2. IN THIS UNIT…
We are going to learn more about Roman civilisation.
Many Roman aqueducts, bridges, public baths and
amphitheatres can still be seen today.
How have the Romans influenced us?
With the language: many European languages are based
With their laws: Our laws are based on Roman laws
With one of the most important religion of the Empire:
Christianity appeared in the Roman Empire
1. The economy of Ancient Rome.
1.1. Economic activities.
1.2. Roman cities.
2. Society in Ancient Rome: free men, slaves...
3. Roman culture.
3.1. Roman law.
3.2. Language and literature.
3.3. Roman religion.
4. Roman architecture: temples, roads, aqueducts, circuses…
5. Roman art.
5.2. Painting and mosaics.
4. 1.1. Economic activities.
1. THE ECONOMY IN ANCIENT ROME.
In the city
5. In the countryside: agriculture and livestock
All farmland (and mines too) belonged to the state, which divided
it up among individuals for them to exploit.
There were improvements in farming technology: better tools and
irrigation systems, which improved efficiency and harvest.
The main crops farmed: wheat, grapes and olives.
The main livestock farmed: goats, sheep, cows and horses.
Plough and animal draught, such as oxen
Irrigation canal Aqueduct of Segovia
7. In the city.
Cities where important economic and commercial centres:
• Most artists had their workshops in the cities.
• Some of the most common products produced were: weapons,
textiles, farming tools and pottery.
Trade developed intensely.
The main goods traded: agricultural products, craftwork,
minerals and slaves, among others.
There was trade not only within the Empire but also with some
places outside the Empire, so we can talk about:
• Some provinces specialised in producing certain
goods. For instance, Egypt was an important
producer of wheat and Hispania produced
• From the Germanic territories, the Empire
obtained some products, such as leather, wood and
• From Africa, gold, ivory and slaves, too.
• From the East, perfumes and other luxury products.
9. THE EXPANSION OF THE ROMAN COMMERCE
Economic activities were favored by the territorial expansion.
The three main factors that allowed commerce to expand were:
Military conquest: allowed Rome to acquire wealth
and slaves and colonise new territories.
Land and sea travel: communicate between the
different parts of the Empire was easy thanks to an
excellent network of roads and ports.
A single currency: in Roman territories existed a
common currency. The most common coin was the
silver denarius, although there were other, such as
the ace of gold and the sextercio.
12. 1.2. Roman cities
Roman cities were the main economic and commercial
centres, and were the political administration was located, too.
The cities layout was based on the roman military camps
(castras). As the Romans were very well organised, they planned
their cities carefully:
There was a main road that went from north to south called the
cardo. The main road from east to west was called the
decumanus. The rest of the roads were parallel to these two
main roads, so they made a grid.
Where the cardo crossed the decumanus, there was a big
square, called the forum, one of the most important buildings.
15. 2. SOCIETY
FREE PEOPLE. They were divided into: citizens (with rights) or
no-citizens (free people with no rights).
Patricians: they were nobles and held all political rights.
Plebeians: most people were plebeians. They had some rights but
did not participate in government. During the republic, the
plebeians rebelled and achieved equal rights.
In 212 (with Caracalla), all free men in the Empire were made
citizens. However, citizenships was never extended to women or
SLAVES: were not considered as people and had no rights.
People became slaves if they were taken prisoner in a war, if they
didn´t pay their debts or if they were children of slaves. If their
owners freed them, they became liberti (libertos). Slaves could became
free by buying their freedom. Slave owners could also free their slaves= manumission.
ROMAN WOMEN. Belonged to their fathers of husbands. They
didn´t have the right to vote, but they could own property.
16. Kind of houses
a building with
There were spaces
for shops on the
17. A domus.
Where wealthy Roman
The rooms were laid
out around an interior
Banquets were held
inthe triclinium (dining
Kind of houses
18. 3. Roman culture
1. Roman law.
One of the most important, the Law of the Twelve Tables (450
2. Language and literature.
Roman culture was transmitted through the spread of Latin, the
language used by all inhabitants of the Empire.
Romans made important contributions to philosophy (Seneca),
literature (Ovid, Horace and Virgil), medicine (Galen) and
history (Julious Caesar, Tacitus and Livy).
3. Roman religion .
Official religion (until 380, when Christianity is the official
religion of the Empire): POLYTHEISTIC.
Imperial cult. During the Roman Empire, the emperor began
to worshipped like a god.
In 380: Christianity official religion of the Empire. Until this,
Christians were persecuted because they could not worship the
emperor as a God. Therefore, they used to meet in undergrounds
chambers, called catacombs.
19. 4. Roman architecture
The Romans constructed a lot of public buildings and
Aqueducts: to transport water to the cities.
Temples: to venerate their Gods.
Amphitheatres: these held gladiator and animal fights.
The Aqueduct of Segovia ; 1st century
The Maison Carrée temple, Nimes
The Coliseum in Rome
20. Circus: these were in the shape of a rectangle and were a
venue for chariot races.
Theatres: these were where actors performed comedies and
tragedies. They were semicircular.
Thermal baths: these were public baths and consisted of
several different rooms.
21. Basilica: these were places for meeting, trials and commercial
Triumphal arches: these had several entrances and
commemorated a military victory or an important event.
22. Architectural orders. The Romans used semicircular arches,
vaults and Greek columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian order).
They also created two new architectural orders: Tuscan and
23. 5. Roman art
Roman sculpture imitated Greek sculpture and there were two types,
portrait and historical relief.
The Romans used painting to decorate buildings and mosaics to
decorate walls and floors.