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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 Roman Emperors were monarchial rulers of the Roman State during the imperial period (from about 27 BC onward). The Romans had no single term for the office: Latin titles such as imperator (from which English Emperor derives), augustus, caesar and princeps were all associated with it. In practice, the Emperor was supreme ruler of Rome and supreme commander of the Roman legions. In theory, however, Rome remained a republic, the res publica, and the Emperor's status was merely that of primus inter pares - first among equals. This legal fiction became increasingly meaningless as the Emperors consolidated their power. However, it was maintained at least to a ceremonial degree until the very end of the Roman Empire - 476 in the Western Roman Empire and 1453 in the East.

There was no constitutional office of "Roman Emperor", nor any title or rank directly analogous to the title of "Emperor"; all the titles traditionally associated with the Emperor had pre-existing, Republican meanings.

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The Villa of the Mysteries (Italian: Villa dei Misteri) is a well preserved ruin of a Roman Villa which lies some 400 metres northwest of Pompeii, southern Italy. In this fresco from the villa, a Bacchian rite is depicted.

The Villa of the Mysteries (Italian: Villa dei Misteri) is a well preserved ruin of a Roman Villa which lies some 400 metres northwest of Pompeii, southern Italy. In this fresco from the villa, a Bacchian rite is depicted.

Photo credit: The Yorck Project

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MarcoAurelio.png
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121, – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors" who governed the Roman Empire from 96 to 180, and is also considered one of the most important stoic philosophers.

His tenure was marked by wars in Asia against a revitalized Parthian Empire, and with Germanic tribes along the limes Germanicus into Gaul and across the Danube. A revolt in the East, led by Avidius Cassius, failed.

Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations, written on campaign between 170–180, is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty and has been praised for its "exquisite accent and its infinite tenderness."

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  • ...That the Pater familias of a family, had the power to sell his children into slavery?
  • ...That Trajan was the last Roman Emperor to harry the coast of Arabia with the Roman Navy?
  • ...That Trajan was born at Italica, in Spain and adopted by the Roman Emperor Nerva and made his heir, which entitled Trajan to call himself the son of Nerva

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Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Ancient_Rome — Please support Wikipedia.
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ABC Online

ABC Online
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 23:11:07 -0800

A podcast about ancient Rome produced by La Trobe University has topped the iTunes collections in England and hit number two in Australia. The series called Emperors of Rome stayed at number one for a week and had more than 40,000 downloads.

Discovery News

Discovery News
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 11:40:40 -0800

Italian archaeologists have unearthed the largest Roman water basin ever found, right in the heart of modern Rome. Found some 65 feet down near St. John in Lateran Basilica during the excavation of the new metro C line, the huge irrigation basin ...

Discovery News

The Week Magazine
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 06:49:01 -0800

While excavating a new subway line in the heart of modern Rome, archaeologists discovered an artifact from the Italian city's past: a giant water basin. The irrigation basin, which was found near the St. John in Lateran Basilica in modern Rome ...

Hyperallergic

Hyperallergic
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:48:45 -0800

A 42-year-old Russian tourist visiting Rome was arrested and fined €20,000 (~$25,000) for carving a “K” nearly 10 inches tall into a wall inside the Colosseum, the first century CE amphitheater. The man was spotted by a guard, turned over to police ...

Smithsonian

Smithsonian
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:03:45 -0800

Ancient Rome isn't a perfect mirror for the modern world because trade and communication are so much more sophisticated now. But Dermody hopes his model could serve as a base for those who model countries' responses to climate change. "You can add ...

Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Citizen
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 13:34:49 -0800

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast has criticized modern society's beliefs about marriage and sexual morality by describing them as similar to those of Ancient Rome. In his Christmas message, released Tuesday, Prendergast addressed what he called ...

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artnet News
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 01:33:45 -0800

Pompeii's graffiti was long overlooked by archaeologists who were too excited by the ancient city's rediscovery in the 18th century to pay mind to the preservation of seemingly mundane writing on the city's walls. But, thanks to a new book by Kristina ...

UC Berkeley

Washington Post
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 01:57:45 -0800

Emperor Augustus is credited with making pozzolonic mortar the standard in ancient Rome. The perfect mortar was a priority for Augustus, who initiated a monument building and repair campaign after he became the first emperor of Rome in 27 A.D..
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