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The Roman Empire

How did Rome lay the foundations of its empire?

Roman Empire

Struggle for control


Alexander died in 323 B.C. Rome dominated most of the Italian peninsula Expansion southward brought Rome into collision with Carthage, the greatest power in the western Mediterranean Second Carthaginian war (218-201 B.C.): Romes southern Italian allies defected to Hannibal Third war with Carthage in 201 B.C.: Rome emerged not merely victorious but a world power

What were the tensions that accompanied Romes transformation from city-state to world power?

Romes transformation into worldpower


Roman transformation of Greek tradition through contact with Greek cities in southern Italy, Sicily and mainland Greece Greek culture began to permeate Roman The military victories brought in huge numbers of enslaved war captives Wealthy businessman exerted control over the government Growing gulf between the wealthy and the poor

How was the Republic replaced by imperial rule?


General prosperity masked the potential conflicts Civil war By the end of the first century B.C., Rome was the capital of an empire that stretched from the Straits of Gibraltar to the frontiers of Palestine It gave peace and orderly government to the Mediterranean area for the next two centuries

Rome in first century B.C.

What is the legacy of the Roman empire?

Romes legacy
The ideal of the world state, an ideal that was taken over by the medieval Church The Church claimed a spiritual authority as great as the secular authority it replaced How did they achieve success? Talent for practical affairs (aqueducts) Not notable political theorists, but they organized a stable federation Conservative to the core: gravitas The great body of Roman law is one of their greatest contribution to Western civilization

Aquaduct

Compare Roman and Greek civilizations


Rome: manliness, industry, discipline Greece: adaptability, versatility, grace Greek history begins with an epic poem The Romans conquered half of the world before they began to write Latin literature began with a translation of the Odyssey Latin writers borrowed from Greek originals openly and proudly (Virgil)

Odyssey

Roman emperors
The civil conflict ended in the establishment of a powerful executive The Senate retained an impressive share of the power in the Republic, but the new development led to autocracy Augustus, after the murder of his uncle Julius Caesar in 44 BC., controlled the western half of the empire by 31 B.C. Battle with Mark Anthony, ruler of the eastern half of the empire Augustuss victory united the empire under one authority and ushered in an age of peace and reconstruction

Roman emperors
The successors of Augustus ruled the ancient world for the next 200 years with only occasional disturbances Nero who abused his immense power was overthrown A.D. 96-180 Five good emperors: Longest period of peace that has ever been enjoyed by the inhabitants of an area that included Britain, France, southern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa Yet the literature of the second century reflects a spiritual emptiness described in Petroniuss Satyricon: the new rich can think only in terms of money and material possessions

Religion
New religions were imported from the East that made their appeal to citizens of the world: to all nations and classes Worship of the Egyptian goddess Isis Hebrew prophet Jesus, crucified in Jerusalem, risen from the dead Christianity, persecuted and working underground, finally triumphed and became the official religion of the Roman world The Church in Rome, by converting the new inhabitants, made possible the preservation of much of that Latin and Greek literature that was to serve as a basis for the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

St. Peters Basilica in Rome

Ovids Metamorphoses
This picture depicts the moment when the statue of Galatea created by Pygmalion comes to life

Metamorphoses

Berninis Apollo and Daphne

Io and Jove

Io and Jove

Europa and Jove

Europa and Jove

The Rape of Europa by Zeus

Iphis and Ianthe

Zeus and Europa

Rubens, Abduction of Europa