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Text 1. The Rise Of The Republic
Read the text and do the tasks that follow.
There was great panic in the city and through mutual fear, all was suspense. The people left in the city dreaded the violence of the senators; the senators dreaded the people remaining in the city, uncertain whether they should prefer to stay or to depart; but how long would the multitude which had seceded remain quiet? What were to be the consequences then, if, in the meantime, any foreign war should break out?
Livy wrote that description, telling of the crisis in Rome in 494 B.C. The common people of Rome had seceded, or moved out of the city. They were very angry over their treatment by the rich and powerful leaders of Rome. The leaders knew that their city was in serious danger unless the common people returned. So they agreed to give the people more rights. This crisis between the Roman leaders and the people marked the beginning of a 200-year struggle by the common people of Rome to gain equal rights.
With the overthrow of the last Etruscan in 509 B.C., Roman leaders adopted a very new form of government – a republic. In a republic, citizens elect leaders to run their government. The leaders the citizens elected to replace the king were called consuls. These consulswere leaders elected by a citizen assembly and advised by a Senate. Although the citizens elected their representatives, the early Roman Republic was not a democracy because not every citizen had the same economic power. Citizens were divided into two classes, patricians and plebeians. Patricianswere members of the small number of wealthy Roman families. Plebeians were the bulk of the population – artisans, shopkeepers, and peasants. Class was determined by birth.
As citizens, both patricians and plebeians had the right to vote. However, only patricians could hold political, military, or religious offices. All power was in the hands of the patricians.
Though most plebeians were poor, some were quite wealthy. They believed that they should have the same social and political rights as the patricians.
The poor plebeians, too, believed that the system was unfair. When a poor plebeian had to borrow money from the rich to survive, he and his family were forced into debt bondage. A man in debt bondagebecame a servant of the man to whom he owned the money. He was treated almost like a slave, and, without wages, he could never get the money he needed to regain his freedom. Yet the patrician government did nothing to end this cruel practice.
Roman citizens were divided into patricians and plebeians. But Roman society as a whole was also divided into two groups: citizen and slave. Adult male citizens had certain rights, such as the right to vote and to own property. Women citizens, however, had limited rights. They could not vote or take part in the government but were protected by Roman laws. Slaves, war captives, were owned by citizens and had no rights.
Although the plebeians had fewer rights than the patricians, they still had to serve in the army and pay taxes to the very forces that were oppressing them. By 494 B.C., the plebeians had suffered long enough. They withdrew from Rome and formed their own assembly, which was known as the Council of Plebeians. They also elected their own officials, who were called tribunes.
The patricians had no choice but to let the plebeians keep their assembly and their tribunes. Tribunes were to protect plebeian rights. The plebeians could vote against any unjust law passed by the Senate.
Next, the plebeians demanded a reform of the laws. Rome’s laws had never been written down. The plebeians believed that patrician judges took advantage of this fact to rule unfairly against plebeians.
Finally in 450 B.C., the laws were engraved on 12 bronze tablets called the Twelve Tables. The tablets were then displayed in the Forum, so all citizens could appeal to them, though few could actually read them.
During the 300s B.C., the plebeians gained more and more of the rights already held by the patricians. The priesthood was opened to plebeians. Debt bondage was outlawed. Eventually, plebeians even won the right to become members of the Senate.
Though the plebeians had made many gains, the plebeians and patricians still had separate political bodies. The law passed by the patrician Senate applied to everyone. However, the laws passed by the plebeian assembly applied only to plebeians.
The plebeians demanded that the laws passed by their assembly apply to all citizens, plebeian and patrician alike. Once again, the plebeians forced the issue by withdrawing from Rome. This time, the patricians gave in and, in 287 B.C., agreed to meet the demands of the plebeians. After more than 200 years of struggle, plebeians and patricians were finally equal under Roman law.
As the plebeians gained power, the Republic became more democratic. Since 509 B.C., the Roman government had been headed by two consuls. By 367 B.C., one of these consuls had to be a plebeian. The consuls had the same powers as the early kings, but with two important limitations. To avoid one person rule, consuls were elected to serve only one year, and each consul could veto the other’s actions. The word veto is from the Latin word meaning “I forbid.”
The consuls carried on the daily business of the government and of the army. They were also advised by a Senate made up of 300 citizens. The Senate controlled the Roman treasury and foreign policy. Most of the senators were members of wealthy Roman families. Though the consuls changed each year, senators were chosen for life. The Senate was the most powerful group in the government of the Roman Republic.
Laws proposed by the Senate could be approved or disapproved by citizen assemblies. Candidates for consul were also elected by these assemblies. The government of the Republic spread its power among many groups.
Ex. 1.Match the words in column A with their definitions in column B
Ex. 2.Use the following in pairs of synonyms.
1. mutual, to dread, multitude, to secede, suspense, consequence, to gain, overthrow, to hold office, to owe, wages, bondage;
2. common, crowd, uncertainty, result, to get, to be in debt to, to fear, to leave, fall, to have the position of, pay, slavery.
Ex. 3.Use the following in pairs of antonyms.
1. to stay, to gain, a patrician, fair, to withdraw, advantage, to approve, to hold office;
2. to lose, a plebeians, to enter, to depart, unfair, disadvantage, to disapprove, to leave office
Ex. 4.Complete the sentences use the words and expressions from the text.
1. The people left in the city … the violence of the senators.
2. This crisis marked the beginning of a 200-year struggle by the common people of Rome … equal rights.
3. With the overthrow of the last Etruscan in 509 B.C., Roman leaders … a very new form of government – … .
4. Citizens were divided into two classes, … patricians and … .
5. Class was determined … .
6. However, only patricians could … political, military, or religious … .
7. The poor plebeians, too, believed that the system was … .
8. A man in … became a servant of the man to whom he … the money.
9. He could never get the money he needed to regain he freedom without ... .
10. They … from Rome and formed their own assembly.
11. The plebeians elected their own officials, who were called … .
12. The plebeians believed that patrician judges … … of this fact to the rule … against plebeians.
13. The word … is from the Latin word meaning “I forbid”.
14. Laws proposed by the Senate could be … or … by citizen assemblies.
Words for reference: approved, disapproved, withdrew, tribunes, took advantage, veto, dreaded, to gain, overthrow, adopted, a republic, wages, debt bondage, owed, patricians and plebeians, by birth, unfair, hold officer.
Ex. 1.Complete the sentences use the information from the text.
1. Livy wrote that description, telling of the crisis in Rome in 494 B.C. … .
2. This crisis between the Roman leaders and the people marked … .
3. In a republic, citizens elect … .
4. These consuls were leaders … .
5. Citizens were divided into two classes … .
6. Only patricians could hold … .
7. The poor plebeians, too, believed … .
8. A man in debt bondagebecame … .
9. Roman society as a whole was also divided into two groups: … .
10. The plebeians withdrew from Rome and formed … .
11. Though the plebeians had made many gains, the plebeians and patricians still had separate political bodies … .
12. The patricians gave in and, in 287 B.C., agreed … .
13. The consuls had the same powers as the early kings, but with two important limitations … .
Ex. 2.Say if the statements are true or false.
1. Livy wrote that description, telling of the election of a consul.
2. The common people of Rome stayed in the city to welcome the powerful leaders.
3. In a republic citizens elected their own officials called tribunes.
4. In the Roman republic a series of kings passed down leadership.
5. Only plebeians could hold political, military or religions offices.
6. If a plebeian borrowed money from a patrician, he was faced into debt bondage and treated almost as a slave.
7. The tables were displayed in the Forum, so all citizens could read them and then vote.
8. The plebeians had made many gains and as a result the patricians and the plebeians had one common political body.
9. The consuls had the same powers as the early kings.
10. The senators changed each year.
Ex. 3.Answer the following questions.
1. What did Livy write in his description?
2. Why did the common people of Rome secede or move out of the city?
3. What did this crisis between the Roman leaders and the people mark?
4. What form of government did the Roman leaders adopt with the withdraw of the last Etruscan king in 509 B.C.?
5. Who replaced the king?
6. In what classes were the citizens divided?
7. What rights had patricians and plebeians?
8. Why did patricians have to give in?
9. Where were the laws engraved?
10. How was the government of the Roman Republic organized?
Ex. 4.Speak on the following points.
1. Patricians and plebeians.
2. Struggle for rights.
3. Roman government.
Text 2. Overseas Expansion
Read the text and do the tasks that follow.
While the patricians and plebeians struggled for power within the city’s walls, other battles raged on the outside. Year after year, the Roman army marched off to wage war against its neighbors and to expand the area under Roman control. The army was not always victorious, however. In fact, in 390 B.C., Rome itself was attacked and destroyed by the Gauls, a warlike people from the north.
Nevertheless, Rome rebuilt and continued to grow. By 338 B.C., Rome had conquered Latium and Etruria. By 275 B.C., Rome ruled the whole Italian peninsula.
Rome was so successful, in part, because instead of punishing the people it conquered, Rome made them allies. As allies, they had to fight for Rome in any future wars. In return, Rome promised them protection and a share in the profits from future victories. In some cases, Rome even granted citizenship to conquered peoples.
By 270 B.C., Rome had more citizens and well-trained soldiers than any other Mediterranean power. During the text century, Rome used those resources to conquer the Mediterranean world.
In the 200s B.C., Rome was conquering Italy. Another power, Carthage, existed on the opposite side of the Mediterranean. It was a prosperous Phoenician city with trading posts all around the Mediterranean. Carthage and Rome became fierce rivals and fought three long and bloody wars over which power would control the Mediterranean.
By the 200s B.C., Carthage had settlements on Sicily. Rome feared it would gain complete control of the island. In 264 B.C., the two powers went to war over Sicily. This struggle marked the beginning of the First Punic War. Punici was the Roman word for the people of Carthage.
The fighting raged on land and sea. Rome had a stronger army and soon controlled Sicily’s inland. But Carthage controlled the coast with its stronger navy.
In fact, at the beginning of the war, Rome had few ships and little experience at sea. Yet the Romans found a clever answer to their problem. They invented a device called a “crow,” a kind of gangplank with clawlike hooks. The crow was held upright until the Romans pulled their ship up next to an enemy ship. Then they swiftly lowered the crow so the hooks caught in the enemy ship’s deck. The crow thus served as a bridge, allowing Roman soldiers to board the enemy ship easily.
The first Punic War lasted 23 years. Rome was in a better position than Carthage to withstand the heavy losses because of its huge army and loyal allies.
By 241 B.C., the Carthaginian army, led by General Hamilcar, was forced to admit defeat. Sicily became the first territory outside of the Italian peninsula to come under Rome’s control. Rome had begun its expansion into the Mediterranean world.
Despite its defeat at the hands of the Romans, Cartage remained an important power. It immediately began to rebuild its empire, starting in Spain, where it already had numerous trading posts.
Under the leadership of General Hamilcar, Carthage succeeded in expanding its holdings in Spain. In 229 B.C., however, Hamilcar was killed in battle in 221 B.C., the army elected Hannibal commander. Hamilcar’s son was only 26 years old, but it was time for him to fulfill the oath he had made as a child.
Rome watched anxiously as Carthage expanded its empire in Spain. Then, in 219 B.C., Hannibal attacked Saguntum, one of Rome’s allies in Spain. After Saguntum had fallen, Rome declared war on Carthage. Thus began the Second Punic War, which ended in 201 B.C.
The Romans sent troops to Saguntum, but Hannibal had other plans. True to his oath, he decided to invade Italy.
He gathered an army of 60,000 soldiers, 6,000 horses, and 37 elephants. They marched across the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain and through southern Gaul, crossed the Phone River with trumpeting elephants on rafts, and reached the Alps five months later, in winter.
Hannibal crushed the Romans in battle after battle. Only the determination of Rome’s people helped them to survive until a general arose who was a match for Hannibal – Scipio Africanus.
First, Scipio made a secret pact with one of Carthage’s allies, Numidia, the country now known as Algeria. Then, while Hannibal was still in Italy, Scipio attacked Cartage. But just as Cartage was about to admit defeat, Hannibal returned from Italy. Scipio fought Hannibal at Zama, a town near Carthage. With the help of the Numidians, Scipio won. He was given the name “Africanus” in honor of this victory in northern Africa.
This defeat marked the end of Carthage’s empire. Carthage was forced to give up its territories and its ships, and to pay Rome vast sums of money.
In 149 B.C., Carthage rebelled against Rome, thus beginning the Third Punic War. Rome once again defeated Carthage.
With the defeat of Carthage, Rome became the most important power in the western Mediterranean. Next, Rome turned eastward, conquering Greece and Macedonia, the country to the north of Greece, by 146 B.C.
By 50 B.C., Rome controlled the entire Mediterranean area.
Ex. 1.Match the words in column A with their definitions in column B.
Ex. 2.Use the following in pairs of antonyms:
1. a patrician, to expand, warlike, prosperous, an ally, fierce, losses, defeat, to succeed, to survive, captives;
2. a plebeian, to contract, peaceful, poor, a rival, gentle, gain, victory, to fail, to die, free citizens.
Ex. 3.Complete the sentences, use the words and expressions from the text.
1. While the patrician and plebeians … power within the city walls, other battles … on the outside.
2. Year after year the Roman army marched off … against its neighbors to expand the area.
3. Rome was so successful in past because instead of punishing the people it conquered, Rome made them … .
4. Rome promised them protection and … in the profits from future victories.
5. Carthage and Rome became … and bought three long and bloody wars.
6. … was the Roman word for the people of Carthage.
7. They invented a device called “…”, a kind of gangplank with clawlike hooks.
8. Rome was in better position than Carthage to withstand heavy … because of its huge army and loyal allies.
9. It was time for Hannibal to fulfill … he had made as a child.
10. Only the determination of Rome’s people helped them … until a general … who was … for Hannibal.
11. Carthage was forced … its territories and its ships.
12. The Roman … in their Republic and … defended it.
13. Behind a general marched the soldiers carying the many … seized from the enemy and leading the unfortunate … of war.
Words for reference: valuables, captives, to survive, a match, took great pride, fiercely, struggled for, raged, to wage war, a share, allies, fierce rivals, Punici, a “crow”, losses, the oath, to give up.
Ex. 1.Answer the following questions.
1. Who became a fierce rival to Rome in the 2001 B.C.?
2. What marked the beginning of the First Punic War?
3. How did the Romans solve their problem at sea?
4. How did the First Punic War end?
5. How did the Second Punic War begin?
6. Who became a match for Hannibal?
7. What marked the end of Carthage empire?
8. How was it possible for Rome to conquer so much so quickly?
9. What reason do historians give?
Ex. 2.Speak on the following points.
1. The Punic Wars.
2. Why Hannibal is considered a grant general.
3. How wars made Rome strong economically.
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