The History of Rome

The History of Rome

How was Rome founded? How did it become an Empire? What was the role of the Catholic Church throughout Rome’s history? Learn about the fascinating past of this striking city before you travel to Rome.

The exact origins of the city of Rome are still somewhat of a mystery. There are several theories all based on the writings of ancient authors and the archaeological discoveries.  

For this reason, the founding of Rome is based mainly on legend and myth, instead of solid facts and figures. The existence of a Roman Kingdom was even questioned during practically two centuries by expert historians.  

During the nineteenth and twentieth century, they dismissed the idea of the early kings of Rome (Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius) as well as the date of the founding of what would later become the capital of Italy, in 753 BC. This part of history was merely considered a legend and not taken seriously.

It was only during the late twentieth century when, thanks to the findings of numerous archeological digs and other sciences, that the myths surrounding the establishment of the city and its first rulers were reconsidered.

It is believed that the first inhabitants of Rome came from various parts of the region, and had neither the economic nor the cultural development of their northern neighbors, the Estrucans, nor the southern civilization called the Sabines and Latins.

In the Palatine Hill archeologists found the remains of a primitive settlement from the eighth century BC, with burials on the outskirts of the village. It is thought that as the population grew, the inhabitants settled on the slopes of the nearby hills, and during the next century they established themselves in the valley.

The history of Rome in stages

Romulus and Remus

Legend or not, the story of Romulus and Remus narrates how these twin brothers founded the city of Ancient Rome, after being brought up by a she-wolf.

Ancient Roman Monarchy

When the city of Rome was founded in 754 BC, it had a monarchical form of government. Find out how the Monarchy was overthrown and what came next.

Roman Republic (509 BC – 27 BC)

The Romans created a republican government after the overthrow of the Monarchy. During this period the legal system of ancient Rome was established.

Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD)

The Roman Empire is one of the greatest civilizations of all time, starting with the Republic's fall in 27 BC and ending with the last Emperor in 476 AD.

History of the Papacy in Rome

After the fall of the Roman Empire and moving the capital to Constantinople, the Pope became more powerful in Rome over the following years.

Rome as capital of Italy

With the unification of Italy, Rome was chosen capital of the country in 1870. Nowadays, it is one of the most visited cities in the world.