The Expansion of Rome
753 BC Foundation of Rome
until 510 BC Reign of the Seven Kings
until 500 BC Foundation of the Republic of Rome
387 BC The Celts ravaged Rome
343 – 290 BC The Romans won the three wars with the Samnites
and ruled over Italy
264-241 BC First Punic War
218-201 BC Second Punic War. Rome is ruler of the West Mediterranean.
149-146 BC Third Punic War. The Romans destroyed Carthago.
The Germans and Rome
The successful campaigns of Drusus and Tiberius (8/7 BC) up to the
Elbe led to the conquest of Germany only for a short time. The catastrophe
of the Varus Battle (9AC) finally led to the surrender of the policy
of attacking German tribes. After that the German tribes united and
attacked again and again the border of the Roman Empire. The hard defeat
of the Imperator Decius against the Goths at the Danube (251 AC), the
success of the Allemans in passing the Limes (260 AC) and the success
of the French by invading Gaule were harbingers of the Roman breakdown.
The tactics and the legionaries
We know from the Greek historian Polybios, that every legionary had
two lances, called „pila“. A lance was thrown into the
shield of the enemy and was plunged into it. The pilum got bent and
got stuck in the shield. So the repushing of the second pilum was very
hard. In the following hand-to-hand fighting the legionaries used their
short sword, called „gladius“. By doing so the enemies
could hardly make use of their shields, nor could they throw back the
Orders and badges of honour
All soldiers of the Roman army and whole unities could be honoured
by orders and badges of honour. There were „phalerae“,
round decorated disks, „torques“, twisted rings, „armillae“,
bangles and little banners, garlands or lances as well. As marks of
honour soldiers often got promotions or greater amounts of money.
The Romans on horseback
In the battles against Hannibal it became obvious that the cavalry
was a weak point of the Roman army. Therefore the cavalrymen were grouped
into 500 or even 1000 men. The greatest unit was the „ala millaria“.
It consisted of 1008 cavalrymen and was divided into 24 "turma" of
42 men. The Romans felt threatened in the third century, because they
had to face a lot of enemies on horseback. Therefore they built up
heavyly armed squadrons of cavalrymen, which were provided with a long
sword, a stabbing lance and a light shield.
The education of the roman soldiers
Nowadays we are very good informed about the
roman army – by Flavius Vegetius, an author.
The recruits had to learn to convert tactical orders and different
formations during a battle quickly and correctly.
One of the most famous formations has been the “turtle” (testudo).
So an armour has been formed from joined shields.
During excavations in Egypt complete field signs were found. At the
Saalburg these field signs have been re-designed.
Soldiers who carried these signs have been in a high rank: they were
the bear skin over their armaments. The skull of
the animal has been worn like a helmet on the head.
The troop had to be very carefully with the field sign.
In the Roman army it was treated as a wipe-out of the
troop, when the field sign
came into the hands of the enemy.
During the war against the naval power of Carthago the Romans had
to build-up a very powerful fleet to overcome their enemies in the
first Punic War.
The warships tried to ram enemy ships with high speed.
During the imperial time Italy’s coasts have been protected by
two big naval ports.
Beside boarder guard these ports served as protection for trading ships
The realm of the gods
Many different gods, goddesses and demigods were worshipped by the
They imagine their gods in the form of human beings. They were willing
to make sacrifices.
Apart from the gods they imagined ghosts and heroes, like Mithras and Isis.
In general the Romans accepted different kinds of religious opinions.
the Christians weren't allowed to worship the Roman gods.
Name of gods
He is the sky god
Protector of women
Beauty and love goddess
The Romans at table
Rich families had a separate kitchen with a kitchen stove, tables
and chair. Poor families had only an open camp fire in another living
The dishes were made of clay or metal and looked like our dishes. The
kitchentools hung at the wall. The Romens used amphoras for keeping
wine and oil.
Did the Romans eat with knife and fork?
The Romans prepared their food, so that they could eat it with fingers
or with a spoon So they needed napkins or bowls of water for washing
their hands. The spoon had a function like a fork, too. One could spike
the food with the end of the spoon, however they didn’t have
a fork like today. The knife was only used for the preparation of the
Did the Romans sit or lie at the table?
Men lay at the meals on a kind of couch, the cliniums, which were put
around the table in form of horseshoes. They rested on the left arm
and had the right arm free for eating. Women and children had to
Which taste did their food have?
The Romans liked eating sweet-spicy food, they added a bit of spice
to everything. There were about 50 different spices in every household.
How many meals did they have?
They had three meals: the ientaculum (breakfast), the prandium (lunch)
and the cena (dinner). After the cena they had often a feast with
What did they eat?
They drank very much wine. The main food were cheese, bread and olives.
Differences between today and the time of the Romans:
Pasta and Pizza.
In former times there was no Pasta and Pizza, because the Romans didn’t
have the ingredients for that. The noodles were imported by Marco Polo
The Romans had a type of fastfood: at the roadside were little snack
bars at which one could buy peassoups and hot sausages.
Tradition of the food:
Without the Romans, we wouldn’t have many spices in Germany.
For example: celery, garlic, dill, parsley and coriander. They spread
these spices all over Europe.
The living conditions of the citizens
Until the 2nd century the Roman emperors decided the life by making
peace inside and outside. This situation the people took advantage
of had changed into a bad situation since the beginning of the 3rd
century. The people had to pay very high taxes and they had to meet
more and more obligations to the state. All these obligations were
The decline of Western Rome - Why the decline
of Western Rome didn't mean its end
When the Teutonic troop leader Odoaker deposed the
last emperor of Western Rome Romulus Augustulus in
the year 476, the existence of this empire ended and
the fight for the power and the heritage of this part began. Eastern
Rome remained for nearly 1000 years. But all the attempts the capital
of Eastern Rome made since the 5th century failed. The people often
dealt with the decline of the Western Roman Empire, because at last
this biggest state had existed since the foundation of Rome for 12
centuries. But didn't this empire not earlier collapse, because it
gave the people advantages for a long time and considered their needs?
Or did it collapse, because they weren’t able to resist the Germanic
pressure? Although the empire declined, it kept ist radiation. In customs,
public institutions and in the people's thoughts, the idea of the empire
was still alive. Latin was even the most important language. The connection
between the declined and the new empire was built by Christianity.
The first emperors of the Middle Ages - the kings of the Franks - and
later the emperors often orientated themselves by the idea of the Roman