Rome Rome is an ancient city located on the western coast of Italy by the Meditterranian Sea.(3:289) The city of Rome was founded, according to the legend, by Romulus in 753 BC. Remus and Romulus were two mythological sons of Mars, the god of war. “T hrough military expansion and colonizations, and by granting citizenship to conquered tribes, the city joined all of Italy south of the Po in the 100-year period before 268 BC.” First, the Latin and other tribes were joined, then the Etruscans (a civili zed people north of Rome) and the Greek colonies in the south. “With a large army and several hundred thousand in reserve, Rome defeated Carthage in the 3 Punic Wars, 264-241, 218-201, 149-146, (despite the invasion of Italy by Hannibal, 218), therefore gaining territory in Spain and North America.”(1:721) New provinces were added in the East as Rome exploited local disputes to conquer Greece and Asia Minor in the 2d century BC and Egypt in the first (after the defeat and suicide of Antony and Cleop atra, 30 BC). All the Mediterranean civilized world up to the disputed Parthian border was now Roman, and remained so for 500 years. ” Less civilized regions were added to the Empire: Gaul (conquered by Julius Ceaser, 56-49 BC), Britain (43 AD) and Dacia , NE of the Danube (117 AD).”(1:721) ” The original republican government, with democratic features added in the fourth and fifth centuries BC, deteriorated under the pressures of empire and class conflict (Gracchus brothers, social reformers, murdere d 133,121; slave revolts 135,73).
After a series of civil wars (Marius vs. Sulla 88-82, Caeser vs. Pompey 49-45, triumvirate vs. Caesar’s assassins 44-43, Antony vs. Octavian 32-30), the empire came under the rule or a defined monarch (first emperor, Agu stus, 27 BC-14 AD). Provincials (nearly all granted citizenship by Caracalla,212 AD) came to dominate the army and cival service. Traditional Roman law, systmatized and interpreted by independant jurists, and local self-rule in provincial cities were su pplanted by a vast tax-collecting bureaucracyin the 3d and 4th centuries.
The legal rights of women, children, and slaves were strenghtened.”(1:721) Roman innovations in civil engineering included water mills, windmills, and rotary mills and the use of cement that hardened under water. Monumental architechture (baths, theaters, apartment houses) relied on the arch and dome. “The network of roads (some still standing) stretched 53,000 miles, passing through moutain tunnels as long as 3.5 miles. Co nceived in 312 BC, the 360 mile Appian Way was a superhighway that the Romans traveled from Rome to Caupa, in Campania..The road took about 10 to 15 days to travel..It was considered the Queen of roads by the Romans, but it is a “l’il ole road” by moder n standards.” Aqueducts brought water to cities, underground sewers removed waste. Some of the sewers were so well built, they are still in use today.(2:715) Roman art and literature were derivative of Greek models.
Innovations were made in scul pture (naturalistic busts and equestrian statues), decorative wall painting (as at Pompeii), satire (Juvenal, 60-127), history (Tacitus, 56-120), prose romance (Petronius, d. 66 AD). Violense and torture dominated mass public amusements, which were suppo rted by the state. “Rome was first settled around 800 BC. Most of the streets in the time of the Roman Empire were narrow and crooked. Some were very dirty.
Some parts of the city were wide and beautiful with white marble buildings, great columne d pourches, and triumphal arches. Anciant Rome had the population of modern Rome. The centers of Roman life were open places where public meetings were held. Such a meeting place was called a forum. One of these was so much more important than the oth ers that it was called the Roman forum. The long, narrow Roman Forum was also the market place of the city. The temple of Jupiter Capitolinus was the oldest and most sacred temple of Rome.
“Historians beleive that Rome once had as many as three hund red temples. The best known of these was the Pantheon, which was the temple to all the gods. The Pantheon became the Christian Church of Santa Maria Rotonda in 608 AD.This circular domed church is today is the most perfectly preserved of all the anciant roman building.”(1:721).