The Rise and Fall of Empires Overarching Question



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World History CAS The Rise and Fall of Empires
Overarching Question: How do various secondary sources explain the rise and fall of an empire -- Case Study of Ancient Rome
Directions: Students will examine and evaluate 4 secondary sources.
1) The first source is a text book source called “Prologue”. In groups read and then create a timeline segment. Each group presents their timeline while classmates take notes on the significant people, events, beliefs and achievements.
Group: Founding of the Roman Republic p. 20-21
Research the following: Etruscans; Founding of the Roman Republic; Roman Expansion

Summarize and illustrate their achievements/beliefs


Group: Roman Empire p. 21


Research the following: Roman Empire; Julius Caesar, Octavian; Pax Romana

Summarize and illustrate their achievements/beliefs


Group: Roman society and culture p. 22


Research the following: Roman society and culture; city planning and engineering; arts – Virgil, Ovid

Summarize and illustrate their achievements/beliefs p. 22-23

Group: Rise of Christianity p. 23
Research the following: Jesus, Paul, organized Christianity, Gospels (1st four books of the New Testament) patriarchs, pope

Summarize and illustrate their achievements/beliefs

Group: Fall of the Roman Empire p. 23-34
Research the following: barbarian invasion; Diocletian; Constantine; Byzantine Empire; Roman Church

Summarize and illustrate their achievements/beliefs

2) The second secondary source is a History Channel video, “Rome: Engineering an Empire”. Directions: As you watch the video write down the individuals’ names, legacies and architectural achievements associated with each timeline date.


  1. 753 BCE Sewage system



  1. 312 BCE Via Apia




  1. 55 BCE




  1. 44 BCE Turning point in Roman history. End of Republic.




  1. 31 BCE Augustus




  1. Describe Roman concrete. Why was it revolutionary?




  1. 41 CE




  1. Explain the contribution of the Roman arch.




  1. 54 CE Nero




  1. Describe vaulted ceilings




  1. 69 CE




  1. 80 CE Titus




  1. Describe the extent of the Roman Empire by the 1st Century CE




  1. 98 CE Turning point. First foreign emperor.




  1. 117 - 126 CE Hadrian




  1. 212 CE Commissioned baths that represented the epitome of Roman engineering skill




  1. 537 CE Fall of Rome


EXIT TICKET:
Identify the explanations the History Channel video offers for the Roman Empire’s decline. Which of these explanations does the video emphasize as the most important?

Explain how Roman engineering improved the quality of life for Roman citizens.

3) In table groups read the assigned section from “The Waning of the Western Empire”, in Roots of the Western Tradition by C. Warren Hollister, p. 228-241

Present the section’s explanation for the decline of Rome to classmates using overhead slides.


4) Read “Pirates of the Mediterranean” by Robert Harris, New York Times, Sept. 30, 2006.

Write a response to this article. Be sure to:




  1. Write a summary of his argument

  2. Explain whether or not his argument is valid. Utilize your knowledge of Roman history, rulers and even 9th grade civics!!!



Cumulative Assessment:
Compare each of the secondary source’s explanations for the decline and fall of Rome. Remember to evaluate each source using O (origin) P (perspective) V (value) and L (limitations). Include specific evidence from each source.

Rubric and Comments for Rome Essay:




  1. You are (need to be) specific in the introduction about what you’ll be discussing in each paragraph.




  1. You (need to) use transition words such as : ex. To begin; Next, In addition; Finally




  1. You (need to) use scholarly language. Omit slang words such as ‘stuff’, ‘cool’, ‘kind of’…




  1. Paragraph is confusing. It includes too many topics.




  1. Edit and use spell check please.




  1. You (need to) include more specific details to support your main points.




  1. You (need to) use supporting details and evocative adjectives.




  1. I hear your voice in the piece.


Prologue Timeline Presentation Notes /10; History Channel Timeline /10; Hollister Notes /10; Harris article quick write /10; Essay /60 Total: /100


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