Romans (Roman Britain 43BC-410AD)The term "Roman" is used to describe a group of people who were members of the ancient Roman civilization. The Romans were a group of people that used a autocratic Government. However, the Romans did have a republic at one time, even though it had been diminished by the conflicts that occurred between Marius, Sulla and Gaius Marius. In addition to this, a civil war occurred between Pompey and Julius Caesar and this also weakened Rome as a republic. A large number of senators were killed during these battles. Many historians consider Caesar Augustus to be primarily responsible for transforming Rome from a republic into an empire. The Romans lived in the region that is now known as Italy.
The city of Rome still exists, and it is testament to the great civilization that once existed there. While the term "Roman" is often used to describe the native people that lived in Italy during this time, Roman citizenship could be given to people who were not native to the region. This means that there were people living in Rome who were from Africa, Spain, Greece, and a number of other regions. Being given Roman citizenship was considered to be a high form of status. It would be given to those that respected the laws that governed the region. The Romans believed in slavery, and slaves were considered to be property. While they did have some rights, they were very limited.
If the owner of a slave allowed them to become free, they would automatically become citizens of Rome. However, if the owner chose to kill, rape, or injure their slaves, there were no laws prohibiting them from doing this. Those who were considered citizens of Rome had a number of rights. However, it was possible for a Roman to lose their citizenship. The status or Roman women varied over the long history of the civilization. While they did have a large number of rights, they could not hold public office or vote. While they were better than slaves in a number of ways, they were comparable to them on other issues.
When it came to religion, the Romans believed in and worshiped a large number of gods. These gods played an important role in their society. Much of their culture was borrowed from the nearby Greeks, a civilization that predated them by a long period of time. The Roman language was Latin, and it is now considered to be extinct.
Original Authors: Stephen Palmer
Edit Update Authors: Ryan Norfolk
Updated On: 01/12/2006