The Roman Empire Part II Greco-Roman Civilization Rome absorbed ideas from Greek colonists. Adapted Greek and Hellenistic achievements Civilization spread during Pax Romana from trade and travel. Literature Many Romans spoke Greek and imitated Greek
styles of prose and poetry. Greatest Roman writers used Latin to create their own literature. Epic poem the Aeneid, by Virgil linked to Homer Told of the founding of Rome. Hoped it would create patriotism and unity in Rome. History Great Roman historians
Livy, wanted to rouse patriotic feelings and restore traditional Roman virtues Tacitus, wrote about Augustus and successors, whom he felt had destroyed Roman liberty Philosophy The Hellenistic philosophy of Stoicism impressed many in Rome, including emperor Marcus Aurelius.
It stressed the importance of duty and acceptance of ones fate. Showed concern for well-being of all people. Art Like Greeks, Romans sculptors stressed realism. Broke new ground by showing individual character Beautified homes with art
Scenes from literature and daily life were depicted in frescoes and mosaics.
Architecture Romans emphasized grandeur . Mighty monuments to Romes power and dignity Improved the arch and column Used concrete Developed rounded dome to roof large spaces Pantheon temple to Roman gods, still stands today
Technology Romans excelled at engineering. Many roads and bridges were built. Aqueducts Bridge like stone structure that brought water from hills to Roman cities. Science
Galen- Greek doctor Advanced medical science by insisting on experiments to prove a conclusion. Compiled a medical encyclopedia. Law Greatest legacy of Rome Its commitment to rule of law and justice Created unity and stability Basis for legal systems in Europe and Latin America
Two systems of law Civil law- applied to citizens Law of the Nations- applied to citizens and non-citizens under Roman rule Merged when citizenship was extended across the empire Common principles of the law An accused person was presumed innocent
until proven guilty. The accused were allowed to face the accuser and offer defense against the charge. Guilt had to be established through evidence. Judges interpreted laws and made fair decisions. Crisis Emperor Marcus Aurelius died in 180.
The golden age of the Pax Romana ended. Next 100 years brought political and economic turmoil. Political trouble Power was seized with support of troops. Generals/ political troublemakers ruled for a few months/ years then
were assassinated or overthrown. Violence and instability Economic trouble High taxes were needed to support army and bureaucracy. Heavy burdens on businesses and farmers. Farmland was over-cultivated,
and lost its productivity. Many poor farmers left their land. Diocletian In 284 to restore order emperor Diocletian divided empire into 2 parts He controlled wealthier eastern part Co-emperor (responsible to Diocletian) ruled western part Tried to slow inflation by fixing prices Laws to ensure steady production of food and goods
Constantine 312, talented general Constantine gained the throne. Continued Diocletians reforms. Granted toleration to Christians ( encouraged rapid growth of religion, and guaranteed its future success) . Built a new capital Constantinople, in eastern part of empire.
Foreign Invasion Huns, nomadic people migrating across Central Asia, reached Eastern Europe in 350. Germanic peoples, including Visigoths, and Ostrogoths crossed into Roman territory seeking safety. Roman empire in decline, could not fight off invaders, surrendered:
Britain, France, Spain, then Italy and finally Rome. Attila the Hun In 434 the Huns lead by Attila embarked on savage campaign of conquest across Europe Attila died 453, his empire soon collapsed, but invasions forced
more Germanic peoples into Roman empire 476 Odoacer, Germanic leader, conquered emperor in Rome Official Fall of Rome Causes for the Fall of Rome Military:
couldnt fight Germanic invasions because army lacked discipline and training To meet need for soldiers hired mercenaries ( foreign soldiers paid to fight, many were German warriors with little loyalty to Rome) Political: government more oppressive , lost support of people Corrupt officials, frequent civil wars,
dividing empire Economic: heavy taxes to support government and army Reliance on slave labor- did not explore new technology Farmers abandoned land Middle class sank into poverty Population decrease from war and disease Possible climate change reduced agriculture
production Social: decline in values Need to replace citizen soldiers with mercenaries Upper class devoted to luxury and self-interest Costly bread and circuses undermined selfreliance of masses. Byzantine Empire Eastern Roman Empire became Byzantine Empire, lasted another
1000 years In Italy people continued to live much as they had before, though under new rulers Still spoke Latin and obeyed Roman laws Over time German customs and languages replaced much of Roman culture Christian church preserved elements of Roman civilization
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