Loading...

Roman Senate and Roman People

The Senate maintained a prominent place in Roman society, and served as an advisory council for kings, consuls, and
emperors. In this lesson, students will learn about the role of the Roman Senate in governing the Roman people. In
particular, the lesson will focus on the necessity of the government to be based on the consent of the governed in order
to maintain a democratic order. To properly contextualize this relationship, students will virtually visit two locations: the
Curia Julia, home of the Roman Senate, and the Imperial Fora, the public square in ancient Rome.

Standards Connections:

  • Describe the political and social institutions of the Roman
  • Republic and analyze why Rome was transformed from republic to empire.

Author:

Alexander Cuenca, Rome Reborn Director of Education; Assistant Professor of Education, Indiana University

Read

Bread and Circuses

The Roman poet Juvenal in his poem Satire X coined the phrase “bread and circuses” (Latin: panem et circusensus) to describe how politicians maintained public approval through distraction. The phrase expressed a formula that kept the Roman public distracted through a variety of pleasures such as the distribution of food, public bath houses, gladiator spectacles, and theater. This political strategy was an effort to placate the masses who were underserved by the Roman government. In this lesson, students will examine the politics of “bread and circuses” and virtually visit some of the locations where Roman politicians attempted to pacify the people.

Standards Connections:

  • Assess ways in which imperial rule over a vast area transformed Roman society, economy, and culture
  • Evaluate the major legal, artistic, architectural, technological, and literary achievements of the Romans and the influence of Hellenistic cultural traditions on Roman Europe.

Author:

Alexander Cuenca, Rome Reborn Director of Education; Assistant Professor of Education, Indiana University

Read

The Arch of Septimius Severus

A common architectural feature of the Roman Empire was the triumphal arch, an archway structure often spanning a road. The triumphal arches commemorated military victories or the ascension of a new emperor. At least 36 triumphal arches were erected in Rome, the capital of the empire. In 203 CE, the Senate erected a highly decorated triple triumphal arch to celebrate victories of Septimius Severus and his two sons Caracalla and Geta in two Parthian wars. In this lesson, students will virtually visit Rome to gain a broader understanding of the ways in which Rome commemorated the past through the erection of monuments.

Standards Connections:

  • Describe the political and social institutions of the Roman Republic and analyze why Rome was transformed from republic to empire.
  • Evaluate the major legal, artistic, architectural, technological, and literary achievements of the Romans and the influence of Hellenistic cultural traditions on Roman Europe.

Author:

Alexander Cuenca, Rome Reborn Director of Education; Assistant Professor of Education, Indiana University

Read

The Arch of Constantine

In 315 CE, the Arch of Constantine was erected to commemorate the victory of Roman Emperor Constantine I overMaxentius at the battle of Milvan Bridge. This triumphal arch is unique because it depicts Constantine, not as a divine leader, but as a kind, charismatic leader, who sought the loyalty of citizens. Moreover, the Arch of Constantine is decorated with parts of older monuments or “spolia.” These spolia are designed to connect Constantine with past Roman emperors. In this lesson, students will virtually visit the Arch of Constantine and learn about the use of political propaganda in Roman society.

Standards Connections:

  • Describe the political and social institutions of the Roman Republic and analyze why Rome was transformed from republic to empire.
  • Evaluate the major legal, artistic, architectural, technological, and literary achievements of the Romans and the influence of Hellenistic cultural traditions on Roman Europe.

Author:

Alexander Cuenca, Rome Reborn Director of Education; Assistant Professor of Education, Indiana University

Read