Ancient Rome
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Basic Information

Ancient Rome was one of the largest Empires of the Ancient World. Archaeological evidence suggests the city began as an agricultural community as far back as the 10th Century BC. According to Legend, the city was founded on April 21, 753 BC by the half-divine (sons of Mars (mythology)) brothers Romulus and Remus, who were also descendants of one of the former Princes of Troy. According to Livy, the city then became a republic when the last King of the region, Tarquin the Proud, was deposed in 509 BC. This lasted until 27 BC when Gaius Octavian took power, become what is now acknowledged to be the first Emperor.

Whatever it's true origins, the city grew, and reached out it's influence across the world. It went from Kingdom to Republic to Empire. In 293 the Empire was divided into Eastern and Western halves, with two co-Emperors. The Western Empire (which is what is usually thought of when the term "Ancient Rome" or "Roman Empire" is mentioned) collapsed under pressure from Germanic tribes (such as the vandals and visigoths) on September 4, 476. The Eastern Empire survived for nearly a thousand more years, but came to resemble Ancient Rome less and less with time - for more information on the Eastern Empire, see Byzantine Empire. Note that the term "Roman Empire" can refer to either or both of the territory controlled by Rome or the system of government in Rome. The term Imperial Rome may also be used to refer to the post-Augustine regime to disambiguate this.

At the height of the Empire, Rome itself was the largest city in the world. Estimates range from 450,000 to 14 million people, depending on the source and era, with about one million people being the most commonly agreed upon figure. After Rome was sacked and the Empire crumbled, it would be a good 1,500 years before any single city reached such population levels again.

Imperial territory stretched, at its greatest extent (~117 AD) from the Shat-Al-Arab delta in the East to the Hispano-Portugese coast in the West and from Upper Egypt in the South to the Caledonian frontier (later the site of the Hadrian wall) in the North and at various times consisted of land under a variety of statuses from that which was fully part of Rome to personal fiefs of the Emperor and self-governing vassal states.

See Also:

Ancient Rome in Tropes:



Game and Story Use

  • Julius Beethoven Da Vinci, and any other immortal or time traveler characters have probably spent some amount of time in Ancient Rome, or at least one of it's many colonies and territories.
  • Rome herself is big enough to serve as a perfectly good campaign setting … her Empire and frontiers even more so.
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