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History

According to legend, the city of Rome was founded by the twins


Romulus and Remus on April 21, 753 BC, but archaeological
evidence supports the theory that Rome grew from pastoral
settlements on the Palatine Hill and in the area of the future
Roman Forum, coalescing into a city in the 8th century BC. That
city developed into the capital of the Roman Kingdom (ruled by a
succession of seven kings, according to tradition), Roman
Republic (from 510 BC, governed by the Senate), and finally the
Roman Empire (from 31 BC, ruled by an Emperor); this success
depended on military conquest, commercial predominance, as
well as selective assimilation of neighboring civilizations, most
notably the Etruscans and Greeks. Roman dominance expanded
over most of Europe and the shores of the Mediterranean sea,
while its population surpassed one million inhabitants. For almost
a thousand years, Rome was the most politically important,
richest and largest city in the Western world, and remained so
after the Empire started to decline and was split, even if it
ultimately lost its capital status to Milan and then Ravenna, and
was surpassed in prestige by the Eastern capital Constantinople.

753 B.C. – According to legend, Romulus founds Rome


753-509 B.C. – Rule of the Seven Kings of Rome
509 B.C. – Creation of the Republic
390 B.C. – Gauls invade Rome. Rome is sacked.
264-146 B.C. – Punic Wars
146-44 B.C. – Social and Civil Wars. Emergence of Marius, Sulla,
Pompey, and Caesar.

Latium was a region of ancient Italy, home to the original Latin


people. Its area is now part of the (much larger) modern Italian
Regione of Lazio, also called Latium in Latin and also occasionally
so in modern English. Their language later became the Roman
language. Home to the Etruscans

Etruscans – known today as the Tuscans.


The Etruscan civilization is the English name given today to the
culture and way of life of a people of ancient Italy whom ancient
Romans called Etrusci or Tusci.

As distinguished by its own language, the civilization endured


from an unknown prehistoric time prior to the foundation of Rome
until its complete assimilation to Italic Rome in the Roman
Republic. At its maximum extent during the foundation period of
Rome and the Roman kingdom, it flourished in three
confederacies: of Etruria, of the Po valley with the eastern Alps,
and of Latium and Campania.[4] Rome was sited in Etruscan
territory. There is considerable evidence that early Rome was
dominated by Etruscans until the Romans sacked Veii in 396 BC.

Etruria — usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as


Tyrrhenia — was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that
covered part of what now are Tuscany, Latium, Emilia-Romagna
and Umbria. A particularly noteworthy work dealing with Etruscan
locations is D.H. Lawrence's Sketches of Etruscan Places and
other Italian essays.
Etruscans – Came up with Sacral Kingship (the king is a priest).
The Etruscan civilization was responsible for much of the Greek
culture imported into Republican Rome, including the twelve
Olympian gods, the growing of olives and grapes, the Latin
alphabet (adapted from the Greek alphabet), and architecture like
the arch, sewerage and drainage systems. Gave the Roman kings
the title ‘pontifex maximus’

The Etruscans are believed to have spoken a non-Indo-European


language. Knowledge of their language is still far from complete.

The etymology of Tusci is based on a beneficiary phrase in the third Iguvine 
tablet, which is a major source for the Umbrian language.[5] The phrase is 
turskum ... numem, the Tuscan name, from which a root *Tursci can be 
reconstructed.[6] A metathesis and an e­extension produce E­trus­ci.[7] A 
common hypothesis is that *turs­ along with Latin turris, "tower", come from 
Greek τύρσις, "tower."[8]. The Tusci were therefore the "people who build 
towers"[8] or "the tower builders."[9] This venerable etymology is at least as old 
as Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who said "And there is no reason why the Greeks 
should not have called them by this name, both from their living in towers and 
from the name of one of their rulers."[10]

The Bonfantes speculate that Etruscan houses seemed like towers to the simple 
Latins. It is true that the Etruscans preferred to build hill towns on high precipices 
enhanced by walls. On the other hand if the Tyrrhenian name came from an 
incursion of sea peoples or later migrants (see below) then it might well be 
related to the name of Troy, the city of towers in that case.
Social Structure of Early Rome:

King
Patricians
Equitates
Plebians

The kings began to screw the Patricians over.

753 B.C. – According to legend, Romulus founds Rome


753-509 B.C. – Rule of the Seven Kings of Rome
509 B.C. – Creation of the Republic
390 B.C. – Gauls invade Rome. Rome is sacked.
264-146 B.C. – Punic Wars
146-44 B.C. – Social and Civil Wars. Emergence of Marius, Sulla,
Pompey, and Caesar.

The Seven Kings

Rome under the kings

The reign of Romulus

Romulus was not only Rome's first king but also the city's
founder. In 753 BC, Romulus began building the city upon the
Palatine Hill. After founding Rome, he invited criminals, runaway
slaves, exiles, and other undesirables by granting them asylum.
In this manner, Romulus populated five of the seven hills of
Rome. To provide his citizens with wives, Romulus invited the
neighboring Sabine tribe to a festival where he abducted the
Sabine women and brought them back to Rome (remembered as
the Rape of the Sabine Women). After the ensuing war with the
Sabines, Romulus brought the Sabines and Romans under one
ruler.

Romulus divided the people of Rome between the able bodied


men and those unfit for combat. The fighting men became the
Roman legions consisting of 6000 infantry and 600 cavalry. The
rest became the people of Rome and out of these people,
Romulus selected 100 of the most noble men to serve as
senators in an advisory council for the king, the Roman Senate.
These men he called patricians, and their descendants would
become the republican nobles and elite. With the union between
the Romans and Sabines, Romulus added another 100 members
to the Senate of Sabine birth.

Also under Romulus' reign, the Comitia Curiata was instituted. To


form the basis of the Comitia Curiata, Romulus divided the people
of Rome into three tribes: one for Romans, a second for Sabines,
and a third for all others. Each tribe elected ten representatives,
known as curiae, to form a single voting body. Romulus would
convene the Curiate and lay proposals from either himself or the
Senate before the Curiate for ratification. All proposals passed
before the Comitia Curiata were either unanimously supported or
unanimously defeated as the majority of curiate voting was
viewed as the opinion of the entire Curiate.

After thirty-eight years as king of Rome, Romulus had fought in


several successful wars, expanding the control of Rome over all of
Latium and many of the surrounding areas. Romulus also
instituted the augurs as part of the Roman religion. Romulus
would be remembered as early Rome's greatest conqueror and as
one of the men with the most pietas in Roman history. After his
death at the age of fifty-four, Romulus was deified as the war god
Quirinus and served not only as one of the three major gods of
Rome but also as the deified likeness of the city of Rome.

The reign of Numa Pompilius

After Romulus' strange and mysterious death, the kingship fell to


Numa Pompilius. Though first unwilling to serve as king, his father
convinced him to take up the position as a service to the gods.
Celebrated for his natural wisdom, Numa’s reign was marked by
peace and prosperity.

Numa reformed the Roman calendar by adjusting it for the solar


and lunar year as well as by adding the months of January and
February to bring the total number of months to twelve. Numa
instituted several of Rome's religious rituals including the Salii,
and a flamen maioris to serve as the chief priest to Quirinus, the
Flamen Quirinalis. Numa organized the area in and around Rome
into districts for easier management. He is also credited with the
organization of Rome’s first occupational guilds.

Numa is remembered as the most religious of the kings


(surpassing even Romulus), and during his reign, he introduced
the flamens, the vestal virgins of Rome, the pontiffs and the
College of Pontiffs. Under his administration, temples to Vesta
and Janus were constructed. Also during his reign, it was said that
a shield from Jupiter fell from the sky with the fate of Rome
written on it. Numa ordered eleven copies of the shield to be
created and these shields became sacred to the Romans.

As a peace loving and gentle man, Numa planted ideas of


meekness and justice within the minds of the Romans. The doors
to the Temple of Janus were never open a single day as Numa
waged no wars during his entire four decades of rule. He would
reign for forty-one years as King and would die a natural,
peaceful death.

The reign of Tullus Hostilius

Tullus Hostilius was much like Romulus in his warlike behavior and
completely unlike Numa in his lack of respect for the gods. Tullus
waged war against Alba Longa, Fidenae, and Veii, thus granting
Rome even greater territory and power. It was during Tullus' reign
that the city of Alba Longa was completely destroyed and Tullus
enslaved the population and sent them back to Rome.

Tullus desired war so much that he even waged another war


against the Sabines. With the coming of Tullus’ reign, the Romans
lost their desire for peace. Tullus fought so many wars that he
completely neglected the worship of the gods. Legend has it that
because of this, a plague infected the city, and Tullus himself was
among the infected. When Tullus called upon Jupiter and begged
assistance, Jupiter responded with a bolt of lightning that burned
the king and his house to ashes.

Despite his war-like nature, Tullus Hostilius selected and


represented the third group of people to make up Rome’s
patrician class consisting of those who had come to Rome
seeking asylum and a new life. He also constructed a new home
for the Senate, the Curia, which survived for over 500 years after
his death. His reign lasted for 31 years.

The reign of Ancus Marcius

Following Tullus’ mysterious death, the Romans elected a


peaceful and religious king in his place. The king they elected
was Numa’s grandson, Ancus Marcius. Much like his grandfather,
Ancus did little to expand the borders of Rome and only fought
war when his territories needed defending. He also built Rome's
first prison on the Capitoline Hill.

During his reign, Janiculum Hill on the western bank was fortified
to further protect Rome, and the first bridge across the Tiber
River was built. He would also found Rome’s port of Ostia on the
Tyrrhenian Sea and establish Rome’s first salt works. During his
reign, Rome's size increased as Ancus used diplomacy to
peacefully join some of the smaller surrounding cities into
alliance with Rome. Through this method, he completed the
conquest of the Latins and relocated them to the Aventine Hill,
thus forming the plebeian class of Romans.

He would die a natural death, like his grandfather before him,


after 25 years as King, and would be remembered as one of
Rome’s greatest pontiffs.

The reign of Tarquinius Priscus

Tarquinius Priscus was not only Rome’s fifth king but also the first
of Etruscan birth (through Greek ancestry). After emigrating to
Rome, he found favour with Ancus, who later adopted him as his
son. Upon becoming king, he waged wars against the Sabines
and Etruscans, which doubled the size of Rome and brought great
treasures to the city.

One of his first reforms was to add one hundred new members to
the Senate from the conquered Etruscan tribes, bringing the total
number of senators to three hundred. He used the treasures
Rome had acquired from the conquests to build great monuments
for Rome. Among these were Rome’s great sewer systems, the
Cloaca Maxima, which he used to drain the swamp-like area
between the Seven Hills of Rome. In the swamp’s place, he began
what would become the Roman Forum. He also instituted the
founding of the Roman games.

The most famous of his great building projects is the Circus


Maximus, a giant stadium used for chariot races which, to this
day, remains the largest stadium in the world. Priscus followed up
the Circus Maximus by beginning a temple-fortress to the god
Jupiter upon the Capitoline Hill. Unfortunately, he was killed after
38 years as King at the hands of Ancus Marcius’ sons before it
could be completed. His reign is best remembered for introducing
the Roman symbols of military and civil offices as well as the
introduction of the Roman Triumph, being the first Roman to
celebrate one.

The reign of Servius Tullius


The City of the Four Regions, roughly corresponding to the city
limits during the later kingdom. The division is traditionally,
though probably incorrectly, attributed to Servius Tullius.
The City of the Four Regions, roughly corresponding to the city
limits during the later kingdom. The division is traditionally,
though probably incorrectly, attributed to Servius Tullius.

Following Priscus’s death, his son-in-law Servius Tullius succeeded


him to the throne, the second king of Etruscan birth to rule Rome.
Like his father-in-law before him, Servius fought successful wars
against the Etruscans. He used the treasure from the campaigns
to build the first walls to fully encompass the Seven Hills of Rome,
the pomerium. He also brought about reforms within the Roman
army.

He was renowned for implementing a new constitution for the


Romans, further developing the citizen classes. He instituted the
world’s first census which divided the people of Rome into five
economic classes, and formed the Century Assembly. He also
used his census to divide the people within Rome into four urban
tribes based upon location within the city, establishing the Tribal
Assembly. His reign is also given credit for building the temple to
Diana on the Aventine Hill.

Servius’ reforms brought about a major change in Roman life:


voting rights were now based upon economic wealth, transferring
much of the power into the hands of the Roman elite. However,
as time passed, Servius increasingly favored the most
impoverished people in order to obtain favors from the plebs. His
legislation was very distasteful to the patrician order. Tullius’s
reign of forty-four years was brought to an end after his
assassination in a conspiracy led by his own daughter Tullia and
her husband Tarquinius Superbus.

The reign of Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud)

The seventh and final king of Rome was Tarquinius Superbus. As


the son of Priscus and the son-in-law of Servius, Tarquinius was
also of Etruscan birth. It was also during his reign that the
Etruscans reached their apex of power. More than other kings
before him, Tarquinius used violence, murder, and terrorism to
maintain control over Rome. He repealed many of the earlier
constitutional reforms set down by his predecessors.

He and his lover (his sister in law) plotted to kill their spouses and
take over Rome.

Tarquinius removed and destroyed all the Sabine shrines and


altars from the Tarpeian Rock, enraging the people of Rome. The
people came to object to his rule when he allowed the rape of
Lucretia, a patrician Roman, at the hands of his own son.
Lucretia’s kinsman, Lucius Junius Brutus (ancestor to Marcus
Brutus), summoned the Senate and had Tarquinius and the
monarchy expelled from Rome in 510 BC.

After Tarquinius’ expulsion, the Senate voted to never again allow


the rule of a king and reformed Rome into a republican
government in 509 BC. Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius
Collatinus, a member of the Tarquin family and Lucretia's
widower, went on to become the first consuls of Rome’s new
government. This new government would lead the Romans to
conquer most of the Mediterranean world and would survive for
the next five hundred years until the rise of Julius Caesar and
Caesar Augustus. Even then, the trappings of the republic were
not entirely done away with; the republic would survive in a
debased form until the Dominate.

753 B.C. – According to legend, Romulus founds Rome


753-509 B.C. – Rule of the Seven Kings of Rome
509 B.C. – Creation of the Republic
390 B.C. – Gauls invade Rome. Rome is sacked.
264-146 B.C. – Punic Wars
146-44 B.C. – Social and Civil Wars. Emergence of Marius, Sulla,
Pompey, and Caesar.

Brutus the Stupid

Not really stupid….just acting. Rises up and ousts Tarquinius


Superbus and his son, Sextus Tarquinius. Sent Etruscan Kings
back to their homeland c. 509 B.C.

Counsuls – could only serve 2 years

Res publica – Public thing

Only elected representatives will rule with imperial power

Fasces – Fascism

The 12 Tables – Akin to England’s Magna Carta or the U.S.


Constitution