The History of Rome
Building started in Rome in 753 B.C. The Romans believed that twin boys, Romulus and Remus, were taken from their mother and left by the river Tiber to starve. A mother wolf found the babies and looked after them until they were old enough to take care of themselves. Years later, Mars (the Roman God of war) told the boys to build a city where they had been found. The two boys built this city, but ended up at war with each other. Romulus won the battle and the city became known as Rome. At first, Rome was ruled by kings. They were sometimes very cruel and the last king, Tarquin the Proud, was overthrown. Rome then became a republic for the next four hundred years. At first, Rome was ruled by Generals, but they were always fighting over who would have the final say in running the Empire. Eventually the Generals were replaced by just one man - The Emperor. The first Emperor to come to power was Augustus in 27 B.C. Rome’s territory extended beyond the Italian Peninsula, including former Mediterranean competitors Syracuse and Carthage. Augustus (then still "Octavian") added Egypt to the Imperium Romanum. Augustus' reforms turning the Roman state into an empire survived mostly unchanged until the Diocletian reform at end of the 3rd century, which turned the empire into a tetrarchy. This was due to the near-collapse of the empire during the period of invasion, civil war, and economic chaos known as the military anarchy, which led to the division of the Empire into the Eastern and the Western Roman Empire. The end of the Western Empire is traditionally set as 4th September 476 A.D., when the Germanic chieftain Odoacer forced the abdication of the last Western Emperor Romulus. After Constantinople had been made capital and the Western parts were lost, the Eastern part became known as the Byzantine Empire, which fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 A.D.