The Romans




Introduction -- Capitoline wolf; early settlers.

The Founding Legends -- Romulus and Aeneas -- Rhea Silvia and Mars; twins’ birth and upbringing; establishment of city; death of Romulus; rape of Sabine women; Aeneas and Trojan War; Virgil’s Aeneid.

The Site of Rome -- Palatine Hill and its environs; situation of city; arrival of Greeks in Italy.

Etruscan Influence -- people and characteristics; occupation of Latium; six historical kings of Rome.

Under the Kings -- roots of Roman empire; constitution; society; functions of king; patricians; tribes; craftsmen and guilds; monetary system; building and civil engineering; sculpture; fall of Tarquin; rape of Lucretia NEW; Etruscan war; Lars Porsena; Horatius; Mucius Scaevola; Cloelia; end of period of the kings.


Introduction -- res publica; senators; equestrians; consuls; dictator; pontifex maximus.

State Officials -- cursus honorum; censor; praetor; aedile; quaestor; early coinage.

State Assemblies -- senate; comitia curiata; comitia centuriata; concilium plebis; comitia tributa; conflict of orders NEW.

The Twelve Tables (original Roman laws).

From City State to Italian Empire (338--191 BC) -- local wars; attitude to defeated states; Samnites; Caudine Forks; end of Etruscan empire.

The Punic Wars (264--146 BC) -- Carthage; First Punic War; Hannibal; Second Punic War; battle of Cannae; Cato the Elder; end of Carthaginian empire.

Tiberius Gracchus (c. 168--133 BC) and Gaius Gracchus (c. 159--121 BC) -- backgrounds; actions; legislation; fates; legacy.

Gaius Marius (157--86 BC) and the Reform of the Roman Army -- background; early life; first and subsequent consulships; army enlistment and equipment; later life; and Saturninus; Social War; Mithridates; and Sulla; and Cinna; siege and capture of Rome; death.

Sulla (138--78 BC) and his Constitutional Reforms -- as dictator; proscriptions; political measures; abdication; death. 


The End of the Republic -- Pompey, Crassus, Caesar’s first consulship, Cicero; consulships of Crassus and Pompey; Pompey and the pirates; death of Caesar’s daughter Julia; civil war; Caesar as dictator; battle of Pharsalus; Caesar and Cleopatra.

Julius Caesar (d. AD 44) -- bio. details; appearance; early career; First Triumvirate; Gaul; battle of Alesia; “Veni, vidi, vici”; in Africa and Spain; assassination; measures; constitutional position.

Great Julius Caesar Quiz.

Augustus (d. AD 14) -- bio. details; name; appearance; Second Triumvirate, with Antony and Lepidus; battle of Actium; position; achievements.

Tiberius (d. AD 37) -- bio. details; appearance; character; accession; marriage to Julia; and Livia; and Sejanus; the succession.

Caligula (d. AD 41) -- bio. details; early measures; illness; later actions; assassination.

Claudius (d. AD 54) -- bio. details; appearance; accession; character; measures and achievements; British campaign; and Messalina; and Agrippina.

Nero (d. AD 68) -- bio. details; appearance; character; and his mother; and Seneca and Burrus; and Poppaea; and great fire of Rome; and Christians; and his Golden Palace; opposition to; death.

Galba (d. AD 69) -- bio. details; appearance; accession; death.

Otho (d. AD 69) -- bio. details; appearance.

Vitellius (d. AD 69) -- bio. details; appearance; character; accession; death; year of four emperors.

Vespasian (d. AD 79) -- bio. details; daily routine; character; and Jews; Masada; measures; death.

Titus (d. AD 81) -- bio. details; appearance; and Colosseum; and eruption of Vesuvius; and Berenice; death.

Domitian (d. AD 96) -- bio. details; appearance; character; as military supremo; and Britain; policies; death; succession.


Introduction -- nature of Roman religion.

Roman divinities -- links with Greece; reflections of Etruscan religion; animism; temples.

Prayer and Sacrifice -- nature and purpose of rites.

Gods, Goddesses, and Spirits (annotated list)

Omens -- Sibylline Books; disasters; auspices; signs.

Worship in the Home -- Vesta and Janus; lares and penates; genius; birth; marriage; death; manes; larvae or lemures.

Worship in the Fields -- lustration (purification); country year and festivals (Liberalia, Fordicia; Ceres; Vinalia Rustica; Ambarvalia; Consus and Ops; Meditrinalia; Saturnalia).

The Religion of the State -- colleges; priests; flamines; vestal virgins; Cybele; festivals and rites (Consualia; Parentilia; Lupercalia; Mars; Vesta; Hercules; Portunus; Vulcan; Volturnus; Diana; Janus and Agoria).

Under the Empire -- foreign cults (Mithras, Isis, mysteries); Judaism; measures by Augustus; emperor worship NEW; Christianity.


Introduction NEW-- the nobility; equestrians; plebs; municipia.

Traditional values and customs NEW -- mos maiorum; familia; domus; virtus; pietas; gravitas.

The Economy and Money -- “bread and circuses”; imports; imperial income; public expenditure; basic coinage.

Work -- the daily round; industry and agriculture; trades and callings; clients and patronage.

The Place of Women -- guardians; marriage and dowries; Oppian Law and its repeal; jobs for women; pietas; Pompeia Paulina’s fortitude; Sempronia’s all-round qualities; two imperial consorts: Livia and Agrippina the Younger NEW.

Slavery -- its tradition; marriage; slave employment; Cato the Elder and; treatment of slaves; Pliny the Elder and; murder by a slave; manumission; acquisition of slaves by conquest; Martial on; Seneca on; freedmen.

Education -- the system; schools; rhetoric (oratory); philosophy.

The Roman Calendar -- a sundial; Julius Caesar’s reform; calends, ides, nones; lucky and unlucky days; water clock; a.m. and p.m.

Roman Numerals -- the basic symbols; combining the symbols; representing the year; thousands.

Dress -- underwear; tunic; toga and palla; synthesis; shaving; hairstyles.

Food and Drink -- basic diet and meals; dinner parties; menus; wines.

Holidays and the Games -- public holidays; ludi scaenici; ludi circenses; chariot racing; gladiatorial combat; animals in the arena; naumachia.


Sculpture -- background; qualities; Trajan’s column.

Painting and Mosaic -- frescoes; landscapes; still life; kinds of mosaic.

Gem Engraving -- rings; intaglio; cameo.

Domestic Architecture -- parts of a house; town houses; tenement blocks; lavatories; country villas; central heating.

The Architecture of Public Buildings -- orders of architecture; concrete; types of wall; circular temples; Pantheon; inner space; public baths; theatres; Roman building outside Italy; roads; bridges; aqueducts; Hadrian’s Wall.


Introduction -- language; alphabet; books; inflections; poetic metres and scansion.

Ennius -- background; tragedies; history of Rome; metre.

Comedy: Plautus and Terence -- Greek “new comedy”; Plautus’s background, popularity, methods, and influence; Terence’s background, methods, language, and influence.

Lucretius -- influence of Epicurus; De Rerum Natura.

Lyric Poetry: Catullus and Horace -- definition of lyric; Catullus and Lesbia; Catullus and Caesar; Horace’s life, poetry, metres, and personal philosophy.

Virgil -- Eclogues; Georgics; Aeneid; the story; influence of Virgil; character of Aeneas; Dido.

Elegiac Poetry: Propertius and Ovid -- Propertius and poems of love; Ovid’s life and times, poetry, exile; Metamorphoses; Tristia.

Epigram and Satire: Martial and Juvenal -- the verse and character of Martial; satires of Juvenal.

The Novel: Petronius and Apuleius -- classical prose fiction; “Trimalchio’s Dinner-Party”; Metamorphoses the novel (The Golden Ass); cult of Isis; the picaresque.

Historians: Caesar, Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius -- Caesar’s De Bello Gallico and De Bello Civile; Sallust; Livy’s histories and literary policy; Tacitus and his works; Ammianus Marcellinus; Suetonius as biographer.

Philosophy and Science: Seneca and Pliny the Elder -- Seneca as a Stoic; his tragedies; Pliny and his Natural History; his death.

Letter Writers: Cicero and Pliny the Younger -- Cicero’s correspondents; Pliny’s life and letters.

The Great Literature Quiz.


Introduction -- battle of Mons Graupius; Augustus and his standing army.

The Legion -- length of service; legions’ numbers and names; legionary standard (eagle); complement of a legion; officers and men.

Other Units -- auxiliary cavalry and infantry; imperial guard; city cohorts; vigiles; navy.

Weapons and Tactics -- legionary’s uniform and arms; artillery; Caesar’s tactics at Bibracte; close call at Munda.

Consolidating and Patrolling the Empire -- imperial policy of Augustus; of Claudius; of Trajan; of Hadrian; Britain; fortress at Inchtuthil; distance slabs; limes.



The “Five Good Emperors” (AD 96--180)
Nerva. Trajan -- and Christians; and alimenta. Hadrian -- accession; imperial policy; character; and Antinous; learning; and Jews; deification. Antoninus -- imperial policy. Marcus Aurelius -- influence.

Gradual Disintegration AD 180--284
Commodus -- in the arena; as Hercules. Helvius Pertinax -- in Britain. Salvius Julianus. Septimius Severus -- defeats rivals; in the east and in Britain; changes to administration and terms of army service; his sons; and superstition; his wife, Julia Domna. Caracalla -- and universal enfranchisement. Macrinus. Elagabalus. Alexander Severus -- his mother, Julia Mammaea. Maximinus. Gordian III. Gallienus and Valerian -- the “thirty tyrants”; breakaway dominion of Gaul. Aurelian -- and Zenobia; and wall of Rome.

Partial Recovery: Diocletian and Constantine (AD 284--337)
Diocletian -- division of the empire; Maximian and the west; Galerius and Constantius as Caesars; Carausius and Britain; Diocletian at Nicomedia; reorganization of provinces; monetary reforms; end of rebel regime in Britain; abdication; retirement. Constantine -- and rivals; Edict of Milan; and Christianity; Constantinople; and Jews; and paganism; army reforms.

The Fall of Rome
Death of Constantine. Emperors from Constans to Theodosius (AD 337--95); ugly situation in Britain. Valentinian and Valens -- their deaths. Theodosius (ruled AD 378--95) -- empire united; Christianity the religion of the empire; massacre at Thessalonica. Arcadius and Honorius -- final division of empire; accession in east of Theodosius II; migrations of Huns, Alani, Vandals, and Goths; Picts and Scots; Alaric besieges Rome; Britain abandoned. Sack of Rome by Goths; and by Vandals. Romulus Augustulus deposed (AD 476) -- end of Roman empire in west; the Catholic Church; causes of collapse. Eastern Roman empire -- Byzantium. Justinian (ruled AD 527-- 565) -- aims and achievements; his wife, Theodora; Justinian code. Split in Church (AD 1053). End of empire in east (AD 1453).

The Legacy of Rome
Alphabet and language; calendar; measuring distance; Roman law; other Roman institutions; familia; common abbreviations from Latin; Scottish law.



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