The roman Civilization:
Picture of Roman Empire, Monalisa, Pompey, Julius Ceaser
Objective: To find out the social economic and political changes of Roman civilization and appreciate and adopt these changes in life.
The Roman Civilization, centered in Italy is often considered as the bridge through which the ideas of Greeks and their civilization traveled to Europe.
The city of Rome was founded about 1000 B.C. in the district of Latium south of the River Tiber. The language of the ancient Romans- Latin gets its name from Latium. The early Romans had a king, an Assembly, and a Senate. The Assembly consisted of all the male citizens of military age. The Senate consisted of heads of clans which was a powerful body and could use veto power on any proposal of the king and Assembly.
Roman society was divided into two classes. The Patricians were the upper class and consisted of the aristocrats and big landlords who could control the Senate. The plebeians were the lower class consisting of workers, farmers, artisans, small traders, and soldiers. The plebeians were forced to pay heavy taxes and were often punished. They revolted in the 5th century B.C. and Patricians were forced to grant some more rights to them. They won the right to elect their representatives who could use veto power on Senate. They also got codification of laws written in the wooden tables known as ‘Law of Twelve tables’.
When Romans attempted to seize Sicily Island, the revelry between Romans and Carthaginians started. Carthage opposed it and the war began. The series of wars between them is known as the ‘Punic War’ in the history of the world and lasted from 264 to 146 B.C. The Romans defeated brave general Hannibal and Carthage. The whole city was destroyed and Carthaginians were sold like slaves. When these slaves revolted against their masters for inhuman treatment, 70,000 slaves were killed.
The Roman Empire:
There was famous Roman army general like Pompey and Julius Ceaser. There was a clash between them and Pompey was assassinated. Thus, Julius Ceaser became the master (ruler) of the Roman Empire. After the death of Julius Ceaser, Mark Antony, Lepidus, and Poteoctavean ruled over Rome. They killed the Ceaser’s assassins. Octavian became the Roman Emperor in 37 B.C. and ruled over it for 24 years. He made many reforms in Rome. He established post offices, organized the state, checked corruption, and protected common people very well. His period is called the ‘Golden Age’ in the history of the world. Roman Empire influenced entire Europe and reached up to America. Its a contribution to today’s world is great especially, in the field of the legal system, government, army, language, and sculpture.
Due to absolute monarchy replacing the republic system, slavery, inhumanity, and social discrimination, Roman Civilization declined.
Life and Culture of the Romans:
The early Romans lived mostly on agriculture and raised sheep and cattle. They used their own clothes from flax and wool and utensils of clay and wood. Every family worshipped Vesta, the goddess of hearth who protected their homes. Though it was a male-dominated society, the male members honored their women and they participated in politics and business freely.
When Rome was expanded, the life of the Romans changed and the society was divided into 4 classes. They were the Aristocrats, who owned large states and held high public posts, wealthy merchants and bankers, plebeians, and slaves.