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Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as "The Eternal City" (Latin: Roma Aeterna), a central notion in ancient Roman culture. In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

Traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans themselves explain the earliest history of their city in terms of legend and myth. The most familiar of these myths, and perhaps the most famous of all Roman myths, is the story of Romulus and Remus, the twins who were suckled by a she-wolf. They decided to build a city, but after an argument, Romulus killed his brother. According to the Roman annalists, this happened on 21 April 753 BC. This legend had to be reconciled with a dual tradition, set earlier in time, that had the Trojan refugee Aeneas escape to Italy and found the line of Romans through his son Iulus, the namesake of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. This was accomplished by the Roman poet Virgil in the first century BC.
 
 
Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as "The Eternal City" (Latin: Roma Aeterna), a central notion in ancient Roman culture. In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

Traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans themselves explain the earliest history of their city in terms of legend and myth. The most familiar of these myths, and perhaps the most famous of all Roman myths, is the story of Romulus and Remus, the twins who were suckled by a she-wolf. They decided to build a city, but after an argument, Romulus killed his brother. According to the Roman annalists, this happened on 21 April 753 BC. This legend had to be reconciled with a dual tradition, set earlier in time, that had the Trojan refugee Aeneas escape to Italy and found the line of Romans through his son Iulus, the namesake of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. This was accomplished by the Roman poet Virgil in the first century BC. More

 
    Aeneas, Trojan Hero, Founding Rome
  Aeneas, Trojan Hero, Founding Rome
Aeneas was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy. The journey of Aeneas from Troy (with help from Aphrodite), which led to the founding of the city Rome, is rec...
 
    Etruscan Civilization, Italy
  Etruscan Civilization, Italy
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to the culture and way of life of a people of ancient Italy, residing between the Apennines and the River Tiber, whom the ancient Romans called Etrusci or Tusci. As distinguished by its own la...
 
    Gelon, Tyrant of Syracuse
  Gelon, Tyrant of Syracuse
Gelon, (born c. 540 bc - died 478), tyrant of the cities of Gela (491485) and Syracuse (485478) in Sicily. On the death of Hippocrates, the tyrant of Gela, in 491, Gelon, who had been his cavalry commander, succeeded him. Gelon early became involve...
 
    Tarquinius Superbus, Last King of Rome
  Tarquinius Superbus, Last King of Rome
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was the legendary seventh and final King of Rome, reigning from 535 BC until the popular uprising in 509 BC that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic. He is more commonly known by his cognomen Tarquinius Superbus...
 
    Lucretia, Establishment Roman Republic
  Lucretia, Establishment Roman Republic
Lucretia is a legendary figure in the history of the Roman Republic. According to Livy's version of the establishment of the Republic, the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (superbus, "the proud") who ruled from 535 BC to 510 BC, had a vi...
 
    Polybius, Writer of The Histories
  Polybius, Writer of The Histories
Polybius was a Greek historian of the Mediterranean world famous for his 40 books called The Histories or The Rise of the Roman Empire, covering in detail the period of 220146 BC. He is also renowned for his ideas of political balance in the governm...
 
    Julius Caesar, Rise of the Roman Empire
  Julius Caesar, Rise of the Roman Empire
Gaius Julius Caesar is remembered as one of history's greatest generals and a key ruler of the Roman empire. As a young man he rose through the administrative ranks of the Roman republic, accumulating power until he was elected consul in 59 B.C. Over...
 
    Virgil, Roman Poet
  Virgil, Roman Poet
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of mi...
 
    Augustus, (Octavius) 1st Roman Emperor
  Augustus, (Octavius) 1st Roman Emperor
Emperor Augustus of Rome was born with the given name Gaius Octavius on September 23, 63 B.C. He took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian) in 44 B.C. after the murder of his great uncle, Julius Caesar. In his will Caesar had adopted Oct...
 
    Livy, Roman Historian
  Livy, Roman Historian
Titus Livius or Livy, was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditio...
 
    Saint Paul, The Apostle
  Saint Paul, The Apostle
Paul the Apostle, original name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In t...
 
    Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles
  Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles
Saint Peter (died c. 64 AD), also known as Simon Peter, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. The Roman Catholic Church considers him to be the first pope, ordained by J...
 
    Constantine The Great, Roman Emperor
  Constantine The Great, Roman Emperor
Constantine, The Great was the 57th Emperor of the Roman Empire from 306, and the sole holder of that office from 324 until his death in 337. Best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predece...
 
    John Paul II, The Traveling Pope
  John Paul II, The Traveling Pope
Karol Jzef Wojtyla known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow in Poland, on May 18, 1920. No other Pope has encountered so many individuals like John Paul II:...
 
       
 
         
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