Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

753 BC–476 AD
Territories of the Roman civilization:   Roman Republic   Roman Empire   Western Roman Empire   Eastern Roman Empire
Territories of the Roman civilization:
CapitalRome, several others during the late Empire, notably Constantinople and Ravenna.
Common languagesLatin
GovernmentKingdom (753 BC–509 BC)
Republic (509 BC–27 BC)
Empire (27 BC–476 AD)
Historical eraAncient history
753 BC
509 BC
• Octavian proclaimed Augustus
27 BC
476 AD
Roman SPQR banner.svg
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Roman Constitution
Ordinary magistrates
Extraordinary magistrates
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Precedent and law

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire.[1] The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian peninsula, dating from the 8th century BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants (roughly 20% of the world's population[2]) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.[3]

In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a Classical Republic and then to an increasingly autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it eventually dominated the Mediterranean region, Western Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa, and parts of Northern and Eastern Europe. It is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world.

Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern government, law, politics, engineering, art, literature, architecture, technology, warfare, religion, language, and society. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics[4][5][6] such as the United States and France. It achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments, palaces, and public facilities.

By the end of the Republic (27 BC), Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa. The Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor.[7][8][9] Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century.

Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe. The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most commonly referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into.[10]

Founding myth

According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas,[11] and who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, Amulius, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins.[12][13] Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine.

According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a she-wolf

The new king, Amulius, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned.[13] A she-wolf (or a shepherd's wife in some accounts) saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.[14][13]

The twins then founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about who was going to rule or give his name to the city.[15] Romulus became the source of the city's name.[13] In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent, exiled, and unwanted. This caused a problem, in that Rome came to have a large male population but was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines.[16]

Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave. One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they soon realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships.[17]

The Roman poet Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the Aeneid, where the Trojan prince Aeneas is destined by the gods to found a new Troy. In the epic, the women also refuse to go back to the sea, but they were not left on the Tiber. After reaching Italy, Aeneas, who wanted to marry Lavinia, was forced to wage war with her former suitor, Turnus. According to the poem, the Alban kings were descended from Aeneas, and thus Romulus, the founder of Rome, was his descendant.

Byzantine EmpireWestern Roman EmpireRoman EmpireRoman RepublicRoman Kingdom
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Antieke Rome
Alemannisch: Römisches Reich
العربية: روما القديمة
aragonés: Antiga Roma
asturianu: Antigua Roma
azərbaycanca: Qədim Roma
تۆرکجه: قدیم روم
Bân-lâm-gú: Kó͘-tāi Lô-má
башҡортса: Боронғо Рим
беларуская: Старажытны Рым
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Старажытны Рым
български: Древен Рим
Boarisch: Remisches Reich
bosanski: Antički Rim
brezhoneg: Henroma
català: Antiga Roma
Чӑвашла: Авалхи Рим
Cebuano: Karaang Roma
Diné bizaad: Roman dineʼé
eesti: Rooma riik
Ελληνικά: Αρχαία Ρώμη
español: Antigua Roma
Esperanto: Romio
français: Rome antique
furlan: Rome antighe
galego: Roma antiga
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kú Lò-mâ
한국어: 고대 로마
հայերեն: Հին Հռոմ
hrvatski: Antički Rim
Bahasa Indonesia: Romawi Kuno
interlingua: Roma antique
isiZulu: Rhomani
íslenska: Rómaveldi
italiano: Civiltà romana
ქართული: ძველი რომი
қазақша: Ежелгі Рим
Kiswahili: Roma ya Kale
коми: Важ Рим
Kreyòl ayisyen: Wòm ansyen
Кыргызча: Байыркы Рим
latviešu: Senā Roma
lietuvių: Senovės Roma
Lingua Franca Nova: Roma antica
magyar: Ókori Róma
македонски: Римски период
Bahasa Melayu: Rom kuno
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Gū Lò̤-mā
Mirandés: Roma Antiga
Nederlands: Oude Rome
नेपाल भाषा: प्राचीन रोम
日本語: 古代ローマ
Nordfriisk: Röömsk Rik
norsk: Romerriket
occitan: Roma antica
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Qadimgi Rim
پنجابی: پرانا روم
Перем Коми: Важ Рим
Picard: Rome antike
Piemontèis: Siviltà roman-a
Plattdüütsch: Röömsch Riek
português: Roma Antiga
română: Roma Antică
rumantsch: Imperi roman
русиньскый: Старовікый Рим
русский: Древний Рим
Sesotho sa Leboa: Roma ya kgale
sicilianu: Antica Roma
Simple English: Ancient Rome
slovenčina: Staroveký Rím
ślůnski: Starożytny Rzim
کوردی: ڕۆمای کۆن
српски / srpski: Антички Рим
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Antički Rim
татарча/tatarça: Борынгы Рим
тоҷикӣ: Руми Қадим
Türkçe: Antik Roma
українська: Стародавній Рим
اردو: قدیم روم
Tiếng Việt: La Mã cổ đại
Võro: Vana-Rooma
文言: 古羅馬
Winaray: Hadton Roma
吴语: 古罗马
ייִדיש: אוראלט רוים
粵語: 古羅馬
Zazaki: Roma Antike
中文: 古罗马