|Section 1||The Roman World Takes Shape|
- Describe the physical and cultural settings in which Roman civilization arose.
- Outline how the Roman republic was structured and governed.
- Understand the rights and religious practices that characterized Roman society.
- Explain how the Roman republic grew and maintained its conquests.
Terms, People, and Places
A Proud Son Speaks of His Father
“If my character is flawed by a few minor faults, but is otherwise decent and moral, if you can point out only a few scattered blemishes on an otherwise immaculate surface, . . . if I live a virtuous life, . . . my father deserves all the credit. For although he was a poor man, with only an infertile plot of land, he was not content to send me to [the school in his home town]. . . . My father had the courage to take his boy to Rome, to have him taught the same skills which any equestrian [rider of horses] or senator would have his sons taught. . . . I could never be ashamed of such a father, nor do I feel any need, as many people do, to apologize for being a freedman’s [former slave’s] son.”
—Horace, Roman poet
Rome began as a small city in Italy and became a ruler of the Mediterranean and beyond. The story of the Romans and how they built a world empire begins with the land in which they lived.