Monday, September 15, 2014

Latitude and Longitude Skills

This week in Social Studies class, we're looking at using lines of latitude and longitude to find locations on earth. Using a map to find locations, there are a few points to keep in mind:

LATITUDE lines are HORIZONTAL and measure how far NORTH or SOUTH a place is.

Latitude lines are also called parallels.

LONGITUDE lines are VERTICAL and measure how far EAST or WEST a place is.

Longitude lines are also called meridians.

When you write the coordinates of a specific place the latitude number goes first, followed by the longitude number.

Latitude and longitude points are measured in degrees. This is because our earth is round and there are 360 degrees in a circle!

If you were trying to locate the city of Boston, you would say that it lies at (42°N, 71°W). This means that Boston is 42 degrees north of the equator, and 71 degrees west of the Prime Meridian.

Tim and Moby explain latitude and longitude in a video on BrainPop--Check it out by clicking here. If you don't remember the Needham login and password, ask me during class.




Here's a CHEEZ-TASTIC video from the 1970s!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Make Your Own Country" Map Project

You will become a cartographer for the next couple of days. Your job is to imagine a country and create a map of the place. As always, you are expected to do your best work and follow the directions. Please see Mr. Guerriero if you have any questions at all, if you want some help, or if you want to see the examples of finished maps!

Check the student Atlas or the box of National Geographic maps in the classroom for inspiration and ideas of what to put on your map. Remember, the goal is to SHOW WHAT YOU KNOW about how maps give information, not just to make it look pretty!


The map includes the following required items.
(Each item is worth 3 points)
  • Map Key (Legend) with at least 10 items
  • Colors or Shading using colored pencils
  • Map Scale with metric measurements
  • Compass Rose
  • Symbols
  • Grid Lines (drawn or folded on)
  • Title
  • Labels of at least 10 places
Challenge: Your map must include 2 additional items from this list.
(Each item is worth 2 points. You may put more than 2 of these.)
  • Chart (population density, etc.)
  • Relief lines (showing elevation, or how high or low the land is)
  • Inset map (a smaller map set into the larger one)
  • Graphics
  • Border Lines
  • Captions
  • Heights/Depths
  • Other: _________________________
Neatness and professionalism are important as well.
(Each item is worth 1 point)
  • Student’s name and block are on the back
  • Student completes a rough draft first
  • All lines are drawn using a ruler
  • Coloring is neat and carefully done
  • Labels are neatly written and spelled correctly
  • Map is handed in by Wednesday, September 24th.

Total Score: _______/ 34

Also, here is a CHEEZ-TASTIC explanation of how highway maps were made back in the 1940s. How has map making changed since then?

 

Remembering 9/11

As you may have heard on the news or from family members, today is the 13th anniversary of the terrible attacks of September 11, 2001. As you hear about the events of that day, please bring any questions, observations, or thoughts you have to your parents or teachers. An adult you trust can give you information, memories, and reactions that may help you understand the meaning of the day.

Brainpop has an informative video you can watch.

Here is a brief summary from a website called "ClassBrain:"
-->
The September 11th Attack on America
On September 11, 2001, there was an attack on America.
There are some men that decided that they didn’t like what America stands for: freedom, liberty, and the rights of men and women of all races, backgrounds, and beliefs. So on the morning of September 11, 2001, they hijacked four planes and attacked America in a terrible way.

Two of the airplanes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The last plane was going to crash into another building in Washington, D.C., but the passengers stopped the hijackers, and the plane crashed into a field instead.

Thousands of people lost their lives through these attacks. Hundreds of people were on the planes. Thousands died in the buildings that were hit by those planes.

The men that arranged this terrible attack want Americans to feel afraid and disorganized. They want to make people who live in this country do what they say by threatening us. Basically they’re big bullies.

The people of the United States are a strong group of people. Keep faith in who you are and what our country stands for and we will become even stronger than before.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Geography Unit Vocabulary

In class today and yesterday, we wrote down the definitions of our Geography Unit vocabulary terms. Your job will be to make flash cards to study for the vocab test on Wednesday 9/25.

geography
The study of the earth, its physical features, and how human activity affects it

cartographer
A person who makes and studies maps

map
A flat representation of a certain area of earth’s surface

globe
A spherical representation of the earth
(extremely accurate)

hemisphere
A half of a sphere--cartographers divide the earth into the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Hemispheres

map scale
A tool that shows the relationship between distances on a map and distances in real life

lines of latitude
Imaginary lines that run horizontally and are used to locate places on earth
(also called parallels)
(measure how far North or South)

lines of longitude
Imaginary lines that run vertically and are used to locate places on earth
(also called meridians)
(measure how far East or West)

equator
The line of latitude at 0 degrees that divides the earth into Northern and Southern Hemispheres

prime meridian
The line of longitude at 0 degrees that divides the earth into Eastern and Western Hemispheres
(starts at Greenwich, England)

North Pole
The northernmost point on earth, located at 90 degrees North latitude

South Pole
The southernmost point on earth, located at 90 degrees South latitude

Monday, September 8, 2014

Continents and Oceans

During the Geography Unit we'll be having a quick quiz on the continents and oceans. Our quiz will be on Tuesday, September 16th. There are 7 continents, 5 oceans, and 2 special lines to remember:

Continents
Australia
Antarctica
North America
South America
Asia
Africa
Europe

Oceans
Atlantic
Pacific
Indian
Arctic
Southern 

Special Lines
equator
Prime Meridian





Try not to get this song stuck in your head!!



Try out these cool websites to help you study!

Online continents and oceans quiz
Another online quiz game

Here is a blank map to be used as a study guide. Click on it to print a larger version.

Here is what a filled-in map should look like:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Week of School!

[Revised for Monday, September 8th]

Happy Monday, Cluster 3!

After a very busy first week of school, we hope you are settling in to your new school's routines. We have all enjoyed meeting our new students and look forward to teaching you this year.

We want to remind you of what you need to do this weekend at home:

Please give your parents all of the papers you received today.
--Large manila envelope of forms
--Pink letter from teachers that says "PARENTS" at the top

To parents and guardians:
--Please click on this link to add your email address(es) to our informational blast list
--Please take a few minutes to write a letter about your child to help us better know them.

Remember:
*Have an Independent Reading book
*Write or type your advisor a letter by next Wednesday (Sept 10)
*Return nurse card
*Summer Reading sign-off to Mr. Harmon by next Friday (Sept 12)
*2 boxes of tissues to your advisor
*Combination lock for your locker
*Bring in a photo of yourself "being awesome: for your BioPoem by Tuesday!

For Science:
1. Draw a scientist -- due tomorrow

2. 3 signatures due Sept 15th (latest)
    -Lab safety
    -Allergy letter
    -Science class expectations

A message from Mrs. McGuire, the Technology teacher:
Technology Homework- Read and Sign Syllabus with your parents. (Electronically)
Syllabus Signature Page


Monday, June 9, 2014

MFA Field Trip Preview

This week, our cluster will be visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. There, you will see one of the best Egyptian collections outside of Egypt, a huge Greek and Roman collection, and some of the oldest artifacts of human civilization. Here's a preview of selected artifacts that I would like you to notice when we're at the MFA.

If you want to preview even more, the MFA website has a tremendous online gallery, interactive tours, and a very detailed catalog of their immense collection. I highly recommend you take a look...

The first artifact is one of the most important artifacts in all of Egyptian art history. It is a statue of Prince Ankhhaf, who was the brother of one pharaoh and the son of another. He helped to build the great pyramid at Giza around 2500 B.C.E.


What the Museum won't tell you is that the Egyptian government would love to get its hands on this statue to bring it back to Cairo. The problem for them is that it was legally excavated by Harvard and the MFA about 100 years ago. Now the Egyptian government says it would like to "borrow" it. Yeah right!



Here's what the Museum does say about this artifact:

Bust of Prince Ankhhaf
 
Egyptian, Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, reign of Khafra (Chephre, 2520–2494 B.C.
 
Findspot: Giza, Egypt
     Height: 50.48 cm (19 7/8 in.)
     Painted limestone
 
Classification: Sculpture
 
On view in the: Gardiner Martin Lane Gallery (Egyptian Old Kingdom Gallery)

In ancient Egypt, artists almost never created true portraits. This bust of Ankhhaf, therefore, breaks the rule. It is made of limestone covered with a thin layer of plaster, into which details have been modeled by the hand of a master. Rather than a stylized representation, the face is of an individual. From inscriptions in his tomb, we know that Ankhhaf was the son of a king, probably Sneferu, brother of another, Khufu, and that he served Khafre as vizier and overseer of works. In this last capacity, he may have overseen the building of the second pyramid and carving of the sphinx.



Ankhhaf's features are those of a mature man. His skull shows a receding hairline. His eyelids droop slightly over eyes originally painted white with brown pupils. Puffy pouches are rendered underneath. Diagonal furrows set off a stern mouth. Apparently, he once had a short beard made from a separate piece of plaster. It was lost in antiquity, as were his ears. His gaze is that of a commanding and willful man, someone who was accustomed to having his orders obeyed. It was the way he wanted to be remembered for eternity.



Ankhhaf's mastaba was the largest in the great Eastern Cemetery at Giza. His bust was installed in a mudbrick chapel attached to the east side of the tomb and oriented so that it faced the chapel's entryway. The chapel walls were covered in exquisitely modeled low relief. It has been suggested that Ankhhaf's arms were sculpted on the low pedestal on which he sat, thereby making him appear even more lifelike. Passersby left more than ninety models of food and drink for Ankhhaf to enjoy in the afterlife. 



Ankhhaf is unique, and by the terms of the Museum's contract with the Egyptian government, he should have gone to the Cairo Museum. However, he was awarded to Boston by the Antiquities Service in gratitude for the Harvard-Boston Expedition's painstaking work to excavate and restore objects from the tomb of Queen Hetepheres.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, 1927
Accession number: 27.442
Provenance/Ownership History: From Giza, tomb G 7510. 1925: excavated by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1927: assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt.
(Accession Date: July 7, 1927)


Akhenaten receiving the rays of Aten

One of the most interesting pharaohs ever to rule Egypt was named Amenhotep IV, who later renamed himself Akenaten. This pharaoh changed the Egyptian religion and the style of Egyptian art and even moved the capital city of the kingdom from Thebes to a brand new city he built called Amarna. For that reason, this time in history is called the "Amarna Period."

In the comments, can you describe any specific changes that Akhenaten put in place?



* Egyptian, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten, 1349–1336 B.C.

Dimensions
    Height x width x depth: 51 x 105.5 x 5.2 cm (20 1/16 x 41 9/16 x 2 1/16 in.)
 
Medium or Technique
    Limestone
 
Classification
    Architectural elements

Accession Number
    64.1944
On view
    Egypt: New Kingdom - 210
Although Akhenaten's religious reforms purged Egyptian art of many of its most familiar manifestations, the king remained fond of the sphinx and often had himself depicted as that fantastic creature - part man, part lion. In Old Kingdom times, the Great Sphinx at Giza probably stood for the king presenting offerings to the sun god, while in the Eighteenth Dynasty the mighty monument was reinterpreted as the sun god Horemakhet, or Horus in the Horizon. Its impeccable solar credentials therefore made the sphinx an appropriate image for Akhenaten at el-Amarna, the city he called Akhetaten, "Horizon of the Sun Disk."



This relief was one of a pair flanking a temple doorway. The sphinx on it rests on a plinth, suggesting that it represents a statue. A pair of such reliefs flanking the doorway of a small temple would have evoked the grand avenues of sphinxes that traditionally led up to the entrance pylons of larger Egyptian sanctuaries. Here the sphinx is equipped with human arms and hands to enable him to make offerings to his god, the sun disk, Aten, who appears at the upper left. He wears the uraeus of kingship while behind him (to the left) are two cartouches containing his lengthy official name. The sun's life-giving rays end in so many hands, some holding ankh-signs. Below are three offering stands. To the right, Akhenaten as sphinx raises one hand in adoration while in the other he holds a neb sign, a basket signifying lordship, holding Aten's cartouches. These same cartouches appear a third time in the upper right where they are joined with the cartouches of Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, who is thus present in name if not in image. The rest of the inscription describes the "great, living Aten" as "dwelling in the Sunshade temple [called] Creator of the Horizon [which is] in Akhetaten." The temple named here, yet to be located, must be the one for which this block was carved. 



Akhenaten's religious revolution was accompanied by a change in the way pharaoh was depicted, showing a marked departure from the idealized images favored by his predecessors. Even though the king's face has been sadly hacked away, one can still discern his characteristic slanted eyes, long nose, hollow cheeks, drooping lower lip, and pendulous chin.

Provenance: Probably from el-Amarna. By 1964: with Ernst E. Kofler, Lucerne, Switzerland; October 4, 1964: purchased by the MFA from Ernst E. Kofler. 

(Accession Date: October 14, 1964). Credit Line:
Egyptian Curator's Fund

The Giza Plateau
Students should check out the Giza Archives section of the MFA website. As you may know, the Museum and Harvard University teamed up in the early 1900s to conduct archaeological digs in the area of the Giza Plateau, the location of the Great Pyramids. The MFA was the only American museum allowed to dig there. As a result, the evidence gathered from these digs has been some of the most important information uncovered about Egyptian history.



The Giza Archives have the original documents, photos, and writings of the original archaeologists on the dig. Many of the artifacts in the MFA's Egyptian collection can be seen in these photos as they appeared in situ.

Check it out:


The MFA's Greek collection is one of the best in North America. The Museum has an especially large gallery of Greek pottery. We've talked a lot about the different gods, goddesses, and myths that made life in ancient Greece more fun and interesting.

The Greek Sphinx
Most people know the term "sphinx" to mean the more famous giant statue which guards the Great Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt. The Greeks, however, had their own version of a sphinx. The Greek sphinx had the body of a lioness, the wings of an eagle, and the head of a woman. She was famous for demanding the answer to a riddle, and for killing those who were incorrect in their answers. Unfortunately, the MFA's Greek sphinx is without its head, so you'll just have to imagine what she looked like.

A Greek Sphinx: What is the difference from an Egyptian Sphinx?
Upper part of a grave stele: seated sphinx (sphinx and capital)

Greek, Archaic Period, about 530 B.C.

Height: 141.7 cm (55 13/16 in.) 

Marble, either island (sphinx and plinth) or Pentelic (capital)
 
Classification: Sculpture
Catalogue: Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 017; Sculpture in Stone and 

Bronze (MFA), p. 106 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 159.
 
On view in the: Early Greek Gallery

Sphinx and plinth were carved in island marble separately from the Pentelic marble capital. This plinth was let into a socket at the top of the capital and secured in a bed of molten lead. There is a large socket on the underside of the capital, with a pour hole from the back side. The abacus and the base of the capital are flush with the volutes, and all surfaces have been smoothed, except the plinth of the sphinx, which shows point or punch marks.

The sphinx crouches to the right, with hind-quarters lifted and head turned to the front. The end of her curving tail rests on her right haunch. The hair, originally black, is shown as a mass descending to the shoulders and divided vertically and horizontally by grooves. The feathers of the wings are carved in relief and were painted alternately green, black, red, and blue. The feathers on the breast form a scale pattern, painted in alternate rows of red and green. The rib of each wing and the flat molding at the top of each foreleg are green.
The capital is of lyre design, consisting of two double volutes, with palmettes in all the interstices. It is open in the center and richly decorated with incised and painted designs. The front and ends of the base are enriched with a delicately carved guilloche. The abacus has four-pointed stars set on three-petaled palmettes, three in front and one on each end. The outer sides of the volutes are incised and painted with a large lotus and palmette pattern. Alternating red and black colors complement the form, carving and incision.
Sphinx and capital have been broken into a number of pieces and rejoined, with slight restorations at the joins. There is more restoration in the lower part of the capital than elsewhere, but this is to a great extent supplanted by an extra piece acquired nearly twenty years after the original purchase was first undertaken. The surfaces are very fresh. The fragments with the parts of the dedicatory inscription have the handsome golden yellow patina of the best Pentelic marble.
See: 40.724a-b for inscribed fragments.

See also Cls. Inv. 186.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
1931 and 1939 Purchase Funds, 1940
Accession number: 40.576
Provenance/Ownership History: By date unknown: with Brummer Gallery, Inc., 110 East 58th Street, New York; purchased by MFA from Brummer Gallery, Inc., October 10, 1940, for $ 65,000.00


The ancient Romans copied much of the Greek culture, art, and mythology and adopted it as their own.

This sarcophagus was made to bury the body of a wealthy Roman. The side is a huge and detailed sculpture showing the "triumph of Dionysus." The Greek god Dionysus represented wine and partying, among other things. One day the hero Hercules challenged the god to a drinking contest. Not a good idea.

Hercules lost the contest, the one time in his life he ever lost. If you look at the details, you'll see all kinds of crazy and exotic animals including elephants and giraffes. At the far right, some satyrs are helping Hercules to walk, since he's pretty shaky on his legs.

Roman Sarcophagus from about 220 A.D.

Sarcophagus with triumph of Dionysos
 
Roman, Imperial Period, about A.D. 215–225
 
Overall: 77.5 x 208cm (30 1/2 x 81 7/8in.)

Other (Body): 59cm (23 1/4in.)

Other (lid): 18.5cm (7 5/16in.)

Case (Rolling steel pedestal with wooden skirts/plex-bonnet): 77.5 x 228.6 x 76.5 cm (30 1/2 x 90 x 30 1/8 in.)


Marble, from the island of Proconnesus in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul



Inscriptions: An inscription along the lower edge reads, "Marcus Vibius Agesilaus Junior made it (i.e. set up this monument?) for Marcus Liberalis, the son of Marcus, the Praetor, his tutor" or "who brought him up."

Classification: Sculpture
Catalogue: Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 244; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 113 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 108-109.
On view in the: Roman Gallery

The god of wine and dramatic festivals, in full choral attitude, steps into a biga drawn by two Indian elephants with fringed cloths on their backs. He is supported by his companion the satyr Ampelos and attended by the complete Dionysiac train of Sileni, pans, satyrs, maenads, and the exotic animals of his triumph in India.



The inscription reads :M~VIBIO~M~FIL~LIBERALI~PRAET~M~VIBIVS~AGESILAVS~IVNIOR~NVTRICIO~SUO~FEC ("Marcus Vibius Agesilaus junior made (it) for Marcus Vibius Liberalis, son of Marcus, the praetor, his foster-father" ).

The condition is, generally speaking, superb, with the small breaks, missing limbs, and absent attributes apparent from illustrations. The surfaces, particularly of the nude or seminude figures, retain their high polish. There are no restorations of the kind that ruin so many sarcophagi. The sections cracked or broken through have been carefully rejoined, and the missing pieces of the lid hardly detract from the visual sweep and rhythm of the triumphal procession. The three-volume corpus of Dionysiac sarcophagi reveals that very few of these monuments of Greek art in the Roman Empire have their original (or any) lids preserved in any form or condition.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
William Francis Warden Fund, 1972
Accession number: 1972.650
Provenance/Ownership History: By date unknown: collection of an international banker in northwest Europe; by 1972: with Miss Jeanette Brun, Dufourstrasse 119, Zurich 8008, Switzerland; purchased by MFA from Miss Jeanette Brun, June 7, 1972

Friday, June 6, 2014

70th Anniversary of D-Day

An aerial view of the invasion
Today is the 57th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. Thousands of American, British, and allied troops lost their lives in helping to turn the tide against the advance of Nazism. It was the largest amphibious invasion in history.

General Eisenhower speaks with the troops
Here are some resources if you are interested in learning more. 57 years after the D-Day landings, there are only a few remaining veterans who can tell their stories and so it is more important for young people to remember the sacrifices of soldiers who fought and died to defeat fascism and the evil regime of Hitler.


Websites:
The official U.S. Army D-Day site
PBS special "The American Experience"
The World War II Museum site



A map of the landings at Normandy

Troops approaching the beaches

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Barbarians: The Goths

In the 5th century A.D., the Roman Empire fell apart. There were two main factors that led to the downfall of the world's mightiest empire: corruption and weakness within the empire, and invasions from several barbarian tribes. In class we looked at the Goths, a tribe from Eastern Europe that began migrating into the Balkan area of what is today Bulgaria, Romania, and the former Yugoslavia.

Some key points of discussion:
  • The Goths sack the city of Rome in 410 A.D.
  • The Emperor Valens was killed in a losing battle against the Goths in 378 A.D.
  • The Roman Empire adopts Christianity as the official religion
  • The Goths covert to Christianity under their chief Fritigern
  • The Romans treat the Goths very harshly as they enter the Empire

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rome Essential Questions

1. How did the location, geography, and climate of Rome affect the development of civilization there?

The location of Rome influenced civilization there because Rome was in the center of Italy so domination of the entire peninsula was easy. Rome was in the center of the Mediterranean Sea so they could control trade in the Mediterranean.
  • 15 miles from the sea --> Protection from pirates
  • Located on the Tiber River --> Water for irrigation
  • Central Italy, center of the Med. Sea --> Great trading location
The geography of Rome was that the city was surrounded by seven hills so it could be easily defended. Rome was on the Tiber River so the Romans could trade along it, but far enough inland so a naval attack would not be easy.

The climate of Rome was a warm Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, dry summers so a small amount of grain could be grown, but Egypt still produced the most grain in the Mediterranean. Like the Greeks, the Romans could grow grapes and olives for wine and oil to trade.

2. How were the Romans influenced by Greek culture and ideas?

The Romans were influenced by Greek culture and ideas by using variations of Greek gods, and the Romans wore clothes that were similar to the Greeks. Wealthy Romans often spoke Greek, and their children were taught by Greek tutors. The Romans also took the idea that all cities should have some of the same buildings like an amphitheater and a forum. The Romans also used the idea that armies should be professional and well paid. The Romans also admired Greek art, architecture, and literature.

3. How was the Roman Republic founded and organized?

The myth of Rome's founding included the story of Romulus and Remus. The reality was that Rome began as a small fishing village which developed into a monarchy. Later, the Etruscans conquer the Romans and rule them. 
The Roman Republic was founded after one of the Etruscan kings was especially cruel and the Romans rebelled and threw the Etruscans out of Rome. The Romans did not want one person to take power again so they used a republic where the citizens from rich and poor classes elected leaders who made decisions for the benefit of both classes. There could be a dictator if there was an emergency, but after the emergency passed they went back to the republican system.

The main offices of the Republic included the consuls, senators, tribunes, and the citizens’ assembly.

Julius Caesar
4. Who was Julius Caesar and what effect did he have on the Roman Republic?

Julius Caesar was Roman general who conquered Gaul (France) for Rome. Julius Caesar thought that the republic wasn’t working and he thought that Rome needed a centralized government and that he should be in charge.

Julius Caesar had himself declared a dictator for life. Many Senators thought that Julius Caesar was going to get to much power and be like one of the Etruscan kings, so they assassinated him thinking that it would restore the Roman Republic but after a civil war Octavian Caesar became emperor of Rome. The Republic never came back.

Augustus Caesar
5. Who was Augustus Caesar and what were his major accomplishments?

Augustus Caesar was Julius Caesar’s nephew and adopted son. After Julius Caesar died there was a civil war. During the war Augustus (then called Octavian) defeated all his political rivals and had himself crowned “emperor.” Rome had grown during the civil war: Egypt was now entirely under Roman control.

A few of his accomplishments were that he built roads to connect the empire, and he had a fire department. He built Roman cities in conquered lands to spread Roman culture and change the barbarians into proper Roman citizens. There was a period of 200 years of peace begun by Augustus. Augustus rebuilt many temples, started a police force, and gave out food to the poor.


6. What were some of the successes and failures of the Roman Empire?

Some of the successes of the Roman Empire were they conquered the entire Mediterranean area and spread their culture around a lot of the known world. The Romans also built roads, aqueducts to carry water to cities, and used other people’s ideas to a much bigger purpose like using Etruscan arches and making the Coliseum. The Romans built the strongest army and greatest engineering masterpieces in ancient history.

Some of the failures of the Roman Empire were there were occasionally emperors who were mentally unstable and made very bad decisions for the Roman people. The Romans also persecuted people who didn’t worship Roman gods. There also was a very big difference between rich people and poor people, plus the Romans allowed slavery to exist. The Romans built an empire that became too vast to manage and eventually lost control over most of their territory.

The Roman Empire around A.D. 117 - The  territory colored orange was under Roman control.

7. How did the Roman Empire come to an end?

The Roman Empire ended when the borders got so long that armies couldn’t stop all the barbarians who wanted to invade Rome. Wave after wave of Gothic and Germanic tribes invaded Roman territory. Civil war also killed a lot of men who could fight the barbarians. Eventually barbarians got to the city of Rome itself and sacked it. Major rebellions broke out against Roman control in most of the foreign territories. Lastly, in 410 A.D. and again in 476 A.D., the Goths sacked the city of Rome itself.

Internally, the Roman Empire had tremendous money problems and eventually went broke. The government could no longer pay foreign soldiers to defend against attack. Bad leaders made the situation worse, and the empire broke apart.

8. What were some of the most important contributions of the Romans?

One of the most important contributions of the Romans was the republican form of government that we use today. We have a senate like the Romans and we elect our leaders.

Another contribution of the Romans was in the area of architectural engineering. We use arches now and columns in our government buildings.

We use the Roman alphabet and most of the words in our language come from Latin, as do all of the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.). 


Friday, May 30, 2014

Hannibal the Annihilator

In class we watched a movie from the History Channel that dramatizes the battle strategies of Hannibal, the chief of the Carthaginian army during the Second Punic War. It is done in the style of a graphic novel or the movie 300. I'm pretty sure the real Hannibal didn't look like a WWE wrestler, but he was a brilliant military leader.



1. Who was Hannibal?

     • What was his childhood like?

     • Who was his father?

     • How did he feel about Rome?

2. How did the First Punic War end?

3. How did the Second Punic War begin?

4. Describe the following:

     The Battle of Trebia

     The Battle of Lake Trasimene

     The Battle of Cannae

5. What was the Roman reaction to the invasion of Hannibal and the Carthaginians?

6. Who was Scipio Africanus?

7. Describe the Battle of Zama

8. How did the Second Punic War end?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Engineering an Empire: Carthage