The Romans

The Roman civilisation was certainly epic and at its peak was undeniably one of the strongest forces in the world. However, like all awesome civilisations Rome had very humble beginnings, as the legend goes, Rome was founded by Romulus and RemusClick to read more about Romulus and Remus! in 753BC, who were the children of MarsClick to read more about the Roman Gods! and were raised by a she-wolf! During this period Rome was a kingdom, ruled by kings, seven in total. The last of which, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, was overthrown as a result of the numerous atrocities he committed, including the murders of his wife and older brother.

Following the demise of the Roman KingdomClick to read more about Roman Kingdom! in 509BC the Roman RepublicClick to read more about Roman Republic! was born. The new republic would be governed and controlled by the senate, who would make all decisions relating to military, social and building policies. It wasn’t until around 437BC Rome began to expand its bordersClick to read more about the expansion of the Roman Republic!, through the conquest of local city states. Over the next few hundred years Rome would continue to expand its territory at an incredible speed, this expansion sustained its growing population, economy and military activities. Whilst the Roman armyClick to read more about Roman army! had been incredibly successful up to this point it was not until the late 2nd century BC that we saw major military reforms which significantly increased the amount of people eligible for military service, this was important as it allowed for the further expansion of territories. It was also around this time that unrest began to grow within the republic and over a period of about ninety years civil war would result in Julius Caesar gaining control of the senate and eventually his nephew AugustusClick to read more about Augustus! establishing the Roman EmpireClick to read more about the Roman Empire! in 27BC.

When most of us think of the Romans we think of a mighty empire which stretched from northern Africa to Hadrian’s Wall on the Scottish/English border, however, it took 726 years following its conception for the Roman civilisation to evolve into an empire. The creation of the empire put an end to civil war and political instability, in fact it was the start of a two hundred year period of peace within Rome referred to as ‘Pax Romana’. Augustus’ reign saw many social reforms and building projects take place, these aided in securing and stabilising the empire allowing for further expansion. It was not until 117AD that the Roman Empire was at its largest, under Emperor TrajanClick to read more about Emperor Trajan!. By the 3rd century AD the empire was beginning to face similar problems that the republic had three hundred years before it; civil war, barbarian invasions and economic recession were rife resulting in the empire beginning to declineClick to read more about the fall of the Roman Empire!. This resulted in Diocletian splitting the empire into two; the Western Empire and the Eastern Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire which would not fall until 1453AD. The Western Empire faced a less fortunate fate, Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410AD and by 476AD the empire ceased to exist entirely.

Although we might associate the Romans with their massive empire and their awesome army; they were also incredibly successful inventorsClick to read more about Roman inventions!, innovators, architectsClick to read more about Roman architecture! and proponents for artClick to read more about Roman art!, fashionClick to read more about Roman fashion! and entertainmentClick to read more about Roman entertainment. Their advances in architecture allowed for the creation of structures such as the mighty colosseum, whose ruins can still be seen today. Much of Roman entertainment took place in the colosseum and amphitheatres around the empire, this included events such as gladiator fights and chariot racing.

Timeline of the Roman Civilisation