753    Traditional date for foundation of the city.
509    Expulsion of the last of seven kings and establishment of the
264-41 First Punic War leads to Rome taking control of Sicily, Sardinia
       and Corsica
218-01 Second Punic War: Rome defeats Carthage to become
       dominant power in the western Mediterranean
146    Destruction of Carthage and final conquest of Greece
133    Assassination of reformist politician Tiberius
       Gracchus starts era of political instability.
58-50 Julius Caesar conquers Gaul (France)
55     Caesar’s first landing in Britain
44     Assassination of Caesar after his victory in civil war against
       Pompey and appointment as dictator for life..
31     Octavian (Augustus) defeats Anthony and Cleopatra ending
       the internal conflicts that followed Caesar’s death
27     Formal establishment of the Principate with Octavian as first
       citizen in theory, emperor in practice
31     Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
43     Invasion and annexation of Britain
69     `Year of the Four Emperors’ as various leaders scramble for
       power after Nero’s assassination.
70     Vespasian puts down a Jewish revolt and destroys Jerusalem.
79     Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum
98-117 Reign of Trajan who brings the empire to its maximum extent,
       including Romania and Mesopotamia
120    Construction of Hadrian’s Wall in Britain.
303    Diocletian attempts to wipe out Christianity
313    Constantine decrees toleration of all religions, including
410    Visigoths capture Rome
1453 The fall of Constantinople (Byzantium/Istanbul)
Mediolanum (Milan)
Roma (Rome)
Tiberis (Tiber)
Tarentum (Tarento)
  (port for crossing
   to Greece)
Sicilia (Sicily)
Via Appia
       (753-509 B.C.)
Rome was originally one of a group of cities in Latium (>Latin) at a time
when Italy was dominated by the Etruscans in the north and Greeks
who had settled in the south.
According to Roman legend, the kings of Alba Longa, chief of the Latin
cities before Rome’s own foundation, were descended from Aeneas, a
Trojan prince who fled to Italy after the Greeks took Troy. The Trojan
War, the subject of Homer’s Iliad, had supposedly been caused by
Paris’s abduction of Helen, the wife of the King of Sparta.
In the traditional account, Romulus and Remus were children of the daughter of
a king of the Latin city of Alba Longa, who was overthrown by his own brother.
The new king, fearing they might later challenge his position, ordered a servant
to kill them but he instead put them adrift in a basket on the River Tiber.
The twins were brought ashore by the river deity near the
Palatine hill and then suckled by a she-wolf before being
taken in by a shepherd and his wife.
After they grew up and learned of their true origin, they retored their
grandfather to the throne of Alba Longa and decided to found a new city
themselves. Romulus, claiming that he had seen the more favourable omens,
began construction on the Palatine, his own preferred site. Remus mockingly
jumped over the base of the walls and Romulus killed him in a fit of temper.
The event was traditionally dated to 753 B.C.
As first king, Romulus brought in vagrants and fugitives from the surrounding
settlements to populate his own city. Faced with a shortage of women, he
invited the neighbouring Sabines to watch an athletics contest, during which the
Romans seized and carried off their daughters. The `Rape of The Sabine
Women’ led to a war which was halted when the women themselves, carrying
their newborn children, came between the two armies and begged for peace.
According to Roman legend, Tarpeia was the daughter of the commander of
the Roman garrison on the Capitoline hill, who betrayed the city to the Sabine
enemy in return for `what was on their left arms’. She expected to be given their
gold bracelets but they instead crushed her to death by piling their shields on
her and her body was flung from a steep cliff afterwards known as the Tarpeian
cliff and from then on used for the execution of traitors.
Numa Pompilius, second of Rome’s legendary kings, was a peaceful and pious
man whom the Romans regarded as founder of many of their religious
ceremonies. In this coin issued in 97 B.C. he is standing at the altar on the left.
Tullus Hostilius, the third king of Rome, destroyed the rival city of Alba
Longa but neglected religious observances and was killed by Jupiter
with a thunderbolt.
Ancus Martius, fourth king of Rome, who waged a number of
successful wars, included the Janiculum hill across the Tiber within the
city boundaries and founded the port of Ostia.
Tarquinius Priscus, who was Etruscan and the fifth king of Rome, is
supposed to have constructed the Circus Maximus and begun work on
the Capitol. He was assassinated on the orders of the sons of the
previous king, Ancus Martius.
Servius Tullius, the legendary sixth king of Rome, said to have been the son of
a slave, enlarged the city and had a moat added to its defensive walls. He
improved the status of the poorer inhabitants as well as winning military
Tarquinius Superbus (`Tarquin the Proud’) was the seventh and last king of Rome. He
completed the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline hill but his arrogant behaviour, and
finally his son’s rape of Lucretia, wife of a leading citizen, led to his overthrow in 509 B.C.
and the establishment of a republic, in which executive power was held by two, annually
elected consuls. The leading role in the revolution was taken by the king’s own newphew,
Lucius Junius Brutus, supposedly the ancestor of the Brutus involved in the assassination
of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.

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