Lesson 1.03 - A Journey to Ancient Rome


Imagine that you could use a time machine to journey back in time to an ancient land with a new lifestyle, clothes, government, and even toys! What if people used chariots instead of cars or went to school before sunrise? Would you feel excited and/or afraid in this different time and country? Much of the Greek ideas of government were kept alive by the most famous of the ancient civilizations-Rome.

As the city-states of ancient Greece began to decline, Rome, a small town on the Italian penin­sula, set off on a course of expansion. This course was to make it the capital of the greatest empire the Western world had ever known. At its height, the Roman Empire covered most of Europe, North Africa, and a large part of the Middle East. It extended from Spain in the west to Mesopotamia in the east, and from the Rhine and Danube rivers in the north to Egypt and the Sahara in the south.

The geographic location of the Italian peninsula helped the Romans conquer their empire. Italy forms a sort of bridge connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, at the crossroads of the trade and communications of the Mediterranean world. In addition, the compact Italian land mass and absence of rugged mountains encouraged communications between towns. Rather than form independent city-states that jealously guarded their independence—as the isolated towns of Greece had done—the Italian communities joined together.

As their power grew, the Romans had to find ways to rule a huge area containing hundreds of different peoples. They devised new methods of government and administration and drew up new laws. These political and legal systems were among the major contributions of Rome to World History. The Romans led fascinating lives! Many of our present day customs descend from the ancient Romans. Use the following site to learn about “Dailey Life in Ancient Rome.” As you read through the site think about what customs we have inherited from the ancient Romans.


Another good site to learn about basic facts of Roman History and some famous Romans is found at


Assignment 1.03 - A Journey to Ancient Rome
In Ancient Rome, a senator was a powerful Roman citizen who helped make laws and control the city. As a senator, you will learn more about Roman government, including senators, emperors, and the connections between their government and the United States government. Pay attention to these areas as you explore your sites.

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As a Senator, it is important that you understand more about the Roman system of government. This website will tell you about Roman government. Please read this page and then answer these questions:

1. Name all the different ways in which Rome was ruled.

2. How were senators elected? Who could and could not vote in these elections?

3. When Rome became an empire, who was the leader? Were there still senators?

4. Why did the Romans want to have an Emperor?

5. What are the three branches of government? Which one is the most powerful part of the legislative branch?

6.Were women allowed to vote in Ancient Rome? Are they allowed to vote today? Do you think the laws about voting should be like the Ancient Roman times, or do you agree with today's laws? Why or why not?

7. How do you think an American woman from today would feel if she had to live back in Ancient Roman times?

8. Who was the first Roman emperor?

9. How did Caligula die?

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10. What does 'bicameral' mean?

11. How was the Roman government similar to the United States government?

12. Why is it important that the “Senators are chosen by the people?”

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