Roman Economy, Society, and Cosmopolitan Life (271-284)

Economy and Society in The Roman Mediterranean DH

*Good roads and pax romana encouraged trade between Rome and Mediterranean Basin
*Cities benefitted from wealth of trade
*New cities were built to serve as links between Roman and Mediterranean regions
*Romans built Patriarchal Society
*Made extensive use of slave labor

Trade and Urbanization

A. Commercial Agriculture DH

*Agriculture was the economic foundation of the Roman empire LP
*Owners of latifundia concentrated on growing crops strictly for export
*Grain could be imported in large quantities for [[#|cheap]] prices
- allowed other countries to cultivate other [[#|fruits and vegetables]] and produce manufactured goods
- Ex. Italy: pottery, glassware, and bronze
- Ex. Spain: High quality olive oils, wine, horses, and most of Romans' precious metals

B. Mediterranean Trade DH

*Sea lanes [[#|linked]] ports from Syria and Palestine to Spain and North Africa
*Roman Military and naval power kept seas largely free of pirates
- this ensured the safe travel of goods

C. The City of Rome DH

*Taxes, tributes, and wealth generated by military expansion generated urban development
*In 1st Century CE, Romans had [[#|financed]] construction of various buildings and necesities
- temples, bath houses, statues, public buildings, stadiums
- Aqueducts that carried in fresh water from mountains
*Used concrete for construction
- invented by Roman engineers in Republic Era
- concrete strenghtened structures
- Allowed builders to be precise in water control and plumbing
*Construction offered [[#|employment]] for many
- caused economy to surge
- brought in many migrants
- population greatly increased

D. Roman Citites and Their Attractions DH

*Wealth was concentrated into cities
*Romans in urban areas enjoyed more luxuries than those in rural areas
- abundant supply of fresh water
- elaborate sewage and [[#|plumbing systems]]
- public baths with [[#|hot and cold]] [[#|rooms]]
- swimming pools and gyms
*Circuses, Amphitheatres, and stadiums provided entertainment
- Circuses: Ovals for chariot races
- The Circus Maximus held 250,000 spectators LP
- Stadiums: Fight to the Death arenas
- The Roman Colosseum opened in 80 CE, marble stadium, held 50,000 spectators LP
- Stadium: The Colosseum had an awning for sunny or rainy days and could even be filled with water for naval battles
Colloseumaerial.jpg
Colleseum (AM)

Family and Society in Roman Times

A. The Pater Familias DH

*Roman families included slaves, free servants, and relatives living together LP
*Males were head of families
- Eldest male ruled family as pater familia, "father of the family"
- Pater familia could arrange marriages for children, determine their [[#|jobs]], and punish them for offenses
- He could also sell them into slavery or execute them
*Pater Familias were rarely unfair
*Women supervised domestic affairs
- By middle age, women typically had a considerable influence within their families
- Helped arrange marraiges, managed family's financial affairs LP
*Strict laws stating women could not recieve inheritances were rarely enforced
*2nd and 3rd Centuries CE expansion of trade allowed many women to own land
*1st Century CE, many women oversaw financial affairs, family businesses, and wealthy estates

B. Wealth and Social Change DH

*Landowners, merchants, and construction workers accumulated lots of wealth

- built palatial houses with formal gardens LP
- threw large banquets LP
- explored culinary skills
*Poverty became a serious problem
- riots would break out
- provided recruits for private armies LP
- Imperial authorites sought to keep rioters content with subsidized grain and public entertainment, "bread and circuses"

C. Slavery DH

*Slaves may have represented 1/3 of population
*Worked on latifundia, or in state quarries or mines
*Worked in harsh conditions and were often chained together in teams
- City conditions were easier than in the [[#|country]] side
*Rural slaves would revolt during 1st and 2nd centuries BCE LP
*73 BCE, Spartacus (an escaped slave) assembled an army of 70,000 slaves LP
*Slaves who had a special talent or who could read lead comfortable lives
*Masters often let slaves go at age 30
- Until age 30, masters could arrange slave's family affairs, punish them, and execute them for serious offenses

The Cosmopolitan Mediterranean DH

*Migration, roads and communication spread popular religions
*Christianity formed
-began as a small and persecuted Jewish Sect
-became official Roman religion within three centuries LP

Greek Philosophy and Religions of Salvation AM

A. Roman Deities AM

*For early Romans, many gods were worshipped who intervened in human affairs
-Jupiter (heaven) is the most important god
-other important gods such as Mars (war), and Ceres (grain)
-tutelary deities for individual families
*Romans adopted deities of other gods for their own purpose
-rituals, such as divination through animal organs, also adopted

B. Greek Influence AM

*Drew from Greek rationality and philosophy
*One of the most prominent Hellenistic Greek thought was Stoicism, where universal standards based on nature and reason would help order the large and interdependent world.
-transcends local ethical codes

C. Cicero and Stoicism AM

*The Roman intellectual Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) adopted Stoic values
-the talented orator established Stoicism as the most prominent moral philosophy for Romans
-his writing emphasized the duty of pursuing justice, nature, and reason
-scorned illegal, immoral, unjust deeds

D. Religions of Salvation AM

*masses took on religions of salvation which provided
a purpose and future existence to life
-due to imperial system destroying individual loyalties
*During Hellenistic times, and especially with migrants, these religions flourished
-communication routes and roads spread these religions
-administrators, soldiers, and merchants spread these ideas in their jobs

E. Mithraism AM

*a popular religion of salvation was a Mithras cult
-Mithras is a god identified with sun and light
-Romans adapted it to be less sun, and more strength, courage, and discipline
-very popular in military
-divine sanction for good behavior and human life
-community for those like-minded
-provided hope to those who followed the teachings by promising bonding with Mithras
-in early CE, many male populations followed Mithraism
-did not admit women

F. Cult of Isis AM

*Cults dedicated to Anatolian mother goddess, Cybele (the Egyptian god Isis) allowed for men and women
-probably the most prominent salvation religion in Mediterranean before Christianity
-benevolent and protective deity who helped people cope with life
-attracted followers in Rome and other Mediterranean cities LP

Judaism and Early Christianity AM


A. The Jews and the Empire AM

*The Jewish people retained their beliefs through many empires after the dissolving of the Jewish kingdom of David and Solomon
-examples of empires were Babylonian, Achaemenid, Alexandrian, Seleucid, and Roman; all who had toleration of other religions to quell rebellions
-many of these examples had cults worshiping the ruler as gods
*Jews only recognized Yahweh as divine, and other gods were blasphemy
-Jews refused to worship a mortal being and some declined to pay taxes that required them to praise their emperor LP
-Tension arose, as their religion conflicted
-In the Jewish War of 66-70CE, Romans defeated rebellious Jews in Palestine

B. The Essenes AM

*Other Jews made new sects for savior from subjection
*The Essenes formed this sect
*1947, shepherds accidentally uncovered Essene writing called Dead Sea Scrolls LP
-writings from the Dead Sea Scrolls showed they had a strict moral code and rituals for a good community
-used baptism in water for admittance and had community meals
-looked for a savior to lead the establishing a community and releasing them from Roman rule

Excerpt: Jesus' Moral and Ethical Teachings AM

*Jesus challenged the process by having a different set of morals
-the poor in spirit, the mourning, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peace maker, the freedom fighters, and those who act for good are blessed
-love your enemy, and do not use revenge
-ask and you shall receive

C. The Jesus of Nazareth AM

*Early Christians had little contact with Essenes but shared many concerns
*Christians formed around Jesus of Nazareth
-charismatic Jewish teacher
-Born around 4 BCE LP
-he is the savior
-peaceful man who attracted large crowds as he supposedly had great wisdom and powers, such as the ability to heal the sick
-alarmed the Romans as he said "the kingdom of God is at hand"
-the kingdom of God is a realm where God gathers the faithful to him
*To Romans, the kingdom of God was a threat, so administrators executed Jesus by fixing him to a cross in the early 30s CE

D. Jesus' Early Followers AM

*After Jesus' death, follower aid he rose from the grave, and called him "Christ," the "anointed one," who would bring individuals into the kingdom of God
-believed he was the son of God LP
-his sacrifice made up for the sins of followers
-those faithful would survive death and experience eternal life in the kingdom of God
*Christians established a demanding moral code full of devotion
-body of writing, the New Testament, with accounts of Jesus' life, his followers, and letters describing Christianity
-With the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament, the New Testament became the Christianity holy book

E. Paul of Tarsus AM

*Jesus and his early followers were all Jews, but at 1st century CE, Christians sought converts
*Paul of Tarsus, a Jew from Anatolia preached his faith zealously
-attracted urban masses in the Greek eastern region of the Roman Empire
-his doctrine had individuals follow high moral standards and to put faith above all else
-promised glorius future existence to those who followed their faith well LP
-explained the world and human history with god to provide a purpose to life, along with a good afterlife for the faithful
-traveled on roads and sea lanes to seek converts before being executed

F. Early Christian Communities AM

*For two centuries after the death of Jesus, there is no central authority
-instead, individual communities had bishops who oversaw jurisdictions
-some communities didn't allow women to be an active role in church and some allowed them to be priests LP
-until Rome became a church authority, beliefs as and practices varies
-some belief discrepancies were a literal revival of Jesus versus a spiritual one
-the roles of women varied
-gradually, the New Testament was adopted as the ultimate authoritative text

G. The Growth of Early Christianity AM

*Christians refused to revere the Roman god as an emperor or join state cults
-led to sporadic persecutions by the Romans
*Despite the repression, there was rapid growth
-in the first three centuries, established in almost all of Roman empire, along with communities in the Mediterranean basin, Mesopotamia, and Iran
*Many things about Christianity were appealing
-especially to lower classes, urban population, and women
-gave honor and dignity to those in lower standings
-spiritual freedom was more meaningful than wealth, power, or social prominence
-open to men and women; equality of the sexes
-purpose provided to life, and future glory for the faithful
*By 300 CE, Christianity is the most dynamic and influential religious faith in the Mediterranean basin

5 Themes


Human/Environment Interactions -MN

-Many sea routes opened up as Syria, Palestine, Spain and N. Africa began trading more and more.
-Aqueducts built to bring urban areas fresh water from mountains.
-Complex sewage and plumbing systems also built for public baths (usually had cold and hot room), swimming pools, etc.
-Built many circuses, stadiums, and amphitheaters used for public entertainment.
-As trading increased many religious and cultural traditions contributed to cosmopolitan cultural atmosphere.
-Aqueducts were huge developements in creating a greater urban environment because they brought in fresh water. -CC

Development/Interaction of Cultures -MN

-City of Rome showed off tens of thousands of statues, hundreds of pools and fountains, etc during the first cent. C.E. alone.
-Urban residents had more luxuries than rural residents. Ex: Spanish hams, Syrian nuts, Gaul wool cloaks, etc.
-Entertainment in stadiums often coarse and cruel battles to death between gladiators or humans and animals.
-Roman Colosseum used to watch many gladiator battles, but also used to stage mock naval battles by flooding it.
-Early days of empire, Romans' religion was pagan. Jupiter was principal god, lord of heavens, Mars was god of war, etc.
-Rituals of sacrificing animals not uncommon.
-Greece had a huge influence on Roman paganism, as well as Roman Stoicism. -CC
-A Roman Stoic Cicero helped adapt Hellenistic thought to Rome. -CC
-Religions of Salvation appealed greatly to the masses of Rome, meaning they spread easily. -CC

State-building, Expansion and Conflict -MN

-Roman empire founded cities in strategic areas for gov. and administration purposes. Ex: Spain, Gaul and Britain.
-Empire encouraged pagan religion in their influenced regions.
-Rome built cities in other regions in order to govern those regions. These places became important cultural, economic centers. -CC

Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems -MN

-Roads and pax romana lifted trading relations between regions.
-Agriculture, base of Roman economy transformed by trading market growing in popularity.
-Mediterranean integration played big role in promoting economic and social change.
-During building period of Rome economy soared as need for laborers increased dramatically.
-Urbanization led to more middle class specialists and migrants coming into the city became laborers with low wages. -CC
- Commercial agriculture was huge: farmers specialized their farming to their region: this specialization was huge. -CC
-The Romans controlled the Mediterranean Sea, so pirates were not a problem, meaning merchants felt safer utilizing trade. -CC
-Construction was helped along concrete.-CC
- Rome was a huge economic center, with a lot of public construction work.-CC
-Slavery was an important labor system. Rural slaves worked on the latifundia, in the mines/quarries. Urban slaves were domestic servants, male urban slaves were shopkeepers/craftsmen etc for their masters. -CC
-It was custom that slaves were released by the age of thirty (though not required) -CC
-Cities were enhanced by increased trade and other cities were created in other regions to govern those regions. -CC

Development and Transformation of Social Structures -MN

-Immense authority given to male heads of families.
-Pater familias "father of the family"- eldest male ruled household.
-Pater familias had power to arrange marriages for children, punish for offenses, sell them into slavery and even execute them.
-Women usually supervised domestic affairs even though males had the authority to do so.
-Many women supervised financial affairs of family businesses.
-New classes of merchants, landowners and construction contractors accumulated a lot of private wealth and rivaled nobility for prominence.
-Many impoverished rioted during 1st cent. C.E. to express dissatisfaction.
-1/3 population of Rome was slaves by 2nd cent. C.E.
- Poor conditions for slaves led to numerous uprisings...Ex. Spartacus -CC