Julius Caesar

- Syllabus Content - Assessment - Past Questions - Glossary of Terms - Glossary of People - Maps -

Geography, topography and resources of Rome and provinces


Italy is a long peninsula between the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas. A mountain range, the Apennines, runs down the centre of the peninsula from north to south. On the western side of the Apennines are flood plains rich with volcanic soil. Rome is in the centre of the peninsula on the western side of the Apennines.

Since overthrowing the last of the Etruscan kings and becoming a Republic in 509 BC, Rome came to dominate the Italian peninsula. After the successful defence of Rome against the Carthaginians in the 3rd Century BC, and the subsequent defeat of the Carthaginians and destruction of Carthage, Rome came to dominate the Mediterranean.

By the time of Julius Caesar, Rome had an empire which extended from one end of the Mediterranean to the other. Roman provinces were: Sicily; Sardinia and Corsica; Hither and Farther Spain; Africa; Cisalpine Gaul; Asia; Illyicum; Macedonia; Transalpine Gaul; Cilicia; Bythinia and Pontus. Julius Caesar added Gaul. See the map on the Map Page.

Rome had rich agricultural resources within Italy, but the growth of the empire brought with it access to a great range of other resources: metals, timber, horses and other animals, slaves and troops. As Rome grew, the need for grain from outside of Italy grew, and when this trade was disrupted it caused serious problems within Rome.

source: Gooley's Guide to Getting Good Grades, Peakhurst, 2009