Top 15 Mind-blowing Facts About Ancient Rome You Need to Know

Facts About Ancient Rome

“Ancient Rome is not just any chapter in the history books!” It’s a tale of innovation, conquest, and culture. With powerful emperors and extraordinary achievements, ancient Rome has left an incredible mark on history. So, are you ready to board on the journey of time? If yes, this blog is just for you! Moreover, let’s quickly learn some of the most interesting facts about ancient Rome and explore the secrets of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen.

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was founded long ago on April 21, 753 BCE. The story of its origin is quite fascinating and resembles a legend. According to tradition, two brothers named Romulus and Remus started Rome. These brothers were extraordinary, and they were considered demigods. A she-wolf took care of them after their discovery as infants by the Tiber river, until a shepherd found them.

As they matured, they resolved to build a city. They selected Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills for which Rome is renowned. However, like many siblings, they engaged in a fierce dispute. They could not settle on who should lead the new city or even its precise location. Ultimately, Romulus prevailed in the argument, but tragically, he killed his brother Remus.

Subsequently, Romulus named the new city Rome, after himself. While this is a widely known tale, other versions exist. Some claim the city’s name honors a woman named Roma, who accompanied a group from Troy. Upon their arrival near the future site of Rome, the men wished to depart, but Roma and the other women desired to stay. Thus, they set the ships blazing to ensure their settlement.

However, there are other theories as well!

Another theory suggests Rome derived its name from ‘Rumon,’ the ancient name for the river it borders, or from a term used by the neighboring Etruscans.

Initially, Rome was merely a modest trading post in an advantageous location by the river, facilitating easy access for boats. Kings initially governed the city, which absorbed much from neighboring cultures like the Greeks and Etruscans. The Greeks imparted knowledge of writing, religion, and architecture, while the Etruscans introduced the Romans to luxury living and enhanced trade practices.

Rome did not remain small. It expanded rapidly and achieved great success. Following the expulsion of the last king, the Romans established a new government system, the ‘Roman Republic,’ marking the beginning of Rome’s significant growth and rise to power.

Here are some interesting facts about ancient Rome you need to know:

  • The legend of Romulus and Remus suggests that the name Romulus was a creation to complement the name of Rome. Early Roman coins feature the twins and their wolf mother.
  • The Romans, needing to increase their population, kidnapped Sabine women. This act precipitated a war, but the two groups eventually merged, creating a larger community.
  • From the outset, Rome organized its military into legions. Each legion consisted of 3,000 foot soldiers and 300 horsemen, a structure attributed to Romulus, the city’s legendary founder.
  • Seven kings governed Rome before it transitioned to a republic. The overthrow of the last king, Tarquin the Proud, led to the establishment of the Roman Republic in 509 BC.
  • Rome conferred citizenship rights, except for voting, on conquered peoples after the Latin War. This policy facilitated their integration into Roman society and was instrumental in Rome’s expansion.
  • The victory in the Pyrrhic War in 275 BC underscored Rome’s military might. They overcame the Greek warriors, then considered the best, and secured dominance over Italy.
  • Roman society was stratified. Birth determined social status, and movement between classes was not easy, as the upper class held certain privileges.
  • Roman cuisine included delicacies such as flamingo tongues, which were highly prized during feasts.

Here are some other fascinating facts related to ancient Rome:

  • During the Saturnalia celebration, slaves achieved full social equality with their masters. People dedicated this festival to Saturn, the god closely associated with agriculture.
  • Emperor Tiberius once banned the act of kissing in public places due to high rates of disease transmission.
  • Another peculiar aspect of the dining habits of Retiarians, and especially wealthy Romans, was their practice of dining while reclining, a sign of luxury that contrasts sharply with modern-day dining customs.
  • Some emperors engaged in mithridatism, which involved taking small doses of poison to build immunity against potential poisoning.
  • The Romans constructed excellent roadways that still form the backbone of the empire’s communication routes to this day. Many of these roads were so well-constructed that several are still in use.
  • To achieve this, Roman engineers built aqueducts that transported water into cities. These aqueducts were architectural marvels and provided fresh water for public baths and fountains.
  • In addition to social status, class, age, and gender, only freeborn Roman citizens had the privilege of wearing togas. This garment symbolized Roman citizenship and social status, unifying them as a nation.

End Note

As we conclude our journey through the facts about ancient Rome, we realize the stories of ancient Rome are as constant as the empire itself. Ancient Rome’s legacy continues to inspire many people today. So, were you curious to know about ancient Rome? If yes, enjoy these facts about this ‘Eternal City’, and allow them to motivate you with a quote that says, “ Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.”

Simran Khan

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