Chapter 14 “The Roman Republic”
Republic – a form of government where people choose their rulers
Patricians – members of the oldest and richest families
Plebeians – poorer citizens, paid taxes and served in army, but couldn’t marry patrician or hold public office, if they fell into debt they could be sold into slavery
Consuls – heads of the Roman Republic, 2 were chosen each year
Veto – to say “no” to
Tribunes –government officials who protected the rights of plebeians
Legionaries – Roman soldiers
Legions – a group of up to 5,000 legionaries
Latifundias – large estates that replaced farms
Publicans – Roman tax collectors
Triumvirate – a group of 3 persons with equal power
Dictator – absolute ruler
Tarquin the Proud – an Estruscan king of Rome, he was overthrown and the republic was formed
Senate- made up of 300 men called senators, they were chosen for life, they handled the daily problems of the government and acted as advisors to the consuls
Assemblies – could declare war or agree to peace terms, all Roman citizens were members
Twelve Tables – 12 bronze tablets that the rules and laws were written down on
The Punic Wars – “Punic” means “Phoenician”
1st Punic War – The Romans felt threatened by the Carthaginians. The war lasted 23 years. Rome had a strong army and Carthage had a strong navy. The Romans defeated the Carthaginians and took control of Sicily. Corvus- a bridge that allowed Roman boats to transfer soldiers to enemy ships for hand-to-hand combat.
2nd Punic War – Hannibal, a Carthaginian General, he traveled to Rome with elephants and 40,000 men. He lost half his men and almost all his elephants in the Alps. He couldn’t enter Rome because he couldn’t break through the walls. He wandered around the countryside for 15 years. He was called back to Carthage and the Romans attacked him in Zama. The Carthaginians lost. Carthage had to pay a huge sum of money to Rome and gave up its territories including Spain. They lost their copper, gold, lead, and iron mines to Rome.
3rd Punic War – Rome attacks Carthage plowed salt into its fields. Burned the city-state of Carthage and Corinth and killed its people or enslaved them. Rome got all land and became leading Mediterranean Power.
Reformers – Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus – limited the amount of land each Roman could own, wanted to divide public land and give it to the poor, ran for a 2nd term and the Senate had him killed
Gaius Sempronius Gracchus, younger brother of Tiberius, elected tribune, wanted to move the poor back to the countryside. Had wheat sold to poor at very low cost or for free. Senate began to fear him and killed him.
Generals – Gaius Marius, a military hero, became Consul- 1st lower class citizen to hold a high office, he set up a professional army. Lucius Cornelius Sulla received a military command and marched his men on the city of Rome and overthrew it. Sulla made himself dictator. He doubled the size of the senate and weakened the power of the tribune.
1st Triumvirate: Marcus Licinius Crassus, Gnaeus Pompeius, and Julius Caesar. Crassus died and Caesar had Pompeius killed. Caesar was named governor. The senate feared he was getting too strong and ordered him to break up his legions. Instead, Caesar marched on Rome and made himself dictator.
Caesar redistributed state lands and founded new colonies, gave land to ex-soldiers, built roads and buildings and drained marshes, gave thousands of people jobs. Was stabbed to death on March 15th, “the ides of March”
2nd Triumvirate: Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony), took command of Rome’s territories in the East . Octavian took the West and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus took the rule of Africa. All 3 had equal power over Italy. The 3 rulers fought over power and Octavian was victorious. He became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire