Ancient Rome Bavethra Sinnathamby


  • Beginning: a tiny village along the Tiber and Po river
  • Have 7 large hills that act as a natural defensive barrier
  • Expanded to take over all of Italy, Tunis, most of Europe, Africa, Spain, and the Middle East.
In 264 BC, Ancient Rome was considered the “Masters of the Mediterranean”
  • Tiber and Po rivers were very ideal to travel for trade and communication
  • In Italy, the 2 large mountains called the Alps and Apennines helped to protect Rome from Invasion
  • East of that mountain range is the Adriatic Sea which was used as a food source, and means of transportation and recreation.
  • The volcanic ash mixed into the soil made the land the most fertile in Europe, allowing a surplus of goods resulting in agricultural intensification.
  • This allowed a rapid Increase in population which greatly aided the country's military force
  • In the end, Ancient Rome was 3 times the size of Ancient Greece.


Rather than an institution where a specific group exercised power like the Greeks, the Roman Republic had several institutions that had both few and many people involved in political rule.
  • After the Etruscan Monarchy, the Romans decided they wanted a new system where the citizens ran the government
  • Created the Roman Republic and the Senatus Populusque Romanus (The People of Rome). Where citizens elected representatives to rule on their behalf.
  • Magistrates (Consul) : Given the power to veto each other on important decisions
  • Assemblies: 4 Assemblies (Praetors, Censors, Curulian Aediles, and Quaestors) elected officials that pass and enforce laws
  • Senate: Council that controlled foreign affairs, state budget, and essentially all the land.
  • Plebian Tribal Council & Tribunes:
  • For the first time in History, the Plebeians had the right to stand for election, the Plebeian Tribal & Tribunes.
  • Eventually gaining the position of consul (highest position of government with only two individuals).
  • The Senate strictly represents the aristocrat class
  • Two men in the Republican Government were given the job of creating the censor (census), for the first time.
  • The censor was established in the mid 4th century BCE.
  • During times of crisis a dictator had all the power, made decisions without any approval, and had full control over military for a certain period of time

The Twelve tables where the 10 leaders carved some of the most important Roman laws into the 12 tablets.

  • This guaranteed every citizen had equal treatment under the law
  • This also shows the importance of writing and centralized government, and how they were utilized in society.

Increased standard of living

These creations would have taken a deep knowledge of math, science, architecture, and more in order to create such things

Water System

Pont Du Gard in France carried water all over the Roman empire. It is still standing today
  • Created the aqueduct system which was a water way constructed to transport water around the Roman Empire.
  • This allows the citizens to have safe clean water for drinking, baths, latrines and other uses.
  • This is the first time such a large water system was created
  • Generally it only travels to the first floor of homes, rather than 2nd or 3rd floors.
  • Used covered drains for storm water
  • Two of the most common forms of entertainment, baths and sham naval battles, involved large quantities of water which was created because of the easily accessible water.

Wastewater Sewage System

Public latrine at Ostia
  • Drinking or closely using wastewater is detrimental to human health, which is why this system is ultimately essiential
  • The first sewers were created in approx. between 800 and 735 BC
  • Water from palaces, baths, fountains, latrines, and other urban runoff entered Rome's drainage and wastewater collection system.
  • Public and private toilets were situated throughout the Empire
  • The sewers dumped raw sewage into the far lands or rivers, and still did sometimes spread germs
  • While, the system was in place, the empire was still cluttered with garbage, animal skins or guts, and more
Roman Street Drain

Heated Floors

  • Buildings were heated by a hypocaust, which is a system of burning wood and coal underneath the ground to heat the water from the aqueduct
  • Main establishment of socialization


  • Cement and creations of cement like roads were first created by Ancient Rome. Today known as hydraulic cement-based concrete
  • For the first time they combined cement into structures and the concrete allowed for stronger and larger structures such as the Pantheon.
  • Was known for having created roads all throughout Rome
  • Without this creation it would be near impossible to imagine our modern life

Thermae (Heated Baths)

  • In a time like this it’s a phenomenal feat to create these complex bath system
  • Intricate establishments need to be created for steaming, relaxing, or ice cold baths.
  • This is for both the rich and the poor, men and women to enjoy.

Significant Figures

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

  • Worked in a small farm when crisis arose in Rome
  • When crisis arose, he humbly rose to the challenge and defeated the enemy in a day
  • He was said to have maintained power untill he brought Rome through the emergency
  • Known for his selfless devotion to Rome since he gave up power when the crisis was over

Julius Caesar

  • First dictator which ended the Roman Republic and created the Empire of Rome
  • Greatly expanded Rome geographically and established it's imperial system
  • Served as a dictator for a year before his assassination
  • Relieved debt
  • Reformed the Senate by increasing its size which resulted in a better representation of Romans
  • Reformed the Roman calendar
  • Reorganized local government
  • Resurrected two city-states which were Carthage and Corinth.


Women's Rights

  • Other than household duties, women had a certain amount of freedom and independace outside the home
  • Had access to education from a young age if part of the elite class
  • Allowed to do things like shopping, manage their business, go to public events, and more.
  • Some had careers as hairdressers, midwives, or even doctors even though it was not common.
  • While they had influence they do not have any political power.


Children of the elite had access to education

  • From ages 7-11, both males and females began to learn to read and write in Latin and maybe Greek
  • From ages 12-15, children are given liberal education in language and literature
  • Girls are taught in the privacy of home
  • Boys can be taught in public
  • Age 16, boys study rhetoric at public lectures
  • Girls were taught singing, dancing, spinning and weaving.

Military and War

Punic Wars

264-241 BCE: 1st Punic Battle and was known as a water battle

  • Was fought to establish control over Sicily and Corsica since Carthage thought it was their land
  • Rome sent their armies and won the battle because of their strong naval army

218-201 BCE: 2nd Punic War

  • The leadership of Hannibal for Carthage
  • Invaded Rome with his cavalry and surrounded a Roman army twice the size of his own and was able to inflict 50, 000 causalities.
  • Hannibal led his army through Gaul and Spain and across the Alps where many died, and arrived and Po River.
  • Arrived with 20,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry.
  • Had control over northern Italy
  • Romans were defeated

149-146 BCE: Third Punic War

  • Scipio made a blockade and mainly attacked on the harbor side
  • Of a city population that may have exceeded a a quarter of a million, only 50, 000 remained in the end
  • Rome named the city-state Africa
  • Rome burned Carthage to the ground
  • Carthage was defeated and Rome was safe



Cement created stronger structures which allowed structures to be multiple stories

  • Even after columns weren't structurally necessary, it was used in the Pantheon
  • The creation of the aqueduct system and wastewater system involved extremely complex designs
  • The engineers who designed the structures were also brilliant since they created phenomenal architecture that masks their functional purpose
  • Brick and tile were commonly plastered over the concrete for beauty
  • Arches, porticoes, and colonnades were special characteristics of Rome
  • Created the Forum, a large open plaza surronded by important buildings. the space is used for political, economics, religious, and social purposes

Theaters and Amphitheatres

  • The first theatre was built in 55 BCE
  • First Amphitheater was built in 29 BCE, although Pompeii had one 50 years before
  • The Colosseum: largest amphitheater in the Rome
  • Freestanding structure made of stone and concrete
  • Three stories of arched entrances ( about 80 in total) supported by columns
  • Inside, there is seating for over 50, 000 people
  • First used for Gladiatorial Fight in Rome but later abandoned when the excitement for gladiatorial games ended


  • Apartments (insulae) for middle and lower classes were 4 to 5 stories
  • The wealthy could own a home (domus) or country farm house (villa)

Large Influence today as Roman characteristics are in The CN Tower, The White House, and countless other monumental structures.


It was recognized as important as it was taught to children from a young age and was used in a numbers of things such as recording business or laws. Written works were highly prized at the time based on scholar like Pliny who wrote many tests, including the 37 volume Natural History

Publius Vergilius Maro created the Aeneid which was an epic poem on the hero who escaped after the Trojan war and ended up in Italy.

  • Augustus was said to be born from the hero
  • Tales like this were meant solidify Augustus's role


  • Wealth was measured by land and agriculture
  • The Roman soil allowed for a surplus of foods which could be exported
  • The Romans imported a number of materials such as iron, leather, spices, silk, perfume, dye, and more
  • Land remained in the family by heirs
  • The main trading partners were in Spain, France, the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The wealthy had the status to control and greatly influence the legal system and even property
  • Romes economy seemed to be similar to Greece except for the larger amounts of trades done in Rome


  • Classical Greek sculptures most often portray the ideal body form rather than realistic portraits which the Romans did
  • Monumental structures like the Colosseum is an extremely fitting example of the art used in architecutre
  • Created the first glassware
  • Roman craftsmen were attracted to Rome when it was considered a Superpower, and while glass wasn’t a new creation, these craftsmen gathered and created a number of glass creations never before seen.
  • Invented Glassblowing
  • Created colorful mosaic glass dishes, bowls, and cups

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