Africa (Roman province)
Africa Proconsularis was a Roman province on the northwest African coast, established in 146 BC following the defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War. It comprised the territory of present-day Tunisia, the northeast of Algeria, the coast of western Libya along the Gulf of Sirte; the territory was inhabited by Berber people, known in Latin as Mauri indigenous to all of North Africa west of Egypt. It was one of the wealthiest provinces in the western part of the Roman empire, second only to Italia. Apart from the city of Carthage, other large settlements in the province were Hadrumetum, capital of Byzacena, Hippo Regius. Rome's first province in northwest Africa was established by the Roman Republic in 146 BC, following its defeat of Carthage in the Third Punic War. Africa Proconsularis or Africa Vetus, was governed by a proconsul, it is possible that the name "Africa" comes from the Berber word "afer" or "ifri" that designated a tribe. Utica was formed as the administrative capital; the remaining territory was left in the domain of the Berber Numidian client king Massinissa.
At this time, the Roman policy in Africa was to prevent another great power from rising on the far side of Sicily. In 118 BC, the Numidian prince Jugurtha attempted to reunify the smaller kingdoms. However, upon his death, much of Jugurtha's territory was placed in the control of the Berber Mauretanian client king Bocchus. In 27 BC, when the Republic had transformed into an Empire, the province of Africa began its Imperial occupation under Roman rule. Several political and provincial reforms were implemented by Augustus and by Caligula, but Claudius finalized the territorial divisions into official Roman provinces. Africa was a senatorial province. After Diocletian's administrative reforms, it was split into Africa Zeugitana in the north. All of which were part of the Dioecesis Africae; the region remained a part of the Roman Empire until the Germanic migrations of the 5th century. The Vandals crossed into Northwest Africa from Spain in 429 and overran the area by 439 and founded their own kingdom, including Sicily, Corsica and the Balearics.
The Vandals controlled the country as a warrior-elite but faced strong resistance from the native Berbers. The Vandals persecuted Catholic Berbers, as the Vandals were adherents of Arianism. Towards the end of the 5th century, the Vandal state fell into decline, abandoning most of the interior territories to the Mauri and other Berber tribes of the region. In AD 533, Emperor Justinian, using a Vandal dynastic dispute as pretext, sent an army under the general Belisarius to recover Africa. In a short campaign, Belisarius defeated the Vandals, entered Carthage in triumph and re-established Roman rule over the province; the restored Roman administration was successful in fending off the attacks of the Amazigh desert tribes, by means of an extensive fortification network managed to extend its rule once again to the interior. The northwest African provinces, together with the Roman possessions in Spain, were grouped into the Exarchate of Africa by Emperor Maurice; the exarchate prospered, from it resulted the overthrow of the emperor Phocas by Heraclius in 610.
Heraclius considered moving the imperial capital from Constantinople to Carthage. After 640, the exarchate managed to stave off the Muslim Conquest, but in 698, a Muslim army from Egypt sacked Carthage and conquered the exarchate, ending Roman and Christian rule in Northwest Africa. Legend Even so, the Roman military presence of Northwest Africa was small, consisting of about 28,000 troops and auxiliaries in Numidia and the two Mauretanian provinces. Starting in the 2nd century AD, these garrisons were manned by local inhabitants. A sizable Latin speaking population developed, multinational in background, sharing the northwest African region with those speaking Punic and Berber languages. Imperial security forces began to be drawn from the local population, including the Berbers. Abun-Nasr, in his A History of the Maghrib, said that "What made the Berbers accept the Roman way of life all the more was that the Romans, though a colonizing people who captured their lands by the might of their arms, did not display any racial exclusiveness and were remarkably tolerant of Berber religious cults, be they indigenous or borrowed from the Carthaginians.
However, the Roman territory in Africa was unevenly penetrated by Roman culture. Pockets of non-Romanized Berbers continued to exist throughout the Roman period such as in the rural areas of the romanised regions of Tunisia and Numidia." By the end of the Western Roman Empire nearly all of the Maghreb was romanised, according to Mommsen in his The Provinces of the Roman Empire. Roman Africans enjoyed a high level of prosperity; this prosperity touched even the populations living outside the Roman limes, who were reached with Roman expeditions to Sub-Saharan Africa. The willing acceptance of Roman citizenship by members of the ruling class in African cities produced such Roman Africans as the comic poet Terence, the rhe
Mauri was the Latin designation for the Berber population of Mauretania. It was located in the part of Africa west of Numidia, an area coextensive with present-day Morocco and west Algeria. Mauri is recorded by Strabo, who wrote in the early 1st century, as the native name, adopted into Latin, while he cites the Greek name for the same people as Maurusii; the name Mauri as a tribal confederation or generic ethnic designator thus seems to correspond to the people known as Numidians in earlier ethnography. In 44 AD, the Roman Empire incorporated the region as the province of Mauretania divided into Mauretania Caesariensis and Mauretania Tingitana; the area around Carthage was part of Africa Proconsulare. Roman rule was effective. Mauri raids into the southern Iberian Peninsula are mentioned as early as the reign of Nero in the Eclogues of Calpurnius Siculus: "Geryon's meads, a wealthy prize to tempt the fierce Moor's avarice, where Baetis huge, so legends say, rolls downward on his western way to find the shore."
The Baetis is the modern Guadalquivir, so this poem implies Mauri raiding into Baetica in the first century CE. Mauri from the mountains beyond the border of the Roman Empire crossed the straits of Gibraltar to raid into the Roman province of Baetica, in what is today southern Spain, in the early 170s. Mauri raided Baetica again in the late 180s in the reign of Commodus. At that time they besieged the town of Singilia Barba, freed from the siege by the arrival of Roman troops from the province of Mauretania Tingitana, led by C. Vallius Maximianus. By the early Christian era, the byname Mauritius identified anyone originating in Africa corresponding to Amazigh populations. Two prominent "Mauritian" churchmen were St. Augustine; the 3rd-century Christian saint Mauritius, in whose honour the given name Maurice originated, was from Egypt. When Aurelian marched against Zenobia in 272, his army included Moorish cavalry; the Notitia Dignitatum mentions Roman cavalry units Moorish cavalry. Many Mauri were enlisted in the Roman army and were well known as members of the comitatus, the emperor's mobile army, prior to the reign of Diocletian.
Jones cites the record of a consular interrogation from Numidia in 320, in which a Latin grammarian named Victor stated that his father was a decurion in Cirta, his grandfather served in the comitatus,'for our family is of Moorish origin'. By the time of Diocletian, Moorish cavalry were no longer part of the mobile field army, but rather were stationed along the Persian and Danube borders. There was one regiment of Equites Mauri in "each of the six provinces from Mesopotamia to Arabia"; the Mauri were part of a larger group called Equites Illyricani, indicating previous service in Illyricum. While many Mauri were part of the Roman empire, others resisted Roman rule. Diocletian's co-emperor Maximian campaigned against the Mauri for two years in the late 290s; this may be the reason why the border legions of northwest Africa were reinforced in Diocletian's time with seven new legions spread through Tingitania, Africa and the Mauritanias. In the 370s, Mauri raided the Roman towns of Northwest Africa.
Theodosius the Elder campaigned against them in 372. A Moorish tribe called. According to Jones, who follows Ammianus Marcellinus, the raids into Tripolitania were caused by the "negligence and corruption of Romanus, the comes Africae... in 372 Firmus, a Moorish chieftain with whom Romanus had quarrelled, raised a revolt, winning several Roman regiments to his side". Theodosius was executed shortly thereafter in Carthage. Firmus' brother Gildo a Moorish chieftain, joined the Romans and helped defeat Firmus' revolt; as a reward, he was given the post of magister utriusque militiae per Africam, or master of foot soldiers and cavalry for Africa. In 397 he broke his allegiance to the Western Empire under the control of the child emperor Honorius and his master of soldiers Stilicho. Gildo withheld the corn ships from Rome and declared allegiance to Stilicho's enemy Eutropius in Constantinople. Eutropius sent encouragement but money; the Roman Senate declared Gildo a public enemy. Gildo had another brother called Mascezel.
At some point, Gildo executed Mascezel's children. Because of this, Mascezel helped the Romans defeat his brother's rebellion. With Mascezel's help, a Roman force of 5000 men defeated Gildo and restored control over northwest Africa to the Western Empire. Stilicho saw to it that Mascezel was eliminated. To replace Gildo, Stilicho put his brother-in-law Bathanarius in charge of military affairs in Africa in 401. In the late 4th and early 5th centuries, large numbers of troops from the mobile imperial field army were permanently stationed in Africa to maintain order against the Moors. A. H. M. Jones estimated; these troops were in addition to the permanent border armies. These troops were, according to Jones unavailable for their original purpose, to respond to barbarian invasions and wherever necessary. In 411-412, the dux Libyarum was named Anysius, he is recorded as the comm
Aulus Plautius was a Roman politician and general of the mid-1st century. He began the Roman conquest of Britain in 43, became the first governor of the new province, serving from 43 to 46. Little is known of Aulus Plautius's early career, it was believed that he was involved in the suppression of a slave revolt in Apulia in AD 24, alongside Marcus Aelius Celer. However, the "A·PLAVTIO" of the inscription is now associated with Aulus' father of the same name, Aulus Plautius; the younger Plautius was suffect consul for the second half of 29, held a provincial governorship of Pannonia, in the early years of Claudius's reign. Claudius appointed Plautius to lead his invasion of Britannia in 43, in support of Verica, king of the Atrebates and an ally of Rome, deposed by his eastern neighbours, the Catuvellauni; the army was composed of four legions: IX Hispana in Pannonia. Legio II Augusta was commanded by the future emperor Vespasian. Three other men of appropriate rank to command legions are known to have been involved in the invasion: Vespasian's brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, Gnaeus Hosidius Geta appear in Dio Cassius's account of the invasion.
On the beaches of northern Gaul Plautius faced a mutiny by his troops, who were reluctant to cross the Ocean and fight beyond the limits of the known world. They were persuaded after Claudius's secretary Narcissus addressed them. Seeing a former slave in place of their commander, they cried "Io Saturnalia!" and the mutiny was over. The invasion force sailed in three divisions, is believed to have landed at Richborough in Kent, although parts may have landed elsewhere; the Britons, led by Togodumnus and Caratacus of the Catuvellauni, were reluctant to fight a pitched battle, relying instead on guerrilla tactics. However, Plautius defeated first Caratacus Togodumnus, on the rivers Medway and Thames. Togodumnus died shortly afterwards, although Caratacus survived and continued to be a thorn in the invaders' side. Having reached the Thames, Plautius halted and sent for Claudius, who arrived with elephants and heavy artillery and completed the march on the Catuvellaunian capital, Camulodunum. A Roman province was established in the conquered territory, alliances made with nations outside direct Roman control.
Plautius became governor of the new province, until 47 when he was replaced by Publius Ostorius Scapula. On his return to Rome and civil life, Plautius was granted an ovation, during which the emperor himself walked by his side to and from the Capitol. Aulus Plautius was the son of Aulus Vitellia. Quintus Plautius, consul in 36, was his younger brother, his sister Plautia has been identified as the wife of Publius Petronius, consul in 19.. There has been speculation that the daughter of Plautia and Publius Patronis married a son of Lucius Vittelius, however existing records suggest that Lucius Vitellius had no children despite his two wives. Plautius married Pomponia Graecina, whom Anthony Birley has identified as the daughter of Gaius Pomponius Graecinus, suffect consul in 16. After the execution of her kinswoman Julia Drusi Caesaris by Claudius and Messalina, Pomponia remained in mourning for forty years in open, unpunished, defiance of the emperor. In 57 she was charged with a "foreign superstition", interpreted by some to mean conversion to Christianity.
According to Roman law, she was tried by her husband before her kinsmen, was acquitted. Plautius was the uncle whose "distinguished service" saved Plautius Lateranus from the death penalty in 48 after his affair with Messalina. By the time Lateranus was executed, in 65 for his part in a conspiracy against Nero, his uncle was dead and could no longer help him, his son may be the man with the same name, Aulus Plautius, alleged to be the lover of Agrippina the younger, murdered by Agrippina's son Nero. However, Birley notes that despite the shared praenomen this Aulus Plautius "is thought to have belonged to the other branch of the family, not to be the son of our man." Plautius is a character in Henryk Sienkiewicz's novel Quo Vadis. Plautius is a character in Simon Scarrow's novel The Eagle's Conquest. In the 1951 film Quo Vadis, based on the novel and his wife Pomponia are Christians, he is played by David Morrissey in the 2018 TV series Britannia. William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology Vol 4 p. 405 George Patrick Welch, Britannia: the Roman Conquest and Occupation of Britain Anthony R Birley, The Fasti of Roman Britain, pp. 37–40 Anthony R Birley, The Roman Government of Britain, pp. 17–25 Paul L. Maier, "The Flames of Rome" Aulus Plautius at Roman-Britain.org
Gaius Suetonius Paulinus
Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was a Roman general best known as the commander who defeated the rebellion of Boudica. Little is known of Suetonius' family, but they came from Pisaurum, a town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, he is not known to be related to the biographer Suetonius. Having served as praetor in 40 AD, Suetonius was appointed governor of Mauretania the following year. In collaboration with Gnaeus Hosidius Geta he suppressed the revolt led by Aedemon in this mountainous province, arising from the execution of the local ruler by Caligula. In 41 AD Suetonius was the first Roman commander to lead troops across the Atlas Mountains, Pliny the Elder quotes his description of the area in his Natural History. In 58, having been consul, he was appointed governor of Britain, replacing Quintus Veranius, who had died in office, he continued Veranius's policy of aggressively subduing the tribes of modern Wales, was successful for his first two years in the post. His reputation as a general came to rival that of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo.
Two future governors served under him: Quintus Petillius Cerialis as legate of Legio IX Hispana, Gnaeus Julius Agricola as a military tribune attached to II Augusta, but seconded to Suetonius's staff. In 60 or 61 Suetonius made an assault on the island of Mona, a refuge for British fugitives and a stronghold of the druids; the tribes of the south-east took advantage of his absence and staged a revolt, led by queen Boudica of the Iceni. The colonia of Camulodunum was destroyed, its inhabitants tortured and slaughtered, Petillius Cerialis's legion routed. Suetonius brought Mona to terms and marched along the Roman road of Watling Street to Londinium, the rebels' next target, but judged he did not have the numbers to defend the city and ordered it evacuated; the Britons duly destroyed it, the citizens of Londinium suffering the same fate as those of Camulodunum, did the same to Verulamium. Suetonius regrouped with the XIV Gemina, some detachments of the XX Valeria Victrix, all available auxiliaries.
The II Augusta, based at Exeter, was available, but its prefect, Poenius Postumus, declined to heed the call. Nonetheless, Suetonius was able to assemble a force of about ten thousand men. Outnumbered, the Romans stood their ground; the resulting battle took place at an unidentified location in a defile with a wood behind him in the West Midlands somewhere along Watling Street - at Cuttle Mill, 2 miles southeast of Towcester in Northamptonshire, in front of a narrow defile which answers the topographical description of Tacitus, human bones have been found over a large area. The Britons' flight was impeded by the presence of their own families, whom they had stationed in a ring of wagons at the edge of the battlefield, defeat turned into slaughter. Tacitus heard reports that eighty thousand Britons were killed, compared to only four hundred Romans. Boudica poisoned herself, Postumus, having denied his men a share in the victory, fell on his sword. Suetonius reinforced his army with legionaries and auxiliaries from Germania and conducted punitive operations against any remaining pockets of resistance, but this proved counterproductive.
The new procurator, Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus, expressed concern to the Emperor Nero that Suetonius's activities would only lead to continued hostilities. An inquiry was set up under Nero's freedman, an excuse, that Suetonius had lost some ships, was found to relieve him of his command, he was replaced by the more conciliatory Publius Petronius Turpilianus. But Suetonius was not disgraced: a lead tessera found in Rome features both his and Nero's names and symbols of victory, a man named Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was consul in 66, either a son of the same name or the general himself appointed for a second time. In 69, during the year of civil wars that followed the death of Nero, he was one of Otho's senior generals and military advisors, he and Aulus Marius Celsus defeated Aulus Caecina Alienus, one of Vitellius's generals, near Cremona, but Suetonius would not allow his men to follow up their advantage and was accused of treachery as a result. When Caecina joined his forces with those of Fabius Valens, Suetonius advised Otho not to risk a battle but was overruled, leading to Otho's decisive defeat at Bedriacum.
Suetonius was captured by Vitellius and obtained a pardon by claiming that he had deliberately lost the battle for Otho, although this was certainly untrue. His eventual fate remains unknown
Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain, governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars. According to Caesar, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies, he received tribute, installed a friendly king over the Trinovantes, returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, 25 BC. In 40 AD, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel on the continent, only to have them gather seashells according to Suetonius as a symbolic gesture to proclaim Caligula's victory over the sea. Three years Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore an exiled king over the Atrebates; the Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, organized their conquests as the Province of Britain. By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way.
Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded northward. The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be around the 10,000's on the Caledonian side and about 360 on the Roman side; the bloodbath at Mons Graupius concluded the forty-year conquest of Britain, a period that saw between 100,000 and 250,000 Britons killed. In the context of pre-industrial warfare and of a total population of Britain of c.2 million, these are high figures. Under the 2nd-century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never controlled. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.
During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the 4th century. For much of the period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders; the final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410. Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, architecture; the Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire.
Britain was known to the Classical world. The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides, or "tin islands", placed them near the west coast of Europe; the Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. It was regarded with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all; the first direct Roman contact was when Julius Caesar undertook two expeditions in 55 and 54 BC, as part of his conquest of Gaul, believing the Britons were helping the Gallic resistance. The first expedition was more a reconnaissance than a full invasion and gained a foothold on the coast of Kent but was unable to advance further because of storm damage to the ships and a lack of cavalry. Despite the military failure it was a political success, with the Roman Senate declaring a 20-day public holiday in Rome to honour the unprecedented achievement of obtaining hostages from Britain and defeating Belgian tribes on returning to the continent; the second invasion involved a larger force and Caesar coerced or invited many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute and give hostages in return for peace.
A friendly local king, was installed, his rival, was brought to terms. Hostages were taken, but historians disagree over whether any tribute was paid after Caesar returned to Gaul. Caesar conquered no territory and left no troops behind but he established clients and brought Britain into Rome's sphere of influence. Augustus planned invasions in 34, 27 and 25 BC, but circumstances were never favourable, the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. Strabo, writing late in Augustus's reign, claimed that taxes on trade brought in more annual revenue than any conquest could. Archaeology shows. Strabo mentions British kings who sent embassies to Augustus and Augustus's own Res Gestae refers to two British kings he received as refugees; when some of Tiberius's ships were carried to Britain in a storm during his campaigns in Germany in 16 AD, they came back with tales of monsters. Rome appears to have encouraged a balance of power in southern Britain, supporting two powerful kingdoms: the Catuvellauni, ruled by the descendants of Tasciovanus, the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Commius.
This policy was followed until 39 or 40
Publius Papinius Statius was a Roman poet of the 1st century AD. His surviving Latin poetry includes an epic in the Thebaid, he is known for his appearance as a guide in the Purgatory section of Dante's epic poem, the Divine Comedy. Information about Statius' life is entirely drawn from his Silvae and a mention by the satirist Juvenal, he was born to a family of Graeco-Campanian origin. The poet's father was a native of Velia but moved to Naples and spent time in Rome where he taught with marked success. From boyhood to adulthood, Statius' father proved himself a champion in the poetic contests at Naples in the Augustalia and in the Nemean and Isthmian games, which served as important events to display poetic skill during the early empire. Statius declares in his lament for his father that his father was in his time equal to any literary task, whether in prose or verse, he mentioned Mevania, may have spent time there, or been impressed by the confrontation of Vitellius and Vespasian in 69. Statius' father may have lost his status because of money troubles.
At Naples, he was a teacher of Greek and Roman literature who attracted many pupils who were destined for religious offices in Rome. He died in 79 AD. From Pliny the Younger's Letters, it has been deduced that Statius wrote under the pseudonym of Propertius. Less is known of the events of Statius' life, he was born c. 45 AD. From his boyhood he was victorious in poetic contests many times at his native Naples and three times at the Alban Festival, where he received the golden crown from the hand of the emperor Domitian who had instituted the contest. For the Alban Festival, Statius composed a poem on the German and Dacian campaigns of Domitian which Juvenal lampoons in his seventh satire. Statius is thought to have moved to Rome c. 90 after his father's death where he published his acclaimed epic poem the Thebaid c. 92. In the capital, Statius seems to have made many connections among the Roman aristocracy and court, he was supported through their patronage. Statius produced the first three books of occasional poetry, his Silvae, which were published in 93, which sketch his patrons and acquaintances of this period and mention his attendance at one of Domitian's Saturnalia banquets.
He competed in the great Capitoline competition, although it is not known in what year, although 94 has been suggested. Statius failed to win the coveted prize, a loss he took hard; the disappointment may have prompted his return to Naples around 94, the home of his youth. In existence is a poem he addressed to his wife, the widow of a famous singer who had a musically talented daughter by her first husband, on this occasion. Statius' first three books of the Silvae seem to have received some criticism, in response he composed a fourth book' at Naples, published in 95. During this period at Naples, Statius maintained his relations with the court and his patrons, earning himself another invitation to a palace banquet, he seems to have taken an interest in the marriage and career of his stepdaughter and he took a young slave boy under his wing, as he was childless, who died c. 95. In that same year Statius embarked on a new epic, the Achilleid, giving popular recitations of his work only to complete a book and a half before dying in 95, leaving the poem unfinished.
His fifth book of Silvae were published after his death c. 96. As a poet, Statius was versatile in his contrived to represent his work as otium. Taught by his educated father, Statius was familiar with the breadth of classical literature and displayed his learning in his poetry, densely allusive and has been described as elaborate and mannerist, he was able to compose in hexameter, hendecasyllable and Sapphic meters, to produce researched and refined epic and polished impromptu pieces, to treat a variety of themes with the dazzling rhetorical and poetic skill that inspired the support of his patrons and the emperor. Some of Statius' works, such as his poems for his competitions, have been lost. Based on Statius' own testimony, the Thebaid was written c. 80 – c. 92 AD, beginning when the poet was around 35, the work is thought to have been published in 91 or 92. The poem is divided into twelve books in imitation of Virgil's Aeneid and is composed in dactylic hexameter. In the Silvae, Statius speaks of his extensive work in polishing and revising the Thebaid and his public recitations of the poem.
From the epilogue it seems clear that Statius considered the Thebaid to be his magnum opus and believed that it would secure him fame for the future. In the poem, Statius follows Virgil as a model, but he refers to a wide range of sources in his handling of meter and episodes; the poem's theme is the myth of the Seven Against Thebes, the story of the battle between the sons of Oedipus for the throne of Thebes. The poem opens with the disgraced Oedipus' curse on his two sons and Polyneices, who have decided to hold the throne of Thebes in alternate years, one ruling, the other in exile. Jupiter plans a war between Thebes and Argos, although Juno begs him not to inc
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