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Ancient Rome was an Italic civilization that began on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. See the fact file below for more information and facts about Ancient Rome and its civilization or download the entire worksheet pack today!
- History of Ancient Rome is usually divided into three main periods: before the rise of Rome, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. The Empire is usually divided up according to who was emperor. The Roman Empire lasted for over seven centuries, and was probably the largest and most well known.
- The Ancient Romans spoke Latin. Latin influenced many European languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English. Latin was also the official language of the Catholic Church for many years.
- The first inhabitants of the area, that is now Rome, lived on Palatine Hill, about one thousand years BC. Evidence suggests that they were farmers.
- The Ancient Romans “borrowed” many things from the Amcient Greeks including their gods and goddesses. The Romans just renamed them.
- In 500 BC, the Roman Empire became a republic and showed their power by beginning to conquer most of Italy. The population of Rome reached one million by 50 BC.
- Ancient Rome was ruled by 300 senators who were elected to the Senate for life.
- When we think of Roman clothing, we think of togas. However, only citizens could wear them. Foreigners and slaves were forbidden from wearing these garments, and there were many slaves in Ancient Rome. Senators were the only people allowed to wear togas edged in purple cloth, and Emperors were the only ones allowed to wear all purple. Instead of crowns, Roman emperors wore laurel leaves on their heads.
- Roman Emperors had a great deal of power and control. They were responsible as the head of the judicial system and courts. They also controlled the Empire’s religion. They were the commander and chief of the military. Augustus Caesar, who instituted the famous Pax Romana (Roman Peace) used the title of Senator, not Emperor.
- Probably the most famous Roman figure was Julius Caesar. During his lifetime, he had held just about every important title in the Roman Republic including consul, tribune of the people, high commander of the army, and high priest. He made a lot of positive changes, and the people loved Caesar. They wanted to see him in a strong position of power so that he could solve the problems of crime, hunger, unemployment and taxes. One of the laws of the original Twelve Tables was that no general could enter the city with his army. Julius Caesar ignored this law. In 49 BC, he entered Rome with the Roman Legion, and took over the government. The Senate was furious. Caesar was assassinated by Marcus Brutus on March 15, 44 BC.
- In 410 AD, Rome was sacked by tribes from the north. However, the last Roman emperor ruled until 476 AD. At that time, the Roman Empire came to an end.
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