Ancient Rome History: The Long Journey of Rome

Historicalfacts.net: Ancient Rome History - Like most civilizations Rome too has a myth in its finding. The city was founded by two brothers Romulus and Remus who were twin sons of Rhea Silvia the daughter of Latin King Numitor. It is said that Rhea was made pregnant by the Roman God of War, Mars which made the twins half human and half divine. Threatened by the existence King Amulius had them thrown in water but were saved brought up by a she-wolf. Some say that a shepherdess saved them and brought them up as her children who later grew up to have returned Numitor his throne. The twins then founded of what we know as Rome. A quarrel among the brothers left Remus dead while Romulus became its ruler. Rome was named after Romulus. While the myths have their own importance, here is shedding light on the more actual history of Ancient Rome.

Rome was a small town in the beginning of the eighth century BC, surviving beside the River Tiber. The location of the city was perfect for trade to flourish and was a route for the merchants. The water of River Tiber was navigable which enabled them to cross it and trade their merchandise. It was the influence of Greeks that gave the Romans a structure on which they could further build their own tradition and cultures. Religion, architecture and literacy were what they borrowed from them before developing it as their own.
Ancient Rome History
Ancient Rome History: The Long Journey of Rome

The kingdom slowly developed and in later years came to dominate its surrounding nations too. The kingdom produced so many literary geniuses that most of the languages such as Spanish, French, Romanian, Italian and Portuguese which are collectively known as Romance languages have been derived from Latin. Even most of the words of the modern English language have Latin roots. The Kingdom saw golden age of prosperity and peace before it crumbled to its own burden of distended empire.

Early Roman Kingdom

The version of ancient Rome can be seen through works of Plutarch, Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Livy who say that Rome was initially ruled by succession of seven kings. As per Varro, another literary genius, 243 years have been accounted for the rule of these seven kings. After which the city was invaded by the Gauls who sacked the city and burnt the city and along with the city burned all the written records. Romulus was the founder and first king of Rome, he is said to have ruled Rome for 36 years after which he vanished and after a year of gap in the government the Senate which was also founded by Romulus and comprised of noble men, selected Numa Pompilius to be their next king.

After 43 years of peaceful reign by Numa, Rome was then ruled by Tullus Hostilius who preferred war and he reigned for 31 years. Ancus Marcius was grandson of Numa and took the throne after Tullus. He was calm and peaceful and built many new buildings in the city. He ruled for 25 years before he was succeeded by Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. Lucius had emigrated from Etruria and Ancus had adopted him as his son. He ruled well and expanded the borders of Rome and added to its treasury. He laid the foundations for Roman Forum and began Roman games.

One of the most famous constructions from his reign is the Circus Maximus which is a gigantic stadium for horse racing. He also introduced symbols for civil and military offices. After 38 years of his long rule, he was murdered by one of Ancus’ own son. Lucius was succeeded by his son-in-law Servius Tullius. He constructed the pomerium around the Seven Hills of Rome. He introduced voting rights and established first census of Rome which segregated Rome into five economic classes. After ruling for 44 years he was murdered by his own daughter Tullia and son-in law Lucius Tarquinius Superbus.
Ancient Rome History
Circus Maximus

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was the seventh king of Rome. He killed his father-in-law and took over the throne. He used violence to rule Rome and disrespected the Roman Senate and the customs of the kingdom. Problems for Superbus began when his son Sextus Tarquinius raped a woman named Lucretia who was the daughter and wife to very influential nobles. Lucretia revealed the story to her father and plead to be given justice before the magistrate, she stabbed herself in front of many people and died in her father’s arms.

A revolution led by four men with Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus who was Lucretia’s husband, in the lead, overthrew the king - Lucius Tarquinius Superbusand banished his whole family into an exile. The people were already angry with Tullia who had horrifically murdered her father for the throne. Brutus and Collatinus became the first consuls Roman Repulic.

Roman Republic

The Roman Kingdom was overthrown and the Republic was established under Brutus and Collatinus. The government was headed by two consuls who were to be elected every year by the citizens on the advice of the senate. The senate comprised of a group of magistrates. The Roman society was hierarchical in nature and the change in government was highly subjective to the high ruling class families of Rome who were termed as ‘patricians’.

The beginning of Roman Republic is marked by 509 BC when the Roman Kingdom was overthrown and the Republic crumbled in 27 BC with the establishment of Roman Empire. During the time of Republic, Rome spread its boundaries. It did not just concentrate on its surroundings but also throughout the Mediterranean region. There were a series of conquests made. Italian peninsula, what is present southern France, central Italy, Iberian peninsula and North Africa.

By the end of 1st century BC Rome comprised of eastern Mediterranean, present France and Greece. Although there was much expansion done by Republic Rome there was always a situation of conflict in the internal Rome. The aristocrats and the ordinary public of the nation were always at war. Before the century could end, Julius Caesar was in power. The First Triumvirate was formed which included Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus and Pompey.
Ancient Rome History
Julius Caesar (image by walmerweb.co.uk)

The senate had named Caesar "dictator perpetuo", he was all powerful but the senate started to conspire against him as he had urged for more power. He was assassinated by his general Brutus. After the death of Caesar, there was a Second Triumvirate formed which comprised of Caesar’s nephew Octavian, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and one more general of Caesar known as Mark Antony. They defeated the assassinators of Julius Caesar and divided the government to rule among themselves.

Antony was given the charge of eastern provinces, Lepidus was looking after Africa while Octavian took care of Gaul and Hispania from Italia. Lepidus once betrayed Antony in Sicily and Antony had an affair with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. This was considered as treason and Octavian attacked and defeated them. Both Cleopatra and Antony committed suicide later on. Later on, Octavian took complete control of Rome once he had defeated both Lepidus and Mark Antony. Octavian was given the title of "Augustus" and made the first Emperor of Rome. This marked the end of Roman Republic and the beginning of Roman Empire.

Roman Empire

Roman Empire lasted for 1500 years. After the people proclaimed Octavian the Emperor of Rome then there was a period of succession of his heirs. His clan yielded four emperors after him; Tiberius, Caligula, Cladius and Nero. After this, there was a war between four emperors in the year 69 AD, between June and December of the same year four emperors came to throne and went down too - Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian. Vespasian sustained and was the founder of Flavian dynasty followed by Nerva-Antoinne dynasty. This dynasty saw some of the best emperors of Rome and were together known as "Five Good Emperors" they were; Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius.

In 180 AD, when the throne was taken by emperor Commodus marked the fall of Roman Empire. One of the Greek historians Dio Cassius said that the rule of Commodus marked the decline of Rome from a kingdom of gold to that of rust and iron. In the year 212, Caracalla of Severan dynasty granted Roman Citizenship to all the free born occupants of Rome. Emperor Elagabalus who was unpopular among the people was murdered by the people along with his mother when they heard a rumour that Alexander Severus who was also eligible to the throne was killed. They put Alexander on throne who was guided by his intelligent mother Julia Avita Mamaea. He tried to restore peace in the empire but he had to face the greatest challenge which was German invasion and the influence of Sassanian Empire whose power seemed to rise quickly.

After his death, there fell upon the empire a period of crisis because of a series of misfortunes. Severus Alexander was killed by his own army men, his death began a 50 year period where around 26 Roman generals took different parts of Rome under their control and declared themselves emperors, this was accepted and made legal by the Senate. Beside this, there were combined foreign invasions, plague, internal civil wars and economic depression and it was known as Crisis of the Third Century.

Rome was split into three states and the crisis caused extensive changes in the economy, society, religion and the rules of the empire. The three states were; Palmyrene Empire which comprised of Palaestina, Syria and Aegyptus. The Italian centred Roman Empire, and the Gallic Empire which included the provinces of Britannia, Gaul and Hispania.

This period is also marked as the changeover from Classical Antiquity to Late Antiquity. It was in the year 270 when Aurelian who was from humble backgrounds ros eto the position of an emperor and restored peace back in the empire. It was he who successfully ended the Crisis of the third century which also earned him the title of "Restitutor Orbis", which translates as restorer of the world.

Diocletian, who took the reins of Roman Empire in his hands in 284, completed what Aurelian started and restored peace in the empire completely. With him also began absolute monarchy in Roman Empire till 1453 until the Eastern Roman Empire fell. Diocletian followed "Tetrarchy" way to rule the empire. In a tetrarchy, the power of the administration is divided among four people. However when Diocletian thought Rome was stable, he gave up the throne. The tetrarchy soon distorted and fell without him and it was Constantine who restored peace back in the empire.

Constantine controlled the Western Roman Empire while Licinius I was in control of the Eastern Roman Empire. However, in 324, Constantine defeated Licinius in a battle and unified both Eastern and Western Roman Empires and declared himself Augustus. Constantine was the first emperor to become a Christian. Constantinople was established as the capital of eastern empire. For next few years, there was east and west axis and both Rome and Constantinople were centre of powers.

Theodosius I made Christianity the official religion of Roman Empire. His death in 395 AD also marked him as the last emperor to rule East and West Rome. In early years of the 5th century, the Western Roman Empire began to scatter. Rome was overflowing with immigrants and so were the invasions from Germanic tribes along with other tribes such as Attila. Romans successfully drove all of them but there were some Germanic migrants whose loyalty did not lie in Rome.
Ancient Rome History
Theodosius I

The last Roman emperor of the Western Roman Empire was Romulus Augustulus. He was forced by a Germanic warlord by the name of Odoacer to resign from the throne. Romulus was a young boy, an Odoacer had pities on him, which is why he sent him on an exile instead of killing him. Romulus Augustulus – had the name of the founder of Rome and the first emperor of Rome but he happened to end a part of one of the most powerful kingdoms. When Romulus Augustulus was made the emperor of the Western Empire, only about 20 percent of the actual empire was left. Once Odoacer exiled Augustulus it marked the end of Western Roman Empire as he ended the line of Western Emperors.

Even after the Western Roman Empire fell the Eastern Roman Empire survived for several years. In the Middle Ages the Eastern Empire also known as the Byzantine Empire was a quiet and stable Christian empire. But from the 6th century Byzantine also started to distort. Much parts of Italy which were under Byzantine were lost mostly taken over by Lombards. The Plague of Justinian which cost about 25 million lives had further shaken the foundations of Rome. Then there was rise of Islam and their conquerors took over Egypt, Syria and Armenia. Constantinople was also under their threat now. Sicily and Italy were soon taken over by the Arabs.

In the 8th century the Romans stopped this Islamic invasion and whatever they lost to the Arabs were taken back by them by the beginning of 9th century. The Eastern Empire rose to glory once again in the 1000 AD. Emperor of Byzantine, Basil II took back Armenia and Bulgaria which became important centres of trade and culture. The glory of the Romans did not last long and in one of the battles they marked their decline. The Battle of Manzikert fought between Byzantine and Seljukin 1071 AD opened the gates of the empire to the Turks. Byzantine’s borders became weak thus allowing a mass movement of Turks.

In the battle of Manzikert the emperor of Byzantine was taken prisoner by a Muslim commander. After twenty years of internal conflicts and invasions of the Turks in 1095 AD, Emperor Alexious I Komnenos finally asked for help from the Western European kingdoms. They sent Crusades who sacked Constantinople in 1204. They looted and destroyed the city in a way that it could never come back to an empire that it was in its glorious past. Finally the newly rising power of the Ottoman sieged Constantinople on May 29, 1453 marking the end of what was left of Byzantine.

Society of Ancient Rome Government

Earlier when Rome was ruled by the Kings, they were elected by main tribes of Rome in turns. While the powers which they exercised is unknown but in terms of giving orders to the army the complete power lay in the hands of the king. The king was the head of the state religion. Beside the king the power rested in three more bodies of administration: the Senate which was the advising body to the king, the Comitia Curitia which approved and sanctioned the laws which were given by the king and the Comitia Calata which was an assembly of the priests who had the power to gather people and declare holidays or feats for that particular month.

In the time of the Roman Republic there were skirmishes between the different classes and this led to a mixed democracy, an oligarchy. In an oligarchy the administration of the nation is controlled by a handful people who belong to high classes or are wealthy nobles. The "Commitia Tributa" or the Popular Assembly would vote to pass a specific law and the people standing for public positions had to stand for elections. The Roman Senate was a group who were more of advisors to those who were running the administration. Even though the Senate was just an advisory body the Senators were quite powerful and if the Senate together didn’t approve of something it was impossible to get it done.

Later on the Senators were selected by Censors and they also had the power to remove the Senators if they were found corrupt. New magistrates were elected every year and they had to share their power with a colleague in case there were emergency situations a temporary dictator would be appointed. There were so many revisions in the administrative system of the Roman Republic just to meet the demands of the people that it became completely inefficient and finally collapsed to form the Roman Empire.

However, a republican form of government was still followed in the shadow of the Roman Empire and the Emperor was simply the first citizen. The Senate became powerful and the legislative powers which the assemblies held were now theirs. It was in the later years that the powers were taken by the emperor in his hands and the Senate then became the advisors to the emperor. Although there were advisors and people who took care of the administration of the empire there still lacked in the Roman Empire proper institutions which later on led to the decline of Rome.

Social Class Structure

Based upon the income and occupation of the inhabitants of the society ancient Romans had divided themselves into three groups or social classes: the free born citizens or "cives" were at the top, in the middle were freedmen or "liberti" who were slaves but had been freed by their masters and in the bottom were the slaves or "servi". An earlier form of division was the patricians and the plebs. The patricians were aristocrats or the ruling class families and the plebs were the commoners. This differentiation in class became of lesser importance when the patricians became lesser in financial conditions while the plebeians became rich and also joined politics.

However, those who were from the patrician ancestry were always considered to have a certain respect and prestige in the society and there remained some offices which were only limited to the patricians. Division of class became important on military service. Also the censors which happened at regular intervals and the classes were also determined by them, as per the property every family held. Dominating the army and politics were the Senatorial class who were considered to be the highest and also the richest. Families who could own a war horse and those who belonged to the richer merchant class were known as ‘equestrians’.

Many more classes followed based on the military weapons and equipment’s which they could afford and the last position was occupied by the "proletarii" who did not own any property. They were thought to be ineligible for military services before the Marian Reforms happened. These reforms were done by Gaius Marius who was a general and a Roman statesman. The proletarian were usually unable to cast votes and even though the women had some rights they were not allowed to vote or enter politics. Later on they gained property and judicial rights but they were still kept from voting and politics.

All the allied citied were given the "Latin Right" which was a status in between being a foreigner and full citizens, so the citizens had rights under the law of Rome and the magistrate who were leading the cities were complete Roman citizens. The Latin Rights varied in many senses and the most common was the division to vote –the sine suffragio could not take part in the politics of Rome and the cum saffragio who could take part in the Roman assembly. Later on Emperor Caracalla granted Roman citizenship to all the free-born men of the Empire in 212.

There were two units in the Roman society – households and families. The households comprised of the head which was the father who was known as the "paterfamilias" translated as the father of the family, wife, children and relatives. The servants and slaves were also considered as a part of the household. The head of the family or the father held the supreme power and controlled the happenings in the household. He could sell his children as slaves, force marriage, claim the property of the dependants for himself and even kill the members of the family as punishment.

After the 1st century the right to kill someone stopped to be implemented in the household. Till the father of the family was alive his son could not claim property. Once a girl was married the household in which she was married would be her new household. This tradition changed later and the girls could continue to recognize their actual families as their’s but the children who were born to her would belong to her husbands’ household. The mother was responsible for raising the children and any unwanted children were sold as slaves. They were not allowed to take part in the family conversations. Latin and Greek were taught to the children by a Greek nurse in the noble families and the boys were taught how to ride and swim.

They could start learning at the age of seven but there were no school buildings so the classes were taken on rooftops. Parchment, paper and papyrus was expensive which is why was boards covered in wax were used for writing. Some even wrote on sands. A group of households who were related were known as family. They usually had the same ancestor or had blood relations at times they were political allies. Marriage was usually a political or an economical alliance especially among the rich class. Once the girls reached the age of 12, their fathers looked for eligible grooms. The girls in the upper class married at a tender age while those belonging to the lower class had their wedding later in 20’s.

Economy

Trade and farming were the main constituents of the Roman economy. Earlier Rome bought most food from neighbouring kingdoms but the prices were too high. The Romans started farming themselves and by the 1st century BC, they were harvesting grapes and olives in huge quantities. When Sicily, Tunisia and Egypt were taken there was a thorough supply of grains and wine and olive oil were exported by Italy. The productivity of the farming was low. Mining and quarrying of stones were the only major activities in manufacturing and industrial activities. These stones were main items in construction of buildings.

There existed small factories and some workshops where some workers were employed. There were brick factories too that employed more workers than these small factories. Earlier the Republic used paid labour but wars and battles brought back slaves who were used as free labour. The slaves were used for both skilled and unskilled labour. Once the conquests of Rome stopped the price of the slaves increased. Barter system was used in collecting taxes but Rome had an advanced coinage system and coins were made with bronze, brass and other precious metals. These have been found in excavations within and beyond the boundaries of Rome.

The Roman roads were designed for wheels and transporting goods within the Roman boundaries was done in no time. In the 2nd century trade through the seas and oceans increased. Now more goods could be carried and the cost was less. The Roman market was so modern and flourishing that many economists compare it to the market practices of Netherlands and England in the 17th and 18th century respectively.

Education

There were no schools in early Republic Rome. The boys learnt to read and write from their parents or slaves. These slaves were educated, usually from Greece and were known as "paedagogi". The aim of educating the boys was to make them aware about warfare, agriculture, public affairs and the traditions of Rome. The way of living was learnt by the children as their fathers took them around in the political and religious functions. The sons of the higher class people went to the Senate and learnt about political matters of the nation.

When boys of the nobles reached the age of 16, they were made apprentices to famous political figures. They had to campaign with the army at the age of 17. In the 3rd century BC once the Romans conquered the Hellenistic kingdoms the situation of education became more clear and better. Although there was some Greek influence on the education of the Romans their system of education was entirely different from the Greeks. All families couldn’t afford education but those who could, would send boys and girls to a private school known as "ludus". The teacher was known as "magister ludi" or "litterator", they were mostly of Greek origin. The children would study till the age of 11 where they taught writing, reading and arithmetic.

At the age of 12 the children went to secondary schools where the teachers werea ddressed as "grammaticus", here they were educated on Roman and Greek literature. When they reached the age of 16 they attended the "rhetoric" school where the Greek teacher was known as "rhetor". The career of the students was designed at this phase and the students had to learn the Roman laws. Schools remained closed on market days, religious festivals and they also got summer holidays.

Law

The basic legal practices and laws dated as far as 449 BC and the systemization of the laws was done by Emperor Justinian I in 530 AD. These were followed even in the Byzantine Empire and later on also formed the basis of laws in the Western Europe. The laws were kept, modified but the foundation remained the same and was followed till the 17th century.

Military

The Roman army of 500 BC was highly influenced by the Greek and there were about 9,000 men in the military divided into five classes. The men in the army learnt hoptile tactics which was using spear and shield on the battle grounds against their enemies. Three classes were trained in hoptile skills while the remaining two classes offered light infantry. The early army of Rome was essentially in place to defend their territory. The Romans then adopted the "maniples" formation instead of hoptile. These men fought in groups and were considered to be very close. Every group had men ranging from 60 to 120 and following them were the legion of men which numbered to 5,000.
Ancient Rome History
The Roman army

The manipular basically had three lines the front were young men and the last line were more experienced. The three lines were – hastate, principes and triarii in the front, light infantry or the velites in the middle and the cavalry or equites last. It was an aggressive posture. Pompey had the strongest and biggest army as they were all newly recruited. People who owned property and were citizens in the Republic were usually the part of the army and they had their own weapons if they were equities and had their own horses.

On an average a rural farmer would have served in six to seven war campaigns if he survived. The urban citizens, freedmen and slaves did not participate in the war except if there was an emergency which hardly happened. Although the criterion of enlisting was high it was brought down at thetime of Gaius Marius because the need to men in the army was increasing. The term of service of the army was 20 years and sometimes it was extended for an additional 6 or 7 years.

In the beginning of the 3rd century BC the men in the army or the legionaries were paid and at the time of Caesar it was double. If there were successful campaigns they would get what was collected from the loot. They were also allotted land when they retired at the time of Marius. The legionaries had now become professional and were paid well. They also received a fixed amount when they retired. Augustus evolved the army of the Roman Empire and the legionary troops now functioned as team of units more than full legions. A unit which was made of legionaries and cavalry fortified the outposts and they could even fight alone as a unit or combine more of such units. This tactic was quite successful and the Roman forces endured for a long time.

Emperor Gallienus was the last to reorganize the Roman army in during the period of Roman Empire. Besides the cavalry and the infantry there also was a group of barbarians who fought in the battle. They were known as "foederati" and were recruited from friendly tribes. They were recognized as a permanent troop in the Roman Empire. Although there was a Roman general who led them they were controlled by an officer who was one of their own. When Rome was under Monarchy the hoplite soldiers were led directly by the ruling king. In the later parts of the Republic members of the Senate had to serve in the army where they were deputies to the field commanders and after which he would be a "praetor" the powers of which can be compared with the powers that a present military commander has.

Once the term as a "praetor" would end he would be appointed as a "proconsul" to take care of a foreign province. When Augustus was in rule the military was placed under unitary command. While the emperor was the commander of every legion he commanded them through the ‘legatus’ who was appointed from the elites in the Senate. In a province which just had a single legion the legate would command them and also act as the provincial governor there. In a province which just had a single legion the legate would command them and also act as the provincial governor there. In a province where there was more than single legion there was legate for each one and all the legates were answerable to the provincial governor who was a legate but of a high rank.

In the beginning of Diocletian this structure was dissolved and all the legates or the provincial governors were removed and command of the armies in a group of provinces was handed over to generals who were referred to as the "duces" were appointed by the Emperor. The duces did not belong to the Senate or the elite families but were people who earned higher ranks while serving in the army. However, there were many situations when these men tried to overthrow the emperor and take over control of the throne. Chaos and unrest became a continuous affair and internal wars left their internal system weak and prone to barbaric attacks from the neighbouring tribes.

Rome had a fleet of 20 ships in the 3rd century which were commanded by officers known as "duumviri navales" and were used for fighting the pirates. The fleets were replaced by allied forces in 278 AD. The allied forces were used at the time of the First Punic War when Rome needed big fleets. The oared warships known as the "quinquereme" was the main ship and continued to dominate the seas till Caesar Augustus changed them and put navigable vessels in the sea. The "navarch" commanded the ships and the post was usually not held by the Romans. This is why they were considered as non-Roman and when Rome was not in war the naval was not taken care of.

By 350 AD Rome had many merchant and war ships. Aquilea, Rhodes and Alexandria in the east, Ravenna, Misenum, mouth of Somme River in west and Arles were both ports and base for the Roman navy. River harbours along the Danube and Rhine were fortified. Important generals commanded both the armies and the naval which shows that the navy was considered to be a part of the army and not a sovereign service.

Cultures of Ancient Rome

The painting styles of the Romans show the influence of Greek culture and they can be seen on the frescoes which were used to decorate the ceilings and walls of the villas in the country. There are many painting which have been excavated at Pompeii and based on these the art historians split the entire history of Rome in four periods. The first style of Roman painting goes back to 2nd century BC. It has been mainly made of imitations of masonry and marble, some of them portray mythological characters too.

In the 1st century BC the second style of painting was discovered where the paintings show 3D sceneries and architectural features. The third style of painting belonged to the reign of Augustus between 24BC – 14 AD. The paintings had ornamentation style more than real. A monochrome background was used and in the centre a small scenery or abstract design was painted. Portrait sculptures were famous and later were used with bearding and ornate hair with cutting ad drilling became popular.

The Romans were influenced by the Greek and this effect was seen in their literature also. The earliest of Roman works include historical epics which tell the story of the soldiers and their conquests. Soon authors wrote poetry, tragedy, history and comedy. Again taken much from the Greek music the Romans used different musical instruments in different areas. The "lituus" and "bucina" was used in ceremonies and the "cornu" or "tuba" was used to give commands in the army. Religious rituals also had many musical performances using the cymbals and tambourines atorgiastic cults, tibiae at sacrificial rituals, hymns and rattles through the spectrum. All public ceremonies had music.

Writings and drawings on the walls known as graffiti, paintings, brothels and sculptures which have been found in Herculaneum and Pompeii reveal that they had a sex saturated culture.

Language

Latin was the language of the Romans. Although it was the native and the main language of the Romans, Greek also was spoken by the many high class families. This was because most of the educated people studies literature which was written in Greek. In fact the eastern part of Roman Empire always used Greek and Latin never replaced it. Once Justinian died Greek was made the official language in Byzantine. As Rome expanded Latin spread through Europe and it evolved into more dialects based on the different locations which slowly evolved into well-known Romance languages.

Games

There were many types of athletic activities in which the young Roman boys indulged such as wrestling, jumping, racing and boxing. Those who were rich and lived in the country side enjoyed games like hunting and fishing. The Romans also played many board games and gambled also. Public games were also enjoyed and for which special Coliseum was built here the gladiators combated and many times men faced dangerous animals also.

The foundations of Rome were laid on mythological events but the civilizationemerged as one of the biggest and most influential kingdoms in the world. They dominated and ruled, thirst for power led to dirty politics and thus division of this powerful kingdom took place. The Romans are considered to have one of most modern civilizations. Art, literature, buildings, technology, science, culture and traditions they have left back a rich history to be studied and enjoyed by the present people.

Rome continues to have some of the world’s most majestic sites. It is presently the capital of Italy, although there is bloody trail in its history this splendid country stands tall situated on the banks of River Tiber, the Romans still boast of their splendid palaces, fountains, museums and churches and is one of the most visited places in Europe.

Ancient Rome History: The Long Journey of Rome