Mr. Pahl’s one-sentence summaries of each section of the chapter:

·     6.1 - The Roman republic emerged in 500 BC to become the ruler of the Mediterranean world, defeating Carthage, Egypt, Greece…

·     6.2 - As the republic expanded, it became an empire ruled by dictator-like emperors who gave people “bread and circuses”

·     6.3 – 2 of Rome’s great achievements were
 1)its building and engineering, and
 2)its system of law, still in wide use today…

·     6.4 – Christianity developed in the Roman Empire, still one of the leading world religions…

·     6.5 – With problems within and without, the Roman Empire collapsed in about 500 A.D.


Major concepts from this chapter:

1.       The rise of the Roman Republic, with a major victory over Carthage, (Hannibal)

2.       The move from being republic to an empire and its social consequences:

a.        Latifundia (large plantations) hurt Roman farmers

b.       Reformers like the Gracchi (Gracus brothers) fought for them, but were killed

c.        Civil War then took place for 100 years

3.       Pax Romana, 200 years from Augustus to Aurelius.  Roads, fleets helped trade, movement of goods and people

4.       Romans were great builders (eg. aqueducts) and developed sound laws, many of which we still use

5.       The rise of Christianity from a small persecuted sect, to the religion of the Roman Empire itself.

6.       Causes of the Fall of the Roman Empire: high taxes, ruin of farmers, economic decline, foreign invasions (Huns--à Vandals), decline of the army (mercenaries), greed and corruption in government, decline of values, luxury


Know Italian Geography.

Know the following items on this map:

1.       Rome

2.       Sicily

3.       Apennine Mountains

4.       Carthage

5.       Greece

6.       The Rubicon

7.       The Alps

8.       The Mediterranean Sea

9.       Borders of Roman Empire-500 AD

10.    Where was the division between the Eastern and Western empire?


Know Roman government:

The Government of the Republic


                                           Senate-300, made up of Patricians                               lower class were the Plebians


Senate elected two consuls every year                        Posting 12 tablets helped them



          They could also appoint a dictator for 6 months           They elected 2 tribunes  w/veto power

 Sayings and their context:

“Veni, vidi, vici”  Which in Latin means, “I cam, I saw, I conquered.” Spoken by Caesar after one of his many victories

“Ilia jacta est”   Caesar’s words in crossing the Rubicon with his army, in defiance of the Roman Senate

The Ides of March.  The date (March 15) that Caesar was assassinated.

“Bread and circuses.”  This expression refers to the welfare and entertainment that Rome provided the masses.


Dates related to the Roman Empire:

509 BC = Beginning of Rome, throwing out an Etruscan king

44 BC = assassination of Julius Caesar.  This pits his two top generals

31 BC = Battle of Actium. Augustus defeats Mark Anthony (who partnered with Egypt’s Cleopatra) for control of Rome

31 BC to 180 AD = Pax Romana, 200 years of peace from Augustus to Aurelius

476 AD  = Date of the fall of the Roman Empire…Odoacer becomes emperor of Rome, a non-Roman!


Christianity-Rome Dates:

4 BC = Jesus is born

30 AD = Jesus’ death on a cross

70 AD = Romans destroyed Jerusalem, including the Jewish temple

135 AD = Romans drove Jews out of their homeland and forbid them to return

313 AD = Edict of Milan, Emperor Constantine decreed freedom of religion for all Romans, including Christians

380 AD = Emperor Theodosius recognizes Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire


Gibbons 5 Causes of Christianity’s Growth:

1.       The inflexible zeal of the Christians.  They really believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and they wanted other people to know this.

2.       The doctrine of a future life.  Christians taught that Jesus’ death on the cross provided a way for forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven. This attracted people.

3.       The miraculous power attributed to the early church.  It was not only Jesus who worked miracles, but also Peter and Paul and other Christians in the first century. 

4.       The pure and austere morals of the Christians.  The Christians in the First Century stood out.  While Roman society was degenerating into “wine, women and song,” Christians were seeking purity.  They did not indulge in the decadence and debauchery that was increasingly spreading in the Roman Empire

5.       The union and discipleship of the Christians.  The unity of Christians attracted people.  The early Christians displayed love and loyalty for each other.  Their discipleship, their devotion to following the teachings of Jesus and the writings of Paul in the New Testament unified them and gave them powers in numbers.



Republic                                                                                Legion

Patrician                                                                                Consul

Dictator                                                                                 Plebeian

Tribune                                                                                 Veto

Messiah                                                                                 Sect

Martyr                                                                                   Bishop

Pope                                                                                       heresy

Aqueduct                                                                               mercenary

Punic Wars



Possible Essay.

Can you think of ways that the Roman Empire provided a fertile base for Christianity to expand?