.    Instructor: Dave Tamm / Term: Spring 2008    .




Today at the Capitoline Hill, one can see a field of broken ruins-

monuments and buildings, and see the heart of what was once an

emormous empire stretching from England to Iraq and Morocco to the

Black Sea.


It grew up on the Palatine Hill, that village, from village to city to

imperial epicenter. a remarkable story in the history of the west. it

conquered celts, carthaganians and the hellenistic kingdoms- all of

them, and incorporated them into itself. this process overwealmed the

city center and its republic... it became an empire.


Tiber river and its flow into the mediterranean helped the site grow.



Etruscans rules in northern Italy, but pressure from Celts up north

weakened them. Rome was able to, under their Eutruscan king Tarquinus

Supurbus, expel him (due to the rape of a roman noblewoman, Leucretia,

by his son sextus). Rome became an oligarchy under two consuls, each

checking the other, like in Sparta. The Senate governed while the

consuls led in war. Patricians and plebians became distinct classes.


Rome battled endlessly vs its neighbors, no monarchy would be

restored. Plebians grew restive and thretened to secede and form a

separate city, so patiricians made reforms. Tribunes could now guard

plebian rights with a veto.


450 rome lays down a law code. While rome grew more stable, Eutruscans

grew less, being harried by the Gauls and others. they were fading

rapidly, and Rome countered their Eutruscan condederation of the north

with a Latin League in the south, by 400.


The Gauls came in and crushed the Etruscans, and the Romans took the

spoils, Veii. Then Rome was sacked by the Gauls in 390, league fell

apart. The archives in Rome were destroyed. Ten years later a wall was

begun around Rome.



Legion, a flexible fighting unit, was developed for the Italian

countryside. By 300, they were in protraced conflicts with the

Samnites for control of central Italy. They defeated them. Also,

Romans began beating the Gauls in the north, and taking Greek cities

of Magna Grecia. Tarentun in the south had good cause to fear Rome's

expansion, in the boot. They called Pyrrhus of epirus for help. This

Greek entered Italy with 25k soldiers, and 26 elephants (ever since

alexander, elephants were an ornament to a hellenistic army).


Phyrrus defeated Rome in 280 in such a tough battle, that he said he

would return without a man to Epirus. (Phyrric victory is one that

costs way too much and amounts to a defeat).


Rome took the cities in Italy, and set its eyes on Syracuse and

Sicity, where Carthage reigned supreme.


Phoenician (Canaanite) semites biggest colony. 'New City' survived the

persian swallowing of the phoenician lands because of location, and

grew on its own to be powerful. it even had its own colonies. its

prosperty was cut short by Rome. they dont talk much about carthage

today. as the ultimate losers for supremecy, and looked down as

idolators of Baal, by the Romans, their thousand year old civilization

has been little studied and is unknown. their story may be another

form of anti-semitism.


In 264 the 1ST PUNIC WAR. Fifteen years later, Rome was a world power,

having defeated a Hellenistic army and now defeated carthage. Rome

took Sicily (except syracuse).


2ND PUNIC WAR: 238 Carthage had a revolt in the army due to bad

payouts, and Rome took advantage of the situation by taking Sardenia

and Corsica. Carthage responded by expanding its Iberian holdings.

Hamilcar Barca supervised it. His grandson, was Hannibal. Rome

demanded Carthage stop developing colonies in northern Iberia, and

leave alone the old Greek colonies there. Hannibal responded by

burning a Greek colony and marching with a huge army over the alps,

50k infantry, 9k cavalry and 37 elephants. Roman legions in the north

were defeated. Cannae wiped out the Romans, killing 50k out of 86k

army. Hannibal thought Rome defeated, but the Romans held on but did

not attack directly. Hannibal faced opposition in Carthage too, the

Barca family was disliked. Finally, Publius Cornelius Scipio tried

something daring. instead of defending Rome, he went to North Africa

and threatened Carthage itself. Hannibal returned to stop him.

Hannibal faced Scipio at Zama and lost his first battle (202).



Macedonian king Philip V helped Hannibal at Cannae, but Roman navy

stopped him. Now it was time to go to Macedonia. Greeks revolted and

joined Rome because they tired of Macedonia. Rome recognized Greek

"independence" but really Roman seuzentariy. Antiocus III of Seleucid

Empire was threatened. He invaded greece and was defeated by Rome in

Thessaly. Hannibal, who was hiding in The Seleucid Empire, committed

suicide in 183. Macedonia made one last try, fighting and Legion met

Phalanx in 168 for the last time. Legion won. After 200 years of

Hellenistic Macedonia, now all was Roman.



Rome never developed the culture greece did. And Greece never

reflowered under Roman rule. Terentius (Terence) wrote dramas in Latin

though. Shakespeare enjoyed them, and based A Comedy of Errors and A

funny thing happened on the way to the forum on Plautus, another Roman



Road building. all roads lead to rome, cause they fanned out from

rome. an inevitable result is 'all roads...'  these were built out in

this time.


Devotion to the Law, to organization. extention of roman law and

rights of citizenship to non roman italians... all was new, and is the

foundation of European law. Through the power of the law and property

rights, rome became much more stable than earlier peoples. yes there

was imperfect adherence, but in all, a quieter and saner society. Its

memory would remain, ghost like, to animate later peoples.


By 150 Hellization was going on in rome, thaks to Scipio, who brought

it back with him. Polybius (150) a greek historian, wrote a history of

rome. romans began writing too.



Antiochus III the Great died and the S Empire fell apart. Parthia,

Bactria and Armenia were all free. Only Mesoptoamia and Syria

remained. Antiochus IV Ephines (175) went into Egypt, abandoning the

eastern provinces. Alexandria was saved however, when a Roman

ambassador told him to get out or face Rome. The manner in which the

ambassador made him decide is worth of note: Antiochus tarried, asking

for more time. So the Roman ambassador drew a circle and told him to

make up his mind before he stepped out of the circle. The humiliation

of Selecucid Asia was completed. Antiouchus went to the east after

all. In Egypt, Ctseibus the greek engineer invented the water clock:

regular drips made a floating device mark the passing of the hours.


In Judea, Antiochus III wanted hellenization. Some Jews did, creating

a tear in the province. Antiochus IV was worse, for he was humiliated.

So, he decreed that the temple in Jerusalem was to be Greek, and a

statue of Zeus was to be placed in it. Copies of the Bible were to be

destroyed. Jewish dietary regulations ended. Sabbath abolished,

circumcision forbidden. Resistance- book of Daniel and Esther written.

tyranny and persecution were fought. Violence in 168: Mattathias, an

aged rabbi, and his five sons called the Hasmoneans, were well

respected. One son was Judah Makkabi, or Maccabeus. He led the

conservative Jews against the Seleucid forces and took Jerusalem back,

and rededicated the temple in 165. Antiochus IV died two years later,

and the Jews fought his successor, who inhereated a rump state.


East in Parthia, Antiochus IV fought Mithradates, but when he died,

Parthia claimed all of the eastern 2/3 of old Persia. It was a

zoroasterian empire, Persian was lingua franca. IN 141 it would

capture Mesopotamia from the Seleucids, and build a new capital at

Ctesiphon across the river from Seleucia. The Seleucids, now confined

to the Levant, had their capital at Antioch (an increasingly worthless



The rebirth of Lydia came in Anatolia, called Pergamum. Attalus II

built the 2nd best library in the world (only to Alexandria), and

since the Egyptians would not let them have papayrus, they used

stretched animal skins, called parchment (a bastardization of

pergamum). In the Aegean, Rhodes was the lone independent Greek place,

and the colossus was there, but the Romans made Delos a tax free

trading zone, to end its joy. Hipparchus of Nicaea of lived on Rhodes,

measured the distance to the Moon, invented longitude and latitude,

divided stars into classes of brightness called magnitude, drew a star

map, discoverd precession. And predicted planetary motion on the

assumption that they all revolved around the Earth.


3RD PUNIC WAR: Rome was being Hellenized too. Scipio loved Greek

culture, and brought more of it, including Greek writers like

Polybius. Some people did not like this. Cato the Censor did not like

Greek culture, nor Carthage. Fueled hatred for C. In 149 they demanded

carthage be abandoned, and the people settle inland. No, didnt work.

Rome attacked. Heroic years for carthage's defense, but it fell and

was burned , population enslaved, territory annexed to rome. After 600

years, Carthage was gone, and the Phoenicians, as a people, were gone.



General Quintus Flavius Rome sacked the city of Corinth in 146,

annexing all Greece. 133 Iberia was taken, and over in Anatolia, in

Pergamum, the king Attalus III had no heirs and left his kingdom to

Rome in his will, because he wanted his last gift to be the avoidance

of a war. It worked, and the east was Roman. In Pontus, on the black

sea coast, Mithradates the great annexed the crimea and its greek

settlements. They were happy to do this, as Scythians were threatening

them from the north, and Pontus could help. Clashes with Rome in the

west make the two dislike each other. In 88, Pontus surprise attacked

Rome and drove them out of Anatolia, killing as many Roman citizens as

possible. Perhaps 80k, an enormous figure. Greek cities rose with him,

but General Sulla of Numidia fame went on the march, taking Athens and

smashing Mithradates in Greece, sending the Pontine king out for good,

and giving him the burden of a tribute.


Armenia was a reborn Urartu, which was destroyed by Assyria in 700s.

Armenians were subject to Persia, Alexander and Selucids. In 95, an

independent kingdom emerged. Tigranes I the Great expanded against

Parthia. Armenia was now powerful for the first and last time, with

Tigranes marrying daughter of Mithradates of Pontus. Tigranocerta was

the capital. When in 63 Mithradates died in Crimea, Tigranes

surrenndered to Rome's new general: Pompeius. Armenia became a loyal

subject. As for Seleucid, it was all but dead: Antiouchus XIII ruled

over only Antioch. Pompey saw fit to, on his way back from Armenia,

end the charade. He also took Judea, and the Levant was Roman. Now

Egypt was the only Hellenistic kingdom left.



Under the Hans around 100 BC, Chinese culture was as attractive in the

east as Greek was in the west. Wu Ti annexed southern China and Korea.

Explorer Chang Chien wnet to Bactria to get help against the Huns in

the north of the Great Wall. This was the first contact between China

and the West. The West liked Chinese silk.



As slaves and pows came into Italy, the dignity of labor was lost. Now

only slaves did the hard jobs, and romans did not. "Jobs Romans will

not do". Small farmers were forced off the land, not able to compete

against big farms worked by slaves. Some slaves revolted in 135 (and

why shouldn't they?), and 200,000 were fighting, put down by the

legions, and 20,000 crucified.



Political parties formed in Rome like in Athens during Solon's time.

Optimates (republicans) and Populares (democrats). Money was used to

bribe voters. violence sometiems. Rome dissolved into anarchy! time

for a reform. Tiberius Gracchus and brother Gaius put through land

reform, limited size of farms. smooth out the wealth a little. Well,

Optimates hired thugs and they were assassinated.


More Expanion: southern Gaul taken, west of dead carthage lay Numidia

(algeria) taken (althouh roman generals were bribed to lose by the

ruler of Numidia- proving decadence is a poison that affects all

segments of society). They were paid off temproarily but then Gaius

Marius and Lucius Sulla went in and annexed it anyway in 108.


Danger: Germanic tribes- existing in Germany and scandinavia since at

least 500, were coming south and west at the expense of the Gauls. the

Cimbri and Teutones moved into the Alps, and defeated two legions.

They were on the march and so Rome turned to Gaius Marius, conquerer

of north africa and he raised a new army, low born people who found

life in the army better than that at home. they became professional

soldiers. they were loyal to Marius not to the state. In 101 he wasted

the Teutones. So in 100, Rome was master of the mediterranean despite

troubles inside and out.



Rome granted citizenship to all Italians in 88 BC to keep them happy.

reforms were tried, failed. Marius had the lower classes on his side,

and the Populares, Sulla became champion of the aristocrats, the

Optimates. Both had armies loyal to them. Both hurt the other sides: A

civil war came, and Sulla, out on campaign in Parthia, came back to

win at the gates of rome in 79. A conservative dictatorship granted

the senate renewed powers. After Sulla the strongman died, a vacuum



Roman historian Appian: pg 124 (great analogy to usa)



A great slave revolt led by spartacus, the gladiator from Thrace. Two

Roman leaders took arms against it, finally destroying it. Pompey, who

crushed a revolt in Iberia, and Crassus, wealthiest man in Rome and

former liutenenant of Sulla, in 71. Crassus gained his wealth so

questionably he would have felt right at home on Wall St. The two made

themselves consuls. Pompey rid the sea of pirate infestation, and set

off to fight Pontus and Armenia.


Crassus and Pompey were now joined by Gaius Julius Caesar, who made

money looting Iberia. Caesar is assigned governor of the Gaullic areas

in N. Italy. He intended to conquer Gaul.


In 58 he began. 44 and without war experience, he turned otu to be of

the first rank, and after 7 years, he conquered all gaul. all to the

Rhine was Rome, and he never lost a battle. He even crossed the

channel to Britain. Now Rome was stronger physically now, than ever.

Only Parthia remained- and it was the only target left. As Caesar went

to Gaul for glory, Crassus went to Parthia. He was tricked on the

Euphrates River by a Parthian agent, and fell into a trap where the

Parthian cavalry defeated him and killed Crassus.












Hero of Alexandria in the 1st BC invented a steam engine.


Galen (175) was the greatest dr. of antiquity, organized all

Hellenistic medical knowledge and produced accurate real descriptions

of anatomy, and formulated the notion of blood moving from liver to

veins- not bettered until William Harvey (17th).


write bobby's biography

write your autobiography as a letter to mcclain or someone else.

someone who cares. explaining.



Now go back