World History Sampler - 270a

UNIT

4

CHAPTER

10

1.1 The Geography of
Ancient Rome
If you wanted to build a
Mediterranean empire,
you'd probably start from
Rome. The city lies near the heart
of the sea. Geographically, it's the
best place to begin a conquest of the
Mediterranean.
MAIN IDEA
Rome's location had many geographic
advantages that helped it grow and become
powerful.

THE ITALIAN PENINSULA

Italy lies on a peninsula , or land
surrounded by water on three sides, in
the Mediterranean Sea. It is shaped like
peninsula
a boot and looks as though it is kicking
a football-the island of Sicily-toward
a piece of land surrounded by water on
North Africa. Italy is attached to the rest
three sides by a massive range of snowof Europe
covered mountains called the Alps.
Another mountain range, the Apennines
(A-puh-nynz), runs down the center of
Italy. These mountains slope through
wooded hills to sunny coastal plains
and the blue waters of the Mediterranean.
In time, the Romans would come to
call the Mediterranean Mare Nostrum
(MAHR-ay NOHS-truhm), or "Our Sea."
Rome was founded on seven hills on the
volcanic west coast of Italy. The Romans

270 CHAPTER 10

embraced the advanced cultures of their
neighbors to the north and south. Ideas
adopted from these cultures helped
Rome flourish and grow strong.
THE CITY OF ROME

Rome's geography helped it survive and
thrive. What first made Rome important was
its strategic position. It was located at a key
crossing point of the Tiber (TY-bur) River.
The location was also a natural stopping
point on the valuable trade routes
running north to south and inland from
the sea. The city was far enough from
the coast to escape deadly attacks by
pirates and enemies but close enough to
benefit from the Mediterranean's busy
sea trade. Olive oil and wine were among
Rome's most commonly traded items.
The circle of seven hills on which Rome was
built rose above the river and also provided
protection against attack. These seven
hills became Rome's center. Romans built
important government buildings there.
The hills were also home to religious temples
and entertainment facilities. Roads branched
off from this area to the outside world.
The land around the city had fertile soil,
a good water supply, and a mild climate.
These qualities helped Rome's agriculture
flourish and support the large population
needed to wage and win wars in the
ancient world. As the Roman historian Livy
boasted, "With good reason did gods and
men choose this site for founding a city."
Rome's central location helped it take
over much of Italy. Then Italy's central
location helped Rome become a powerful
force in the Mediterranean. Around the
sea, the riches of Europe, Southwest Asia,
and North Africa were temptingly close.
Control of the Mediterranean seemed
within the grasp of a strong, ambitious,
and determined civilization like Rome.



World History Sampler

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World History Sampler

World History Sampler - Cover1
World History Sampler - 268
World History Sampler - 269
World History Sampler - 268a
World History Sampler - 269a
World History Sampler - 268b
World History Sampler - 269b
World History Sampler - 268c
World History Sampler - 269c
World History Sampler - 268d
World History Sampler - 269d
World History Sampler - 270
World History Sampler - 271
World History Sampler - 270a
World History Sampler - 271a
World History Sampler - 270b
World History Sampler - 271b
World History Sampler - 270c
World History Sampler - 271c
World History Sampler - 270d
World History Sampler - 271d
World History Sampler - 270e
World History Sampler - 271e
World History Sampler - 270f
World History Sampler - 271f
World History Sampler - 270g
World History Sampler - 271g
World History Sampler - 287
World History Sampler - 288
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