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The Ancient Rome Portal

Ancient Rome was a civilization which began as a small agricultural community on the Italian Peninsula in the 8th century BC. Rome became a large empire which straddled the Mediterranean Sea. In its twelve centuries of existence, Roman civilization was firstly a monarchy, then a republic that combined oligarchy and democracy, and finally became an autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate Western Europe, the entire Mediterranean Basin including the Near East and North Africa, the Balkans, and the Black Sea.

The Roman empire went into decline in the 3rd century AD, and began to collapse in the 5th century AD. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire, including Hispania, Gaul, and Italy, broke into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. The eastern part of the empire, governed from Constantinople, survived this crisis, and remained intact for another millennium, until its last remains were finally annexed by the emerging Ottoman Empire. This eastern, medieval stage of the Empire is usually referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians.

Roman civilization was part of the period of classical antiquity, alongside ancient Greece—a civilization that inspired much of the culture of ancient Rome. Ancient Rome made significant contributions to the development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology, and language in the Western world, and its history continues to have a great influence on the world today.

Bust of Gaius Julius Caesar.
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The main Roman currency during most of the Roman Republic and the western half of the Roman Empire consisted of coins including the aureus (gold), the denarius (silver), the sestertius (bronze), the dupondius (bronze), and the as (copper). These were used from the middle of the third century BC until the middle of the third century AD, a remarkably long time.

They were still accepted as payment in Greek influenced territories, even though these regions issued their own base coinage and some silver in other denominations, either called Greek Imperial or Roman provincial coins.

During the third century, the denarius was replaced by the double denarius, now usually known as the antoninianus or radiate, which was then itself replaced during the monetary reform of Diocletian which created denominations such as the argenteus (silver) and the follis (silvered bronze).

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On this Roman coin, the busts of Emperor Gordian III and his wife Furia Sabina Tranquillina. The Roman Republic and Empire's currency was used from the middle of the third century BC until the middle of the third century AD.

On this Roman coin, the busts of Emperor Gordian III and his wife Furia Sabina Tranquillina. The Roman Republic and Empire's currency was used from the middle of the third century BC until the middle of the third century AD.

Photo credit: Heinz-Joachim Krenzer

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Tiberius palermo.jpg
Tiberius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16, 42 BC – March 16 AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor, from the death of Augustus in AD 14 until his own death in 37. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced his father and was remarried to Octavian Augustus in 39 BC. Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder (from an earlier marriage) and even later be adopted by Augustus and by this act he became a Julian. The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the next forty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Tiberius Claudius Nero is recognized as one of Rome's greatest generals, whose campaigns in Pannonia, Illyricum, Rhaetia and Germania laid the foundations for the northern frontier.

Did you know?

  • ...That according to Suetonius, Caligula "often sent for men whom he had secretly killed, as though they were still alive, and remarked offhandedly a few days later that they must have committed suicide"?
  • ...That Mark Antony, who avenged Julius Caesar, was killed by Julius Caesar's grand nephew (Octavian) Augustus Caesar?
  • ...That Sulla's grave read No friend ever surpassed him in kindness, and no enemy in ill-doing?

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16186 news items

 
Strategy Page
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:11:15 -0700

Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome, by Kathryn Tempest. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2011. Pp. xvi, 256. Illus., maps, chron., notes, biblio., index. $29.95. ISBN: 184725246X. Cicero and the Politics of the Late Republic.

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 09:07:30 -0700

The use of Roman numerals - which are letters from the Latin alphabet employed to signify values - gradually declined since their invention in Ancient Rome, replaced by Arabic numerals. However, they continue to be used in some contexts such as in the ...

Reedley Exponent

Reedley Exponent
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:37:30 -0700

It was a good way to spend 14 days this summer – in Rome … in ancient Rome, to be exact. About 100 students in the Kings Canyon Unified School District GATE program embraced plenty of creative activities tied to Roman history during a summer GATE ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 23:23:36 -0700

It may boast the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the glories that were ancient Rome, but the city is now in chronic decline, its business leaders and inhabitants have warned. The Eternal City is facing crisis, with its administration engulfed in ...
 
Baltimore Sun
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:18:45 -0700

This can easily be accomplished with fermented foods — a "new" health trend with roots dating back to 6000 B.C. in civilizations all over the world including Asia, Africa, and even ancient Rome. Historically, fermenting foods was a means of preservation.
 
The Oxford Times
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 19:49:36 -0700

What did the Romans eat? You'll be surprised! Make a silver plate and goblet fit for a Roman banquet. Print event » Email event to a friend » Report event » · See now Cinema listings » · Witney Giant Afternoon Boot Sale · Ducklington Showground ...
 
KQED
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:00:00 -0700

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau finds parallels between the mistreatment of animals in ancient Rome and modern America. By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. On a recent trip to Italy, while touring the baths of Pompeii, a woman in my group looked up at a graphical ...
 
New Zealand Herald
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:15:04 -0700

It may boast the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the glories that were ancient Rome, but the city is now in chronic decline, its business leaders and inhabitants have warned. The Eternal City is facing crisis, with its administration engulfed in ...
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