The glory of Rome awaits you. You will learn of its founding father, discover why the city’s last king was dethroned and explore how the Romans conquered the Italian Peninsula. You will also experience what daily life was like in the Republic, meet the generals of Carthage who sought to destroy it and immerse yourself in the ferocious civil wars that would ultimately lead to the birth of the Roman Empire. This is a land of viper-like politicians, ruthlessly ambitious commanders and restless slaves, a world in which only the most brilliant rise to the summit of power. May the gods watch over you. ROMAN REPUBLIC PDF
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THE FOUNDING OF ROME
THE MYTHICAL ORIGINS BEHIND ONE OF THE GREATEST CITIES
IN THE WORLD
According to mythology, Rome was founded on 21 April 753 BCE by twin brothers Romulus and Remus. Their mother, Rhea Silvia, was the daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa, who is thought to have been a descendant of Aeneas, the Trojan hero, son of Venus and around whom Virgil’s epic poem, the Aeneid, was centred. Numitor’s throne was usurped by his younger brother, Amulius, who forced Rhea to become a Vestal Virgin to prevent her from giving birth to any heirs that could rival his claim to the throne. Although Rhea took the vow of celibacy, she was subsequently raped by Mars, the god of war, and she gave birth to the twin boys.
Angered, Amulius had Rhea imprisoned and he ordered that the boys should be drowned in the Tiber River. Instead, their basket drifted down the river and they washed up ashore underneath a fig tree. It was here that a she- wolf discovered the twins and suckled them, while it is said that a woodpecker found them food. The two animals were considered sacred to Mars.
Eventually, the boys were found and raised by a shepherd named Faustulus and his wife. Romulus and Remus grew up to become shepherds like their adoptive father. While out herding their sheep one day, they became embroiled in an argument between the supporters of Numitor and Amulius. Remus was captured and taken to Alba Longa, so Romulus headed to the city to free his brother. Shortly afterwards, the boys discovered their true identities and sought revenge against Amulius by killing him and restoring their grandfather, Numitor, to the throne.
The twins then returned to the place where they had been saved as babies and decided to found a new city there. An argument between the two brothers quickly ensued, possibly over the location of their new city, as it is said that Romulus wanted to build it on the Palatine. Hill while Remus preferred the Aventine Hill, although they may have also been fighting over who would get to rule their new city. When Romulus started building the city wall, Remus jumped over it, mocking its size. Romulus killed him and named the new city Rome.
To populate his new city, Romulus offered asylum to fugitives and exiles. Realising that he also needed women to join them, he invited his neighbours, the Sabines, to a festival. He then seized the opportunity to abduct their young women, which triggered a war between the two groups. In the end, a peace treaty was arranged that united the two groups under one nation, establishing joint rule under both Romulus and Titus Tatius, the Sabine king. When Tatius was murdered just five years later, Romulus was left as the sole ruler.
After ruling for 37 years, Romulus vanished during a violent thunderstorm. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his disappearance led to speculation that he had been murdered by his senior advisors, who then hid his body. This caused outrage among the Roman people and tensions in the city began to rise. To deal with these rumours, it was announced that Romulus had been taken to heaven by Mars, which led many to believe that their king had become a god himself. As a result, Romulus was worshipped by many as a deity, assuming the name of Quirinus.
This myth about the founding of Rome first appeared in the 4th century BCE, four centuries after it supposedly took place, and the exact date that is generally used today was first decided on by Titus Pomponius Atticus, a wealthy Roman banker, and later adopted by the great scholar Marcus Terentius Varro. The story was famously recounted in The History Of Rome by Titus Livius, the Roman historian who is more commonly known as ‘Livy’.
Rome was ultimately built to the east of the Tiber River on seven hills, including the Palatine and the Aventine, with the site known today as The Seven Hills Of Rome. In recent years, archaeologists have uncovered evidence of a wall that was constructed sometime between the 9th and the 8th century BCE – before the official date given for the founding of Rome – and there is evidence suggesting that inhabitants were living on the Palatine Hill back in the 10th century BCE.
However much of it is true, the story of Romulus and Remus certainly impacted the development of Roman identity and attitudes – for example, the she-wolf was adopted as the symbol of nationality when the Republic was established in c.509 BCE. We may never know the true origins of Rome, but they will undoubtedly continue to fascinate us for centuries to come.
RISE OF THE REPUBLIC
The founding of Rome
The last king of Rome
The Twelve Tables
How to get elected as consul
SACKINGS AND SLAVERY
The sacking of Rome 390 BCE
The Republic goes to war
Daily life in the Roman Republic
A domestic slave in ancient Rome
How to celebrate Saturnalia
Inside a Roman villa
Inside the Circus Maximus
The Appian Way
THE PUNIC WARS
A clash of superpowers
The Battle of Ecnomus
Hannibal: Enemy of Rome
The Battle of Zama
The destruction of Carthage
WAR AND ORDER
The Marian military reforms
Anatomy of a Roman legionnaire
Life in the legion
The Social War
Sulla’s Civil Wars
Caesar and the First Triumvirate
The Gallic Wars
The Battle of Alesia
Caesar vs the Senate
Cleopatra: Serpent of the Nile
The Battle of Actium
Empire state of mind
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