Roman Society

Roman Society
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Slide 1: Slide
Ancient History10-12 Grade

This lesson contains 22 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 3 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 60 min

Items in this lesson

Roman Society

Slide 1 - Slide

Respond to the questions as you go through the introduction to Roman society during its Imperial era.

Slide 2 - Slide

Slave Society
Slavery was deeply woven into the fabric of Roman society. There are several ways that people in Roman society could fall into slavery.
  • Defeated enemies were caught and sold them into slavery.  
  • People who did not pay debts  
  • Committing certain crimes 

Roman slavery differed from American slavery. Roman slavery wasn’t based on race. Where American slaves generally performed manual labor, Roman slaves could sometimes be highly skilled. Educated slaves captured from the Greek world were highly sought after for tutoring children and performing clerical work. Of course, many slaves resented their subservient status, and some rebelled. The most famous slave revolt in Roman history, the 3rd Servile War, was led by the gladiator Spartacus who headed an army of 120,000 freed slaves. When the rebellion was finally crushed, 6,000 surviving slaves were crucified along the Appian Way, a major road leading into Rome.

Slide 3 - Slide

Compare the Roman and American forms of slavery. Identify one similarity AND one difference in this comparison.

Slide 4 - Open question

Paterfamilias: “father of the family”
  • Right to arrange marriages, sell children into slavery, but this was rarely enforced 
  • Women not allowed to inherit property 

Slide 5 - Slide

Education was based on classical Greek traditions, Roman politics, cosmology, and religion. The only children to receive a formal education were the children of the rich. These children were either privately tutored, taught by slaves, or sent to private schools. Children of poor families were not educated. 

Roman education was strict. If a student answered a question incorrectly, teachers would beat him with a cane. If students spoke in class without permission they would be dragged to the front of the class and beaten with a cane or a whip. 
Reading and writing were part of every education as the written word was everywhere. Boys would be given lessons in honor and physical training to prepare them for a man’s role in society and the army. Boys were also taught simple addition and subtraction. More difficult mathematics was not taught as the Roman numerals made advanced math extremely difficult.

Girls were only allowed to learn to read and write

Slide 6 - Slide

Would you want to be educated in the Roman fashion? Why, why not? Explain your answer.

Slide 7 - Open question

As Rome grew, the Han dynasty expanded its power in China. These two empires were too far apart to have a direct relationship, but they were linked indirectly through trade. The Silk Roads began in the Mediterranean and ended in East Asia. Elites in India and China prized Roman-made glass and rugs, while Roman aristocrats enjoyed purchasing silks made in the Far East, and the spices of South Asia. 

Slide 8 - Slide

On the next slide, identify which goods were traded INSIDE the empire, and which goods come from OUTSIDE.

Slide 9 - Slide

Trade Inside Rome
Trade Outside of Rome
WHEAT from 
SILK from 

Slide 10 - Drag question

The Amphitheater -- The Colosseum could seat up to 50,000 people and was the largest amphitheater in the Empire. People gathered to see the fights between gladiators, prisoners and wild animals. This entertainment served an ulterior motive for Emperors. People who went to the games are less likely to be bored, criticizing their ruler, and rebel. For this reason, emperors would heavily invest in any celebration to keep the keep people’s loyalty and affection.
The Theatre -- Plays were a favorite past time of Rome. Actors wore costumes that were very symbolic; a purple gown stood for a rich man, a striped toga for a boy, a short cloak for a soldier, a red toga for a poor man, a short tunic for a slave etc. Women were not allowed to act, so their parts were normally played by a man or young boys wearing a white mask. Some plays were often violent and could result in the death of an actor by mistake.

Slide 11 - Slide

Write at least FIVE words or phrases that summarize what entertianment in Rome was like during the height of Rome's power.
Roman Entertainment
Roman Entertainment

Slide 12 - Mind map

Imperial Government
As Rome expanded its borders the Republic was unable to cope and so entered the first emperor, Augustus, and the birth of an empire. Under the authority of the emperor, the popular assemblies all but disappeared and the Senate became more and more ceremonial. The Senate only endorsed the wishes of the emperor. Emperors that were effective would have supreme authority, with the ability to not only introduce legislation and veto laws but also command the army. To those less effective emperors, their reigns were either short or as simple puppets.

Slide 13 - Slide

The Roman religion was polytheistic. From an initial array of gods and spirits, Rome added to this collection to include both Greek gods as well as a number of foreign cults. As the empire expanded, the Romans refrained from imposing their own religious beliefs upon those they conquered; however, this inclusion must not be misinterpreted as tolerance. It was just simpler not to enforce religion on the millions who Rome conquered. 
To the average citizen, the emperor was the father of the country or pater patriae. This almost worship of the emperor would ultimately morph into the imperial cult. This became the main reason that Rome grew hostile towards Jewish and Christian communities. Both refused to participate in the worship of the Roman gods and make sacrifices at their temples. Doing so not only went against Roman religious values but against the Emperor himself.

Slide 14 - Slide

Identify one way in which religion was used to govern the people of Rome.

Slide 15 - Open question

Slide 16 - Video

Because of this historian, we know quite a lot about many of Rome's emperors.

Slide 17 - Quiz

This group started as the personal bodyguards of the Emperor. They become corrupt and begin executing emperors they dislike and install emperors they can use as puppets.
Rome's Senators
The Patricians
The Plebians
The Praetorian Guard

Slide 18 - Quiz

Slide 19 - Video

The 2nd century CE in Rome would become known as the 'Era of the Five Good Emperors'. IDENTIFY two reasons that support this claim.

Slide 20 - Open question

The next slide has the full video of the history of Rome. You do not have to watch it as part of this grade. This just a good review of Rome's history from its rise to its fall.

Slide 21 - Slide

Slide 22 - Video