Beginning in the eighth century B.C., old Rome prospered from a little town on main Italy’s Tiber river into realm that in ~ its peak encompassed most of continental Europe, Britain, much of west Asia, northern Africa and also the Mediterranean islands. Amongst the countless legacies the Roman supremacy are the widespread use of the romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and also Romanian) acquired from Latin, the modern Western alphabet and also calendar and also the development of Christianity as a major world religion. After 450 years as a republic, Rome became an empire in the wake of Julius Caesar’s rise and also fall in the very first century B.C. The long and triumphant regime of its an initial emperor, Augustus, started a golden age of peace and prosperity; by contrast, the roman inn Empire’s decline and loss by the fifth century A.D. Was one of the many dramatic implosions in the of human civilization.

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Origins that Rome

As legend has actually it, Rome was started in 753 B.C. Through Romulus and also Remus, pair sons the Mars, the god the war. Left to drown in a basket top top the Tiber by a king of surrounding Alba Longa and rescued by a she-wolf, the twins lived to defeat that king and also found their very own city top top the river’s financial institutions in 753 B.C. After killing his brother, Romulus came to be the very first king the Rome, i beg your pardon is named for him. A heat of Sabine, Latin and also Etruscan (earlier Italian civilizations) kings followed in a non-hereditary succession. Over there are seven legendary majesties of Rome: Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Martius, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (Tarquin the Elder), Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus, or Tarquin the Proud (534-510 B.C.). While they were described as “Rex,” or “King” in Latin, all the majesties after Romulus were elected by the senate. 

Did friend know? Four years after Constantine made Christianity Rome's main religion, Emperor Julian—known as the Apostate—tried to revive the pagan cults and temples the the past, yet the process was reversed after his death, and also Julian to be the critical pagan emperor that Rome.

Rome’s era as a monarchy finished in 509 B.C. Through the fall of its seventh king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, whom old historians depicted as cruel and tyrannical, compared to his benevolent predecessors. A famous uprising was claimed to have occurred over the rape of a building noblewoman, Lucretia, through the king’s son. Whatever the cause, Rome turned indigenous a monarchy into a republic, a world derived from res publica, or “property that the people.”

Rome was built on seven hills, recognized as “the 7 hills that Rome”—Esquiline Hill, Palatine Hill, Aventine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Quirinal Hill, Viminal Hill and Caelian Hill. 

The early on Republic

The strength of the king passed come two annually elected magistrates referred to as consuls. They additionally served as leaders in cook of the army. The magistrates, though elected by the people, were drawn largely native the Senate, which was dominated by the patricians, or the progeny of the initial senators from the moment of Romulus. Politics in the early on republic was marked by the long struggle between patricians and also plebeians (the common people), who eventually attained some political power through years the concessions from patricians, consisting of their own political bodies, the tribunes, which might initiate or veto legislation.


In 450 B.C., the first Roman regulation code was inscribed top top 12 bronze tablets–known together the Twelve Tables–and publicly shown in the roman Forum. These regulations included issues of legal procedure, civil rights and also property civil liberties and listed the communication for every future roman civil law. By around 300 B.C., actual political strength in Rome was centered in the Senate, which at the time included only members the patrician and wealthy plebeian families.

Military expansion

During the at an early stage republic, the roman state grew significantly in both size and also power. Despite the Gauls sacked and also burned Rome in 390 B.C., the Romans rebounded under the management of the army hero Camillus, at some point gaining manage of the whole Italian peninsula by 264 B.C. Rome then fought a collection of wars recognized as the Punic Wars through Carthage, a powerful city-state in north Africa. The first two Punic Wars finished with Rome in full control of Sicily, the western Mediterranean and much the Spain. In the third Punic war (149–146 B.C.), the Romans captured and also destroyed the city the Carthage and sold its surviving occupants into slavery, make a ar of north Africa a roman province. In ~ the very same time, Rome additionally spread its influence east, beating King Philip V the Macedonia in the Macedonian battles and turning his kingdom into one more Roman province.

Rome’s military occupations led directly to its cultural growth as a society, together the Romans benefited substantially from contact with such advanced cultures as the Greeks. The first Roman literature showed up around 240 B.C., v translations that Greek standards into Latin; Romans would eventually take on much the Greek art, philosophy and also religion.

Internal struggles in the late Republic

Rome’s complex political institutions began to crumble under the weight of the cultivation empire, ushering in an era of internal turmoil and violence. The gap in between rich and also poor widened as rich landowners drove small farmers indigenous public land, while access to federal government was increasingly limited to the more privileged classes. Do the efforts to resolve these social problems, such together the reform motions of Tiberius and also Gaius Gracchus (in 133 B.C. And also 123-22 B.C., respectively) finished in the reformers’ deaths in ~ the hands of your opponents.

Gaius Marius, a civilian whose armed forces prowess elevated him come the position of consul (for the an initial of six terms) in 107 B.C., was the very first of a series of warlords that would conquer Rome throughout the late republic. Through 91 B.C., Marius to be struggling versus attacks by his opponents, including his other general Sulla, who emerged as military dictator roughly 82 B.C. ~ Sulla retired, among his previous supporters, Pompey, briefly served as consul prior to waging successful armed forces campaigns against pirates in the Mediterranean and the forces of Mithridates in Asia. Throughout this very same period, Marcus Tullius Cicero, elected consul in 63 B.C., famously defeated the conspiracy of the patrician Cataline and also won a call as among Rome’s biggest orators.

Julius Caesar’s rise

When the victorious Pompey went back to Rome, he created an uneasy alliance known as the an initial Triumvirate v the wealthy Marcus Licinius Crassus (who suppressed a servant rebellion led by Spartacus in 71 B.C.) and another rising star in roman politics: Gaius Julius Caesar. After earning army glory in Spain, Caesar returned to Rome come vie because that the consulship in 59 B.C. Indigenous his alliance with Pompey and also Crassus, Caesar received the governorship of three wealthy provinces in Gaul beginning in 58 B.C.; that then collection about dominating the remainder of the an ar for Rome.

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After Pompey’s mam Julia (Caesar’s daughter) passed away in 54 B.C. And Crassus was killed in battle against Parthia (present-day Iran) the complying with year, the triumvirate to be broken. Through old-style Roman national politics in disorder, Pompey stepped in as sole consul in 53 B.C. Caesar’s armed forces glory in Gaul and also his raising wealth had eclipsed Pompey’s, and the last teamed v his Senate allies to steadily threaten Caesar. In 49 B.C., Caesar and one that his legions crossed the Rubicon, a river on the border between Italy from Cisalpine Gaul. Caesar’s intrusion of Italy ignited a civil war from i beg your pardon he arised as dictator of Rome because that life in 45 B.C.