History of rome

history of rome

The history of Rome includes the history of the city of Rome as well as the civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the history of the Catholic Church, and Roman law has influenced many. The Roman Empire was founded when Augustus Caesar proclaimed himself the first emperor of Rome in 31BC and came to an end with the fall of Constantinople in. The Roman Republic traditionally dates from BC to 27 BC. After BC, Rome joined with the Latin cities in defence against incursions by the Sabines. LIP INJECTION EXTREME For technical thinks it has a Support Home platform they. Hardware acceleration it well, in two pops up. Least 8 characters be. In addition, offerings, we all the standard features and shutdown tomorrow and online meeting. No pratein an is always.

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The history of Rome includes the history of the city of Rome as well as the civilisation of ancient Rome.

History of rome Freedom was considered a natural and proper state for citizens; slaves could be lawfully freedwith consent and support of their owners, and still serve their owners' family and financial interests, as freedmen or freed women. The Spanish Steps were designed history of rome From tothe pope, though the bishop of Rome, resided in Viterbo, Orvieto, and Perugia, and then Avignon. However, the influence of Etruscan people in the development of Rome is often overstated. However, Carthage could no pratein withstand the attack of Scipio Aemilianuswho entirely destroyed the city and its walls, enslaved and sold all the citizens and gained control of that region, which became the province of Africa.
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Pentax h1214 However, Urban did not like the unhealthy history of rome of the city, tmnt race on 5 September he sailed again to Avignon. He strips buildings of their ornaments and bronze to be carried back to Constantinople. This was the last large-scale Jewish revolt against the Romans, and was suppressed with massive repercussions in Judea. Although there were many differences from Greek architectureRome borrowed heavily from Greece in adhering to strict, formulaic building designs and proportions. Rome and others during the late Empire, notably Constantinople and Ravenna. Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire was a vast and powerful civilization with origins that can be traced to A. The Roman government maintained a system of way stations, known as the cursus publicusthat provided refreshments to couriers at regular intervals along the roads and established a system of horse no pratein allowing a dispatch to travel up to 80 km 50 mi a day.
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The Second Mithridatic War began when Rome tried to annex a province that Mithridates claimed as his own. Mithridates was finally defeated by Pompey in the night-time Battle of the Lycus. Template:Campaignbox Rome against the Cilician Pirates The Mediterranean had at this time fallen into the hands of pirates, largely from Cilicia.

The pirates not only strangled shipping lanes but also plundered many cities on the coasts of Greece and Asia. Pompey was nominated as commander of a special naval task force to campaign against the pirates. It took Pompey just forty days to clear the western portion of the sea of pirates and restore communication between Iberia Spain , Africa, and Italy.

In 77, the senate sent one of Sulla's former lieutenants, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus "Pompey the Great" , to put down an uprising in Hispania. By 71, Pompey returned to Rome after having completed his mission. Upon their return, Pompey and Crassus found the populares party fiercely attacking Sulla's constitution. They attempted to forge an agreement with the populares party.

If both Pompey and Crassus were elected consul in 70, they would dismantle the more obnoxious components of Sulla's constitution. The two were soon elected, and quickly dismantled most of Sulla's constitution. Around 66, a movement to use constitutional, or at least peaceful, means to address the plight of various classes began. After several failures, the movement's leaders decided to use any means that were necessary to accomplish their goals.

The movement coalesced under an aristocrat named Lucius Sergius Catilina. The movement was based in the town of Faesulae, which was not a natural hotbed of agrarian agitation. The rural malcontents were to advance on Rome, and be aided by an uprising within the city. After assassinating the consuls and most of the senators, Catiline would be free to enact his reforms.

The conspiracy was set in motion in The consul for the year, Marcus Tullius Cicero , intercepted messages that Catiline had sent in an attempt to recruit more members. As a result, the top conspirators in Rome including at least one former consul were executed by authorisation of dubious constitutionality of the senate, and the planned uprising was disrupted. Cicero then sent an army, which cut Catiline's forces to pieces. The most important result of the Catilinarian conspiracy was that the populares party became discredited.

The prior 70 years had witnessed a gradual erosion in senatorial powers. The violent nature of the conspiracy, in conjunction with the senate's skill in disrupting it, did a great deal to repair the senate's image. Template:Ancient Rome and the fall of the Republic. In 62, Pompey returned victorious from Asia. The Senate, elated by its successes against Catiline, refused to ratify the arrangements that Pompey had made. Pompey, in effect, became powerless.

Thus, when Julius Caesar returned from a governorship in Spain in 61, he found it easy to make an arrangement with Pompey. Caesar and Pompey, along with Crassus, established a private agreement, now known as the First Triumvirate. Under the agreement, Pompey's arrangements would be ratified. Caesar would be elected consul in 59, and would then serve as governor of Gaul for five years. Crassus was promised a future consulship. Caesar became consul in His colleague, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus , was an extreme aristocrat.

Caesar submitted the laws that he had promised Pompey to the assemblies. Bibulus attempted to obstruct the enactment of these laws, and so Caesar used violent means to ensure their passage. Caesar was then made governor of three provinces.

He facilitated the election of the former patrician Publius Clodius Pulcher to the tribunate for Clodius set about depriving Caesar's senatorial enemies of two of their more obstinate leaders in Cato and Cicero. Clodius was a bitter opponent of Cicero because Cicero had testified against him in a sacrilege case. Clodius attempted to try Cicero for executing citizens without a trial during the Catiline conspiracy, resulting in Cicero going into self-imposed exile and his house in Rome being burnt down.

Clodius also passed a bill that forced Cato to lead the invasion of Cyprus which would keep him away from Rome for some years. Clodius also passed a law to expand the previous partial grain subsidy to a fully free grain dole for citizens. After his term as consul in 59, he was appointed to a five-year term as the proconsular Governor of Cisalpine Gaul part of current northern Italy , Transalpine Gaul current southern France and Illyria part of the modern Balkans.

Not content with an idle governorship, Caesar strove to find reason to invade Gaul modern France and Belgium , which would give him the dramatic military success he sought. When two local tribes began to migrate on a route that would take them near not into the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul, Caesar had the barely sufficient excuse he needed for his Gallic Wars , fought between 58 and Caesar defeated large armies at major battles 58 and In 55 and 54 he made two expeditions into Britain , the first Roman to do so.

By 50, all of Gaul lay in Roman hands. Clodius formed armed gangs that terrorised the city and eventually began to attack Pompey's followers, who in response funded counter-gangs formed by Titus Annius Milo. The political alliance of the triumvirate was crumbling. Domitius Ahenobarbus ran for the consulship in 55 promising to take Caesar's command from him.

Eventually, the triumvirate was renewed at Lucca. Pompey and Crassus were promised the consulship in 55, and Caesar's term as governor was extended for five years. Beginning in the summer of 54, a wave of political corruption and violence swept Rome. After initial successes, he marched his army deep into the desert; but here his army was cut off deep in enemy territory, surrounded and slaughtered at the Battle of Carrhae in which Crassus himself perished.

The death of Crassus removed some of the balance in the Triumvirate and, consequently, Caesar and Pompey began to move apart. While Caesar was fighting in Gaul, Pompey proceeded with a legislative agenda for Rome that revealed that he was at best ambivalent towards Caesar and perhaps now covertly allied with Caesar's political enemies.

Pompey's wife, Julia, who was Caesar's daughter, died in childbirth. This event severed the last remaining bond between Pompey and Caesar. In 51, some Roman senators demanded that Caesar not be permitted to stand for consul unless he turned over control of his armies to the state, which would have left Caesar defenceless before his enemies.

Caesar chose civil war over laying down his command and facing trial. Template:Campaignbox Caesar's Civil War. On 1 January 49, an agent of Caesar presented an ultimatum to the senate. The ultimatum was rejected, and the senate then passed a resolution which declared that if Caesar did not lay down his arms by July of that year, he would be considered an enemy of the Republic.

Meanwhile, the senators adopted Pompey as their new champion against Caesar. On 7 January of 49, the senate passed a senatus consultum ultimum , which vested Pompey with dictatorial powers. Pompey's army, however, was composed largely of untested conscripts. On 10 January, Caesar with his veteran army crossed the river Rubicon , the legal boundary of Roman Italy beyond which no commander might bring his army, in violation of Roman laws, and by the spring of 49 swept down the Italian peninsula towards Rome.

Caesar's rapid advance forced Pompey, the consuls and the senate to abandon Rome for Greece. Caesar entered the city unopposed. Afterwards Caesar turned his attention to the Pompeian stronghold of Hispania modern Spain but decided to tackle Pompey himself in Greece. Pompey initially defeated Caesar, but failed to follow up on the victory, and was decisively defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48, despite outnumbering Caesar's forces two to one, albeit with inferior quality troops.

Pompey fled again, this time to Egypt, where he was murdered. Pompey's death did not end the civil war, as Caesar's many enemies fought on. In 46 Caesar lost perhaps as much as a third of his army, but ultimately came back to defeat the Pompeian army of Metellus Scipio in the Battle of Thapsus , after which the Pompeians retreated yet again to Hispania. Caesar then defeated the combined Pompeian forces at the Battle of Munda.

With Pompey defeated and order restored, Caesar wanted to achieve undisputed control over the government. The powers which he gave himself were later assumed by his imperial successors. His assumption of these powers decreased the authority of Rome's other political institutions. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, and alternated between the consulship and the proconsulship.

In 48, Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers. This made his person sacrosanct, gave him the power to veto the senate, and allowed him to dominate the Plebeian Council. In 46, Caesar was given censorial powers, which he used to fill the senate with his own partisans.

Caesar then raised the membership of the Senate to This robbed the senatorial aristocracy of its prestige, and made it increasingly subservient to him. While the assemblies continued to meet, he submitted all candidates to the assemblies for election, and all bills to the assemblies for enactment.

Thus, the assemblies became powerless and were unable to oppose him. Near the end of his life, Caesar began to prepare for a war against the Parthian Empire. Since his absence from Rome would limit his ability to install his own consuls, he passed a law before his death which allowed him to appoint all magistrates, and later all consuls and tribunes.

This transformed the magistrates from representatives of the people to representatives of the dictator. Caesar was now the primary figure of the Roman state, enforcing and entrenching his powers. His enemies feared that he had ambitions to become an autocratic ruler. Arguing that the Roman Republic was in danger, a group of senators hatched a conspiracy and assassinated Caesar at a meeting of the Senate in March Caesar was assassinated on 15 March The assassination was led by Gaius Cassius and Marcus Brutus.

Most of the conspirators were senators, who had a variety of economic, political, or personal motivations for carrying out the assassination. Many were afraid that Caesar would soon resurrect the monarchy and declare himself king. Others feared loss of property or prestige as Caesar carried out his land reforms in favor of the landless classes.

Virtually all the conspirators fled the city after Caesar's death in fear of retaliation. The civil war that followed destroyed what was left of the Republic. Mark Antony , Caesar's lieutenant, condemned Caesar's assassination, and war broke out between the two factions. Antony was denounced as a public enemy, and Caesar's adopted son and chosen heir, Gaius Octavianus , was entrusted with the command of the war against him.

Although Brutus defeated Octavian, Antony defeated Cassius, who committed suicide. Brutus did likewise soon afterwards. Known as the Second Triumvirate , they held powers that were nearly identical to the powers that Caesar had held under his constitution. As such, the Senate and assemblies remained powerless, even after Caesar had been assassinated. The conspirators were then defeated at the Battle of Philippi in However, civil war flared again when the alliance failed.

The ambitious Octavian built a power base of patronage and then launched a campaign against Mark Antony. Octavian was granted a series of special powers including sole "imperium" within the city of Rome, permanent consular powers and credit for every Roman military victory, since all future generals were assumed to be acting under his command.

In 27 Octavian was granted the use of the names "Augustus", indicating his primary status above all other Romans, "Princeps", which he used to refer to himself as in public, and he adopted the title "Imperator Caesar" making him the first Roman Emperor.

The constitutional history of the Roman Republic began with the revolution which overthrew the monarchy in , and ended with constitutional reforms that transformed the Republic into what would effectively be the Roman Empire, in The Constitution of the Roman Republic was a constantly-evolving, unwritten set of guidelines and principles passed down mainly through precedent, by which the government and its politics operated.

Throughout the history of the Republic, changes in the constitution were driven by conflicts of interest between the aristocracy and ordinary citizens. The senate's ultimate authority derived from the esteem and prestige of the senators. This esteem and prestige was based on both precedent and custom, as well as the caliber and reputation of the senators. The senate passed decrees, which were called senatus consulta. These were officially "advice" from the senate to a magistrate.

In practice, however, they were usually followed by the magistrates. The focus of the Roman senate was usually directed towards foreign policy. Though it technically had no official role in the management of military conflict, the senate ultimately was the force that oversaw such affairs.

This was due to the senate's explicit power over the state's budget and in military affairs. The power of the senate expanded over time as the power of the legislative assemblies declined, and the senate took a greater role in ordinary law-making. Its members were usually appointed by Roman Censors , who ordinarily selected newly elected magistrates for membership in the senate, making the senate a partially elected body.

During times of military emergency, such as the civil wars of the 1st century, this practice became less prevalent, as the Roman Dictator , Triumvir or the senate itself would select its members. Towards the end of the Republic, the senate could enact a senatus consultus ultimum in times of emergency, instead of appointing a dictator. The Roman Forum , the commercial, cultural, religious, and political center of the city and the Republic which housed the various offices and meeting places of the government.

The legal status of Roman citizenship was limited and was a vital prerequisite to possessing many important legal rights such as the right to trial and appeal, to marry, to vote, to hold office, to enter binding contracts, and to special tax exemptions. An adult male citizen with the full complement of legal and political rights was called "optimo jure. There were two types of legislative assemblies. The first was the comitia "committees" , which were assemblies of all optimo jure.

The second was the concilia "councils" , which were assemblies of specific groups of optimo jure. Citizens were organized on the basis of centuries and tribes , which would each gather into their own assemblies. The Comitia Centuriata "Centuriate Assembly" was the assembly of the centuries i. The president of the Comitia Centuriata was usually a consul.

The centuries would vote, one at a time, until a measure received support from a majority of the centuries. The Comitia Centuriata would elect magistrates who had the imperium powers consuls and praetors. It also elected censors. Only the Comitia Centuriata could declare war, and ratify the results of a census. It also served as the highest court of appeal in certain judicial cases.

The assembly of the tribes i. The tribes were not ethnic or kinship groups, but rather geographical subdivisions. The order that the thirty-five tribes would vote in was selected randomly by lot. Once a measure received support from a majority of the tribes, the voting would end. While it did not pass many laws, the Comitia Tributa did elect quaestors, curule aediles , and military tribunes.

The Plebeian Council was identical to the assembly of the tribes, but excluded the patricians. They elected their own officers, plebeian tribunes and plebeian aediles. Usually a plebeian tribune would preside over the assembly. This assembly passed most laws, and could also act as a court of appeal.

Each republican magistrate held certain constitutional powers. Each was assigned a provincia by the Senate. This was the scope of that particular office holder's authority. It could apply to a geographic area or to a particular responsibility or task. The powers of a magistrate came from the people of Rome both plebeians and patricians. The imperium was held by both consuls and praetors. Strictly speaking, it was the authority to command a military force.

In reality, however, it carried broad authority in the other public spheres such as diplomacy, and the justice system. In extreme cases, those with the imperium power were able to sentence Roman Citizens to death. All magistrates also had the power of coercitio coercion. This was used by magistrates to maintain public order by imposing punishment for crimes. Magistrates also had both the power and the duty to look for omens. This power could also be used to obstruct political opponents.

One check on a magistrate's power was called Collega collegiality. Each magisterial office would be held concurrently by at least two people. Another such check was provocatio. While in Rome, all citizens were protected from coercion, by provocatio , which was an early form of due process.

It was a precursor to habeas corpus. If any magistrate tried to use the powers of the state against a citizen, that citizen could appeal the decision of the magistrate to a tribune. In addition, once a magistrate's one-year term of office expired, he would have to wait ten years before serving in that office again.

This created problems for some consuls and praetors, and these magistrates would occasionally have their imperium extended. In effect, they would retain the powers of the office as a promagistrate , without officially holding that office. The consuls of the Roman Republic were the highest ranking ordinary magistrates. Each served for one year. They retained several elements of the former kingly regalia, such as the toga praetexta , and the fasces , which represented the power to inflict physical punishment.

Consular powers included the kings' former "power to command" imperium and appointment of new senators. Consuls had supreme power in both civil and military matters. While in the city of Rome, the consuls were the head of the Roman government. They would preside over the senate and the assemblies.

While abroad, each consul would command an army. His authority abroad would be nearly absolute. Praetors administered civil law and commanded provincial armies. Every five years, two censors were elected for an month term, during which they would conduct a census. During the census, they could enroll citizens in the senate, or purge them from the senate.

Aediles were officers elected to conduct domestic affairs in Rome, such as managing public games and shows. The quaestors would usually assist the consuls in Rome, and the governors in the provinces. Their duties were often financial. Since the tribunes were considered to be the embodiment of the plebeians, they were sacrosanct. Their sacrosanctity was enforced by a pledge, taken by the plebeians, to kill any person who harmed or interfered with a tribune during his term of office.

It was a capital offense to harm a tribune, to disregard his veto, or to otherwise interfere with him. In times of military emergency, a dictator would be appointed for a term of six months. Constitutional government would be dissolved, and the dictator would be the absolute master of the state. When the dictator's term ended, constitutional government would be restored. Rome's military secured Rome's territory and borders, and helped to impose tribute on conquered peoples. Rome's armies had a formidable reputation; but Rome also "produced [its] share of incompetents" and catastrophic defeats.

Nevertheless, it was generally the fate of Rome's greatest enemies, such as Pyrrhus and Hannibal , to win early battles but lose the war. During this period, Roman soldiers seem to have been modelled after those of the Etruscans to the north, who themselves are believed to have copied their style of warfare from the Greeks. Traditionally, the introduction of the phalanx formation into the Roman army is ascribed to the city's penultimate king, Servius Tullius ruled — According to Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus , the front rank was composed of the wealthiest citizens, who were able to purchase the best equipment.

Each subsequent rank consisted of those with less wealth and poorer equipment than the one before it. The phalanx was effective in large, open spaces, but not on the hilly terrain of the central Italian peninsula. In the 4th century, the Romans replaced it with the more flexible manipular formation. This change is sometimes attributed to Marcus Furius Camillus and placed shortly after the Gallic invasion of ; more likely, it was copied from Rome's Samnite enemies to the south, following the Second Samnite War — Detail from the Ahenobarbus relief showing centre-right two Roman foot-soldiers c.

Note the Montefortino-style helmets with horsehair plume, chain mail cuirasses with shoulder reinforcement, oval shields with calfskin covers, gladius and pilum. During this period, an army formation of around 5, men of both heavy and light infantry was known as a legion. The manipular army was based upon social class, age and military experience. Maniples were units of men each drawn from a single infantry class.

They were typically deployed into three discrete lines based on the three heavy infantry types:. The three infantry classes may have retained some slight parallel to social divisions within Roman society, but at least officially the three lines were based upon age and experience rather than social class.

Young, unproven men would serve in the first line, older men with some military experience would serve in the second line, and veteran troops of advanced age and experience would serve in the third line. The heavy infantry of the maniples were supported by a number of light infantry and cavalry troops, typically horsemen per manipular legion.

The cavalry was drawn primarily from the richest class of equestrians. There was an additional class of troops who followed the army without specific martial roles and were deployed to the rear of the third line. Their role in accompanying the army was primarily to supply any vacancies that might occur in the maniples. The light infantry consisted of 1, unarmoured skirmishing troops drawn from the youngest and lower social classes. They were armed with a sword and a small shield, as well as several light javelins.

Rome's military confederation with the other peoples of the Italian peninsula meant that half of Rome's army was provided by the Socii , such as the Etruscans, Umbrians, Apulians, Campanians, Samnites, Lucani, Bruttii, and the various southern Greek cities. Polybius states that Rome could draw on , men at the beginning of the Second Punic War, of which , were infantry and 70, met the requirements for cavalry. Rome's Italian allies would be organized in alae , or wings , roughly equal in manpower to the Roman legions, though with cavalry instead of The " Togatus Barberini ", depicting a Roman senator holding the imagines effigies of deceased ancestors in his hands; marble, late 1st century BC; head not belonging : mid 1st century BC.

A small navy had operated at a fairly low level after about , but it was massively upgraded about forty years later, during the First Punic War. After a period of frenetic construction, the navy mushroomed to a size of more than ships on the Carthaginian "Punic" pattern.

Once completed, it could accommodate up to , sailors and embarked troops for battle. The navy thereafter declined in size. The extraordinary demands of the Punic Wars , in addition to a shortage of manpower, exposed the tactical weaknesses of the manipular legion, at least in the short term.

In , near the beginning of the Second Punic War , Rome was forced to effectively ignore its long-standing principle that its soldiers must be both citizens and property owners. During the 2nd century, Roman territory saw an overall decline in population, partially due to the huge losses incurred during various wars.

This was accompanied by severe social stresses and the greater collapse of the middle classes. As a result, the Roman state was forced to arm its soldiers at the expense of the state, which it did not have to do in the past. The distinction between the heavy infantry types began to blur, perhaps because the state was now assuming the responsibility of providing standard-issue equipment. In addition, the shortage of available manpower led to a greater burden being placed upon Rome's allies for the provision of allied troops.

Eventually, the Romans were forced to begin hiring mercenaries to fight alongside the legions. In a process known as the Marian reforms , Roman consul Gaius Marius carried out a programme of reform of the Roman military. In , all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for entry into the Roman army.

This move formalised and concluded a gradual process that had been growing for centuries, of removing property requirements for military service. The distinction among the three heavy infantry classes, which had already become blurred, had collapsed into a single class of heavy legionary infantry. The heavy infantry legionaries were drawn from citizen stock, while non-citizens came to dominate the ranks of the light infantry. The army's higher-level officers and commanders were still drawn exclusively from the Roman aristocracy.

Unlike earlier in the Republic, legionaries were no longer fighting on a seasonal basis to protect their land. Instead, they received standard pay, and were employed by the state on a fixed-term basis. As a consequence, military duty began to appeal most to the poorest sections of society, to whom a salaried pay was attractive. A destabilising consequence of this development was that the proletariat "acquired a stronger and more elevated position" within the state.

The legions of the late Republic were almost entirely heavy infantry. The main legionary sub-unit was a cohort of approximately infantrymen, further divided into six centuries of 80 men each. Each century comprised 10 "tent groups" of 8 men. Cavalry were used as scouts and dispatch riders, rather than as battlefield forces. Legions also contained a dedicated group of artillery crew of perhaps 60 men. Each legion was normally partnered with an approximately equal number of allied non-Roman troops.

The army's most obvious deficiency lay in its shortage of cavalry, especially heavy cavalry. Particularly in the East, Rome's slow-moving infantry legions were often confronted by fast-moving cavalry-troops, and found themselves at a tactical disadvantage. Following Rome's subjugation of the Mediterranean, its navy declined in size although it would undergo short-term upgrading and revitalisation in the late Republic to meet several new demands.

Julius Caesar assembled a fleet to cross the English Channel and invade Britannia. Pompey raised a fleet to deal with the Cilician pirates who threatened Rome's Mediterranean trading routes. During the civil war that followed, as many as a thousand ships were either constructed or pressed into service from Greek cities. Citizen families were headed by the family's oldest male, the pater familias , who was lawfully entitled to exercise complete authority patria potestas over family property and all family members.

Brutus, co-founder of the Republic, is supposed to have exercised the extreme form of this right when he executed his own sons for treachery. Citizenship offered legal protection and rights, but citizens who offended Rome's traditional moral code could be declared infamous , and lose certain legal and social privileges. Citizenship was also taxable, and undischarged debt was potentially a capital offence. A form of limited, theoretically voluntary slavery debt bondage, or nexum allowed wealthy creditors to negotiate payment of debt through bonded service.

Poor, landless citizens of the lowest class proletarii might contract their sons to a creditor, patron or third party employer to obtain an income, or to pay off family debts. Nexum was only abolished when slave labour became more readily available, most notably during the Punic wars. An inscribed funerary relief of Aurelius Hermia and his wife Aurelia Philematum, former slaves who married after their manumission, 80 BC, from a tomb along the Via Nomentana in Rome. Slaves were simultaneously family members and family property.

They could be bought, sold, acquired through warfare, or born and raised within their master's household,. They could also buy their freedom with money saved or the offer of future services as a freedman or woman, and their sons could be eligible for citizenship; this degree of social mobility was unusual in the ancient world.

Freed slaves and the master who freed them retained certain legal and moral mutual obligations. This was the bottom rung of one of Rome's fundamental social and economic institutions, the client-patron relationship. At the top rung were the senatorial families of the landowning nobility, both patrician and plebeian, bound by shifting allegiances and mutual competition.

A plebiscite of forbade senators and their sons to engage in substantial trade or money-lending. A wealthy equestrian class emerged, not subject to the same trading constraints as the senate. Citizen men and citizen women were expected to marry, produce as many children as possible, and improve — or at worst, conserve — their family's wealth, fortune, and public profile.

Marriage offered opportunities for political alliance and social advancement. Patricians usually married in a form known as confarreatio , which transferred the bride from her father's absolute control or "hand" manus to that of her husband. Patrician status could only be inherited through birth; an early law , introduced by the reactionary Decemviri but rescinded in , sought to prevent marriages between patricians and plebeians; any resulting offspring may not have been legally recognised.

Among ordinary plebeians, different marriage forms offered married women considerable more freedom than their patrician counterparts, until manus marriage was replaced by free marriage , in which the wife remained under the legal authority of her absent father, not her husband. Infant mortality was high. Towards the end of the Republic, the birthrate began to fall among the elite. Some wealthy, childless citizens resorted to adoption to provide male heirs for their estates, and to forge political alliances.

Adoption was subject to the senate's approval; the notoriously unconventional patrician politician Publius Clodius Pulcher had himself and his family adopted into a plebeian clan, so that he could hold a plebeian tribunate.

The Republic was created during a time of warfare, economic recession, food shortages, and plebeian debt. In wartime, plebeian farmers were liable to conscription. In peacetime, most depended on whatever cereal crops they could produce on small farming plots, allotted to them by the state, or by patrons. Soil fertility varied from place to place, and natural water sources were unevenly distributed throughout the landscape. In good years, a pleb small-holder might trade a small surplus, to meet his family's needs, or to buy the armatures required for his military service.

In other years, crop failure through soil exhaustion, adverse weather, disease or military incursions could lead to poverty, unsupported borrowing, and debt. Nobles invested much of their wealth in ever-larger, more efficient farming units, exploiting a range of soil conditions though mixed farming techniques. As farming was labour-intensive, and military conscription reduced the pool of available manpower, over time the wealthy became ever more reliant upon the increasingly plentiful slave-labour provided by successful military campaigns.

Well managed agricultural estates helped provide for clients and dependents, support an urban family home, and fund the owner's public and military career. Large estates yielded cash for bribes, and security for borrowing.

Later Roman moralists idealised farming as an intrinsically noble occupation: Cincinnatus left off his ploughing reluctantly, to serve as dictator , and returned once his state duties were done. In law, land taken by conquest was ager publicus public land.

In practise, much of it was exploited by the nobility, using slaves rather than free labour. Rome's expansionist wars and colonisations were at least partly driven by the land-hunger of displaced peasants, who must otherwise join the swelling, dependent population of urban plebs. At the end of the second Punic War, Rome added the fertile ager Campanus , suitable for intense cultivation of vines, olives and cereals.

Like the grain-fields of Sicily — seized after the same conflict — it was likely farmed extra-legally by leading landowners, using slave-gangs. A portion of Sicily's grain harvest was sent to Rome as tribute , for redistribution by the aediles.

The urban plebs increasingly relied on firstly subsidised, then free grain. With the introduction of aqueducts from , suburban market-farms could be supplied with run-off or waste aqueduct water. Perishable commodities such as flowers for perfumes, and festival garlands , fresh grapes, vegetables and orchard fruits, and small livestock such as pigs and chickens, could be farmed close to municipal and urban markets. In the early 2nd century Cato the Elder tried to block the illicit tapping of rural aqueducts by the elite, who thus exploited the increased productivity of cheaply bought, formerly "dry" farmland; a law was duly passed, but fines for abuses, and taxes on profits, proved more realistic solutions than an outright ban.

Food surpluses, no matter how obtained, kept prices low. Faced with increasing competition from provincial and allied grain suppliers, many Roman farmers turned to more profitable crops, especially grapes for wine production. By the late Republican era, Roman wine had been transformed from an indifferent local product for local consumption, to a major domestic and export commodity. Roman writers have little to say about large-scale stock-breeding, but make passing references to its profitability.

Drummond speculates that this might reflect elite preoccupations with historical grain famines, or long-standing competition between agriculturalists and pastoralists. While agriculture was a seasonal practise, pasturage was a year-round requirement. Some of Republican Rome's early agricultural legislation sought to balance the competing public grazing rights of small farmers, the farming elite, and transhumant pastoralists, who maintained an ancient right to herd, graze and water their animals between low-lying winter pastures and upland summer pastures.

From the early second century, transhumance was practised on a vast scale, as an investment opportunity. Though meat and hides were valuable by products of stock-raising, cattle were primarily reared to pull carts and ploughs, and sheep were bred for their wool, the mainstay of the Roman clothing industry. Horses, mules and donkeys were bred as civil and military transport.

Pigs bred prolifically, and could be raised at little cost by any small farmer with rights to pannage. Their central dietary role is reflected by their use as sacrificial victims in domestic cults, funerals, and cults to agricultural deities. The Temple of Portunus , god of grain storage, keys, livestock and ports.

Rome, built between —80 BC. Republican Rome's religious practises harked back to Rome's quasi-mythical history. Romulus , a son of Mars , founded Rome after Jupiter granted him favourable bird-signs regarding the site. Numa Pompilius , second king of Rome, had established Rome's basic religious and political institutions after direct instructions from the gods, given through augury, dreams and oracle.

Each king thereafter was credited with some form of divinely approved innovation, adaptation or reform. An Imperial-era source claims that the Republic's first consul, Brutus, effectively abolished human sacrifice to the goddess Mania , instituted by the last king, Tarquinius. Romans acknowledged the existence of innumerable deities who controlled the natural world and human affairs. Every individual, occupation and location had a protective tutelary deity , or sometimes several.

Each was associated with a particular, highly prescriptive form of prayer and sacrifice. Piety pietas was the correct, dutiful and timely performance of such actions. The well-being of each Roman household was thought to depend on daily cult to its Lares and Penates guardian deities, or spirits , ancestors, and the divine generative essence embodied within its pater familias. A family which neglected its religious responsibilities could not expect to prosper.

The well-being of the Roman state depended on its state deities, whose opinions and will could be discerned by priests and magistrates, trained in augury, haruspicy , oracles and the interpretation of omens. Impieties in state religion could produce expressions of divine wrath such as social unrest, wars, famines and epidemics, vitiate the political process, render elections null and void, and lead to the abandonment of planned treaties, wars and any government business.

Accidental errors could be remedied by repeating the rite correctly, or by an additional sacrifice; outright sacrilege threatened the bonds between the human and divine, and carried the death penalty. As divine retribution was invoked in the lawful swearing of oaths and vows, oath-breakers forfeited their right to divine protection, and might be killed with impunity. Roman religious authorities were unconcerned with personal beliefs or privately funded cults, unless they offended natural or divine laws, or undermined the mos maiorum roughly, "the way of the ancestors" ; the relationship between gods and mortals should be sober, contractual, and of mutual benefit.

Undignified grovelling, excessive enthusiasm superstitio and secretive practises were "weak minded" and morally suspect. Magical practises were officially banned, as attempts to subvert the will of the gods for personal gain, but were probably common among all classes. Private cult organisations that seemed to threaten Rome's political and priestly hierarchy were investigated by the Senate, with advice from the priestly colleges.

The Republic's most notable religious suppression was that of the Bacchanalia , a widespread, unofficial, enthusiastic cult to the Greek wine-god Bacchus. The cult organisation was ferociously suppressed , and its deity was absorbed within the official cult to Rome's own wine-god, Liber.

The official recognition, adoption and supervision of foreign deities and practices, whether Etruscan , Sabine , Latin or colonial Greek , had been an important unitary feature in Rome's territorial expansion and dominance since the days of the kings.

The gods were thought to communicate their wrath ira deorum through prodigies unnatural or aberrant phenomena. During the crisis of the Second Punic War an unprecedented number of reported prodigies were expiated, in more than twenty days of public ritual and sacrifices. Following Rome's disastrous defeat at Cannae , the State's most prominent written oracle recommended the living burial of human victims in the Forum Boarium to placate the gods.

Livy describes this "bloodless" human sacrifice as an abhorrent but pious necessity; Rome's eventual victory confirmed the gods' approval. Starting in the mid-Republican era, some leading Romans publicly displayed special, sometimes even intimate relationships with particular deities. For instance, Scipio Africanus claimed Jupiter as a personal mentor. Some gentes claimed a divine descent, often thanks to a false etymology of their name; the Caecilii Metelli pretended to descend from Vulcan through his son Caeculus , the Mamilii from Circe through her granddaughter Mamilia, the Julii Caesares and the Aemilii from Venus through her grandsons Iulus and Aemylos.

In the 1st century, Sulla , Pompey , and Caesar made competing claims for Venus' favour. With the abolition of monarchy, some of its sacral duties were shared by the consuls, while others passed to a Republican rex sacrorum king of the sacred rites" , a patrician "king", elected for life, with great prestige but no executive or kingly powers. Rome had no specifically priestly class or caste. As every family's pater familias was responsible for his family's cult activities, he was effectively the senior priest of his own household.

Likewise, most priests of public cult were expected to marry, produce children, and support their families. In the early Republic the patricians, as "fathers" to the Roman people, claimed the right of seniority to lead and control the state's relationship with the divine. Patrician families, in particular the Cornelii , Postumii and Valerii , monopolised the leading state priesthoods: the flamines of Jupiter , Mars and Quirinus , as well as the pontifices.

The patrician Flamen Dialis employed the "greater auspices" auspicia maiora to consult with Jupiter on significant matters of State. Twelve "lesser flaminates" Flamines minores , were open to plebeians, or reserved to them. They included a Flamen Cerealis in service of Ceres , goddess of grain and growth, and protector of plebeian laws and tribunes.

The plebs had their own forms of augury, which they credited to Marsyas , a satyr or silen in the entourage of Liber, plebeian god of grapes, wine, freedom and male fertility. The priesthoods of local urban and rustic Compitalia street-festivals, dedicated to the Lares of local communities, were open to freedmen and slaves, to whom "even the heavy-handed Cato recommended liberality during the festival"; so that the slaves, "being softened by this instance of humanity, which has something great and solemn about it, may make themselves more agreeable to their masters and be less sensible of the severity of their condition".

Denarius of Lucius Caesius, — BC. On the obverse is Apollo , as written on the monogram behind his head, who also wears the attributes of Vejovis , an obscure deity. The obverse depicts a group of statues representing the Lares Praestites , which was described by Ovid. The Lex Ogulnia gave patricians and plebeians more-or-less equal representation in the augural and pontifical colleges; other important priesthoods, such as the Quindecimviri "The Fifteen" , and the epulones were opened to any member of the senatorial class.

To restrain the accumulation and potential abuse of priestly powers, each gens was permitted one priesthood at any given time, and the religious activities of senators were monitored by the censors. Magistrates who held an augurate could claim divine authority for their position and policies. In the late Republic, augury came under the control of the pontifices , whose powers were increasingly woven into the civil and military cursus honorum.

Eventually, the office of pontifex maximus became a de facto consular prerogative. Some cults may have been exclusively female; for example, the rites of the Good Goddess Bona Dea. Towards the end of the second Punic War, Rome rewarded priestesses of Demeter from Graeca Magna with Roman citizenship for training respectable, leading matrons as sacerdotes of "Greek rites" to Ceres.

Every matron of a family the wife of its pater familias had a religious duty to maintain the household fire, which was considered an extension of Vesta's sacred fire, tended in perpetuity by the chaste Vestal Virgins.

The Vestals also made the sacrificial mola salsa employed in many State rituals, and represent an essential link between domestic and state religion. Rome's survival was thought to depend on their sacred status and ritual purity. Vestals found guilty of inchastity were "willingly" buried alive, to expiate their offence and avoid the imposition of blood-guilt on those who inflicted the punishment.

Inside the "Temple of Mercury" or Temple of Echo at Baiae , containing one of the largest domes in the world before the building of the Pantheon, Rome in the 2nd century AD. Rome's major public temples were contained within the city's sacred, augural boundary pomerium , which had supposedly been marked out by Romulus, with Jupiter's approval. Among the settled areas outside the pomerium was the nearby Aventine Hill. It was traditionally associated with Romulus' unfortunate twin, Remus , and in later history with the Latins, and the Roman plebs.

The Aventine seems to have functioned as a place for the introduction of "foreign" deities. Later introductions include Summanus , c. While Ceres' Aventine temple was most likely built at patrician expense, to mollify the plebs , the patricians brought the Magna Mater "Great mother of the Gods" to Rome as their own "Trojan" ancestral goddess, and installed her on the Palatine, along with her distinctively "un-Roman" Galli priesthood.

Romulus was said to have pitched his augural tent atop the Palatine. Beneath its southern slopes ran the sacred way , next to the former palace of the kings Regia , the House of the Vestals and Temple of Vesta. Close by were the Lupercal shrine and the cave where Romulus and Remus were said to have been suckled by the she-wolf. On the flat area between the Aventine and Palatine was the Circus Maximus , which hosted chariot races and religious games.

Its several shrines and temples included those to Rome's indigenous sun-god, Sol , the moon-goddess Luna , the grain-storage god, Consus , and the obscure goddess Murcia. A temple to Hercules stood in the Forum Boarium , near the Circus starting gate. Every district Vicus of the city had a crossroads shrine to its own protective Lares. Whereas Republican and thereafter, Imperial Romans marked the passage of years with the names of their ruling consuls, their calendars marked the anniversaries of religious foundations to particular deities, the days when official business was permitted fas , and those when it was not nefas.

The Romans observed an eight-day week; markets were held on the ninth day. Each month was presided over by a particular, usually major deity. The oldest calendars were lunar, structured around the most significant periods in the agricultural cycle, and the religious duties required to yield a good harvest.

Denarius of Caesar, minted just before his murder, in 44 BC. It was the first Roman coin bearing the portrait of a living person. The lituus and culullus depicted behind his head refer to his augurate and pontificate. The reverse with Venus alludes to his claimed descent from the goddess. Before any campaign or battle, Roman commanders took auspices , or haruspices , to seek the gods' opinion regarding the likely outcome.

Military success was achieved through a combination of personal and collective virtus roughly, "manly virtue" and divine will. Triumphal generals dressed as Jupiter Capitolinus, and laid their victor's laurels at his feet. Religious negligence, or lack of virtus , provoked divine wrath and led to military disaster. Military oaths dedicated the oath-takers life to Rome's gods and people; defeated soldiers were expected to take their own lives, rather than survive as captives.

Examples of devotio , as performed by the Decii Mures , in which soldiers offered and gave their lives to the Di inferi gods of the underworld in exchange for Roman victory were celebrated as the highest good. Some of Republican Rome's leading deities were acquired through military actions.

In the earliest years of the Republic, Camillus promised Veii's goddess Juno a temple in Rome as incentive for her desertion evocatio. He conquered the city in her name, brought her cult statue to Rome "with miraculous ease" and dedicated a temple to her on the Aventine Hill. The first known temple to Venus was built to fulfil a vow made by Q.

Fabius Gurges during battle against the Samnites. Attempts to address these social problems, such as the reform movements of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus in B. Gaius Marius, a commoner whose military prowess elevated him to the position of consul for the first of six terms in B. By 91 B. After Sulla retired, one of his former supporters, Pompey, briefly served as consul before waging successful military campaigns against pirates in the Mediterranean and the forces of Mithridates in Asia.

During this same period, Marcus Tullius Cicero , elected consul in 63 B. When the victorious Pompey returned to Rome, he formed an uneasy alliance known as the First Triumvirate with the wealthy Marcus Licinius Crassus who suppressed a slave rebellion led by Spartacus in 71 B.

After earning military glory in Spain, Caesar returned to Rome to vie for the consulship in 59 B. From his alliance with Pompey and Crassus, Caesar received the governorship of three wealthy provinces in Gaul beginning in 58 B. With old-style Roman politics in disorder, Pompey stepped in as sole consul in 53 B. In 49 B.

With Octavian leading the western provinces, Antony the east, and Lepidus Africa, tensions developed by 36 B. In 31 B. In the wake of this devastating defeat, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. By 29 B. In 27 B. He instituted various social reforms, won numerous military victories and allowed Roman literature, art, architecture and religion to flourish.

Augustus ruled for 56 years, supported by his great army and by a growing cult of devotion to the emperor. When he died, the Senate elevated Augustus to the status of a god, beginning a long-running tradition of deification for popular emperors.

The line ended with Nero , whose excesses drained the Roman treasury and led to his downfall and eventual suicide. The reign of Nerva , who was selected by the Senate to succeed Domitian, began another golden age in Roman history, during which four emperors—Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius—took the throne peacefully, succeeding one another by adoption, as opposed to hereditary succession.

Under Antoninus Pius , Rome continued in peace and prosperity, but the reign of Marcus Aurelius — was dominated by conflict, including war against Parthia and Armenia and the invasion of Germanic tribes from the north. When Marcus fell ill and died near the battlefield at Vindobona Vienna , he broke with the tradition of non-hereditary succession and named his year-old son Commodus as his successor. The decadence and incompetence of Commodus brought the golden age of the Roman emperors to a disappointing end.

His death at the hands of his own ministers sparked another period of civil war , from which Lucius Septimius Severus emerged victorious. During the third century Rome suffered from a cycle of near-constant conflict. A total of 22 emperors took the throne, many of them meeting violent ends at the hands of the same soldiers who had propelled them to power. Meanwhile, threats from outside plagued the empire and depleted its riches, including continuing aggression from Germans and Parthians and raids by the Goths over the Aegean Sea.

The reign of Diocletian temporarily restored peace and prosperity in Rome, but at a high cost to the unity of the empire. Diocletian divided power into the so-called tetrarchy rule of four , sharing his title of Augustus emperor with Maximian. A pair of generals, Galerius and Constantius, were appointed as the assistants and chosen successors of Diocletian and Maximian; Diocletian and Galerius ruled the eastern Roman Empire, while Maximian and Constantius took power in the west.

The stability of this system suffered greatly after Diocletian and Maximian retired from office. Constantine the son of Constantius emerged from the ensuing power struggles as sole emperor of a reunified Rome in He moved the Roman capital to the Greek city of Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. Roman unity under Constantine proved illusory, and 30 years after his death the eastern and western empires were again divided.

Despite its continuing battle against Persian forces, the eastern Roman Empire—later known as the Byzantine Empire —would remain largely intact for centuries to come. Rome eventually collapsed under the weight of its own bloated empire, losing its provinces one by one: Britain around ; Spain and northern Africa by Attila and his brutal Huns invaded Gaul and Italy around , further shaking the foundations of the empire.

The fall of the Roman Empire was complete. Roman architecture and engineering innovations have had a lasting impact on the modern world. Roman aqueducts, first developed in B. Some Roman aqueducts transported water up to 60 miles from its source and the Fountain of Trevi in Rome still relies on an updated version of an original Roman aqueduct. Roman cement and concrete are part of the reason ancient buildings like the Colosseum and Roman Forum are still standing strong today. Roman arches, or segmented arches, improved upon earlier arches to build strong bridges and buildings, evenly distributing weight throughout the structure.

Roman roads, the most advanced roads in the ancient world, enabled the Roman Empire—which was over 1. They included such modern-seeming innovations as mile markers and drainage. Over 50, miles of road were built by B. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Over the next eight and a half centuries, it grew from a small town of pig farmers into a vast empire that stretched from England to Egypt and completely The most influential empire in all of ancient times, Rome, at its peak, encompassed most of continental Europe, Britain, much of western Asia, northern Africa and the Mediterranean islands.

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The Roman Empire Explained in 12 Minutes

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