Ancient Rome: Geography, Society, Believes

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Geographical setting

The city of Rome is located on the west coast of modern-day Italy surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. Mediterranean climate is very pleasant with warm, dry summers and cool, mild winters. Ancient Rome was built on seven hills at the bank of the Tiber River, the second largest river in the country. Romes’ geographical setting played a crucial part in the expansion of the empire. The elevated location of the city ensured the protection from flooding and potential invasions from neighbouring empires.

Groups in society

Citizenship in Ancient Rome was gained at birth, on the condition that both parents were Roman citizens. Laws about citizenship changed throughout history. Plebeians (common people) were considered lower class and were often farmers or bakers. Plebeians were only granted the right to vote in the 3rd-century. Roman citizenship laid the foundations for modern-day democracies.

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Women in ancient Rome were considered citizens but did not have the right to vote or own property. They were completely dependant on male relatives and were considered to have weak judgement so were not included in political affairs or financial matters. The objectification of women in ancient Rome was expressed by separating women into those who were considered respectable and those who were not.

When children were born, they were granted bullas. Bullas were amulets worn for good luck. Wealthy families made theirs out of gold and poorer families would make them out of lead or more affordable materials. Childhood in ancient Rome had different stages. Children remained infants until the age of seven. From then, boys were put to work and taught to be farmers, craftsmen, or soldiers. Marriage was performed from an early age. Males were married from as early as 14 and females were often sold as young as 12.

Slaves made up a large percentage of the population in ancient Rome. Many slaves were captured during times of war and as the roman empire expanded, slaves would be captured from new lands. Some slaves sold themselves into slavery to pay off debts and criminals were sometimes sold into slavery. Not all slaves were farmers or miners, some slaves worked as teachers or accountants. Slaves were considered valuable and were mostly treated well although some were beaten and worked to death.


The ancient roman government was operated as a republic.

Gods and Goddesses

There were 12 major gods within ancient Roman belief. They were:

  • Jupiter – King of the gods and god of sky and thunder
  • Juno – Queen of the gods and protector of Rome’s women
  • Neptune – God of freshwater and the sea, earthquakes, hurricanes and horses he was often depicted with his trident.
  • Minerva – goddess of wisdom, arts, trade and strategy.
  • Mars – god of war; guardian of agriculture; embodiment of virility and aggression and founder of Rome.
  • Venus – Mother of the Roman people and goddess of love, beauty, fertility, sex, desire and prosperity.
  • Apollo – god of music, healing, light and truth. Apollo is one of only a few Roman gods who kept the same name as his Greek counterpart.
  • Diana – goddess of the hunt, the moon and birth.
  • Vulcan – God of fire, volcanoes, metalwork and the forge; maker of weapons
  • Vesta – goddess of hearth, home and family.
  • Mercury – god of profit, trade, eloquence, communication, travel, trickery and thieves mercury would guide dead souls to the underworld.
  • Ceres- goddess of agriculture, grain, women, motherhood and marriage.

Relationships with other societies

The relationship between ancient Rome and ancient china was built on trade. This was mainly due to the accessibility and easy transport from Ancient India to ancient Rome. Trade with India started around the beginning of the common era. Trade settlements established by the Romans remained long after the fall of the roman empire, copper, tin, lead, coral, topaz, thin clothing, gold and silver coin were all very common trades within indo-roman trade relationships.

Significance of Julius Ceasar

Julius Ceasar was an important figure not only to Roman history, but also to the history of the world. He was a very influential part of the fall of the roman republic as well as the birth of the roman empire. Throughout his life, Ceasar served as a military leader, a statesmen and a dictator and became very popular with the people of Rome. Ceasar conquered or attacked modern-day France, Belgium, Switzerland, England, Epygt, and parts of Germany. He was credited with expanding the power of Rome and creating provinces that, In some cases, outline nations that still exist today. The assassination of caesar lead to a long series of civil war which eventually ended in the death of the roman republic and the birth of the roman empire.  


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