat of Carthage, Romans were looking for new areas to exploit in the eastern Mediterranean.
It was promising for the Hellenistic world.
It was in turmoil.
Greek city-states appealed to Rome for help in resisting the king of Macedonia, who was allied with Carthage.
The Romans responded by sending an army.
Their goal was to secure the liberties of the Greek cities and then to withdraw.
They became entangled in the politics of the East.
The Romans were supreme in the eastern Mediterranean until the early first century a.d., when they carved one province after another out of the Hellenistic kingdoms.
Rome shadowed Gibraltar to Jerusalem.
Society at home was affected by the Overthrow of the Republic Rome.
The farmer-soldier was the most important person in the state.
The social and economic revolution that followed the Punic Wars and Rome's adventures in the East changed everything.
After they were drafted, they served for many years until the conflict they had been called up for came to an end.
Many never came back and others found their farms spoiled by neglect.
Most of the farmers gave up on their land and moved to the cities.
Many of these became clients of the well-to-do and began to look to the politicians for security and entertainment.
There was a new social group in Italy that was prominence.
War profiteers of various sorts--contractors to the armed forces and dealers in booty.
They used their wealth to buy up ruined farms and turn them into new uses.
The new owners were 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 888-349-8884 As a result of Rome's conquests overseas, gangs of slaves have become plentiful and cheap.
The social composition of Rome and the peninsula had not changed much by 150 b.c.
Rome was the largest slaveholding society in the ancient world, with slaves making up one-third of the population of Italy.
Slaves were better off in the cities working as household servants or in other commercial occupations.
The master allowed the slave to take a portion of his earnings.
The slaves saved enough money to purchase their freedom and the Roman citizens did the same.
They were called "freedmen" or "freedwomen" after that and kept their place in the labor force.
The number of small farmers continued to fall.
The propertyless urban mob (proletarians) grew in size at the same time as the capitalists and landowners mounted in importance.
The senatorial families, which guided Rome through its long wars, still held the highest rank and power, though their prosperity would corrupt their character.
Simple living and strict moral conduct were valued by the noble families of Rome.
Few could resist the lure of Rome's wealth from across the seas.
Many of them were able to share in the new opportunities for profit.
The old republican virtues of plain living and discipline gave way to decadence and moral decay.
Rome's plight was blamed on the influence of Greek attitudes and ideas by some Roman moralists.
The influence was probably insignificant.
The Romans had become subject to powerful new forces within themselves, and their change in moral outlook was a direct consequence of their rise to imperial fortune.
The Republic paid for its good fortune with its life, because it upset the balance of Roman society.
The Senate's position would have remained secure if it had been able to meet the problems that came crowding in on Rome.
The senators were absorbed in seeking personal gain and privilege, which made them different from the other challenges of their times.
There was a sign of political breakdown at the end of the second cen tury b.c.
Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, sons of a patrician family, thought that a partial solution to Rome's troubles would be to resettle many of the city's poor, as well as discharged army veterans, on small farms and to provide a subsidy.
They hoped that the program would raise the number of independent farmers and reduce the gap between rich and poor.
The Gracchi proposed the measures to the Assembly of Tribes.
Tiberius was elected tribune of the people in 133 b.c.
His one-year term as tribune did not allow enough time for his long-range program.
He was attacked by the Senate as a dangerous troublemaker.
Tiberius broke tradition and stood for reelection as a tribune, giving his opponents and hundreds of his supporters an excuse to murder him.
The reform crusade was carried forward by his younger brother, who fell under attack by the Senate and was killed in 121 b.c.
The decline of small farms led to a change in the character of Rome's armed forces, as the Senate lost its power after defeating the Gracchi.
Landless and propertyless citizens were drafted to fill the ranks of the old legions.
Rome's citizen-soldiers were now called "semiprofessionals", so to speak, who fought in the 500 B.C.
Punic Wars aim to better themselves through pay, loot, promotion, and above all grants of land or money to provide them with a living when they are discharged.
Small farms for veterans were what the Senate had shown itself to be too greedy to provide.
The soldiers began looking for these benefits to their own commanders, who were themselves mostly senators but who stood to gain politically by meeting the needs of their troops.
Many army commanders turned into independent warlords because of their personal loyalty to their soldiers and because they were more powerful than the Senate.
Since there was usually more than one such warlord at any given time, their rivalries led to bouts of destructive civil war, in each of which the winner became the one and only supreme warlord and thus the one and only ruler of Rome.
Unless one of the supreme warlords could turn military dictatorship into legitimate power, government by them would be brief and unstable.
Between 88 and 82 b.c., the first civil wars took place.
The main contender was a man who had led his legions to brilliant victories in Africa and western Europe, and a man who had been his rival for an army command in Asia Minor.
Sulla had the support of the Senate, while Marius claimed to represent the interests of the people.
The republican government was set aside by both of the warlords.
After vicious fighting in Greece, Italy, and Spain, Sulla was appointed dictator and there was no one left to challenge him.
He paid off his soldiers with generous land grants and abolished the limits on the power of the Senate.
His own power was the only unlimited power in Rome.
He used proscription, an outlawry procedure involving the public posting of the names of those selected for death and the seizure of their property, to rule by terror.
Many senators, potential opponents, and anyone who was rich enough to make it worthwhile to eliminate him were among the victims.
Sulla retired from office after two years and died in 78 b.c.
The Senate and other institutions of the Republic returned to their traditional functioning after Rome's first experiment with one-man rule.
A new generation of army commanders and would-be army commanders were struggling for power.
It seemed likely that it would tear itself apart from within.
Julius Caesar, the nephew of Marius's wife, was one of the new candidates because Sulla had proscribed him but he had managed to escape and lie low until the dictator was dead.
Caesar was the most spectacular of the warlords and Rome's second and more statesmanlike ruler.
Julius Caesar came from an old patrician family that had come down in the world, and he entered the city's politics as a young man determined to regain the fame and power of his ancestors.
He came to identify Rome's key problems at home and abroad as he grew older.
He used his influence with the poorer citizens to advance his own cause in the social struggles.
In 60 b.c., he formed an alliance with two of Sulla's former associates.
One of them was Marcus Crassus, who had grown rich from the property of victims of proscription.
The most brilliant general of Rome, who had become the conqueror of much of the Middle East, was promoted by Sulla.
With the help of his new friends, Caesar was given an appointment as proconsul with a military command, which allowed him to become a warlord.
The inhabitants were called the Gauls because they were a branch of the Celtic peoples.
The Gaulish tribes outside the Roman-ruled areas were powerful and advanced enough that they might one day become dangerous to Rome, and were wealthy enough to be a tempting target.
Caesar conquered Gaul in eight years and made inroads into Britain and Germany.
By 50 b.c., most of western Europe was under Roman rule, and Caesar had built a powerful army dedicated to him.
After a crushing defeat in the Middle East, Caesar had become an army commander but had died, while Pompey had stayed in Rome, growing increasingly jealous of him and forging alliances against him in the Senate.
Caesar was ordered to return to Rome by the Senate after Pompey's support.
He came back with part of his army.
This was not in line with Roman law.
It was the beginning of more civil wars.
Pompey's forces were no match for Caesar's veterans.
Pompey was murdered in Egypt after being defeated by Caesar in Greece.
Caesar returned to Rome in 46 b.c.
after defeating Pompey and other opponents in Egypt, Asia Minor, Africa, and Spain.
Caesar launched a program of reform to consolidate his position.
He gathered to himself the authority of a king after rejecting the offer of a royal crown.
He was the dictator for ten years.
The functions of most of the republican institutions were altered by him.
Under Caesar, the cit izen assembly did little more than endorse his proposals.
The Senate, now enlarged by his own appointees, paid him a compliment and vowed to protect his person.
Caesar treated the Senate as an advisory body.
The grave problems facing Rome were attacked by Caesar.
He resettling war veterans on farmlands in Italy and the provinces was a way to keep the loyalty of the soldiers.
He tried to make Romans more aware of the world beyond Italy by appointing provincials to the Senate and extending Roman citizenship to parts of Gaul and Spain.
The Romans received splendid public buildings and roads, and he introduced reforms into every department of administration.