According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin sons Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a she-wolf. During its twelve-century history, the Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to an oligarchic republic to an immense empire.
Since then, it has been continuously inhabited, and, as headquarters first of the Roman Empire and then of the Roman Catholic Church, it has had an immense impact on the world.
Ancient Roman History in Brief
Rome began as an Iron Age hut village, founded in the mid-8th century BC.
In 616, the Romans’ sophisticated Etruscan neighbours seized power, but were ousted in 509, the inception of the Roman Republic. It conquered most of the rest of Italy, then turned its attentions overseas, and by the 1st century BC, ruled Spain, North Africa, and Greece.
The expansion of the Roman Empire provided opportunities for power-hungry individuals, and the clashing of egos led to the collapse of democracy.
Julius Caesar ruled for a time as dictator, and his nephew Octavian became Rome’s first emperor, assuming the title Augustus.
During the reign of Augustus, Christ was born, and though Christians were persecuted until the 4th century, the new religion took hold, and Rome became the main centre of Christianity.
Even though it was the seat of the papacy, during the Middle Ages, Rome went into decline. The city recovered spectacularly in the mid-15th century and, for over 200 years, was embellished by the greatest artists of the Renaissance and the Baroque.
Finally, in 1870, Rome became the capital of the newly unified Italy.
Roman History Timeline
People have inhabited Italy for a long time because of its fertility, but the time when Ancient Rome was powerful did not begin until after the immense power of Greece and Egypt. The history of Rome is usually divided into three main phases: before the rise of Rome, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire is usually divided up according to who was emperor.
Before the Rise of Rome:
Stone Age (to 3000 BC)
Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BC-1000 BC)
Etruscans (ca. 1000 BC-500 BC)
Roman Republic History:
The early period (ca. 500 BC-300 BC)
The Punic Wars (ca. 275 BC-146 BC)
The Civil Wars (ca. 146 BC-30 BC)
Roman Empire History:
The Julio-Claudians (30 BC-68 AD)
The Flavians (69 AD-96 AD)
The Five Good Emperors (96 AD-161 AD)
The Severans (161 AD-235 AD)
The Third-Century Crisis
Constantine and his family (312 AD-363 AD)
The Theodosians (363 AD-450 AD)
The Fall of Roman Empire (476 AD)
After The Fall of Rome:
The Lombards, the Pope, and Islam