Ancient Rome was one of the most innovate and forward thinking civilisations to have ever existed. The legends tell us Rome started around 753 BC via two twin brothers in Italy, known as Romulus and Remus. Raised by a wolf, they started to build a city, but then the twins fought and Romulus killed Remus and named the new city Rome after his name. Rome itself was built on a farming land, in a unique position for traffic on the nearby river and would have been a route for travellers going north and south.
In 509 BC the Roman Republic was established when the existing Roman monarchy was overthrown, and the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinus Superbus was expelled leading to a new era for Rome.
In 27 BC the Roman Empire was established leading to a new era for the history of ancient Rome. Rome reached new highs, with a huge population and growing territorial holdings all over the world, the Roman Empire was something to behold.
Famed for its emperors, its architecture and culture, the Romans were groundbreaking and revolutionary. The sporting events held in the Colosseum, the roads built, the social structure and hot baths were all things the Romans did that were truly ground breaking. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing and interesting civilisation.
Rome, famed for its military, its gladiators and of course its brilliant architecture which was some of the greatest of the time. Read more about the Ancient Roman Architecture >>
The famous Roman baths were the lifeblood of the society or Rome, suitable for everyone regardless of your class. Read more about the Ancient Roman Baths >>
In ancient Rome, the class structure existed just as it did in many other civilisations including the traditional upper and lower classes. Read more about the Ancient Roman Class Structure >>
Clothing in ancient Rome served many purposes, the upper class dressed different to the lower class but each has similarities. Read more about the Ancient Roman Clothing >>
In ancient Roman times the main currency was coins where they used precious metals to represent the value. Read more about the Ancient Roman Currency >>
Living in ancient Rome would give you a traditionally healthy and diverse diet with a mix of all the major food groups. Read more about the Ancient Roman Food >>
The mighty gladiators of Rome fought with weapons and armour in the Colosseum for pride and often for their life. Read more about the Ancient Roman Gladiators >>
The government in ancient Roman times was a mix of multiple styles, often consider a cross between a democracy and a republic. Read more about the Ancient Roman Government >>
Home and family life was important in ancient Rome, and the houses of the Romans reflected this regardless of the owners class. Read more about the Ancient Roman Houses >>
To make career or find a job in ancient Roman times was highly dependent upon you families stock or class. Read more about the Ancient Roman Jobs >>
The ancient Roman road system was something to behold, connecting the vast regions of the Roman empire together. Read more about the Ancient Roman Roads >>
The ancient Romans were fans of sports in all forms, from combat sports like the gladiator battles to high paced chariot racing and more. Read more about the Ancient Roman Sports >>
The timeline of the ancient Roman empire can really be traced back to 753BC but went far beyond then until the end of the empire. Read more about the Ancient Roman Timeline >>
In ancient Roman times wars and battles were common and the Romans were very adapt at expanding their empire this way. Read more about the Battles of Ancient Rome >>
For a child in ancient Roman life was not to dissimilar to now, they would eat, learn and study, sleep and play. Read more about the Children of Ancient Rome >>
The mighty Roman empire reached such great heights, but eventually like all civilisations it met its ultimate demise. Read more about the Demise of Ancient Rome >>
The mighty rulers of ancient Rome were known as the Emperors and held the final say on many of the key decisions in this empire. Read more about the Emperors of Ancient Rome >>
In ancient Roman times the primary language was Latin, but it was not uncommon for many Romans to know many more languages. Read more about the Language of the Ancient Romans >>
Life in ancient Rome was different depending on your position in Roman society, from the rulers to ordinary people and the slaves. Read more about the Life in Ancient Rome >>
In ancient Rome, men ruled the empire, occupying most of the top positions and holding nearly all of the power. Read more about the Men of Ancient Rome >>
The religion of ancient Rome, changed over time, morphing and evolving into full fledged Christianity. Read more about the Religion of Ancient Rome >>
To be a slave in Rome meant you were at the bottom of the social ladder, but always had a chance to improve your standing. Read more about the Slaves of Ancient Rome >>
The Roman Colosseum was the place for the huge sporting events of ancient Rome, and played home to the mighty gladiators. Read more about the The Roman Colosseum >>
The women of ancient Rome, while not having direct influence in many matters still wielded power via their relationships. Read more about the Women of Ancient Rome >>
Emperors of Rome
Of course during the time of most success during the Roman civilisation, the rulers were the emperors and were in charge of Rome itself, while diverting authority to other regions to their close cohorts. With such a vast empire to manage, the emperors initially took solitary rule, but later chose to have co-emperors or governors.
To be an emperor meant you would need support of one or two things, the troops of the Roman army and the senate. Without either an emperor was not likely to stay in control of such a complex society for long. An emperors power came from their ability to command an army, and this power was necessary to command such a large empire.
Famous emperors from Ancient Rome are numerous, but leaders like Augustus Caeser who was the first Caesar reigned from 27 BC to 19 AD. Other famed emperors include Claudius who had true support from the troops, and the famed Marcus Aurelius who was thought to be the last good ruler of this legendary empire.
The social structure of Rome
Class structure in ancient Rome was very important at the time, and was enforced very diligently. Therefore ancient Rome had large gaps between classes, especially if we consider the lives of slaves in Roman times to the patricians(nobles) who lived very different lives. If you were neither of these two you were likely a plebeian, a member of the common people, who did not have much power until later in the Roman timeline. The first emperor of Rome who was a plebeian was Augustus the first emperor of the Roman Empire.
Of course there were many complex nuances of the social structure in Rome, and like many civilisations of the time there was lots of gender inequality with women having significantly less power and rights than their male counterparts in Rome.
The famed Roman baths, and one of the backbones of Roman society was their passion for hot baths. To this day many examples of the Romans ingenuity still exists, with baths dotted all over Europe. These baths were known as Thermae from the Greek word hot, typically describing their larger public baths, and sometimes called balneae when they were more private or smaller baths.
The baths in Roman times were almost like social areas, where people would relax and unwind. It was common for the larger baths to many other services available including libraries, places to buy food, and eat and drink, entertainment areas and art and culture.
It’s hard to stress how important the baths seemed to the Romans, keeping clean was considered good health in Roman times and for the high status Romans, this meant that bathing every day was not uncommon.
Pioneers when it came to engineering and architecture, the Romans were amazing and were the reason we now have straight roads, aqueducts and much more. The Roman level of engineering was built on top of existing Greek architecture, but they also added many new techniques including various vaulting techniques which still shine today in buildings like the Roman Pantheon situated in Rome, Italy.
Ever heard of concrete? Well the Romans were the ones who invented this now commonly used material. They would use lime mortar mixed with water, pozzolan and sand, and even incorporated many other materials in to add various properties to their unique concrete.
Roman games and entertainment
The Romans took public entertainment to a new level, building the Colosseum one of the most impressive sporting arenas from any ancient civilisation. The Roman Empire grew so large that the rulers of the empire at the time wanted to appease the public of Rome with a sports arena with no comparison. This arena was called the Flavian Amphitheatre or the Colosseum, and is the largest amphitheatre ever built.
It was through this kind of forward thinking that the Romans took entertainment to a new level, with these arenas the Romans would pit fighters against each other in competition known as gladiatorial combat.
Other games in ancient Rome were popular too, chariot racing, boxing, and smaller scale sports and games like hoop rolling, and Roman chess.
The language of Rome
In Rome the common languages were Greek and Latin, with Latin being the most prevalent and important should you wish to make moves within society. Latin itself was inspired by Greek, and of course there were many variations of Latin used in and over the course of the Roman timeline. A good example of these variations are the Latin used in literature and the Latin spoke by the everyday people of Rome, which was commonly known as ‘vulgar Latin’. When the Romans expanded and spread for example it was the vulgar Latin that travelled and formed the basis for many other modern languages like English.
The evolution of Rome over time
As with any great civilisation, Rome and the Roman civilisation evolved over time. Without change it’s unlikely that the Romans would have been as successful and widespread as they were. We can see these changes in the timeline of ancient Rome, from the inception in 753 BC to the birth of the republic in 509 BC to the birth of the Roman Empire in 27 BC.
The fall of the Empire did of course come later, when the Germanic tribes from northern Europe took Rome, with the eastern part of the Roman empire becoming what would be known as the Byzantine Empire.