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Ancient Rome

Overview and History
Timeline of Ancient Rome
Early History of Rome
The Roman Republic
Republic to Empire
Wars and Battles
Roman Empire in England
Barbarians
Fall of Rome

Cities and Engineering
The City of Rome
City of Pompeii
The Colosseum
Roman Baths
Housing and Homes
Roman Engineering
Roman Numerals
Daily Life
Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Life in the City
Life in the Country
Food and Cooking
Clothing
Family Life
Slaves and Peasants
Plebeians and Patricians

Arts and Religion
Ancient Roman Art
Literature
Roman Mythology
Romulus and Remus
The Arena and Entertainment
People
Augustus
Julius Caesar
Cicero
Constantine the Great
Gaius Marius
Nero
Spartacus the Gladiator
Trajan
Emperors of the Roman Empire
Women of Rome

Other
Legacy of Rome
The Roman Senate
Roman Law
Roman Army
Glossary and Terms

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Ancient Rome was a powerful and important civilization that ruled much of Europe for nearly 1000 years. The culture of Ancient Rome was spread throughout Europe during its rule. As a result, Rome's culture still has an impact in the Western world today. The basis for much of western culture comes from Ancient Rome, especially in areas such as government, engineering, architecture, language, and literature.

Map of Italy
The city of Rome is the capital of Italy today


The Roman Republic

Rome first grew into power as a Republic. This meant that Rome's leaders, such as senators, were elected officials that served for a limited amount of time, not kings who were born into leadership and ruled for life. They had a complex government with written laws, a constitution, and a balance of powers. These concepts became very important in forming future democratic governments, like the United States.

The Republic would rule Rome for hundreds of years from around 509 BC to 45 BC.

The Roman Empire

In 45 BC Julius Caesar took over the Roman Republic and made himself the supreme dictator. This was the end of the republic. A few years later, in 27 BC, Caesar Augustus became the first Roman Emperor and this was the start of the Roman Empire. Much of the lower level government stayed the same, but now the Emperor had supreme power.

The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum was the center of government


The Empire Splits

As the Roman Empire grew it became more and more difficult to manage from the city of Rome. Eventually the Roman leaders decided to split Rome into two empires. One was the Western Roman Empire and was ruled out of the city of Rome. The other was the Eastern Roman Empire and was ruled out of Constantinople (today's Istanbul in Turkey). The Eastern Roman Empire would become known as Byzantium or the Byzantine Empire.

Fall of Rome

The fall of Rome generally refers to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It fell in 476 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantine Empire, would rule parts of Eastern Europe for another 1000 years.

Fun Facts about Ancient Rome Recommended books and references:

  • Nature Company Discoveries library: Ancient Rome by Judith Simpson. 1997.
  • Exploring the culture, people & ideas of this powerful empire by Avery Hart & Sandra Gallagher ; illustrations by Michael Kline. 2002.
  • Eyewitness Books: Ancient Rome written by Simon James. 2004.


  • Take a ten question quiz at the Ancient Rome questions page.

    Go here to test your knowledge with a Ancient Rome crossword puzzle or word search.

    For more about Ancient Rome:

    Overview and History
    Timeline of Ancient Rome
    Early History of Rome
    The Roman Republic
    Republic to Empire
    Wars and Battles
    Roman Empire in England
    Barbarians
    Fall of Rome

    Cities and Engineering
    The City of Rome
    City of Pompeii
    The Colosseum
    Roman Baths
    Housing and Homes
    Roman Engineering
    Roman Numerals
    Daily Life
    Daily Life in Ancient Rome
    Life in the City
    Life in the Country
    Food and Cooking
    Clothing
    Family Life
    Slaves and Peasants
    Plebeians and Patricians

    Arts and Religion
    Ancient Roman Art
    Literature
    Roman Mythology
    Romulus and Remus
    The Arena and Entertainment
    People
    Augustus
    Julius Caesar
    Cicero
    Constantine the Great
    Gaius Marius
    Nero
    Spartacus the Gladiator
    Trajan
    Emperors of the Roman Empire
    Women of Rome

    Other
    Legacy of Rome
    The Roman Senate
    Roman Law
    Roman Army
    Glossary and Terms

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