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Ancient Rome

The City of Rome

Drawing of the Roman forum during ancient times
The Roman forum by Unknown
History >> Ancient Rome

The city of Rome was the capital city of the civilization of Ancient Rome. It was located near the west coast of central Italy. Today, Rome is the capital of the country of Italy. The city started out small, but grew as the empire grew. At one point there were over 1 million people living in the city during ancient times. The city was center of power in the world for over 1000 years.

Roman Roads

Many major Roman roads led into the city of Rome. The Latin name for road was Via and the major roads leading into Rome included the Via Appia, the Via Aurelia, the Via Cassia, and the Via Salaria. Inside the city itself there were also many paved streets.


Water was brought into the city by the use of several aqueducts. Some of the wealthy had running water in their houses while the rest of the people got their water from fountains placed around the city. There were also many public bath houses that were used to bathe and to socialize.

Founding of Rome

Roman Mythology has it that Rome was founded by the half-god twins Romulus and Remus on April 21, 753 BC. Romulus killed Remus to become the first King of Rome and the city was named after him.

The Seven Hills

The city of Ancient Rome was built on seven hills: Aventine Hill, Caelian Hill, Capitoline Hill, Esquiline Hill, Palatine Hill, Quirinal Hill, Viminal Hill. It is said that the original city was founded by Romulus on Palatine Hill.

The Forum

At the center of the city and Roman public life was the Forum. This was a rectangular plaza surrounded by public buildings such as temples of the gods and basilicas where commerce and other public functions could take place. Many of the city's major events took place in the forum such as elections, public speeches, trials, and triumphal processions.

Photo of the ruins of the Roman forum today
Roman Forum. Photo by Adrian Pingstone

Many important buildings were in or around the forum. Some of these included:
In later years the forum would become so crowded with people and buildings that many important functions had to move to other areas of the city.

Other Buildings

The center of Rome had many other famous and important buildings like the Temple of Jupiter, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, and Pompey's Theatre.

Roman Pantheon Dome inside
Dome of the Pantheon in Rome by Dave Amos

Many of the main government buildings and the homes of the rich were constructed of stone, concrete, and marble. However, homes of the poor were made from wood. These homes caused a considerable fire danger and Rome had many terrible fires throughout its history.

Activities 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
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
Family Life
Slaves and Peasants
Plebeians and Patricians

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

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

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Rome

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