61 Facts About Ancient Rome


In modern historiography, ancient Rome refers to 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.

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Ancient Rome began as an Italic settlement, traditionally dated to 753 BC, beside the River Tiber in the Italian Peninsula.

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The settlement grew into the city and polity of Ancient Rome, and came to control its neighbours through a combination of treaties and military strength.

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Ancient Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France.

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In 92 AD, Ancient Rome came up against the resurgent Persian Empire and became involved in history's longest-running conflict, the Roman–Persian Wars, which would have lasting effects on both empires.

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Under Trajan, Ancient Rome's empire reached its territorial peak, encompassing the entire Mediterranean Basin, the southern margins of the North Sea, and the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas.

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Ancient Rome started to extend its control over its Latin neighbours.

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Ancient Rome entered this war because Syracuse and Messana were too close to the newly conquered Greek cities of Southern Italy and Carthage was now able to make an offensive through Roman territory; along with this, Ancient Rome could extend its domain over Sicily.

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Ancient Rome fought this war simultaneously with the First Macedonian War.

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The best way found to defeat Hannibal's purpose of causing the Italians to abandon Ancient Rome was to delay the Carthaginians with a guerrilla war of attrition, a strategy propounded by Quintus Fabius Maximus, who would be nicknamed Cunctator, and whose strategy would be forever after known as Fabian.

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At great cost, Ancient Rome had made significant gains: the conquest of Hispania by Scipio, and of Syracuse, the last Greek realm in Sicily, by Marcellus.

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However, Carthage, after having paid the war indemnity, felt that its commitments and submission to Ancient Rome had ceased, a vision not shared by the Roman Senate.

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At this time Ancient Rome was a consolidated empire—in the military view—and had no major enemies.

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Ancient Rome had a good education but became poor when his father died and left none of his will.

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Ancient Rome seized power along with the consul Lucius Cornelius Cinna and killed the other consul, Gnaeus Octavius, achieving his seventh consulship.

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Political divisions in Ancient Rome became identified with two groupings, populares and optimates (the "best", who wanted to maintain exclusive aristocratic control).

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Meanwhile, social and economic stresses continued to build; Ancient Rome had become a metropolis with a super-rich aristocracy, debt-ridden aspirants, and a large proletariat often of impoverished farmers.

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Ancient Rome formed them into a new informal alliance including himself, the First Triumvirate.

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Ancient Rome became a clear menace to Pompey and was loathed by many optimates.

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Ancient Rome diminished the political influence of the senatorial class by boosting the equestrian class.

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Ancient Rome's generals were responsible for the field command; gaining such commanders as Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Nero Claudius Drusus and Germanicus much respect from the populace and the legions.

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Ancient Rome was a popular leader in the first half of his reign, but became a crude and insane tyrant in his years controlling government.

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Ancient Rome's heir was Nero, son of Agrippina and her former husband, since Claudius' son Britannicus had not reached manhood upon his father's death.

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Ancient Rome's soldiers attacked the island and massacred the druids: men, women and children, destroyed the shrine and the sacred groves and threw many of the sacred standing stones into the sea.

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Ancient Rome was married three times, and had numerous affairs with both men and women, and, according to some rumors, even his mother.

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Under the Flavians, Ancient Rome continued its expansion, and the state remained secure.

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Ancient Rome fought as a commander in the First Jewish-Roman War along with his son Titus.

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Ancient Rome reconstructed many buildings which were uncompleted, like a statue of Apollo and the temple of Divus Claudius, both initiated by Nero.

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Ancient Rome finished the Flavian Amphitheater, which was constructed with war spoils from the First Jewish-Roman War, and promoted games celebrating the victory over the Jews that lasted for a hundred days.

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Ancient Rome constructed at least two temples in honour of Jupiter, the supreme deity in Roman religion.

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Ancient Rome's rule restored many of the liberties once assumed by Domitian and started the last golden era of Rome.

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Ancient Rome is the second of the Five Good Emperors, the first being Nerva.

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Ancient Rome freed many people who had been unjustly imprisoned by Domitian and returned private property that Domitian had confiscated; a process begun by Nerva before his death.

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Ancient Rome erected many buildings that survive to this day, such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column.

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Ancient Rome constructed fortifications and walls, like the celebrated Hadrian's Wall which separated Roman Britannia and the tribes of modern-day Scotland.

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Ancient Rome's many building projects included aqueducts, baths, libraries and theaters; additionally, he travelled nearly every province in the Empire to check the military and infrastructural conditions.

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Ancient Rome defeated barbarian tribes in the Marcomannic Wars as well as the Parthian Empire.

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Ancient Rome killed many citizens, and Cassius Dio identifies his reign as the beginning of Roman decadence: from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust.

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The people of Ancient Rome were appalled and appealed to the frontier legions to save them.

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Ancient Rome continued Severus' policy and gained respect from the legions.

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Ancient Rome ordered the death of people of his own circle, like his tutor, Cilo, and a friend of his father, Papinian.

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Ancient Rome adopted the name of Antoninus but history has named him after his Sun god Elagabalus, represented on Earth in the form of a large black stone.

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Ancient Rome adopted many behaviors of Eastern monarchs, like wearing pearls and golden sandals and robes.

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Ancient Rome's reign ended the traditional form of imperial rule, the Principate and started the Tetrarchy.

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Ancient Rome began the Christianization of the Empire and of Europe—a process concluded by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.

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In fact, Ancient Rome had lost its central importance since the Crisis of the Third Century—Mediolanum was the western capital from 286 to 330, until the reign of Honorius, when Ravenna was made capital, in the 5th century.

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Under the last emperors of the Constantinian dynasty and the Valentinianic dynasty, Ancient Rome lost decisive battles against the Sasanian Empire and Germanic barbarians: in 363, emperor Julian the Apostate was killed in the Battle of Samarra, against the Persians and the Battle of Adrianople cost the life of emperor Valens; the victorious Goths were never expelled from the Empire nor assimilated.

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Various reasons for Ancient Rome's fall have been proposed ever since, including loss of Republicanism, moral decay, military tyranny, class war, slavery, economic stagnation, environmental change, disease, the decline of the Roman race, as well as the inevitable ebb and flow that all civilizations experience.

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Imperial city of Ancient Rome was the largest urban center in the empire, with a population variously estimated from 450, 000 to close to one million.

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The public spaces in Ancient Rome resounded with such a din of hooves and clatter of iron chariot wheels that Julius Caesar had once proposed a ban on chariot traffic during the day.

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Ancient Rome'storical estimates show that around 20 percent of the population under jurisdiction of ancient Rome lived in innumerable urban centers, with population of 10, 000 and more and several military settlements, a very high rate of urbanization by pre-industrial standards.

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Women in ancient Rome shared some basic rights with their male counterparts, but were not fully regarded as citizens and were thus not allowed to vote or take part in politics.

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Ancient Rome retained 28 legions, distributed through the provinces of the Empire.

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The First Punic War required that Ancient Rome build large fleets, and it did so largely with the assistance of and financing from allies.

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Ancient Rome commanded a vast area of land, with tremendous natural and human resources.

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Life in ancient Rome revolved around the city of Rome, located on seven hills.

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Ancient Rome's Colisseum was built in the Imperial era to host, among other events, gladiatorial combats.

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Ancient Rome boasted impressive technological feats, using many advancements that were lost in the Middle Ages and not rivaled again until the 19th and 20th centuries.

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The Mesolithic inhabitants of Ancient Rome were determined to be Western Hunter Gatherers, who were almost entirely replaced by Early European Farmers (EEFs) around 6, 000 BC coming from Anatolia and the Fertile Crescent.

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The Imperial population of Ancient Rome was found to have been extremely diverse, with barely any of the examined individuals being of primarily western European ancestry.

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Interest in studying, and even idealizing, ancient Rome became prevalent during the Italian Renaissance, and continues until the present day.

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