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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

World History
Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar

The Roman Republic

In 509 BC Romans overthrew the Etruscan king, Tarquin. The Roman Republic had no king. They elected two consuls who were only allowed in office for one year. In times of crisis, a dictator would serve for one year, then they would go back to the republic. Patricians, wealthy landowners, had the say in government - about 10% of the population. Plebians, or common people, had few rights at first. Eventually they threatened to not serve in the military if they did not get some rights, so they were given an assembly to vote on Plebian matters.

Punic Wars
(Three Wars Fought with Carthage)

The first took place in 264 BC. Rome thought Carthage was a threat. Rome won in 241 BC. This was Rome's first military conquest.

In 218 BC during the second of the Punic Wars, Hannibal, a Carthaginian general invaded from the north with his army and war elephants. They went by way of Spain, gaining allies along the way. In 216 BC Hannibal tricked the Romans. He pretended to retreat, then surrounded and smashed them, and got to the gates of Rome. Hannibal couldn't win because he didn't have enough supplies or men. Rome won in 202 BC.

Rome won and destroyed Carthage in the third Punic War in 146 BC. By 196 BC Rome had beaten Macedonia, and by 133 BC Rome had the entire Greek world.

(In 214 BC the Roman navy was coming to conquer the Greek town of Syracuse. Archimedes, who had developed a catapult that could throw rocks 600 feet, arranged mirrors to direct the suns concentrated rays at the Roman fleet - the entire fleet was burned.)

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar took over after much unrest due to problems from wars, slave revolts and other problems in 60 BC. The Punic wars had cost a lot in men, money, and had caused destruction. The first Triumvirate was instituted as three generals, Caesar, Pompeii, and Krassus, banded together. All had three had armies.

Elected Consul in 70 BC, Pompeii helped end the slave revolt and destroyed Mediterranean pirates. The Senate opposed him so he banded with the other two. Pompeii's wife was Caesar's daughter. After she died, he became Caesar's jealous enemy. Pompei was defeated at Pharsala, and fled to Egypt where he was killed. Once, when invading Spain, his armies came across great tubs of honey, ate lots, and became deathly ill because of the toxic impurities in the honey. The Spanish had been waiting in the hills, swooped down, and crushed the Romans.

Ruins at Ancient City of Pompeii
Ruins at the Ancient City of Pompeii

Crassus made most of his money organizing private fire brigades, burning houses, buying them cheaply, and then putting out the fires. He gained great prestige by beating Spartacus. The First Triumvirate didn't get along with Pompeii. Trying for military glory, Crassus was beaten by the Parathions and brutally killed. In 69 BC Caesar returned to Rome after Sulla's death (78 BC) and helped Pompeii get control of the army.

Gallic Wars
The Gallic Wars brought Gaul (France) under Roman control. Legions became loyal to Caesar. In 50 BC the Senate ordered Caesar to disband his army. On January 19, 49 BC Caesar crossed the Rubicon and the civil war started. He was ordered to not enter the gates of Rome with his army, but he did, anyway. His army had 50,000. Caesar beat Pompei and chased him to Egypt, where Caesar met Cleopatra. When Caesar returned, he helped the poor and they loved him.

Caesar beat the other two by 46 BC and made himself dictator. He instituted many reforms, lowered taxes, made governors responsible to him, and gave over 100,000 veterans land. In 44 BC Caesar was named dictator for life. He was killed by Brutus and Cassius, senators who feared his power.

End of the Republic
The Second Triumvirate was formed. (Marc Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian - Caesar's adopted son) Octavian, Augustus Caesar, took over after beating Antony and Cleopatra in a naval battle at Actium. Augustus became a dictator. This was the end of the Republic.

Back to the Top

I - The Etruscans / Romulus and Remus

II - The Roman Republic

III - Augustus Caesar

IV - Rise of the Roman Empire

V - Roman Life and the Spread of Christianity

VI - The Pax Romana and Roman Culture

VII - Decline of the Roman Empire

Class Activity
Roman Aqueduct Project

Further Topical Reading
Historical Jesus

More Information
The Emperors of Rome

Malaria May Have Hastened the Fall of Rome

Virtual Tour of Ancient Rome - Past & Present

The Ancient City of Pompeii

Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | Renaissance and Reformation |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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