The Roman Senate was a political institution in ancient Rome. It was one of the most enduring institutions in Roman history, being established in the first days of the city of Rome, it survived the overthrow of the kings in 509 BC, the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC, the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, the barbarian rule of Rome in the 5th, 6th, 7th centuries. During the days of the kingdom, it was little more than an advisory council to the king; the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, was overthrown following a coup d'état led by Lucius Junius Brutus, who founded the Roman Republic. During the early Republic, the Senate was politically weak, while the various executive magistrates were quite powerful. Since the transition from monarchy to constitutional rule was most gradual, it took several generations before the Senate was able to assert itself over the executive magistrates. By the middle Republic, the Senate had reached the apex of its republican power.
The late Republic saw a decline in the Senate's power, which began following the reforms of the tribunes Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. After the transition of the Republic into the Principate, the Senate lost much of its political power as well as its prestige. Following the constitutional reforms of the Emperor Diocletian, the Senate became politically irrelevant; when the seat of government was transferred out of Rome, the Senate was reduced to a purely municipal body. This decline in status was reinforced when the emperor Constantine the Great created an additional senate in Constantinople. After Romulus Augustulus was deposed in 476 the Senate in the West functioned under the rule of Odovacer, 476–489 and during Ostrogothic rule, 489–535, it was restored after the reconquest of Italy by Justinian I. However, the Senate in Rome disappeared at some point after AD 603. Despite this, the title "senator" was still used well into the Middle Ages as a meaningless honorific. However, the Eastern Senate survived in Constantinople, until the ancient institution vanished there, c. 14th century.
The senate was a political institution in the ancient Roman Kingdom. The word senate derives from the Latin word senex, which means "old man"; the prehistoric Indo-Europeans who settled Italy in the centuries before the legendary founding of Rome in 753 BC were structured into tribal communities, these communities included an aristocratic board of tribal elders. The early Roman family was called a gens or "clan", each clan was an aggregation of families under a common living male patriarch, called a pater; when the early Roman gentes were aggregating to form a common community, the patres from the leading clans were selected for the confederated board of elders that would become the Roman senate. Over time, the patres came to recognize the need for a single leader, so they elected a king, vested in him their sovereign power; when the king died, that sovereign power reverted to the patres. The senate is said to have been created by Rome's first king, Romulus consisting of 100 men; the descendants of those 100 men subsequently became the patrician class.
Rome's fifth king, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, chose a further 100 senators. They were chosen from the minor leading families, were accordingly called the patres minorum gentium. Rome's seventh and final king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, executed many of the leading men in the senate, did not replace them, thereby diminishing their number. However, in 509 BC Rome's first and third consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus and Publius Valerius Publicola chose from amongst the leading equites new men for the senate, these being called conscripti, thus increased the size of the senate to 300; the senate of the Roman Kingdom held three principal responsibilities: It functioned as the ultimate repository for the executive power, it served as the king's council, it functioned as a legislative body in concert with the people of Rome. During the years of the monarchy, the senate's most important function was to elect new kings. While the king was nominally elected by the people, it was the senate who chose each new king.
The period between the death of one king and the election of a new king was called the interregnum, during which time the Interrex nominated a candidate to replace the king. After the senate gave its initial approval to the nominee, he was formally elected by the people, received the senate's final approval. At least one king, Servius Tullius, was elected by the senate alone, not by the people; the senate's most significant task, outside regal elections, was to function as the king's council, while the king could ignore any advice it offered, its growing prestige helped make the advice that it offered difficult to ignore. Only the king could make new laws, although he involved both the senate and the curiate assembly in the process; when the Republic began, the Senate functioned as an advisory council. It consisted of 300–500 senators, who were patrician and served for life. Before long, plebeians were admitted, although they were denied the senior magistracies for a longer period. Senators were entitled to wear a toga with a broad purple stripe, maroon shoes, an iron ring.
The Senate of the Roman Republic passed decrees called senatus consulta, which in form constituted "advice" from the senate to a magistrate. While these decrees did not hold legal force, they were obeyed in practice. If a senatus consultum conflicted with a
The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captured the Agri Decumates in 260, expanded into present-day Alsace, northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old High German language in those regions, by the eighth century named Alamannia. In 496, the Alemanni were incorporated into his dominions. Mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni were Christianized during the seventh century; the Lex Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period. Until the eighth century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was nominal. After an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility and installed Frankish dukes. During the and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire, the Alemannic counts became independent, a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance.
The chief family in Alamannia was that of the counts of Raetia Curiensis, who were sometimes called margraves, one of whom, Burchard II, established the Duchy of Swabia, recognized by Henry the Fowler in 919 and became a stem duchy of the Holy Roman Empire. The area settled by the Alemanni corresponds to the area where Alemannic German dialects remain spoken, including German Swabia and Baden, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland and Austrian Vorarlberg; the French language name of Germany, Allemagne, is derived from their name, from Old French aleman, from French loaned into a number of other languages. The Spanish name for Germany is Alemania, Welsh is Yr Almaen. According to Gaius Asinius Quadratus, the name Alamanni means "all men", it indicates. The Romans and the Greeks called them as such mentioned; this derivation was accepted by Edward Gibbon, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and by the anonymous contributor of notes assembled from the papers of Nicolas Fréret, published in 1753.
This etymology has remained the standard derivation of the name. An alternative suggestion proposes derivation from *alah "sanctuary". Walafrid Strabo in the 9th century remarked, in discussing the people of Switzerland and the surrounding regions, that only foreigners called them the Alemanni, but that they gave themselves the name of Suebi; the Suebi are given the alternative name of Ziuwari in an Old High German gloss, interpreted by Jacob Grimm as Martem colentes. The Alemanni were first mentioned by Cassius Dio describing the campaign of Caracalla in 213. At that time, they dwelt in the basin of the Main, to the south of the Chatti. Cassius Dio portrays the Alemanni as victims of this treacherous emperor, they had asked for his help, according to Dio, but instead he colonized their country, changed their place names, executed their warriors under a pretext of coming to their aid. When he became ill, the Alemanni claimed to have put a hex on him. Caracalla, tried to counter this influence by invoking his ancestral spirits.
In retribution, Caracalla led the Legio II Traiana Fortis against the Alemanni, who lost and were pacified for a time. The legion was as a result honored with the name Germanica." The fourth-century fictional Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Caracalla, relates that Caracalla assumed the name Alemannicus,"at which Helvius Pertinax jested that he should be called Geticus Maximus," because in the year before he had murdered his brother, Geta. Through much of his short reign, Caracalla was known for unpredictable and arbitrary operations launched by surprise after a pretext of peace negotiations. If he had any reasons of state for such actions, they remained unknown to his contemporaries. Whether or not the Alemanni had been neutral, they were further influenced by Caracalla to become thereafter notoriously implacable enemies of Rome; this mutually antagonistic relationship is the reason why the Roman writers persisted in calling the Alemanni barbari," meaning "savages." The archaeology, shows that they were Romanized, lived in Roman-style houses and used Roman artifacts, the Alemannic women having adopted the Roman fashion of the tunica earlier than the men.
Most of the Alemanni were at the time, in fact, resident in or close to the borders of Germania Superior. Although Dio is the earliest writer to mention them, Ammianus Marcellinus used the name to refer to Germans on the Limes Germanicus in the time of Trajan's governorship of the province shortly after it was formed, around 98-99 AD. At that time, the entire frontier was being fortified for the first time. Trees from the earliest fortifications found in Germania Inferior are dated by dendrochronology to 99-100 AD. Ammianus relates that much the Emperor Julian undertook a punitive expedition against the Alemanni, who by were in Alsace, crossed the Main, entering the forest, where the trails were blocked by felled trees; as winter was upon them, they reoccupied a "fortification, founded on the soil of the Alemanni that Trajan wished to be called with his own name". In this context, the use of Alemanni is an anachronism, but it reveals that Ammianus believed they were the same people, consistent with the location of the Alemanni of Caracalla's campaigns.
Germania by Tacitus in Chapter 42 states that the Hermunduri were a tribe located in the region that became
Leo I the Thracian
Leo I was Eastern Roman Emperor from 457 to 474. A native of Dacia Aureliana near historic Thrace, he was known as Leo the Thracian. Ruling the Eastern Empire for nearly 20 years, Leo proved to be a capable ruler, he oversaw many ambitious political and military plans, aimed at aiding the faltering Western Roman Empire and recovering its former territories. He is notable for being the first Eastern Emperor to legislate in Greek rather than Latin, he is commemorated as a Saint in the Orthodox Church, with his feast day on January 20. He was born Leo Marcellus in Thracia or in Dacia Aureliana province in the year 401 to a Thraco-Roman family, his Dacian origin is mentioned by Candidus Isaurus, while John Malalas believes that he was of Bessian stock. He served in the Roman army. Leo was the last of a series of emperors placed on the throne by Aspar, the Alan serving as commander-in-chief of the army, who thought Leo would be an easy puppet ruler. Instead, Leo became more and more independent from Aspar, causing tension that would culminate in the assassination of the latter.
Leo's coronation as emperor on 7 February 457, was the first known to involve the Patriarch of Constantinople. Leo I was thus able to eliminate Aspar; the price of the alliance was the marriage of Leo's daughter to Tarasicodissa, leader of the Isaurians, who, as Zeno, became emperor in 474. In 469, Aspar attempted to assassinate Zeno and nearly succeeded. In 471, Aspar's son Ardabur was implicated in a plot against Leo and Ardabur was killed by palace eunuchs acting on Leo's orders. Leo overestimated his capacities and he made some errors that menaced the internal order of the Empire; the Balkans were ravaged by the Ostrogoths, after a disagreement between the Emperor and the young chief Theodoric the Great, raised at Leo's court in Constantinople, where he was steeped in Roman government and military tactics. There were some raids by the Huns. However, these attackers were unable to take Constantinople thanks to the walls, rebuilt and reinforced in the reign of Theodosius II and against which they possessed no suitable siege engines.
Leo's reign was noteworthy for his influence in the Western Roman Empire, marked by his appointment of Anthemius as Western Roman Emperor in 467. He attempted to build on this political achievement with an expedition against the Vandals in 468, defeated due to the arrogance of Leo's brother-in-law Basiliscus; this disaster drained the Empire of men and money. Procopius estimated the costs of the expedition to be 130,000 pounds of gold; the expedition consisted of 1,113 ships carrying 100,000 men. After this defeat, the Vandals raided Greek coasts until a costly peace agreement was signed between Leo and Genseric. Leo became unpopular in his last days as Emperor for abolishing any non-religious celebration or event on Sundays. Leo died of dysentery at the age of 73 on 18 January 474. Leo and Verina had three children, their eldest daughter Ariadne was born prior to the death of Marcian. Ariadne had Leontia. Leontia was first betrothed to Patricius, a son of Aspar, but their engagement was annulled when Aspar and another of his sons, were assassinated in 471.
Leontia married Marcian, a son of Emperor Anthemius and Marcia Euphemia. The couple led a failed revolt against Zeno in 478–479, they were exiled to Isauria following their defeat. An unknown son was born in 463, he died five months following his birth. The only sources about him are a hagiography of Daniel the Stylite; the Georgian Chronicle, a 13th-century compilation drawing from earlier sources, reports a marriage of Vakhtang I of Iberia to Princess Helena of Byzantium, identifying her as a daughter of the predecessor of Zeno. This predecessor was Leo I, the tale attributing a third daughter to Leo. Cyril Toumanoff identified two children of this marriage: Mithridates of Iberia; this younger Leo was father of Guaram I of Iberia. The accuracy of the descent is unknown. Church of St. Mary of the Spring Life-giving Spring List of Byzantine emperors Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Bury, John Bagnell. History of the Later Roman Empire: from the death of Theodosius I to the death of Justinian.
Dover books. 1. Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-20398-0. Friell, Gerard; the Rome That Did Not Fall: The Survival of the East in the Fifth Century. Ancient history. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-15403-1. Meyendorff, John. Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450-680 A. D; the Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-88-141056-3. Thomas F. Madden. Empire of Gold: A History of the Byzantine Empire. Prince Frederick: Recorded Books. ISBN 978-1-4281-3267-2. Profile of Leo in The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire Stephen Williams, Gerard Friell, The Rome that Did Not Fall The Survival of the East in the Fifth Century, Routledge Press, 1999, ISBN 0-415-15403-0 Media related to Flavius Valerius Leo at Wikimedia Commons Leo I Timeline
Altar of Victory
The Altar of Victory was located in the Roman Senate House and bore a gold statue of the goddess Victory. The altar was established by Octavian in 29 BC to commemorate the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium; the statue had been captured in 272 BC during the Pyrrhic War and was a representation of Nike. It depicted a winged goddess, descending to present a laurel wreath. A modern historian reflects on the importance of the altar and the statue: "At this Altar of Victory senators burned incense, offered prayers annually for the welfare of the empire, took their oaths and pledged on the accession of each new emperor, thus the statue became one of the most vital links between the Roman state and Roman religion and a tangible reminder of Rome's great past and her hopes for the future." The altar was removed from the curia by the Christian emperor Constantius II in 357. It was restored by the emperor Julian, the only emperor after the conversion of Constantine I to reject Christianity.
The altar was again removed by Gratian in 382. After Gratian's death, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, a senator and Prefect of Rome who sought to preserve Rome's religious traditions, in 384 wrote to the new emperor Valentinian II requesting the restoration of the altar, his request was met with strong resistance from Bishop of Milan. The imperial court at that time resided at Milan, Ambrose held a great deal of influence over the young emperor; the request was denied. Further petitions to restore the altar were deflected in 391 by an edict of the Christian emperor Theodosius I as part of his efforts to ensure that Christianity was the only religion practiced in the Empire; the altar was restored by the usurper Eugenius during his short-lived rule, according to Paulinus of Milan in his Life of Ambrose. Writing in A. D. 403, Claudian mentions that the statue was in the Senate House. "Some think that removals and restorations refer to both the Altar of Victory and the Statue of Victory. Others think. There is no statement in the ancient authors as to what happened to the Statue when the Altar was removed and certainty on this point is unattainable."Sheridan further suggests that "the fate of the Altar and Statue of Victory was sealed by the law of 408 against heathen statues," citing Codex Theodosianus XVI,10, 19.
Rev. James J. Sheridan: "The Altar of Victory—Paganism's Last Battle", L'Antiquité Classique, Année 1966 35-1, pp. 186-206. Richard Klein: Symmachus. Eine tragische Gestalt des ausgehenden Heidentums. Darmstadt 1971, ISBN 3-534-04928-4. Richard Klein: Der Streit um den Victoriaaltar. Die dritte Relatio des Symmachus und die Briefe 17, 18 und 57 des Mailänder Bischofs Ambrosius. Darmstadt 1972, ISBN 3-534-05169-6
Valentinian II, was Roman Emperor from AD 375 to 392. Flavius Valentinianus was born to his second wife, Justina, he was the half-brother of Valentinian's other son, who had shared the imperial title with his father since 367. He had three sisters: Galla and Justa; the elder Valentinian died on campaign in Pannonia in 375. Neither Gratian nor his uncle Valens were consulted by the army commanders on the scene. Instead of acknowledging Gratian as his father's successor, Valentinian I's generals acclaimed the four-year-old Valentinian augustus on 22 November 375; the army, its Frankish general Merobaudes, may have been uneasy about Gratian's lack of military ability, so raised a boy who would not aspire to military command. Gratian, forced to accommodate the generals who supported his half-brother, governed the trans-alpine provinces, while Italy, part of Illyricum, North Africa were under the rule of Valentinian. In 378, their uncle, the Emperor Valens, was killed in battle with the Goths at Adrianople, Gratian invited the general Theodosius to be emperor in the East.
As a child, Valentinian II was under the influence of his Arian mother, the Empress Justina, the imperial court at Milan, an influence contested by the Nicene bishop of Milan, Ambrose. Justina used her influence over her young son to oppose the Nicean party, championed by Ambrose. In 385 Ambrose refused an imperial request to hand over the Portian basilica for the celebration of Easter by the Imperial court; when he was summoned to be punished to the Imperial palace, the orthodox populace rioted, Justina's Gothic troops were prevented by the arch-bishop himself, standing in the doorway, from entering the Basilica. Justina was forced to back down. Afterwards, Justina ordered legislation to rescind the penalties enacted by Gratian and Valentinian against heresy, proclaiming universal toleration; when Ambrose was found, as no doubt she had intended, to have determinedly infracted the new laws, Justina again tried to have him banished, Ambrose was forced to barricade himself, with the enthusiastic backing of the people, within the walls of the Basilica.
The Imperial troops besieged him, but Ambrose held on, reinforcing the resolution of his followers by unearthing, beneath the foundations of the church, the bodies of two ancient martyrs. Theodosius, the orthodox emperor of the east, forcing Justina to again relent. Magnus Maximus was to use the emperor's heterodoxy against him. Valentinian tried to restrain the despoiling of pagan temples in Rome. Buoyed by this instruction, the pagan senators, led by Aurelius Symmachus, the Prefect of Rome, petitioned in 384 for the restoration of the Altar of Victory in the Senate House, removed by Gratian in 382. Valentinian, at the insistence of Ambrose, refused the request and, in so doing, rejected the traditions and rituals of pagan Rome to which Symmachus had appealed. In 383, Magnus Maximus, commander of the armies in Britain, declared himself Emperor and established himself in Gaul and Hispania. Gratian died. For a time the court of Valentinian, through the mediation of Ambrose, came to an accommodation with the usurper, Theodosius recognized Maximus as co-emperor of the West.
In 386 or 387, Maximus threatened Milan. Valentinian II and Justina fled to Theodosius in Thessalonica; the latter came to an agreement, cemented by his marriage to Valentinian's sister Galla, to restore the young emperor in the West. In 388, Theodosius defeated Maximus. Although he was to appoint both of his sons emperor, Theodosius remained loyal to the dynasty of Valentinian I. After the defeat of Maximus, Theodosius remained in Milan until 391. Valentinian took no part in Theodosius's triumphal celebrations over Maximus. Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne in Gaul, while Theodosius appointed key administrators in the West and had coins minted, which implied his guardianship over the 17-year-old. Justina had died, Vienne was far away from the influence of Ambrose. Theodosius's trusted general, the Frank Arbogast, was appointed magister militum for the Western provinces and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was subordinate only to Theodosius. While the general campaigned on the Rhine, the young emperor remained at Vienne, in contrast to his warrior father and his older brother, who had campaigned at his age.
Arbogast's domination over the emperor was considerable, the general murdered Harmonius, a friend of Valentinian suspected of taking bribes, in the emperor's presence. The crisis reached a peak when Arbogast prohibited the emperor from leading the Gallic armies into Italy to oppose a barbarian threat. Valentinian, in response, formally dismissed Arbogast; the latter ignored the order, publicly tearing it up and arguing that Valentinian had not appointed him in the first place. The reality of where the power lay was displayed. Valentinian wrote to Theodosius and Ambrose complaining of his subordination to his general. In explicit rejection of his earlier Arianism, he invited Ambrose to come to Vienne to baptize him. On 15 May 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in Vienne. Arbogast maintained. Most sources agree, that Arbogast murdered him with his own hands, or paid the Praetorians. Zosimus writing in the early sixth century from Constantinople, states that Arbogast had Valentinian murdered.
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen