Rome Unit Study - Roman Empire Song

Week 11: We learned a song about Rome and talked about the end of the empire.

The Roman Empire was in the state of decline for many years before the time most historians consider the official end. When Rome was powerful, one main source of income came from conquering. Each time an area was conquered, the city of Rome would gain wealth in the form of slaves, gold and other assets taken from enemies.

Rome expanded like a balloon being filled with air. Eventually, Rome grew so big that the gaps between soldiers on the boarders grew large enough for enemies to penetrate. At this time the effort was focused on keeping enemies out of Roman territory as opposed to conquering new lands. Since lands weren't being conquered, no new wealth was coming into the city. In addition, the trend of using foreigners as soldiers continued to increase.

Inside the city money was being spent on pet building projects for emperors to increase their own popularity such as bath complexes, market places, theaters and temples. There were many programs such as free grain rations, which gave handouts to the poor. The spending habits coupled with the lack of new income put the empire into a state of bankruptcy.

After a while, the soldiers did not receive their pay. The government tried to rid themselves of the problem by setting a trap for their own auxiliary soldiers. Many died, but the ones who survived were angrier than ever. A group led by the barbarian Roman trained soldier Aleric, marched into the city to collect what was promised.

Several other barbarian nations entered Rome and after it had been sacked a number of times, Odavocker, a barbarian from the north took over the western empire.

Roman Empire Song
During each week of our Rome Unit Study we added another verse to a song to help us remember what we learned. The last week we talked about the fall of the empire and sung the entire song. 

I wrote this and taught it to the kids. Please feel free to use it for personal or classroom use. It's to the tune of "This Land is Your Land".

Rome was founded
By divine twin brothers
Romulus and Remus
So long ago
Tarquin the King was booted
and they formed a republic
The Roman Empire lasted 1000 years

We're talking about Rome's land
2000 years ago
From the plains of Africa
to the Rhine and Danube
From Dacia and Panonia
To the Pyramids in Egypt
The Romans ruled the Mediterranean Sea

Ruled by two consuls
Elected by the people
Censor, quaestor, adile
Worked in the government
There was a senate
Of ex-officials
The government was a republic

5000 soldiers
Made up a legion
There were centuries
Of 100 men
Led by tribunes
They defended boarders
Against the ferocious barbarians

Rome fought Carthage
In the Punic Wars
Hamilcar and Hanibal
They fought at sea
Hannibal crossed the mountains
With all his elephants
Carthage became a retirement communitee

Slavery was essential
To the Roman empire
Housekeepers, craftsmen
Doctors and teachers too
Captured in war time
Birthed by their mothers
Julius Caesar almost became a slave

In 79 AD
Mt. Vesuvius Erupted
Herculaneum and Pompeii
Were both destroyed
People were unaware
That danger threatened
Frozen in time forever with eggs and bread

Trajan's Forum
Caracalla's Baths
Hadrian's Pantheon
and the Colosseum
Concrete and Arches
and lots of slaves
were the keys to Roman building success

Chariot Races
Thermal Baths
Toys, games and pets
They went to school
Aqua ducts carried water
Mosaics decorated houses
Girls got married when they were 12 years old

Rome split in two
East and west
Goths filled the army
Rome couldn't pay
Huns threatened the Goths
Vandals attacked from Africa
The west was close to fall

and the Visigoths
came to Rome
To collect their pay
Played a role
The west died and the east lived on

This post is linked to:
Living and Learning at Home
No Time for Flash Cards 
The Chicken Chick


  1. What a fabulous song! You are so creative, Julie! I love the gusto your kids put into their performance - I'm still smiling after watching it. Their personalities really shine through. Thank you for sharing. :-)

  2. Great song - I'm going to pass your link along to a friend of mine who is studying Ancients this year.

  3. I LOVE your songs! Using music is such a great way to help kids remember things. Thanks for sharing (and videoing)!

    1. You're welcome. I plan to have the kids watch their own songs in the future for reviews.


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