They could own property, and, in later Roman times, women from all classes ran a variety of businesses, from small shops to major shipyards. Aristocratic women earned respect by supporting the arts or paying for public festivals. However, most women worked at home, raising their families, spinning, and weaving.

A map shows the growth of Roman power up to 44 B C.
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Roman power and influence increased as its armies conquered new territories. Which territories were gained by Rome from 264 to 44 B.C.?

Over the centuries, Roman women gained even greater freedom and influence. Patrician women went to the public baths, dined out, and attended the theater or other forms of public entertainment with their husbands. Some women, such as Livia (LIHV ee uh) and Aggripina the Younger (ag ruh PY nuh), had highly visible public roles and exercised significant political influence.

Roman Education

Girls and boys from the upper and lower classes learned to read and write. By the later years of the republic, many wealthy Romans hired private tutors, often Greeks, to educate their children. Children memorized major events in Roman history. Boys who wanted to pursue political careers studied rhetoric.

Roman Mythology and Religion

The Romans believed in many gods and goddesses, who resembled those of the Etruscans and Greeks. Like the Greek god, Zeus, the Roman god Jupiter ruled over the sky and the other gods. According to Roman myths, his wife Juno, like the Greek goddess Hera, protected marriage. Romans also prayed to Neptune, god of the sea, whose powers were the same as those of the Greek god Poseidon. On the battlefield, they turned to Mars, the god of war.

The Roman calendar was full of feasts and other celebrations to honor the gods and goddesses and to ensure divine favor for the city. As loyal citizens, most Romans joined in these festivals, which inspired a sense of community. Throughout Rome, dozens of temples housed statues of the gods. In front of these temples, Romans took part in ritual activities such as worshipping the gods and asking for divine assistance.

The Roman Republic Expands

The Roman Republic lasted almost 500 years, During that time, its armies expanded Roman power across Italy. First, they conquered their neighbors in central Italy, including the Etruscans. Then they overpowered the Greek city-states in the south. By about 270 B.C., Rome controlled most of the Italian peninsula.


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments