Ancient Rome Revision Note – Junior Cert Histroy

Ancient Rome Revision Note – Junior Cert Histroy

Controlled most of Europe and North Africa.

Evidence: ruins, coins, Latin documents.

Towns: grid pattern, Forum (marketplace), temples, amphitheatre (gladiators, Coliseum), aqueducts (water), roads (cobbled, Apian way), circus (chariot racing), sewerage system, town walls. Baths, public and private every day.

Houses: patricians lived in houses, plebeians lived in apartments.

Private house called a domus. Atrium (open courtyard in middle). Peristylium (walled garden). Tiled roofs. Mosaic floors. Villas in country.

Apartments: called insulae. Poor tenants at top, better off in middle, shops at bottom.

Family: father totally in charge. Strict discipline. Married young (12 and 14)

Clothes: knee-length tunics. Toga for men, stola for women.

Food: bread and porridge for poor. Rich ate a lot of meat, lying down. Vomitorium.

Education: rich only. Secondary for boys only. Very strict. Stylus on wax tablets.

Leisure and Entertainment: gladiators in amphitheatres (Coliseum) emperor’s thumb.

Chariot racing in Circus Maximus. Plays in semi-circular theatres.

Work: slaves did most farming and general labouring. Poor Romans were craftsmen and shopkeepers. Middle class was architects and doctors. Wealthy became generals or senators.

The army: legions of 5000. Highly trained. Javelins, short sword, armour and shield. Strict discipline (decimation). Forts along border of empire (Hadrian’s wall).

Giant catapults and cross-bows (ballistas).

Architecture: see Renaissance. Lots of sculpture and frescoes.

Religion and death: Many gods. Jupiter (father of all gods). Neptune (sea). Mars (war). Funeral processions followed by cremation and ashes put in urns and buried.

Christians buried in catacombs.

Reasons for fall of Rome:

  1. Power struggles between those wanting to be emperor.

  2. High cost of army.

  3. Corruption.

  4. Barbarian tribes (anyone outside empire)

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