10 important events in Ancient Rome

Roman Empire and the Romans have been among the greatest and most celebrated Empires and people in world history.

From the time of the foundation of the city of Rome in 753 BCE until today, it took an enormous change in itself that inspired everyone.

Roman Empire went through several changes, chaos, and period during its life span of over 1000 years. The small Empire was extended to become one of the largest Empires till its end.

The events and incidents that happened during those 1000 years of the life span of Ancient Rome have been listed in this article. The first being the foundation of the Roman City itself.

10. The foundation of Rome by Romulus and Remus

in 753 BCE

Younger version of Romulus and Remus
A younger version of Romulus and Remus
Source: Wikimedia Common

The city of Rome was founded by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus in around 753 BCE. According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were abandoned by their parents right after their birth. 

They were put in baskets and thrown into a river to float away. Luckily they were saved by a female wolf and grew up unknowing about their original identity.

However, they did somehow return to their birthplace Alba Longa. They left Alba Longa and moved forward to another place to build their city. Unfortunately, they could not agree on the same place to build a city and began fighting.

Remus wanted to build a city on Palatine Hill. Romulus killed Remus during the fight and created Rome’s beautiful city on the Palatine Hill on the 21st of April, 753 BCE.

This event marks as one of the darkest events of ancient Rome since it gave rise to fratricidal acts.

9.  The foundation of the roman republic in 509 BCE

A Denarius showing Rome's first consul, Lucius
A Denarius showing Rome’s first consul, Lucius
Source: Wikimedia Common

Rome was turned into a republic after overthrowing the Etruscan King, Tarquin, in 590 BCE. Tarquin was a proud, insensible, and selfish King who would never think good for his citizen.

He would misbehave with both males and females and also rape females in some cases.

Romans were frustrated with his behavior and wanted to overthrow him or take an act of revenge. So, they got together, planned, and defeated the king, forming a new structure of government, the Roman Republic.

The representatives to rule the city was selected by the citizens by a voting system. The elected officials were known as senators, and they began leading the city of Rome.

Consuls led the constitution on the advice given by the Senate. Initially, the Roman republic represented the wealthier patrician families that eventually changed to a representation of deserving ones.

Roman citizens and non-citizens were differentiated by the clothes they wore. The official citizens wore Toga, while non-citizens and slaves wore different forms of attire.

The city of Rome was ruled under the Roman republic for quite some time, from 509 until 27 BCE. It was then replaced with the establishment of the Roman Empire in 27 BCE. 

8. The creation of the Law of the Twelve Tables between 451 and 450 BCE

A portrait of Roman civilians checking the Twelve Tables
A portrait of Roman civilians checking the Twelve Tables
Source: Wikimedia Common

The twelve tables law was created in 451 and 450 BCE. Before this, there was the existence of private law, which was especially applicable for Roman citizens.

With the private law, there was a problem protecting every citizen’s social, legal, and civil rights in a balanced format, especially between the patricians and plebeians.

To bring in balance amongst all, the new and modified law of twelve tables was introduced. It was meant to merge the law for both the patricians and the plebeians, meaning the privileged class and the ordinary people.

A single person could not make the entire law, so the Decemviri or ten men were appointed in 433 BCE. The creation of the whole code of law took almost ten years to be fully ready.

The principal intention of forming this law was to maintain peace and equality in Rome and all Roman citizens. With this, fairness in the Roman courts and establishing the legality of capital crimes were introduced.

This set of laws created was inscribed on 12 different bronze tablets. The written form of this law brought confidence and a sense of power to the plebeians to protect themselves against the abuse shown by the patricians.

This law has influenced modern law as well, even the constitution of the United States is similar to the twelve tables of Roman Law.

7. The settlement of the Latin War in 338 BCE

A map showing different groups involved in the Latin War
A map showing different groups involved in the Latin War
Source: Wikimedia Common

Romans and the Latins were against each other between 341 and 338 BCE. The Latins came up as significant rebellions to the Romans.

However, Roman emerged victorious in 338 BCE and came to a settlement that conquered most of Italy and other overseas territories.

Also, there was a barrier between the Latins and Italian Allies to conduct any diplomacy or treaties.

The Latins were defeated at the Battle of Antium near the river Astura. All the Latiums were given citizenship of Rome, and the whole of Latin territory became the Roman territory eventually.

However, each town had its government and its way of conducting it. This war proved to be one of the significant steps taken by Rome, and a result led to Romans taking control over the Italian peninsula.

6. The invasion of Hannibal in Italy in 218 – 219 BCE

Illustration of commander Hannibal
Illustration of commander Hannibal
Source: Wikimedia Common

Hannibal, one of the most talented commanders, was a commander of the Carthaginian military. The Romans and the Carthaginians agreed to be on good terms after the First Punic War.

Both the cities benefited from the same Mediterranean sea as the sea was the common trading route for both of them with Eastern countries Lebanon and Greece.

The mutual benefit from the sea had brought them to settle for a temporary peace that was leading both the cities towards economic prosperity. However, with the demise of Hamilcar, Hannibal began planning to attack Romans and gained victory twice at the Battle of the Trebia and an invasion near the Ticinus river.

He then planned on invading the northern part of Italy, which the Romans knew, and in return, Romans gathered an army and planned on attacking Hannibal’s army from Central Italy. 

In 219 BCE, he attacked an independent city, Saguntum, which led to the Second Punic War outbreak. Hannibal then moved forward and invaded across the Alps, Pyrenees, and Central Italy.

This invasion route was the most remembered campaign of Hannibal and also in history. He was able to occupy southern Italy and ruled for 15 years, and was forced to retreat from Italy after 15 years of ruling.

5. Spartacus led the slaves in an uprising in 73 BCE

A portrait of Gladiator Mosaic
A portrait of Gladiator Mosaic
Source: Wikimedia Common

Spartacus was the most significant figure responsible for the Third Servile War, from 73 to 71 BCE. He served in the Roman Army but was against Rome for that he was deserted from the army and sold into slavery. 

He was sent to the gladiatorial training school in 73 BCE as he had the quality of becoming an excellent gladiator. These incidents forced Spartacus to lead a revolt against Rome and the Romans.

In the training school, he gathered about 70 other gladiators and escaped from the school. Everyone who escaped was called to gather near Mount Vesuvius.

To his surprise, a lot more people than he expected showed at Mount Vesuvius. Almost a million men gathered, for his bravery and fearless nature inspired them. 

These men were trained, some by a trainer, while most of them by themselves. They became stronger day by day and started traveling all over the Roman Empire using guerrilla tactics against the Romans.

He became an inspirational figure to those suppressed under the oppressive rulers and learned ways to revolt against them and fight for their rights.

4. The introduction of the Gold coin in 50 BCE

Both sides of the Roman Gold coin, Aureus
Both sides of the Roman Gold coin, Aureus
Source: Wikimedia Common

The first Gold Coin invented and used in ancient Rome was the Aureus. It was first introduced in Rome in 50 BCE and was initially valued at 25 pure silver denarii. 

The other name for Aureus was the nummus aureus meaning gold money. The coin gained fame with its introduction and was regularly used in various events and for multiple purposes from the 1st until the 4th Century.

The gold coin was used to reward the military forces as military merit, mainly during the Second Punic War. They were also used in trades and businesses executed in and around ancient Rome. 

The actual size of the Aureus was similar to the denarius, but the aureus weighed high due to its high density of gold.

However, with the introduction of a new gold coin, Solidus, by Emperor Diocletian during the 4th Century, Aureus was replaced by Solidus. The tradition of using gold coins in trades, businesses, and rewards continued for an eternity.

Until today, the value of these gold coins is very high, and they are collectible coins that can be sold at a high price.

3. Julius Caesar became the first dictator of Rome in 45 BCE

A sculpture of Julius Caesar made out of marble
A sculpture of Julius Caesar made out of marble
Source: Wikimedia Common

Julius Caesar, one of the most celebrated military strategists and a most popular politician in history, became the first dictator of Rome thrice in 48 BCE, 46 BCE, and 45 BCE.

In 51 BC, he conquered the Gauls, built a bridge across the Rhine River, and invaded Britain. All this work led to him becoming very popular in and around Rome.

He then went up to reforming the Governmental reforms and changed it to a betterment. Inspired by his works, the Romans proclaimed him the first dictator of Rome, overthrowing all existing government and officials.

Caesar gained fame after defeating Pompey in the civil war and crossing the Rubicon – a famous phrase for never looking back after deciding.

However, this was not the first time he was appointed dictator. He had been appointed in 48 BCE for a year and again in 48 BCE for ten years after defeating the last allies of Pompey.

2. The assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE

A scene of the assassination of the Julius Caesar
A scene of the assassination of the Julius Caesar
Source: Wikimedia Common

The assassination of Julius Caesar is the most dramatic and unforgettable assassination of ancient Rome. About 40 Roman senators were involved in the planning and the execution of this assassination.

The prominent leaders in the assassination planning were Brutus and Cassius, and others involved were Quintus Ligarius, Servius Sulpicius Galba, Caecilius, Marcus Spurius, and Pontius Aquila.

The murder took place on the 15th of March, 44 BCE, at the Theatre of Pompey during a senate and Julius Caesar meeting. They were afraid of the overpowering nature of Julius Caesar and thought his power would end their republic.

They wanted Caesar to become an ordinary citizen and stay low like all other citizens, but he would refuse the orders. 

However, even his death could not stop the senate from maintaining the Roman republic for long. Caesar was famous as the leader in the military force and also amongst the citizens.

His death led to an outbreak of series of civil wars and only ended with the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire in 27 BCE.

1. Beginning of the Roman Empire in 27 BCE

A map of the Roman Empire in 117 AD
A map of the Roman Empire in 117 AD
Source: Wikimedia Common

The beginning of the Roman Empire was the most important and most influential event of ancient Rome. Rome took its height after the beginning of the Roman Empire in 27 BCE.

Julius Caesar’s assassination brought in a series of civil wars, the Roman Republic’s end, and the beginning of the Roman Empire.

Gaius Octavian Thurinus – the nephew of Julius Caesar, was the first to rule the Roman Empire as the Emperor. He was a great military during the time of Julius Caesar, so he was thought to be the perfect Emperor for that time.

Octavian renamed Augustus Caesar and ruled Roman Empire for an extended period from 27 BCE until 14 BCE.

He was responsible for bringing numerous changes, stability, peace, and prosperity during his reign and is considered one of the greatest emperors of ancient Rome. The entire period of his power is known as Paxx Romana or the Roman Peace.

Conclusion

Roman Empire and its Era has been an inspiration period for everyone. The inventions, cities, and series of events that took place in this Era remain in hearts of the historians and civilians.

Some of the events that happened in ancient Rome had happened for the first time in human existence. They have left the footprint to other empires to follow them and create an impact of their own.

Leave a Comment