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)