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origins of rome

The origins of Rome


The origins of Rome have humble beginnings. The story of one of the greatest civilizations in history, destined to expand all over the world, begins with a small village of simple shepherds.

In fact, some shepherds of the population called “Latini”, in search of better land, moved along the banks of the Tiber river. Here there were a series of hills that made it possible to have a raised position, far from the marshy areas and easily protected from any attacks.

The first of these hills on which small villages were built was the Palatine. The other hills were also quickly populated with small villages.

These initially separate villages merged into a single settlement. It is from that moment that we can begin to talk about a city that will later be called Rome. The origins of Rome are traditionally traced back to 753 BC. The etymology of the name is still uncertain. According to the most credible theory, the name derives from the Etruscan Rumon which means ford (crossing of the river).

The city experienced rapid growth in trade and size and the reasons for this development are due to some characteristics of its geographical position:

Closeness to the river Tiber

Like other great civilizations in history, the advantages of a river near the city were numerous, the most important being that the Tiber was an excellent communication route to trade products with other neighbouring peoples and offered an outlet to the sea. It also protected the city from possible attacks since the sea was quite distant.

Central position

Rome was located in a position that put it in contact with the two greatest civilizations present in Italy at that time, namely the Etruscans in the north, who strongly influenced the Romans and in the south with the Greeks who, as we know, had colonies in Italy.

Salt trade

Another very important factor in the growth of Rome was that there were salt pans at the mouth of the Tiber and there was a thriving trade in salt, a very precious product for the preservation of food. Rome was located right along the so-called via del sale (Via Salaria, which still exists today.)

In the villages the social structure was very simple, a village chief was chosen who was a wise or brave person. With time this leader became a real king. Rome also had several Etruscan kings, who had targeted this rapidly developing city and wanted to influence it.

The long history of Rome can be divided into three great periods:

From 753 BC (foundation of the city) to 509 BC (hunt of the last Etruscan King, Tarquinio the Proud)

from the expulsion of Tarquinius the proud to the proclamation of Augustus as first emperor (27 BC)

from the first emperor Augustus to the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD)

According to the most famous legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus and Remus, twin brothers who were raised by a she-wolf. The brothers argued over who should rule the city, and Romulus killed Remus. Romulus then became the first king of Rome.

In 509 BC, Rome overthrew its last king and established a republic. The republic was a period of great expansion for Rome. The city conquered new territory and became a major power in the Mediterranean world. In 27 BC, the republic collapsed and was replaced by an empire. The Roman Empire reached its peak under the emperor Augustus (27 BC-14 AD). At its height, the empire controlled most of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

The Roman Empire eventually collapsed in the 5th century AD. However, the city of Rome survived and continued to be a major cultural and political center. Rome was the capital of the Papal States from the 7th century to the 19th century. Today, Rome is the capital of Italy and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

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