top-rated free essay

Ancient Rome

By iloveyou555 Jul 08, 2013 1005 Words
Ancient Rome
The culture of ancient Rome existed for 1200 years and started in the 8th century BC. Rome started off as a small town and grew into an empire that included much of Europe, Britain, western Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean islands. For 450 years it was a Republic and with Julius Caesar ruling it became an empire. The Romance languages, the modern western alphabet, the modern western calendar, and Christianity all emerged in ancient Rome. Augustus reigned as the first emperor and led the empire into prosperity. In the fifth century AD the empire of Rome experienced one of the biggest falls of any civilization.

Rome was founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus; sons of the god of war. Romulus killed his brother Remus and became Rome’s first king and also named after him. Latin, Sabine, and Etruscan kings followed after him. Rome went from a monarchy to a republic under the rule of Lucius Tarquinius in 509 BC. In the early republic politics was mainly based on conflicts between patricians and the common people, plebeians, who wanted to gain some political power. Roman law codes called the Twelve Tables were created in 450 BC. The codes had legal procedures, civil rights, property rights, and civil law. The senate, made up of patrician members and plebeians, mainly held political power. The early republic marked growth in size and power for the empire.

The military was under the leadership of Camillus. Under Camillus Rome gained control of the Italian peninsula and won the Punic Wars taking control of Sicily, most of Spain, Carthage, northern Africa, and Macedonia. The military led to growth of Roman culture, Greek influences effected art, religion, and philosophy. During the late republic Rome began to struggle. Political institutions began to fall, the classes were parting more and more, and government access was limited. Reform movements were attempted, but not successful. The rise of Julius Caesar began in 45 BC, he became dictator of Rome after he started a civil war. Enemies killed Caesar less than a year after his dictatorship started. Octavian, better known as Augustus, took over and became the first emperor of Rome, ruling for 56 years until his death. Augustus led Rome into two centuries of prosperity and peace, including military victories and social reforms. Many successful emperors ruled after him until it came to Commodus leading the empire to another civil war, but ended in defeat. The next 22 emperors all ran into major conflicts. Ultimately the Roman Empire collapsed losing one province at a time.

Life revolved around the city of Rome. The city included the seven hills and famous monumental structure; the coliseum, the forum of Trajan, and the Pantheon. The majority of the people lived in the city center with theaters, gymnasiums, taverns, baths, and brothels. Rome was the largest megalopolis at the time, with the population over 1 million. Italy was the most urbanized country, with 32% of the population living in urban areas. The large populations required lots of food. The cuisine was influenced by Greek culture. It was also affected by political changes from a republic to an empire, and expansion. There were many Italian farms and aqueducts were built to bring water to urban centers. The city had 11 aqueducts totaling 350 kilometers.. Wine and oil was imported from Hispania, Gaul, and Africa. Transportation along with other technology was efficient. They were very advanced when it came to sanitation. Romans were famous for there thermae, baths, toliets that could flush, indoor plumbing, and their sewer systems.

The art of Rome started in 500 BC. Etruscans, ancient Greece, Hellenistic styles, and ancient Egypt influenced the art of Rome. Metal work, coin die, gem engraving, ivory carvings, figurine glass and pottery, and book illustrations were some of the minor art forms. After the Romans conquered Greece they took art from the towns and even took sculptors to Rome as slaves. Compared to the Greeks, their sculptures and statues were a lot more realistic. Wall paintings known as Frescoes were popular in the first century AD. They liked to paint battles, mythological, and everyday scenes. Mosaics were also a popular art form, made up of small tiles pieces fitting together like a puzzle to make up a picture. In 300 AD their art began to show influences of Christianity. The art was less graphic and sculptures eyes were looking up toward heaven. Sculptures were of emperors, generals, and senators still not in perfect proportions, the body was less important than the face.

Wine was and still is popular in Rome, playing a pivotal role in wine history. The earliest influences were the Ancient Greeks and Etruscans. The rise of the Roman Empire led to a rise in technology. The awareness of winemaking was spread around all of the empire. Rome had an impact on the major winemaking regions of today including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Wine was available to all classes, even peasants, it was believed to be a daily necessity of life. Merchants were spreading Roman influence, even before the Roman military, by trading wines with Native Tribes, mainly Gaul and Germania. Cato, Columella, Horace, Palladius, Pliny, Varro, and Virgirl were writers who wrote about the role of wine in their culture including a contemporary understanding of winemaking and viticultural practices. Many of their techniques and principles are used in modern winemaking.

Popular activities of the empire were jumping, wrestling, racing, boxing, fishing, hunting, and dice, board, and gambling games. Gladiatorial combats were a very popular form of entertainment. Gladiators would fight until death or until one would get hurt. Chariot racing as also popular, apart of the Circus Maximus, a popular area also for horse racing, marketing, and gambling.

Works Cited

 "Ancient Rome." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.

"Culture in Ancient Roman - Crystalinks." Culture in Ancient Roman - Crystalinks. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.

 "Roman Art." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Han vs. Rome

    ...C.E.) • Mauryan/Gupta India (320 B.C.E.–550 C.E.) • Imperial Rome (31 B.C.E.–476 C.E.) Answer: The Roman Empire seems to have upheld monarchy, aristocracy and democracy together in Rome. Rome was divided into two classes, one being the Patricians, which were the small group of aristocratic people and the second being ...

    Read More
  • The Fall of Rome and Republicanism

    ...The Fall of Republicanism and Rome Why did Rome fall? Some say Rome fell because Roman Empire was just too big, making it collapse. Others say the empire spent too much of its resources on the poor, drawing away much needed funds from the empire. Another theory was that plagues reduced the population to the point it could not sustai...

    Read More
  • Social Structure in Ancient Rome

    ...Social Structure in Ancient Rome Europe: Unity and Diversity EURO1111 Louis MA KAI HO (12011959) December 18, 2012 2 Social Structure in Ancient Rome Introduction After few months of study of the ancient Europe, from the ancient Greek polis to the Roman Empire to the development of Christianity to the Medieval Europe, the concept of ...

    Read More
  • Constantine I and Rome

    ...A Comparison Of The Decline Of Han China And The Roman Empire A Comparison of the Decline of Han China and the Roman Empire       The decline of China and Rome both shared similar economic strife in that they were both subject to barbarian and nomadic invasions, therefore having to spend large amounts of money on frontier defense; however, ...

    Read More
  • The Aeneid and the Glory of Rome

    ...The Aeneid and the Glory of Rome Between 43 and 32 BC Rome was split up through the second triumvirate upon the death of Caesar. The triumvirate was a way to split the military and political power because the senate feared that they would once again fall under a dictatorship, which is the ultimate reason Julius Caesar was murdered. Civil war...

    Read More
  • Rome before 264BC

    ...Discuss the military, political, social and economic strengths and weaknesses of Rome by 264BC The Romans had a basic law of sorts, called the laws of the Twelve Tables. This governed a lot of Roman daily life and proceedings, and was the basis of a sort of equal rights scheme for the plebeian class. In addition to this, the Lex Hortensia, pass...

    Read More
  • Bad Essay on Administration of Imperial Rome and Han China

    ...Although both Han China and Imperial Rome had large, long lasting empires with similar economies and some similar policies centralized governments and similar administrative policies regarding land reform, their techniques of imperial administration differed in terms of how it came to be and how emperors ruled. One major similarity between th...

    Read More
  • Augustus, The Greatest Ruler of Rome

    ...3c; 4a, 4b + Final essay. You may and are encouraged to revise any worksheet. Be sure to include the original worksheet with Luke’s comments as well as the revised version. Please hand in the portfolio in a soft folder like this: Gaius Octavius, later renamed Augustus, was one of the greatest rulers of Rome. He was the founder of the R...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.