Ancient Rome

For the modern-day city, see Rome. For other uses, see Ancient Rome (disambiguation).
Ancient Rome
Roma
753 BC–476 AD


Senātus Populus que Rōmānus

Territories of the Roman civilization:
Capital Rome
Languages Latin
Government Kingdom (753 BC-509 BC)
Republic (509 BC- 27 BC)
Empire (27 BC-476 AD)
Historical era Ancient history
 •  Founding of Rome 753 BC
 •  Overthrow of Tarquin the Proud 509 BC
 •  Octavian proclaimed Augustus 27 BC
 •  Fall of Rome 476 AD
Ancient Rome
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Ancient Rome was originally an Italic settlement 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 [1]) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. [2]

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 came to dominate the Mediterranean region and then 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 [3] [4] [5] 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. [6] [7] [8] 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 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.

Founding myth

Main article: Founding of Rome

According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas [9] and who were grandsons of the Latin King, Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed from his throne by his brother, Amulius, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. [10] [11] Because Rhea Silvia was 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. [11] 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. [12] [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. [14] Romulus became the source of the city's name. [15] In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent, exiled, and unwanted. This caused a problem for Rome, which had a large workforce but was bereft of women. Romulus traveled to the neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables they all refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins and 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 in the outcome of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed at 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 them from 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. In the Aeneid, the Trojan prince Aeneas is destined by the gods in his enterprise of founding a new Troy. In the epic, the women also refused 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 Empire Western Roman Empire Roman Empire Roman Republic Roman Kingdom
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Antieke Rome
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
Кыргызча: Байыркы Рим
latviešu: Senā Roma
lietuvių: Senovės Roma
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 bokmål: Romerriket
occitan: Roma antica
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Qadimgi Rim
Piemontèis: Siviltà roman-a
Plattdüütsch: Röömsch Riek
português: Roma Antiga
română: Roma Antică
rumantsch: Imperi roman
русский: Древний Рим
Sesotho sa Leboa: Roma ya kgale
sicilianu: Antica Roma
Simple English: Ancient Rome
slovenčina: Staroveký Rím
ślůnski: Starożytny Rzim
کوردیی ناوەندی: ڕۆمای کۆن
српски / srpski: Антички Рим
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Antički Rim
татарча/tatarça: Борынгы Рим
тоҷикӣ: Рими 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
ייִדיש: אוראלט רוים
粵語: 古羅馬
中文: 古罗马