The Western Roman Empire - the Rise & Fall

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Rome Pages: 8 (2616 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Western Roman Empire

A map depicting the separate empires of Rome|
Mediterranean Society: The Roman Phase

From Kingdom To Republic

The Etruscans and Rome

(Previous Wiki notes) There are many different versions on how Rome started the ones told to kids are very simple with very few names: .Ancient Rome for Kids The story of Romulus and Remus for adults have dates, more names and details: Wolf Country, Myth and Stories You can find many versions of myths, however the version the text book talks about Aeneas, a refugee from Troy who migrated to Italy when Greek invaders destroyed his land. Tow of his decedents, twins; Romulus and Remus, almost didn't survive infancy because and evil uncle abandoned them by a flooded Tiber River. A she-wolf found them and nursed them back to health. When the boys grew older, Romulus founded the city of Rome and established himself as its first kind in 753 B.C.E. However scholars tell a different story. Some Greek historians believe that Aeneas settled at Rome, which was a small city-state. In the fourth century B.C., Rome began to expand and Romans came into greater contact with the Greeks, which suggest that Aeneas has a role in the creation of the great city. In the first century B.C., the Roman Poet Virgil developed the Aeneas myth in his epic poem the Aeneid, which talked about Aeneas’ journey to Rome. Augustus, the first Roman emperor and emperor during Virgil’s time, and Julius Caesar, his great uncle and predecessor as the Roman ruler, were known to be decedents of Aeneas. ( Information founded in the article: This Day in History: Rome founded) The text book talks about how Indo-Europeans migrated crossed the Alps and settled through the Italian peninsula, including the future site of Rome.

The Roman Republic and Its Constitution
The Romans got rid of the last Etruscan king in 509 B.C.E. The republican constution had two consuls; military and civil. These consuls were elected by an assembly that was dominated by the high class, or patricians. There was also a senate which advised the consuls and helped ratify major decisions. Because both the senate and consuls represented only the interests of the patricians there were many conflicts between the patricians and the lower class, or plebeians. To solve these conflicts, the patricians gave the plebeians tribunes, or people the plebeians could elect to speak for them. The tribunes had the power to intervene and veto decisions. The plebeians began to gain power, by the early third century B.C.E the plebeians' tribunes dominated Roman politics.

From Republic To Empire

Imperial Expansion and Domestic Problems
During the second and first centuries B.C.E, the relations between the classes were so strained that there was much conflict and violence. Two brothers, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus worked to spread the land possesion and tried to limit the ammount of land a certain person could hold. Unfortunately though, they were both assasinated for fear of gaining influence over Roman affairs. The people that were in control of the political power, were of a small class that used the power to only help themselves and their class. In 87 B.C.E Marius marched on Rome and during the first century B.C.E, Rome was in civil war. When Marius died the next year, Sulla planned to take power and soon did in 83 B.C.E. Many conservatives supported Sulla because he imposed many conservative legislation.

The Foundation of Empire
Julius Caesar seized Rome in 49 B.C.E by being a very popular public figure. He believed strongly in social reform and conquered Gaul. He was responsible for a lot of social reforms and changed the gonvernment to centralized control. Caesar claimed the title "dictator for life", which earned him his assasination in 44 B.C.E. After Caesar was killed, his adopted son, Octavian, after defeating Mark Antony, took over Rome and brought civil conflict to an end. The senate bestowed the title "Augustus," to him...
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