Chapter 5 : The Roman Empire Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 5 : The Roman Empire Deck (23):

Where did Rome develop from

It developed from the villages built on hills near the river Tiber. They formed Rome by all joining together.


Who did they take over

They took over the rest of Italy, most of Europe and parts of the Middle East and North Africa.


How long did it last and when did it end

It lasted for 1000 years and collapsed in 476 AD.


How do we know about the Romans

Archaeologists, some of the buildings are still standing, Pompeii and Herculaneum.


Pompeii and Herculaneum

Vesuvius erupted in 79AD and buried Pompeii under a layer of ash and pumice. Herculaneum was covered by lava and mud. Ash and mud preserved objects, and remain in good condition.



Freeborn men and women were known as citizens. They had the right to vote, work and travel place to place. They were divided into the patricians (rich) and the plebeians (poor). The slaves were at the bottom. How many slaves showed the wealth of a patrician. Slaves were not free and had to wear an identity tag in case of escape.



Patricians directed work but did little themselves, though some served as army generals or politicians. Wealthy Romans had free time and went to the baths or games. Educated but not very rich Romans could work as architects, doctors or teachers. Plebeians worked in shops or as trades men as bakers, jewellers or carpenters. They worked hard and couldn't afford to miss a day of work. The worst work was carried out by the slave.



Very important part. Millions worked for the rich. No rights and completely at mercy of their owner. So common that only few thought it was wrong. Could be captured in battle, bought and sold when captured from far away lands, sometimes were criminals or were born to slave parents. Were expected to work to their skills such as child carers, cooks, doctors or teachers. Greek scholars were bought as tutors for the education of their rich children. Slaves like this were treated well. Could be freed if their master wrote that in their will when they die. They had a ceremony called a manumission, they were set free when touched with a vindicta stick and wore a straw cap of Liberty to show their freedom. Life was misery for other slaves. Forced to carry out tough manual labour in salt mines and quarries. They died at a young age. They were bought at a slave market. They were paraded in front of masters. The younger and stronger were expensive. Others became gladiators. This gave better conditions, and freedom if they won a certain amount of contests, but some died before victory.



Rich Roman house was a domus. One storey. Entrance hall called atrium beyond hall door, open skylight let in cool breezes and skylight and decorative pond that collected rainwater. Bedroom and kitchen led off from atrium. Walled garden called peristyle at rear of house. Little furniture, mainly beds and benches. Decorated with wall paintings called murals and tiny pieces of tiles set into the floor called mosaics. Outsides were plain on the outside and were covered in graffiti, windows were small to stop breaking in. Private houses had own water supply by paying to have a lead pipe connected to the aqueduct system which supplied water from the mountains. Most Romans lived in high flats called insulae. Some were in good condition and reasonably prices, others in bad conditions with no water or toilets. Some were five or six storeys high. The higher the cheaper as food and drink were carried up on ladders. Sewage and waste were carried down or thrown onto the streets. Stepping stones were placed on the street to avoid rubbish.


Arts and crafts

Many skilled craftsmen. Mosaics took skill and patience, coloured stones were placed in a wet mortar. It's thought that artists visited homes of rich Romans with pattern book or mosaics or frescos. They make thousand of clay pots which were sold in shops or at the market in the forum. They discovered the art of glass-blowing, allowing them to shape the glass.


The forum

The market place at the centre. People bought wine, bread, meat, fruits and vegetables. Very busy, especially on every eighth day when the market was on. People met friends, businessmen struck deals and citizens discussed major political stories of the day. The Via Sacra runs through the middle. The Roman army marched through when winning a battle



Light meals. Breakfast was bread. Lunch was fruit and cheese. The main meal was around 5pm. The meal would have three separate courses and would last several hours for the rich. They had starters like stuffed olives, oysters and dormice. They had pig, boars head,most rich and lobster for the main. They ate honey cakes, dats, grapes, fruit and nuts for dessert. The lay on long couches and ate food with their hands. Poor ate lentil or barley soup and meat stewed in vinegar. The poor got free grain known as dole from the government.



They wore a tunic with a belt. Men's went beneath the knee and women's went lower. Men wore togas when outdoors. Women wore a palla. Both men and women wore sandals.


Circus maximus

Circus Maximus was used for chariot racing. It could fit 250,000 people. The Blues, greens, white and Reds were the groups and had fans like football teams. Rival fans clashed. The race was seven laps around an oval track. There were few rules and crashes were common. They were strapped in. They carried a knife in case they were in trouble to cut free.


The colosseum

Fights were between gladiators to entertain the Romans. They used to watch behind a wooden fence, by put then oval amphitheatres were built. It could sit 50,000 people. Gladiators were slaves, criminals or men who owed money. They were trained in special schools. Sometimes they were blindfolded or fought against wild animals. Some North African lions became extinct because so many were bring imported. The crowd decided the fate of the loser. They cheered for yes and booed for no. The emperor would thumbs up or thumbs down. Successful gladiators received money and were treated well. Their names would be written on the walls of houses. They could be set free with a certain number of victories. They were presented with a symbol that meant they didn't have to fight for their lives, a wooden sword.


The baths

They were a social place. They had a frigidarium (cold room), tepidarium (warm room) and caldarium (hot room). The floors were heated and people had to wear wooden sandals. They scrubbed themselves with olive oil and a strigil. There was also a gym, exercise yard, barber, shops, libraries and restaurants.


A child

Were reared by mother until seven. They accompanied their fathers and learned to become farmers, craftsmen and soldiers. Wealthy attended school to learn to read and write. They wrote on wax tablets so they would wipe out mistakes. They were beaten if they failed. Rich boy teenagers attended grammar school until 16 and learned Greek, history, geography and maths, studied work of authors Plato and Aristotle. They had to learn public speaking (oratory). They played games and went to the baths after school. They played marbles, rolling hoops, football and pigs bladder. Boys could marry at 14, girls could marry at 12. They could not chooses. Their fathers chose. The night before wedding, the girl returned her birth charm of leather or gold (bulla) to her father and gave away toys. This meant that her childhood was over.



Believed in different gods. Had a small church (shrine) where offerings of the gods were placed next to statues. They believed this would give protection. Superstitious and could tell future by examining weather and animals behaviour. Good if chickens were feeding well, bad if chickens were eating lightly. Bees were good, owls were bad. Jupiter, Juno, Mars, Venus, Neptune, Mercury. Gods had their own temple, Jupiters was the most important. People prayed for favours and and left sacrifices of animals and money. The altar was outside the main entrance. Sacrifices of animals were sacrificed on holy days. A special priest (haruspex) would examine the liver. If it showed sign of disease that meant that it was a bad sign for the future and the gods were angry.


Burial customs

A rich person was laid in the atrium for their friends and family to say their last goodbyes. A coin was placed in the dead persons mouth to pay the fee of the ferry for their spirit to be rowed across the mythical river Styx. The next day their body was laid on a litter to the centre of the town. A speech was given to praise them before they were cremated or placed in their sarcophagus. The cremated were placed in an urn (jar). People had to be buried outside the city walls due to laws. Cemeteries and graves surrounded the city. They were sometimes buried in tombs. For the poor, they rarely had a funeral and their graves were not marked. Christians were treated badly. They were tortured and executed and forced to preach in private. They built a network of passageways called catacombs on the outskirts of the city underground. They built small churches and cut shelves in the walls where they buried. In 400AD the emperor Constantine was christian and converted.


The Roman Empire

Kings ruled Rome at the start. Their king tarquin became so unpopular that they became a republic. A republic is a country were the people choose the government. The senate were a parliament that got people called consuls to run the country, this lasted for 400 years. In Julius Caesar and Pompey fought for control. Pompey was murdered and Julius ruled on his own as a dictator. Caesar was assassinated when a group of political rivals feared he would rule like the old kings. Civil wars tore Rome apart until Caesars grandnephew took over as emperor Augustus. An emperor was a different king. Augustus was a good leader. Romans conquered city around to stop attack. It then went big as he took over Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. They spoke Latin.


The Roman army

They had enemies. They were split into legions of 4000 men which were split into centuries of 100 men. Only Romans could become members of the regular armies (legionaries). Non-citizens could join a reserve force called auxiliaries or helpers.


A Roman soldier

You could be 17-46. Served for 20-25 years. Only a small amount fought on horseback (cavalry). They did a 30 km road march 3 times a month. They wore a steel helmet, a wool tunic, a protective vest, sandals, no armour on the back as they should never turn away. They threw javelins. They carried a sword, dagger and shield. They carried 2 weeks worth of food and water. They ate beans, cheese, bread, gruel made from barley and drank water or wine. They lived in strict barracks. They were flogged for punishment if they broke the rules. They reduced their food if they failed to perform. An attempt to overthrow command was punished. Every tenth soldier would be killed. Decimatio is this is Latin which is what decimate comes from. When they finished, they got money or land.


What did they do for us

They left things behind for us like buildings. They discovered concrete by mixing lime, ash and water. They made roads. There were 20 roads leading to Rome. Engineers made sure they were mad well. Sand on the bottom, covered in stones, then in gravel, then smooth paving stones. Milestones were placed on the road to see how far you'd come. They built aqueducts. Sloping bridges to bring water to the cities. No water without these. Rich Romans could have a pipe connected to their home. They had underfloor heating by lighting a wood burning furnace underground. Plumber comes from their word plumbum which meant lead for their pipes. They built shopping centres and Trajans forum was believed to be the first ever on earth. It had 5 floor, 150 shops and open space. They invented the calendar. It first started on March 1. It then changed to January 1. The year was divided into 12 months and they were named after gods.