The influenced most by the Etruscans, who were

The location of Rome was favored by the settlers. It was
about 20 miles inland on the Tribe River. Rome also had a route to the sea but
it was farther away and not safe from the Pirates. The land was on 7 huge hills
and they could cross the river easily. Indo-European people moved into Italy
during the period from 1500 BC to 1000 BC. We don’t know much about them but
they did live in villages. They The Italian Peninsula is an important crossroads between the western and
eastern Mediterranean Sea due to the way the land juts into the sea. After the
Romans had established their Mediterranean empire, governing it was made easier
because of Italy’s central location.

 

            As in other early civilizations, geography played an
important role in the development of Rome. The Apennines are less rugged than
the mountain ranges of Greece and did not divide the Italian Peninsula into
many small isolated communities. Italy also had more land for farming than did
Greece, enabling it to support a large population. The Italian Peninsula is an
important crossroads between the western and eastern Mediterranean Sea due to
the way the land juts into the sea. After the Romans had established their
Mediterranean empire, governing it was made easier because of Italy’s central
location.

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            The early development of Rome, however, was influenced
most by the Etruscans, who were located north of Rome in Etruria.  Etruscans found Rome a village and launched a
building program that turned it into a city. The Romans borrowed ideas from the
Etruscans, such as Etruscan dress—the toga and short cloak. The Roman army also
borrowed its organization from the Etruscans. After their conquest of Italy,
the Romans found themselves face to face with a strong power in the
Mediterranean—the state of Carthage. The Phoenicians had founded Carthage
around 800 b.c. on the coast of North Africa. By the third century b.c.,
Carthage had an enormous trading empire in the western Mediterranean, including
the coast of northern Africa, southern Spain, Sardinia, Corsica, and western
Sicily. With its control of western Mediterranean trade, Carthage was the
largest and richest state in the area.

 

            Carthage vowed revenge, however, and added new lands in
Spain to make up for the loss of Sicily. The Romans encouraged one of Carthage’s
Spanish allies to revolt against Carthage. In response, Hannibal, the greatest
of the Carthaginian generals, struck back, beginning the Second Punic War,
which lasted from 218 to 201 b.c.Hannibal had been raised to fight the Romans.
When he was only nine years old, his father, a Carthaginian general, took him
to a temple in Carthage and made him swear that he would always hate the
Romans. Rome gradually recovered. Although Hannibal remained free to roam in
Italy, he had neither the men nor the equipment to attack the major cities. The
Romans began to reconquer some of the Italian cities that had been taken by
Hannibal. They also sent troops to Spain, and by 206 b.c., they had pushed the
Carthaginians out of Spain.

 

During
its struggle with Carthage, Rome also battled the Hellenistic states in the
eastern Mediterranean. The Fourth Macedonian War ended in 148 b.c., and
Macedonia was made a Roman province. Two years later, Greece was placed under
the control of the Roman governor of Macedonia. In 129 b.c., Pergamum became
Rome’s first province in Asia. Rome was now master of the entire Mediterranean
Sea.

 

The
Senate and political offices were increasingly controlled by a small circle of
wealthy and powerful families. Of course, these aristocrats formed only a tiny
minority of the Roman people. The backbone of the Roman state and army had
always been the small farmers. By taking over state-owned land and by buying
out small peasant farmers, these landed aristocrats had developed large estates
that used slave labor. Thus, the rise of large estates led to a decline in the
number of small citizen farmers. As a result, many of these small farmers
drifted to the cities, especially Rome, forming a large class of landless poor.

 

            Lucius
Cornelius Sulla was the next general to take advantage of the new military
system. The Senate had given him command of a war in Asia Minor. When the
council of the plebs tried to transfer command to Marius, a civil war broke
out. Sulla won Rome itself in 82 b.c. conducting a reign of terror to wipe out
all opposition. Sulla restored power to the Senate and eliminated most of the
powers of the popular assemblies.

 

Sulla
hoped that he had created a firm foundation to restore a traditional Roman
republic governed by a powerful Senate. His real legacy was quite different
from what he had intended, however. His example of using an army to seize power
would prove most attractive to ambitious men. The Romans were tolerant of other
religions. They allowed the worship of native gods and goddesses throughout
their provinces. They even adopted some of the local gods.

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