Rome – the city of brave hearts and gladiators. The Roman history is full of exploits of brave men and their conquests. The Roman culture was highly influenced by the Greek culture and traditions. There is a legendary story regarding the birth of Rome, Italy. It is said that King Numitor of Alba Longa was overthrown of his kingship by his younger brother Amulius. In order overcome all future claims to the thrown, Amulius murdered King Numitor’s sons and forced his daughter Rhea Silvia to become a vestal virgin.
Mars, the god of war was smitten by the beauty of Rhea Silvia and had his way with her while she slept. Thus, Rhea Silvia bore twins, Romulus and Remus. An enraged Amulius, ordered Rhea Silvia to be thrown in the river to be drowned and the twins to be set adrift on the river bed. Rhea Silvia was saved by the river god, who married her eventually.
The children were washed ashore and suckled by a she-wolf. They were later found by a shepherd. As the young boys grew into men, they were told of their origins. They raised an army and went to war with Alba Longa. Amulius was killed in the battle by the brothers and Numitor was given back his thrown. The twins decided to build a city of their own, close to the place where they had been washed ashore. The place to build a city became a matter of dispute between the brothers as Romulus wanted to build the city near Palatine, and Remus choosing Aventine. Taking the will of the Roman gods into consideration, they decided on the hill where Romulus has seen 12 birds whereas Remus saw 6 birds on his hill. Remus was killed by Romulus, who went on to build a city with his followers that came to be known as Rome. Let us learn more about this great city through the Roman Empire Timeline.
Timeline for the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire timeline is divided into – before the rise of Rome, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. Let us concentrate on the Roman Empire timeline for the present. The Roman Empire timeline is based upon the Emperors who ruled the city.
1000-800BC: The first settlements on the hills of Palatine.
750 BC: The city of Rome is founded by Romulus and Remus.
753-716 BC: Romulus rules over the city of Rome that becomes an asylum for refugees, criminals and runaway slaves . The unequal men:women ratio makes Romulus and his men to forcibly take the virgin women of neighboring Sabine town of Cures as wives.
750 BC: Many Greek cities are founded on Italy.
715-674 BC: Death of Romulus and Numa Pompilius, a religious, cultural figure was crowned the emperor of Rome.
673-642 BC: After 43 years of peaceful rule, Numa Pompillus is dead. He is succeeded by Tullus Hostilius. Emperor Hostilius was a man of the sword, who went to war with Alba Longa and later on Fidenates. He also went to war with the Sabine neighbors, until a plague on himself and his city forced him to make peace.
642-617 BC: Tullus Hostilius was struck by lighting and killed. The fourth emperor to rule the Roman throne was Ancus Marcius. He was Numa Pompilius’s grandson. The neighboring cities thought him to be a push over, who would be eager for peace at any price. But Ancus Marcius proved himself to be a great warrior, administrator, priest and a diplomat. He build the first bridge over the river Tiber, Sublician Bridge. Ancus Marcius was a good king who was respected by his people.
616-579 BC: Lucius Tarquinius Priscus became the fifth ruler of Rome. Also known as Tarquin the Elder, he rose to have a significant influence on Rome. He was a favorite of Ancus Marcius and he was made the guardian of his two sons. After the death of Ancus Marcius, he cunningly sent the sons for hunting while he made the funeral arrangements. On their return they were surprised to find Tarquin on the throne. He had used their absence to win over the Roman votes and become the ruler of Rome. He became a great ruler building a strong army that won over Sabines, Latins and Etruscans. He was killed by assassins hired by the scorned sons of Ancus. His clever wife did not disclose his death immediately and announced that the injured Tarquin wanted his son-in-law Servius Tullius to take over till he recovers.
578-535 BC : By the time the Romans were told of Tarquins death, Servius Tullius was firmly established as a ruler.
550 BC : Servius Tullius builds the city walls known as the ‘Servian Wall’.
535-510 BC : The seventh and the last king of Rome Lucius Tarquinius Superbus , also known as Tarquin the Proud, succeeded Tullius. He was a tyrant and had seized the power to the thrown. He pronounced himself as the supreme judge of Rome. He had all the power of declaring capital punishment to any accused without any provisions for an appeal. The Romans had a strong resentment towards his rule. The final straw for an uprise came with the rape of the noblewoman Lucretia by Tarquin’s son Sextus.
510-509 BC: The noblemen went against Tarquin and declared Rome a republic.
This shows the the Roman Empire timeline is wrapped around myth and legends, with kernels of truth around it. It is seen that monarchy was never hereditary. It was the people of Rome who decided the next king to rule over them. Although the Roman monarchy met its doom by the end of 6th century, it was its Republic status that made Rome rise to glory. Freedom from the rule of the Emperor helped the Romans build a social status hierarchy. This helped them succeed in their conquest of the world. The stories and legends of Rome will never cease to create a flutter in our imaginations. As it is rightly said, ‘Rome was not build in a day”, this was only the beginning of a glorious Roman civilization.