Frascati is a city and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is located 20 kilometres south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills close to the ancient city of Tusculum. Frascati is associated with science, being the location of several international scientific laboratories. Frascati produces the white wine with the same name, it is a historical and artistic centre. The most important archeological finding in the area, dating back to Ancient Roman times, during the late Republican Age, is a patrician Roman villa belonging to Lucullus. In the first century AD its owner was Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus, who married Agrippina the Younger, mother of Nero, his properties were confiscated by the Flavian imperial dynasty. Consul Flavius Clemens lived in the villa with his wife Domitilla during the rule of Domitian. According to the Liber Pontificalis, in the 9th century Frascati was a little village founded two centuries earlier; the name of the city comes from a typical local tradition of collecting firewood —many place-names around the town refer to trees or wood.
After the destruction of nearby Tusculum in 1191, the town's population increased and the bishopric moved from Tusculum to Frascati. Pope Innocent III endorsed the city as a feudal possession of the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, but in the following centuries its territories were ravaged by frequent raids that impoverished it, it was owned by various baronial families, including the Colonna, until, in 1460, Pope Pius II fortified the city with walls. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Pope Julius II gave Frascati as a feudal possession to the condottiero Marcantonio I Colonna, who lived there from 1508 together with his wife Lucrezia della Rovere, niece of Pope Julius II. In 1515 Colonna gave Frascati its first statute, Statuti e Capituli del Castello di Frascati, under the Latin title Populus antiquae civitas Tusculi. In 1518 a hospital was built, named after St. Sebastiano, in memory of the old basilica destroyed in the 9th century. After Prince Colonna's death in 1522, Lucrezia della Rovere sold Frascati to Pier Luigi Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III.
On May 1, 1527 a Landsknecht company, after having sacked Rome, arrived out of the bordering villages. However, the soldiers changed the direction of their movement next to a niche, a "Rural Aedicule" consecrated to the Virgin Mary, the town was therefore saved; this event is commemorated by a church now called Capocroce. In 1538, Pope Paul III conferred the title of "Civitas" to Frascati, with the name "Tusculum Novum". In 1598 construction began on a new cathedral dedicated to St. Peter. On September 15, 1616 the first public and free school in Europe was established on the initiative of Saint Joseph Calasanz. On June 18, 1656 a part of the plaster peeled off a wall inside the Church of St. Mary in Vivario, an ancient fresco became visible, it was protector from the plague. In that same year there was an epidemic of plague in Rome but Frascati was unaffected. Since that year, the two Saints have been co-patron Saints of the city. There are statues of the two saints in the façade of the Cathedral.
Between 1713 and 1729, the head from a colossus of Antinous was discovered in the area, displayed in the Villa Mondragone. In 1757 the Valle theater opened in the centre of the town, in 1761 the fortress changed to a princely palace under the patronage of Cardinal Henry Stuart, Duke of York. In 1809 Frascati was annexed to the French Empire, selected as the capital of the Roman canton. In autumn 1837, there was a plague epidemic in Rome, 5,000 people left Rome. Frascati was the only city. Since Frascati's flag has been the same as Rome's, yellow and red. In 1840 the "Accademia Tuscolana" was founded in the city by Cardinal-Bishop Ludovico Micara. In 1856 the city was chosen as the terminus of the Rome–Frascati railway, the first railway to be built by the Papal State; the last section of the railway line was opened in 1884, 14 years after the city became part of the new Kingdom of Italy. On December 17, 1901, Frascati started to receive electricity from a hydroelectric plant in Tivoli. In 1906, an electric tram line opened for service between Frascati and Castelli Romani.
The trams traveled wholly along tracks laid down on existing streets as an interurban electric streetcar. In 1954 the electric tram line was replaced by buses. Another electric tram service, the Rome and Fiuggi Rail Road, called "Vicinali", was opened for service in 1916, it connected Monte Porzio Catone, Monte Compatri and San Cesareo. This tram line was replaced by buses. In 1943, during World War II, Frascati was bombed because it contained the German General Headquarters for the Mediterranean zone. 50% of its buildings, including many monuments and houses, were destroyed. One thousand Italians and 150 Germans died in that air strike and in a second air strike on January 22, 1944, the day of the battle of Anzio; the city was liberated from the Nazi German occupation on June 4, 1944 by the 85th Infantry Division. In 1944–1945 the ruins of the buildings were used to fill in a valley, that land now supports the "8 September Stadium". Frascati is famous for its notable villas, which were built from the 16th century onwards by Popes and Roman nobles as "status symbols" of Roman aristocracy.
These country houses were designed for social activities rather than farming. The villas are well preserved, or have been and authentically restored following damage during World War II; the main villas are: Vi
Malvasia is a group of wine grape varieties grown in the Mediterranean region, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and the island of Madeira, but now grown in many of the winemaking regions of the world. In the past, the names Malvasia and Malmsey have been used interchangeably for Malvasia-based wines. Grape varieties in this family include Malvasia bianca, Malvasia di Schierano, Malvasia negra, Malvasia nera, Malvasia nera di Brindisi, Malvasia di Candia aromatica, Malvasia odorosissima, a number of other varieties. Malvasia wines are produced in Italy, Croatia, the Iberian Peninsula, the Canary Islands, the island of Madeira, Arizona, New Mexico and Brazil; these grapes are used to produce white table wines, dessert wines, fortified wines of the same name, or are sometimes used as part of a blend of grapes, such as in Vin Santo. Most ampelographers believe that the Malvasia family of grapes are of ancient origin, most originating in Crete, Greece; the name "Malvasia" comes from Monemvasia, a medieval and early Renaissance Byzantine fortress on the coast of Laconia, known in Italian as "Malvasia".
During the Middle Ages, the Venetians became so prolific in the trading of "Malvasia wine" that merchant wine shops in Venice were known as malvasie. The occasional claim that it might come from the district of Malevizi, near Iraklion, Crete is not taken by scholars. In any case, Malmsey was one of the three major wines exported from Greece in medieval times.. It is alleged that when Edward IV of England convicted his brother, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, of high treason, his private execution consisted of being "drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine,", dramatized in Shakespeare's Richard III. Both Monemvasia and Candia have lent their names to modern grape varieties. In Greece, there is a variety known as Monemvasia, evidently named after the port, though now grown in the Cyclades. In western Europe, a common variety of Malvasia is known as Malvasia Bianca di Candia, from its reputed origin in that area; the Monemvasia grape was long thought to be ancestral to the western European Malvasia varieties, but recent DNA analysis does not suggest a close relationship between Monemvasia and any Malvasia varieties.
DNA analysis does, suggest that the Athiri wine grape is ancestral to Malvasia. Most varieties of Malvasia are related to Malvasia bianca. One notable exception is the variety known as Malvasia di Candia, a distinctly different sub-variety of Malvasia. Malvasia bianca is grown throughout the world in places like Italy, the San Joaquin Valley of California, the Greek Islands of Paros and Syros, the Canary Islands and Navarra. Throughout central Italy, Malvasia is blended with Trebbiano to add flavor and texture to the wine. In Rioja, it performs a similar function. Malvazija Istarska Malvazija Istarska got the name after peninsula of Istria shared between Croatia and Italy, it represents one of the main white wines of the north Dalmatian coast. The vine was introduced to the area by Venetian merchants; the malvasia is called malvazija in Croatian language. It is the main white wine in the region. OtherThe Dalmatian Maraština is identical to the Italian variety Malvasia Lunga. Malvasia IstrianaIn Italy this wine is grown in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Collio DOC and Isonzo DOC.
The name comes from the Istria peninsula, which takes in parts of Croatia and Italy. The vine was introduced into the area by Venetian merchants. Malvasia Istriana is found in the Colli Piacentini region of Emilia, where it is used to make sparkling wine known locally as champagnino or "little Champagne". Malvasia di Grottaferrata, Malvasia di Bosa, Malvasia di PlanargiaIn the 19th century and early 20th century, sweet passito style dessert wines made from the Malvasia grape were held in high esteem and considered among Italy's finest wines. Following the Second World War, lack of interest in the consumer market led to a sharp decline in plantings, with many varieties going to the verge of extinction. Today only a few dedicated producers are still making these Malvasia dessert wines from local varieties including the Malvasia di Grottaferrata in Lazio and the Malvasia di Bosa and Malvasia di Planargia in Sardinia. Malvasia delle LipariSince the 1980s, dessert wines made from the Malvasia delle Lipari variety has seen a resurgence in interest on the volcanic Aeolian Islands off the north east coast of Sicily.
With distinctive orange notes, this Sicilian wine saw its peak of popularity just before the phylloxera epidemic, when more than 2.6 million gallons were produced annually. Malvasia neraWhile most varieties of Malvasia produce white wine, Malvasia nera is a red wine variety that in Italy is used as a blending grape, being valued for the dark color and aromatic qualities it can add to a wine; the Piedmont of that region is the only significant wine to make varietal Malvasia nera, with two
La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita is a 1960 Italian drama film directed and co-written by Federico Fellini. The film follows Marcello Rubini, a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and nights on his journey through the "sweet life" of Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness. La Dolce Vita won the Palme d'Or at the Oscar for Best Costumes; the film was a massive box office hit in Europe with 13,617,148 admissions in Italy and 2,956,094 admissions in France. Based on the most common interpretation of the storyline, the film can be divided into a prologue, seven major episodes interrupted by an intermezzo, an epilogue. If the evenings of each episode were joined with the morning of the respective preceding episode together as a day, they would form seven consecutive days, which may not be the case. 1st Day Sequence: A helicopter transports a statue of Christ over an ancient Roman aqueduct outside Rome while a second, Marcello Rubini's news helicopter, follows it into the city. The news helicopter is momentarily sidetracked by a group of bikini-clad women sunbathing on the rooftop of a high-rise apartment building.
Hovering above, Marcello uses gestures to elicit phone numbers from them but fails in his attempt shrugs and continues on following the statue into Saint Peter's Square. 1st Night Sequence: Marcello meets Maddalena by chance in an exclusive nightclub. A beautiful and wealthy heiress, Maddalena is tired of Rome and in search of new sensations while Marcello finds Rome suits him as a jungle he can hide in, they make love in the bedroom of a prostitute to whom they had given a ride home in Maddalena's Cadillac. 1st Dawn Sequence: Marcello returns to his apartment at dawn to find that his fiancée, has overdosed. On the way to the hospital, he declares his everlasting love to her and again as she lies in a semiconscious state in the emergency room. While waiting frantically for her recovery, however, he tries to make a phone call to Maddalena. 2nd Day Sequence: That day, he goes on assignment for the arrival of Sylvia, a famous Swedish-American actress, at Ciampino airport where she is met by a horde of news reporters.
During Sylvia's press conference, Marcello calls home to ensure Emma has taken her medication while reassuring her that he is not alone with Sylvia. After the film star confidently replies to the barrage of journalists' questions, her boyfriend Robert enters the room late and drunk. To Sylvia's producer, Marcello casually recommends. Inside St Peter's dome, a news reporter complains that Sylvia is "an elevator" because none of them can match her energetic climb up the numerous flights of stairs. Inspired, Marcello maneuvers forward to be alone with her when they reach the balcony overlooking the Vatican. 2nd Night Sequence: That evening, the infatuated Marcello dances with Sylvia in the Baths of Caracalla. Sylvia's natural sensuality triggers raucous partying while Robert, her bored fiancé, draws caricatures and reads a newspaper, his humiliating remark to her causes Sylvia to leave the group, eagerly followed by Marcello and his paparazzi colleagues. Finding themselves alone and Sylvia spend the rest of the evening in the alleys of Rome where they wade into the Trevi Fountain.
2nd Dawn Sequence: Like a magic spell, broken, dawn arrives at the moment Sylvia playfully "anoints" Marcello's head with fountain water. They drive back to Sylvia's hotel to find an enraged Robert waiting for her in his car. Robert slaps Sylvia, orders her to go to bed, assaults Marcello who takes it in stride. 3rd Day Sequence: Marcello meets Steiner, his distinguished intellectual friend, inside a church playing Bach on the organ. Steiner shows off his book of Sanskrit grammar; the two continue playing the piano offering up some jazz pieces for the watching priest. 4th Day Sequence: Late afternoon, his photographer friend Paparazzo, Emma drive to the outskirts of Rome to cover the story of the purported sighting of the Madonna by two children. Although the Catholic Church is skeptical, a huge crowd of devotees and reporters gathers at the site. 3rd Night Sequence: That night, the event is broadcast over Italian radio and television. Blindly following the two children from corner to corner in a downpour, the crowd tears a small tree apart for its branches and leaves said to have sheltered the Madonna.
Meanwhile, Emma prays to the Virgin Mary to be given sole possession of Marcello's heart. 3rd Dawn Sequence: The gathering ends at dawn with the crowd mourning a sick child, a pilgrim brought by his mother to be healed, but trampled to death in the melee. 4th Night Sequence: One evening and Emma attend a gathering at Steiner's luxurious home where they are introduced to a group of intellectuals who recite poetry, strum the guitar, offer philosophical ideas, listen to sounds of nature recorded on tape. An American woman, whose poetry Marcello has read and admired, recommends that Marcello avoid the "prisons" of commitment: "Stay free, like me. Never get married. Never choose. In love, it's better to be chosen." Emma appears enchanted with Steiner's home and children, telling Marcello that one day he will have a home like Steiner's. Outside on the terrace, Marcello confesses to Steiner his admiration for all he stands for, but Steiner admits he is torn between the security that a materialistic life affords and his longing for a more spiritual albeit insecure way of life.
Steiner philosophizes about the need for love in the world and fears what his children may grow up to face one day. 5th D
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Denominazione di origine controllata
Denominazione di origine controllata is a quality assurance label for Italian wines. The system is modeled on the French Appellation d'origine contrôlée designations; the Italian government introduced the system in 1963 and overhauled it in 1992 to comply with European Union law on protected geographical designations of origin, which came into effect that year. There are three levels of labels: DO — Denominazione di Origine, DOC — Denominazione di Origine Controllata, DOCG — Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. All three require that a food product be produced within the specified region using defined methods and that it satisfy a defined quality standard; the need for a DOCG identification arose when the DOC designation was, in the view of many Italian food industries, given too liberally to different products. A new, more restrictive identification was created as similar as possible to the previous one so that buyers could still recognize it, but qualitatively different; the three original DOCGs were Brunello, Vino Nobile, Barolo, followed by Barbaresco.
A notable difference for wines is that DOCG labelled wines are analysed and tasted by government–licensed personnel before being bottled. To prevent manipulation, DOCG wine bottles are sealed with a numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork. Italian legislation additionally regulates the use of the following qualifying terms for wines: Classico: reserved for wines produced in the region where a particular type of wine has been produced "traditionally". For the Chianti Classico, this "traditional region" is defined by a decree from July 10, 1932, Riserva, which may be used only for wines that have been aged at least two years longer than normal for a particular type of wine. Wines labelled DOCG may only be sold in bottles holding 5 litres or less. For wines produced in Bolzano, where German is an official language, DOC may alternatively be written as Kontrollierte Ursprungsbezeichnung and DOCG may be written as Kontrollierte und garantierte Ursprungsbezeichnung. Geographical indications and traditional specialities in the European Union List of Italian DOCG wines List of Italian DOC wines List of Italian products with protected designation of origin Indicazione geografica tipica, for high-quality wines that do not fit DOC/DOCG regulations referred to as the Italian equivalent to the French vin de pays system.
Traditional food An excerpt from the relevant Italian law V. Q. P. R. D. Vini: Elenco e Riferimenti Normativi al 07.02.2006 published by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, which lists every DOC and DOCG wine as of February 2006, together with the dates of the decrees by which the appellation was instituted, the provinces in which the wine is permitted to be produced. Complete list of italian DOC wines
The term "Grand Tour" refers to the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip of Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank when they had come of age. Young women of sufficient means, or those of either gender of a more humble origin who could find a sponsor, could partake; the custom—which flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transport in the 1840s and was associated with a standard itinerary—served as an educational rite of passage. Though the Grand Tour was associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of other Protestant Northern European nations, from the second half of the 18th century, by some South and North Americans. By the mid 18th century, the Grand Tour had become a regular feature of aristocratic education in Central Europe, as well, although it was restricted to the higher nobility; the tradition declined as enthusiasm for neo-classical culture waned, with the advent of accessible rail and steamship travel—an era in which Thomas Cook made the "Cook's Tour" of early mass tourism a byword.
The New York Times in 2008 described the Grand Tour in this way: Three hundred years ago, wealthy young Englishmen began taking a post-Oxbridge trek through France and Italy in search of art and the roots of Western civilization. With nearly unlimited funds, aristocratic connections and months to roam, they commissioned paintings, perfected their language skills and mingled with the upper crust of the Continent; the primary value of the Grand Tour lay in its exposure to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, the only chance to hear certain music. A Grand Tour could last anywhere from several months to several years, it was undertaken in the company of a Cicerone, a knowledgeable guide or tutor. The Grand Tour had more than superficial cultural importance; the legacy of the Grand Tour lives on to the modern day and is still evident in works of travel and literature.
From its aristocratic origins and the permutations of sentimental and romantic travel to the age of tourism and globalization, the Grand Tour still influences the destinations tourists choose and shapes the ideas of culture and sophistication that surround the act of travel. In essence, the Grand Tour was neither a scholarly pilgrimage nor a religious one, though a pleasurable stay in Venice and a residence in Rome were essential. Catholic Grand Tourists followed the same routes as Protestant Whigs. Since the 17th century, a tour to such places was considered essential for budding artists to understand proper painting and sculpture techniques, though the trappings of the Grand Tour—valets and coachmen a cook a "bear-leader" or scholarly guide—were beyond their reach; the advent of popular guides, such as the book An Account of Some of the Statues, Bas-Reliefs and Pictures in Italy published in 1722 by Jonathan Richardson and his son Jonathan Richardson the Younger, did much to popularise such trips, following the artists themselves, the elite considered travel to such centres as necessary rites of passage.
For gentlemen, some works of art were essential to demonstrate the breadth and polish they had received from their tour. In Rome, antiquaries like Thomas Jenkins were dealers and were able to sell and advise on the purchase of marbles. Coins and medals, which formed more portable souvenirs and a respected gentleman's guide to ancient history were popular. Pompeo Batoni made a career of painting the English milordi posed with graceful ease among Roman antiquities. Many continued on to Naples, where they viewed Herculaneum and Pompeii, but few ventured far into Southern Italy, fewer still to Greece still under Turkish rule. Rome for many centuries had been the goal of pilgrims during Jubilee when they visited the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. In Britain, Thomas Coryat's travel book Coryat's Crudities, published during the Twelve Years' Truce, was an early influence on the Grand Tour but it was the far more extensive tour through Italy as far as Naples undertaken by the'Collector' Earl of Arundel, with his wife and children in 1613–14 that established the most significant precedent.
This is because he asked Inigo Jones, not yet established as an architect but known as a'great traveller' and masque designer, to act as his cicerone. Larger numbers of tourists began their tours after the Peace of Münster in 1648. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of the term was by Richard Lassels, an expatriate Roman Catholic priest, in his book The Voyage of Italy, published posthumously in Paris in 1670 and in London. Lassels's introduction listed four areas in which travel furnished "an accomplished, consummate Traveller": the intellectual, the social, the ethical, the political; the idea of travelling for the sake of curiosity and learning was a developing idea in the 17th century. With John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, it was argued, accepted, that knowledge comes entire
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