ROME A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Rome is the capital city of Italy and as well as the country's largest and most populous city,
with more than 2.7 million residents. It is located in the central-western portion of the
Italian peninsula, where the river Aniene joins the river Tiber. Rome enjoys a typical
Mediterranean climate which characterizes the Mediterranean coasts of Italy. The main
languages spoken are Latin and Greek.
It has been for centuries a center of Western civilization, and is the seat of the Catholic
Today, Rome is modern and cosmopolitan. It is the third most-visited tourist destination and
a city of cultural and political importance.
Flag of Italy Italian Currency
Location map of Rome
LEGENDS OF RISE OF ROME
Ancient Rome was a civilization that began as a small agricultural community founded on
the Italian Peninsula in the 9th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea it
became one of the largest empires in history. In its twelve centuries of existence, Roman
civilization shifted from a monarchy, to a republic based on a combination of oligarchy and
democracy, to an increasingly autocratic empire. It came to dominate Western Europe and
the area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea through conquest and assimilation.
Roman civilization is often grouped into "classical antiquity" with ancient Greece, a
civilization that inspired much of the culture of ancient Rome. Ancient Rome contributed
greatly to the development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology and
language in the Western world, and its history continues to have a major influence on the
The Extent of the Roman Empire
A legend is a story about a person who did something heroic. It is not based on fact nor can it be said to
be the truth. Roman children were told the following legend about how the city of Rome was built.
Aeneas son of Anchises and goddess Venus, he was a survivor of the Trojans who
managed to flee Troy which was conquered by the Greeks with the protection
of his goddess mother managed to land in Italy along with his family and
colleagues. He lost his wife in the escape, himself carrying his aged father on his
back and leading his young son by the hand.Aeneas was the leader of the Dardans
(allies of the Trojans), and a comrade of Hector, son of the Trojan king Priam.
They became the progenitors of the Romans. The adventure of their journey is
recounted by the famous Latin epic poet Virgil in his work Aeneid.
Aeneas fleeing Troy with his father and his son Poet Virgil Aeneid
His Journey and Life
During his journey, Aeneas stopped in Carthage and had a brief affair with the
Queen Elissa, also known as Dido. However, the messenger god Hermes was sent
by Venus to remind Aeneas of his journey, thus compelling him to leave secretly
and continue on his way. When Dido learned of this, she ordered a funeral pyre to
be constructed for herself; and standing on it, she uttered a famous curse that
forever would pit Carthage against the Trojans. She then committed suicide by
stabbing herself in the chest
The company stopped on the island of Sicily during the course of their journey.
There Aeneas was welcomed by Acestes, king of the region and son of the river
Soon after arriving in Italy, Aeneas made war against the city of Falerii. Latinus,
king of the Latins, welcomed Aeneas' army of exiled Trojans and let them
reorganize their life in Latium. His daughter Lavinia had been promised to Turnus,
king of the Rutuli, but Latinus received a prophecy that Lavinia would be
betrothed to one from another land — namely, Aeneas. Latinus heeded the
prophecy, but Turnus consequently declared war on Aeneas. Aeneas' forces
prevailed, and Turnus was killed. Aeneas founded the city Lavinium, named after
After his death, Aeneas was recognized as the god Indiges.
Family and legendary descendants
Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, also known as Iulus (or Julius), founded Albalonga
and was the first in a long series of kings.
According to the mythology outlined by the poet Virgil in the Aeneid, Romulus
and Remus were both descendants of Aeneas through their mother, and thus
Aeneas was responsible for founding the Roman people.
The Julian family (Gens Julia) of Rome, whose most famous member was Julius
Caesar, traced their lineage to Aeneas's son Ascanius and, in turn, to the goddess
The legendary kings of Britain also trace their family through a grandson of
ROMULUS and REMUS
Their Early Life
Romulus and Remus were twin brothers. Their father was Mars, the God of War,
their mother was Rhea Silvia, was the daughter of the King, Numitor. Numitor's
brother, Amulius, had taken the throne from him and had forced Rhea Silvia to
become a priestess so that she would not have any claim on the throne. Though
later she married Mars, the God of War.
When the boys were born, Amulius seized them, put them into a basket and
threw them into the river Tiber. He hoped that they would drown. However, the
boys were rescued by a she-wolf who fed the babies with her own milk and cared
They grew up and were found by the shepherd Faustulus, who took them home
and looked after them until they were grown up.
Their journey to adulthood and the rise of Rome
Upon reaching adulthood, Romulus and Remus killed Amulius and reinstated
Numitor, their grandfather, as King of Alba Longa, then they decided to found a
town of their own. Romulus and Remus chose the place where the she-wolf had
nursed them. Romulus began to build walls on the Palatine Hill, but Remus jeered
at them because they were so low. He leaped over them to prove this, and
Romulus in anger killed him. Romulus continued the building of the new city,
naming it Roma (Rome) after his own name in 753BC. It's first citizens were
outlaws and fugitives, to whom Romulus gave the settlement on the Capitoline
There were however not enough wives for all these men, and so Romulus decided
to steal women from the Sabines, an Italian tribe. The Sabine men were furious
and, led by their king Titus Tatius, made war on Romulus. When the fighting had
reached its peak the Sabine women, rushed between the ranks and begged both
sides to make peace. So the battle was stopped, Romulus and Titus Tatius ruled
together over the two peoples until Titus Tatius was killed in battle. For the rest of
his life Romulus ruled alone, proving himself a great leader in peace and war. He
did not die but disappeared one day in a violent storm. The legend says that
Romulus was carried up to the heavens by his father, Mars, and was worshipped
as the God Quirinus. He was succeeded by Numa Pompilius.
Today, historians and archaeologists agree that people started living in Rome long
before the time of Romulus and Remus, but many people still believe in their
THE CITY of ROMULUS (900-256 BC)
The society was divided into two classes ie.
The Patricians: The patricians were the upper class, the nobility and wealthy land
The Plebeians: The plebeians were the lower class. Nicknamed "plebs", the
plebeians included everyone in ancient Rome (except for the nobility, the
patricians) from well-to-do tradesmen all the way down to the very poor.
The lower class Romans (plebeians) lived in apartment houses, called flats, above
or behind their shops. Even fairly well-to-do tradesmen might chose to live in an
apartment-building compound over their store, with maybe renters on the upper
stories. Their own apartments might be quite roomy, sanitary and pleasant,
occasionally with running water. But others were not that nice.
In the apartment houses, or flats, an entire family (grandparents, parents,
children) might all be crowded into one room, without running water. They had to
haul their water in from public facilities. Fire was a very real threat because
people were cooking meals in crowded quarters, and many of the flats were
made of wood. They didn't have toilets. They had to use public latrines (toilets).
The upper class Romans (patricians) lived very differently. Their homes were
single family homes, which in ancient Rome meant the great grandparents,
grandparents, parents, and kids of one family lived in a home together. Homes
were made, quite often, of brick with red tile roofs, with rooms arranged around
a central courtyard. The windows and balconies faced the courtyard, not the
street, to keep homes safe from burglars. There were painting on the walls and
beautiful mosaics on the floor. There was very little furniture, and no carpeting.
Wealthy Romans might have a house with a front door, bedrooms, an office, a
kitchen, a dining room, a garden, a temple, an atrium, a toilet, and a private bath.
In the city, there was a place called the Campus. This was the old drill ground for
soldiers. It was a large section of plain near the Tiber River. Over time, the
Campus became ancient Rome's field and track playground. Even such famous
people as Caesar and Augustus exercised on the Campus. Young men, all over
Rome, gathered at the Campus to play and exercise. On the Campus, men
participated in foot racing, jumping, archery, wrestling and boxing. After a bout of
exercise, they might jump in the Tiber River for a swim, or wander off to the
Baths, to relax. Women did not join in these games.
The ancient Romans loved chariot racing. In early Roman times, young nobles used to
race their chariots around the 7 hills of Rome. People had to scatter to get out of the
way. They stopped for no one. In the 6c BC the ancient Romans built the Circus
Maximus in the city of Rome. Basically, the Maximus was a race track. It was
designed to race chariots. The original Circus Maximus was built out of wood. It burnt
down a couple of times. During the Roman Empire, the Circus Maximus was rebuilt
using marble and concrete (an ancient Roman invention!). It could seat over 250,000
THE CITY OF CEASAR (100-44 BC)
Rome during the time of Ceasar attained its lost glory during the chaotic period
between . It thus popularly came to be known as The City of Ceasar.
The Man of the People
JULIUS CEASAR SWORD OF JULIUS CEASAR
Caesar spent little time in Rome, during the years in which he was master of
Rome. Despite this, he managed to institute a large number of reforms in the
short time he was granted. Julius Caesar stands out in history as one of most
influential men who ever lived. The reason for this is that he is credited for laying
the groundwork of the Roman Empire, which thrived for over four hundred years
after his death. At the time he lived, the republic of Rome was torn apart by
political and civil strife. The tasks of administering government in many far flung
provinces, building suitable infrastructure, and regulating a professional army
were overwhelming to a political system run by feuding oligarchs in a single city.
Julius Caesar understood the drastic reforms that would be necessary to prevent
the empire from breaking apart and he made great strides during his own life in
this direction, although he destroyed the republic in the process.
By 46 B.C. the empire was completely pacified and he returned to Rome to start
his work of reform and reorganization. He had advanced ideas on many topics,
from the building of roads, communication and infrastructure, to a revamped
system of taxes, to a change in the very idea of Roman citizenship and voting
rights. His career was cut short by assassination, but many of his ideas and
reforms were carried through by later emperors.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITY OF CEASAR
VEXILLOID OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE :- (an object which functions as a flag but differs
from it in some respect, usually appearance. Vexilloids are characteristic of traditional societies
and often consist of a staff with and emblem, such as a carved animal, at the top) "The
vexilloid of the Roman Empire was a red banner with the letters SPQR in gold
surrounded by a gold wreath hung on a military standard topped by a Roman eagle or
an image of the goddess Victoria made of silver or bronze."
PRE CLASSIC PERIOD :- In the period between about 201 to 27 BC(ALSO KNOWN
AS THE Pre Classic Period), we can see the development of more flexible law to
match the needs of the time. In addition to the old and formal “ius civile” a new
juridical class is created: the “ius honorarium” (so called because praetors were
central to the creation of this new body of law and because the Praetorship was
an honorary service). With this new law the old formalism is being abandoned
and new more flexible principles of” ius gentium” are used.
The adaptation of law to new needs was given over to juridical practice, to
magistrates, and especially to the praetors. A praetor was not a legislator and did
not technically create new law when he issued his edicts (magistratuum edicta).
In fact, the results of his rulings enjoyed legal protection (actionem dare) and
were in effect often the source of new legal rules. A Praetor's successor was not
bound by the edicts of his predecessor; however, he did take rules from edicts of
his predecessor that had proved to be useful. In this way a constant content was
created that proceeded from edict to edict (edictum traslatitium).
Thus, over the course of time, parallel to the civil law and supplementing and
correcting it, a new body of praetoric law emerged. In fact, praetoric law was so
defined by the famous Roman jurist Papinian (Amilius Papinianus—died in 212
AD): "Ius praetorium est quod praetores introduxerunt adiuvandi vel supplendi
vel corrigendi iuris civilis gratia propter utilitatem publicam" ("praetoric law is that
law introduced by praetors to supplement or correct civil law for public benefit").
Ultimately, civil law and praetoric law were fused in the Corpus Juris Civilis.
ROMAN FORUM :- Most important forum in ancient Rome, situated on low
ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. The Roman Forum was the
scene of public meetings, law courts, and gladiatorial combats in republican times
and was lined with shops and open-air markets. Under the empire, when it
primarily became a centre for religious and secular spectacles and ceremonies.
In 63 BC Caesar had been elected Pontifex Maximus (The Pontifex Maximus was the high
priest of the Ancient Roman College of Pontiffs. This was the most important position in the Ancient
Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A
distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized), and one of
his roles as such was settling the calendar. A complete overhaul of the old Roman
calendar proved to be one of his most long lasting and influential reforms. In 46
BC, Caesar established a 365-day year with a leap year every fourth year (this
Julian Calendar was subsequently modified by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 into the
modern Gregorian calendar). As a result of this reform, a certain Roman year
(mostly equivalent to 46 BC in the modern Calendar) was made 445 days long, to
bring the calendar into line with the seasons. The month of July is named after
Julius in his honour.
The Forum of Caesar originally meant an expansion of the Roman Forum. The
Forum, however, evolved to serve two additional purposes. As Caesar became
more and more invested in this project, the Forum became a place for public
business that was related to the Senate in addition to a shrine for Caesar himself.
Forum of Ceasar Temple of Venus Genetrix
The Temple of Venus Genetrix is a temple in the Forum of Caesar, Rome,
dedicated to the Roman goddess Venus Genetrix, the goddess of motherhood and
domesticity. It was dedicated to the goddess in 46 BC by Julius Caesar.
The temple was built of solid marble with eight columns (octostyle) on the facade
on a raised podium ascended by two small lateral staircases. Inside was a cult
statue of Venus, as well as statues of Caesar and Cleopatra; numerous works of
art, including Greek paintings; six collections of engraved gems; and a breastplate
decorated with pearls from Britannia.
Caesar was considered during his lifetime to be one of the best orators and
authors of prose in Rome—even Cicero spoke highly of Caesar's rhetoric and
style. His most famous works are ;
a) The Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War),
campaigns in Gallia and Britannia during his term as proconsul; and
b) The Commentarii de Bello Civili (Commentaries on the Civil War), events of
the Civil War until immediately after Pompey's death in Egypt.
CITY OF AUGUSTUS ( 63 BC – 14 BC)
Rome during the time of Augustus changed into mighty empire from a crumbling
republican government. It thus popularly came to be known as The City of
Octavian Augustus is known as the first, and one of the greatest, Roman Emperors
ever. Octavian was born on September 23, 63 B.C.E. His great-uncle was Julius
Caesar and, therefore, he had many political connections in Rome. Caesar favored
Octavian from an early age. In 48 B.C.E., Caesar had his fifteen-year-old great
nephew elected to the priestly college of the pontifices, and he also enrolled him
in the hereditary patrician aristocracy of Rome. Octavian joined Caesar in 46
B.C.E. on a campaign against Pompey in Spain. Later, Octavian was sent to
Apollonia, on the coast of Greece, to attempt to finish his education. While in
Apollonia, Octavian trained with Roman legions stationed there. Only months
after arriving in Apollonia, Octavian learned that Caesar was murdered. He also
learned that he was named as the beneficiary in Caesar's will and had been
formally adopted as his son. The will thrust tremendous power on Octavian. He
was now the leader of a great army ready to follow the commands of Caesar’s
Octavian used this army to occupy Rome and force the Senate to make him
consul. Marc Antony, who had been consul with Caesar, was now forced to create
the alliance with Lepidus, a high priest, and Octavian. The three leaders divided
the land that Rome had conquered. Antony controlled the East and Octavian the
West. Lepidus controlled Africa. The leaders led a ruthless campaign to punish
Caesar’s assassins but soon turned on each other. Octavian first attacked Lepidus
and took control of Africa and all of Italy. Antony strained relations between
Octavian and himself by divorcing Octavian's sister, in favor of Cleopatra, Queen
of Egypt. Finally, in 31 B.C.E., war broke out between Octavian and the combined
forces of Cleopatra and Antony. Octavian defeated his foes at the naval battle of
Actium and became sole ruler of Rome.
In 27 B.C.E., Octavian made a bold and clever political move by declaring the
Republican Government restored. He immediately offered to resign from the
position of consul, but the Senate, instead of accepting his offer, decided to give
him the position of princeps. The Senate also gave him the name Augustus,
meaning "revered one". The Senate decided to give Octavian control of the
provinces of Gaul, Syria, Spain and Egypt. These areas had large numbers of
troops stationed within their borders giving Octavian almost total military
When Octavian died in C.E. 14, his achievements seemed remarkable, and they
would only become more remarkable as time passed. Octavian had adopted his
stepson Tiberius and made it clear he would be his successor.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITY OF AUGUSTUS
1. The city of Rome was utterly transformed under Augustus, with Rome's first
institutionalized police force, fire fighting force, and the establishment of
the municipal prefect as a permanent office.
2. During the time of Augustus the City of Augustus was also installed with an
official courier system of relay stations overseen by a military officer known
as the praefectus vehiculorum.
3. Besides the advent of swifter communication amongst Italian polities,
extensive building of roads throughout Italy also allowed The City of
Augustus’s (Rome's) armies to march swiftly and at an unprecedented pace
across the country.
4. In his 6th year of administration Augustus established the aerarium militare
(military treasury), donating 170 million sesterces to the new military
treasury that provided for both active and retired soldiers.
5. One of the most lasting institutions of The City of Augustus was the
establishment of the Praetorian Guard in 27 BC, originally a personal
bodyguard unit on the battlefield that evolved into an imperial guard as
well as an important political force in Rome.
6. The City of Augustus saw the tax reforms during Augustus’s tenure. He
brought a far greater portion of the Empire's expanded land base under
consistent, direct taxation from Rome, instead of exacting varying,
intermittent, and somewhat arbitrary tributes from each local province as
Augustus' predecessors had done. This reform greatly increased Rome's net
revenue from its territorial acquisitions, stabilized its flow, and regularized
the financial relationship between Rome and the provinces, rather than
provoking fresh resentments with each new arbitrary exaction of tribute.
COIN DURING THE REIGN OF AUGUSTUS ROMAN CALENDAR
7. The month of August (Latin: Augustus) is named after Augustus; until his
time it was called Sextilis (named so because it had been the sixth month of
the original Roman calendar.
8. On his deathbed, Augustus boasted "I found Rome of bricks; I leave it to
you of marble". He built the Temple of Caesar, the Baths of Agrippa, and
the Forum of Augustus with its Temple of Mars Ultor.
The Forum of Augustus Temple of Mars Ultor
9. Even his Mausoleum of Augustus was built before his death to house
members of his family. To celebrate his victory at the Battle of Actium, the
Arch of Augustus was built in 29 BC near the entrance of the Temple of
Castor and Pollux, and widened in 19 BC to include a triple-arch design.
MAUSOLEUM OF AUGUSTUS
10. There are also many buildings outside of The City of Augustus that bear
Augustus' name and legacy, such as the Theatre of Merida in modern Spain,
the Maison Carrée built at Nîmes in today's southern France, as well as the
Trophy of Augustus at La Turbie, located near Monaco.
11. The Corinthian order (The Corinthian order is one of the Classical orders of and
Roman architecture, characterized by a slender fluted column and an ornate capital
decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls.)of architectural style originating from
ancient Greece was the dominant architectural style in the age of Augustus.
The Theatre Meridia
12.He held strong beliefs in traditional Roman religion. He restored over 80
temples and passed strict moral laws that mirrored older Roman values.