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Ch 9: The Fall of the Roman Empire: AP World History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Fall of the Roman Republic chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Fall of the Roman Republic chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
MondayThe Reign of Augustus Caesar The Aeneid, an epic poem by Virgil; Horace, Ovid and Virgil's role in Octavian's coup and the reign of Rome's first emperor
TuesdayRoman Dynasties and EmperorsRulers of the Julio-Claudian, Flavian and Nervan-Antonine dynasties
WednesdayThe Division of the Roman Empire and Conversion of Constantine The Severan Dynasty and its weaknesses, Third-Century Crisis, Tetrachy of Diocletian and the conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity
ThursdayJustinian's Code of Law, the Fall of Rome and the City of GodEmperor Justinian's laws and legal interpretations, events that led to the fall of Rome and St. Augustine's philosophical and religious legacy
FridayEarly Christian Architecture and Art Characteristics, examples and symbols found in early Christian art and buildings

14 Lessons in Chapter 9: The Fall of the Roman Empire: AP World History Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Early Roman Empire and the Reign of Augustus Caesar

1. The Early Roman Empire and the Reign of Augustus Caesar

Augustus Caesar, originally named Gaius Octavius, was the first emperor of Rome after the Republic. Learn more about the early Roman empire, the reign of Augustus Caesar and the meaning of the name 'Augustus.'

The Aeneid by Virgil

2. The Aeneid by Virgil

Virgil was a Roman poet whose poem, ''The Aeneid,'' continues to be renowned centuries after it was published. Discover the literary nuances of the poem, its purpose in outlining a new epic for a new age, and its depiction of Rome's glorious destiny. Meet the poem's dynamic cast of characters, including the hero Aeneas, Dido Queen of Carthage, wrathful Juno, and omnipotent Jupiter while traveling across the Mediterranean and through the Underworld.

Augustus' Propagandists: Virgil, Horace and Ovid

3. Augustus' Propagandists: Virgil, Horace and Ovid

The impressive rise of Caesar Augustus also led to the rise of some prominent propagandists who had thriving careers during his reign. Learn more on Augustus' Propagandists Virgil, Horace, and Ovid who contributed to his quick rise in politics.

Emperors of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty

4. Emperors of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty

The Emperors of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty governed as the first rulers of the Roman Empire. Learn about the life and death of the emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, as well as details about their reigns and successions.

The Year of the Four Emperors & the Flavian Dynasty

5. The Year of the Four Emperors & the Flavian Dynasty

The three Flavian Emperors reigned during some of the most notable historical events in Rome. Learn how Vespasian seized power, why Titus was nicknamed ~'the Tragic,~' and how the dynasty came to an end with Domitian.

The Five Good Emperors of Rome & the Nervan-Antonine Dynasty

6. The Five Good Emperors of Rome & the Nervan-Antonine Dynasty

The Five Good Emperors brought peace, stability, and prosperity to Rome after Emperor Domitian was assassinated in 96 CE. Discover the Nervan-Antonine Dynasty, which was led by: Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

Emperors of the Severan Dynasty

7. Emperors of the Severan Dynasty

The family that ruled the Roman Empire around 200 CE was known as the Severan Emperors. Explore the emperors from this time period and the impact they had on Roman culture.

Division of the Roman Empire: Diocletian & the 3rd Century Crisis

8. Division of the Roman Empire: Diocletian & the 3rd Century Crisis

The 3rd Century Crisis was sparked with a conflict around the title of Emperor, leading to assassinations and nearly to the collapse of Rome due to the five F's: feuding, factions, funding, foreigners, and freaky disease. Explore each of these causes in context and learn how Diocletian saved the Roman Empire from destruction.

The Conversion of Constantine and the Ascent of Christianity

9. The Conversion of Constantine and the Ascent of Christianity

Constantine's conversion to Christianity was a historically defining moment that led to the rise of Christianity. Learn more about how the conversion influenced Constantine's reign, Christianity, the Nicaean Council and the Edict of Milan.

Justinian's Code of Law and Roman Emperors After Constantine

10. Justinian's Code of Law and Roman Emperors After Constantine

The rulers of the Roman Empire after Constantine all played a vital role in the development and ultimate fall of the Roman Empire. Explore the major events of each emperor's rule, as well the famous Emperor Justinian's Code of Law.

The Fall of Rome

11. The Fall of Rome

The fall of Rome was a major event that happened over a period of time. Examine the reasons behind the fall of Rome, including internal corruption, its division into Eastern and Western halves, and outside invasion.

St. Augustine's City of God

12. St. Augustine's City of God

St. Augustine's 'City of God' refutes Christianity's role in the fall of Rome. Explore St. Augustine's background, then discover the three main points of his work: first, to stop Christians from being blamed, second, to emphasize that peace was possible, and third, to express the reality of Hell.

Early Christian Art: History, Characteristics & Symbolism

13. Early Christian Art: History, Characteristics & Symbolism

Early Christianity was often oppressed by the Roman Empire, and Christian artwork would have been a liability during this time. Learn about early Christians' underground movement to produce early Christian art. Explore its history, characteristics, and symbolism, including the Roman catacombs, sarcophagi, mosaics, and illuminating the word of God through illuminated manuscripts.

Early Christian Architecture: Examples, History & Characteristics

14. Early Christian Architecture: Examples, History & Characteristics

Early Christian architecture included Roman basilicas and baptisteries. Explore the early church, its history, and characteristics of early Christian architecture including interior and exterior.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the AP World History Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course

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