And so it Begins...

Now you are beginning your research on the topic of your choice.  You may choose to work with others in your field or you may decide to go it alone.  Remember to only choose TWO topics for individuals and FOUR for a group from the list below and remember to tie in how the Romans affect our society today.  In some cases maybe they don't affect us so much, be sure to include that information in your report.  Make sure that you are comparing, explaining, relating, defending and giving support for your conclusions that you make.

Good luck and happy hunting!                                    


1. Choose your topic(s) and if you want to work alone or with a group.

2. Glance over some of the resources provided.  Find the resources that will give you the best information to answer your particular questions and our overall question on how the Romans affect us today.

3. Gather all relevant sources and information found.  Make sure to take notes or mark down where you found the information so you can return to it later. 

4. Organize the information found so your project is easy to understand.  Make sure to relate your information to your question that you are looking at while being sure to tie in how that aspect of Romans society affects us today.  Give good supporting evidence.

5. Do the work and finish by the due date I give you in class.  Make sure you are doing work outside of class as well.  Only doing the work in class will not give you a good report.  Be sure to cite your sources in proper citation format, either Chicago style or MLA.

Don't forget about these... 

How does this empire affect us today? 

How does the Roman Empire compare with the U.S.?  

Do you see the U.S. heading for the same fall that the Romans experienced? 

How does the Roman form of government relate to the U.S.'s? 

How would you explain the political changes that occurred in Rome? 

What other societies today have Roman influences in an aspect of their society? 


1.  *Create a detailed time line of Ancient Rome.  Look through the sections on Rome in your textbook.  Take note and use supplemental materials such as the Internet and books from the library to form a time line of the significant events in early Roman history.  On a separate sheet of paper in paragraph form give a written explanation for each event and then tell the significance of that event.  Create a visual time line and either make a poster or attach your time line to your written work.  If you choose to make a poster be sure to attach your written explanations for each of the significant events to your poster.    

2.  List, explain and draw the political changes that occurred in Ancient Rome.  The Roman Republic was formed to govern a city-state but it had to govern a vast empire and had much difficulty and many struggles emerged when the empire grew.  List and explain the political changes that occurred during Rome's turbulent history.  Your paper should be 2-3 pages in length and include illustrations of your work.  Illustrate some difficulties and the history of changes that occurred by creating your own political cartoon.

3.  Prepare a chronology list of events and issues that led to the fall of the Roman Empire.  Make a chronological list of the events and issues that led to the fall of the Roman Republic.  Choose two or three events that you think were the most significant and write a 3-4 page paper that explains why you chose these events as the most important factors in the fall.  Take a stance and make an argument. What could have been done differently?  What so you think went wrong?  And what would you have done differently?  Make sure you use evidence to back up your argument and document your sources.

4.  *Research life in Rome and create a display poster.

Research a specific area of life and culture during the Pax Romana.  Divide you topic into smaller sub topics.

  • Roman daily life (food, housing, amusements, household deities, women's lives education)
  • Law (ideas of citizenship judges, effect on modern law)
  • Language and literature (Romance languages, specific authors)
  • Science and technology (Roman roads, the arch)

Create a display poster and provide enough data and information to explain your poster.

5.  Prepare a Roman meal.  Write a 2-3 page research paper describing what the Romans ate.  What foods were the biggest parts of their diet?  Were there differences between what the rich ate and what the poor ate?  What dishes were most popular or made only on specific occasions?  Include a few recipes with your report.  Prepare, for the class, a dish or two for them to sample.

6.  Research and write a report on gladiator matches.  Gladiator matches reflected the behavior of Roman legions toward defeated enemies or revolting provinces.  It was also a practice of decimation used to discipline cowardly or mutinous troops.  Using the Internet and book sources to research gladiator matches in Ancient Rome and write a short, informative report on your findings.  This should be 2-4 pages in length and may include a visual aid to accompany the report. (diagram of the coliseum, do these matches have any similarities to our modern day professional athletics (minus the killings), etc.)

7.  *Prepare a visual of Roman architecture.  Research various forms and types of Roman architecture and make a display.  It may be three dimensional in design (a sculpture or structure) or be in the form of a 2 dimensional poster.  If you choose to create a poster, be sure to have illustrations, diagrams and pictures of some of the most important Roman structures from various periods along with an explanation of each structure in your report.  If you choose to make a three-dimensional visual be sure to include a written report of the structure and a short informative report on the important Roman structures and architecture of Ancient times. (2-3 pages in length).

8.  Write a report about the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire.  Research the origins of Christianity.  Discuss the life and teachings of Jesus.  How did they conflict with what the established Jewish leaders where teaching?  How and why did the religion spread throughout the Empire (finally becoming the official religion)?  How was the early Church organized?  How did the Church live on after the fall of Rome?

9.  Prepare a visual on various aspects of the Roman military.  How were the soldiers selected and trained?  What were the living conditions of a typical soldier?  What weapons did their military use (and how did this technology change?)  How were the Legions organized?  What were some of their battle tactics?  What were some inherent weaknesses to the way the military was organized?  What groups of people were the biggest threats to the Roman military?  What role did the military play in Roman politics?

10.  Research the Legend of Romulus and Remus.  As you do your research using the Internet and book sources-take notes.  Compare the different stories of the legend.  Write and account of the story and make sure that you document the sources that you used.  In addition, you may want to create illustrations to accompany the story.  Then create a book or write a 2-3 page report.

11.  *Develop a pictorial history of Ancient Rome and make a book.  This should include several of the following-pictures of events or objects, illustrated maps, diagrams of things such as a Roman bath house, charts that explain the structure of the Roman government during the Republic, political cartoons, command of the legions, series of emperors.  Make sure that each image has a caption that explains the picture.  Compile all of your work into a book.

12.  *Video a Scene.  Obtain a copy of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.  Then form a small group and assign parts.  Read and rehearse the play.  You will videotape your acting out of a specific scene..(Scene suggestions: Caesar's assassination III, I, 1-95...Marc Antony's address to the plebeians (III, ii)...the Farewell of Brutus and Cassius (V, I, 70-125).  Along with your video you will write a short report giving a background and explanation of the scene (why is the scene important?).

13.  Chart and summarize the three Punic Wars.  Research the 3 Punic Wars and develop a chart.  Include dates, the areas where the war was fought, the major battle and the final outcome for each other the three wars.  Write a paper that explains the three Punic Wars and that also compares and contrasts them.  For the second Punic War include the names of the opposing generals and tell a story about each of them.  You may want to include the origin of the name "Punic" in your paper.  Attach your chart to the written paper.  It should be 2-4 pages in length.

14.  Choose a role of a person in the Roman Empire and write a narrative of a typical day.  Research the daily life of a specific person in the Roman Empire and include details about their occupational functions, family life and social life.  Some examples of people you may want to choose are a Roman legionary, a senator, a shop keeper, an enslaved person, or other*.  Your reflection should be 2-3 pages in length and may include a visual aid to accompany the report. (diagram of the coliseum, etc.)

15.  Prepare a list of the 10 most important figures in Ancient Rome.  As you read chapter 5 take notes on each person mentioned.  Research some more information online or in the library.  Then, prepare a list of who you believe were the 10 most important Romans and briefly explain why you chose each person.  Prepare your responses and form a response paper of 3-4 pages in length.

16.  Choose one of the Roman Emperors and write a research paper about the Emperor.  Research the life on a specific emperor that ruled during the Roman Empire and include details about what they were like, what they did or did not do, their occupational functions, life as a ruler, family life and daily life.  Look through chapter 5 at the emperor's and then do Internet research and look through various books.  Take notes and document your sources.  Then write your report.  It should be 3-4 pages in length.  Make sure you do enough research that it is an accurate account of the ancient Roman emperor.  Make it interesting, tell the story and share interesting facts about the emperor.

17.  *Prepare a chronological list of the events and issues that led to the fall of the Roman Empire.  Make a chronological list of the events and issues that led to the fall of the Roman Empire.  Choose two or three events that you think were teh most significant and write a 3-4 page paper that explains why you chose these events as the most important factors in the fall.  Take a stance and make an argument.  What could have been done differently? What do you think was done wrong? And what would you have done differently?  Make sure you use evidence to back up your argument and document your sources.

18. Create a time capsule.  Find a box or some kind of container and place 10 objects in the container.  For each object you will need to defend why you put it into the box.  What does the object have to do with Rome?  What significance does your object have in relation to Ancient Rome? Why was the object represented important to Rome?  What significance do those object have to us today?

19.  *Other.  If you have a different idea in mind of something that you would like to do for a Roman research project, come see me and ask if it would work.

Additionally, a PowerPoint or web site might be substituted for a written report or display poster and vice versa.