CyberMuseum: Rome

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 "Romance" languages.

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The Legend


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.

The Etruscans

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.

The Republic

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 End of the Republic &
The Beginning of the Empire

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.



Julius Caesar


Augustus, or Octavian, brought a time of peace to the Roman Empire, known as the "Pax Romana"


The emperor Constantine made Christianity permissible
in the Roman Empire c. 313 A.D.

Roman Architecture

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.)


Go site-seeing in Rome

Roman Links

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Jay D'Ambrosio 1998