Rome: A Brief History
Rome has been synonymous with mythology since the birth of civilisation. Few places around the world conjure such colourful legends. Since the dawn of time itself, Rome has appeared to have had a say in almost everything that has occurred. The Roman Empire had a huge influence on the course of European art and culture. Lasting impressions of Roman architecture have survived right up to the present day, from the ruins of the Colosseum at the epicentre of Rome itself, to far western corners of Europe including the city of Bath in England, named after its Roman baths. The origins of Rome are said to date back to 753 BC and the notorious twins Romulus and Remus.
Sons of Mars and a Vestal Virgin, the two warring brothers conceived rival communities, forever at one anothers throats. Eventually the hostilities came to a head and Romulus killed his brother Remus. Freed from his brother’s shackles, Romulus endeavoured to dominate civilisation and the city of Rome was built. Centuries later another great leader emerged to take the reins of the Roman Empire. General Julius Caesar had come through the army ranks and coveted the position of leader of the Empire.
Caesar had spent his time marching his armies across Europe, defeating his hosts along the way and expanding Rome’s territorial domination of the continent. The defeat of France was a significant conquest and Caesar felt time was right to fulfil his destiny. Having marched his army into Rome, Caesar declared himself Dictator for Life, commencing his reign over the largest empire the world has seen to this day. His rule came to an abrupt end in 44 BC following his assassination. Several years passed before his adopted son Augustus stood forward and succeeded his father as leader. He declared himself emperor of Rome in 27 BC. By the end of the 4th century the empire was in decline; the map of Europe was changing. One by one, Roman outpost settlements were defeated. Barbarians from beyond the Danube and the Rhine were attacking villages with an increasing amount of success. When the final emperor relinquished his post in 476 BC the Empire had fallen forever.
The fall of the Roman Empire has spawned many theories as to how the world’s greatest power fell to its knees. One interesting theory suggests the extensive use of lead in their plumbing may have poisoned their drinking water to the extent of causing infertility. Whatever the reason, the face of Europe changed forever, heralding the dawn of a new age.
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