Ancient Rome

  • 753 BC: The “foundation of Rome”

    The story was that the twins Romulus and Remus, sons of the god Mars, were left to die by being put in a basket, set adrift on the river Tiber. The makeshift vessel eventually came ashore at the future site of Rome. Here, the babies were suckled by a she-wolf, then raised by a shepherd. When the twins reached adulthood, Romulus founded a city on the Palatine Hill. I got this from
  • 509 BC: The creation of the Roman Republic

    As with the foundation of the city, later Romans believed they knew the precise date of the beginning of the Republic: 509 BC, when the seventh and last king of Rome, the tyrannical Tarquinius Superbus, was thought to have been ousted by an aristocratic coup. Although sources for the early Republic are better than those for the preceding regal period, the veracity of this tale is also in doubt. I got this from
  • 264–146 BC: The Punic Wars

    . These are known as the Punic Wars, from the Latin name for Carthaginians, Poeni. The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was fought over control of the island of Sicily, and many of the crucial clashes were naval battles. The Second Punic War (218–201 BC) saw the famous invasion of Italy by Carthaginian general Hannibal. The Third Punic War (149–146 BC) was a foregone conclusion, in which Rome was finally successful in destroying its hated rival. I got this from
  • AD 410: The fall of Rome

    In AD 410 the Goths sacked the city of Rome. Sixty-six years later Romulus Augustulus (the ‘Little Emperor’) was deposed, and the Roman empire in the west was at an end. It has been estimated that more than 200 modern explanations have been put forward to explain the fall of Rome. These range from the rise of Christian monks and clergy (so many unproductive mouths to feed) to impotence brought on by too many hot baths. I got this from
  • AD 235–284: the third century crisis

    In the 50 years between AD 235 and 284, the Roman empire suffered chronic political and military instability. Amid endemic civil wars and defeats at the hands of barbarians, emperors came and went with bewildering rapidity. The average reign was no more than 18 months, and many survived for much shorter periods. I got this from