The Geography of Italy

Lectures

  1. The Geography of Italy
  2. The Etruscans
  3. The Roman Republic
  4. Roman Expansion and the Punic Wars
  5. The Civil War
  6. The Rise of Julius Casear

Instructional Goal: Students will know the primary features of the Italian peninsula and understand how they influenced the rise of the Roman civilizaiton.

I. The topography of the Italian peninsula is varied.

  1. The Italian peninsula resembles a boot.
  2. Sicily, an island located to the south of the mainland, is rough and mountainous.
  3. Corsica and Sardinia are large islands located off the western coast.
  4. The Alpine mountains form a natural border across the north of Italy.
  5. The Appenine mountains run down the center of Italy much like a spine.
  6. The Po River valley lies south of the Alpine mountains and is a fertile agricultural area.
  7. The coastal areas of southern Italy are swampy and disease-ridden.

II. The rivers of Italy also affected the development of the Roman civilization.

  1. Po river, lying in the northern plains, was the primary agricultural center.
  2. The Rubicon river is the traditional northern border between Rome and the barbarian lands.
  3. The Tiber river, on which the city of Rome was built, was small and shallow.
  4. Most Italian rivers ended in delta areas which were swampy and disease-ridden.
  5. there are few good natural harbors.

III. Climate of Italy is conducive to good food production.

  1. The climate is temperate with growing season lasting all year in the south.
  2. There is ample rainfall in the north, but dry in the south.
  3. Grain crops, livestock production and vegetables are raised in the northern farmlands.
  4. Southern Italy is a center of grape, fruit and olive production.

Assignment: students will begin work on a map of the Roman Empire.


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