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Ancient Rome: Home

Learn all about the political, economic and social systems of Ancient Rome and how they have influenced our world today.

Key Terms

Civilisation - a society that has developed an organised system of government, social customs and religious beliefs, and a number of forms of technology including writing and the arts.

Dictator - A ruler that has absolute power. 

Dynasty - When a family passes down the leadership of a country from generation to generation. 

Emperor - The leader of an empire. The first emperor of Rome was Augustus. 

Orator - A talented public speaker. This was an important skill for Roman leaders. 

Republic - A country where the government is run by elected officials rather than by a king or emperor. 

Nelson, Ken. (2016). Ancient Rome for Kids: Glossary and Terms. Ducksters. 

Background

Roman Empire. (2015). In Gale Student Resources in Context.

This article includes  a basic description of the early empire, middle period, empire's fall and legacy.

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Introduction

 Ancient Rome refers to a period of Roman history that lasted between the eighth century BC and the fifth century AD. Ancient Rome went through many political changes during this time. It went from a kingdom to a republic to an empire. The city of Rome, located on the Italian Peninsula, was the center of ancient activity. Over the centuries, the Roman Empire became one of the largest empires in the world. At its peak, it had an estimated fifty million to ninety million citizens.

Ancient Roman thought and practices influenced modern society in many ways. These contributed to law, politics, architecture, art, language and many other ideas. The philosophy of the Roman Republic later inspired the government of the United States. After a long and successful period of power, internal clashes weakened Rome. These led to the fall of Rome and the dawn of an era known as the Dark Ages in Europe.

Ancient Rome. (2015). In Research in Context.

Ancient World

Romulus and Remus

The legendary founders of the city of Rome were Romulus and Remus. They were said to be the twin sons of Mars, the god of war, and Rhea Silvia, the daughter of Numitor, king of Alba Longa. Rhea had been forced to become a vestal virgin by her uncle, Amulius, who had deposed Numitor. When Rhea gave birth, Amulius imprisoned Rhea Silvia and ordered servants to cast the infants adrift on the Tiber River. The Tiber was in flood, and the high waters safely carried the twins’ basket to the riverbank, where they were deposited under a fig tree. There a she-wolf and a woodpecker, animals sacred to Mars, found the boys. The animals nursed, fed, and cared for them until they were found by Faustulus, the king’s herdsman. He and his wife reared the twins.

When Romulus and Remus grew to manhood, they killed Amulius and restored Numitor as king. The twins then determined to build a city on the Tiber. Remus selected Aventine Hill as the site; Romulus insisted on Palatine Hill. Remus was killed in the quarrel that followed, and Romulus was declared king.

To hasten the city’s growth, Romulus made Rome a refuge for outcasts and fugitives. Because there were no women, he persuaded the Romans to lure the neighboring Sabines to a festival and to kidnap the women. A war was averted when the women said they would stay with the Romans. After about 40 years of rule, Romulus was miraculously taken to Mount Olympus to become a god and to dwell with his father. The ancient Romans then worshiped Romulus under the name of Quirinus.

Romulus and Remus. (2016). In Encyclopædia Britannica. 

Remus: bronze sculpture. [Image]. In Encyclopædia Britannica.