Before we consider one of the truly great Romans, let’s quickly review what we know:
- the Romans borrowed from Etruscan culture to create their own society
- in Rome, fathers were paramount
- despite being a metropolitan centre, Rome still remembered its origins. Little could be done without the work done by Roman farmers.
- Rome was governed by a very specific set of laws called the Twelve Tables.
A few more details:
- Rome began as a Republic, meaning that it worked on principles similar to Athens. While not fully democratic, the Roman Republic was governed by elected officials in the Senate.
- Rome, however, was far from peaceful. Ambitious men attempted to seize power for themselves; one such man, Sulla, was Cicero’s contemporary.
One of the Republic’s greatest citizens was a writer and lawyer named Marcus Tullius Cicero, commonly known as Cicero. He lived during the final years of the Republic, and witnessed a Civil War, the dominance of Sulla, and the rise of his rival, Julius Caesar.
Today, you watch a re-enactment of his first major trial, which brought him fame and glory. As you watch, consider the nature of justice in the Republic; is every citizen equally served and protected by the law?
Key terms you need to learn today:
- Death Lists/Proscription
- Calumniator (remember the letter “K”)