Ancient Rome began as an Italic settlement, traditionally dated to 753 BC, beside the River Tiber in the Italian Peninsula. The settlement grew into the city and polity of Rome, and came to control its neighbours through a combination of treaties and military strength. It eventually controlled the Italian Peninsula, assimilated the Greek culture of southern Italy (Magna Grecia) and the Etruscan culture, becoming a dominant power in the Mediterranean region and parts of Europe. It was among the largest empires in the ancient world, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants, roughly 20% of the world's population at the time. It covered around 5 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles) at its height in AD 117.
Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, religion, society, technology, law, politics, government, warfare, art, literature, architecture, and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. It achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the empire-wide construction of aqueducts and roads, as well as more grandiose monuments and facilities. (Full article...)
The Roman emperor was the ruler and monarchical head of state of the Roman Empire, starting with the granting of the title augustus to Octavian in 27 BC. The term "emperor" is a modern convention, and did not exist as such during the Empire. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming emperor in English, it reflects his taking of the title augustus and later basileus. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific, and caesar, originally a surname. Early emperors also used the title princeps ("first one") alongside other Republican titles, notably consul and pontifex maximus.
The legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the Roman army and recognition by the Senate; an emperor would normally be proclaimed by his troops, or by the Senate, or both. The first emperors reigned alone; later emperors would sometimes rule with co-emperors to secure the succession or to divide the administration of the empire between them. The office of emperor was thought to be distinct from that of a rex ("king"). Augustus, the first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. For the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of the Republic, fearing any association with the kings who ruled Rome prior to the Republic. (Full article...)
Image 15Solidus issued under Constantine II, and on the reverse Victoria, one of the last deities to appear on Roman coins, gradually transforming into an angel under Christian rule (from Roman Empire)
Image 16The foundations of a hut on the Palatine hill are believed to correspond to those of the Hut of Romulus, a hut which the Romans believed that Romulus had inhabited and which they preserved into late antiquity. (from Founding of Rome)
Image 58Forum of Gerasa (Jerash in present-day Jordan), with columns marking a covered walkway (stoa) for vendor stalls, and a semicircular space for public speaking (from Roman Empire)
Image 59Model of archaic Rome. The image faces northeast, with the Capitoline hill on left and the Palatine on right. The city would not have looked like this prior to the seventh century BC. (from Founding of Rome)
Florianus was the maternal half-brother of Tacitus, who was proclaimed emperor in late 275 after the unexpected death of Emperor Aurelian. After Tacitus died the following year, allegedly assassinated as a consequence of a military plot, Florianus proclaimed himself emperor, with the recognition of the Roman Senate and much of the empire. However, the new emperor soon had to deal with the revolt of Probus, who rose up shortly after Florianus ascended the throne, with the backing of the provinces of Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and Phoenicia. Probus took advantage of the terrain of the Cilician Gates, and the hot climate of the area, to which Florianus' army was unaccustomed, to chip away at their morale. Florianus' army rose up against him and killed him. (Full article...)
...That when Caesar's troops hesitated to leave their ships for fear of the Britons, the aquilifer of the tenth legion threw himself overboard and, carrying the eagle, advanced alone against the enemy?
...That the most well paid athlete in human history, Gaius Appuleius Diocles, was an illiterate Roman Chariot racer, and earned the equivalent of $15 Billion US Dollars.
[...] Caesar is a god in his own city. Outstanding in war or peace, it was not so much his wars that ended in great victories, or his actions at home, or his swiftly won fame, that set him among the stars, a fiery comet, as his descendant. There is no greater achievement among Caesar's actions than that he stood father to our emperor. Is it a greater thing to have conquered the sea-going Britons; to have led his victorious ships up the seven-mouthed flood of the papyrus-bearing Nile; to have brought the rebellious Numidians, under Juba of Cinyps, and Pontus, swollen with the name of Mithridates, under the people of Quirinus; to have earned many triumphs and celebrated few; than to have sponsored such a man, with whom, as ruler of all, you gods have richly favoured the human race? Therefore, in order for the emperor not to have been born of mortal seed, Caesar needed to be made a god. [...]
Augustus, his 'son', will ensure that he ascends to heaven as a god, and is worshipped in the temples. Augustus, as heir to his name, will carry the burden placed upon him alone, and will have us with him, in battle, as the most courageous avenger of his father's murder. Under his command, the conquered walls of besieged Mutina will sue for peace; Pharsalia will know him; Macedonian Philippi twice flow with blood; and the one who holds Pompey's great name, will be defeated in Sicilian waters; and a Roman general's Egyptian consort, trusting, to her cost, in their marriage, will fall, her threat that our Capitol would bow to her city of Canopus, proved vain.
Why enumerate foreign countries or the nations living on either ocean shore? Wherever earth contains habitable land, it will be his: and even the sea will serve him!