Chapter 6


Ancient Rome and Early Christianity



Section 1: The Romans Create a Republic

Main Idea: The early Romans established a republic, which grew powerful and spread its incluence.

Why It Matters Now: Some of the most fundamental values and institutions of Western civilization began in the Roman Republic.

Setting The Stage: While the great civilization of Greece was in decline, a new civilization to the west was developing and increasing its power. The city of Rome grew from a small village to a mighty empire. It adopted much of Greek art, philosophy, religion, and drama. And it created a lasting legacy of its own.


The Roman Rebublic - an excellent site with everything you need to know about the Roman Republic.

Battles of the Roman Empire: some good descriptions with pictures of some of Rome's famous battles

Roman Territorial Expansion: a good site about Rome's expanion in its early years including maps

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Section 2: The Roman Empire Brings Change


Main Idea: The creation of the Roman Empire transformed Roman government, society, economy, and culture.

Why It Matters Now: The Roman Empire has served throughout history as a model of political organization and control.

Setting The Stage: Rome grew rapidly, and growth brought political, economic, and social changes. Some leaders attempted reforms, but the republican government was unable to deal with the problems caused by these changes.


Augustus and the Early Roman Empire: a page about Augustus with pictures.

Augustus: Images of Power - a good site about Augustus's accomplishment in the Roman Empire.

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Section 3: The Rise of Christianity

Main Idea:Christianity arose in Roman-occupied Judea and spread throughout the Roman Empire.

Why It Matters Now: As the world's most widespread religion, Christianity guides the lives of millions today.

Setting The Stage: The worship of Roman gods was impersonal, practiced without a great deal of emotion. Priests used sacred rites to intercede on behalf of worshippers. A new religion called Christianity, born as a movement within Judaism, emphasized the personal relationship between God and people. It attracted many Romans.


Christians and Rome: a lot of information and some pictures about Christianity in Ancient Rome.

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Section 4: The Decline of the Roman Empire

Main Idea: Internal problems and nomadic invasions spurred the division and decline of the Roman Empire.

Why It Matters Now: The decline and fall of great civilizations is a repeating pattern in world history.

Setting The Stage: In the third century AD, Rome faced many problems. They came both from within the empire and from outside. Drastic economic, military, and political reforms would be needed to hold off collapse.


 Rome: The Late Empire: a very informative site about the Roman Empire

Collapse of the Roman Empire: a descriptive page about the fall of the Roman Empire

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Section 5: Rome and the Roots of Western Civilizations

Main Idea: The Romans developed many ideas and institutions that became fundamental to Western civilization.

Why It Matters Now: Evidence of Roman culture is found throughout Europe and North America and in Asia and Africa.

Setting The Stage: Romans borrowed the adapted cultural elements freely, especially from the Greek and Hellenistic cultures. Rome created a great civilization, whose art and architecture, language and literature, engineering, and law became its legacy to the world.


The Romans - another great site with a ton of information about the Romans and good pictures of their accoplishments.

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