Timeline of Ancient Rome

The Roman Empire was one of the greatest civilizations in history. It lasted for over 1000 years. It began in 753 BCE, and much like other civilizations started as a small town and grew into larger cities. Early Rome was ruled by kings that ruled for life.

Eventually Romans overthrew the monarchy and created the Roman Republic in 509 BCE. At this time only the wealthy patricians could hold political office. But after the revolt of the plebeians the Roman Republic became more democratic and the strong hold on power was broken when the plebeians gained rights in the government.

One of the first orders of the plebeians was The Law of the 12 Tables. The Twelve Tables were laws that addressed and protected the rights of citizens concerning debt, land, public treason, secession and guardianship regardless of social class. The Twelve Tables relate to modern laws because it acknowledges the rights of individuals, explained court and trial procedures, recognized personal liberties, and outlined the general law.

As Rome continued to expand, they faced battles with other emerging powers. One such power was Carthage, a large city on the coast of Africa. Over 100 years Rome engaged in the Punic wars with Carthage. Rome won the first Punic war, however during the Second Punic War from 218-201 BCE, the Carthage leader Hannibal crossed the Alps to attack Rome using a large number of troops on elephants. Hannibal laid siege to Rome for over 16 years but could not capture it and had to retreat. Finally, Rome defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War in 149-146 BCE.

By 59 BCE the Roman Republics' incAs Rome continued to expand, they faced battles with other emerging powers. One such power was Carthage, a large city on the coast of Africa. Over 100 years Rome engaged in the Punic wars with Carthage. Rome won the first Punic war, however during the Second Punic War from 218-201 BCE, the Carthage leader Hannibal crossed the Alps to attack Rome using a large number of troops on elephants. Hannibal laid siege to Rome for over 16 years but could not capture it and had to retreat. Finally, Rome defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War in 149-146 BCE.reasing wealth and expanding boundaries brought problems. The rich and the poor had a widening gap. There was also a breakdown of military order and a period of civil war ensured. Alliances between powerful politicians eventually ended the Roman Republic and instilled a new form of government, The Roman Empire. Julius Caesar rose to power after defeating opponents who tried to turn on him. He named himself emperor and became the most powerful man in Rome. His reign did not last long as he created many enemies and eventually the Senate plotted to assassinate him. In 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of men on his way to a Senate meeting.

After the death of Julius Caesar, Augustus formed a strategic alliance with Marc Antony, a successful and ambitious general. Over the next few years they defeated their enemies in Rome. Augustus kept Rome while Antony took Egypt. At the age of 32 Ocavius, Caesar’s heir had become Rome’s first emperor promising to restore peace and security, bringing in the period of Roman history called The Pax Romana. From 27 BC to 180 CE, many government jobs were created for the unemployed, known as civil service jobs. There were safer roads which helped improve and increase travel and trade throughout the empire.

For hundreds of years Christians were persecuted in Rome. Despite this, Christian apostles worked to spread Christiantiy throughout the Roman Empire. At first the spread of Christianity was difficult. It was often misunderstood and because of this, there was a lot of fear around it. It initially spread slowly, but eventually started to pick up steam as the Roman Empire began to embrace it. In 306 CE Emperor Constnatine eventually converted to Christiantiy leading the way for Christianity to grow.

In 330 CE Constantine established Constantinople as the new capital of the Roman Empire. Constantinople was better situated, geographically, than Italy to respond to barbarian attacks because it was in a position that was very easy to defend effectively.

Eventually the Roman Empire became too large to govern effectively and it was split into two parts, Eastern Rome and Western Rome. The Western Roman Empire failed to enforce its laws and many civil wars occurred. Its vast territory was divided into the control of different rulers. Barbarians kept attacking and there was a growing division of social classes. In 476 AD, Romulus, the last of the Roman emperors in the West was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer. He became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome. Thus, the order that the Roman Empire had brought to Western Europe for 1,000 years ended.

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