4.2: Expansion of the Roman Republic

The Time of Greeks and Romans
4.2: Expansion of the Roman Republic
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The Time of Greeks and Romans
4.2: Expansion of the Roman Republic

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Age of Greeks and Romans
3.000 BC - 500 AD

Slide 2 - Tekstslide

What you will learn in 
this lesson
  • What were the Punic Wars?
  • Who was Hannibal?
  • How did Hannibal almost destroy Rome? 
  • How was Hannibal defeated?
  • What were the consequences of the Punic Wars?
  • Why and how did the Roman army change?

Slide 3 - Tekstslide

Word Duty

expansion: getting bigger, larger
Punic Wars: three wars that were fought between Rome and Carthage
empire: when a country conquers other lands the country and its new territories are called an empire.
superpower: a very strong and powerful country
booty; valuable stolen goods, especially those seized in war.
legion: a Roman military unit that was made up of 5,000 soldiers who were called legionaries.


Slide 4 - Tekstslide

people in this lesson
consul / general
consul / general

Slide 5 - Tekstslide

Once the Romans had taken over the whole of Italy, they did not stop their expansion. This map shows you how the Roman empire grew bigger and bigger until it surrounded the Mediterranean Sea. How did the Romans become so powerful?

Slide 6 - Tekstslide

Expansion during the Republic

Rome was a republic from 509 - 27 BC, so roughly five centuries. During this period Rome grew from an Italian city state to an empire.

The Roman republic kept conquering land and by 265 BC, it controlled Southern Italy, which was made up of Greek city-states. With this power Roman trade also grew. To trade, the Romans needed access to the seaports, but that would not be easy. Another powerful empire was in their way: Carthage. The city Carthage was in modern day Tunisia. The Carthaginians ruled lands in Northern Africa, Spain and Sicily. They had a far stronger navy than the Romans and were willing to fight over Southern Italy and trade.

Reconstruction image of ancient Carthage and its harbour as it appeared before Roman conquest - situated in modern day Tunisia

Slide 7 - Tekstslide

1. Look at the map. Which three islands off the coast of Italy were conquered by Carthage?

Slide 8 - Open vraag

In which modern country was Carthage located?

Slide 9 - Quizvraag

The Punic Wars

The first war with Carthage, or the first Punic War (264-241 BC), was fought over Sicily. Rome defeated Carthage after 23 years. Carthage was able to recover. They started the second Punic war in 218 BC.

The brilliant Carthaginian general Hannibal surprised the Romans by leading an army (including 60 war elephants!) across the Alps into Italy.
Hannibal won battles at lake Trasimeno (217 BC) and Cannae (216 BC). This terrified the Romans because they expected him to attack Rome next.

Modern reconstruction drawing of the Carthaginian army crossing the Alps with elephants

Slide 10 - Tekstslide

Modern reconstruction drawing of the Carthaginian army crossing the Alps with elephants

Slide 11 - Tekstslide

Use internet to find the answer to this question:
Where does the name "Punic" Wars come from?

Slide 12 - Open vraag

2a. The First Punic War was fought over the island

Slide 13 - Quizvraag

2b. The First Punic War was mainly a dispute over:

Slide 14 - Quizvraag

3. Why were the Romans surprised when Hannibal's army arrived in Italy?

Slide 15 - Open vraag

4. Why couldn't the Romans catch Hannibal in Italy?

Slide 16 - Open vraag

For how long was Hannibal able to attack Roman cities in Italy?
15 months
6 years
150 days
15 years

Slide 17 - Quizvraag

Hannibal defeated

Because of his losses as he crossed the Alps, Hannibal's army was not strong enough to attack the city of Rome. 
So Hannibal attacked other cities and towns throughout Italy. Hannibal and his army spent 15 years in Italy fighting against the Roman legions.

Rome was worried and afraid. They had to keep a large army near Rome to protect against Hannibal so they could never get enough troops out to catch him. Rome came up with a new plan.
The Roman general Scipio took the Roman army and attacked Carthage itself.
The leaders of Carthage panicked and called Hannibal and his army home. When Hannibal got back, Scipio was prepared. During a bloody battle Hannibal's army was defeated (see video clip). The Romans did not manage to catch Hannibal himself, but they forced Carthage to shrink its army and navy, and pay tribute (money) to Rome.

Reconstruction image of ancient Carthage and its harbour as it appeared before Roman conquest - situated in modern day Tunisia

Slide 18 - Tekstslide

5a. How were the Romans able to get Hannibal to leave Italy?

Slide 19 - Open vraag

5b. Drag 4 of the 5 places to their correct location in the map
Lake Trasimeno

Slide 20 - Sleepvraag

Rome's secret weapon

The First Punic War was fought largely over the island of Sicily. This meant a lot of the fighting was at sea where Carthage had the advantage of a much stronger navy than Rome. However, Rome quickly built up a large navy of over 100 ships. Rome also invented the corvus, a type of assault bridge that allowed Rome's superior soldiers to board enemy navy vessels. Rome soon dominated Carthage and won the war.

Slide 21 - Tekstslide

The end of Carthage

Rome allowed Carthage to rebuild over time. Some senators did not like that very much. They were afraid that Carthage would one day start another war if it was allowed to become strong again.
A senator called Cato ended every speech he gave in the senate with the words: ‘and I also think we should destroy Carthage.’ Finally he got his way. The senate was so afraid that Carthage might rise again that they made sure it never would. They attacked Carthage and during this Third Punic War (149-146 BC) the Romans completely destroyed Carthage and put salt on their fields, so nothing could ever grow there again. Carthage would never recover.

Modern drawing that gives an impression of the final battle of Carthage.
Roman triremes sail towards the harbour of the city of Carthage
Modern drawing that gives an impression of the final battle of Carthage.
Roman soldiers use the "turtle" formation, using their shields to make a roof that protects them from arrows and projectiles.

Slide 22 - Tekstslide

6. What was the cause of the 3rd Punic War?

Slide 23 - Open vraag

Complete the sentences with:    was, wasn’t, were, weren’t
                                       Positive               Negative              
I / he / she / it           was                       wasn't                  cold.

You / we / they          were                     weren't                cold.
a. Carthage                                  a powerful empire in Africa
b. Hannibal                                  satisfied when he was beaten by the Romans.
c. The Romans                                  convinced they had to destroy Carthage.
d. A lot of booty                                  brought to Rome.

Slide 24 - Sleepvraag

Write down one question about something from this lesson that you find difficult.

Slide 25 - Open vraag

The Time of Greeks and Romans
4.2: Expansion of the Roman Republic

part two

Slide 26 - Tekstslide

Consequences of the Punic Wars

After the Punic wars the Romans became a superpower in the region. They quickly tried to take over from the defeated Carthaginians. They took control of the Southern parts of Italy, where many Greek colonies were located. They also took Carthaginian possessions in Spain.
With all this expansion, new wealth came to Rome. Beautiful statues were brought to Rome as war booty. Proud generals displayed them in their homes, which made other Romans jealous. They wanted more wealth too and soon Rome started wars to conquer more rich lands, like Greece.
After the conquest of Greece, all things Greek became popular in Rome. The patricians even started to speak Greek in public instead of Latin. Many prisoners of war were brought to Rome: some worked as slaves in homes of the rich, perhaps teaching their children Greek. Others might have built a new theatre for the city. The Romans thought most things from Greek culture were fantastic. They adopted and copied Greek myths and Greek architecture. They even adopted the Greek gods, although they gave them Roman names.

map: the Roman empire, including Greece, in 146 BC
bottom picture: Roman soldiers have captured the Greek city of Athens

Slide 27 - Tekstslide

7. Rome could become a big empire after the 3rd Punic War because it had no more strong competitors.

Do you agree with this statement?
I agree completely
I agree partially
I disagree mostly
I disagree completely

Slide 28 - Quizvraag

The Romans adopted the Greek gods but gave them Roman names.

Use the internet. What were the Roman names of Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hades and Ares

Slide 29 - Open vraag

8. What do you notice when you see the names of the Roman gods?

Slide 30 - Open vraag

a Professional army

The early Roman army was organised similarly to the armies of the Greek poleis. Only Roman citizens who could pay for their own armour and equipment could join the army. It was not a professional army. 
As the empire got bigger Rome needed more soldiers. The consul Gaius Marius, who was also a succesful army general, changed the organisation of the Roman army around 100 BC. From then on:
  • poor citizens could also join the army;
  • Rome paid the armour and equipment;
  • soldiers signed up for a fixed period of time (16 to 20 years);
  • soldiers were paid wages for their service;
  • the army was organised into legions, each made up of around 5,000 soldiers.
Rome now had a full-time professional army.
The Roman army became one of the most successful armies in world history. It was well-trained, well-equipped, and well-organized. You can learn more about the Roman army in a different lesson.

top picture: Roman legionaries during the Republican era.
bottom: overview of one Roman legion

Slide 31 - Tekstslide

Marius' mules

Gaius Marius also introduced other reforms. To ensure his soldiers were fit he ordered them to go on long route-marches. While doing this they had to carry their own cooking utensils, three days' food rations, a sickle, rope, pick-axe, turf-cutter, shield, sword and javelin. Not surprisingly, Roman legionnaires obtained the nick-name "Marius' mules".

Mule = pakezel

Slide 32 - Tekstslide

9. Which of these statements is correct?

I. After the reforms of Marius, slaves could become soldiers.
II. After the reforms of Marius, being a soldier was a fulltime profession.
Both are correct
Both are wrong
Only I is correct
Only II is correct

Slide 33 - Quizvraag

Slide 34 - Tekstslide

10. Would you say that the empire expanded more and more quickly after the reforms of Marius? Use information from the map to explain your answer.

Slide 35 - Open vraag

Now make a note in your notebook.
4.2: Expansion of the Roman Republic

Rome grew for a city-state into an empire. Trade was very important for this vast empire, but the city state of Carthage stood in their way.

Rome fought three wars against Carthage (the Punic wars).
During the second Punic war, the Carthagian general Hannibal crossed the Alps and spend 15 years fighting the Roman legions. Roman general Scipio ended the war with a direct attack of Carthage itself. But Carthage rebuild over time. To prevent the rise of a more powerfull Carthage, the roman senators started  a Third Punic war and destroyed Carthage for good.

After the Punic wars, Rome started new wars to conquer more rich lands, like Greece.
The Romans adapted en copied the Greek culture.

As the Roman empire grew bigger, Rome needed more soldiers. Roman general Gaius Marius reformed the army into a full-time professional army.

Slide 36 - Tekstslide

Write down one question about something from this lesson that you find difficult.

Slide 37 - Open vraag

If you want to learn more about Hannibal's war against Rome you can watch this 90 minute film. Not mandatory (niet verplicht), but interesting nonetheless....

Slide 38 - Tekstslide

Slide 39 - Video