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Flashcards in Rome-146-150 Deck (38):

What was one of Rome's gifts to the mediterranean world of its day and to later generations?

its system of law


What were the twelve tables?

Rome's first code of laws
it was a product of a simple farming society and proved inadequate for later Roman needs.
From the twelve tables the Romans developed a system of civil law that applied only to Roman citizens.


What happened as Rome expanded?

Romans became involved in problems between Romans and non-Romans as well as between two non-Romans.
The Romans found that although some of their rules of civil law could be used in these cases, special rules were often needed.
These rules gave rise to a body of law known as the law of nations.
Under the influence of Stoicism the Romans came to identify their law of nations with natural law, or universal law based on reason.
This enabled them to establish standards of justice that applied to all people.
These standards of justice included principles that we would immediately recognize.
A person was regarded as innocent until proven otherwise.
People accused of wrong doing were allowed to defend themselves before a judge.
A judge, in turn, was expected to weigh evidence carefully before arriving at a decision.
These principles lived on long after the fall of the Roman Empire.


What was at the heart of the Roman social structure?

the family


What was the family headed by?



What were paterfamilias?

the dominant male


What else did the household include?

sons with their wives and children
unmarried daughters


What was a family?

a small state within the state and the power of the paterfamilias was parallel to that of state magistrates over the citizens.
Like the Greeks, Roman males believed that the weakness of the female sex necessitated male guardians.
The paterfamilies exercised that authority; upon its death, sons or nearest male relatives assumed the role of guardians.
By the late Republic, although the rights of male guardians remained legally in effect, upper-class women found numerous ways to circumvent the power of their guardians.


Who arranged the marriages of the daughters?

Fathers, although there are instances of mothers and daughters having influence on the choice.
In the Republic, women married "with legal control" passing from father to husband.


What happened by the mid first century B.C.E?

the dominant practice had changed to "without legal control" which meant that married daughters officially remained within the fathers legal power.
Since the fathers of most married women were dead, not being in "legal control" of a husband entailed independent property rights that forceful women could translate into considerable power within the household and outside it.
Roman marriages were intended to be for life, but divorce was introduced in the third century B.C.E. and became relatively easy to obtain since either party could initiate it and no one needed to prove the breakdown of the marriage.
Divorce became especially prevalent in the first century B.C.E, a period of political turmoil, when marriages were used to cement political alliances.


What did some parents in upper-class families provide for their daughters?

Some girls had private tutors and others may have gone to primary schools.
But, at the age when boys were entering secondary schools, girls were pushed into marriage.
The legal minimum age for marriage was twelve, although fourteen was a more common age in practice.
Although some Roman doctors warned that pregnancy could be dangerous for young girls, early marriages persisted due to the desire to benefit from the dowries as soon as possible and the reality of early mortality.


Who was Tullia?

Cicero's beloved daughter.
She was married at sixteen, widowed at twenty-two, remarried one year later, divorced at twenty-eight, remarried at twenty-nine, and divorced at thrity-three. She died at thirty-four, not unusual for females in Roman society.


What happened by the second century C.E?

signifiant changes were occurring in the Roman family.
The foundations of the authority of the paterfamilias over his family, which had already begun to weaken in the late Republic, were further undermined.
The paterfamilias no longer had absolute authority over his children; he could no longer sell them into slavery or have them put to death.
The husband's authority over his wife also disappeared, a trend that had begun in the late Republic.
In the Early Empire, the idea of male guardianship continued to weaken significantly and by the late second century, though guardianships had not been abolished, they had become a formality.


What did upper-class Roman women in the Early Empire have?

considerable freedom and independence


What had they acquired?

the right to own, inherit, and dispose of property


Who were the center of household social life?



What could upper-class women do?

attend the races, the theater, and events in the amphitheater, although in the latter two places they were forced to sit in separate female sections.
Ladies of rank were still accompanied by maids and companions when they went out. Some women operated businesses such as shipping firms.
Women could not participate in politics, but the Early Empire saw a number of important women who influenced politics through their husbands.


Who was Livia?

the wife of Augustus


Who was Agrippina?

the mother of Nero


Who was Plotina?

the wife of Trajan


What did the Romans rely on more than any other people?

slave labor


Before the third century, what happened?

a small Roman farmer might possess one or two slaves who would help farm his few acres and perform domestic chores.
These slaves would most likely be from Italy and be regarded as part of the family household.
Only the very rich would have large numbers of slaves


What brought a drastic change in the use of slaves?

THe Roman conquest of the Mediterranean


What happened during the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean?

Large numbers of foreign slaves were brought back to Italy.
During the Republic, Rome's wars were the chief source of slaves, followed by piracy; the children of slaves also became slaves.
While some Roman generals brought back slaves to be sold to benefit the public treasury, ambitious generals of the first century, such as Pompey and Caesar, made personal fortunes by treating slaves captured by their armies as their own private property


How did the Romans use slaves?

The rich owned the most and the best.
In the late republic, it became a badge of prestige to be attended by many slaves.
Greeks were in much demand as household slaves, where they served as tutors, musicians, doctors, and artists.
Many slaves of all nationalities were used as menial household workers, such as cooks, valets, waiters, cleaners, and gardeners.
Roman businessmen would employ slaves as shop assistants or artisans.
Slaves were also used as farm laborers; in fact, huge gangs of slaves worked the large landed estates under pitiful conditions.


What did Cato the Elder argue?

that it was cheaper to work slaves to death and then replace them than to treat them favorably. In addition, the roads, aqueducts, and public buildings were constructed by contractors using slave labor.
The total number of slaves is difficult to judge, estimates range from two to four free men to every slave.


Where did large scale slave revolts occur?

Sicily, where enormous gangs of slaves were subjected to horrible working conditions on large landed estates.
Slaves were branded, beaten, fed inadequately, worked in chains, and housed at night in underground prisons.
It took three years to crush a revolt of 70,000 slaves, and the great revolt on Sicily involved most of the island and took a Roman army of 17,000 men to suppress it.
The most famous revolt occurred in 73 B.C.E. Led by Thracian gladiator named Spartacus, the revolt broke out in southern Italy and involved 70,000 slaves. Spartacus managed to defeat several Roman armies before he was finally trapped and killed in southern Italy in 71 B.C.E. Six thousand of his followers were crucified, the traditional form of execution for slaves.


What was the only city that had a comparable population to Rome during the time of Augustus? (1 million)

Chang'an the imperial capital of the Han Chinese empire


Name two groups that inhabited Rome?

Greeks and Syrians


Why was cart and wagon traffic banned from the streets during the day?

Because Rome was an overcrowded and noisy city


What made sleep difficult?

noise from the resulting vehicular movement at night


What was dangerous?

evening pedestrian traffic


Although Augustus had organized a police force, what happened anyways?

lone travelers might be assaulted, robbed, or soaked by filth thrown out of the upper-story windows of Rome's massive apartment buildings


Where did the rich live?

comfortable villas


Where did the poor live?

apartment blocks called insulae, which might be six stories high


What happened at the Circus Maximus?

horse and chariot races attracted hundreds of thousands


Where were dramatic and other performances held?



What was the most famous of all the public spectacles?

gladiatorial shows