Unit 4: The Roman World

Unit Overview:

For over 700 years Rome was the undisputed power of the ancient world. Rising from a small farming community in the center of Italy, Rome was the first Republic where the "citizens" of Rome proudly shared power. As a Republic they built an empire at the expense of their
Julius Ceasar
enemy, the Carthaginians. But as the empire grew, so did thirst for power amongst the leaders of Rome. Ultimately this power struggle led to Julius Ceasar seizing absolute power the first Emperor of Rome. While they were dictators, Caesar and his successors led Rome to a period of tremendous prosperity known as "Pax Romana" or Roman Peace. During this time, Rome expanded its territory beyond the realm of Alexander's empire and became a model of efficiency in government, economics and trade. But "Roman Peace" did not mean equality for all, as more than 1/3 of the population was enslaved; many of whom where forced to fight and die as entertainment in the Roman Colosseum. This was the political and economic world during the time of Jesus Christ. Early Christian were actually seen as threats to the Roman state and thus suffered terrible persecution. But by the year 323 A.D. the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity leading it to become the official religion of the empire. So after the Empire did eventually collapse in 475 A.D.: but the legacy of Roman government, law, military, architecture, literature, as well as religion remain with us to this day.

Life Long Understandings:

  • The framework of the Roman Republic has had a tremendous influenced on America’s republic.
  • In its time, during the period of “Pax Romana” the Roman Empire was without equal in all aspect of cultural universals. gladiator.jpg
  • Roman culture was both extremely efficient and extremely brutal. It is both the height of civilization and the height of cruelty.
  • Despite terrible persecution, Christianity eventually becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire.
  • While the Roman Empire collapsed, its influence remains with us today.

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