The Legend l The Etruscans l The Republic l The Empire l Architecture
The Roman civilization began around 753 B.C. with the founding of Rome by the
legendary king Romulus. Rome would grow to become the most powerful empire in
the ancient world, engulfing most of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean
Sea. Roman law and justice was spread with each military victory. The ideas
within Roman law still influence our justice system today. Latin, the
language of the ancient Romans, forms the foundation of many modern European
Click to enlarge images.
Romulus and Remus: These are the legendary twins that founded the city of Rome. According to legend they were rescued from the Tiber River by a she-wolf.
Etruscan kings controlled Rome for close to 70 years. Under these rulers, the Romans developed an alphabet, and learned how to use the arch in building design.
This is an Etruscan couple relaxing.
Once the Etruscans were overthrown, Roman leaders set up a new form of government called a republic, where citizens elect their leaders. There were two classes of citizens, PATRICIANS and PLEBEIANS. Patricians came from wealthy families, while Patricians formed the bulk of society, craftspeople, peasants, etc..
This is the Forum, a place where the business of the Republic could be discussed. The laws of the Roman republic, "the Twelve Tables", were displayed in the Forum.
The people of Rome gradually respected their leaders less and less due to corruption and other factors. In 49 B.C., Julius Caesar, a Roman general, marched his army on Rome, seizing control of the government, and declaring himself dictator for life.
Augustus, or Octavian, brought a time of peace to the Roman Empire, known as the "Pax Romana"
Constantine made Christianity permissible
The Romans were excellent builders who borrowed heavily from Greek styles.
Circus Maximus - where the
citizens would go to watch chariot races
Colosseum - where the citizens
would go to watch gladiators battle
Pantheon - a temple dedicated to all of the Roman gods (Jupiter, Juno, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto, etc.)
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© Jay D'Ambrosio 1998