As (Roman coin)
The as assarius was a bronze, copper, coin used during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. The Romans replaced the usage of Greek coins, first by bronze ingots by disks known as aes rude; the system thus named as was introduced in ca. 280 BC as a large cast bronze coin during the Roman Republic. The following fractions of the as were produced: the bes, quincunx, quadrans, sextans and semuncia, as well as multiples of the as, the dupondius, tressis. After the as had been issued as a cast coin for about seventy years, its weight had been reduced in several stages, a sextantal as was introduced. At about the same time a silver coin, the denarius, was introduced. Earlier Roman silver coins had been struck on the Greek weight standards that facilitated their use in southern Italy and across the Adriatic, but all Roman coins were now on a Roman weight standard; the denarius, or'tenner', was at first tariffed at ten asses, but in about 140 B. C. it was retariffed at sixteen asses. This is said to have been a result of financing the Punic Wars.
During the Republic, the as featured the bust of Janus on the obverse, the prow of a galley on the reverse. The as was produced on the libral and the reduced libral weight standard; the bronze coinage of the Republic switched from being cast to being struck. During certain periods, no asses were produced at all. Following the coinage reform of Augustus in 23 BC, the as was struck in reddish pure copper, the sestertius or'two-and-a-halfer' and the dupondius were produced in a golden-colored alloy of bronze known by numismatists as orichalcum; the as continued to be produced until the 3rd century AD. It was the lowest valued coin issued during the Roman Empire, with semis and quadrans being produced infrequently, not at all sometime after the reign of Marcus Aurelius; the last as seems to have been produced by Aurelian between 270 and 275 and at the beginning of the reign of Diocletian. The assarion appears in the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus asks "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care."
The term assarion is variously translated as "penny," "halfpenny", "farthing" or "copper coin" in English translation. It appears in Luke 12:6 where the same speech is recounted, except that now Jesus asks "Are not five sparrows sold for two assarions?" The as, under its Greek name assarion, was re-established by the Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos and minted in great quantities in the first half of the 14th century. It was a low-quality flat copper coin. 3–4 grams and forming the lowest denomination of contemporary Byzantine coinage, being exchanged at 1:768 to the gold hyperpyron. It appears that the designs on the assarion changed annually, hence they display great variations; the assarion was replaced in 1367 by the tournesion and the follaro. Roman currency Roman finance
The plebs were, in ancient Rome, the general body of free Roman citizens who were not patricians, as determined by the census. The precise origins of the group and the term are unclear, though it may be that they began as a limited political movement in opposition to the elite which became more applied. In Latin the word plebs is a singular collective noun, its genitive is plebis; the origin of the separation into orders is unclear, it is disputed when the Romans were divided under the early kings into patricians and plebeians, or whether the clientes of the patricians formed a third group. Certain gentes were patrician, as identified by the nomen, but a gens might have both patrician and plebeian branches that shared a nomen but were distinguished by a cognomen, as was the case with the gens Claudia; the 19th-century historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr held that plebeians began to appear at Rome during the reign of Ancus Marcius and were foreigners settling in Rome as naturalized citizens. In any case, at the outset of the Roman Republic, the patricians had a near monopoly on political and social institutions.
Plebeians were excluded from magistracies and religious colleges, they were not permitted to know the laws by which they were governed. Plebeians served in the army, but became military leaders. Dissatisfaction with the status quo mounted to the point that the plebeians engaged in a sort of general strike, a secessio plebis, during which they would withdraw from Rome, leaving the patricians to themselves. From 494 to 287 BC, five such actions during the so-called "Conflict of the Orders" resulted in the establishment of plebeian offices, the publication of the laws, the establishment of the right of plebeian–patrician intermarriage, the opening of the highest offices of government and some state priesthoods to the plebeians and passage of legislation that made resolutions passed by the assembly of plebeians, the concilium plebis, binding on all citizens. During the Second Samnite War, plebeians who had risen to power through these social reforms began to acquire the aura of nobilitas, "nobility", marking the creation of a ruling elite of nobiles that allied the interests of patricians and noble plebeians.
From the mid-4th century to the early 3rd century BC, several plebeian–patrician "tickets" for the consulship repeated joint terms, suggesting a deliberate political strategy of cooperation. Although nobilitas was not a formal social rank during the Republican era, in general, a plebeian who had attained the consulship was regarded as having brought nobility to his family; such a man was a novus homo, a self-made noble, his sons and descendants were nobiles. Marius and Cicero are notable examples of novi homines in the late Republic, when many of Rome's richest and most powerful men—such as Lucullus and Pompeius—were plebeian nobles; some or many noble plebeians, including Cicero and Lucullus, aligned their political interests with the faction of Optimates, conservatives who sought to preserve senatorial prerogatives. By contrast, the Populares, which sought to champion the plebs in the sense of "common people", were sometimes led by patricians such as Julius Caesar and Clodius Pulcher. In the U.
S. military, plebes are freshmen at the U. S. Military Academy, U. S. Naval Academy, Valley Forge Military Academy and College, the Marine Military Academy, the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, Georgia Military College, California Maritime Academy; the term is used for new cadets at the Philippine Military Academy. Early public schools in the United Kingdom would enrol pupils as "plebeians" as opposed to sons of gentry and aristocrats. In British, Australian, New Zealand and South African English the back-formation pleb, along with the more derived adjectival form plebby, is used as a derogatory term for someone considered unsophisticated or uncultured. Bread and circuses – Figure of speech referring to a superficial means of appeasement Capite censi – The lowest class of citizens of ancient Rome Plebeian Council – The principal assembly of the ancient Roman Republic Proletariat – The class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power Roman Republic – Period of ancient Roman civilization Plebgate, a 2012 British political scandal involving the use of the word as a slur Jackson J. Spielvogel.
World History: Journey Across Time. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Scott Wertsching. What is a Pleb?. Rome: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Ferenczy, Endre. From the Patrician State to the Patricio-Plebeian State. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert. Horsfall, Nicholas; the Culture of the Roman Plebs. London: Duckworth. Millar, Fergus; the Crowd In Rome In the Late Republic. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Mitchell, Richard E.. Patricians and plebeians: The origin of the Roman state. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Morstein-Marx, Robert. Mass oratory and political power in the late Roman Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mouritsen, Henrik. Plebs and politics in the late Roman Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Raaflaub, Kurt A.. Social struggles in Archaic Rome: New perspectives on the conflict of the orders. Oxford: Blackwell. Vanderbroeck, Paul J. J.. Popular leadership and collective behavior in the late Roman Republic. Amsterdam: Gieben. Vishnia, Rachel Feig. State and Popular Leaders In Mid-Republican Rome 241-167 BC.
London: Routledge. Williamson
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
The Marian reforms of 107 BC were a group of military reforms initiated by Gaius Marius, a statesman and general of the Roman Republic. Until the last decade of the 2nd century BC, the eligibility requirements to become a Roman soldier in the service of the Republic were strict: He had to be a member of the fifth census class or higher, he had to own property worth 3500 sesterces in value. He had to supply his own armaments. In particular, that produced a division among Roman census classes in which four standardized unit types composed each legion: Velites - The poorest and the youngest citizens, who could not afford a shield, a helmet or armor, sometimes a gladius, they were unarmored javelin-throwing skirmishers, who ran forward at the head of the Roman line of battle, expended their missiles to distract the enemy while the hastati advanced and quickly retreated through the lines to the rear. They were not equipped to hold any portion of the battle line. Hastati - 4th class citizens who could afford basic armor, a small shield and a gladius.
The first rank of heavy infantry in the pre-Marian legion, the hastati were expected to hold the front of the line in the center of the battle and were young and aggressive men of middle to lower-middle class. Their lighter armour and position in the front ranks caused them to suffer the highest casualties in any battle, but good performance meant promotion to the principes and upward social mobility in peace. Principes - 3rd class citizens, who could afford a full set of high-quality armor, a large shield and a bronze helmet in addition to their sword. Considered the core of the pre-Marian legion, the principes were the pre-Marian unit that most resembled the standardized legionary that the Marian reforms would produce, they stood directly behind the hastati and relieved them in the front line if they were unable to break the enemy formation by themselves, common. Allowing the enemy to wear themselves out on the lighter hastati before facing the principes proved to be a decisively successful strategy.
Triarii - The final infantry unit, the triarii, was restricted to experienced veterans of the principes and anchored the entire Roman battle line. Fighting in the manner of the hoplites at the rear of the formation, the triarii were considered the elite infantry of the pre-Marian legion and were not needed but were used as a last resort if the hastati and principes could not break the enemy line and were forced to retreat; the Roman idiom ad triarios redisse was used to refer to a final, mighty attempt to salvage a desperate situation. Equites - rich citizens of the equestrian order who could afford a horse, the equites were light cavalry who carried a one-handed light spear, they advanced along the flanks of the infantry line and were intended to break up enemy skirmisher and missile units and pursue forces, routed by the infantry. They were the legion's primary reconnaissance force; when war threatened, the consuls of the day would be charged with the duty of recruiting an army from the eligible citizenry of the Republic.
As a rule, one of the consuls would lead this volunteer army into battle. As it can be imagined, not all elected consuls were adept at leading an army. For example, in 113 BC, the consul Gnaeus Papirius Carbo was defeated at the Battle of Noreia by invading tribes of the Cimbri and the Teutons; that was followed by a protracted war in Africa against King Jugurtha of Numidia. Consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus was sent to defeat Jugurtha. Metellus never lost any armies and won some battles but after two years, he had not achieved total victory. Gaius Marius, one of his legates, requested Metellus to release him from his duties so he could return to Rome and run for consul at the end of 108 BC; when Marius became junior consul in 107 BC and was appointed the task of concluding the war with Jugurtha, he had no army. The army Metellus had commanded in Africa was assigned to the senior consul, Lucius Cassius Longinus, to expel the Cimbri, who were once again encroaching on the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul.
Marius had no troops with which to conduct the war in Africa, as the eligible citizenry from whom he could recruit an army was depleted by previous military disasters and the expansion of the latifundia at the expense of small landowners. To overcome that problem, he introduced a number of reforms; the foremost of the Marian reforms was the inclusion of the Roman landless masses, the capite censi, men who had no property to be assessed in the census. Instead, they were "counted by the head"; the men were now among the ranks of those who could be recruited though they owned no significant property. Because the poor citizens could not afford to purchase their own weapons and armor, Marius arranged for the state to supply them with arms, he thus offered the disenfranchised masses permanent employment for pay as professional soldiers and the opportunity to gain spoils on campaign. With little hope of gaining status in other ways, the masses flocked to join Marius in his new army; the professional soldiers were recruited for an enlistment term of 16 years to rise to 20 years' full service and 5 years as evocati under the reforms of Augustus.
The second important reform implemented by Marius was the formation of a standing army. Marius was able to standardize equipment throughout the Roman legions. Drilling and training took place all year round in times of peace, not just when war threate
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving