Portal:Ancient Rome

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Ancient Rome was a civilization which began as a small agricultural community on the Italian Peninsula in the 8th century BC. Rome became a large empire which straddled the Mediterranean Sea. In its twelve centuries of existence, Roman civilization was firstly a monarchy, then a republic that combined oligarchy and democracy, and finally became an autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate Western Europe, the entire Mediterranean Basin including the Near East and North Africa, the Balkans, and the Black Sea.

The Roman empire went into decline in the 3rd century AD, and began to collapse in the 5th century AD. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire, including Hispania, Gaul, and Italy, broke into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. The eastern part of the empire, governed from Constantinople, survived this crisis, and remained intact for another millennium, until its last remains were finally annexed by the emerging Ottoman Empire. This eastern, medieval stage of the Empire is usually referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians.

Roman civilization was part of the period of classical antiquity, alongside ancient Greece—a civilization that inspired much of the culture of ancient Rome. Ancient Rome made significant contributions to the development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology, and language in the Western world, and its history continues to have a great influence on the world today.

Bust of Gaius Julius Caesar.
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The Roman Emperors were monarchial rulers of the Roman State during the imperial period (from about 27 BC onward). The Romans had no single term for the office: Latin titles such as imperator (from which English Emperor derives), augustus, caesar and princeps were all associated with it. In practice, the Emperor was supreme ruler of Rome and supreme commander of the Roman legions. In theory, however, Rome remained a republic, the res publica, and the Emperor's status was merely that of primus inter pares - first among equals. This legal fiction became increasingly meaningless as the Emperors consolidated their power. However, it was maintained at least to a ceremonial degree until the very end of the Roman Empire - 476 in the Western Roman Empire and 1453 in the East.

There was no constitutional office of "Roman Emperor", nor any title or rank directly analogous to the title of "Emperor"; all the titles traditionally associated with the Emperor had pre-existing, Republican meanings.

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Trajan's Column (Italian: Colonna Traiana) is a monument in Rome which commemorates the Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars in 101-106 AD.

Trajan's Column (Italian: Colonna Traiana) is a monument in Rome which commemorates the Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars in 101-106 AD.

Photo credit: Radomil

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Faustina Minor Louvre Ma1144.jpg
Annia Galeria Faustina Minor (Minor Latin for the younger), Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger (February 16 between 125 and 130-175) was a daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and Roman Empress Faustina the Elder. She was a Roman Empress and wife to her maternal cousin Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. She was the namesake of her mother. Faustina from her parent’s marriage was the youngest and the fourth child, second daughter and the only one who survived to adulthood from her siblings. She was born and raised in Rome.

Her great uncle Roman Emperor Hadrian had arranged with her father for Faustina to marry Lucius Verus. On February 25 138, she was engaged to Lucius Verus. Verus’ father was Hadrian’s first adopted son and intended successor for the emperor’s throne. However when Verus’ father died, Hadrian adopted Faustina’s father as his second adopted son and eventually, he became Hadrian’s successor.

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  • ...That the Pater familias of a family, had the power to sell his children into slavery?
  • ...That Trajan was the last Roman Emperor to harry the coast of Arabia with the Roman Navy?
  • ...That Trajan was born at Italica, in Spain and adopted by the Roman Emperor Nerva and made his heir, which entitled Trajan to call himself the son of Nerva

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  • Ancient Library
  • Attalus. Sources for Greek & Roman history (attalus.org)
  • De Imperatoribus Romanis. An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors
  • Earth's Ancient History
  • LacusCurtius: Into the Roman World
  • Livius. Articles on ancient history (Livius.org)
  • Ouvrage de référence sur l'antiquité
  • Perseus Digital Library
  • The Stoa (stoa.org)
  • Women's History Resource Site
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