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The Story of Rome Romulus was the first king who ruled Rome.

He was followed by Numa

Pompilius, who made by inspiration of the gods the forms for Rome's cults
Romulus en Remus and priesthoods, its auguries and its College of Vestals. Tullius Hostilius,
the next king, made Rome ruler of all Latium, and Ancus Martius founded
To follow the accounts of Virgil, the poet of the empire, and Livy, the great the port of Ostia. The next king, Tarquinius Priscus, was an Etruscan, and
1st-century Roman chronicler and mythographer, Rome must have been probably gained his throne thanks to a conquest by one of the great
founded like this: Etruscan city-states. Tarquin made a city of Rome, by building the first real
temples, the Cloaca Maxima or Great Drain, and the first Circus Maximus.
His successor, Servius Tullius, restored Latin rule and divided the citizens
Once a man called Aeneas fled from Troy after the Homeric sack and into two classes: the patricians (the senatorial class) and the plebeians,
found his way over the sea to Latium. Aeneas' son Ascanius founded Alba and built a great wall to keep the Etruscans out. It apparantly did not work,
Longa, a city that by the 800s was leader of the Latin Confederation. Later, because the next king was the Etruscan Tarquinius Superbus (about 534
Numitor, a descendant of Ascanius and a good king of Alba Longa, was BC), another great builder. His misfortune was to have a hot-headed son
tossed off the throne by his evil brother Amulius. To be sure that Numitor like Tarquinius Sextus, who imposed himself on a noble and virtuous
should have no heirs, Amulius forced Numitor's daughter Rhea Silvia to Roman maiden named Lucretia. She committed public suicide in the
become a Vestal . Here Rome's destiny begins, the god Mars came into morning and the enraged Roman patricians, under the leadership of Lucies
her chamber and made Rhea Silvia pregnant with the twins Romulus and Junius Brutus, then chased out
proud Tarquin and the Etruscan dynasty forever. The republic was
When Amulius found out, he of course packed them away in a little boat, established before the day was out with Brutus as first consul, or chief
which the gods directed up the Tiber to a spot somewhere near today's magistrate. The patricians took an oath never to allow another king in
Piazza Bocca della Verita. The famous she-wolf then looked after the Rome and they designed a novel form of government, a republic (res
babies, until they were found by a shepherd, who brought them up. When publica - public thing) governed by the two consuls elected by the Senate,
Mars told the grown twins their origins, they returned to Alba Longa to the assembly of the patricians themselves; later innovations in the Roman
punish Amulius, and then returned home (in 754 BC, traditionally) to found constitution would include a tribune, an official with inviolable powers
the city, which the gods had ordered. Romulus soon found himself forced elected by the Plebeians to protect their interests. The two classes fought
to kill Remus, who would not believe the predictions that declared his like cats and dogs at home, but combined with impressive resolve in their
brother should be king, and this was the beginning of the bloody foreign wars. Etruscans, Aequi, Hernici, Volscii, Samnites and Sabines, all
millennium of Rome's history. powerful nations, were defeated by Rome's citizen armies. By 270 BC,
Rome had eliminated all its rivals to become master of Italy. It had taken
In the legends early Rome was a glorified pirates' camp. Because there about 200 years, and in the next 200 Roman rule would be established
was a shortage of women in Rome, the Romans stole some from the from Spain to Egypt. The first stage had proved more difficult. In Rome's
Sabines. Not espacially interested in farming or learning a trade, they final victory over the other Italians, the city digested its rivals; whole cities
adopted the hobby of conquering their neighbours and soon made it an and tribes simply disappeared, their peoples joining the mushrooming
art. population of Rome. After 270 it was much the same story, but on a wider
scale. In the three Punic Wars against Carthage (264-146 BC), Rome
gained almost all the western Mediterranean. Rome's history was now the The next period, the second century BC, the influence of the Greek artists
history of the western worldPeriod of the seven kings is clearly visible. They passed on the Hellenic architecture without great
changes. The first marble temple is the one of Jupiter Stator. The round
Already around the end of the seventh century Rome had a clearly urban temple on the Forum Boarium, built by another Greek, is an example of
character. The Forum was paved first and it stood in the urban area. The this period, too. The material, tras, was most used, as it can easily be used
main sewer system, the Cloaca Maxima, was built in this period, too. The and it was cheap. Later, native architects began to use concrete.
Tarquins (the Etruscan kings) developed a policy of power. The temple of
Jupiter Capitolinus, a Tuscan building, is the clearest religious and political In the next century the Hellenic architecture and the native architecture
expression of this ambition. The architecture of the decoration of this merged and a new architectural style arose. Examples of this architecture
temple, made by Vulca, who had lived in Veji, is the same type as the are the tabularium in Rome and the temple of Hercules Victor in Tivoli.
architecture of the terracotta statues of the temple of Portonaccio in Veji.
In Rome there is the Etruscan bronze statue of the famous she-wolf, which In this way a typical Roman architecture arose.
is another example of the artistic level of the town in the period of the
Etruscan kings. On the other side, the Etruscan element faded more and Capitolium
more. The Latin language was for example more used than the Etruscan
language. In this period several temples were built, such as the temple of
Fortuna and the temple of Mater Matuta. Capitolium is the name of one of the hills of Rome. The name crossed later
to the treefold temple, dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno and
Minerva. After the unition of the Latin settlement and the Sabine this was
Republic period the citadel of Rome. The temple of Jupiter was situated on the south-top,
on the north-top the temple of Juno Moneta was situated. In 269 BC the
After the defeat of the Etruscan kings the republic was founded. The fifth Royal Mint was established here. In 78 BC Quintus Lutatius Catulus built
century was a dark and heroic period for Rome, but in the fourth century the 'tabularium' , the public record office, between the tops of the hills,.
Rome began to flourish again. The first indication of this flourishing is the The temple of Jupiter was dedicated to him in the beginning of the
conquest and devastation of Veji (396 BC). Around 390 BC the great wall Republic, 509 BC. It was the centre of religion in the Roman empire, but
of Servius Tullius was rebuilt after several Gallic raids. Now Rome became also the place where the 'libri Sibyllini' (oracle books) and the colours were
politically and military superior in Italy. The art and culture became stored. The temple was built on a plateau, on the south-west slope was the
superior, too. The Cista Ficoroni, the Brutus Capitolinus and the Tarpejic rock, the place where traitors were trown off. In the south-east
sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus are examples of the higher artificial level, corner there was a descenting road to the Forum Romanum: the Via Sacra.
compared with the cultures in Latium. With the expansion of the Roman In 387 BC the Gallic people tried under leadership of Brennus to capture
territority, an elite, consisting of the few very powerful and rich families of the Capitolium. With the capture of the Capitolium by Sulla, 83 BC, it was
large landowners, began to have more and more power in Rome. This is destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 69 BC, and again destroyed by fire in 69
the end of the late republic period, because now the elite wanted a culture AD, rebuilt in 75 AD and lived until the 6th century. In the Middle Ages it
policy which answers to their wishes. Greek philosophers, poets and artists has been damaged so much that almost nothing remains of the antique
came to Rome and they had a great influence. Capitolium.
The Forum Romanum. very nice decorations are still visible. In the floor of the Basilica there are
some coins that got stuck in the melted lead from the roof.
About 28 centuries ago, according to the myth, Romulus and Remus
landed in this valley between the Palatine and Capitol. Here they were Next to the Basilica Aemilia there was the Curia Senatus . Here the Senat
nurtured by the wolf until they were found by Faustulus. Later this square seated. It was built for the first time in the seventh century B.C. and it was
would become the center of Roman power. rebuilt several times. In 1932 there was a retauration of the Curia and
then the original marble floor was found. Before the Curia there used to be
In fact until the sixth centure B.C. the Forum was nothing but a swamp and the Comitium, the place were the assemblies of the people of Rome took
it was only thanks to the Etruscan kings who built a draining system that a place, but only very little remains of it.
market place could be built. It was at that time also that the Via Sacra, the
holy road that lead to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitolium, was The oldest monuments of the Forum is the Lapis Niger, positioned right in
constructed right accross the Forum and that the first buildings were built front of the vast Arch of Septimus Severus. It is a black rock with an
on the Forum itself. Over the years more and more temples, public inscription from the sixth century B.C. Nobody knows what the inscription
buildings and monuments were built here. The last monument was built means exactly. Some ancient stories tell that under the Lapis Niger there
here in 608, a monument for the Byzantine Emperor Phocas. After that is the grave of Romulus or Faustulus or the grave from one of the kings of
time some buildings were used as churches, but a lot of buildings were Rome.
torn down and a bricks were used as building material for new buildings.
Until the eighteenth century the Forum was used to let cows graze. After The very large Arch of Septimus Severus, it is 21 meters high and
that time the archeological research started that has continued until now. dominates the Forum, dates from the emperial age. It was built in 203
when Septimus Severus had been an emperor for ten years. The carving
The center of the Forum was the Rostra . From this vast speaking platform, show pictures from wars in near Asia.The inscription reads:
21 x 12 m., the orators spoke to the people of Rome. During the consulat
of Sulla in 83 B.C. 4700 romans were beheaded and their heads were IMP. CAES. L. SEPTIMO. M. F. SEVERO. PIO. PERTINACI. AVG. PATRI.
placed on the Rostra. Here held Cicero held his famous speech against PATRIAE. PARTHICO. ARABICO. ET. PARTHICO. ADIABENICO. PONTIFICI.
Catilina, who plotted against Rome, in 64 B.C. The Rostra was also the MAXIMO. TRIBVNIC. POTEST. XI. IMP. XI. COS. IIII. POCOS. ET. IMP. CAES. M.
place for the funeral orations for important deceased Romans. AVRELIO. L. FIL. ANTONIO. AUG. PIO. FELICI. TRIBVNIC. POTEST VI. COS.
The Rostra was not only the centre of the Forum, but also the centre of RESTITVITAM. IMPERIVMQUE. POPVLI. ROMANI. PROPAGATVM. INSIGNIBVS.
Rome and the Roman Empire. Right behind it there was the Miliarium VIRTVTIBVS. EORVM. DOMI. FORISQUE. S. P. Q. R.
Aureum. Roads to all parts of the Empire started at that goldened
milestone. To the Imperator Caesar Lucius Septimius (son of Marcus)Severus, Pius
Pertinax Augustus, Father of his country, conqueror of Parthian vassals in
The Forum also had a great religious meaning. There still are a lot of Arabia and Adiabene, chief pontiff, tribucian powers for the eleventh time,
menainders of old temples. The Basilica Aemilia was built in 179 B.C. and hailed Imperator eleven times, consul four times, procunsul: and to the
it burnt down in 410. It was built out of very precious marble and some Imperator Marcus Aurelius (son of Lucius) Antonius Augustus Pius Felix,
tribunician power for the commonwealth was restored and the empire of
the Roman People enlarged by their outstanding virtues at home and inspirated by the Greek architecture. The now with bricks closed windows
abroad: set up by Senate and People of Rome. were created when the church of St. Maria Egiaziaca was established in
the temple. The round temple of Vesta , was always attributed to the
The Tempel of Saturn , in the south-west corner of the Forum, was the goddess Vesta, but was in fact delicated to Hercules Victor. It is the oldest
most popular temple during the age of the Republic. It was built in 498 marble building of the ancient Rome. This building also remained, because
B.C. and restaured in 42 B.C. In this temple the aerarium, the treasury of of its function of church.
the state, was kept. There are still quite a lot of remains, like the Ionic
columns with their remarkable heads.

Next to the Temple of Saturn lie the remnants of the Basilica Iulia . This
building of 101 x 49 meters, built by Julius Ceasar between 54 en 46 B.C.
marks the end of the Forum in the south. Six rows of pillars still remain
and in the remains of the floor some tabulae lusoriae, card-tables, can still
be found.

Before the Basilica Iulia you can see a polygonala basin. It is the Lacus
Curtius. According to the myth the earth opened here in 362 B.C. and it
would only close until the biggest treasury of Rome would be thrown into
it. Marcus Curtius said it had to be the bravery of its citizens and he
jumped into the crack in the earth that closed right away. This monument
commemorates that brave action. A copy of a relief shows the leap of
Marcus Curtius.

Forum Boarium

The Forum Boarium is the oldest market in Rome, it was the cattle market.
The most important North-South connections crossed the Tiber near the The Roman Senate
Forum Boarium. The Forum Boarium is older than the city and the Forum
Romanum. On this square there used to be old temples, e.g. the temple of
Fortuna and the temple of Mater Matuta (the mother of the dawn). It is
said that these temples were built by Servius Tullius. They were built in
the late 6th century and in the early 5th century BC. Nowaday there are
two temples of the 1st century BC. The rectangular building was the
temple of Portunus , the protector of the harbour. The basic idea of only a
stairs at the front and closed side and back walls was copied by the
Romans from the Etruscans. The Ionic pillars and half-pillars were
influence or betrayed the "Roman State" (or the interests of the
rich nobility), they could be thrown out.

Social and Class Conflict

The nobility, called Patricians, or "fathers", fought with the

common people, called Plebians, or Plebs, for political and
religious power. The common folk and the nobility were locked in
an endless, self-consuming social war. Over time, more
democratic methods of decision making and power sharing
developed and, eventually, prominent Plebians could rise to the
highest offices in the state. They created the National Assembly to
govern themselves. It originally had no power to govern members
of the Senate, though this later changed. The Senate did manage
to maintain a near-monopoly on the all-important religious and
ceremonial rights.

Senators on their way to the Senate, from the Column of Augustus. The Senate and the Empire
From "Rome: A State In Arms", by John Ricker and John Saywell, page 13
"Were we supposed to enjoy the highest position that the state is
The Senate lived on for a while after the fall of the Republic,
able to confer, and yet remain entirely oblivious of the national
technically maintaining its old powers, but the Emperor had the
interests?... Curse it, do you have to be voluntary slaves?"
support of the military, and the Senate's powers were ultimately
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero to the aristocrats of the Roman Senate,
doomed. As soon as the Senate bowed to the Emperor Augustus,
when they obeyed the autocrat Marcus Antonius, "The First
it was a downhill trend. The Roman Senate became a pathetic
Philippic Against Marcus Antonius", September 2cnd, 44 B.C.
rubber-stamp body. When it tried to oppose some of the
The Senators
emperors, the emperors often relied on intimidation and brute
force to get their way. In one famous incident, soldiers were
The Senate was the highest law-making body of ancient Rome. It ominously marched into the senate; they did nothing, but the
was composed of the rich landowners and aristocracy. terrified Senators backed away from challenging the emperor's
Membership in this decision-making body was based on inherited dictates. At other times, there were active purges and slaughters
privilege, much like the British House of Lords. In reality it was of the Senatorial families, and the senate was stacked with
more like a cross between the Canadian and British Senates in nobility reliant on the Emperor for their positions and support.
that the individual members could (eventually) be appointed, as
well as inheriting their titles because they were members of
The Senate was one of the few remaining Republican political
ancient noble families. If families died out, lost their social
The Roman Senate (Senatus) from the latin Senex (for elder or council of
institutions that survived into the Empire. By Tacitus' time, the elders) was a deliberative governing body. Its important to note the
Senate was almost completely dominated by the various difference between deliberative and legislative, in that the Senate itself
emperors. The proud and aristocratic Senators, who had never didn't propose legislation; though magistrates with the Senate, such as
been champions of the common Roman in any case, bristled Consuls, did.
under the murderous authority of the Emperor as subjects

The rich and powerful had contempt for "average" Roman. The The body of the senate deliberated these proposals, and along with the
elites' greedy attempts to undermine the few freedoms enjoyed later Tribunes of the Plebs, approved or vetoed the various laws. The
by the Republicans resulted in their own ultimate enslavement to Senate and the Roman People (SPQR, or Senatus Populusque Romanus),
a succession of corrupt families and brutal emperors. described the distinction in class between the Senate and common people.
The Roman People consisted of all citizens who were not members of the
After Rome Senate.

Eventually, the Western Empire collapsed, shortly after A.D. 450. Domestic power was vested in the Roman People, through the Committee
The Germanic tribes overran much of what had formerly been of the Hundreds (Comitia Centuriata), the Committee of the Tribal People
ruled by Roman officials. The Franks slowly annexed Gaul, giving (Comitia Populi Tributa), and the Council of the People (Concilium Plebis).
France its name, and the Anglii did the same to Britain. The Actual legislation was secured in the various assemblies. They acted on
Vandals set up kingdoms in North Africa, and were eventually the recommendations of the Senate's deliberations and also elected the
expelled by the invading Muslims from Egypt and Arabia. Goths magistrates.
and Ostrogoths sacked Spain and Italy itself. West of Greece and
Egypt, what had once been the Roman Empire was divided into Despite its lack of actual law making power, the Senate held considerable
petty states and kingdoms. authority in Roman politics. As the representative figurehead of Rome, it
was the official body that sent and received ambassadors on behalf of the
During this period, the title of Senator still had some limited city, appointed officials to manage and govern provinces, declared war
significance, but it was only ceremonial. In the A.D. 700's, Gregory and negotiated peace, and appropriated funds for various projects such as
of Tours wrote his History of the Franks, who were highly public building construction. Appointments of military Legates, and the
Romanized by the time they took political control of Gaul. He was overall oversight of Roman religious practices remained in the control of
quick to note that his family had once had Senatorial rank. But, by the Senate as well. It was also the Senate who held the authority to
the time of Gregory's ancestors, the title was utterly meaningless nominate a dictator (a single leader who acted with ultimate authority and
and was useful mostly as an honourific and as a mark of nobility without fear of reprisal) in a state of emergency, usually a military one. In
or higher social class, a mark of honur from a bygone age. It had the late Republic, and in attempts to stop the spiraling pattern of
no real institutional significance. dictatorships, the Senate attempted to avoid the dictatorate by resorting
to a senatus consultum de republica defendenda, or the senatus
consultum ultimum. This was the declaration of martial law, and
empowered the 2 Consuls, essentially, with dictatorial power in defense of the Flamen Dialis, chief priest of Jupiter, were categorized as non voting
the Republic. and non speaking with the exception of various religious rituals.

The number of senators in Rome was initially a direct correlation to the The 2 elected consuls alternated monthly as the primary director of the
number of tribes represented. In the earliest days of Rome traditionally Senate and held the right to propose his own agenda. The Princeps
under Romulus, when Rome consisted only of one tribe, the Ramnes, the Senatus, who was chosen generally from among ex-censors for a term of 5
senate consisted of one hundred members. Further incorporation of years, held the prestigious position of leader of the house. He was in
various tribes, such as the Tities and Luceres, increased accordingly the control of such things as opening and closing meetings as well as setting
number of Senators to 300. Proposals throughout the Republic by various meeting times and places, reading documents before the members,
magistrates such as Gracchus, Livius Drusus, Sulla and Marius altered the meeting with dignitaries and imposing order on other Senators, including
membership from between 300 and 600. At times, prominent equestrian the Consuls. Among the senators with speaking rights, a strict order
plebes were added en masse, or even common soldiers and freedman, as defining who could speak and when was established, with a patrician
when Julius Caesar increased the senate roles to 900. With the accession always preceding a plebeian of equal rank. The speaking order was similar
of Augustus, the permanent foundation for senate numbers appears to to that of the seating arrangement, in which the princeps senatus held the
have been fixed at 600, but this number also fluctuated throughout the first chair, followed by the consuls, censors, praetors, aediles, tribunes and
empire at the whims of the emperors. finally, the quaestors. There were no limits to debating and various
methods of delay and subversion were employed. Among these, the
The initial 100 senators or advisory council, traditionally instituted by the practice of the filibuster, or speaking at incredible lengths to derail the
mythical Romulus, were composed of the heads of leading families, the opposition and delay voting, was a popular one.
patricians (Patres=Fathers). The later drafted Plebeian senators were
called Conscripti (Conscripted men), as they had no choice but to take a Voting in the Senate could be taken by voice or show of hands in
senate seat. The eventual nomenclature to describe Senators, Patres et unimportant matters, but important or formal motions were decided by a
Conscripti (Conscript Fathers), soon left out any distinction between quorum, or an actual physical division of the house to either side of the
Patrician and Plebeian and came to be an all encompassing term. floor. In these cases even non-voting members were allowed to take
places on either side of the issue, lending their support to a particular
Members of the Senate were chosen from among eligible equites, and cause or motion, or to fulfill their client obligations.
selected by Consuls, Tribunes and later by Censors. Alternatively, they
were selected from those who were elected to previous magistracies, such There were also age requirements for admission into the senate. While no
as quaestors. If not previously a member of the Senate, a magistrate written record of the actual age exists for the early Republic, the Lex
ending his year of service in one these offices would then be eligible for an Annalis clearly indicates that a Quaestor is immediately eligible for
immediate seat. Not all Senators held equal status, however. Those inclusion at the end of his 1 year term of office. As questors had to be 31
selected by censors or other magistrates to fill seats from among the at election, it stands to reason, that 32 would be the minimum required
equites had no right to vote or to speak on the Senate floor. Senators age for selection for a Senate seat. Later, in the early Empire, Augustus
earned the proper dignity and nobility to vote and speak on the floor by fixed the age of entry at 25; an age which seems to have held up
virtue of holding various offices such as Consul, Praetor, Aedile, etc., Such throughout the remainder of the Senate's history.
dignified offices as the Pontifex Maximus, head of the Roman Religion, or
Senators also carried certain privileges and were subject to accompanying Proconsul and generally serve as provincial governors. In the case of the
restrictions. All senators were entitled to wear a senatorial ring (originally death of a serving Consul, a Suffect Consul would be elected as a
made of iron, but later gold)) and a tunica clava, a white tunic with a broad replacement for the remainder of his term. They were entitled to 12 Lictors
purple stripe five inches wide (latus clavus) on the right shoulder. A as a symbol of their authority (or imperium).
senator pedarius (or a non voting senator) wore a white toga virilis (also
called a toga pura) without decoration. A senator who had held a curule In the imperial period, the defining terms of the consulship was far less
magistracy, and thus the right to speak and vote was entitled to wear the strict. Length of service could be as short as only a few months, and any
toga praetexta, a white toga with a broad purple border. Additionally all number of appointees could hold the post (a maximum of 25 men held the
senators wore closed maroon leather shoes, but senators who had held position under Commodus in 190 AD).
curule magistracies also added a crescent-shaped buckle. All were
forbidden to engage in mercantile activities outside of the the ownership This allowed for a larger number of potential proconsular provincial
of land and natural resources. After the Punic Wars a law was passed to appointments and military commands throughout the empire in addition to
prevent Senators from owning a ship of more than 300 amphorae in limiting the authority of any singular imperial rivals. Despite the reduction
tonnage, to prevent shipping of goods for trading purposes. These laws, of their authority in comparison to the being the chief authorities in the
however, as cited from numerous sources, were frequently disregarded, as Republican period, the consulship was still a vital magistracy in the empire.
it was easy to mask such activities through various non senatorial clients.
First Triumvirate, Wars of the (53 - 45 b.c.)
Additionally, the Senate, both Patricians and Equestrian Plebes, were
largely responsible for seating the 50 to 75 man criminal juries, as well as
acting as the prosecution and defense attorneys in the various cases.
Also Great Roman Civil War
Roman Consuls as:

Consuls were the chief civil and military magistrates, elected through the Date(s): 53 - 45 b.c.
assemblies by popular vote. Two annually elected consuls convened the
senate and the curiate and centuriate assemblies. Descriptio
Initially the office was only open to patricians until the Lex Licinia opened it The First Triumvirate was composed of Julius Caesar,
to Plebeian candidates in 367 BC. According to the Lex Villia annalis passed Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) and Marcus
in 180 BC which established minimum age requirements for all magistrate Licinius Crassus. When Crassus died after the battle of
positions within the Cursus Honorum, Consuls had to be 42 years of age. Carrhae civil war broke out between Caesar and
Under normal circumstances, a Roman could only serve in such a capacity Pompey for control of Rome. In 49 the senate, backing
only once every ten years. Pompey, ordered Caesar to disband his army and give
up his province of Gaul. Instead of giving up, Caesar
At the end of their annual term of service, Consuls would take the title crossed the Rubicon river setting off a civil war. After a
five year struggle accross many battlefields, Caesar created turmoil all over Italy and Marius and Sulla were the great leaders
defeated his enemies and was sole ruler of Rome. of the time.

As a member of an old aristocratic family Julius was expected, at the

completion of his education, to assume a modest office on the lower end
of the long ladder of the Roman political career.
However, Caesar was not like other Romans. Already at a young age he
had realized that money was the key to Roman politics as the system had
by his time long been corrupt.
When, Caesar was fifteen years old, his father Lucius died, with him died
the fatherly expectations that Caesar should engage on a modest political
career. Instead Caesar now set out to better himself.

His first step was to marry into a yet more distinguished family. Further he
began building a network of connections, some of which with politicians
currently out of favour (the supporters of Marius).
Gaius Julius Caesar was born on 12 July 100 BC in Rome, son of Gaius
Caesar and Aurelia. Governor of Gaul 58-49 BC. Appointed dictator for ten But these were dangerous contacts to have. Sulla was dictator of Rome
years in 47 B, for life on 14 February 44 BC. Married initially to Cornelia and was seeking to wipe out any Marian sympathizers.
(one daughter, Julia), then to Pompeia, alas to Calpurnia. Assassinated on A nineteen year old Caesar was arrested. But it appears that Sulla chose to
15 March 44 BC. Deified in 42 BC. spare him, as he did some others. Influential friends managed to have him
released, but it was obvious that Caesar would have to leave Rome for a
Caesar was tall, fair-haired, well built and of sound health. though he did while, in order to let things cool down.
suffer from the occasional epileptic fit.
The historian Suetonius writes about Julius Caesar: Caesar goes into Exile
He was embarrassed by his baldness, which was a frequent subject of
jokes on the part of his opponents; so much so that he used to comb his
straggling locks forward from the back, and of all honours heaped upon And so Caesar left Rome to join the army. Naturally, as a member of a
patrician family, he didn't enter the forces as a common soldier. His first
him by senate and people, the one he most appreciated was to be able to
wear a wreath at all times..... posting was as a military assistant to a provincial governor.
Thereafter he was posted to Cilicia, where he proved himself a capable
and courageous soldier, winning praise for having saved the life of a
Caesar's early Life comrade.
It's believed that his next assignment was in one of the armies which
Caesar grew up in a period of unrest and civil war in Rome. The increased crushed Spartacus' slave rebellion.
size of the empire had led to cheap slave labour flooding into the country
which in turned made many Roman workers unemployed. The Social Wars
After this Caesar left the army, yet it was still considered unwise for him to Caesar returned to Rome, determined to achieve political standing. His
return to Rome. first wife had died, so Caesar once more entered into a politically useful
Instead he spent some time in the south of Italy improving his education, marriage.
in particular rhetoric. Caesar later proved an incredibly talented, if not Though he divorced his new wife soon afterwards, on suspicion of
genial, public speaker and much of this will undoubtedly have come from adultery. The suspicion was unproven and friends urged him to show
his training in rhetoric. greater faith in his wife. But Caesar declared that he could not live with a
woman even suspected of adultery.
'Do you know any man who, even if he has concentrated on the art of There was some truth in that statement. His enemies were only waiting to
oratory to the exclusion of all else, can speak better than Caesar ?' (quote ruin him, seeking any chance to exploit a weakness, no matter if true or
by Cicero). not.
Caesar decided to spend the winter on the island of Rhodes, but the ship
taking him there was captured by pirates, who held him hostage for about For the next years, Caesar continued to buy popularity, both with the
forty days, until a large ransom bought his freedom. people of Rome as well as with the high and mighty in important places.
During this misadventure Caesar displayed much of the ruthlessness Achieving the post of aedile, Caesar used it to his fullest advantage.
which should later lead to his world fame. Bribes, public shows, gladiatorial contests, games and banquets; Caesar
While captured he joked with his captors, telling them he'd see them all employed them all - at huge costs - to buy favour.
crucified, once he was released. Everyone laughed at the joke, even 'He showed himself perfectly prepared to serve and flatter everybody,
Caesar himself. even ordinary people... and he did not mind temporarily grovelling' (quote
But it was in fact exactly what he did once he was released. He hunted the by Dio Cassius)
pirates down, captured them and had them crucified. But he also acted, as was usual for an aedile to renovate public buildings,
which naturally also impressed some of the less fickle part of the
Caesar's next task was to organize a force to defend Roman property populace.
along the coast of Asia Minor (Turkey).
Caesar well knew that his actions were costing him fortunes. And some of
Caesar returns from Exile his creditors were calling in their debts.
Furthermore, many senators were beginning to dislike this brash
Meanwhile the regime in Rome had changed and Caesar could return newcomer who in the most undignified fashion was bribing his way up the
home. political ladder.
Based on his deeds and military achievements so far, Caesar successfully But Caesar cared little and bribed his way into the office of pontifex
campaigned for a post in the Roman administration. Caesar served in 63 maximus (chief priest).
BC as a quaestor in Spain, where in Cadiz he is said to have broken down This new office bestowed upon Caesar not only the sheer status of a
and wept in front of a statue of Alexander the Great, realizing that where powerful position, but so too the post's dignity granted Caesar a solemn
Alexander had conquered most of the known world at thirty, Caesar at that appearance which he otherwise would have struggled to attain.
age was merely seen as a dandy who had squandered his wife's fortunes Being a religious post it also made him sacrosanct as a person. The
as well as his own. pontifex maximus a man very hard to criticize or attack in any way.
Caesar in Spain Caesar's laws are indeed seen as more than mere populist measures. For
example, tax demands on farmers were cancelled. Public land was
In 60 BC Caesar's career took him back to Spain. Aged 41, he was awarded allocated to fathers of three or more children. These were laws hardly
the post of praetor. It may well have been that the senate decided to send likely to make Caesar less popular than he was, and yet they reveal that
the young upstart to a troubled region, in order to have him fail. he also possessed insight into the problems weighing on Rome at the time.
Trouble had been brewing with the local tribes in Spain for a long time. But
Caesar undaunted by the problems, excelled in his new role. Caesar also remarried, once again to a bride from a very influential Roman
Caesar discovered a talent for military command which he himself hadn't household. And his daughter Julia was married to Pompey, further
known he possessed. The experience he gained in Spain would be of great cementing his political partnership with the great general.
value in his further career. But more so the ability of capturing some spoils
of war for himself, to put his personal finances back to right and repay his Caesar becomes Governor of Gaul
debt was what rescued his career.
If there was one lesson, Caesar learnt in Spain then it was that war could As his one-year term of office as consul came to an end, Caesar needed to
be politically and financially very profitable. think of finding a new office into which to retire from his current position.
For his enemies were that bent on vengeance, to not have held any office
Caesar allies with Pompey and Crassus would have left him open to attack in the courts and possible ruin.
'The First Triumvirate' He therefore obtained for himself the governorship of Cisalpine Gaul,
Illyricum and - due to the sudden death of that governor - Transalpine Gaul
In 59 BC Caesar returned to Rome, having proved himself a capable ruler. for a period of five years, which was later extended for a second term.
He now formed a valuable pact with two of the most prominent Romans of Gaul at the time comprised the subjugated region south of the Alps and to
the day, - the so-called 'first triumvirate'. the east of the Apennines as far as the river Rubicon, together with a small
portion of territory on the other side of the Alps, roughly corresponding
The triumvirate helped Caesar achieve his greatest ambition to that day. with today's French regions Provence and Languedoc.
He was elected consul, the highest office of Rome.
The political influence he had built up in his previous years of bribery, The following military campaign Caesar then embarked upon against the
together with the enormous power and influence of Crassus and Pompey Gauls is still subject of study to students at military academies today.
managed to virtually oust the second consul, L. Calpurnius Bibulus, who
stayed at home for most of the time, knowing he had little say at all. The Caesar had read and informed himself well in the art of warfare. Now also
historian Suetonius tells of people joking of it being not the joint consulship he should benefit on the experience he had gathered in leading troops in
of 'Bibulus and Caesar', but of 'Julius and Caesar'. Spain.
The formation of the ruling triumvirate with Crassus and Pompey was a Had Caesar at first been hoping to conquer the lands north of Italy. For this
mark also of Caesar's determination to push through genuine and purpose his first task was to start raising , partly at his own expense -
innovative measures in the face of a hostile senate which was suspicious more troops than those which he already commanded as governor. Over
of his motives and to ensure that there was some continuity of progressive the next few years he was to raise a force of ten legions, about 50'000
legislation after his term as consul was over. men, as well as 10'000 to 20'000 allies, slaves and camp followers.
But it was to be in his very first year in office, 58 BC, before many
additional troops had been levied that occurrences beyond Caesar's assumption no one can say with absolute certainty. But it gave Caesar all
control should set him on the path to history. the reason he needed to begin a full-scale war and invade Nervian
Caesar defeats the Helvetians It was during the campaign against the Nervii that a weakness of Caesar's
tactics was exposed. Namely that of bad reconnaissance. His horsemen
The tribe of the Helvetians (Helvetii) had been forced from their were mainly German and Gallic. Perhaps he didn't sufficiently trust them.
mountainous homelands by the migration of Germanic tribes and were Perhaps he didn't understand how to use them properly as scouts ahead of
now pushing into Transalpine Gaul (Gallia Narbonensis). his army.
Caesar acted swiftly and shattered the Helvetian invasion in a crushing but it is due to that oversight that Caesar was taken by surprise several
defeat. times during his campaigns in Gaul. In one particular incident the Nervii
swarmed down on his marching troops. It was only due to the iron
discipline of his soldiers that panic did not take hold of the startled troops.
Caesar defeats the Germans
When the decisive battle eventually came, the Nervii fought heroically,
But no sooner was this done a large force of Germans, Sueves and and the battle for some time hung in the balance, but eventually they
Swabians, crossed the Rhine and then entered into the Roman part of were defeated. With the Nervii smashed the other tribes of the Belgae
Gaul. Their leader Ariovistus was an ally of Rome, but so too was the Gallic were gradually forced into submission.
tribe of the Aedui, whom the Germans were attacking.
Caesar sided with the Aedui. the Germans had had their eye on Gaul for
some time, and Caesar wanted to use this opportunity to put a stop to any Having conquered most of Gaul, Caesar met up with the two other
such ambitions. Gaul was to become Roman, not German. triumvirs in 56 BC in the town of Luca in Cisalpine Gaul, where it was
The Germans were the larger army and the fighting prowess of the decided that his governorship of Gaul was to be extended and Crassus and
Germanic tribesmen was renowned. But they did not possess the iron Pompey should once more be consuls.
discipline of the Roman army. Caesar felt sufficiently confident to meet
them in battle. On learning that the Germans believed in a prophecy that Caesar launches attacks on Germany and Britain
they should lose the battle if they fought before the new moon, Caesar
forced a battle upon them immediately. Then in 55 BC another invasion of Germans demanded Caesar's attention.
The Germans were defeated and large numbers of them were slaughtered, The Germans were confronted and shattered near today's town of Koblenz
trying to escape the field of battle. (Germany).
Caesar then proceeded in building a bridge across the river Rhine.
Caesar defeats the Nervii His description of events states his troops only took 10 days to construct
the wooden bridge. Recent experiments by have indeed proved it possible.
The following year (57 BC) Caesar marched his troops northwards to deal The meaning of the bridge was mainly symbolic. This display of Roman
with the Belgae. The Nervii were the leading tribe of the Celtic Belgae and engineering and power was meant to frighten the Germans as well as
were apparently preparing to attack the Roman forces, as they feared impress people back home in Rome. (The bridge was used to carry Roman
Caesar might otherwise conquer all of Gaul. How right they were in this raiding parties into Germany. But appears to have been destroyed by the
Caesar's troops shortly afterwards.)
The senate however was angered at Caesar's flouting of the rules. For as army (and so denying Caesar's men food), he switched to a direct
governor of Gaul Caesar was by no means entitled to take any action confrontation. The amassed Gallic army then launched a full-scale attack
against territory east of the Rhine. on Caesar's army and suffered a terrible defeat.
But Caesar was not to care for what his enemies in the senate thought of Lucky to get away, the remainder of the Gallic force withdrew into the
him. With the Germans crushed, he turned to Britain in the same year (55 fortified hill town of Alesia. Caesar laid siege to the town.
BC). The following year he launched another expedition into Britain. The Gauls watched on as the Romans built a deadly ring of trenches and
These raids on Britain were as such not very successful from a military fortifications around the town.
standpoint. But to Caesar they were invaluable propaganda. Vercingetorix did not intervene against the Romans as they built their
Britain was virtually unknown to the Roman world, but for some trading siege works. Evidently he was hoping for relief forces to arrive and drive
links. Ordinary Romans heard of Caesar fighting near mythical enemies in Caesar off. Caesar knew that such a force had been sent for and hence
unknown lands. also built an outer trench to defend against any attacks from outside.
Meanwhile the senate was seething.
Alas, a massive relief force arrived, gathered from all parts of Gaul. Caesar
Gaul rises against Caesar tells of a force of 250'000 thousand infantry and 8'000 cavalry. The
accuracy of such estimates is unclear, and one must consider that Caesar
On his return from Britain in the autumn of 54 BC, Caesar faced a large might well have exaggerated the scale of his challenge. But with the Gauls
revolt of the Belgae. The rest of 54 BC and the following year were spent drawing from an overall population which by today's estimates numbered
subduing the rebellious tribes and ravaging the lands of those who had between eight and twelve million, Caesar's figures might indeed be
risen against him. accurate.
But in 52 BC Gaul arose in a massive revolt against its conqueror. Under However high he odds were facing him, Caesar did not retire.
the Arverni chief Vercingetorix, almost all the tribes of Gaul, except for The situation was desperate. The Romans still had a force of 80'000
three, allied against the Romans. warriors under Vercingetorix to contain within their siege works and a
At first Vercingetorix achieved some advances, trying to starve the massive force without. More still, the Roman troops had stripped the
Romans out of Gaul. Caesar had spent the winter in Cisalpine Gaul and surrounding countryside of any food. The Gallic troops had brought little
now hurried, at great danger to himself, back to join his troops. for themselves and now faced the stark choice of having to fight or retreat.
Immediately he launched attacks on Vercingetorix allies, overrunning one
foe after the other. And initial nightly attack by the Gauls was beaten back. A day and a half
At the fortified hill town of Gergovia he was however repelled. His later another massive attack was concentrated on one of the main Roman
lieutenant Labienus had been sent with half Caesar's force against another camps. With fierce fighting all around Caesar mounted his horse,
tribe, the Parisii. Caesar eventually realized he had insufficient forces to haranguing his troops to fight on. He sent his reserve cavalry out into the
win the siege and withdrew. field to ride around a nearby hill and fall onto the Gauls from behind. Then
he finally rushed in to fight in person.
The Battle of Alesia He might have been the general who commanded form a distance. But
here there was no retreat. there was Gauls on either side of the trenches
Alas, Vercingetorix made his fatal error. Rather than continuing his small and to have lost this battle would have meant certain death. Fighting
scale guerilla war against Roman raiding parties looking for food for the alongside his men he helped drive off the Gauls.
Some soldiers, either weary from battle or panicked by fear, who sought to to fear prosecution for past irregularities once he returned to Rome.
flee were grabbed by the throat by Caesar and forced back to their For months on end there was diplomatic to'ing and thro'ing with Caesar
positions. remaining in Gaul, until he lost patience with the niceties of political life. In
49 BC Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the demarcation line between his
Alas, Caesar's cavalry emerged from behind the hills and fell into the rear province and Italy. He marched on Rome at the head of his battle-
of the Gauls. The attacking army fell into disorder, panicked and tried to hardened army, where he met little resistance.
retreat. Many were slaughtered by Caesar's German mercenary horseman.
The Gallic relief force realized its defeat and retired. Vercingetorix Though Caesar's tale is a tragic one. His taking control of Rome by force
admitted defeat and the day after surrendered in person. Caesar had won had destroyed the very system within which he had wanted to succeed.
the battle of Alesia (52 BC). And there is little sign that he enjoyed the task of reconstruction.
And yet there was much to reconstruct for Caesar, foremost he had to
Caesar, Master of Gaul reinstate order. his first task was to have himself appointed temporary
dictator, a post of the republic set aside for emergencies, during which one
Vercingetorix was offered no mercy. He was paraded through the streets man would be given absolute powers.
of Rome in Caesar's triumph march, during which he was ritually Accustomed to working at top speed from his time in Gaul - he dictated
strangled. The inhabitants of Alesia and the captured Gallic soldiers fared letters to two secretaries while on horseback ! - Caesar went to work.
little better. They were shared out as slaves among the victorious Roman
soldiers, who either kept them to help carry baggage, or sold them to the Caesar defeats Pompey
slave traders which accompanied the army.
Caesar might have ruled Rome. But things were far from under control,
It took Caesar another year to quell Gallic resistance to Roman rule. just because the capital lay in his hands. The entire state of Rome was
Eventually he assembled all the tribal chiefs of Gaul and demanded their under threat and only one man could stop Caesar - Pompey. But Pompey,
allegiance to Rome. Gaul was beaten, they could do nothing but comply though an excellent general, deemed superior to Caesar by many, he
with his demands and Gaul was finally secured as a Roman province. didn't possess the troops to take on the invader. So he withdrew his troops
from Italy to gain time to train his troops. Caesar tried to stop him but
When Caesar had finished his series of brilliant campaigns, he had failed.
changed the nature of the Roman empire from a purely Mediterranean
realm into western European empire. He had also driven the empire's But with Pompey forced to flee eastwards, Caesar was left to turn to Spain
frontier up to the Rhine, a natural, easily defendable border, which should to put the Pompeian legions there out of action. Not so much by fighting
come to be the imperial border for centuries. as by skillful manoeuvering was Caesar by his own admission for once
outgeneraled. However, the campaign was brought to a successful issue in
Caesar crosses the Rubicon, takes Rome six months, most of the troops joining his standard.

But then things turned nasty in 51 BC when Caesar's governorship of Gaul Caesar now turned east to deal with Pompey himself.
was revoked by the senate. This left Caesar hanging high and dry, needing The Pompeians controlled the seas, causing him great difficulty in setting
across to Epirus, where he was shut up within his own lines by a much
larger army of Pompey in November. Back home Caesar had been confirmed dictator in his absence, an
Caesar avoided a pitched battle with some difficulty, whilst waiting for appointment which was regularly renewed thereafter. With this began an
Mark Antony to join him with the second army in spring 48 BC. Then, in era, the rule of Rome being held by men who successively held the name
midsummer of 48 BC Caesar met Pompey on the plain of Pharsalus in Caesar, by birth or adoption.
Thessaly. Pompey's army was much the bigger, though Pompey himself
knew them not of the same quality as Caesar's veterans. But the fact that Caesar had not returned home at once had given
Caesar won the day, utterly destroying the force of Pompey, who fled to Pompey's sons enough time to raise new armies. Two more campaigns
Egypt. Caesar followed, though Pompey was eventually assassinated on were needed, in Africa and Spain, culminating in the battle of Munda on 17
arrival by the Egyptian government. March 45 BC. In October of that year Caesar was back in Rome. Quickly it
showed that Caesar was not merely a conqueror and destroyer. Caesar
Caesar in the East was a builder, a visionary statesman, the likes of which the world rarely
gets to see.
Caesar in hot pursuit of Pompey arrived in Alexandria, only to get He established order, begun measures to reduce congestion in Rome,
entangled in the quarrels of succession to the throne of the Egyptian draining large tracts of marshy lands, gave full voting rights to the
monarchy. Initially asked to help settle a dispute, Caesar soon found inhabitants of his former province south of the Alps, revised the tax laws of
himself attacked by Egyptian royal troops and needed to hold out for help Asia and Sicily, resettled many Romans in new homes in the Roman
to arrive. His few troops he had with him, barricaded the streets and held provinces and reformed the calendar, which, with one slight adjustment, is
off their opponents in bitter street fighting. the one in use today.
The Pompeians still controlling the seas with their fleet, made it nigh
impossible for Rome to send help. Alas it was a independent expedition of Caesar's colonial policy, combined with his generosity in granting
wealthy citizen from Pergamum and the government of Judaea which citizenship to individuals and communities, was to rejuvenate both the
helped Caesar end the 'Alexandrian War'. Roman legions and the Roman governing class. And Caesar, who included
And yet Caesar did not leave Egypt at once. The legendary charms of the some provincial aristocrats in his enlarged Senate, was perfectly aware of
woman he had made queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, persuaded him to stay a what he was doing.
while as her personal guest. But despite the pardons he granted to his old senatorial enemies, despite
Such was the hospitality that a son, named Caesarion, was born the not drowning Rome in blood like Sulla and Marius had done, when they
following year. Back had seized power, Caesar failed to win over his enemies.
Worse still, many Romans feared that Caesar was going to make himself
Caesar first dealt with king Parnaces, the son of Mithridates of Pontus, king. And Rome still held an old hatred to its ancient kings. Many saw their
before returning to Rome. Pharnaces had used the Roman's weakness fears only confirmed as Cleopatra with her son Caesarion was brought to
during their civil war to recover his father's lands. It was after this crushing Rome. Was Rome perhaps the most cosmopolitan place in the world of
victory in Asia Minor (Turkey) that he sent his celebrated message to the that day, it still didn't take kindly to foreigners, the people of the east in
senate 'veni, vidi, vici' (I came, I saw, I conquered.) particular. And so Cleopatra had to leave again.

Caesar, Dictator of Rome

But Caesar did manage to persuade a senate which knew it possessed no the most outstanding figures Roman history created - and who created Roman
effective powers to declare him dictator for life. Julius Caesar was king of history.
Rome in all but title.

Caesar then began to plan a campaign against the vast Parthian empire in Marius - The great Man of the Army
the east. Why is unclear. Perhaps he sought more military glory, perhaps Gaius Marius was the man who organized the army
he simpy preferred the company of soldiers to that of intriguing politicians into the most effective fighting machine on earth. At
in Rome.
times it appeared nothing could withstand the mighty
legions of Rome. It was Marius who changed the way
The Murder of Caesar
the army organized itself. Men from the provinces
But Caesar's campaign against Parthia was not to be. Five months after his could now sign up to serve in the Roman army, and
arrival back in Rome, only three days before his departure on campaign to in time become Roman citizens themselves. So too
the east, Caesar was dead, at the hands of a band of senatorial was it Marius who granted land to the veterans of the
conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus (d 42 BC) and Gaius Cassius legions in reward for their services.
Longinus (d 42 BC), both former Pompeians who'd been pardoned by Marius He also won some famous battles with his new army,
Caesar after the battle of Pharsalus. Vatican Museums most famous of all the Aquae Sextiae and Campi
He was, at the excuse of some of the conspirators, who claimed to want to Vatican City
present a petition to him, lured into one of the back room of Pompey's Raudii, where his victories saved Italy and Rome
Theatre in Rome. (The rooms of the theatre were used for senatorial from an invasion of barbarians from the north.
affairs, while the senate building was being restored.)
There the conspirators pounced and Caesar was stabbed 23 times (15 Caesar - General, Politician, Statesman
March 44 BC). Julius Caesar is no doubt the most famous Roman of them
all ! He conquered Gaul in a brilliant campaign which is
Julius Caesar had changed the nature of the Roman empire, he had swept still used in studies for training generals today. His
away the old, corrupt system of the late Roman republic and had set an
victories in Gaul brought into the empire what should later
example to future Roman emperors as well as other future European
leaders to live up to. become one of the most important new territories to the
empire. The conquest of Gaul also brought the border of
the empire to the river Rhine, where it should remain for
Famous Romans centuries to come. He also led expeditions into Germany
and Britain, which were at that time completely unknown
to Romans. But his political enemies never stopped Julius Caesar
Here are some of the most famous Romans of all times. These are by far not Museo della Civilta
all famous Romans. For there are too many to mention. But here are some of plotting against him and tried to take away his power.
Caesar famously crossed the river Rubicon (which was the Rome burnt down in the Great Fire of Rome. Nero
border between the province he ruled and the Italian Helpless to stop the fire, he is supposed to have Capitoline Museums
territories of the Roman empire) and took power over Rome
sung as he watched Rome burn. After this he built
Rome as a dictator. When away in Egypt he fell in love
himself a magnificent palace on some of the land
with the legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Julius
Caesar also reformed the calendar. With only minor cleared by the fire. To quell rumours that he had
changes his is the calendar we use today. One month, July, started the fire himself, he blamed the Christians
is named in his honour. for it and then had many captured and thrown to
the lions in the circus.
Augustus - The first Emperor
Augustus was the first emperor of Rome. His real Trajan - The kind-hearted Soldier
name was Octavian but he was given the name Trajan is one of Rome's most outstanding
'Augustus' by the senate as an honour for his great emperors. Under his rule the empire reached its
achievements. He avenged the death of Caesar largest extent. He famously conquered the rich
together with Mark Antony, before falling out with kingdom of Dacia north of the Danube. Trajan was
him. He defeated Mark Antony together with the one of the greatest soldiers among the emperors.
famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra and thereafter, But unlike many of the later warrior-like rulers, he
together with the senate of Rome, created a new was also known for his wisdom and dignity, and his
constitution for the great empire. Augustus stood at humility when dealing with the senate. Alike
Augustus the head of this empire as the emperor. He used his Augustus, Trajan's reign was a glittering one,
Museo della Civilta ruled wisely and built roads, aqueducts and Trajan during which many public works, roads and
Rome Museo della Civilta
buildings. Not only was Augustus the first, but he harbours were built. He also set up an imperial
was most certainly one of the best emperors Rome fund which should look after the poor, especially
ever had. the children.
Nero - The Madman of Rome Constantine the Great - Unifier of the divided
Nero is the most notorious Roman of all times. It Empire
is most likely that Nero was insane. He came to Constantine the great was the first Christian
power because his mother murdered his step- emperor of the Roman empire. He defeated all the
father emperor Claudius. During his rule much of other would-be emperors and re-united the empire,
which had been divided between many rulers. He Constantine
also decided to move the capital of the empire from Capitoline Museums
Rome to a town called Byzantium, which he
renamed after himself - Constantinopolis (Greek
for: the city of Constantine). He also called together
many bishops for the Council of Nicaea at which
the exact nature of the Christian religion was
defined. It is known today as the 'Nicene Creed'. For
his many achievements he is known as 'Constantine
the Great' and in the Christian church he is known
as 'Saint Constantine'.
Justinian - The last 'Great' Emperor
Under the rule of Justinian, the eastern empire (the
west had since fallen to the barbarians) enjoyed a
last flowering. His great generals Belisarius and
Narses reconquered many parts of the empire,
including the city of Rome itself. So too is Justinian
known to have collected the many Roman laws
and created a unified code of laws, the so-called
'Justinian Code'. This code formed the basis of all
systems of law in the western world. He also built
Justinian many great buildings in his capital, the city of
Museo della Civilta Constantinople. His most outstanding building is
the great church Santa Sophia, which today is the
famous mosque 'Aya Sophia' in the Turkish city of