THE STORY OF ROME

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ancient Rome

The account below tells a brief history of the Roman Civilization and its Foundations. Readers will understand and appreciate the etymology of Rome, Roman Emperors, How we got the quote “All roads lead to Rome” – which modern people edit to suit their events, The Colosseum, The Gladiators, The Amazing Roman Baths which are equivalent to our malls today, Roman Foods and their Clothing.

ROMULUS AND REMUS

In Roman mythology, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were the children of Rhea Silvia and Mars. Romulus and Remus are best known for being the founders of the city of Rome.

A story is told that an evil uncle took them as babies from their mother and threw them into the River Tiber to drown. The babies floated to land, and a mother wolf fed and cared for them. Later a herdsman rescued and looked after the twins until they grew up.

According to legend, Ancient Rome was founded by the two brothers, Romulus and Remus, on 21 April 753. The legend claims that, in an argument over who would rule the city (or, in another version, where the city would be located) Romulus killed Remus and named the city after himself – Rome.

ROMAN EMPIRE

The founding of Rome goes back to the very early days of civilization. It is so old; it is today known as ‘the eternal city’. The Romans believed that their city was founded in the year 753 BC. Modern historians though believe it was the year 625 BC.

Rome knew four classes of people. This division was very important to the Romans.
The lowest class were the slaves. They were owned by other people. They had no rights at all.
The next class were the plebeians. They were free people. But they had little say at all.
The second highest class were the equestrians (sometimes they are called the ‘knights’). Their name means the ‘riders’, as they were given a horse to ride if they were called to fight for Rome. To be an equestrian you had to be rich.
The highest class were the nobles of Rome. They were called ‘patricians’. All the real power in Rome lay with them.

The Roman Republic was a very successful government. It lasted from 510 BC until 23 BC – almost 500 years. In comparison the United States of America only exist since 1776 – less than 250 years.

In the year 49 BC Caesar crossed the small river between his province and Italy, called the river Rubicon, and conquered Rome itself which he then ruled as a dictator.
His military campaigns also took him to Egypt where he met the famous Cleopatra.
His life though was ended as he was infamously murdered in the senate in Rome.

So famous and respected was Caesar that a month of the year is still named after him and his heirs today, July (after Julius Caesar). Also the great English poet Shakespeare wrote a famous play called Julius Caesar about his famous murder.

After Caesar, many emperors followed – and there were truly very many of them.
So, here are some of the most famous ones.
Augustus Rome’s first emperor. He also added many territories to the empire.
Claudius He conquered Britain.
Nero He was insane. He murdered his mother and his wife and threw thousands of Christians to the lions.
Titus Before he was emperor he destroyed the great Jewish temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.
Trajan He was a great conqueror. Under his rule the empire reached its greatest extent.
Hadrian He built ‘Hadrian’s Wall’ in the north of Britain to shield the province from the northern barbarians.
Diocletian He split the empire into two pieces – a western and an eastern empire.
Constantine He was the first Christian emperor. He united the empire again chose his capital to be the small town Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople.
Romulus Augustus He was the last emperor of Rome, nicknamed Augustulus which means ‘little Augustus’.
Justinian He was the last ‘great’ emperor. He conquered many territories, created the ‘Justinian Code’ and built the fantastic church Santa Sophia.
Constantine XI The last emperor of Constantinople. He died defending his great city against the Turks.
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