Photograph by National Geographic Channel/Kent Eanes
The Roman Empire once dominated the Western world and stayed intact for almost 700 years. Today, over 2,000 years later, ancient Rome's influence is still seen in art, architecture, engineering, language, literature, law, and religion. In March 2015, National Geographic Channel will chronicle the life of Jesus through the retelling of the intense political, social, and historical conflicts during the Roman Empire that ultimately led to his death.
This collection of educational content looks at this time period in ancient Rome through the lens of issues around citizenship, technology, government, culture, language, and geography. Use these resources to dig deeper into relevant world history and human geography topics.
Use these materials to bring ancient Rome to life in your classroom
Students use a physical map of the Roman Empire to investigate how physical geography contributed to economic and military power in ancient Rome.
Students investigate how the geographic spread of an impactful human system—language—influenced power in ancient Rome.
Students research different types of myths, read about three types of myths popular in ancient Rome, and analyze the purpose of mythology in Roman culture.
Students compare and contrast two systems of government in ancient Rome. They write about how each system impacted human lives and make connections to their own.
Students read fictional biographies from across the Roman social system and analyze how citizenship shaped Roman life.
Students view and describe Roman technological innovations and analyze how technology helped the Romans control a growing empire.
Use these historic articles to teach about ancient Rome
On May 12, 1551, the National University of Lima was established in Lima, Peru.
On January 10, 49 BCE, General Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, a stream separating Rome from the province of Gaul. Crossing the Rubicon began a civil war that would end the Roman Republic.
On February 29, 45 BCE, the first Leap Day was added to the calendar.
On March 15, 44 BCE, Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome, was stabbed to death by about 40 senators.
On July 19, 64 CE, a fire started in Rome. When the fire was extinguished six days later, more than 70% of the city was in ruins.
On April 16, 73, the fortress of Masada fell to troops from the Roman Empire, ending the Great Jewish Revolt.
On August 24, 79 CE, Mount Vesuvius erupted, dooming the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in what is today Italy.
Use these reference materials to learn more about ancient Rome
Read interviews from a carpenter, soldier, and slaves in anceint Rome
Slavery was an accepted part of daily life in the Roman Empire. Almost all labor, whether in the city or on the farm, was performed by slaves, whose masters faced little to no repercussions for cruel treatment.
Wood was one of the most important natural resources in the Roman Empire, and Roman carpenters were some of the most skilled craftsmen of their era.
Rome built the largest and most powerful army the world had ever seen, but the life of a Roman soldier—thousands of them scattered across provinces from Britain to Syria—was not easy.
Hair was a powerful marker of wealth and status for both men and women in the Roman Empire. Hairdressers were often called upon to create elaborate, iconic styles.
Extra content for use in your classroom