Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro

Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar Introduction PPT Intro
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(5 MB|61 pages)
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This 61 SLIDE PPT on the Roman Empire, Medieval Europe and Julius Caesar includes the following information. Please preview the information below before making your purchase. Thank you!

Part 1: Roman Empire

Part 2: Medieval Europe

An Overview

Part 1: Roman Empire

Theme: Republic and Empire

Origins of Rome

Rome was founded in the 8th Century B.C. and was originally a small city-state ruled by a single king

Late in the 6th Century B.C., the city’s aristocrats deposed the king, ended the monarchy, and instituted a republic

A republic is a form of government in which delegates represent the interests of various constituents

The Roman republic survived for over 500 years and at one time dominated the Mediterranean basin

Mediterranean Basin

Legend of Rome’s Founding

Aeneas migrated from Troy to Italy

Two of his descendants, Romulus and Remus, were abandoned by an evil uncle in the flooded Tiber River

A kindly she-wolf found them and nursed them to health

The boys grew strong and courageous and in 753 B.C., Romulus founded the city of Rome and established himself as its first king

Rise of Rome

From humble beginnings, Rome grew into a strong commercial center, in part because of its geographic location

Rome enjoyed easy access to the Mediterranean via the Tiber River, but because it was not on the coast, it was safe from invasion or attack by the sea

By the 6th Century B.C., trade routes from all parts of Italy converged in Rome

Establishment of the Republic

When the aristocracy deposed the king in 509 and established a republic, they instituted a republican constitution

Executive responsibilities were entrusted to two consuls who wielded civil and military power

Consuls were elected by an assembly dominated by hereditary aristocrats and wealthy classes

Consuls served one year terms

Establishment of the Republic

The Senate was composed mostly of aristocrats with extensive political experience

They advised the consuls and ratified all major decisions

Patricians versus Plebeians

Both the consuls and the Senate represented the interests of the patricians– the hereditary aristocrats and wealthy classes

This caused tension between the patricians and the common people– the plebeians

Patricians versus Plebeians

In the early 5th Century, tensions got so bad that the plebeians threatened to secede from Rome and establish a rival settlement

In order to maintain the integrity of the Roman state, the patricians granted the plebeians the right to elect officials known as tribunes to represent their interests

Patricians versus Plebeians

Originally the plebeians were authorized two tribunes, but that number eventually rose to ten

Tribunes had the power to intervene in all political matters and to veto measures they thought were unfair

Still the patricians continued to dominate Rome

Increased Representation for Plebeians

During the 4th Century, plebeians became eligible to hold almost all state offices and gained the right to have one of the consuls come from their ranks

By the early 3rd Century, plebeian-dominated assemblies won the power to make decisions binding on all of Rome

Republican Rome was gradually broadening the base of political participation


In times of civil or military crisis, the Roman constitution allowed for the appointment of a dictator who wielded absolute power for a term of six months

Expansion of the Republic

Rome expanded from central Italy, to the Italian Peninsula, to the Mediterranean basin

Defeats the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars between 264 and 146 B.C.

From Republic to Empire

Imperial expansion brought wealth to Rome, but the wealth was unequally distributed which aggravated class tensions

Conflicts arose over political and social policies

During the 1st Century B.C. and the 1st Century A.D., Roman civil and military leaders will gradually dismantle the republican constitution and replace it with a centralized imperial form of government

Problems with Conquered Lands

Conquered lands usually fell into the hands of wealthy elites who organized enormous plantations known as latifundia

The owners of latifundia enjoyed great economies of scale and used slave labor to drive the owners of smaller holdings out of business

Problems with Conquered Lands

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchi worked to limit the amount of conquered land an individual could hold

They met strong resistance from the wealthy and ruling classes and were both assassinated

Bigger Problem

The problem of land distribution was a symptom of a bigger problem

The constitution of the Roman republic had been designed for a small city-state

It was not suitable for a large and growing empire

Roman politicians and generals began jockeying for power and several raised personal armies for support

Civil War

The two most important generals were Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla

Marius sided with social reformers who favored redistribution of land

Sulla sided with the conservative and aristocratic classes

Civil War

In 87 B.C., Marius marched on Rome, placed the city under military occupation, and began hunting down his enemies

When Marius died the next year, Sulla moved to replace him

In 83, Sulla seized Rome and began slaughtering his enemies


Sulla initiated a reign of terror that lasted almost five years until he died in 78

During that period he killed some ten thousand individuals

He imposed an extremely conservative legislative program that weakened the influence of the lower classes and strengthened the hand of the wealthy

Julius Caesar

Sulla’s program did not address Rome’s most serious social problems

The latifundia continued to crush small farmers and poverty was rampant

There were many social eruptions when times were especially hard

Julius Caesar stepped into the chaos and inaugurated a process that replaced the Roman republican constitution with a centralized imperial form of government

Julius Caesar

Caesar was a nephew of Marius and he favored Marius’ liberal policies and social reform

In the 50s B.C., Caesar led an army that conquered Gaul and made him very popular

Julius Caesar

In 49 Caesar marched his army to Rome and by early 46 he had named himself dictator

But instead of the constitutional six month term, Caesar claimed to be dictator for life

Julius Caesar

Caesar centralized military and political functions and brought them under his control

He confiscated property from conservatives and distributed it among veterans of his army and other supporters

He launched large scale building projects to provide employment for the poor

He extended Roman citizenship to people in the imperial provinces

Julius Caesar

But Caesar’s reforms alienated many of Rome’s elite who considered him a tyrant

In 44 B.C. they assassinated him

However it was too late to return to the old conservative ways and a new round of civil crisis ensued for thirteen years

Octavian emerged in power


Octavian was a nephew, protégé, and adopted son of Julius Caesar

He defeated his principal rival, Mark Anthony, and Anthony’s ally Cleopatra at Actium, Greece in 31 B.C.


Octavian consolidates his rule and in 27 B.C., the Senate bestows upon him the title


“Augustus” has religious connotations suggesting a divine or semidivine nature

Augustus rules virtually unopposed for 45 years in “a monarchy disguised as a republic”


Augustus centralized political and military power like Julius Caesar did, but he was careful to preserve traditional republican offices and forms of government and included members of the Roman elite in his government

Government under Augustus

Accumulated vast powers for himself and ultimately took responsibility for all important governmental functions

Placed individuals loyal to him in all important positions

Reorganized the military system

Created a new standing army with commanders who owed allegiance to him

Eliminated the personal armies of earlier years

Stabilized the land after the years of civil war and allowed the institutions of empire to take root

Mare Nostrum

After Augustus, the Roman Empire continued to grow to the point that it surrounded the Mediterranean

Romans called the Mediterranean mare nostrum (“our sea”)

Expansion brought Roman soldiers, diplomats, governors, and merchants throughout the region

Trade flourished

Roman Empire, 117 A.D.

Pax Romana

By stopping the civil wars, Augustus inaugurated an era known as pax romana (“Roman peace”) which greatly facilitated trade and communication

Lasted from 27 B.C. to 180 A.D.

Also included applying standards of justice and a basic code of law throughout the empire

How were populations controlled by the Romans?

Under the republic

Representation (consuls and Senate)

Resolution of conflicts between the patricians and plebeians (tribunes)


Under the empire

Julius Caesar centralizes authority but alienates elite

Augustus continues centralization but placates elite and ensures loyalty through patronage

Pax romana stabilizes region through trade, communication, and law


Who were Romulus and Remus?

They were raised by __________.

How long did a Consul of Rome serve?

Who were the patricians?

Who were the plebeians?

How long did a “dictator” rule?

How long did Caesar declare himself dictator or Rome?


Who did the Romans defeat in the Punic Wars?

Part 2: Medieval Europe

Theme: Order in the absence of empire

Regional States

Germanic invaders toppled Rome’s authority in the late 5th Century A.D. but no clear successor to centralized authority emerged

The Franks temporarily revived empire; the high point of which was the reign of

Charlemagne from 768-814

Regional States

After Charlemagne, his successor Carolingians had no effective means of defending against Magyars, Muslims, Vikings, and other invaders

In response, European nobles sought to protect their lands and maintain order in their own territories

Political authority in early medieval Europe thus devolved into competing local and regional jurisdictions with a decentralized political order



There really was no “feudal system” if that implies a neat hierarchy of lords and vassals who collectively took charge of political and military affairs

Because the feudal hierarchy arose as a makeshift for defense against invaders, it always had a provisional, ad hoc, and flexible character

There was no “system”

However, medieval European society was characterized by

Fragmentation of political power

Public power in private hands

Armed forces secured through private contracts

Medieval Society

Early Middle Ages (450-1050)

The country was not governed by the king but by individual lords who administered their own estates, dispensed their own justice, minted their own money, levied taxes and tolls, and demanded military service from vassals

Usually the lords could field greater armies than the king

In theory the king was the chief feudal lord, but in reality the individual lords were supreme in their own territory

Many kings were little more than figurehead rulers


The nobles maintained their armies by offering grants, usually land, to armed retainees

In exchange for the grants, the retainees pledged their loyalty and military service to their lords

The retainees gained increased rights over their land, to include the prerogative to pass on their rights to the heirs

Political-Military Relationship

A close relationship between political and military authorities developed

As a result, political authorities and military specialists merged into a hereditary noble class which lived off the surplus agricultural production that it extracted from the cultivators

Only by tapping into this surplus could the lords and their retainees secure the material resources necessary to maintain their control over military, political, and legal affairs.


Free peasants sought protection from a lord and pledged their labor and obedience in exchange for security and land to cultivate

Beginning in the mid 17th Century, this category become recognized as serfs– neither fully slave nor fully free

Not chattel slaves subject to sale by their master

But still owed obligations to the lords whose lands they cultivated

Serfs’ Obligations

Had the right to work certain lands and to pass those lands on to their heirs

In exchange they had to perform labor services and pay rents in kind (a portion of the harvest, chickens, eggs, etc)

Male serfs typically worked three days a week for their lords with extra services during planting and harvesting times

Women serfs churned butter, spun thread, and sewed clothes for their lords and their families

Serfs’ Obligations

Since the lord provided the land, the serfs had little opportunity to move and had to get the lord’s permission to do so

Even had to pay fees to marry someone who worked for a different lord


Manors were large estates consisting of fields, meadows, forests, agricultural tools, domestic animals, and serfs

The lord of the manor and his deputies provided government, administration, police services, and justice for the manor

Many lords had the authority to execute serfs for serious misconduct

In the absence of thriving cities in rural areas, manors became largely self-sufficient communities

Transition to the High Middle Ages

(1050 to 1400)

The regional stability of the early middle ages allowed local rulers to organize powerful regional states

Holy Roman Empire

Capetian France

Norman England

Papal States


The kings of England and France used their relationships with retainees, and particularly with merchants, to build powerful, centralized monarchies

Still no one could consolidate all of Europe under a single empire.

Three Estates of Medieval Society

Those who pray

The clergy of the Roman Catholic Church

Those who fight


Those who work


The result was a society marked by political, social, and economic inequality


Church officials originally proposed a chivalric code to curb fighting within Christendom

By the 12th Century, the ritual by which a young man became a knight commonly included the candidate placing his sword upon an altar and pledging his service to God


With chivalry, warriors were encouraged to adopt higher ethical standards and refined manners and become cultivated leaders of society

The chivalric code called for a noble to devote himself to the causes of order, piety, and the Christian faith rather than seeking wealth and power

How was order maintained in the Early Middle Ages?

How was order maintained in the Early Middle Ages?

In the absence of a strong centralized authority, local political and military elites worked out various ad hoc ways to organize and protect their territories

Lords and retainees



How was order maintained in the High Middle Ages?

How was order maintained in the High Middle Ages?

The regional stability of the Early Middle Ages allowed powerful regional states to be built, but there was still no single European Empire

The code of chivalry helped provide some order and protection for those who otherwise would be most vulnerable to unchecked power

Total Pages
61 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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