AMULIUS: My niece has has two little boys! I will order one of my servants to throw them in the Tiber River! Servant throw the babies in the river!
SERVANT: (to himself) I don’t have the heart to actually throw them in the river. I’ll put them in a basket and set them here in this shallow area.
FATHER TIBER: I, father Tiber, will save these little boys, I will gently bring the babies to the shore.
LIVY: So that is what Father Tiber did. There on the shore, a mother wolf found Romulus and Remus! Listen:
MOTHER WOLF: What sweet babies! I will carry them to my den and care for them! (Mother Wolf takes the babies) LIVY: So the boys were cared for by a Mother Wolf, and she became one of the most important symbols of Rome.
The Romans saw themselves as a lot like wolves, fierce fighters but also nurturing. Like wolves, Romans saw themselves as pack animals, intensely loyal to the pack. After a while, a shepherd came along and saw the boys.
SHEPHERD: What fine boys! I have no children, so I will take these babies home to my wife, and we will raise them as our own. LIVY: So, Romulus and Remus grew up. Eventually they found out about their true identity.
ROMULUS: We will overthrow our cruel uncle, and put our kind old grandfather back on the throne of Alba Longa. Then we will build a city of our own, at the spot where the Mother Wolf found us. LIVY: That is what Romulus and Remus did. Now comes the dark and bloody part of the story. Listen:
ROMULUS AND REMUS: We will both build towns.
REMUS: Your city wall is so small that I can jump right over it! (Remus mockingly jumps over Romulus’s wall). LIVY: Romulus and Remus got in a fight, and Romulus killed his brother Remus. Then Romulus finished building his city, and named it “Rome”, after himself. The year was 753BC. REMEMBER THAT YEAR, 753BC. That was the year Rome was founded, and it became the “year one” in the Roman dating system.
N2: Is that the true story? Did all that really happen?
LIVY Well, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that, but the story is very famous, and it tells us a lot about the Romans and how they viewed themselves.
PAUSE: ANSWER QUESTIONS
1. Use the map in your book on page 150 to label the mountains and rivers of Italy. Alps, Apennines, Po, Arno, Rubicon, Tiber, Sicily. Place the city of Rome on the map.
2. What natural advantages does the land of Italy have?
4. Who was Virgil? Who was Aeneas? Where did Aeneas come from? Where did he settle? What does the story of Aeneas tell us about how the Romans viewed themselves?
5. Who were Romulus and Remus? What does the story of Romulus and Remus tell us about how the Romans viewed themselves?
N1: Now tell us what archeologists have to say about the early people of Italy
ITALIA: Sure! Around 2000BC, a wave of new people migrated into Italy. They were a branch of the Indo-European people. They were related to the people who settled in Greece, as well as to the Indo-Aryans who migrated into India. They originally came from the area that is now southern Russia, north of the Black and Caspian Seas. Some of these Indo-Europeans settled in central Italy became known as the Latin people, and their language was Latin. The Latin people were the ancestors of the Romans.
N2: When and where was the city of Rome founded?
ITALIA: There were Latin people living in villages near the Tiber river, about 20 miles inland from the west coast of the Mediterranean Sea, at a place where there were 7 hills. Sometime around the year 753BC, these villages united to form the town of Rome.
N1: What were the advantages of this location?
ROMA: I am Roma, the spirit of the city of Rome. My location had several advantages. I was founded at a shallow place on the Tiber River, where it was possible to ford the river. I was about 20 miles inland from the sea, close enough for sea trade, but far enough from the coast to be safe from pirates. My 7 hills were a pleasant location.
N2: How was the early town of Rome governed?
ROMA: At first, Rome was ruled by Kings. There were a series of 7 kings. According to legend, the first king was Romulus himself. The stories of the early kings of Rome are a mixture of fact and legend. What we know with a bit more certainty, however, is that the last king of Rome was an Etruscan. The Etruscans came from the region north of Rome.
ETRUSCAN: We, the Etruscans, taught the Romans much. We were good engineers. We taught the early Romans how to build arches. We also taught them how to build roads, dig sewers and drain marshy land. Using what they learned from us, the early Romans dug the great sewer called the “CLOACA MAXIMA” which drained the marshy area between the 7 hills. That’s where the forum, the center of the city of Rome, was built.
N2: Did the Etruscans teach the Romans anything else?
ETRUSCAN: Yes! We also taught the early Romans how to write! We had an alphabet, which we had gotten from the Greeks, which the Greeks had gotten from the Phoenicians. The Romans took our alphabet, modified it and used it for their language, which was Latin. The alphabet you use today is almost exactly like the Roman alphabet.
N1: So Etruscans and Latins lived in early Italy. The Etruscans lived in the northern part, and the Latins lived in the west-central region, which was called Latium. Were there any other groups of people in early Italy?
GREEK: Yes, there were also Greeks living along the coast of southern Italy. Remember how the Greeks sent out groups to form colonies in other lands? There were Greek colonies along the coast of southern Italy and on Sicily!
SICILIA: Yes, there were Greek colonies on me, too!
N2: Did the Greeks of southern Italy teach the early Romans anything?
GREEK: Yes, we Greeks gave the Romans a lot of ideas about their gods. The Romans had gods that were a lot like our gods. For instance, the Roman god Jupiter was a lot like our god Zeus. The Roman goddess Juno was a lot like our goddess Hera. The Roman goddess Venus was a lot like our goddess Aphrodite. The Roman god Mars was a lot like our Ares, and so on. The Romans took many of our stories, and applied them to their gods.
N1: This is a lot of information to absorb. Maybe we better stop here.
N2: Thank you for telling us about ancient Rome! Farewell, Italia!
6. People from what large ethnic and linguistic group came into Italy in about 2000BC?
7. Who were the Latin people? Where did the settle? What was their language? What group of people were descended from the Latins?
8. Where was the city of Rome founded? How many hills were there? What was the traditional date of the founding of Rome?
9. What were the advantages of its location?
10. How was the early town of Rome governed?
11. Who were the Etruscans and where did they live? What did they teach the Romans?
12. Where in the region of Italy did Greeks live? What did the early Romans learn from these Greeks?
Ch7, Sec 1
A. Roman R___________ (509BC-27BC): Official Name: Senate & P_________ of Rome, __ __ __ __
1. 509BC, the Romans overthrew their last king & set up a government they a R________
2. R_______: a government in which the people vote for representatives, who run the state.