WHEN IN ROME
to the tune of One LIttle Slip

On a boot-shaped peninsula
A city sat in seven hills
By and bend in the Tiber river
Where Romulus had Remus killed
  • The Appennine (Italian) Peninsula, on which Rome is located, is shaped like a boot.
  • Rome is located near the Tiber River and the Seven Hills.
  • Rome is named for its founder, Romulus.
  • He and his twin, Remus, were ancestors of Aeneas, who fled Troy in the Iliad.
To rule from Rome to Tuscan
Were seven legendary kings
The last one was Etruscan
Who did all kinds of evil things.
  • Romulus was the first of seven legendary kings of Rome.
  • They had names like Pompilius, Hostilius, Marcius, Priscus, Tullius, Superbus
  • The last one, Superbus, was an Etruscan
  • He used violence, murder and terrorism
Romans rebelled
Etruscans expelled
And so they sent to represent
Some senators and two consuls.
  • The Senate voted to expel the monarchy and never have another king
  • They formed a "representative democracy" or a Republic.
  • Republic means "Public thing."
  • Athens had a democracy where everyone had a vote.
  • In a Republic, you choose people (Senators) to represent and vote for you.
  • Senator comes from the Latin word senex which means "old."
  • Consuls are kind of like Presidents, from a word meaning "to consult."
Warring with their neighbors
Caused the Romans much fatigue
And tired by their labors
They joined to form the Latin League
  • The Roman were surrounded by hostile neighbors
  • They joined with nearby cities to form the Latin League.
  • At one point, the other cities of the Latin League became jealous of Rome's success.
  • They fought and Rome won, becoming the supreme authority in the region.
The army's apparatus
Was run in times of need with care
By a man named Cincinnatus
The dictator with curly hair.
  • Cincinnatus was only one of several Roman dictators.
  • They were given power, temporarily, by the Senate in times of crisis.
  • Once the crisis was over, they returned power.
  • The symbol of power was the fasces (which means bundle). It was a bundle of sticks tied together.
  • It symbolized "strength through unity" or "the State is greater than the individual."
  • That's where we get the modern word facism, like the Nazis.
  • Cincinnatus was a nickname meaning "curly haired." His real name was Lucius Quinctius.
They conquered with ease
And built colonies
Then raised roads to tote their loads
And so now all roads lead to Rome.
  • Actually, it wasn't always easy. Gaul conquered Rome at one point and Rome had to pay to get them to leave.
  • However, they did add much territory and were able to keep it by building coloniae (colonies) in the conquered terriritory.
  • They were able to move their army and supplies successfully by building roads.
  • This is the origin of the phrase, "All roads lead to Rome."
They amassed an army corps
And then fought three Punic wars
'Till they brought the conquered people to their knees
Once they beat the Phoenicians
They conquered the great Grecians
'Cause the Greeks only had Pyrrhic victories
  • The Punic wars were the most difficult wars the Roman Republic fought.
  • The Second Punic war was almost won by Carthage.
  • Their general, Hannibal, led his army (including war elephants) over the mountains into Italy.
  • Rome only survived by running away, never meeting Hannibal in open combat.
  • During the third Punic war, the Romans crushed Carthage, pouring salt in their fields and burning houses.
  • Soon after that, they conquered Greece, including a successful battle at Thermopolyae.
  • When the Greeks did win a battle, their losses were so great that their king, Pyrrhus, said:
    • If we have another victory like this, we'll be undone.
  • This is the origin of the phrase "Pyrrhic victory."
Both the brothers Gracchi
Thought helping po'folks was their job
The rich thought that was tacky
And so they killed them with a mob.

The military leaders
Like Marius and Lucullus
Were conquered by another
A nasty general named Sullus

Crassus, Pompey
And Caesar did say
That they'd create a better State
And formed the first Trimverate.

The General Julius Caesar
Fought his foes down to their hilts
He conquered Gauls and Celtics
Who waged war naked or in kilts.

The Senators all scurried,
To say to him, "Don't come back home."
But Caesar wasn't worried
And so he crossed the Rubicon

When he had won
He helped plebians
But his short reign would end in pain
Although his fame lasts to this day.

The historian Plutarch
Said that on the Ides of March
The noble Caesar would be by his friends betrayed
A group of several Senators
Who called themselves Liberators
And as he died he said, "Et tu, Brute."

Julius jolly nephew
Whose name, Octavian, means "eight"
Joined with two guys named Marcus
To form a new Triumverate

Octavian was ready
For a final coup detat
He conquered Mark Antony
And the queen Cleopatra

Augustus became
The Emperor's name
He said, "I wanna Pax Romana
that will last 200 years."