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The Ancient Roman civilization started off around 800 B.C.E. when the Latins first migrated there. Positioned along the Tiber River, which flowed into the Mediterranean Sea, the Romans were able to develop a powerful empire that stretched from Spain to Egypt. (Ellis and Esler, 1997)
-Leah Dixon

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Map of the Roman Emipre at its height. (Google Image Search, 2011)

Cities-

Ancient Rome started off as a simple city, but over hundreds of years it became the most powerful force in the Mediterranean. The Romans overthrew their early Italian neighbors, the Etruscans, as well as all other powers that held land in Italy or the islands near it. Their main opponent, Carthage, was a threat from the southwestern Mediterranean. They fought many battles for Italy, which were called the Three Punic Wars. They were very brutal and dangerous, destroying much of the Roman Empire. But because Carthage was never able to overthrow Rome itself, the Romans eventually defeated the entire Carthaginian army and proceeded to flatten the nation itself. At this same time, Rome was expanding into the east as well, and by 133 B.C.E., the Roman Empire controlled the entire Mediterranean. (Ellis and Esler, 1997)
-Leah Dixon

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Government-

The government of Ancient Rome started off around 509 B.C.E. The Roman’s set up a Republic, which means “thing of the people.” A senate of 300 men, off the upper-class patricians, was used to create laws and keep general order in the city. But because the senate was made up of all upper-class people, the majority of the population, which was made up of farmers, merchants, artisans and traders (called Plebeians), felt that they were not being treated fairly. The government allowed the plebeians to elect tribunes that could keep the senate in check and allow the general population a say in what went on in that government. They were granted the power to veto any laws or acts they thought the plebeians would find unfair. Ideas like the senate, vetoing, and keeping checks on political power play a big role in the modern world, and are very important in our own society in the United States more than 2000 years later. (Ellis & Esler, 1997)
-Leah Dixon

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A picture of an Ancient Roman temple known as the Pantheon. (Google Image Search, 2011)

Social Class-

When Rome began conquering other lands, generals, officials, and traders gained fortunes from taxes, commerce and loot. However, when these newly wealthy Romans began building mansions and filling them with luxuries imported from the east, they needed people to work their estates. The people that ended up working their estates were slaves captured in war. Later, many farmers fell into debt and had to sell their land, and, as a result, angry mobs began forming. This new wealth also increased corruption; people began being greedier, and self-absorbed, instead of being hard-working, dutiful people living simple lives, as they were before. Even when people began trying to give the poor more rights, the senate continued to do everything in their power to stop them. Although there were various attempts at reform, and some were successful, employing the jobless to build public roads and temples, it was still a long time before the senate was open to plebeians (lower class), and not just the patricians (upper class). (Ellis & Esler, 1997)
-Erin Azzopardi

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Slaves carrying a person of a higher social rank. (Google Image Search, 2011)

Job specialization-

Keeping the people of Rome happy was important especially in Rome which, due to the high number of slaves, led to the majority of Plebeians being unemployed and supported by the state. The Plebeians demanded entertainment. The jobs surrounding the entertainment industry included the oldest profession, which is the unpleasant job of selling yourself. The theatre played a large part in entertaining the masses with plays and mimes. Chariot racing was a highly lucrative profession. And of course there were the gladiators. Many gladiators were slaves but most Romans chose this as a profession (ex-soldiers looking for fame and glory.) The chariot racing and gladiator combats also gave way to another favorite - gambling. Just as today gambling played a big role in the leisure and entertainment industry. It was also a huge factor for other jobs as well. It garnered money from all of those who just wanted to risk it all. Artists were fascinated with the human body, and mostly drew chubby people. Why? Back then, if you were overweight, it meant you were doing well for yourself by having food to feed yourself as much. Teachers taught the Latin script to students, and the school system was not as advanced as today’s. Political factors were implemented in Roman civilizations as well.
-Jesse Boruff

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This book talks about Roman jobs across history. It shows farmers on the front as you can see. (Google image search, 2011)


Public Works-

The public works of Ancient Rome were very important to the history of the civilization. From the first military roads created to keep the Empire intact to the creation of the famous works of art like the Coliseum or any of the famous artists’ pieces, such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, or Raphael, even though these artists came much later in Italy’s vast and eventful history. (Ellis and Esler, 1997)
-Leah Dixon

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Public works of Ancient Rome including the Coliseum and surrounding buildings. (Google Image Search, 2011)

Architecture-

Ancient Roman architecture is famous for its beauty and intricacy. However, much of it was influenced by Greek culture, and Greek architecture; Romans used Greek columns in their buildings, and imported shiploads of Greek statues to decorate their homes, gardens, and public buildings. Romans built beautiful palaces, temples, stadiums, victory arches, and basilicas, which stood as strong monuments to Roman power and dignity. Even the Roman coliseums, where violent gladiator battles were held, were skillfully made, and some still stand today. Possibly the most famous piece of ancient Roman architecture is the Roman Coliseum, originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre.
(Ellis & Esler, 1997)
-Erin Azzopardi

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The Roman Coliseum. (Google Image Search, 2011)



Art-

Much of Rome's art, like its architecture, was adopted from Greek works of art. Although a lot of Rome's buildings and monuments are considered "art" because of their brilliant stonework and complex detailing, Romans were also skilled in other forms of art, such as painting and sculpting. However, not many artists and architects’ names were recorded. Much of the early Roman art is focused on the downfall of the Etruscan kings, and the establishment of the Republic in 509 B.C. Many of the murals wealthy Romans could afford were nature scenes, with animals like birds or fish, or were scenes of philosophers or characters from mythology. Romans generally painted directly on their walls, or on transportable panels. (HistoryOfPainters.com, 1999-2011)
-Erin Azzopardi

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A painting by Michelangelo. (Google Image Search, 2011)

Language-

Ancient Rome spoke Latin, which, as their Empire spread throughout Europe, passed throughout Europe as well. The written language was also Latin. The Romans inherited this form of writing and speaking from the Greeks. The Romans wrote down plays, research, and many other important things on stone tablets. As time passed, the Romans refined this way of speaking, and soon enough created the form of syntax, a rule of writing that we all use now. The form of Vulgar Latin was established, as well as Classical Latin. Latin was thought as a refined, regal language that flourished in a place like Rome. It was used for legal transactions, and if you did not know how to speak Latin, you were considered unruly, but most of the populace knew Latin. Even foreigners knew a small bit.
-Jesse Boruff

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Greek/Roman writing. As you can see, they used letters VERY similar to ours, yet, they didn’t use all the letters we use today.

Greek/Roman writing. (Google image search, 2011)


Religion-

The Romans believed in Paganism, which is the belief of multiple gods. There were gods for everything, such as wine, fertility, sunlight, the moon, and many other things. The god of all gods is Zeus. The story goes that Zeus’ father ate his children because it was prophesized that his sons would rise against him. Zeus then killed his father, released his siblings, and became god of all gods. It is a classic tale, and was told to all children to keep them in line, and to let them know that an all powerful group of gods were watching over them. The history of Paganism is deep, and very interesting. The art which came from their religion was enthralling, and brought out the character of the gods. There was also the factor of Roman Christianity, which played a big part in Rome. There were Romans who believed in the Christian God, and were prosecuted for it. They were abused and shunned by neighbors because their veiws weren't the same. They had to hide it, and the best person at hiding their religion was the great general, Constantine the 1st, who revealed his religion, shortly before dying. Constantine set an example for his chosen religion, that he was not afraid. There was also the fact of Roman Catholicism, but for the first thousand years of Christianity, there was no Roman Catholicism, as there wasn't Eastern Orthodoxy, or Protestant to distinguish it There was only the "one, holy, catholic church" affirmed by the early creeds, which was the body of Christian believers all over the world, united by common traditions, beliefs, church structure and worship. But as time passed, and more religions started to form, the Roman church broke off and became Roman Catholicism.
-Jesse Boruff

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The goddess Diana, the goddess of light, the moon goddess, and the goddess of unity of people. (Picture found on www.roman-empire.net


Conclusion-


The decline of the Roman Empire was a very long process that lasted through a period of many centuries. A few theories and reasons that historians have put together as to why the Roman Empire fell are: decay owing to general malaise, military decline, monocausal decay, catastrophic collapse, and transformation. (Wikipedia, 2011)
-Leah Dixon

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Roman Soldiers. (Google Image Search, 2011)

Sources-

Ellis and Esler, 1997, Prentice Hall: World History--Connections To Today
http://www.mitchellteachers.org/WorldHistory/AncientRome/DailyLifeinAncientRome.htm , Map of Roman Empire
http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/scientific-american/sup2/The-Raphael-Celebration-At-Rome.html Parthenon Picture
http://www.crystalinks.com/romeart.html, Roman Art
http://www.biblestudy.org/biblepic/roman-coliseum-largest-stadium-built-by-ancient-rome.html, Coliseum Picture
http://www.atlandbiz.com/Shop-by-Artist/Michelangelo-Paintings/index.html, Michelangelo Painting
http://www.historyofpainters.com/romanart.htm, Copyright 1999, Roman Art
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/6ce90/1d22ac , Roman City Picture 1
http://www.warezinfinite.net/a-and-e-ancient-mysteries-ancient-rome-and-its-mysterious-cities-2004-dvdrip-xvid-fico , Roman City Picture 2
http://www.roman-empire.net.com Religion and Language.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_the_Roman_Empire#Overview , Decline/Conclusion
http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/oct19.html , Roman Soldiers Picture