The Roman Republic

Okay guys, so this is the distribution of the topics:
-The Origins of Rome: Gabriela Elias
-Rome's Geography: Steven Alvarez
-The First Romans: Claudia Franjul
-The Early Republic: Lily Sanchez
-Twelve Tablets: Kendrick Abreu
-The Roman Army: Emily Perez
-Rome Conquers Italy: Eliecer Cruz
-Rome's Commercial Network: Luis Restituyo
-Rome's War with Carthage and Victory: Kanya Duran
If you have any problems, let me know!

The Origins of Rome

  • * The history of Rome spans 2,800 years of the existence of a city that grew from a small Italian village in the 9th century BC into the center of a vast civilization that dominated the Mediterranean region for centuries. Its political power was eventually replaced by that of peoples of mostly Germanic origin, marking the beginning of the Middle Ages. Rome became the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of a sovereign state, the Vatican City, within its walls. Today it is the capital of Italy. * *
  • * The traditional date for the founding of Rome, based on a mythological account, is April 21, 753 BC, and the city and surrounding region of Latium has continued to be inhabited with little interruption since around that time. * *

Rome's Geography

Rome was on seven rolling hills at a curve on the Tiber River, near the center of the Italian peninsula; a peninsula that sticks out into the Mediterranean Sea.


It looks just like a boot.

Between the Alps and the Upper Apennines, is dominated by the fertile plain of the Po River. In ancient times, Liguria, Upper Etruria and Venetia were there. Upper Etruria (and part of Liguria) was conquered by Celts. This is the area referred to in Caesar's Gallic Wars as Cisalpine Gaul. Also, Rome was near the midpoint of the Mediterranean Sea.


The First Romans

From 1000 B.C. the first groups of people began settling in the Italian peninsula. They were the Latins, The Etruscans, and the Greeks (who established cities along southern Italy and southern Sicily). These Greek settlers brought with them their Greek culture, which would influence Roman culture a lot.

The Latins

The Latins were Indo-Europeans who settled in central Italy around 1000 B.C. They called their settlement Latium. Latium was a confederation of city-states. The main economic activity of the Latins was agriculture. The Latins had Latin as a common language; this language would be the language of the Roman Empire. Rome was one of the Latin city-states. At some point, nearly 338 B.C. Rome separated form the Latin confederation and formed an independent state.

The Etruscans

In around 900 B.C, the northern part of the Italian Peninsula was settled by the Etruscans, who probably migrated from Asia Minor. They created a civilization that extended from the Arno River to the Tiber River. The Etruscans formed independent, walled city-states that united into confederacies. Their government system was at first a monarchy but it was then changed by a council and elected officials. The Etruscans had a strong army which they used to take control of other lands. Their economy was based on agriculture, metalworking, and trade. They had an alphabet similar to the Greek one that was later adopted by the Romans. The Etruscans excelled in paintings, sculptures, and their religion was polytheistic and similar to that of the Greeks.

Etruscan Painting16143_UP.jpg
Etruscan Pottery

For republic:

The Early Roman Republic

Early in the republic, all power was concentrated into the hands of the patricians, aristocratic, wealthy land holders. Plebians were anyone who was not a patrician (the equestrian class would come later), and many were just as wealthy as the patricians. These "aristocratic" plebians came to fight what has been called the "War of the Orders" with the aristocrats in charge over the next 200 years. During this time period, during the early 5th century, a tribune of Plebians was elected to protect their class's rights, and reserved the power to veo movement by the artocratic Senate. By 367 BC, the first plebian had been elected consul, and in 450 BC, the twelve tabls were published, providing the first written, fair laws in the Roman world. Despite all of these things, power still depended on wealth in Ancient Rome, and even a Plebian would have to have access to financial resources to be elected to the magistracy.

The forum, originally a marshy valley between the Quirinal and Esquiline Hills, became the focus of public and political life. It was divided down the middle by the cloaca maxima, probably originially meant to be a storm sewer or drainage ditch. By the 6th century BC it was covered, and by the 2nd century BC it was Rome's chief sewer. Shops and houses lined the forum on the northeast and southwest sides. People assembled in the Comitium, a rectangular enclosure oriented to the four points of the compass. The Senate House (curia) was built into the north end of the Comitium, as was a speaker's platform, the rostra. On the southeast end of the forum stood the regia, the former kings' palace. It was now occupied by the Pontifex Maximus and Vestal Virgins.

A great combined effort by the Latins and Greeks at the colony of Cumae overthrew the Etruscans from power south of the Tiber. Rome then became a member - and eventually leader - of a lose alliance of nations developing along the Tiber called the Latin League. Soon, however, disaster struck. Gallic tribes, who had been slowly infiltrating across the Alps into Northern Italy, crosse the Apennines and sacked Rome in 390 BC. Legend has it that only the fortified capital survived the destruction. Rome did not withstand such losses until 476 AD at the hand of Alaric the Goth.

Rome survived, however, and quickly recovered to begin the conquest of Italy. Taking ove the Latin League, each Estruscan city slowly fell; the hill peoples followes suit. The Samnites built up the most resistance, but by 290 BC all of central Italy was under Roman rule. The Romans continued their campaign by driving the Gallic sackers out of Italy in 283 BC, and then turned south to the Greek city/states. Despite intervention by King Pyrrhus of Epirius, they were subsequently conquered in 275 BC.

Then Rome fought some its moxt taxing years in its long history - the Punic Wars against the people of Carthage in North Africa (now the city of Tunis in Tunisia). The first was waged over the possession of Sicily (264-241 BC), and then against the great general Hannibal (218-201 BC). Invading Italy out of a Spanish power base in 218 BC, he won three great victories, such as that at Cannae in Apulia, 216 BC, and managed to detach much of southern Italy from Rome before his defeat by the Scipios compaigning in North Africa.

Epic chart!!!


Twelve Tablets

The Law of the Twelve Tables was the ancient legislation that stood at the foundation of Roman law. The Law of the Twelve Tables formed the centerpiece of the constitution of the Roman Republic.The laws of the Twelve Tables were not a comprehensive statement of all law; they are a sequence of definitions of various private rights and procedures, similar to a bill of rights. They generally took for granted such things as the institutions of the family and various rituals for formal transactions.During the earliest period of the Republic the laws were kept secret by the patrician class, and were enforced with untoward severity, especially against the plebeian class. A plebeian named Terentilius proposed in 462 BC that an official legal code should be published, so that plebeians could not be surprised and would know the law.Patricians long opposed this request, but in 455 BC, the first board of ten men, was appointed to draw up the first ten tables. They allegedly sent an embassy to Greece to study the legislative system of Athens, known as the Solonian Constitution, but also to find out about the legislation of other Greek cities.The first board of men completed the first ten codes in 450 BC.In 449 BC, the second board of men completed the last two codes then the Law of the Twelve Tables was formally promulgated. The Twelve Tables were drawn up on twelve ivory tablets which were posted in the Roman Forum so that all Romans could read and know them.

Rome’s Commercial Network

Rome’s location gave it easy access to the riches lands around the Mediterranean Sea. The Roman merchants traveled by sea and by land, they traded Roman goods like: Wine and Olive oil for many foods and raw materials. Though other big and powerful cities like Carthage opposed and made Roman trade hard, for example when Phoenicia was located on a peninsula on the North African coast, they directly opposed to the Roman trade in the Mediterranean.
Roman Trade Routes

The Punic Wars

As many other civilization or empire longed to, Roman empire sought to expand. Roman target now was Carthage,and vice versa both went in to a three-consequential-war that lasted about 118 years.

First Punic War (264-241 B.C.)

It took place in the surroundings of Carthage and Sicily, back then Messina,under the power of Carthage. According to history, Messina's people asked for Roman aid, at such intent, Carthage went in to war with Rome, defeating and weakening remarkably to Carthage's city. This was a prove of how strong Rome was, and not just even that, Rome got stronger and stronger, and feared more by neighboring civilizations.

Second Punic War (218-201 B.C)

Most important of the three wars was the second, and also the most fascinating.
Hannibal a 29-year-old military leader, who had been raised with attitude of loathing Rome since he was a little boy, didn't cease to avenge the defeat of Carthage before Rome. In 226 an agreement with Rome set the northern border of the Carthagian conquest to Ebro river (in northern Spain). But then the Romans themselves crossed the Ebro river, heading south on a conquest train, Hannibal decided to face them. This was at Saguntum (Sagunto, north of modern Valencia) in 219.

It was the same multiplicity of reasons as in 264, that made Rome declare war in 218. Then Hannibal did the totally unexpected: he set off in northern direction and brought with him large troops including elephants. He crossed the Alps as much as 300 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea. The crossing of the Alps was hazardous, and large parts of the troops, as well as the elephants, were lost.
The Romans used a tactic of delaying, and they had strong hold on the communications over both land and sea. This would eventually result in declining morals in Hannibals troops, and a fast falling star among local peoples of what is today's Italian peninsula. After some time, Hannibal's troops had become like a state without land, drifting around, always looking for new alliances and weak points in the Roman defence, but never finding it.
Hannibal was beaten in Zama (near today's Maktar, Tunisia) in 202. Peace was signed in 201. All claims on Spain were given up, and the Punic fleet was reduced to ten ships.

Third Punic War (149-146 B.C.)

The third one was totally on Roman's. Rome's hubris didn't let them be on peace thus,Massinissa,a city-state that controlled Western part of Carthage allied with Rome. Massinissa provoked Carthage and later on Carthage proceeded.The difference in military force was now to Rome's advantage, and few battles were fought to decide who was the strongest.
At first a peace was agreed upon, but then Rome increased their demands, decreeing a total abandonment of the city.
Facing these claims, the Carthaginians returned to fighting, and soon Carthage fell under what would become a 3 year long siege. When the Romans finally breached the walls, one week of fighting inside the city followed, then the city was burned, and the locals were either executed or sold into slavery.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License