Rise of the Roman Empire

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Rise of the Roman Empire

The legend about Rome's origins puts the founding of the city at around 735 B.C. It is said that a Vestal Virgin gave birth to twin boys, Romulus and Remus, and claimed that they were the sons of the god Mars. The Vestal Virgin was the sister of a king. The king believed that she was lying and imprisoned her. He put her two boys in a basket and threw it into the Tiber River. A she-wolf found the twins and raised them. The twins, Romulus and Remus, came back and killed the king and founded the city of Rome. Afterwards Romulus and Remus fought and Remus was killed. Romulus was Rome's first king and after he died, he became a god and vanished.

The Romans were tribal people who lived in central Italy and like other Latins; they tilled small plots of land pastured cows, pigs and goats and tended flocks of sheep. Moreover, they had a council of elders who chose the Chiefs of the tribes. Around 600 B.C the Etruscans a much more advanced people from the north conquered Rome. Consequently, from that time on, Rome was ruled by kings. The Romans learned many crafts from the Etruscans such as the use of bronze. They borrowed the Etruscan twelve-month calendar, the use of first and last names and developed their alphabet from an Etruscan adaptation of Greek. The Romans adapted many agricultural practices such as the growing of grapes and olives. From the Etruscans the Romans learned military strategy including the use of the unit called the legion which fought in phalanx positions. In 509 B.C however, the Roman nobles revolted against their king, Tarquin the Proud, and established a republic. By this time, Rome's society was already divided into two groups, the common people called the Plebeians, and the nobles called the Patricians. The Patricians were the heads of the leading families of Rome. Instead of the king, they elected two consuls. The consuls ruled the state and led the armies, but they had power only for one year. The...
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